Governor Wilber Ottichilo has perfected the art of launching ghost projects, where a select group of chief officers is milking the county coffers dry in a way that besieged Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru can only admire, it is claimed. Take for instance the department of agriculture that Pamela Busungu, a senior face among chief officers, has taken complete control of and is even signing for some of its tenders at the comfort of her bedroom. The department of agriculture lined up a total of 54 projects with a budget of Sh380 million, and they say 44 projects worth Sh219 million were completed and paid.
The county paid Magoya Agrotech and Produce Enterprises Sh23,800,000 to supply and deliver planting fertilizer and a further Sh21,080,000 for top dressing fertilizer, which was delivered to sub-counties from where farmers bought it. It further paid Western Seed Company Sh5,928,410 to supply and deliver certified maize seeds. However, Busungu contracted Navana Tours and Travel Limited to load and offload the fertilizers and maize seeds at a cost of Sh2,078,720, a company that was also paid Sh 5,600,000 to transport the same and a further Sh3 million to transport planting fertilizer. Sources at the county indicated Navana Tours is closely associated with Busungu, who has blessings from the top seat, and the proceeds from these illegal payments alone saw her buy a new Toyota Fielder car, and buy land in Kakamega.
The fertilizer and maize seeds would then be sold to 34,000 farmers at a cost of 500 per person, with the county raising Sh17,000,000, and consequently being unable to supply the same farmers with the implements this year. The department has listed as having partially completed Mukhalakhala slaughterhouse to 90pc, a slaughterhouse that former governor Moses Akaranga left while being operational. Mbogolo Valley Enterprises Limited has already been paid Sh4,586,402 for the completion of the Mukhalakhala slaughterhouse. Mwitoko Fish Farm is the main cash cow for the department, having gobbled about Sh37 million but its profits to the region are still at the planning level. Despite the farm having had electricity since when Ottichilo introduced it under the Economic Stimulus Programmes while still an MP, the department has also paid Sh1,366,726 to Pong Agencies Ltd for electrical installation works.
Navana Tours and Travel Ltd has also been paid Sh300,000 for fish feeds transportation, which was procured from Sigma Feeds Limited and paid for supply and delivery at Sh4,230,000. The department has also listed among its achievements as having distributed 20,000 coffee seedlings to farmers and 30,000 tea seedlings. This was purchased for Sh5,706,900 for supply and delivery of 20,000 avocado and tea seedlings by Rosanetta Limited and Sh1,900,000 paid to Emmima International Limited for coffee seedlings. However, on the ground, only 2000 coffee seedlings were given to farmers and less than 3000 tea seedlings given, which has been protested by Mudete Tea Factory that controls tea dealings in the county. The department procured a coffee pulping machine at a cost of Sh1.9 million, which on normal market rates, it goes at about Sh500,000, and has never pulped any coffee, two years down the line as there is no supply.
Construction of Serem Slaughter House by Watiti Construction Limited at a cost of Sh8,716,083 is also under sharp focus, with the department having also procured honey processing machines through Admido Agencies Ltd at Sh1,920,000 but has not seen farmers who benefited. The department of public service is also under sharp focus as it still owes Span Ventures Limited Sh75.8 million for construction of a high levelled-corruption data centre whose price has been overpriced five times over, having already paid them Sh19 million. The office of the governor is always under renovation, Westwood General Supplies Limited having been paid Sh1.5 million last year to do the same. The department of transport paid for supply and delivery of 10,000litres Fire Engine by Pewin Motors Limited at a cost of Sh46,078,584 and further supplied Rapid Response Vehicle at Sh15,721,375. The same contractor was awarded a further Sh11,519,646, for the firefighting engine delivery. Broadcore Construction Company was paid Sh6,434,737 for construction of mechanical workshop at Manyatta, which is incomplete and has never been used since 2018.
Disgraced TV anchor to battle for Murang’a woman rep 2022 – Weekly Citizen
The hint by former Citizen TV news anchor Jacque Maribe that she will join the murky waters of politics by gunning for the Murang’a woman representative’s seat has excited the constituents as the battle will now pit two media personalities with controversial lifestyles.Maribe will battle it out with current holder Sabina Chege, a former Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Kikuyu vernacular station presenter, Coro FM.
Though Sabina had hinted that she would go for the gubernatorial seat after current holder, Mwangi wa Iria’s second and final term comes to an end, her allies revealed that she has dropped her interest on the decorated seat, opting to defend her current seat.Sabina has reportedly teamed up with Murang’a senator Irungu Kangata who is preparing to go for the gubernatorial seat.Another factor that will make the race exciting is that while Sabina is allied to Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kieleweke camp, Maribe is likely to cast her lot with deputy president William Ruto’s camp.Maribe’s close relation with Ruto is evidenced by the fact that her lawyer in the murder charge that she is facing is Katwa Kigen, a close ally of the deputy president.
Kigen represented radio journalist Joshua Sang at the International Criminal Court at The Hague, Netherlands, where he was charged with crimes against humanity alongside Ruto.Another pointer she will be in DP’s camp is the fact that one of her closest friends, some say boyfriend, is Dennis Itumbi, Ruto’s chief blogger.Itumbi formerly worked at State House heading the digital department but was shown the door together with four others members of the Presidential Strategic Communication Department.Maribe broke the news of her decision to enter politics through her Instagram Live in an interview with Dj Mista Dru.She declared she will enter the ring following pressure from Murang’a residents though she is facing charges in court.But it is her controversial lifestyle that will put her on the spotlight once she formally enters the race.A mother of two from different fathers, she was in December 2018 forced to quit her job at the Royal Media Services after she visited Itumbi at a police station.
She had lied to her employer that she was not feeling well only to be photographed with Itumbi at a police station, prompting the Royal Media Service management to demand she “show-cause why” she should not be fired.
Maribe hit headlines for the wrong reasons when she was held for months in police custody after the murder of Monica Kimani, a South Sudan-based businesswoman.Monica was allegedly murdered by Maribe’s fiancé, Joseph Irungu alias Jowie. They have, however, denied the charges and are currently out on bail.They were charged with the brutal murder of Monica on the night of September 3 2018 at her Lamuria Gardens Apartment, Kilimani in Nairobi.Last year, Maribe signaled her intention to go for a political seat when she threw a birthday party to which she invited women from her home county who pledged their support should she decide to run for an elective position.For Sabina, she was initially in DP’s TangaTanga brigade but shifted base after state agencies started a crackdown on its members.
She is now in Kieleweke brigade aligned to Uhuru Kenyatta supporters in the divided Jubilee party, where she has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the deputy president.This comes as the race to succeed Wa Iria narrows down to a contest of bigwigs in the region’s politics.Among those touted to go for the seat include Kang’ata who doubles up as senate chief whip and Water principal secretary Irungu Wairagu.Others said to be interested in the seat include former Devolution PS Irungu Nyakera, former senator Kembi Gitura, businessman Julius Kaberere, Raymond Matiba and former Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau.But it is the looming entry of Kang’ata that is causing ripples in the county due to his ties with Uhuru.The soft-spoken 39-year-old city lawyer made history in 2002 when he was elected vice-chairman of the University of Nairobi Students Organisation during his first year.He was 19 years old and since then, no first year student has held the post.Kang’ata, who served Kiharu as MP between 2013 and 2017, was 2002 election elected Murang’a Town ward councillor.
He came to national limelight when he represented Rebecca Kerubo, a guard at a chemist in Gigiri in the case against then Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza.He is now the one tasked with de-whipping Ruto’s allies in the senate as well as cutting to size rebels in Mount Kenya region, a task that will see him bag the Jubilee ticket for the governor’s seat.
Before Kangata’s elevation to senate chief whip, the Water PS, Wairagu was the talk of the county after he was caught up in a fierce political war with Wa Iria fueled by his 2022 ambition.The PS had upped his forays in his home region to launch national government development projects, a move that has irked the governor, who interpreted the moves as premature campaigns.Also eyeing the seat is Gitura, who unsuccessfully defended his senatorial seat and lost to Kangata.But pundits aver that Kembi’s popularity has declined in the county considered a hotbed of vibrant politics and his estranged former wife, Felistus.Kaberere campaigned for Murang’a gubernatorial seat in 2013 but dropped out of the race to focus on 2022 polls.Kaberere vied under Alliance Party of Kenya.
Another name that is featuring is that of Nyakera.Nyakera, who claims that his excellence in service delivery made Uhuru to sack him, is now the Democratic Party deputy party leader.He was among youngest PSs in Uhuru’s regime, having served under former president Mwai Kibaki as Transport PS.The Stanford University graduate was recently quoted saying his focus on service delivery, and detachment to politics, also contributed to his being shoved out of government.Former Kigumo MP Kamau is also said to be interested in the seat.Kamau lost to Wa iria during the Jubilee primaries where he garnered 118,274 votes against Wa Iria’s 205,976.Raymond is also said to be interested in the seat but is yet to make up his mind. The younger Matiba has a massive following.
Talk Kalonzo too broke to fund presidential race – Weekly Citizen
With two Ukambani governors serving their second and final terms in office expressing their intention to vie for presidency in 2022, the region’s politics where Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has been dictating the direction for decades is now taking a new dimension.The decision by the two to run is upon revelation, Kalonzo is allegedly not in position to mount a presidential campaign hence his decision to join Jubilee coalition for political survival.
Kalonzo is depending on tycoon Peter Muthoka to fund his activities after falling out with former Machakos senator Johnson Muthama.To many, the declaration by Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana and his Machakos counterpart Alfred Mutua to gun for presidency in 2022 in a move meant to challenge Kalonzo’s dominance of the region’s politics is purely on Kalonzo’s financial situation linked to millions used to treat his wife.Besides, the two governors are the Wiper party leader’s worst critics, having parted ways with him at different stages in their political careers.The latest to disagree with Kalonzo is Kibwana who was even stripped his chairmanship of the party months after he folded his Muungano Party to merge with Wiper.The governor was dropped as Wiper chairman mid last year and replaced by aged Chirau Mwakwere during a retreat of the party’s national executive council held at the Kenya School of Law in Karen, Nairobi. Anne Kanyi was elected vice chairperson.
For the Machakos governor, he differed with Kalonzo during his first term as governor, going ahead to found the Maendeleo Chap Chap party, in which he successfully defended his seat in the 2017 general election.Besides, Maendeleo Chap Chap bagged a number of elective seats in the region, thereby diminishing Kalonzo’s foothold of the region.Since falling out with Kalonzo, Mutua has been escalating his political onslaught against him, going to an extent of demanding the Wiper leader quits politics for the sake of economic growth in Ukambani.The governor has heaped blame on the former vice president for the region’s economic neglect, arguing that as the political kingpin, Kalonzo failed to use his influence during the tenures of retired presidents Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, when he served as minister and later vice president, to push for implementation of development projects.The Maendeleo Chap Chap boss has been making the remarks on the backdrop of a growing rebellion by Ukambani governors calculated at upstaging Kalonzo from the national negotiating table on behalf of the Kamba community on the strength the former vice president only seeks personal favours from the respective governments.
The three governors, Mutua, Kibwana and Kitui’s Charity Ngilu have repeatedly told Kalonzo to retire for fresh leadership to take up the region leadership mantle.And now unlike the past four general elections – 2002, 2007, 2013 and 2017 – where Kalonzo shepherded the community to rally behind Kibaki, himself and ODM leader Raila Odinga where he was his running mate in the latter two, this time round Kibwana and Mutua have vowed to go all the way to the presidential ballot in 2022, a move that will divide the community with over 2 million votes.Apart from Kalonzo, who contested the presidency in 2007, and came third after Kibaki and Raila, the other person from the community to have made a stab at the presidency is Ngilu.Ngilu, unsuccessfully vied for the presidency in the 1997 general election on a Social Democratic Party of Kenya ticket, finishing fifth behind the eventual winner, Daniel arap Moi, Kibaki of DP, Raila of NDP and Wamalwa Kijana of Ford-K.This time round, Ngilu is preparing to defend her seat but her dream of serving a second term is being fought by Kalonzo.
For Kalonzo, he has kept the voters guessing on whether he will make another stab at the presidency.The former vice president recently signed a cooperation pact with the ruling Jubilee party, formalizing the two parties’ partnership.The deal between the two parties was penned at Jubilee Party headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, after which leaders drawn from the two parties held a joint press conference.In attendance were Kalonzo, Makueni senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Mwakwere and Judith Sijeny.From the Jubilee side were secretary-general Raphael Tuju and vice-chairman David Murathe.Kalonzo, who was the running mate of Raila in the 2013 and 2017 general elections, did not reveal much the contents of the agreement between the two entities only hinting at possible sharing of slots in the parliamentary committees.He also rubbished rumours he was preparing to join the government as a new cabinet secretary, saying that he is in the Wiper steering wheel to stay.But as Wiper penned the deal with Jubilee, the party’s one time financier, Muthama was preparing to ditch it to support William Ruto’s 2022 bid.Days later Muthama declared he had ceased being a Wiper member, stating he left it when he withdrew out of the Machakos senatorial race in 2017.
But now the spotlight is on Kibwana who has officially announced he will be in the presidential ballot in the 2022 election.Further, the governor mended political fences with Muthama, and both expressed their intent to dislodge Kalonzo from the community’s leadership.For Mutua, he recently announced he would officially launch his campaigns to succeed Uhuru in 2022.For now, there are reports Kalonzo is lkkely to team up with Baringo senator Gideon Moi and possibly Raila, if Uhuru’s script on his succession is accepted by all of them.In that scenario, the Wiper leader will be rewarded with either the national assembly or senate speaker’s post although this might not be practicable given his age and in a time when the coronavirus is phasing out the elderly from crowded places such as inside parliament. But the big question is whether the Kamba community will accept such a line-up, given that their son has played second fiddle twice to Raila.
How Uhuru has blocked Ruto from being investigated – Weekly Citizen
Uhuru Kenyatta has on several occasions blocked multi state agencies involved in fighting economic corruption and other crimes from summoning or even arresting William Ruto to shed more light on various matters after his deputy’s name featured during various investigations of prime suspects.Whereas Ruto supporters openly claim Uhuru has abandoned his deputy and betrayed him, to the contrary, the head of state has gone full fledged to protect his embattled DP both locally and internationally.
Talk is rife, Uhuru is currently engaged in secret mission to have Western capitals have travel bans on Ruto and his family lifted. The president’s decision not to assign Ruto international state functions is due to the said bans.According to one MP within Jubilee well versed with the scenarios, it was on this ground a bitter Uhuru openly stated in public, he was no longer going to protect anybody linked to graft including close members of his family.Insiders familiar with the developments intimated to us that in the past the president has turned down requests by detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and Directorate of Criminal Investigations to summon Ruto to record statements after the DP’s name featured prominently in corruption allegations.To summon the DP, the sleuths require the consent of the head of state due to the political ramifications the move would generate.
Apart from corruption allegations, the detectives have been seeking to summon Ruto to record statements over his outbursts which they consider as alarming.One such statement is when he publicly claimed three cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries from Mount Kenya region had hatched a plot to kill him. His remarks saw Uhuru direct the CSs implicated in the Ruto assassination to record statements with DCI. However the investigations could not proceed according to one CS involved in the matter on grounds, Ruto was to be summoned to record a statement that could have lasted for hours but when the head of state was briefed of the next action to be taken, he told those involved to go slow saying if Ruto was serious with his allegations, he should record a statement himself but not be seen as being coerced.By then, many saw Ruto assassination claims as political games aimed at winning sympathy from his Mt Kenya voters moreso after the president had decided to sideline him from initiating development projects in favour of cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries from the region.
The group was meeting at Hotel Lamada to focus on Mt Kenya region development agenda when the DP made the outbursts.Though the sleuths recorded statements from the CSs and PSs, Ruto did not record his statement that would have enabled the sleuths to either charge the CSs and PSs with attempted murder or alternatively charge the DP with making a false report.Another outburst the DP made which state security organs considered as alarming was during the burial of Sergeant Kipyegon Kenei when he claimed the system wanted him out of the presidential race at whatever cost, meaning they wanted him dead. Ruto was to record a statement on the effect but Uhuru stopped it again according a city politician well in the know of the happenings.Insiders familiar with the developments revealed multi agencies have over six times gathered sufficient evidence linking the deputy president and his allies to suspicious mega tenders but when they sought Uhuru’s nod to summon him, they were directed to shelve the file until they get instructions from him.
But all this time, the sources added, the president has been buying time as he quietly lays the ground for Ruto’s arrest by first whittling down his influence in the government and reducing his international image by halting his interactions with global leaders.The president has also been building a new power base where ODM leader Raila Odinga and Baringo senator Gideon Moi are key pillars who will fill the void once Ruto is vanquished.The plan is to have Gideon take the place of Ruto to avert a rebellion by the Kalenjin community after the fall of the man many consider as their political kingpin. Many however say Gideon foot is too small for Ruto’s oversize shoes in RV.The president has also been dismantling Ruto’s political network to ensure once he is in trouble, there will no leaders brave enough to call for demonstrations to pile pressure on the government to go slow on him.The head of state has also been preparing Kenyans mentally by pledging that he will spare no one in the fight against corruption, including the deputy president or the president’s family members.
Keen observers will have noticed that the DP has of late lost his place in government as evidenced by last week’s event where he was left out during a critical meeting of top government officials chaired by the president.During the virtual meeting that brought together all cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and chief administrative secretaries, the deputy president was said to be hosting a delegation in his Karen residence as Uhuru outlined his government’s development priorities.Insiders add that the laying of the ground to fix Ruto kicked off in earnest when the president removed the glamour at the DP’s Harambee Annex by designating The Presidency into Executive Office of the President, with Ruto being one among other senior officials.This was followed by the creation of a new function at State House or within the executive, that of a parliamentary liaison which became the new bridge between the executive and parliament thus reducing Ruto’s role in running of the government.The holder of this office is now the link between the executive and the national assembly and the direct link between party matters and the party leader.
Last week the president sent a coded message to Ruto that he is irrelevant when he dispatched Gideon to Malawi to represent him during the inauguration of Lazarus Chakwera as the country’s president.The selection of Gideon was not by coincidence given that he is battling with the deputy president for control of Rift Valley vote bloc as he also eyes the presidency.Normally, it would have been expected that Ruto as deputy president would have been the default choice to represent the president in international events.Gideon’s selection came days after his party, Kanu, signed a post-election coalition pact with Jubilee placing him at a focal point in Uhuru succession.Of interest is that the senator at the inauguration read Uhuru’s speech, a copy of which had been emailed to him by State House before his departure.Days earlier the president had again sidestepped Ruto when he sent Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and his uncle, George Muhoho on assignment to Juba, South Sudan.The president sent his maternal uncle and the national assembly minority chief whip to represent him and Raila at a meeting in Jubaland in ongoing talks about security and regional interests.
Before this, the president had again shown Ruto the middle finger when he sidestepped him and dispatched chief administrative secretary Ababu Namwamba to Burundi to represent him in the swearing in ceremony of their new president, Evariste Ndayishimiye.This was a function the deputy president could have carried out if Uhuru was unavailable. Others however say that to be sent out of Kenya when killer Covid-19 is ravaging the earth is something to be worried of and not pride in.Insiders add that the president is now ready to give the investigators the green light to summon Ruto over multiple corruption allegations.Our source revealed, if given free hand by Uhuru, Ruto is to shed more light in the maize scandal that saw Ruto’s ally, Sirisia MP John Waluke and his co-accused Grace Wakhungu jailed for 67 and 69 respectively if they fail to pay hefty fines.The scandal that was executed when Ruto was Agriculture cabinet minister in the grand coalition government headed by president Mwai Kibaki and Raila as premier.
Insiders add another case is Sh40 billion arms scandal that was executed in his office.They are relying on a CCTV footage taken from the deputy president’s office that positively identifies two of his aides in the company of former Sports cabinet secretary Rashid Echesa and officials from Echo Advanced Technologies, an American Company linked to the scam.The sources add that the detectives also believe they have watertight evidence linking Ruto to attempted Langata Primary School land grab.They believe he is the faceless developer who tried to grab the Lang’ata Primary School playground in 2015.Initially, Ruto had denied owning the Weston Hotel which stands on the land grabbed from the Kenya Civil Authority but later admitted he was the owner.Initially, Ruto and four other persons were charged with fraud over the sale of the Ngong land but the case collapsed in 2011 after one of the critical witnesses failed to take the stand, in what many said was pressure from the executive for her not to show up.Ruto was acquitted in the Sh43 million land fraud alongside his co-accused, Joshua Kulei and Sammy Mwaita.Insiders add that Ruto is to shed light in the multi billions dams’ scandal.
Ruto’s name first cropped up when a company associated with his chief of staff Ken Osinde and other big shots was named as having received part of Sh21 billion irregularly paid to CMC Di Ravenna Kenya branch for the construction of the Arror and Kamwerer dams.Osinde, a former envoy to Germany, Romania and Bulgaria, was listed as a director of Sanlam General Insurance Ltd.Already, those charged with theft include former Treasury CS Henry Rotich, PS Kamau Thugge and 26 other government officials.Insiders add that Ruto is also a person of interest to the police in the murder of Sergeant Kenei, a policeman who was attached to his office.It was during Kenei’s burial that Ruto sensationally claimed that the fake Sh40 billion arms deal and the murder were elaborate schemes orchestrated to undermine and destroy his office and political career.Of interest to the detectives is the fact that Kenei, who was the head of security at the DP’s office at the Harambee House Annex, was killed after being summoned to record a statement on the Sh40 billion arms scam.In Jubilee’s first term, Ruto was also caught up when he hired a private jet for Sh100 million for his ‘shuttle diplomacy’ in West Africa.The trip was to lobby West African countries to support their cause at the International Criminal Court.The detectives are said to consider this as abuse of office which the DP should he held to account.
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