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Political parties dispute tribunal annuls expulsion of six Jubilee senators

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Millicent Omanga is one of the six nominated senators who was expelled from the Jubilee Party in February 2021 over alleged indiscipline. [Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday suffered yet another blow after his quest to expel errant party members allied to Deputy President William Ruto was declared illegal by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.
The ruling Jubilee Party in February expelled nominated senators Isaac Mwaura, Mary Seneta, Falhada Dekow Iman, Naomi Jillo Waqo, Victor Prengei and Millicent Omanga.
Mwaura last month obtained an order from the High Court stopping his expulsion after PPDT ruled against him.
The latest development comes just a day after Jubilee climbed down on its onslaught against Ruto allies, who have since switched camp to United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in preparations for the 2022 General Elections.
Jubilee Vice Chairperson David Murathe on Tuesday told The Standard that Uhuru’s wing had decided to go slow on the outfit and to allow them popularise their new outfit.
It also comes against the backdrop of a reported split in Uhuru’s push to end pre-election pact with the Party of Development and Reforms (PDR), which rebranded to UDA. Some of the party officials have termed the process of ending the pact as tedious and unnecessary.
Murathe said that they had decided not to have any further conversation about the Jubilee-UDA pre-election pact as they want to focus on building Jubilee ahead of Uhuru’s succession.

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“In our heads, UDA is no longer a partner in Jubilee. So there is no need for further conversation on this matter,” said Mr Murathe.
He further said that the ruling party had decided to let UDA allied MPs go on with their political activities in preparations for the next poll.
“Some people felt they should be allowed to grow their party and we also grow ours. We don’t expect them to be involved in our party activities. We also don’t expect them to be involved in our activities. We will let them, but they will have to continue making subscriptions to the party,” said Murathe.
He said it was unnecessary to expel them at the moment when the country only has one year to the next General Elections.
“It is now up to them to decide if they want to continue with UDA that may occasion by-elections, which we think is not necessary now that we only have one year to the next General Election,” said Murathe.
Yesterday the tribunal ruled that Jubilee Party never followed its constitution while expelling six senators allied to  Ruto.
While quashing the ruling party’s verdict, the PPDT found that the Senators were not summoned, instead, they appeared before the disciplinary committee in the belief that the complaints against them had been dropped.
According to the tribunal, it was unfair for Jubilee not to give nominated Senators a chance to effectively rebut the claims as the former majority whip had informed them through a text message that the party had opted to let go.
“ A declaration is hereby issued that the decision to expel the applicants was unlawful and against the Jubilee Constitution,” the tribunal headed by chaired by Desma Nungo.Other tribunal members are Hassan Abdi, James Atemi, Adelide Mbithi, Milly Lwanga Odongo and Paul Ngotho.Meanwhile, the six are not yet out of the woods as PPDT ruled Jubilee can still initiate a fresh disciplinary process but follow the law.
Jubilee Party through Secretary-General Raphael Tuju on expelled the senators for contravening the party’s constitution by announcing allegiance to UDA.
Tuju had announced that the expulsion would take effect immediately and informed the registrar of political parties to strike out the names of the six senators from the list of Jubilee Party members.
But the senators through two separate petitions filed through lawyer Hillary Sigei argued that the decision was illegal since they were not accorded a fair hearing by the Jubilee Party disciplinary committee.
Mwaura filed his own petition while Senators Omanga, Waqo, Yiane,Prengei and Dekow filed a joint application.Mwaura in his application claimed that the decision to expel him contravened the party’s constitution since the disciplinary process against him was initiated without any written and signed complaint.
“My expulsion was malicious with no justifiable reason. The committee relied on unauthenticated information to arrive at the preconceived outcome without giving me sufficient time to defend myself,” said Mwaura.
Sigei argued that the other five senators were also ambushed with unsubstantiated allegations and that their disciplinary proceedings were initiated through vague show cause letters which did not disclose any violation of the party’s constitution.
According to Sigei, the party’s decision to take action against the five senators for failing to attend a parliamentary group meeting in May last year was discriminatory since many other senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto also boycotted the event.
He added that at the time the disciplinary proceedings were conducted, the party’s central management committee was not properly constituted and could not transact any business.
“There was no disciplinary process conducted against the senators. On the contrary, they were told to attend a consultative meeting at the party headquarters which turned out to be a disciplinary hearing where they were not given an opportunity to defend themselves,” said Sigei.
Omanga in her affidavit swore that they were not given enough time to seek legal advice against the allegations of misconduct and that they were targeted for being nominated senators while their elected colleagues who also defied the party’s position were spared.
She added that they have never disrespected the party or its leadership and that the decision to expel them was out of malice to settle political scores.
“The malicious, illegal and unprocedural disciplinary action that led to our expulsion has caused us untold agony and psychological torture and suffering. The process was a clear abuse of power and against rules of natural justice,” said Omanga.
The tribunal gave the party seven days to respond to the applications and scheduled February 16 for a hearing.Tuju last evening said he had not been briefed of the ruling but indicated that the ruling party may consider appealing the decision.
He said they will respect the ruling by the tribunal but will consult on whether to appeal it.
“I am hearing it from you. But I have to make it clear that we will respect the ruling. As a party we will consult on whether we should exploit our right to appeal the decision,” said Tuju.
senators Seneta, Iman, Waqo, Prengei and  Omanga were expelled for skipping a State House Senate Parliamentary Group meeting that kicked out Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika from Senate Majority Leader and Majority Whip respectively. It also led to the removal of Deputy Speaker Prof Kithure Kindiki over the same issue.
Mwaura on the other hand was expelled for supporting the ideology of another party while being disloyal to the party leader.
The party, in making the decision to expel Mwaura, said that it had sufficient evidence showing Mwaura praising the ideology of a different political party, being welcomed into a fray by the chairman of the said party and subsequently being donned with the outfit’s branded cap.

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Sordid tale of the bank ‘that would bribe God’

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Bank of Credit and Commerce International. August 1991. [File, Standard]

“This bank would bribe God.” These words of a former employee of the disgraced Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) sum up one of the most rotten global financial institutions.
BCCI pitched itself as a top bank for the Third World, but its spectacular collapse would reveal a web of transnational corruption and a playground for dictators, drug lords and terrorists.
It was one of the largest banks cutting across 69 countries and its aftermath would cause despair to innocent depositors, including Kenyans.
BCCI, which had $20 billion (Sh2.1 trillion in today’s exchange rate) assets globally, was revealed to have lost more than its entire capital.
The bank was founded in 1972 by the crafty Pakistani banker Agha Hasan Abedi.
He was loved in his homeland for his charitable acts but would go on to break every rule known to God and man.
In 1991, the Bank of England (BoE) froze its assets, citing large-scale fraud running for several years. This would see the bank cease operations in multiple countries. The Luxembourg-based BCCI was 77 per cent owned by the Gulf Emirate of Abu Dhabi.  
BoE investigations had unearthed laundering of drugs money, terrorism financing and the bank boasted of having high-profile customers such as Panama’s former strongman Manual Noriega as customers.
The Standard, quoting “highly placed” sources reported that Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Zayed Sultan would act as guarantor to protect the savings of Kenyan depositors.
The bank had five branches countrywide and panic had gripped depositors on the state of their money.
Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) would then move to appoint a manager to oversee the operations of the BCCI operations in Kenya.
It sent statements assuring depositors that their money was safe.
The Standard reported that the Sheikh would be approaching the Kenyan and other regional subsidiaries of the bank to urge them to maintain operations and assure them of his personal support.
It was said that contact between CBK and Abu Dhabi was “likely.”
This came as the British Ambassador to the UAE Graham Burton implored the gulf state to help compensate Britons, and the Indian government also took similar steps.
The collapse of BCCI was, however, not expect to badly hit the Kenyan banking system. This was during the sleazy 1990s when Kenya’s banking system was badly tested. It was the era of high graft and “political banks,” where the institutions fraudulently lent to firms belonging or connected to politicians, who were sometimes also shareholders.
And even though the impact was expected to be minimal, it was projected that a significant number of depositors would transfer funds from Asian and Arab banks to other local institutions.
“Confidence in Arab banking has taken a serious knock,” the “highly placed” source told The Standard.
BCCI didn’t go down without a fight. It accused the British government of a conspiracy to bring down the Pakistani-run bank.  The Sheikh was said to be furious and would later engage in a protracted legal battle with the British.
“It looks to us like a Western plot to eliminate a successful Muslim-run Third World Bank. We know that it often acted unethically. But that is no excuse for putting it out of business, especially as the Sultan of Abu Dhabi had agreed to a restructuring plan,” said a spokesperson for British Asians.
A CBK statement signed by then-Deputy Governor Wanjohi Murithi said it was keenly monitoring affairs of the mother bank and would go to lengths to protect Kenyan depositors.
“In this respect, the CBK has sought and obtained the assurance of the branch’s management that the interests of depositors are not put at risk by the difficulties facing the parent company and that the bank will meet any withdrawal instructions by depositors in the normal course of business,” said Mr Murithi.
CBK added that it had maintained surveillance of the local branch and was satisfied with its solvency and liquidity.
This was meant to stop Kenyans from making panic withdrawals.
For instance, armed policemen would be deployed at the bank’s Nairobi branch on Koinange Street after the bank had announced it would shut its Kenyan operations.
In Britain, thousands of businesses owned by British Asians were on the verge of financial ruin following the closure of BCCI.
Their firms held almost half of the 120,000 bank accounts registered with BCCI in Britain. 
The African Development Bank was also not spared from this mess, with the bulk of its funds deposited and BCCI and stood to lose every coin.
Criminal culture
In Britain, local authorities from Scotland to the Channel Islands are said to have lost over £100 million (Sh15.2 billion in today’s exchange rate).
The biggest puzzle remained how BCCI was allowed by BoE and other monetary regulation authorities globally to reach such levels of fraudulence.
This was despite the bank being under tight watch owing to the conviction of some of its executives on narcotics laundering charges in the US.
Coast politician, the late Shariff Nassir, would claim that five primary schools in Mombasa lost nearly Sh1 million and appealed to then Education Minister George Saitoti to help recover the savings. Then BoE Governor Robin Leigh-Pemberton condemned it as so deeply immersed in fraud that rescue or recovery – at least in Britain – was out of the question.
“The culture of the bank is criminal,” he said. The bank was revealed to have targeted the Third World and had created several “institutional devices” to promote its operations in developing countries.
These included the Third World Foundation for Social and Economic Studies, a British-registered charity.
“It allowed it to cultivate high-level contacts among international statesmen,” reported The Observer, a British newspaper.
BCCI also arranged an annual Third World lecture and a Third World prize endowment fund of about $10 million (Sh1 billion in today’s exchange rate).
Winners of the annual prize had included Nelson Mandela (1985), sir Bob Geldof (1986) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1989).
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Monitor water pumps remotely via your phone

Tracking and monitoring motor vehicles is not new to Kenyans. Competition to install affordable tracking devices is fierce but essential for fleet managers who receive reports online and track vehicles from the comfort of their desk.

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Agricultural Development Corporation Chief Accountant Gerald Karuga on the Spot Over Fraud –

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Gerald Karuga, the acting chief accountant at the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), is on the spot over fraud in land dealings.

ADC was established in 1965 through an Act of Parliament Cap 346 to facilitate the land transfer programme from European settlers to locals after Kenya gained independence.

Karuga is under fire for allegedly aiding a former powerful permanent secretary in the KANU era Benjamin Kipkulei to deprive ADC beneficiaries of their land in Naivasha.

Kahawa Tungu understands that the aggrieved parties continue to protest the injustice and are now asking the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to probe Karuga.

A source who spoke to Weekly Citizen publication revealed that Managing Director Mohammed Dulle is also involved in the mess at ADC.

Read: Ministry of Agriculture Apologizes After Sending Out Tweets Portraying the President in bad light

Dulle is accused of sidelining a section of staffers in the parastatal.

The sources at ADC intimated that Karuga has been placed strategically at ADC to safeguard interests of many people who acquired the corporations’ land as “donations” from former President Daniel Arap Moi.

Despite working at ADC for many years Karuga has never been transferred, a trend that has raised eyebrows.

“Karuga has worked here for more than 30 years and unlike other senior officers in other parastatals who are transferred after promotion or moved to different ministries, for him, he has stuck here for all these years and we highly suspect that he is aiding people who were dished out with big chunks of land belonging to the corporation in different parts of the country,” said the source.

In the case of Karuga safeguarding Kipkulei’s interests, workers at the parastatals and the victims who claim to have lost their land in Naivasha revealed that during the Moi regime some senior officials used dubious means to register people as beneficiaries of land without their knowledge and later on colluded with rogue land officials at the Ministry of Lands to acquire title deeds in their names instead of those of the benefactors.

Read Also: Galana Kulalu Irrigation Scheme To Undergo Viability Test Before Being Privatised

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“We have information that Karuga has benefitted much from Kipkulei through helping him and this can be proved by the fact that since the matter of the Naivasha land began, he has been seen changing and buying high-end vehicles that many people of his rank in government can’t afford to buy or maintain,” the source added.

“He is even building a big apartment for rent in Ruiru town.”

The wealthy officer is valued at over Sh1.5 billion in prime properties and real estate.

Last month, more than 100 squatters caused scenes in Naivasha after raiding a private firm owned by Kipkulei.

The squatters, who claimed to have lived on the land for more than 40 years, were protesting take over of the land by a private developer who had allegedly bought the land from the former PS.

They pulled down a three-kilometre fence that the private developed had erected.

The squatters claimed that the former PS had not informed them that he had sold the land and that the developer was spraying harmful chemicals on the grass affecting their livestock and homes built on a section of the land.

Read Also: DP Ruto Wants NCPB And Other Agricultural Bodies Merged For Efficiency

Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua later issued a statement warning the squatters against encroaching on Kipkuleir’s land.

“They are illegally invading private land. We shall not allow the rule of the jungle to take root,” warned Mutua.

Meanwhile, a parliamentary committee recently demanded to know identities of 10 faceless people who grabbed 30,350 acres of land belonging to the parastatal, exposing the rot at the corporation.

ADC Chairman Nick Salat, who doubles up as the KANU party Secretary-General, denied knowledge of the individuals and has asked DCI to probe the matter.

Email your news TIPS to [email protected] or WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram through www.t.me/kahawatungu

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William Ruto eyes Raila Odinga Nyanza backyard

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Deputy President William Ruto will next month take his ‘hustler nation’ campaigns to his main rival, ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Nyanza backyard, in an escalation of the 2022 General Election competition.

Acrimonious fall-out

Development agenda

Won’t bear fruit

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