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Reformist or just a rebel without a cause? – Nairobi News

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It is either he has a knack for controversy, or controversy is just fond of him. But If there is one politician who has captured the Kenyan political psyche in recent times, it’s one Dr Boni Khalwale.

Known as the bull fighter due to his love for traditional Luhya bull fighting sport, his energy and zeal is comparable to none.

MTETEZI

Not forgetting his unique dancing style which has earned him the nickname, one-legged-dancer.

His proverbial rise from grass to grace to emerge one of the most formidable forces in Kenyan politics, has greatly endeared him to common mwananchi.

It is this perception of identifying with the common mwananchi which has seen him christened Bonni Mtetezi, a title which he proudly wears like a precious badge on his official Twitter handle.

He is a self-styled reformist who is ambitious, shrewd, liberal, independent minded and perhaps a daredevil who does not shy away from issues irrespective of how uncomfortable or dangerous they may be.

Khalwale is a hard nut to crack. While some view him as a defender of the plight of the down trodden, there are those who see him as just a rebel without cause.

The 59 year old political theatrics started when he was a mere 22-year old. The young Khalwale joined the 1982 coup to dethrone retired president Daniel Moi. At the time, he had just joined University of Nairobi as a first year student.

“I can’t help but laugh when I think about it today.“I never even thought about the danger I was exposing myself to,” reminisced Khalwale in an interview with a local publication, but in a quick rejoinder, says he would do it all over again if he believed it was for the best interest of the nation.

But it was not until 20 years later when the former medical officer who has served as a doctor in Kakamega and Mombasa, made his maiden entry into politics in 2002.

He seemed to have ruffled some feathers while serving as the Parliamentary Accounts Committee Chair in the 10th Parliament in Kenya, when he led a vote of no confidence against high profile leaders in the Cabinet.

HURLING STONES

Maybe it is his unorthodox ways of tackling issues, that have seen the former Kakamega gubernatorial aspirant, walk a lonely path in the murky waters of politics since he joined in 2002.

The certified medical doctor attracted laughter and disdain online in equal measure when he was captured holding stones ready to retaliate, during the recently held Kibra by election which was engulfed with violence.

Khalwale was in Kibra constituency apparently to keep an eye on Jubilee’s aspirant, McDonald Mariga’s votes during the vote to elect a new Member of Parliament for the region.

In a clip which was widely shared online, the former senator was captured in DC grounds hurling stones at a rival group which confronted him.
This was moments after he had been seen fleeing when rowdy youths engaged him at Mashimoni area.

Undoubtedly, much to Khalwale’s chagrin, Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) Imran Okoth emerged victorious and Mariga readily conceded defeat soon after, and even went ahead to call his competitor to congratulate him on his win.

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However, those who thought the Ikolomani bull fighter would bury his head wallowing in shame and self pity were in for a rude shock as the bull fighter literally took the bull by its horns just days after the ordeal.

In a blistering attack televised on national TV station, Khalwale sought to defend his outrageous actions.

“Never in the culture of a Luhya man can you allow an uncircumcised boy to challenge you and you run away,” he said on NTV.

UPBRINGING

The fourth born in a family of 10, Khalwale rose from a humble beginning. He was born 59 years ago to a peasant family in Kakamega country.

His mother, who Khalwale fondly refers as an industrialist, used to brew traditional alcohol, chang’aa to put bread on the table.

The former medic is so proud of his origin and cultural heritage, which is evident on his profile where he proudly refers to himself as son of a traditional industrialist and a cultural icon.

EDUCATION

The started his Primary education in 1967 in Malinya Primary School where he sat for his CPE. He proceeded for his EACE in Musingu High School and later joined Kakamega High School, where he did his KACE. In 1981 he was admitted in the University of Nairobi for his undergraduate degree in Medicine.

FAMILY

Khalwale is a proud polygamist, a fact he never shies away from. In past interviews, the former medical officer revealed that he had wives. Adelaide Khalwale and Josephine Khalwale. He is blessed with seven children.

His first wife, Adelaide succumbed to cervical cancer in October 5, 2019, where a distraught Khalwale took to social media to share his grief about the demise of his wife who he seemed to love dearly.

Undoubtedly, the death was devastating to the politician who barely a year ago, had evoked admiration on social media when he showered praises on his late wife for her academic prowess.

POLITICS

Khalwale ventured into politics in 2002. Through Narc party ticket, he clinched the Ikolomani Member of Parliament seat. He went on to retain the seat in 2007 but this time on New Ford Kenya ticket.

He also had a stint as an Assistant Minister of East African Community for one year.However, his 2007 election was short lived as it was later nullified in February 2011.

That did not deter the relentless Khalwale who beat the odds to reclaim his seat on May the same year, in a hotly contested by-election. His landmark win against his rival from the ODM party which was dominant in the region, attracted leaders from various parts who joined hands to campaign for him.

In 2012 he vied for the senatorial position in Kakamega on UDF party where he easily swayed through flooring his billionaire opponent Cyrus Jirongo.

His tenure as a senator was mired with bad blood with his parental party which sponsored him to Parliament. Constant wrangles were witnessed between the now turned rebel and the UDF leader Musalia Mudavadi who accused him of using the party to advance his selfish gains.

Not one to settle for less, the self proclaimed activist seemed to have bitten more than he could chew in 2016, when he declared publicly his intention to contest for the gubernatorial seat in Kakamega. He went on to vie on a Ford Kenya ticket where he lost to his ODM rival Wycliffe Oparanya.

You can also not rule out his love for bull fighting sport which has greatly endeared him to the local youth. Being an intellect and a champion for cultural traditions, he has a unique way of indentifying with the jobless graduates who feel betrayed by the system as well as the elderly people.

Whether he is indeed a reformist or just a rebel without a cause, we can only wait with bated breath. But one thing is for sure, the future is full of possibilities for the Ikolomani bull fighter.

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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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