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Ruto to launch new party – Weekly Citizen

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After months of agonizing on whether to jettison out of the sinking Jubilee party or not, Deputy President William Ruto has finally bitten the bullet and formed a new political party. Ruto’s decision followed what insiders say were numerous meetings of his advisers, mostly the legal team held in his private Karen residence, Weston Hotel, Nairobi and his Sugoi home, Uasin Gishu county. Ruto’s inner circle includes Senator Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), MPs Caleb Kositany (Soy), Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Farouk Kibet (personal assistant), Ken Osinde, the chief-of-staff and private secretary Reuben Maiyo and David Muge, the financial controller-cum-fundraiser. Former Moi university vice-chancellor Richard Mibey acts as the team secretary. Other prominent faces are Langata MP Nixon Korir, representing the youth, senators Samson Cherargei (Nandi), Susan Kihika (Nakuru), Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) and Aden Duale, the national assembly majority leader.

Salim Mvurya

Sources say that the DP’s long term legal adviser Korir Singoei leads the team of strategists and is behind the new party. Singoei is based at the Ruto office as a legal adviser. He is also the head of policy. He operates a law firm, Singoei, Murkomen and Sigei with offices in Nairobi and Eldoret. The DP’s son, Nick Ruto, who was admitted to the bar, is also in the strategy team. Ruto’s recent dawn rituals with Talai elders was aimed at blessing his new political outfit. The visit split the Talai elders into two factions, with one group for the cultural rituals, and the other against. Stephen Sugut, a Talai elder, termed the event a “fake ceremony,” as the clan’s culture rites were not followed.

Bonny Khalwale

Sugut said Talai elders were not consulted ahead of the ceremony presided by Talai Council of Elders’ chairperson retired Reverend Canon James Baasi. But Baasi argues five subclans with powers to install and bless Kalenjin leaders, consulted, and agreed Ruto to lead the community at the national platform. Weekly Citizen has information that what is dividing the Talai elders is the amount of money the DP dished out before and after the function running into millions. Back to party matters, Ruto, insiders noted, has accepted the reality that his chances of contesting the presidency on Jubilee party ticket are nil, and hence registered the United Green Party to be his vehicle in the 2022 presidential election.

Benjamin Washiali

The DP tentatively plans to unveil the new political party early next year in a grand launch to be held in Nairobi. Strategists are said to be currently working on the recruitment, party structure, branch composition and offices. The plan is to revive the network of the dissolved URP to be inherited by UGP. The initial plan was to have URP revived but the Registrar of Political Parties ruled out such a scenario. According to insiders, the party constitution allows it to enter into an alliance with like-minded parties. To remove the Kalenjin tag, the party has a national outlook with Senator Kindiki Kithure likely to be deputy party leader to take control of Mount Kenya East vote bloc that is currently dissenting.

Cecily Mbarire

Governor Salim Mvurya of Kwale features in the lineup just like that of Bonnie Khalwale, MP Ben Washiali, Cecily Mbarire, Mithika Linturi, and Mohammed Ali of Nyali, just to name the no ending list. Prior to the launch, the deputy president will tour all the 47 counties opening offices and marshaling support for the party. Next year, Ruto is likely to step down as deputy president to concentrate on marketing the new outfit. He intends to take the position of the official opposition, leaving ODM leader Raila Odinga, who has ousted him in corridors of power to enjoy. Ruto timing to resign is based on the understanding, by then political temperatures will be high, and the office of a deputy whose budget has been cut and powers trimmed in the recent Uhuru Executive Order will be of no value.

Mithika Linturi

Whereas others want the party launched late next year, after his resignation, a section of them are pushing it for early next year with machinery put in motion. They say Ruto resignation, and those allied to him from the government will send shockwaves across the political terrain as it happened prior to 1992 election when Mwai Kibaki resigned on Christmas Day to form Democratic Party. The timing is also aimed at cashing in on the unpopularity that Jubilee is facing from the people who feel that the party has failed totally. Ruto, it is said, will package himself as the people’s representative and become the opposition which is now a vacuum after Raila was compromised by Uhuru to abandon the people and go to bed with the oppressor.

Mohammed Ali

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There are even those in ODM who fear that Raila will become the face of Uhuru failure in the next elections if he has Uhuru backing him. Ruto’s new party, alongside the Grand Dream Development Party, and Party of Development and Reforms, have for long been associated with the DP as his 2022 political vehicle though his allies have repeatedly denied the claims. Those at the driving seat in the new party at the behest of Ruto include MPs Cornelly Serem (Aldai), Senator Cherargei, MPs Sudi and Kositany. The latter is the Jubilee Party deputy secretary-general. Insiders revealed that UGP registration application was forwarded to the Registrar of Political Parties at the height of Uhuru’s supposed war on graft when he ordered a lifestyle audit for civil servants.

Samson Cherargei

Cherargei has openly stated they were shopping for a new vehicle for the DP for the purposes of 2022 polls. Sources say Ruto decided to take the bull by the horns after Uhuru took control of the ruling Jubilee Party after officially kicking out officials affiliated to him and replacing them with his allies despite objections from his second in command. Ruto and his allies had mounted an aggressive campaign to stop the changes, but the secretariat went ahead and confirmed the new appointees. Those appointed included Lucy Macharia, Marete Marangu, former Kitutu Masaba MP Walter Nyambati, Jane Nampaso and James Waweru. The matters got more complicated for Ruto after the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal threw out a case his allies had filed challenging the change of officials in Jubilee’s top decision-making organ, the national management committee.

Oscar Sudi

The tribunal ruled the case was prematurely filed by Kositany, Kihika and then majority whip Washiali. The DP was relying on a favourable ruling by the tribunal to overturn the NMC changes, regain control of the ruling party and thwart attempts by Uhuru’s allies to diminish his influence. The deputy president suffered another setback after his allies were dropped from senate leadership. Sources say the deputy president has been using the break brought about by the coronavirus to explore various options on how he will enter the 2022 presidential race with guaranteed success. With his new party, he will be able to form a new alliance with key political players opposed to the March 9 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Raila.

Mwangi Kiunjuri

Among those he is eyeing is ANC leader Mudavadi and his Ford-K counterpart Wetang’ula. The two were co-principals in Nasa that fronted for Raila presidential bid in 2017. Ruto believes Mudavadi and Wetang’ula will never join Raila bandwagon 2022, and hence, he has intensified his bid to win them over. Initially, the deputy president was toying with the idea of taking over Economic Freedom Party that was established in March 2017 by politicians from Mandera county who included then Senator Billow Kerrow and MPs Mohamed Huka and Fathia Mabub after they left URP and the Jubilee Alliance. The Umoja Summit Party whose party leader is former cabinet secretary Suleiman Shakombo had also featured on his list.

Caleb Kositany

Insiders add that Ruto is now crafting the lineup for the new party. In Rift Valley, Murkomen, Kositany, Kihika, Cheragei and Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri will be the torchbearers. In Central, Kirinyaga woman representative Purity Ngirici, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, Mathira’s Rigathi Gachagua and Kikuyu’s Kimani Inchung’wa are featuring prominently in the list of those to be considered for top posts. In Western, Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali, Sirisia’s John Waluke, former Kakamega senator Kwalwale are set to lead the troops. In Eastern, Ruto’s troops will be led by Isiolo woman representative Rehema Jaldesa, Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai, Meru senator Mithika Linturi and his Tharaka Nithi counterpart Kithure Kindiki.

Kimani Ngunjiri

Others set for big seats include Narok woman representative Soipan Tuya and Nyaribari Chache MP Richard Tongi. Former Agriculture Cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri is also expected to fold his new party, The Service Party, to join the new outfit. In Nairobi, Ruto is planning to give embattled Governor Mike Sonko the torch to lead the troops. In Coast, Ruto plots to have Taveta MP Naomi Shaban and woman representative Lydia Haika occupy key seats alongside Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa. Former woman representative, Joyce Lay is also said to be warming to Ruto’s camp.

Ndindi Nyoro

Others earmarked for plum posts include Nyali MP Mohammed Ali and Lungalunga’s Khatib Mwashetani. In Kisii, one of the senior posts will go to deputy governor Joash Maangi. Initially, the deputy president wanted Nyaribari Masaba MP Ezekiel Machogu and his Bonchari counterpart John Oyioka to take key seats but they have developed cold feet after being coerced by the state operatives to denounce him. In North-Eastern, Ruto wants Duale to lead the troops. Duale is sitting on the edge after Kieni MP Kanini Kega collected over 120 signatures from MPs to impeach him. It is just a matter of time before he is kicked out. Ruto

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The curse that is Kisii county politics ahead of 2022 – Weekly Citizen

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The confusion caused by a curse attributed to late cabinet minister James Nyamweya may have returned to haunt the Nyaribari clan because their divisions over the candidate to succeed James Ongwae for the Kisii county gubernatorial seat come the 2022 general election are growing. During the last general election, Simeon Nyachae’s son Charles Nyachae was shortchanged by former Kisii senator Chris Obure to drop his ambitions for the gubernatorial seat in his favour, but they lost terribly to James Ongwae from the Abagetutu clan.

James Ongwae

The governor who was defending his seat on the ODM party ticket lost all the nine parliamentary seats but managed to bring on board his deputy Joash Maangi, Senator Sam Ongeri and women representative Janet Ong’era and a few members of the county assembly. Due to the political confusion from the late Nyamweya’s curse, three clans from the region – the Kamba Nane, Botondo and Bosigisa, have regrouped to break their silence over the vow by the dead Nyamweya that the region cannot rule for 40 years. The aggrieved clans have a total registration of 90,000 voters against their Boguche counterparts who have less than 30,000 registered voters but the curse with which they have been living for the last 40 years has been their major undoing. The late Nyamweya was trounced by Andrew Omanga as the larger Nyaribari MP and to date, even his own prodigal son, George Nyamweya, has been trying the area parliamentary and senate seat to no success.

Prof Sam Ongeri

Political schemers from the region were taken aback recently when Charles joined sacked Kenya Ports Authority chief executive officer Daniel Manduku, where he asked the gathering to support him because “he will be coming back for more consultations”. Local leaders were left mesmerized over his move to support Manduku, who is not associated at all with the former area MP, the late Hezron Manduku, because he was born, and brought up in Njoro, Nakuru county but resides in Nyaribari Masaba. After Nyamweya, the Nyaribari clan was to be divided into Nyaribari Masaba and Nyaribari Chache where Ongeri went on to exchange the Nyaribari Masaba parliamentary seat with the late Manduku for 20 years after Omanga had reigned for 15 years. Then voters turned the baton to Elijah Moindi who led for four and half years, thus the expiry of the 40 years where former provincial administrator Ezekiel Machogu worked against all odds to emerge victor during the last general election from the little known National Alliance Party of Kenya.

Joash Maangi

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With the next general election fast approaching, candidates interested in the coveted seat have been pulling up their sleeves with Machogu, the first time Nyaribari Masaba MP, and his neighbour from the Boguche clan Ongeri making efforts to crisscross the expansive county to woo voters to their side But the other three clans want the duo to swallow their pride and support them because they have been benefiting from the previous regimes with the current one rewarding them with two senators, Ongeri and nominated senator Millicent Omanga and two members of the national assembly, Ezekiel Machogu – Nyaribari Masaba and Richard Tong’i- Nyaribari Chache and a number of MCAs to the Kisii county assembly. As things stand, the only candidate from the three clans who has declared interest is Rachael Otundo who has been attending funerals, churches and other social places seeking support from the electorates. Other candidates eyeing the coveted seat include Maangi from Bomachoge clan who has support across the county, Richard Onyonka (Bogetutu clan), Manson Oyongo (Bogirango clan), Chris Obure, Janet Ong’era, Simba Arati and Lumumba Nyaberi from the Bobasi clan.

Charles Nyachae

Ongwae is yet to declare his choice of a candidate since they are presently at loggerheads with his deputy with whom they were elected on an ODM ticket but is supporting William Ruto’s wing of the ruling Jubilee coalition. It is interesting to note that Nyamweya’s curse worked out in Nyaribari Masaba where he broke his political campaign pot at Ibacho and Kiamokama playing grounds unlike in Nyaribari Chache which is near Kisii town. Senior Nyachae who was a provincial administrator, just like Machogu, came in with money bags, and managed to win voters for 15 years before he was trounced by little known Robert Monda, who later lost, and returned the leadership mantle to the current MP Richard Tong’i, of the Boguche clan that is serving his second term. Boguche clan have a common understanding where they present as many candidates as possible, to the electorate, but they make a resolution at the eleventh hour as a political strategy to beat the other clans, With time, it will be a matter of political calculations as to who between Machogu and Ongeri will be on the ballot for the gubernatorial race to face the other clans given that money and political influence will enable them to win, or lose in the battle, which is attracting candidates as year continue turning into months and weeks.

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Plot to have a Kikuyu replace CJ Maraga – Weekly Citizen

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Attorney-General Kihara Kariuki is emerging the frontrunner in the race to replace Chief Justice David Maraga who is set to retire anytime from now, we can authoritatively report. For now, if Maraga decides to proceed on leave, deputy CJ Philomena Mwilu will act. Mwilu is being favoured by a section in ODM to succeed Maraga by virtue of her closeness to former AG Amos Wako and now Busia senator on ODM ticket.

David Maraga

Kariuki, formerly the president of the Court of Appeal, is being considered a safe bet by State House mandarins eager to have a reliable gatekeeper at the corridors of justice. Supreme Court judge Smokin Wanjala is the favourite by the majority of lawyers according to a secret report compiled by various state agencies and if voting by lawyers was to determine the next CJ, Wanjala will definitely win. However, he is seen as independent-minded like Maraga. Other names that are being touted include East African Community judge Charles Nyachae, former national assembly speaker Kenneth Marende, Supreme Court judge Njoki Ndung’u, Lady Justice Hannah Okwengu of Appeals Court and Solicitor General Ken Ogeto, and Justice Isaac Lenaola mong others. But according to sources, the State House mandarins do not want a repeat of the 2017 scenario where Maraga led the bench in nullifying the presidential election and that is why they want a reliable candidate for the CJ’s position, and that person is Kariuki.

Kariuki Kihara

Besides, the AG is a relative of Uhuru Kenyatta as his mother is the daughter of Senior Chief Koinange. Kariuki, who was born on May 11 1954 in Kiambu, is the son of the late bishop of Anglican Church Obadiah Kariuki and Lillian Wairimu, the daughter of Senior Chief Koinange. It is to be recalled that Uhuru’s father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta married his third wife, Grace Wanjiku, daughter of Senior Chief Koinange and sister of Mbiyu Koinange in 1946. But Wanjiku died when giving birth in 1951 to their daughter, Jane Makena Wambui (also known as Jeni). Jeni Makena Gecaga is the mother of Soiya Gecaga, Nana Gecaga, and Jomo Gecaga, who serves as the president’s private secretary. Insiders added that State House is keen to have the holder of the CJ’s position a person they can trust since he or she will be instrumental in the re-composition of the Supreme Court bench which will determine any petition challenging a presidential election in 2022. Already, Justice Jackton Ojwang has retired as Supreme Court judge after attaining the mandatory retirement age while Justice Isaac Lenaola is being fronted to head the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

Philomena Mwilu

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Apart from blood ties with the first family, Kariuki is also emerging the favourite due to his past rulings as a judge which have tended to side with the executive. As the president of the Court of Appeal, he led the bench in overturning a ruling by High Court judge George Odunga that had declared the appointment of returning officers for the 2017 general election as not procedural, a day to the repeat presidential poll. Justice Odunga had declared the appointments unconstitutional but had declined to grant the reliefs the petitioners were seeking, which included halting the polls. Nevertheless, Odunga’s ruling, if not overturned, would have come in handy in the petition seeking to declare the repeat presidential poll a nullity. It was this ruling that saw former Law Society of Kenya chief executive officer Apollo Mboya seek to block Kariuki after Uhuru tapped him to be his chief legal advisor. Mboya filed a misconduct case at the Judicial Service Commission where he averred that Justice Kariuki was unfit to take over from Githu Muigai as Attorney General.

Smoking Wanjala

The JSC formed a special committee to look into the misconduct and insubordination allegations against Kariuki and his fellow Court of Appeal judges, Erastus Githinji, Martha Koome and Fatuma Sichale who had overturned Justice Odunga’s ruling. The petition questioned how Justice Kariuki was able to impanel a three-judge bench of justices Githinji, Koome and Sichale on a public holiday and without the authorization from the Chief Justice. He also questioned the manner the appeal was expedited and final ex parte orders given within minutes. But Kariuki passed the vetting and became a member of the JSC by virtue of his position as Attorney General. Having resigned as a judge, the JSC was not in a position to pursue the matter of his misconduct further. If Kariuki lands the slot, to hoodwink Kenyans that he is not playing tribal card in Judiciary, a face outside Kikuyu will replace him as AG. It is here that Nyachae, son of a long-serving cabinet minister, Simeon Nyachae and Marende fit the bill as Attorney General.

Kenneth Marende

As we reported earlier, Maraga is set to leave the Judiciary after securing a top United Nations job starting early next year. The UN picked Maraga for the top job from a pool of other candidates due to his sterling performance where he is on record as the first top judge in Africa to nullify a presidential election. Recently, Malawi top court borrowed from Maraga and nullified the presidential poll. The repeat poll was won by the opposition candidate, Lazarus Chakwera. For Justice Kariuki, the appointment as Chief Justice will be another mark in his illustrious legal career after the president picked him as Attorney General in February 2018 following the resignation of Githu. Kariuki was one of the judges appointed by President Mwai Kibaki. On appointment, he became the duty judge at the High Court, replacing Justice Lenaola who had been appointed a member of the tribunal to investigate judges who chose to contest their removal from the bench. Kariuki headed the Judicial Training Institute before being appointed as a Court of Appeal Judge and later appointed as president of the Court. Insiders intimated to us that Ogeto will continue serving as Solicitor General while Okwengu is likely to be elevated to a Supreme Court judge during the recomposition of the bench. For now, the age factor will play a key role in CJ appointment and those in mid-sixties stand a high chance.

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Disgraced TV anchor to battle for Murang’a woman rep 2022 – Weekly Citizen

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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.

Jacque Maribe

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.

Sabina Chege

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.

Katwa Kigen

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.

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Dennis Itumbi

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.

Joseph Irungu

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.

Irungu Kang’ata

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.

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