Key allies of Uhuru Kenyatta and those of his deputy William Ruto are working behind the scenes to reunite the two leaders in what is likely to spell doom to the March 9 2018 handshake between the head of state and opposition leader Raila Odinga if the efforts bear fruit.
The allies plan to rope in respected clerics and elders from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities in the plan to ensure that Uhuru and Ruto aka Number Two are chummy once again.
Highly placed sources confided in us that the allies are planning to reach out to speakers Justin Muturi of national assembly and Ken Lusaka of senate to play the role of a go-between of the two leaders.
Muturi is a close confidante of the head of state, who was instrumental in his appointment for the second term and are drinking buddies ever since their days in Kanu. It is said Ruto also has a lot of respect for Muturi.
On the other hand, Lusaka is a close ally of the deputy president. It is Ruto who brokered Lusaka’s naming as senate speaker. Both speakers have successfully rallied the legislators to the government’s cause.
Insiders familiar with the scheme say the allies have made major milestones in brokering a pact between Uhuru, Ruto with the first achievement being stopping Kalenjin hardliners namely Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, MP Oscar Sudi from openly attacking Uhuru in a move that was seen to have the blessings of Ruto. Many will agree that Ruto’s attack dogs from Mount Kenya region and even Western have of late gone silent. The move is part of a truce building between the president and his deputy. Those involved want first to have the presidency respected so as to avoid having two centres of power in Jubilee government something that is being exploited by Raila.
Another issue that has been identified as being the cause of the bad blood between the DP faction and a section of cabinet secretaries allied to Uhuru in the cabinet is their fate in post-Uhuru era if Ruto wins. Fear has been that they will be dropped immediately from plum slots which will be taken over by DP men.
It is on this fear that the CSs mostly from Mount Kenya are out to influence Uhuru succession to their own future benefits since they are still young and have not yet put aside enough for the rainy day.
There have been fierce divisions in the cabinet over the hot 2022 succession race. At one time, four cabinet secretaries from the Mount Kenya region went to DCI over an alleged plot to assassinate
Sicily Kariuki of Health, Joe Mucheru, ICT and Peter Munya, Industry, Trade and Cooperatives had received text messages from an officer, Michael Sang, who is based at the DCI headquarters, asking them to present themselves to investigators over meetings they had been holding allegedly to plot how to assassinate the DP.
The ministers were accompanied by principal secretaries Andrew Kamau o Petroleum, Joseph Njoroge of Energy and the secretary of the president’s delivery unit Andrew Wakahiu.
The cabinet secretaries confirmed that they had been meeting at the hotel but said the agenda was the development concerns raised by politicians from the region hence La Mada hotel talks. The said CSs are worried what will happen if Ruto wins 2022 as they believe they are now marked.
As it is being suggested that the DP tames his hardliners, the same is being pushed on tough defenders of Uhuru in Mt Kenya among them MPs Ngunjiri Wambugu of Nyeri Town, Wangari Mwaniki, Kigumo, Maoka Maore, Igembe North, Nduati Ngugi, Gatanga, Gathoni Wamuchomba, Kiambu and Paul Koinange, Kiambaa and their leader, nominated MP Maina Kamanda.
To avoid the growing bad blood between Kieleweke and Tangatanga groups in Jubilee, schemers behind the unity talks have secretly been approaching MPs to skip functions organised to have the factions die a natural death as the meetings were becoming violent. Of late, many will agree that the once every weekend public functions are no more.
After the death of Kieleweke and Tangatanga, eyes will be set on Jubilee women MPs in Embrace Kenya and Inua Mama Initiative. The plan is to have Embrace Kenya left to opposition women MPs.
One of the major concerns is how Ruto, if he becomes the president will treat Uhuru’s loyalists, particularly youthful high ranking civil servants.
Those pushing for reconciliation want the DP to be assure them he will accommodate Uhuru’s loyalists in the public service as well as protect the interests of the Kenyatta family if he is president.
As they push for Ruto to accommodate Uhuru loyalists, they also have a proposal to have Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and his Public Prosecutions counterpart Noordin Haji to go slow on corruption purge, particularly on CSs close to the deputy president.
The crackdown intensified in April last year following Haji’s appointment but slightly over a year later; however, the push seems to have lost momentum amid claims of political intimidation.
According to insiders, the push to reunite the two leaders started early this year and explains why the DP’s allies, who had previously trashed the anti-graft war as a charade, were seen celebrating when Uhuru delivered his speech in parliament on April 4.
Insiders say the president’s tone surprisingly changed during his state of the nation address to parliament this year when he stated that he will only sack a cabinet secretary on condition that the CS has been charged in court. This is after his allies were told by those of Ruto that the graft purge was heightening tension in volatile Rift Valley and the best recourse was to go slow on the matter.
Insiders add that part of the truce the two leaders have reached is for the head of state to slow down his engagements with Raila.
Of late the president has limited his engagements with Raila, and even diehard ODM supporters are now convinced that their man is on his own.
It is because of the truce that the president failed to lead five other East African presidents in launching the operationalisation of the Kisumu port, which has been under renovation for the past eight months at a cost of Sh3 billion.
There were claims the event was postponed over claims there were plans to disrupt it due to the ongoing demolitions of nearly 3,000 small and medium businesses but the fact of the matter is that Ruto succeeded in dissuading his boss to attend the function.
The event was cancelled even as details from a committee meeting showed that plans for the launch had been completed.
The venue of the event had been identified and arrangements made for heightened security.
As part of the truce, Uhuru also postponed his planned trip of Mount Kenya region in the company of the ODM leader.
The two leaders were expected to address joint rallies in Central Kenya to explain to the masses what the handshake means and more so indirectly, endorse Raila for the presidency in 2022.
But a growing rebellion toward Uhuru and Raila’s handshake in Mt Kenya forced the two to cancel a tour of the region and now the tour may not take place after Ruto dissuaded his boss against marketing the ODM leader.
According to sources, Uhuru was planning to take Raila in a tour of Mt Kenya region but the plans were changed after intelligence showed the two would receive a hostile reception.
As part of the deal, Uhuru also endorsed footballer McDonald Mariga’s candidature in the Kibra by-election in a surprise move that complicates the contest.
Joho works on Coast 2022 lineup – Weekly Citizen
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho has renewed his war against Coast elected leaders who are perceived to be supportive of William Ruto’s 2022 Presidential bid. Currently, Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya is under siege from hostile MCAs suspected to be under instructions of Joho through county speaker Sammy Ruwa.
Ruwa has been a longtime Joho sidekick and has also acted as his legal adviser in the past. He has been fronted for governor seat twice but rejected. He is speaker for a second term. Towards the end of Mvurya’s first term, he has been a Ruto man. He has no time for Joho, insisting Kwale is not an extension of Mombasa county. In the last general elections, Joho had vowed to ensure Mvurya was defeated at the ballot. But this was never to be after the Mombasa governor fell out with Chirau Mwakwere who was a sure bet against Mvurya on the then popular ODM ticket.
After Mwakwere bolted out of ODM to Wiper, Joho turned to little known Issa Chipera as party candidate. Chipera literally became minced meat for Mvurya who easily beat him and made a comeback on a Jubilee ticket. Mvurya is grooming his deputy Fatuma Achani to succeed him in the next general election but observers say this is a tall order. Joho on the other hand is reportedly pushing Crop Development PS Hamad Boga for the Kwale seat against Mvurya’s candidate and Mwakwere. Another Ruto man on Joho’s radar is Kaloleni MP Paul Katana. Recently, the legislator was discharged as a member of the parliamentary investment committee in actions said to have the Mombasa governor’s hand.
Ironically, Katana was Joho’s PA when he served as Kisauni MP. But it appears other than fighting Katana for aligning himself with Ruto, he never wanted him to be MP in the first place. In the 2013 general election when Katana first contested and lost to little known Gunga Mwinga, there were allegations that ODM insiders had rigged him out. Currently, Joho is said to be financing the political activities of Mwinga to undermine Katana in the constituency. Katana has said severally that his cooperation with Ruto is because of the handshake between Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta. “I’m a loyal member of ODM with full respect to my party leader. I also support the handshake and that is why I have been working with DP Ruto to further development in my constituency,” the legislator was quoted as saying.
He has also said his cooperation with Ruto is not for selfish reasons but for the benefit of his constituents. He says the DP has presided over high profile funds drives towards public projects in his constituency. The MP says some of the people fighting him have never assisted Kaloleni to move forward but wants leaders who can bootlick them.“I’m independent-minded and I work for the interest of my people who elected me and have no time for sycophancy,” Katana says. Mohammed Ali of Nyali constituency and a close ally of the DP is another one whom Joho is scheming against. He is pushing his cousin Said Abdalla aka Saido against the Jicho Pevu.
Jicho Pevu’s recent rising political profile after he filed a motion to impeach transport CS James Macharia over chaos at Mombasa port has alarmed the Joho camp. In spite of the rejection of the motion by Speaker Justin Muturi, Ali has become a hero in Mombasa. Last week, pro-Joho Mombasa MPs led by Mvita’s Abdulswamad Nassir were doing damage control. They toured the port and pleaded with the KPA management to put out a notice affirming that usage of SGR for containers upcountry was optional. This was meant to cool the heat against them after residents began collecting signatures to recall them for failing to support Jicho Pevu motion. Another Joho political foe Aisha Jumwa of Malindi constituency is politically wounded and the Mombasa governor no longer cares what she does or says. The Malindi MP’s self-inflicted woes have dimmed her 2022 Kilifi governor bid.
Fresh political formation in Siaya ahead of 2022 – Weekly Citizen
There are plans afoot to drop Alego Usonga MP Samuel Atandi from a leading role in Senator James Orengo gubernatorial campaign team. Observers point that the surprising decision was reached after it became clear that the controversial legislator was no longer appealing to the majority of voters.
There were earlier reports of an inside analysis conducted within Siaya senator campaign inner circle that hinted the disadvantages of trusting the MP with a major role yet he was also facing stiff opposition from notable politicians in the region. The development debate comes hot on the heels of a video that went viral showing the evidently intoxicated legislator dancing suggestively during a house party attended by women, as his Gem counterpart Elisha Odhiambo cheered. Weekly Citizen has established that political formations are already regrouping in Siaya ahead of 2022 general election and a section of political leaders including top ODM party officials from Alego Usonga are not happy with Atandi’s quick move to front Senator Orengo for the county’s governorship.
Area governor Cornell Rasanga has confronted the lawmaker on a number of occasions describing his early campaigns in support of Orengo as a lack of respect for his office. The protest by the governor sparked off an anti-Atandi wave as he was immediately joined by a host of formidable politicians from Alego Usonga in castigating the MP accused of overstepping his political mandate. The local ODM party leadership led by Alego Usonga branch chairman John Orwenjo, and secretary Paul Jura reaffirmed that the party had crowned Rasanga as their bona fide patron and it was, therefore, his duty to offer political direction on matters regarding his successor. The Orengo-led group which also brings together Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo and his Rarieda counterpart Otiende Amollo has been roundly accused of leading early full-scale political activities at the expense of development.
MCAs chairman Sylvester Madialo warned Atandi to stop creating confusion among voters, adding he should hold his horse and wait for the party whistle to be blown or prepare to equally lose his seat at the ballot. The leaders including Township MCA Obiero Otare, Vincent Odawa (North Alego), Judy Okumu (West Alego), Joseph Mboha (South East Alego), and Winnie Otieno (nominated) have loudly questioned how Atandi would deliver for Orengo when he is standing on a politically shaky ground. It is claimed that the Siaya senator blocked Atandi from using his chopper to escape from a crowd that turned rowdy during a food distribution to flood victims in his constituency. It is reported that trouble started after the MP barred Usonga ward MCA Madialo from addressing his voters after the food distribution. People with disabilities who had attended the event reportedly bayed for his blood after he gave them a paltry sh100 prompting Orengo to deny the lawmaker a chopper ride in fear that associating with him would jeopardize his 2022 governorship bid.
Rogue Kisumu NGO’s money minting gimmicks – Weekly Citizen
Various stakeholders and residents of Kisumu county have called upon Nyanza regional police commander Noah Mwivanda and his DCI counterpart Daniel Kipsoi, to investigate the activities of the chairman of an NGO called Magnum Environment Network Michael Nyaguti. The NGO, it is claimed, is a briefcase one with no donor funding surviving fully on extortion and threats. By last week, a victim was planning to institute private criminal charges against the NGO.
They are accusing Nyaguti of extortion and blackmail of people under the guise of encroaching on water catchment areas and flouting environmental laws failure of which he always resorts to going to courts as an interested party of the said social vice. One of the victims narrated that sometimes back, he was developing rental houses near Lake Victoria and had been given all the required documents from the county, Nema, and all relevant authorities to commence his work only for Nyaguti to appear menacing at the site with a group of people he called officials of Magnum Environment Network accompanied by some people who looked like police officers who demanded that I show them documents in regard to what I was doing. Most developers ranging from real estate to hospitable industries are saying that they are really undergoing rough times in the hands of the said Nyaguti who on most occasions is accompanied by some rogue police officers who intimidate and threaten their respective targets with arrests. The said Nyaguti had sometimes back attempted to extort Sh5 million each from former governors Evans Kidero and Jack Ranguma, together with a senior leading civil servant under the guise that they had bought land which should have been part of Lake Victoria.
When the trio was adamant that they would not give him any money, he sued them saying they had encroached on wetlands. The same Nyaguti also sued the Kisumu county government and Nyanza Golf Club which he accused of reclaiming the wetland at the mouth of River Kisat without convening a public participatory forum, as part extortion antics but his bid has fallen on deaf ears. He had also sued Kenya Ports Authority, Kisumu after the parastatal had ordered beach management units out of its land after collecting thousands of shillings from the said victims. Recently together with other activists, they stormed Western offices of Kenya Wildlife Service demanding that they investigate a ring of cartels believed to be working in cahoots with officers to defraud victims of wildlife attacks of their compensation. After his request was rejected, he called a meeting in Kisumu with some of the victims who had not been paid and tried to convince them to give him the power of attorney so that he could press them for their payment. Efforts to get Nyaguti’s comments were fruitless while a senior KWS officer said that they have a clear policy on how KWS compensates. “KWS has no agreement with anyone to peruse payments,” he said.