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Stop Ruto movement takes shape

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A scheme to stop Deputy President William Ruto from succeeding his boss is steadily taking shape and gaining momentum.

Phase One, according to people aware of it, was to remove the DP from making decisions on which development projects will be prioritised and funded by the government.

President Uhuru Kenyatta dramatically implemented that last week when he issued an Executive Order placing Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i in charge of all projects.

“There is no way we will allow Ruto to become President. Either he accepts to retire with his boss or we will force him to retire,” pledged former Jubilee vice chair David Murathe yesterday.

Ruto’s critics say he is corrupt, which he vigorously denies. They say he is already campaigning for himself, not the people of Kenya as he commissions projects. Central Kenya business leaders also have indicated they don’t trust him to safeguard their interests. And Central wants one of their own to wield power. Further, Ruto is not descended from a Kenyan dynasty.

Read: Why William Ruto must become President before 2022 election

The second part of the plan will be implemented when the widely expected referendum will be held. The Building Bridges Team is expected to make wide-ranging recommendations on which constitutional changes Kenyans will be asked to decide.

People close to the President yesterday told the Star they will push for a ceremonial president, an executive prime minister and two deputies. But Ruto wants to be a powerful President.

The new positions would be filled after the 2022 General Election but the occupants will be decided before the polls.

In this plan, Ruto will not be the presidential candidate but will be offered one of the Deputy Prime Ministers position. Should he reject that, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi will take the DP’s place.

“We believe anyone but Ruto should be President,” former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda said.

But Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi yesterday was quick yesterday to dismiss the plans, saying they are bound to fail.

“Who do they think they are? Why do they think their plans will succeed? The DP is not stupid, nor is he sleeping. We are also building new alliances that will take us to State House.

The third aspect of the plan is to build a new coalition bringing together Raila Odinga’s ODM, Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper, Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC and Gideon Moi’s Kanu.

Already Uhuru is spending a lot of time with Raila and consulting with him on many issues since the handshake on May 9 last year.

Kalonzo has also been brought in and Mudavadi is being encouraged to make inroads in Central Kenya.

Read: Ruto must seek Raila’s blessings to lead Kenya – ODM

A mass walkout from Jubilee by leaders from Mt Kenya region is also part of the scheme. Some of the region’s politicians are already considering creating a new party, cobbling together a new alliance with other parties, or revamping an existing party in order to stop Ruto.

But yesterday National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said Jubilee was intact.

“Jubilee is firm under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. When the President tells us at an appropriate time, we shall start campaigns. The President has said he will be Ruto’s chief campaigner,” the Garissa Township MP said.

On Tuesday, Murathe, who is seen as the face of the anti-Ruto camp, attended a meeting convened by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at his Yatta farm where he continued with his anti-Ruto rhetoric.

“The Constitution says the President and Deputy President cannot serve for more than two terms. But is there anything that stops the President from being Deputy President?” Murathe asked the Kamba nation, signaling Mt Kenya’s determination to block Ruto.

In a not-so-veiled attack on Ruto, Murathe said, “I was surprised during the anti-corruption conference in Nairobi where the person who was being discussed over corruption was seated right there shamelessly.”

Murathe previously has said Ruto is unfit to be president because he is “corrupt” and when he stormed out of Jubilee in a huff, he claimed Central Kenya would create a new movement to stop Ruto.

In Uhuru’s backyard, two anti-Ruto groups have emerged, presenting a complex situation for succession.

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Current and former legislators from the region have separately formed the Mt Kenya and Diaspora Leaders Forum and the Mt Kenya Parliamentary Group.

In a clear signal the plot is taking shape, a faction of Central Kenya leaders opposed to Ruto held a closed-door meeting at a Kiambu hotel on Tuesday.

The Star established that in attendance were nominated MP Maina Kamanda, former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth, former Dagoretti South MP Denis Waweru and former Nyeri senator Mutahi Kagwe.

Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange was also present as was Democratic Party chairman Esau Kioni.

Those cobbling together a political vehicle out of Jubilee are said to be behind the revival of President Mwai Kibaki’s Democratic Party.

The DP has been inactive since 2007 when it rallied behind Kibaki’s reelection. Kibaki ran under the Party of National Unity (PNU).

In a bid to inject fresh blood into the party, youthful former Transport PS Irungu Nyakera was recently tapped to be the party’s deputy leader as it positions itself for Uhuru’s succession.

More: Why it will not be easy for DP Ruto in 2022

A rejuvenated and reorganised Democratic Party, seen as an alternative fallback for the anti-Ruto movement, could soon hit the road.

Yesterday, Nyakera distanced the Democratic Party from the plan.

“The notion of the party being a fallback plan for disgruntled Jubilee leaders is misplaced,” he told the Star on the phone.

The former PS said anyone engaged in DP activities is doing so as “a friend of the party”.

“For us as DP, we are open to friends who need not necessarily be members,” he said.

The party has a new team of leaders and has rejigged its youth wing, known as the Young Democrats.

The new officials are Njeri Njoori (national vice chair), Wambugu Nyamu (deputy secretary general), Jacob Haji (secretary general), Moses Ololowuaya (national treasurer), Dr Njagi Kumantha (organising secretary).

Former Livestock minister Joseph Munyao is the party leader.

The Young Democrats team are led by Lawrence Kariuki, Florence Mukami (organising secretary) and Geoffrey Akumali.

They are trying to popularise DP ideals, as crafted by its founder, Kibaki, in sittings countrywide.

The former president founded the Democratic Party with an agenda of economic sustenance and empowerment of Kenyans.

“The party’s leaders, most of them aging, sought to revive the entity to save it from risk of collapse after their death,” Nyakera said.

The DP, though warning against early political campaigns, says it will present a presidential candidate in the next election.

DP chairman Esau Kioni said, “The party has a large room for those who are or will be orphaned in their current parties.”

He said the party has has not raided Nasa or Jubilee in the hunt for members.

Kioni said the party has registered members in at least 25 counties. “We are in Western, Rift Valley, Nyanza, Coast, Central, and Northeastern,” he said.

“We are not into politics at the moment as elections are still far. But when that time comes, we will certainly be ready to work with parties that share in our ideals,” Kioni said.

In 2017, the DP did not fold into Jubilee but endorsed Uhuru’s reelection.

Ahead of the 2013 vote, Uhuru and Ruto rode on a joint ticket. The agreement then was that Ruto would automatically succeed Uhuru at the end of his term.

But the situation has changed in the face of moves to trim the DP’s powers. Matiangi’s appointment demonstrated that that all is not well between Uhuru and Ruto.

Matiang’i heads the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee. His work is to supervise national government programmes and projects, seen partly as a strategy to achieve Uhuru’s Big Four and clip Ruto’s wings.

Belgut MP Nelson Koech said Ruto will triumph despite the roadblocks his enemies are trying to erect. He said the DP has countrywide support and dismisses Murathe as cipher.

“The DP has diligently worked cordially with the President in serving Kenyans. But day and night his enemies are strategising in vain to wage war between him and the President. God willing, they will be hereto witness Ruto lead this country,” he said.

More on this: DP Ruto will never be President of Kenya – Atwoli

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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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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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