Uhuru Kenyatta is in a dilemma on whether to dissolve the Taita Taveta county government after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission approved the petition to dissolve it following the successful verification of voters’ signatures.
The president’s legal team is said to be divided with a section pushing for dissolution to teach MCAs across the country a lesson. However, others say that in case it is done; it will be costly and create a leadership crisis.
Word has it that Governor Granton Samboja did not want to annoy his voters who have lost confidence in MCAs by withdrawing the petition. If Samboja withdrew, then voters would have taken issue with him on grounds, that he had wasted their time collecting signatures as a political ploy to tame MCAs.
The withdraw will have made him unpopular unlike the popularity he gained from the start of the process that has seen worried MCAs now start befriending and reaching out to him.
The electoral commission said the petition presented by area Samboja for the dissolution of the county was supported by Taita Taveta registered voters.
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati approved the petition to dissolve county government on November 6.
In a press release to media houses, IEBC said the petition met the entire requisite statutory threshold. “On Wednesday, October 30, the Office of the President delivered 17 booklets to the commission with a request to verify whether the petition met the requirements of section 123 (2) of the county government Act No 17 of 2012,” the commission said in the statement.
“This is, therefore, to notify the public and all stakeholders that the petition has met the entire requisite statutory threshold,” it noted.
The county chief resolved to push for dissolution of the county government after the MCAs decided allegedly award themselves Sh830 million, money meant for ward Development Fund.
Inside Siaya politics ahead of 2022 elections – Weekly Citizen
THE race for Siaya gubernatorial seat is likely to take a new dimension following high indications that area Senator James Orengo wants to take over from Cornel Rasanga the incumbent whose term will come to an end come 2022. As the race to succeed Rasanga gradually shapes up as expected, it will inevitably divided leaders two years to the ballot. Already, there are political formations, with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga’s close allies caught up in the succession battle.
At some stage, political undertones marked the burials of Achieng Oneko’s wife, Loice Anyango and William Oduol’s father in Rarieda and Alego-Usonga sub-counties respectively. While Siaya Senator James Orengo is yet to declare his political interest in 2022 elections, a section of his allies has been drumming up support for him. The name of Jubilee party secretary Raphael Tuju has also cropped up with word, due to his current battle over the ownership of his hotel with African development Bank, he has decided not to run but concentrate on the legal battle. “A time has come that we must now reward our heroes with political seats and Senator Orengo suits the reward,’ said Samuel Atandithe Alego Usonga Mp. Among those who are said to have the interest to succeed Governor Cornel Rasanga but are also yet to declare their interest publicly are Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Deputy Governor James Okumbe and Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda.
Former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo who vied for the seat during the 2017 general elections and lost to Rasanga has also declared his interest to run for the seat. Jubilee Party Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, who has also been touted as a possible candidate for the county’s top seat has previously dismissed the claims. Tuju, who was speaking during the burial of Oneko’s wife in Kunya village, Rarieda sub-county, said there were bigger positions than the governorship. Orengo was caught up in a war of words with Bondo MP Ochanda on the happenings of 2013 party nominations and how they settled for a gubernatorial candidate. While Ochanda dismissed calls for dialogue or consensus as an approach for electing the next county boss, his Rarieda counterpart Otiende Amollo said it will be imperative for the political class to sit and agree on how to share the county seats. MP Ochanda narrated to the mourners how a similar approach led the county into a stalemate, which then resulted in Governor Rasanga coming into the picture as the party’s candidate, against the wishes of residents.
“In 2012, we were with Oduol, Orengo, and former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo in one camp. Oduol and I were eyeing the Governor’s seat, while Orengo had interest in the Senate seat and we campaigned. Orengo and Midiwo always told us our issue with Oduol would be sorted,” narrated Ochanda. He recalled that on December 13, 2012, a lot of issues cropped in when they were campaigning in Gem when Midiwo said the party had decided that Oburu would be the candidate. “This is the reason I cannot trust any issue of dialogue on who will fly the party ticket for the race because the same people calling for dialogue are the ones who messed us up in 2013. I will not accept and I will not be a party to it. I will support someone who has interest of the people at heart,” he stated. Ochanda claimed that there are certain things that happened in 2013 during nominations that must not happen again for they are meant to deceive people and drive them away from the party.
But an angry Orengo, who was speaking on the county gubernatorial succession politics for the first time dismissed Ochanda and asked him to also publicly tell the people the exact things that had happened in Bondo sub-county during the 2013 party primaries. “Ochanda, when telling a story gave the full picture of what happened. You should also tell these people how you became MP. You are not telling us how you won,” said Orengo. Orengo argued that any member of ODM party who has declared interest to run for the top county seat should be allowed to do so Gumbo is so far the only person who has so far come out in the open over the issue. Gumbo contested for the seat in the 2017 general elections but lost narrowly to Rasanga. He filed a petition in the high court but lost. Gumbo is so far the front runner for the seat as the clock ticks towards 2022. Rasanga is said to be gunning for either the Senate of the position of Nyanza regional governor if such a position is created courtesy of the building bridges initiative.
Former Bondo Member of Parliament Dr. Oburu Oginga is also said to be keen on becoming the Senator if Orengo guns for the position of governor. Oginga gunned the gubernatorial seat in 2013 but lost in the primaries to Oduol amidst protests from both sides. Rasanga was handed in the party ticket as a compromise candidate while Oginga was later nominated to parliament. The Governor beat Gumbo in the last polls amidst stiff opposition from the former legislator. It was earlier believed that former Cabinet MinisterTuju who is also a former Rarieda Mp would also be gunning for the position of Governor even though he has been silent over the matter. Other reports have indicated that Oburu Odinga will be returning to his former Bondo seat after Ochanda performed dismally during his ten-year hiatus as an elected Mp. But insiders say that Oginga is fronting for his son Jaoko Oburu to take over from Ochanda come 2022. Jaoko is an executive in the government of Rasanga where he is in charge of public works.
Orengo though not development conscious will be banking on his relationship with Odinga to catapult himself into office. Keen observers believe that the position of Governor would be better; left for a technocrat like Tuju who is development conscious. Tuju is credited with the initiation of numerous development projects in Rarieda between 2002 and 2007. Sources say plans were underway for Orengo to meet Ugenya elders over his next political dispensation. It is believed the Senator will seek the elders’ blessings before publicly declaring his interest to the electorate… The Senator, unlike his competitors, will be riding on his vast experience in politics and vicious advocacy for democracy in the country. But his move is unlikely to go down well with some county leaders who have publicly declared their preferred candidates in the race. Gumbo has warned ODM officials against endorsing any candidate in the guise of loyalty to the party or its leader Raila Odinga. Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi has hinted that ODM will not gamble with the Siaya governor seat, the county being Raila’s backyard.
According to a section of Siaya residents, Orengo is likely to enjoy the support of ODM. Wandayi and Siaya woman representative Christine Ombaka are among leaders who have endorsed Orengo saying he has been tried and tested. Siaya is largely ODM and residents have always been rallied to vote in a six-piece model in favour of the Orange party. This means all candidates will fight hard to clinch the party’s ticket at the primaries come 2022The governor seat has emerged as one of the most lucrative owing to the power trappings that come with the office. At the constituency level, Gem Mp Elisha Odhiambo is to face Midiwo who has defected back to ODM. It is not clear why Wandayi would be keen on taking on Orengo by the horns given the senator’s high stature politically. Ugunja MP Dave Ochieng is said to be keen on defending his seat with the same case in Rarieda where the incumbent Otiende Amollo enjoys both support of Odinga and his followers due to his pivotal role in the presidential election petition filed after the 2017 general polls.
In Alego Usonga has emerged that area lawmaker Atandi could face tough hurdles defending his seat in the 2022 general elections. According to Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) officials in Siaya county, the vocal parliamentarian seems to be losing his popularity to a newcomer. Siaya ODM youth official Charles Onguko says that Atandi is facing opposition from Martin Otieno alias Mijesh, a newcomer who is very keen on unseating him in the much-anticipated race. He added that the same has seen the vocal leader become furious with area leaders and politicians seemingly allied to Mijeshi. This follows allegations that Atandi hired goons to attack a nominated Member of County Assembly (MCA) last year With such grave allegations about the lawmaker renting the air, it is believed he is losing his popularity and respect by the locals as Mijeshi uses the opportune moment to make himself popular.
Will Maara MP Kareke Mbiuki defend his seat 2022? – Weekly Citizen
Political terrain in Maara constituency ahead of 2022 general election is set for a major change should all those who have shown interest in the seat held by Kareke Mbiuki throw the hat into the ring. If Mbiuki decides to defend his seat, he is set to meet new faces among the man who came second in the last general election. Talk is rife, the MP may decide to go for senatorship or even be deputy governor as he eyes the top county seat in 2027.
Mbiuki is said to be working with Muthomi Njuki, the governor of Tharaka Nithi on a new power-sharing arrangement. In the deal, the governor will defend his seat while the MP goes for senatorship. However, the MP’s headache is the fact, former governor Samuel Ragwa has decided to switch from governorship to senate seat fearing Njuki’s current rating on the ground. The governor is pushing Mbiuki for senatorship to counter Ragwa said to have decided to back a newcomer to oppose him. Njuki if he finds Mbiuki cannot tame Ragwa for senatorship race will then prefer him as his deputy in a move aimed at grooming him his successor 2022. Weekly Citizen has information, deputy governor Francis Kagwima who relationship with his boss is on and off is a key player in the Ragwa camp of late.
Kagwima has not shown or sent signals which seat he wants 2022. However, those close to him say he may pull a surprise and declare he wants to be governor.Mbiuki can decide to be Njuki’s running mate if Kagwima deserts his boss and joins the opponents, those well versed with county politics aver. If he defends his seat in 2022, Mbiuki will face the strong candidature of Maara, businessman-cum-politician, Hassan Kithinji. HK as he is known among his supporters was in 2017 race but lost with a slim margin to Mbiuki. The number of aspirants is growing day and night and the MP is said to be well aware. Among them is president Uhuru’s Tharaka Nithi former campaign coordinator Lawrence Gitonga. He is the CEO of Novel Technologies that has won lucrative tenders. Uhuru helped him land the position of chairman, Kathwana municipal board.
Gitonga has hit the road running ahead of 2022 and finances local boda boda Sacco. Micheni Mitch, an aviation consultant from Mwimbi ward has not been left out. A ground network operative, Micheni is seen frequently meeting youth and women groups, especially in Ganga ward. A woman causing ripples among men in the race is Salome Rutere from Chogoria ward. Well versed with social networking among women and youth, her name is mentioned almost in each and every village. Mwandiki Riungu from Ngeru is also in the race but others say he may decide to chicken out if pushed to the wall by other aspirants. He is depending on the family name. Riungu is son to former Kiriani Secondary School headteacher, Riungu Boss. The father was elected as Cooperative Bank director and even served vice-chair of the board. It is said, the family is against him running and will prefer to wait to be county governor in the near future.
Ruto set to resign from government – Weekly Citizen
A secret plot to appoint Gideon Moi as deputy president after he will have staged a spirited onslaught and piled pressure on William Ruto to step down is cooking in the pot. The happenings surrounding the DP, among them, the luring of his key supporters into the government axis of the Jubilee government supporting Uhuru Kenyatta’s wing of Kieleweke from the DP’s Tanga Tanga brigade, are part of a wider scheme and long time strategy to cut Ruto to size, and eventually, boot him from the corridors of power. Although others say that Ruto is aware of the political machinations to force him to resign and relinquish instruments of the second in power, he has decided to stay put until an opportune time.
Ruto, instead of an early resignation that could come with political ramifications on his way to stardom, has decided to wait for a late quitting of the office of DP next year, when political temperatures will be at a crescendo, to spin his political magic for a decisive comeback to claim his ride to the 2022 presidential race solely or without Uhuru. The scheme to have Ruto resign ahead of the impending cabinet reshuffle was to accommodate the faces of those perceived to be his political allies from outside Kikuyuland to deal him a political blow in the process. Currently, the DP office has been reduced to a shell and a pale shadow of its former self and he does not value it anymore as such. There are lesser activities than there were. The choice of Gideon, the Kanu chairman is informed by the idea that currently, there is no Jubilee Party elected leader from the Kalenjin community who can match Ruto’s clout in terms of resources, acumen and political mobilization.
The clandestine plot is the brainchild of advisers close to Uhuru, headed by his younger brother, Muhoho Kenyatta, to spearhead his succession in earnest, and thus eclipse Ruto’s influence. Other influential members of the strategists include former presidential adviser Nancy Gitau, Jubilee Party vice chair David Murathe, State House comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua, top intelligence service officers with a nose for intelligence gathering, and the president’s uncle George Muhoho. Jubilee party secretary-general Raphael Tuju receives directives from the president’s advisers. The beginning of the strategy to place Gideon a heartbeat away from the presidency was on May 8, when the senator led his party in signing a post-poll coalition deal with the ruling party Jubilee. Muhoho and Nancy were present during the signing of the deal, which is a pointer of its importance and significance to the president. By then, within Jubilee ranks and file fear was that if Ruto resigned as he was being pushed to, there was nobody able to succeed him.
Those mentioned as his likely successors Kindiki Kithure and former majority leader Aden Duale were all in the DP’s camp. By then, Uhuru’s serious concern was that during the Mwai Kibaki era, Kibaki’s handlers were left scratching their heads after the demise of late vice president Wamalwa Kijana. A section wanted then minister Mukhisa Kituyi, a Bukusu like Wamalwa to take the plum seat. After days of antagonizing, they landed on the elderly Moody Awori, a man who had no presidential ambitions. Others even thought Raila Odinga who was then Transport minister in the Narc government, would replace Wamalwa. Raila had mourned the late Wamalwa in Luo traditional style donned in full regalia with analysts saying that he was politically cleansing himself to succeed Wamalwa as VP. For now, Gideon is being prepared for any political eventuality in the office of the DP. The signing of the Jubilee/Kanu power sharing deal after Jubilee staged major palace coups to control the ruling party in the national assembly and senate speaks volumes.
The deal was signed by Tuju, Jubilee chairman Nelson Dzuya, Gideon and Kanu secretary general Nick Salat. In contrast, on June 17, only Murathe and Tuju attended a similar function at Jubilee Party headquarters where Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Chama Cha Mashinani’s Isaac Ruto inked a post-election coalition agreement with Jubilee. The absence of Muhoho and Nancy was a pointer that the Kalonzo-RutoJubilee deal was of less significance to the president as compared to that of Kanu and Jubilee. Insiders familiar with the developments revealed that the advisers had devised a strategy to pile pressure on Ruto to resign. Initial fear being that if Ruto resigned when Kanu had not entered any legally binding deal with Jubilee, and if Gideon had to be named deputy to Uhuru, someone would have moved to court to block the orchestra on legality aspect. But the deputy president, aware of the strategy, has devised a countermove where he plans to abruptly tender his resignation as DP late next year or even early 2022, to intensify his campaigns for the presidency.
The timing is also said to be based on the fact that there is no opposition in Kenya and Ruto once he jumps over, will be the face of opposition. Indeed, Ruto is said to be thanking his gods that Raila is still tied in government hoping to be Uhuru’s choice. Ruto is therefore closely eyeing Raila’s every move lest Raila backflips to the opposition before Ruto pitches tent there and lays claim and stake as the defender of Kenya’s oppressed. Ruto is aware that once Uhuru publicly picks Gideon, that will be the end of Uhuru and Raila. Yet Uhuru can not make his plans known now because he needs to keep Raila following him like the hyena that followed a man up to his home thinking that the man’s arm that was swinging would fall. The DP plans to pull a surprise by calling it quits a year to the 2022 general election, to kickstart his campaigns after launching his political party, a move the president is keen to neutralize and try to nip in the bud Ruto has reached the conclusion that his candidature on Jubilee ticket will hit a brick wall since signals point to a scenario where Uhuru will deny him the ticket.
The team fears Uhuru will use friendly Jubilee delegates to pass a resolution for the ruling party not to field a presidential candidate, but to instead go for a coalition with ODM where the premier and deputies will be reserved for it. To win more public support, Ruto while tendering his resignation will cite frustrations from Jubilee and betrayal by the president, pointing out that his resignation was necessitated by the systematic reduction of his office into a shell by the man he stood with through thick and thin. The DP will cite the designation of the presidency into executive Office of the President with him only as one of its senior officials with no role to play and the cutting down of his budget by as much as 87pc which was meant to stop him from moving around the country to commission or inspect development projects. The deputy president will further cite the continued persecution of his allies, some of whom are facing corruption charges, as another reason for stepping down since the deep state is determined to scuttle his presidential ambition.
He will further point out that after the handshake, he was robbed of the role of appointing various heads of parastatals and those he appointed were hounded out of office on flimsy grounds. Further, the DP will point at the appointment of a secretary to the Jubilee Coalition Group, Amos Kimunya before he assumed the docket of national assembly majority leader, as a move to erode his powers since the holder has much more clout within parliament than him, and serves as the link between the executive and the national assembly, a position that had been reserved for him in Jubilee’s first term. The DP will also allude to the ejection of his allies from key parliamentary committees as a bullet that was meant for him. Among those ejected from powerful parliamentary seats include Elgeyo-Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen as senate majority leader, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale as national assembly majority leader, and Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika as senate chief whip. Insiders revealed that Uhuru will unleash a card by appointing Gideon, son of Kenya’s second president, Daniel Arap Moi, to replace the former Eldoret North MP as deputy president.
The choice of Gideon is informed by the fact that the senior Moi is Uhuru’s mentor who introduced him into politics and hence he owes the late president a favour. It also informed by the desire to appease the Kalenjin community as Gideon is one of them. The chance to deputize the president, even for several months, will also accord Gideon the opportunity to consolidate Kalenjin votes, and also cut a national image ahead of the elections. This might not wash though because it is unlikely Kalenjins will abandon Ruto. On the other hand, some fear that the move will anger Raila who might somersault and land at Ruto’s camp to teach Uhuru a lesson for playing games on Raila because Gideon’s elevation will be seen as giving him a gate pass to State House after Uhuru goes. Uhuru, who since the beginning of the year has been stamping his authority as the president, is now relying on his secret advisers to generate, evaluate, approve and execute major action plans which will place Gideon at a focal point in his succession, and also cut to size, the senator’s perceived competitors such as Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula.
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