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Saturday, January 6th, 2018

 

Fierce battle for President Kenyatta diary

By GAKUU MATHENGE
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An incident early last year in which a 5,000-strong delegation of members of the co-operative movement was locked out of State House, Nairobi, best demonstrates the turf wars that led to the ejection of the State House Comptroller and his replacement with former Nakuru governor Kinuthia Mbugua.

The group had been mobilised by Mr Joseph Nyagah, a one-time Co-operative minister, from all over the country to strategise on how to campaign for President Kenyatta’s re-election.

On the appointed day, the delegation was denied access to State House, an incident Mr Nyagah blamed on Mr Lenayapa, the then Comptroller. In protest, Mr Nyagah resigned from his job as President Kenyatta’s advisor.

“It was too much. This delegation from all over the country had been granted an appointment by the President. They had travelled from all over the country at their own cost. On the morning of the meeting, no one would pick our calls or provide an explanation. I wondered who these people were working for,” he told Nation, blaming the incident on Mr Lenayapa, who he accused of serving the interests of Deputy President William Ruto.

When he finally resigned, Mr Nyagah made the famous statement: “There is no provision for a co-President in the Constitution”, alluding to the DP’s alleged grip on ongoings at State House through his men (read Lenayapa and company).

“I have tried my best to make a positive contribution but my efforts have been snubbed. Now if things go wrong, I wish Uhuru’s supporters to know what is going on. They should not blame me that I kept quiet…” he said.

Mr Nyagah was not alone. Scores of politicians across the country who lost in the Jubilee primaries early last year also blamed their defeat on Mr Ruto and his men at State House, who they claimed blocked them from reaching the President to tell him what was happening in the party. One such man is Kajiado politician Tarayia ole Kores.

“The President only got the true picture when TV footage of the shambolic primaries could not be suppressed any longer and the first round of primaries had to be called off. However, too much damage had been done and there was little time left to do anything meaningful,” said Mr Kores.

RIGGED OUT

At one time, a desperate Kores approached a senior Jubilee official complaining that he had been rigged out during the primaries. “Only the President can help you now. Call the President,” he was told.

The President could not be reached, said Mr Kores, who also blamed Mr Lenayapa for his failure to access the big man.

Mr Kenyatta’s decision to dispatch Mr Lenayapa — he grew up in the sweltering heat of Chalbi and Kargi deserts in Marsabit County — was the first bold political statement that something had shifted and it was no longer business as usual at State House.

Mr Lenayapa’s departure, according to sources at State House, was delayed by the exigencies of 2017 campaign realities.

He must have known he was marked for axing when the President took the unprecedented step to appoint Kinuthia Mbugua a co-comptroller last August, after intelligence reports emerged that certain constituencies the President had assumed had been his for the taking had not voted for him on August 8, but stayed at home or voted for opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Following Mr Mbugua’s appointment, individuals and goodwill delegations from several regions that had been blocked from accessing State House since the departure of former presidential advisor Nancy Gitau have been visiting State House in droves.

Mr Lenayapa’s name popped up in nearly every political briefing and petition, with Mr Kenyatta’s allies complaining that he was doing the bidding of the United Republican Party (URP) at the expense of Mr Kenyatta’s allies.

Mr Lenayapa’s Rendille community has for long stuck with Mr Kenyatta since the days of the late Laisamis MP Titus Ngoyoni, and his successor Joseph Lekuton, among others, first in the opposition in Kanu, in Kibaki’s Party of National Unity (PNU) coalition, and later in Jubilee administration.

The comptroller was accused of having played a critical role in weakening TNA from inside, by leaning too much towards URP interests.

POLITICAL POWER

Mr Lenayapa’s power emanated from his role as the President’s diary keeper in-charge of facilitating appointments granted by the President to those who have sought his attention. This function comes with enormous political power as appointments can be expedited or frustrated on a whim to achieve political ends.

Since the acrimonious departure of Ms Gitau from her State House office in mid 2016, there were claims that politicians allied to TNA had been denied access to Mr Kenyatta. Ms Gitau resigned in a huff following fierce public attacks by close lieutenants of DP Ruto, after she had brokered high profile delegations of top Maa leadership led by Mr William Ntimama (the late), to defect from ODM and pledge support for Jubilee, but through the TNA axis.


Electoral body starts post-poll assessment to ‘salvage image’

By JUSTUS WANGA
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Smarting from a disputed presidential election eventually won by Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta last October, the electoral commission has embarked on post-poll assessment it hopes will help salvage its tattered image in the eyes of the public.

In a statement to the Nation, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says the process will run for five months.

“The report (on the conduct of elections), which we will make public, will hopefully help bring clarity to some of the issues that we may not have had the opportunity to clarify on and therefore unfortunately contributed to a poor people’s trust in the institution,” it said.

“We have planned nine clusters of country workshops that will bring together all stakeholders, key among them political parties. Each cluster will give a report to the national workshop in May 2018. There is a technical working committee and it will entail focus group discussions,” the statement said.

IEBC argues that this undertaking is in keeping with the fact that elections are continuous processes.

EMOTIVE ISSUE

With a number of regions and communities in the country demanding additional wards and constituencies, especially the Kuria people who are agitating for their own county, IEBC will equally be laying ground for delimitation of boundaries.

“The boundaries review follows an 8-12 year cycle as per Article 89 of the Constitution. The commission plans to start in 2018. It has been engaging stakeholders in a bid to resolve issues arising from the 2010-2012 review of boundaries,” the commission said adding, “We will engage the public at constituency and ward levels to create awareness and better understanding on boundary delimitation.”

It acknowledges that delimitation is an emotive issue that has caused strife and conflicts before and that they are keen to ensure it does not polarise communities.

Section  two of the Article stipulates that any such review shall be completed at least 12 months before the election of Members of Parliament.

At the same time, attention will be on senior secretariat officials led by Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba and the director of voter registration Immaculate Kassait, who returned from forced leave on January 3.

NASA’S DEMAND

Their staying away was prompted by the opposition Nasa’s demand that they resign as one of the conditions to take part in the repeat presidential contest following the voiding of the August poll by the courts. They will be part of the review.

The secretariat was accused of doing Jubilee’s bidding and, at some point, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati publicly lamented they were working in cahoots with renegade commissioners to sabotage poll preparations.

“The toxic” secretariat forced Mr Chebukati to create a Project Team comprising a new set of directors which oversaw the October 26 polls.

In so doing, he was hoping to dissuade Nasa candidate Raila Odinga from boycotting the repeat poll, although it never worked as the opposition alliance withdrew its ticket protesting at what it termed “a commission which will stop at nothing to hand Mr Kenyatta a second term in office.”

The review will look at the General Election process but with specific reference to legal, voter registration, voter education, electoral technology, costs, financing, procurement and communication.

“The Commission is keen to understand the effectiveness of its operations and the voter experience. What worked well and what could have been done better. It will be incisive, candid and rigorous,” the statement said.

LOW PROFILE

After hogging the limelight almost daily for the last half of 2017, commissioners have assumed a low profile, declining media interviews, with Mr Chebukati at one point telling this publication that he didn’t want to spoil the festive season by talking matters elections.

His fear was founded on the resultant backlash on the Supreme Court decision to annul Mr Kenyatta’s win on August 8 with majority judges indicting the IEBC for failure to follow electoral laws when presiding over the “watershed election.”

Commissioners and senior staff members are in agreement that it will require a lot of effort and deliberate campaign to regain public confidence after the August and October experiences which were preceded by the murder of ICT manager Chris Msando about a week to the first polls.

“2018 will be the year of institutional transformation and building our image. There will also be more efforts to improve voter experience. The commission has suffered extensively on public perception, rightly or wrongly, and the resolve for rejuvenation cannot be stretched further,” communications manager Andrew Limo said.

CRIME EXPERTS

Crime experts are persuaded that Mr Msando’s murder had everything to do with the polls owing to what they say was “his reluctance to play ball.”

The dramatic resignation of Commissioner Roselyn Akombe, a vocal official who together with Mr Chebukati and Commissioner Margaret Mwachanya found themselves in the same camp against the other four commissioners, further diluted the trust Kenyans had in the polls team at a time a number of officials expressed concern over their security and family. The other commissioners are Consolata Maina (the vice-chairperson), Boya Molu, Paul Kurgat and Abdi Guliye.

LITTLE FAITH

Dr Akombe, a UN staffer, announced her resignation from the United States. She had initially left the country to inspect the printing of ballot papers in Dubai before diverting to the US.

And in a country where there is little faith in institutions, rightly so often times, it would take a miracle for the same IEBC’s top officials to run the next General Election.

Save for the Issack Hassan led interim commission that oversaw the referendum on the Constitution in 2010 and the 2013 polls, no such teams have run two elections in succession in recent times.

Perhaps aware of such reality, Mr Chiloba is already planning to quit before the next General Election.

“Whilst I love challenges, the only thing I don’t like is doing the same thing over and over again. I avoid monotony. This was an unparalleled experience and I am glad so far, all the efforts invested in the last two-and-a- half years, have gotten us to where we are. Would I do this again? I think that’s gone. It’s passed,” he told Business Daily in mid-August.

With the winner-take-it-all model where the runners-up in the presidential election go home empty handed, yet spent billions of shillings on the campaign trail, IEBC officials will always find themselves in the crossfire with candidates seeking to influence them either through intimidation or bribery.


Cabinet nomination was the easier route to forcing Tobiko out of office

By WANJOHI GITHAE
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The easing out of Keriako Tobiko from the high office of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was a shocker to Kenyans but, to key observers of President Kenyatta’s moves, it was long overdue.

The most vexing issue was how to cox Mr Tobiko into leaving his constitutional office without offending the supreme law and the Maa community from which he hails.

The DPP’s office was hived off from the Attorney-General’s office and created as an independent institution by the 2010 Constitution.

Mr Tobiko’s term was to come to an end in 2019 and, as per the Constitution, only a tribunal could force him out of office.

Tribunals are prone to political machinations and take too long to deliver a verdict; therefore the idea was discarded only for the President to settle on the easiest way out which was to ask Mr Tobiko to hand in a formal resignation, sources indicated.

It was not immediately clear when Mr Tobiko resigned and efforts to get his comments were futile as he did not answer his mobile phone.

Sources told the Nation that Mr Tobiko was offered a soft landing by being nominated for the position of a Cabinet Secretary in line with government practice of never letting go at once an individual who holds sensitive information by virtue of his job.

For instance, retiring military generals are offered parastatal jobs or ambassadorial posts once they retire.

Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Ndegwa Muhoro was referred to the Public Service Commission for redeployment.

“For Mr Tobiko, he gets a cabinet position thereby allowing him to build himself with the aim of taking a stab at politics in future, but also to neutralise any political noise that could have come from Maasailand,” said a source.

Mr Tobiko, alongside Mr Muhoro, were key cogs in the Governance, Justice, Law and Order Sector – which also includes the Judiciary.

In November 2015, President Kenyatta had directed the formation of a multi-agency team to jointly deal with corruption, economic crimes, organised crimes as well as cartels and syndicates.

The membership comprised Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Director of Public Prosecutions, National Intelligence Service, Financial Reporting Centre, Asset Recovery Agency, Kenya Revenue Authority and Office of the President.

CORRUPTION

During the State House Summit held in 2016, President Kenyatta complained that despite Parliament making money available to all the agencies, there was little to show in the fight against corruption.

Anti-corruption chiefs had defended themselves against criticism that they had failed to end runaway graft. In the end, each agency exonerated itself, passing the blame of inaction to others.

The Judiciary passed the blame to the DPP’s office, arguing that it was filing weak cases which could not sustain any convictions.

Justice Paul Kihara, the president of the Court of Appeal, told the audience it is not judges or magistrates to be blamed if suspects walk free.


Four lessons from Jubilee Party's New Year moves

By OTIENO OTIENO
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The highly-charged political atmosphere in the third quarter of 2017 has given way to relative calm in the New Year. But there is a bit to learn from interesting early decisions by the Jubilee administration already.

Feeding trough

President Uhuru Kenyatta most likely hoped that everyone would check out the personal profiles of the six ministers he has retained in his cabinet and conclude that his decision was informed purely by individual performance.

Yet the more discerning observers will study the dockets whose custodians were spared the axe and see a consistent pattern of appointments that earned Mr Kenyatta’s administration the exclusionist tag in his first term. Amid free-flowing Chinese funds for infrastructure development, the Transport and Infrastructure, Energy, ICT and the Treasury are Jubilee cash cows.

Nothing marks out Kenya’s ethnic power duopoly like the surnames of those who control these dockets.

Besides rewarding Dr Fred Matiang’i and Mr Najib Balala’s loyalty, the major thing the President did with his partial cabinet unveiling on Friday was secure the feeding trough.

2010 Constitution fights for its life

If the last five years of the Uhuru administration was about sticking the knife into the Constitution to try to reclaim the powers of the imperial presidency, the next are likely to be about twisting the knife to confirm the return of that kind of leadership.

On Friday, Mr Kenyatta replaced the two deputy inspectors-general of police, wielding powers reclaimed via earlier changes to a law that hitherto gave the responsibility to an independent National Police Service Commission. It bucks a trend where the independent institutions created to check the presidency have either been significantly weakened or captured. The National Land Commission, the Controller of Budget, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, name it.

Time to pay the Jubilee debt

What a way to start off a January! The first week of the toughest month of the year brought the gloomy news that the State subsidy that saw Kenyans buy a 2kg packet of maize flour at Sh90 was being stopped.

Media reports suggest consumers may pay up to double that price to get the staple. As if that is not enough, electricity consumers will also pay backdated bills that Kenya Power says have accumulated from February 2017. The maize subsidy and lower electricity bills were meant to bait voters in an election year. With the polls behind us, Kenyans are waking up to the reality that it was a Jubilee debt they have to pay.

SGR overpromised

The standard gauge railway, the President’s pet project, has been widely criticised for the debt burden it has placed on generations of Kenyans. But things could get worse. There was excitement on Monday about the arrival of the first cargo train at Nairobi depot with 104 containers. The second one failed to arrive two days later because there was no cargo to fill it.


NTSA inefficiency is a result of inappropriate mandate

By LUKOYE ATWOLI
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According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) Act, the Authority was set up to, among other things, advise the government on matters relating to road transport and safety and basically manage the road transport system to ensure that it is safe for everyone.

The Act further interprets this mandate to include inspection, registration and licensing of motor vehicles, road safety research, policy, and strategy development, and the establishment and supervision of training, testing, and licensing of drivers on our roads.

The main deliverable of this Authority is a safe and efficient road transport system across the country. In order to deliver on this mandate, one would expect the composition of the board of this Authority to reflect the functions for which it was set up. Looking at the NTSA board, one begins to understand why the road transport sector is in such a shambles.

SPECIAL INTEREST

The board consists of a chairperson appointed by the President, Principal Secretaries responsible for Transport and Finance, the Attorney-General, the Inspector-General of Police, and six persons appointed by the Cabinet Secretary, two representing special interest groups in the transportation industry.

A Director-General completes the board, and the qualification for this position is a university degree and knowledge and experience in transport, law, public health, civil engineering, or economics.

For a board that is meant to oversee research, policy, and strategy development in order to ensure road safety, the composition is telling. One would be forgiven for thinking that it is a board set up to raise funds from road-users, and to uphold and enforce the interests of “special interest groups” (read matatu owners!), rather than to engage in any higher cerebral activity.

As a result of this board composition, and perhaps due to the resulting misreading of its mandate, the NTSA has become famous for mounting hidden speed cameras, administering breathalyser tests at night, and chasing speeding motorists on our highways.

ROAD SAFETY

There are no ground-breaking studies commissioned or conducted by the Authority on highway design and its implications on road safety, or on the factors associated with risky driver behaviour and how to mitigate them. There are no significant policy innovations designed by NTSA, and their typical reaction after a road crash has been to mount more road bumps and to ban the concerned public service vehicle operators.

Over the holidays, many lives have been lost in road crashes across the country, but especially around the Salgaa area on the Nakuru-Eldoret road.

The best the Authority has done in the past is to designate the area as a “black spot”, a practice they have perfected. Obviously, designating an area as a black spot does not reduce the risk of crashes.

If anything, it can be argued that erratic driving around that spot due to anxiety may increase the risk of crashes and collisions.

Perhaps after designating an area as a black spot some research is required to determine the causes of increased incidents in that area, and the measures necessary to mitigate this.

After the recent spate of crashes, the Authority has been running around like a headless chicken, issuing declaration after declaration that have little to do with improving road safety.

HARASSING MOTORISTS

They have focused on harassing motorists instead of facilitating safe transport. They have taken over the job of the National Police Service, purporting to arrest offenders and exposing them to ridicule. They have hidden their officers in roadside bushes in order to “trap” speeding motorists instead of explicitly warning drivers to observe speed limits and clearly indicating the penalties.

The Authority, in my view, has abdicated from its main raisôn d’etre, and has instead chosen the easy path of highly visible but functionally inefficient “crackdowns” targeting speeding vehicles and drunk drivers. The Act itself requires NTSA to conduct research after every crash to establish the causes, and advise the government on policy, legislative and strategic measures that need to be taken in order to improve safety at the spot.

The Authority should be re-engineered into a research and policy advisory body, and leave the police to do the job of law enforcement.

 Atwoli is Associate Professor and Dean, Moi University School of Medicine [email protected]


It’s a pity a bunch of elders can meet to discuss Cabinet posts

By PHILIP OCHIENG
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In the “democracy” that Europe has recently imposed on Africa, cabinet-making is the sole responsibility of the individual heading the party winning a General Election to the national legislature.

Yet it creates insuperable problems in a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and bi-gender country. That every individual has the wisdom to latch onto the most capable person is an assumption which anybody with a sprinkle of brain can controvert.

But something must be dangerously wrong whenever the “elders” of one particular ethnic community are what must decide — and even announce — that the group is what will meet to discuss Cabinet positions (as we read in one Nairobi weekend newspaper the other day). Even the leader of the party that has just won a General Election should reject such a proposition.

Among an allegedly intelligent and “wise” species notable for its tiny-mindedness, especially about gender, race, religion and tribe, if the leader of the electorally victorious party has any wisdom in the head, then he/she will strive to form a Cabinet composed of the most capable individuals from all ethno-racial  groups, all sectarian movements and both genders.

Yet — as exemplified by Kenya’s version of the charade called democracy — humanity seems incapable of realising that only if you create a certain level of satisfaction among all segments of society — including ethnic and sectarian ones — can you succeed in ruling yourselves effectively, in a manner that satisfies every one of all segments of society.

A headline like “Kikuyu elders meet to discuss Cabinet positions” (which I culled from one of our main newspapers last weekend) must imply that — with the knowledge that the head of government comes from their ethnic community — he or she can be pushed around to do things that favour only his or her ethnic community, thus doing complete injustice to all of Kenya’s other ethnicities and races.

The leaders of any ethnic, racial or sectarian community that do such a thing must be told in no uncertain terms that they are frustrating Kenya’s clearly stated constitutional resolve to unite all our national brains, national hands and national techniques into one single production machine capable of catapulting Kenya overnight above the height of the world’s most developed country.

DEVELOPMENT

Among human beings, indeed, the concept of development cannot be confined to machines and goods. First and foremost, development must be a function of the human mind helped by the human hand. That is why a national unity of both the hands and the minds is the first prerequisite of rapid and qualitative development.

None the least, most members of Kenya’s elite do not seem to see development in those terms. Kenya – they seem to say – can be thought of as developing only if it increasingly allows members of the elite class, especially  of one or another of our larger ethnic communities, to dip long fingers daily  into the nation’s as yet extremely shallow treasury.

They see development only as a systemic licence to invade the national treasury.  That is why Uhuru Kenyatta never tires of invoking all of us to unite all our efforts and skills into a single tool to catalyse our development efforts and solve our national problems with speed and quality.

Although I am a Luo, my education gave me no illusion that only if a Luo is president can we solve Kenya’s problems qualitatively and speedily.

From history, we know that such an ability may belong to you only as an individual, not necessarily as a member of this or that gender, race, religion and tribe.

To think like that in the 21st century is to evince alarming mental and cultural backwardness. In a country like ours, the secret of creating a single united people rapidly is for all individuals to reject all the primitive ethnic and racial impulses that habitually invade human minds, especially at critical times.


How many books will you read in 2018? Try at least one per month

By SUNNY BINDRA
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How will you measure your achievements in the year ahead? Will it be in terms of money earned? Promotions gained? Holidays enjoyed? Friendships made? Learnings achieved? Kindnesses imparted?

I have a simple measure for you to aim for in 2018: books read. Believe me or not: for many people that simple activity — reading books — will unlock many other achievements. It will drive your accomplishments in all sorts of other areas.

Let me repeat what I wrote right here exactly a year ago: “Reading is your superpower, your secret weapon. It allows you to sit at the feet of wise people you will never meet in person. It gives you a thousand-and-one mentors. It transports you to corners of the world (and universe) that you could never buy a ticket for. It makes you think and rethink and unthink. It helps you understand people and why they do the things they do. It deepens your understanding of your own life. It helps you succeed.’

SUPERPOWER

Dedicated bibliophiles know all about this superpower. They deploy it the fullest. They read even when they don’t feel like reading. They read because reading is their thing. They read because it’s fun; they also read when it’s painful. They prioritise reading.

That does not describe most of the world, though. To the majority of humans, books are a problem, not a solution. They know they exist; they know a few people bang on about them all the time; but they associate them with unending pain. Partly, this is caused by different brain wiring; not everyone has linguistic intelligence — the ability to effortlessly find both joy and meaning in words. For many people, learning comes from visual stimuli or from in-person group interactions. And that is perfectly fine.

However, not being linguistically wired is no excuse for not reading books at all. Every single person benefits from reading some well-chosen books in their lifetime. That is where much of human wisdom resides. We should all read books — but some will inevitably read more than others.

So here are my targets for you. For super-readers: 50 books every year, a new book pretty much every week. For convinced-but-distracted bibliophiles: 25 books per annum, or one every couple of weeks; and for those who really don’t think of themselves as readers: just 12 books in the year, or one a month.

Make no mistake, none of these targets will be easy to hit. Even dedicated readers have too much else going on in their lives to find avid book-reading a doddle. And those who have an aversion to books will really find it hard even to hit the 12 books target. But here’s my challenge. Choose your tier, and go for it in 2018. Just hit your 12, your 25, your 50. If you end up hating the experience, I will never push you again. But I suspect many of you, once you clock your number, may never need prompting again. You will know what treasure you have uncovered.

A thought, though: choose wisely. My fellow bookworm Nilanjana Roy, writing in the FT, pointed out recently that even voracious readers are given, at best, the time to read just 5,000 or so books every year. Seeing that number, the chilling realisation ran through me that at my age I have probably already read the majority of the books I am ever going to read. Which means I have to become extremely discerning now.

To encourage youngsters to get the reading habit early on, it is perfectly fine for them to read anything — adventure stories, romances, comics — whatever. The point is to exercise their reading muscle and prepare it for heavy lifting later. At some stage, however, we all have to look higher than the easy reads and immerse ourselves in the real stuff: books that expand us, that ennoble us, that trouble us, that make us better people.

So, the challenge is on again. #50booksin2018 is the hashtag. Use it on social media to tell us where you are in the challenge and what you’re reading.

Read 50 books or read just a dozen, but read! You’ll have to force the time, though. A whole universe of vapid videos, puerile arguments and inane interactions is waiting to distract you. Don’t be distracted. Buy books, sit down, read them. Thank me next year, once you’ve done the deed and felt the benefit. What are you waiting for? Start now.

www.sunwords.com


For Muhoro, it was seven years of controversy at helm of DCI

By FRED MUKINDA
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Mr Francis Ndegwa Muhoro finally left the Directorate of Criminal Investigations after a controversial tenure spanning seven years.

He preferred to be called Frank, not Francis.

Among security circles, his unexpected discharge by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday was received with relief but, of course, a few beneficiaries of his tenure are unhappy.

How he survived the years as Kenya’s senior-most detective is worth a study because his woes set in even before he was appointed to take charge of the office of Director, in the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

After three years in office in 2013, Mr Muhoro faced an early exit after new laws were effected that required a higher degree of vetting for personalities who would head reformed police units.

Then Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Amnesty International and the Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (Ipoa) separately opposed Mr Muhoro’s appointment on a new six-year term in 2013.

But former President Kibaki held the last word and, finally, Mr Muhoro sailed through.

PLUM POSITION

He was appointed to the plum position on the eve of the promulgation of the Constitution on August 26, 2010.

It was seen as a tactical move to avoid the rigorous appointment process that was to take course under the Constitution, stripping the President of powers and bestowing them on the yet to be established

Then powerful Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia played a big role in the appointment.

Before that, after years of teaching at Kenya Police College, Mr Muhoro had been promoted from a senior superintendent of police to assistant commissioner of police and placed as the commandant of the police academy in Loresho, Nairobi, a low key institution.

His appointment catapulted him to the nerve centre of security operations in Kenya.

Nevertheless, the detailed report by Ipoa claimed Mr Muhoro influenced the transfer of three senior police officers unjustifiably, since they were investigating a matter involving one of his friends.

In this case, the complainant was Ms Jane Wanjiru Iriga who claimed DCI Muhoro influenced the chief examiner of documents at the Criminal Investigations Department, as the Directorate was known at the time, to change his facts to his preference. The friend was identified as Mr Fredrick Kirubi.

The case involved a tussle over a piece of land.

In the land saga, Ms Wanjiru accused Mr Muhoro of using his position to influence the CID document examiner, then assistant commissioner of Police Emmanuel Kenga, to change his report which had shown that she (Ms Iriga) had not forged share transfer forms of a 400-acre coffee estate in Makuyu which was the subject of a family dispute pitting her against her step-daughter, Ms Ann Wambui Iriga.   

Ms Wanjiru claimed that Mr Muhoro was interfering with the investigations because he was a friend of Mr Kirubi’s, Ms Wambui’s boyfriend.

TATU CITY SAGA

Mr Muhoro’s name featured in allegations by prominent lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi, over involvement in the Tatu city saga.

And when the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal broke out, then Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru raised eyebrows after writing to Mr Muhoro, and not the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, to take up the investigations.

Findings of the investigation were handed to Ms Waiguru though ordinarily such reports should be submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.

President Kenyatta announced on Friday that he had accepted Mr Tobiko’s resignation and nominated him for a cabinet secretary position ahead of approval by Parliament.

Further queries followed and it emerged that fraud detectives under Mr Muhoro were adversely mentioned in allegedly taking bribes, amounting to millions of shillings, from some beneficiaries of the NYS scandal.

NYS SCANDAL

Under the same ministry but at the Youth Enterprise Development Fund (YEDF), the embattled board chairman Bruce Odhiambo also approached Mr Muhoro to investigate the alleged loss of Sh180 million paid to Quarandum Ltd for non-existent ICT consultancy works.

In the Tatu City matter, Mr Muhoro was accused of deliberately commissioning two investigations into the project which resulted in  two different files being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions with conflicting recommendations.

Under Mr Muhoro’s leadership, Kenyans remained in the dark regarding the murder of former Kabete MP George Muchai and controversial whistle blower Jacob Juma. And, most recently, the killing of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Information Communication Technology manager Chris Msando. Some suspects were arrested and taken to court but the execution is yet to become clear.

The IEBC ICT boss was killed just days to the August 8 General Election.

Once in a position of power, Mr Muhoro was also not shy to fight for his place in the police hierarchy. Although the DCI, according to the law, does not sit in NPSC, Mr Muhoro was always present in what was officially communicated as “on invitation.”

SUPREMACY BATTLE

At one time, a supremacy battle between him and former Deputy Inspector-General of Kenya Police, Ms Grace Kaindi, threatened  to cripple the work of criminal investigators.

Mr Muhoro had taken an initiative to train a  large number of police officers from other uniformed police units to become detectives but Ms Kaindi refused to release them to the DCI.

Ms Kaindi, in fighting Mr Muhoro, had vowed never to accept that the DCI falls under her docket as things stood before the 2010 Constitution. Before then, the police was headed by a commissioner and the Director of Criminal Investigations was one of the commissioner’s deputies.

There is also the issue of televangelist James Ng’ang’a who was arrested for causing death by reckless driving.

An audit that followed the road crash showed that Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet was “initially duped into supporting a cover-up.”

It further showed the cover-up involved senior detectives at DCI.

BUNGLED INVESTIGATIONS

The report also showed the pastor, before Mr Boinnet’s intervention, was illegally escorted by senior police officers during his trips outside Nairobi.

Under Mr Muhoro, the DCI has been discredited for bungled investigations, collusion with suspects and suspicious disappearances and murders.

He replaced Mr Simon Gatiba Karanja who died in May 2010 at his home in Thika.

In the Tatu City scandal, the DCI was accused of protecting and sharing investigation files with former Central Bank of Kenya Governor Nahashon Nyagah and industrialist Vimal Shah.

Mr Nyagah and Mr Shah fought over the multi-billion-shilling Tatu City scandal in which they are accused of attempting to grab the investment from Mr Stephen Jennings, the principal investor. 

KOINANGE FARM DISPUTE

In court, lawyer  Abdullahi said his client, Mr Jennings, made a complaint to the CID on August 3 against Mr Nyagah and, after investigations, Inspector Ezekiel Masaka recommended that a number of people be charged.

But before the file was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Abdullahi claimed, the CID boss confiscated it. Besides being mentioned adversely in the tussle for the Tatu City project, Mr Muhoro’s name also came up in 2015 in the Koinange farm dispute.

One of the women stripped of the right to administer the property of the late Mbiyu Koinange, Ms Eddah Wanjiru Mbiyu, asked Ipoa to investigate Mr Muhoro for allegedly protecting lawyers whom she claimed were siphoning money from the deceased’s estate.

Koinange’s widow had accused the lawyers of forging a court order, which they allegedly used to withdraw Sh284 million from the estate’s account without the knowledge of the administrators. 


Kenya Power must get act right

By EDITORIAL
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Kenya Power must put its house in order and stop trickery. As a public entity, the firm must operate transparently and raise revenues genuinely.

We are saying so because of the revelation that the power firm is imposing excessively high tariffs on consumers ostensibly to recover costs it hid as it played politics with bills last year.

It is emerging that the firm incurred heavy expenditures in sourcing power but kept that to itself for fear of creating an alarm of high bills during an election year.

Now that elections are over, the firm has resorted to slapping huge bills to consumers. Clearly, this is a dishonest way of doing business.

DROUGHT HITS

When drought hits, as it did last year, it has implication on costs of power generation and consumers fairly understands that logic.

But to hide that fact and pull a surprise by introducing high bills later is devious.

Expansion of power supply was a key campaign agenda by the Jubilee Administration last year.

The leadership traversed the country switching on lights even in mud-walled and grass-thatched houses to show that power was accessible to all and sundry.

POLITICAL STUNTS

Cost of installation were drastically reduced and mode of payment relaxed to allow as many as possible to access power.

However, in light of the new revelations of the operations of Kenya Power, one wonders whether such initiatives were genuine or sheer political stunts to woo votes.

What Kenya Power is doing is unacceptable; it demonstrates that the corporation thrives on deception. It must stop public extortion.


Kalonzo reiterates resolve to be sworn in alongside Raila

By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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National Super Alliance co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka has reiterated his resolve to be sworn in alongside opposition leader Raila Odinga.

For the second time in as many weeks, Mr Musyoka warned that he and Mr Odinga were ready to take the oath of office unless President Uhuru Kenyatta moves fast to initiate dialogue with Nasa.

Mr Musyoka, who led a team of MPs and senators from Ukambani region to visit injured Kathiani MP Robert Mbui at his rural home in Machakos County, said he will not backtrack on his resolve to deliver electoral justice to Kenyans.

Mr Mbui fractured his leg during the chaotic homecoming  for Mr Odinga in Nairobi after a month’s visit to the United States of America.

Speaking at the event, Mr Musyoka told President Kenyatta that he had a last chance to initiate dialogue, failing which the opposition leaders will take the oath.

PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY

On Thursday, the opposition coalition released a timetable for People’s Assembly meetings across the country and announced the formation of an Assumption of Office committee expected to coordinate the oath taking plans set for January 30.

It was not the first time Mr Musyoka was declaring his readiness to be sworn in alongside Mr Odinga.

Speaking after returning from Germany where he spent ten weeks by the side of his ailing wife Pauline, Mr Musyoka declared that he and Mr Odinga would be sworn in unless Mr Kenyatta initiated dialogue to address electoral injustices in Kenya.

And speaking at Mr Mbui’s home on Friday, the Wiper leader reiterated that the country was divided and there was no way the leaders could “run away from dialogue.”
He said they were not afraid of threats by the State to jail them.

“Fear is the enemy of justice. I want to say that we have a constitutional moment and the only solution is to revisit the Constitution,” said Mr Musyoka.

He clarified that the Nasa leaders were not interested in “nusu mkate” but added that the Bomas draft, which defined the structure of the Executive, would provide a solution to the present crisis.

Sisi hatutaki mambo ya nusu mkate but we want justice. It is time we revisited the Bomas draft if we want to cure the problem of tribalism,” he said.

Mr Musyoka blamed the church for taking sides.

JUSTICE
“The church has not stood for truth and justice,” said Mr Musyoka.

Mr Mbui asked the people not to despair. 

“Do not lose heart. We are here seated with the Deputy President. The people of Kathiani elected him on August 8,” he said.

He said he wanted the people of Kathiani constituency to get their right and maintained that until that happened, they would continue resisting Jubilee’s rule.

Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo said the price of unga has gone up again and that no constituency has received CDF money.

LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT

He said Jubilee should give way for a Nasa government, adding that he was ready for the swearing-in of Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka.

Mr Maanzo said Kenyans were waiting for a legitimate government to be in place in order to experience the benefits of free primary and secondary education.
He accused Jubilee of lying to Kenyans that it was funding secondary education at a cost of Sh36 billion yet Kenyans were still paying school fees.

Kilome MP Thaddeus Nzambia, who was together with Mr Mbui at the time he got hurt, said people were behind Mr Musyoka in the struggle to reclaim the “stolen victory.”

Borabu MP Ben Momanyi (Wiper) said Mr Mbui deserved to continue holding the post of Minority Chief Whip as he got injured in the line of duty.