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Anxiety as state sets to plant spies at City Hall – Weekly Citizen

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Anxiety has gripped and taken immeasurable routes at City Hall following information leaked out that the government, using Kenya Revenue Authority, is planning to plant undercover spies to monitor and streamline operations at the authority.
The spies are to be deployed in strategic departments to dismantle what Uhuru Kenyatta called cartels blamed for the mess at City Hall. Weekly Citizen has information to the effect that, a one Mr Mugambi, known to supply air at City Hall, tops the list of the cartels.
According to highly placed sources, using KRA, the state has finalised plans to deploy the spies who are credited with dismantling tax cheats at Times Towers to the Nairobi county government to collect information on top officials who are in the payroll of cartels that have been bagging all the major tenders but doing little work or none at all after payment. KRA is currently collecting taxes for the county.

Mburu

Sources intimated to us that KRA commissioner general. James Mburu, a former intelligence officer and newly appointed Nairobi Metropolitan Services Director General Major-General Mohammed Badi Ali, have discussed modalities of deploying the spies to break the cartels at City Hall.
Insiders added that those to be put on the spot include top officials at the public health department, city inspectorate, environment department, engineer’s department, city planning department, housing development department, human resource department, procurement and legal services.
They add that the spies will also comb through the bank accounts and other financial details of ministers and chief officers appointed by Governor Mike Sonko.
They will collect financial details of the ministers’ and chief officers’ spouses, close relatives and business associates.
Before Sonko handed over the key functions to the government, he had reshuffled his cabinet and placed his loyalists in key departments that will now be run by the government.
The governor had fired two executive members and reinstated the ones he suspended last year.
CEC finance, Paul Kahiga and Winfred Gathangu of agriculture had been sent packing though they had refused to leave office even after the governor placed a notice in local dailies cautioning the members of the public against dealing with them.
The governor had nominated Karen Nyamu as CEC agriculture and George Fredrick as CEC trade, commerce, co-operatives and tourism.
Charles Kerich who had been suspended was also reinstated to the lands, urban planning and housing department together with CEC roads, transport and public works Mohammed Dagane, while Hitan Majevdia was appointed to the county ministry of health.
Those the governor retained in their dockets include Newton Munene, ICT and E-government docket and Lucia Mulwa, education, youth and sports.
Larry Wambua, a former Machakos county CEC was moved to environment, water, energy and natural resources docket from devolution and public service which was taken over by Veska Kangogo.
According to sources and those in the know, one of those the spies will probe his operations is county secretary Justus Kathenge.
Kathenge, formerly the urban planning chief officer, made a comeback in January after more than four months in the cold following his suspension last August.
He was appointed as county secretary by Sonko to replace Leboo Morintat.
Kathenge is said to have amassed a fortune while serving in the urban planning department, one of the dockets where corruption is said to be the order of the day.
Of interest to the spies is that Kathenge was appointed the county secretary at a time the governor was preparing to battle an impeachment motion tabled by minority whip leader Peter Imwatok the Makongeni MCA.
Kathenge replaced Leboo Morintat who interestingly retained his position as deputy county secretary, a position that is not anchored in law, as well as being the public service management chief officer.
Morintat was calling the shots and chairing meetings at City Hall after the governor was barred from office.
But Sonko-Morintat relationship was strained by investigations at City Hall which saw the former summoned on numerous occasions to record statements and provide documents at the offices of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.

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Last week, Uhuru appointed Brig Ali as the NMS Director-General to be deputised by Enosh Momanyi.
The two were asked by the president to lead in ending corruption in the capital city.
According to sources, a move to deploy spies in the City Hall’s lucrative departments such as revenue collection to identify and eventually arrest revenue tax cheats in what will be the biggest crackdown on cartels and their clientele at City Hall is the core.
The spies to be deployed were instrumental in KRA’s detection of wealthy individuals and companies who had dogged paying taxes to the tune of a whopping Sh250 billion.
The crackdown followed an order from the president for KRA to keep a watch on high networth individuals whose lifestyles are not in tandem with the taxes they pay.
The spies broke up the networks which resulted in about 80 KRA middle-level and top managers summoned by detectives for abetting fraud.
They were questioned by a multi-agency team based at the DCI Training School in South C, Nairobi.
The probe unearthed how they had aided up to 600 individuals and companies to either avoid paying taxes running into billions of shillings or pay less than is due.
Later 30 more managers lost their jobs at KRA following interdiction on tax evasion.
Speaking at State House, Uhuru tasked Ali with eliminating corrupt cartels hindering service delivery to residents of Nairobi.
He tasked him and his deputy with streamlining urban renewal projects, for example Jevanjee estate in Ngara, Pangani and Bachelors estate in Nairobi among others.
It was at the State House function that Sonko officially transferred some functions of the county to the government, 21 days after the execution of the deal on February 25.
KRA is now overseeing revenue collection in the county while the public service board takes over the county’s affairs.
The transferred services include health, transport, planning and development, and public works.

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MP Wamalwa joins DP Ruto camp ahead of 2022 – Weekly Citizen

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What goes around comes around, this saying amply goes with the Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa who after a long spell of silence broke his silence and spilled the beans when he revealed what he dreamt William Ruto becoming Kenya’s head of state in 2022.

Speaking after dodging the Building Initiatives rallies that ended prematurely following the outbreak of the corona virus in the country, lest he was branded as anti-Ruto, the Ford-Kenya FK legislator talked of how the DP had been shortchanged by Uhuru Kenyatta to succeed him in 2022 but said should polls be held today Ruto would become Kenya’s president.

Notwithstanding the fact that his party leader and Bungoma senator Moses Wetang’ula had also declared for the pesidency in the coming general election, Wamalwa seemed to be deviating from FK’s course for the presidency and wishing to run alongside the DP in his quest for the country’s top political office as he himself goes for the Trans Nzoia governor’s race in 2022.

As the Kiminini lawmaker synchronises ways of succeeding Governor Patrick Khaemba also allied to FK, Sabaot politicians made a retreat and presented their community memo to the BBI at KICC in Nairobi before it wound up setting a confrontational centre with supporters of the DP opposed to BBI.

All community MPs with the exception of the member for Mt Elgon Fred Kapondi witnessed the handing over ceremony with representative from the elders, youth, eomen and professionals calling for an autonomous county and compensation for community land taken away from them.

Ruto and Wamalwa

Among the leading key Sabaot leaders who graced the function were Senators Mike Mbito and Mercy Cheben, Wilberforce Kisiero and Joseph Kimkung, PS Harry Kimtai, former senator Henry Ole Ndiema and senior county administrators John Kinjo and Geoffrey Targon.

The memo was a culmination of the community’s crusade for the BBI which was first led by the spokesman former Kitale deputy mayor Pius Kauka to Bukhungu stadium in Kakamega. Kapondi who was granted a direct ODM nomination ticket from prison accused of war-like activities in 2007, courtesy of party leader Raila Odinga had kept off the BBI rallies before they were called off.

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But in a quick response on behalf of the community, Mbito pointed out that their delegation to BBI did not mean the community had changed their political stand but they were only responding to the wishes of the people who had wanted the inclusion of historical land injustices addressed.

The Trans-Nzoia senator explained that the stand of the Sabaot people will be known at the election time adding that it is the people themselves who know where their shoe inches them.

According to the Sabaot Memo, it is only the Sabaot and Kuria communities that do not have their own counties. It adds that Mt Elgon, Saboti and Endebess constituencies with a population of 420,000 should be merged to form Mt Elgon county. He says some of the Kenyan communities have more than five counties, rendering the Sabaot as only taxpayers due to prolonged marginalisation.

The angling of Chris Wamalwa towards DP Ruto opens yet another fresh pandora’s box for Trans-Nzoia county’s politics ahead of the 2022 polls with tree allies of the DP Kakai Bisau, Dr Abraham Sing’oei and Woman Rep Janet Nangabo intending to take on the Kiminini MP for the governor’s race.

This put the DP in a precarious position as he runs for the Presidency considering also that Dr Mike Mbito is also shifting from the senatorial seat towards the gubernatorial office. The DP would not want losing a single vote in the county in his race and his choice for the governor would play a key role towards his success.

The governor’s race will be the most keenly watched in the county as it has attracted big fish such as the Devolution cabinet secretary Eugene Wamalwa who is seemingly leading an anti-Ruto brigade for most of the seats including Joshua Kuttuny, the MP for Cherangany.

Though the list of aspirants is long including Ben Wanjala, Patrick Kamwessar, Martin Ngomat, Boniface Wanyonyi, Paul Moiben and Moses Khaoya, the one to be followed much will whirl around the Eugene-Kuttuny axis.

Each politician is calling for leadership devoid of Khaemba’s style of aloofness, inaccessibity, social discrimination and family control. The aspirants are yearning for a governor who can share a table with fellow elected leaders to chart the way forward other than a decision of a few individuals, no matter the tribe.

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PS Kibicho hand in Waiguru impeachment threat – Weekly Citizen

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Powerful principal secretary Karanja Kibicho’s hand is seen in a recent move by Kirinyaga county assembly to pass a resolution demanding the release of the title deed to Kemri land for construction of teaching, research and referral medical centre.

Kibicho has been using the Kemri land saga to engage Governor Anne Waiguru as he lays ground to go for governorship 2022.

At the same time, MCAs have demanded the county releases Sh70 million they allocated for the bursary kitty before the end of this financial year.

Through majority leader, Kamau Murango, the MCAs claimed the 100-acre land wrangling should be resolved immediately to enable Kemri proceed with the expansion project.

Waiguru

“We are giving Governor Waiguru one week to hand over the title deed unconditionally or else we will set off a motion to impeach her,” Murango said.

Murango said it is no longer business as usual and added that though as a leader of the majority he is supposed to support the county government agenda, the issue of Kemri land must be resolved for the project to continue.

He said they were disappointed as the county assembly to learn that the county government through their lawyer recently frustrated the efforts of a petitioner who filed a notice to withdraw a case that stopped the progress of the Kemri project in Mwea.

He said the governor’s reason that she cannot release the title deed without an agreement with Kemri is not reason enough to stall the project.

Mutithi ward MCA Baptista Kanga in whose ward the centre is being put up, said the county government needed the use of force to make them hand over the title deed to Kemri.

Kanga said during his recent visit to Kirinyaga, Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the governor to have the issue of Kemri land resolved with immediate effect to save the project from further delays.

The county government made some undisclosed demands for Kemri before the institution could be issued with the title deed that led to the stalling of the project.

Kemri had even spent Sh60 million in erecting a perimeter wall on the 100-acre land after the then area governor Joseph Ndathi showed its senior officials the extent of the land.

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The ultra-modern teaching, research and referral medical centre was intended to serve Central, Eastern and North Eastern region residents with specialised treatment once the facility is in place.

The centre when operational will comprise a postgraduate university research centre, a hospital and state-of-the art diagnostic laboratory.

Kibicho

Records from Kemri have it that the university wing will be admitting post-graduate students in various disciplines and will also have room for doctorate (PhD) students.

Kanga said the hospital will be among the Vision 2030 flagship projects and added that the residents within the expansive catchment area have every reason to be happy.

The ward representative also said the presence of Kemri in the region and with a project of such magnitude would spur social economic growth for the good of the people.

Meanwhile, a petitioner has claimed in court that his life is in danger after he submitted an application to withdraw a case he had filled against the establishment of the health facility in Mwea.

Leonard Kuria, shocked the Kerugoya Environment and Land Court when he stood up and claimed he was not sure of his safety between when the matter will come up for ruling of his application and further direction.

The matter which was coming for hearing took the new dimension when the lawyer, Paul Nyamodi, defending the Kirinyaga county government in the case, informed the court that he had not been served with the said application by the petitioner.

Equally, the Kemri lawyer Wilfred Lusi said he had learnt of the said application after being served by the petitioner when he arrived in the court that morning.

Nyamodi, while opposing the application, informed the court he was opposed to it since it was not a civil but a constitutional one under the Mutunga rules.

Lusi on the other hand urged the court to discharge the conservatory orders earlier on the applicant had been granted in order to allow a contractor back to the site of the Sh15 billion projects situated on a 100 acre land at Wamumu village.

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Citam on fire as new bishop Odede designated – Weekly Citizen

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A section of participants at Christ is the Answer Ministries annual delegates conference to ratify bishop designate are planning to stop the nomination of Rev Calisto Odede approval.

However, Weekly Citizen has information to the effect that the AGM planned to be held on April 25 this year, hangs in the balance due to corona virus outbreak that has seen the state stop public gatherings throughout the country.

Those opposed to the nomination wanted at first to pursue the legal angle but eventually decided to involve the delegates. The argument being that if the AGM had not ratified the nomination as it was the final decision maker, Odede nomination was still in doubt and cannot be challenged in court. Citam succession war revolved around who is to take over from Bishop David Oginde.

Oginde

The selection board that picked Bishop Odede is the Fellowship of Elders and the Deacon board. They voted on February 14 for 10 candidates who were out to head the church headquartered at Valley Road, Nairobi.

Sources well versed with the happenings during the voting reveal that intense lobbying, bribery and tribalism marred the process that became ungodly. The head of the church is said to control billions of shillings raised among members and from donors.

The church also has economic generating projects that bring in billions of shillings. Citam is one of the richest churches in Kenya with branches in Nairobi, Kisumu, Thika, Mombasa, Mlolongo just to name but a few.

Citam constitution states that the bishop to head the church must have a christian testimony and must have served as a senior pastor or equivalent for five years or incharge as a deputy bishop.

In total, of 15 pastors of the church that met the requirement applied, however, the number was reduced to only 10 applicants with five being knocked out for unknown reasons.

Insiders say that the manner in which the five were locked out was aimed at balancing regional voting pattern in favour of one candidate. Citam has 32 senior pastors according to documents seen by Weekly Citizen.

Of the 32, only 15 were shortlisted with the final list narrowing to 10 senior pastors.

Fellowship of elders has 24 members with the deacon board 12 members that totals to 37 members.

Our source revealed, going by the composition of the 37 members, one region is favoured in controlling the church activities. Or further, two regions can strike a working balance to anoint who is who to occupy the position of presiding bishop.

A close scrutiny of Citam constitution reveals that the council of elders has the final word on the appointment of the presiding bishop.

Sources say using his influence; the outgoing Bishop Oginde favoured Odede for reasons best known to him.

Odede is seen as an outsider as he has been a senior pastor at Nairobi Baptist Church. He left Citam Valley Road in November 2014 and joined the Baptist Church.

The legal complication in his nomination is that the constitution states one has to be a senior pastor at Citam to qualify. Of those invited for interviews, all the nine apart from Odede, were senior pastors at Citam.

From the 10, the list was narrowed to three candidates; Weekly Citizen has information that a number of church followers have dismissed talks that Odede joined the Baptist Church following a mutual understanding between the two ministries.

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In fact it is said that a section of church elders were against Odede’s defection and even prevailed upon him to stay but he refused.

By then, emerging facts are that Odede who was under investigations and wanted a safe landing ground at Baptist church.

Weekly Citizen has established that claims that Odede was lured to join Baptist church as senior pastor to solve a crisis the church was experiencing at the time has not been received well by Baptist Church followers.

He was at Baptist for five and a half years. Odede was a senior pastor at Citam Woodley, Valley Road and Karen before heading to Baptist.

It is said that Bishop Oginde did not want his current deputy Bishop Karita Mbagara to succeed him.

We could not establish if immediate former deputy bishop Kennedy Kimiywe was among those shortlisted. Kimiywe and Mbagara were seen as front runners.

Followers are asking why Mbagara who has been in office and served as Oginde’s deputy in what was seen as succession gameplan as many expected was sidelined. They are reading regional power games in the deal.

Names of Charles Obara, Karen Assembly senior pastor and overseer Southern Region together with that of Anaka Mugenyi, Western region overseer, were also mentioned as possible successors of Oginde.

For now, those against Odede want the MoU between Citam and Baptist church made public to show the contents.

Oginde took over from Bishop Boniface Adoyo in 2010. Adoyo was the church’s first African head and is credited for not influencing his successor.

In fact, most of the projects Oginde oversaw were the planned by Adoyo who took over from Bishop Dennis White.

Faithful say a move by Citam to pray for 40 days under Citam leadership transition banner to avoid tribalism, greed, power obsession, selfish and personal interests in the picking of the head as well as opposition to new bishop nominated was suspicious.

Last year, Oginde was accused of initiating pastoral transfers and frustrating young pastors. To weaken Bishop Kimiywe, during the AGM meetings, he pushed creation of deputy bishops.

The Odede nomination announcement read: “Rev Calisto Odede is Citam bishop designate after going through a successful selection process. Rev Odede served Citam ministry for a long time in various capacities.”

Weekly Citizen has information on the final three list, it had Odede, and Ken Isige the man in charge of Citam Thika Road and of course Obara. Kimiywe and Mbagara’s names were dropped along the way.

For now, Odede backers are out to influence the AGM of delegates to approve his nomination to avoid embarrassment.

Odede is 57 years and is to serve for two terms five years each meaning he will retire at 67, 2029.

ADC has 1200 delegates drawn from 24 local assemblies. Four assemblies are international.

Sources say, due to the heat generated, the delegates will prefer to vote unlike before when they were asked to raise comments on bishop designate.

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