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Corridors of Power | The Star, Kenya

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A lot of things went on behind the scenes leading to Thursday’s vote on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s memorandum on the Finance Bill. Call it intimidation or persuasion depending on your conviction but sources tell Corridors that a two-time MP was the man behind the dirty work. He hired and instructed some bloggers to threaten MPs, some of whom have stood firmly with Opposition chief Raila Odinga. Select MPs from Nyanza were targeted and accused of undermining Raila. Rarienda MP Otiende Amolo was among the victims of online intimidation. In fact, one lawmaker was heard asking how fighting MPs would help advance the interest of a certain ODM governor for whom one of the the bloggers works.

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Corridors has learnt that all is not well at the ongoing construction of the Sh15 billion East Africa Breweries Limited plant in Kisumu. Already, some whistle blowers have written to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i demanding investigations into allegations that some Irish and South African workers are being favoured over locals in such basic jobs as pulling cables and installing cable trays. The CS has specifically been asked to probe claims that some of the workers don’t have valid work permits. Immigration officials are said to be following very closely.

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Just what was the exact mission of Jubilee Party secretary general Raphael Tuju and vice chairman David Murathe in Parliament during the debate on the fuel levy? The duo was were seen hovering around Parliament and even followed proceedings from the Speaker’s gallery. They were also seen talking to individual MPs and engage some Jubilee lawmakers opposed to the contentious bill. Tuju was seen at a corner with a group of central Kenya MPs opposed to the bill. It’s not clear what he told them but despite having expressed their opposition to the tax, the MPs were among those who walked out to deny the House the two-thirds majority required to veto the President.

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Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ong’era has caused a political storm in Kisii county. The former nominated senator who is said to be laying ground to succeed governor James Ongwae has complicated the local political matrix for 2022. She has been camping in the county and crisscrossing the region ostensibly carrying out activities funded by the affirmative action fund. Her moves have rattled her rivals who are wondering if the fund is supposed to be utilized for what they see as personal activities. A youth group is said to be contemplating going court to challenge the MP’s use of the fund.

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