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Is Raila grooming Shahbal to replace Joho in 2022 – Weekly Citizen

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The March 18 2020 dinner party hosted by Suleiman Shahbal for Raila Odinga at Kilua in Mombasa has left tongues wagging with indications that the ODM leader will front the tycoon for the gubernatorial seat once Governor Hassan Joho retires in 2022. Shahbal contested the Mombasa gubernatorial seat in 2017 elections on a Jubilee party ticket, losing to Joho. He had also gunned for the seat in 2013 on TNA party ticket but lost to Joho.

Prior to the 2017 polls, Shahbal was in the news after the then Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered Directorate of Criminal Investigations to launch a criminal investigation against him after a video clip showing the politician saying that Jubilee would win the 2017 polls through fair and foul means, including stealing, went viral. Interestingly, Shahbal made the remarks at a meeting hosted by William Ruto at Pwani University.

But that is now water under the bridge. After the March 9 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Raila, Joho and Shahbal also mended fences, a truce Mombasa tycoons of Arab descent who control almost 90pc of the Mombasa port’s activities welcomed.

Raila, according to sources, is now expanding his campaign financiers and that is why he has agreed to back Shahbal for the gubernatorial seat in exchange for financial support during the 2022 presidential poll.

Shahbal is the founder chairman of Gulf African Bank and Gulf Energy Company and is widely accepted as the father of islamic banking in East Africa. But his political career has been jolted by a series of political missteps though he remains a giant in business circles in Kenya and beyond. The Mombasa born and bred son of Middle-Eastern parentage left Kenya in the early 1980s for university education in the United States.

But following regime change in Kenya in 2002 after the general election, he secured an appointment to see president Mwai Kibaki in mid-2006 and after a 30-minute presentation followed by a two-hour chat with the president he got the licence.

But with Joho’s second and final term coming to an end in 2022, Shabbal is readying to occupy the seat that has eluded him twice.

Indeed, before meeting Raila for the dinner, Shahbal and Joho were photographed in a legshake which demonstrated they had mended fences.

Shahbal later disclosed that during the dinner with the African Union envoy they discussed national political issues.

“It was a pleasure to host Raila for dinner at Kilua, Mombasa county. We discussed matters of national issues, Building Bridges Initiative, the referendum and the way forward for Mombasa county. An interesting evening,” Shahbal stated as the two shared pictures of the event.

But a picture of the two shaking hands caught the attention of Kenyans, many questioning why Raila was disregarding the government’s guidelines on preventing the spread of Covid-19 or was the deal too sweet to resist?

According to sources, Raila is now reactivating his coastal network as well as expanding it to include allies of the president.

This is meant to deny Ruto not only Uhuru’s coastal network but also financial resources from the Arab tycoons.

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For Shahbal, after losing the gubernatorial race to Joho in 2017, Uhuru consoled him with appointment as the chairman of the Kenya Trade Network Agency.

Here, Shahbal was the eye and ear of Mombasa business tycoons who once lived as kings and who literally controlled close to half business transactions in the coastal region but were now complaining that they had lost business when Uhuru took over power in 2013.

Since 2013, Shahbal had been pleading with the Arab tycoons to support Uhuru but many of them opposed the suggestion, arguing they lost business when Uhuru took over in 2013.

Most of the coast tycoons had in 2013 believed that Raila was headed for the presidential victory and thrown their weight behind him in what turned out to be barking the wrong tree.

Their troubles worsened when they were linked to buying of land in Lamu for port construction when Siaya senator James Orengo was the Lands minister in the grand coalition government.

The tycoons had heavily funded and bankrolled Raila’s campaigns to the tune of hundreds of millions of shillings with promises that once ODM formed the government, they would be considered and rewarded with multibillion tenders to recover the campaign money they offered to the ODM leader.

But the tycoons closed more than half of their businesses after they lost lucrative government tenders which were taken over by Uhuru men.

They also had a rude shock when their networks at the Mombasa port were cut denying them a chance to use their wallets to compromise top government officials mainly at the port of Mombasa and at the Kenya Revenue Authority where their companies were involved in serious tax evasion ranging into billions.

Insiders added that among the tycoons now fronting Shahbal for the gubernatorial seat include Ali Punjani.

Ashok Doshi, a Mombasa-based billionaire who is a sworn enemy of Governor Joho, is also said to be backing Shahbal to take over as governor in 2022.

Mohamed Jaffer is yet another tycoon who has welcomed the truce between Joho and Shahbal.

Apart from Raila, he is also known to have funded a number of politicians including cabinet minister and those aspiring for various political seats.

He is the founder of the MJ Group, Kenya’s largest provider of cargo handling services. The group’s flagship company owns a grain terminal that specialises in the discharge and handling of bulk grain cargo at the port of Mombasa, a coastal Kenyan town.

Abubakar Joho, brother to Joho, is also happy with the deal.

He has vast business at the port. However, his name has featured prominently in the Akasha brothers list of drug barons

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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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