Beer flowed freely in many bars along Kiambu Road after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered the arrest of Kiambu governor Ferdinand Waititu over alleged corruption charges.
Famous clubs along Kiambu Road such as Whiskeys Rivers, Club Simba and Sharks were full to capacity as unpaid suppliers and contractors at the county government celebrated the incarceration of the man they accuse of looting the money meant to pay them.
One of the contractors is said to have spent a whopping Sh1 million buying drinks to all the revelers who entered the bar.
Prior to his arrest, Waititu had fallen out with six finance officers forcing them to abruptly resign, citing disagreement with him on payments of millions of shillings to contractors.
Faith Njeru who served as chief finance officer, four senior accountants and a procurement officer are among those who quit in the fallout over Sh900 million pending bills.
The besieged governor had reshuffled top officers prompting the resignations, amid claims the governor had a preferred list of companies he wanted paid first, and which the officers had resisted.
Speaking to the press, the former chief officer said they could not agree with what the governor wanted since there were several suppliers who did business with the county government in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but were yet to be paid.
Some of the officials who have resigned are also in focus as investigations established that about Sh200 million had been paid out to personal accounts of accountants in the county, with unsatisfactory explanations offered as reasons for the bank transfers.
According to sources, Waititu had vowed not to pay contractors who supplied goods in his predecessor William Kabogo’s government.
He had instead drawn a list of those to be paid, some of whom supplied air to the county government.
In Kiambu town, revelers in nearly all the bars broke into song and dance when the arrest of Waititu was announced.
They accused the governor of embezzling money meant for the region’s development through the infamous Kaa Sober programme of rehabilitating alcoholics.
Club owners were also not left behind as they celebrated the woes of a man who had made business difficult due to his stringent rules and constant raids on outlets defying his directives.
In his campaigns for the gubernatorial seat, Waititu’s main campaign agenda was to win the war against illicit liquor in his county.
His resolve towards winning the war saw him take it a notch higher by delicensing 500 bars out of 3062 bars and pubs that were operating in the county.
But his move attracted the wrath of Kiambu Bar Owners Association, who termed it as ridiculous and crude.
They accused the governor of frustrating genuine bar owners on the pretext of fighting illicit brews.
But this did not stop him from dictating that each of Kiambu’s 60 wards has about eight bars.
He also started spending Sh2 million daily to rehabilitate 4,500 recovering addicts, a programme that run for almost a year and is now the subject of investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
It was nominated senator Isaac Mwaura who spoke for many when he said the people of Kiambu made a mistake in electing Waititu as their governor.
“I remember during our campaigns, he didn’t have any money. But he now has buildings in Nairobi,” he said.
Mwaura said Kiambu county has potential but roads have not been good and those built only last a few years.
“Money allocated for these projects ends up in the pockets of a few who get tenders but build substandard roads cheaply and pocket the rest,” Mwaura said.
His remarks came after the arrest of Waititu, his wife Susan Wangari and other Kiambu county officials.
No end to Guv Nyong’o, Sen Outa wars – Weekly Citizen
Kisumu governor Anyang Nyong’o who is in his second phase of his leadership, appears to be fast losing control of area control. The governor is yet to convene his leaders’ meeting since he was sworn in immediately after his controversial election where be beat former holder of the office Jack Ranguma.
Kisumu county has MPs Olago Aluoch (Kisumu West), Ahmed Shabir (Kisumu East), Aduma Owuor (Nyakach), Jared Okello (Nyando) and Onyango K’oyoo (Muhoroni) together with James Nyikal (Seme) and Fred Outa (Kisumu Central), have opted to adopt a “let us wait and see attitude” towards the whole spectacle.
But at the centre of a simmering future confrontation now pits Nyong’o and area senator Fred Outa, who have of late been at loggerheads with the former Nyando MP, insisting that he will not stop his barrage of attacks against the former cabinet minister.
Outa who has been breathing fire and brimstone over Nyong’o’s style of leadership has been an aggrieved person. Outa has repeatedly called for an audit of accounts at the Kisumu county government. He wants the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission to swing into action. Outa has been tearing into Nyong’o’s political leadership at almost all public functions.
But the deputy governor Mathews Owili has also come out strongly against Outa’s hardline stance. Owili blames Outa for his unrelenting criticism of the county boss.
Nyong’o on the other hand, feels the senator should allow him to do his work. Outa has been vocal about the county issues.
He has tabled some of them in the senate, which include alleged misappropriation of funds in the Kisumu Urban Project which led to the closure of some bank accounts. He wants to know what led to the closure of the accounts and what the findings of investigations are so far. The Directorate of Criminal Investigations froze the accounts after funds were wired to the wrong KUP accounts, hindering projects worth Sh4.5 billion that France funded. Outa has in the recent past put the governor on the spot over allegations that Moi Stadium and Sunset Hotel are owned by private developers. He has also questioned plans to construct a governor’s residence at a cost of Sh350 million
The salvos against Outa were first fired by MPs and the county’s leaders of the Orange Democratic Movement, who asked him to stop politicking at the expense of development.
Jared Okello (Nyando) and Aduma Owuor (Nyakach) endorsed Nyong’o for a second term and asked him to hand over to Owili when he completes his tenure in office.
Okello noted that during campaigns for the 2017 general election, Outa told them Nyong’o was the best candidate.
“This has not changed,” he said during the service at St Joseph Nyabondo Mission Church recently.
“We will not listen to Outa but will go ahead and re-elect the governor for a second term. We could as well add him another term if the constitution is amended,” he sounded.
He told the people of Nyakach, where deputy governor hails from, not to allow anybody to lie to them about the politician best-placed to govern the county.
“This is the closest people of Nyakach have been to the governor. Continue supporting Prof Nyong’o so that your son Owili can take over from him when he finishes his term,” he said.
Owuor questioned the senator’s academic credentials which he said could lock him out of the race to succeed Governor Nyong’o in 2022. A lobby group dubbed as Mulembe Movement has also warned Outa against criticising the county chief.
Led by chairman Khalid Njiraini, the group said Governor Nyong’o has developed the county’s infrastructure and described him as an experienced and capable leader.
Kisumu county vice chairman, Kennedy Ajwang, warned the senator and any other members of the party against attacking each other in public forums, saying this will eventually attract disciplinary action from the party hierarchy.
The governor says that only three MPs from Kisumu had been supporting him namely Okello, Owuor and Nyikal.
Some county leaders have accused Prof Nyong’o of being a lone ranger. Shabbir once accused him of sidelining his constituency because he was elected on an independent ticket.
Senator Outa recently claimed the governor had blacklisted his mobile number and was therefore unreachable. Deputy governor Owili says he was solidly behind his boss and would campaign for him for a second term.
Chepkwony wants DP Ruto reach out Kalenjin rebels – Weekly Citizen
Political leaders are busy positioning themselves for 2022 election campaigns with the recent call by Kericho county governor Paul Chepkwony to deputy president William Ruto to reach out to many political opponents so as to boost his chances of clinching the presidency in the coming elections.
Chepkwony who was campaigning for Raila Odinga secretly makes political statement openly during a radio show urging the DP to extend his tentacles to key politicians within and out of Jubilee party ahead of the general elections.
Though it is too early to predict, the governor said that Ruto has high chances of being the next president but he should consolidate as much support as possible in different parts of the country.
“Ruto stands high chances of becoming the next president because he is the most popular leader at the moment among key politicians in the country. But I want to appeal to him to reach out to as many politicians as possible irrespective of their political affiliations,” said Chepkwony during a radio show.
The second term Jubilee governor called on the deputy president to reach out to Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford-K party leader Moses Wetang’ula, Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua, Wiper Democratic Movement party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kitui governor Charity Ngilu among prominent politicians in the country.
As Chepkwony proposes the likes of Mudavadi who is also a presidential candidate, it is better to bring on board popular Kalenjin leaders such as Zakayo Cheruiyot and Isaac Ruto who are not in good books with the DP because of past history.
He at the same time called on the DP to meet politicians from the Rift Valley region and iron out their political differences, with a view of backing his bid in the coming polls saying disunity in the region will be his undoing on matters of politics.
Politicians allied to Baringo senator Gideon Moi such as MPs William Kamket, Silas Tiren, Alfred Keter, Joshua Kuttuny do not see-eye-to-eye with the DP and they command a huge following, “an issue that William must look for all means to contain those opposed to him,” he is quoted as saying.
Other politicians from Rift Valley include former ministers Franklin Bett, Henry Kosgey, Sally Koskei, former Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot, Isaac Ruto of Chama Cha Mashinani and businessmen Zedekiah Bundotich, David Langat among others, who should also be brought to the fold to support the DP’s bid should need be.
Unless the DP thinks of how to reach out to those opposed to him then it is not easy to go through in Kalenjin community since those opposed to his bid are popular and are close allies of Gideon and will carry a sizeable number to wherever Gideon is headed.
“Disunity among our people may deal a blow to the DP’s presidential bid. So, I am appealing to Ruto to meet and iron out their political differences as we march towards the 2022 elections,” said Governor Chepkwony.
Ruto diehards in Rift Valley region led by senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen, Kericho senator Aaron Cheruiyot and his Bomet counterpart Christopher Langat are behind the DP but are not popular on the ground.
Chepkwony claimed that the deputy president will get a sizeable share of Mt Kenya region votes but political analysts say the votes from the region are not reliable so the DP must not count much on the region.
“Don’t ever underrate the DP in Mt Kenya region. He will pull a surprise there because he has strong support. A number of MPs from the region are backing him. He is a force to reckon with in the 2022 polls. We have seen how he is welcomed in the region whenever he goes there,” Chepkwony said.
Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to declare whether he will back Ruto’s bid for the presidency despite having said that after 2013 polls, he would serve for 10 years before handing over the mantle to his deputy to serve for the same period.
Political leaders in the country are divided on the recently launched Building Bridges Imitative with the DP and his supporters to pass through parliament while Raila Odinga and his team want referendum.
Time will tell who will carry the day but already, the politics of 2022 is associated with the BBI, an issue that may have forced the DP to support the initiative, thus making his critics to go back to drawing board to restrategise.
The DP is expected to face Raila, Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Ford-K leader Moses Wetang’ula and Interior cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i who is being touted as a compromise candidate
ODM, MP Didmus Barasa war escalates – Weekly Citizen
Orange Democratic Party Bungoma branch has declared political war against Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa over his utterances made after the loss of his hat in Kibra by elections which was snatched from his head by a drugged ODM goons.
The legislator had issued a three-day notice to ODM party to surrender his maroon hat or face the wrath of torching down the offices.
In quick and terse rejoinder ODM secretary general Bungoma chapter Majimbo Okumu dared Barasa to make good his threat promising to give him unforgettable lifetime lesson.
“My attention is drawn to utterances attributed to a one Didmus Barasa, MP for Kimilili constituency over a three-day ultimatum to ODM party to return his ‘signature cap” or else he will embark on burning our party offices in Bungoma county. I wish to remind him that he is a state officer who is expected to conduct himself in a manner befitting his status in society. Article 10 and Chapter Six of the Constitution 2010 is emphatic and clearly stipulates how we are supposed to conduct ourselves in public,’’ read a statement by the official who is also the Khalaba Ward MCA.
“I don’t want to be seen to be an accomplice in breaking the very law I swore to protect, defend and uphold. Let me remind him that any move to destroy our offices will be met with the full force of law and if necessary, the people’s power,” added Majimbo.
“The Bungoma ODM officials, supporters and followers have identified him as an enemy of the party and our engagement with him will no longer be friendly,” he said.
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