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The Luhya equation 2022 – Weekly Citizen

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Which way Western? This should be the billion-shilling question uppermost on the lips of many, nay, natives of the vote-rich Luhya nation.

Against a backdrop of heightened political temperatures across the land, the region’s presumed torchbearers have been sending mixed signals, at times cagey on real prospects of bidding to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2022 political transition.

In the spotlight are Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, Mukhisa Kituyi of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and of course, Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli who are widely expected to help chart the succession path for the Luhya community.

Wetangula

Of the five, Atwoli who in 2017 bankrolled a number of Luhya MPs and was instrumental in financing and crowning of Mudavadi as the Luhya kingpin during Bukhungu one rally, seems to be fully and actively involved in Uhuru succession political warpath both in the region and nationally.

Atwoli has won on his side those opposed to William Ruto succeeding Uhuru and is on the forefront pushing for the change of the constitution via a referendum.

Whereas Atwoli has come up candidly to oppose Ruto’s presidential bid, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula have been playing it safe on matters relating to the referendum.

When Embrace Kenya, a women lobby group pushing for a referendum was in Kakamega, Atwoli was the host just like Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, the coast political kingpin hosted them recently.

Washiali

Analysts in the region aver that in 2017, Musalia and Wetang’ula parties benefited in the Nasa coalition to win a number of seats in the region and with two camps emerging in Uhuru succession, they have to cast their political neys wider or they will be rendered irrelevant in the political dispensation. For now, those opposed to Ruto’s ascendancy to the presidency seem to have faith in Atwoli as a key player in Luhya nation compared to others.

Otichilo

With Bukhungu Two in the offing, it will be seen if Mudavadi will be crowned again as the Luhya kingpin as it happened in 2017 when Atwoli marshaled the entire community to rally behind Mudavadi.

Since 2017, Mudavadi, former deputy prime minister and one-time vice president is accused of failing to consolidate a united front in the jigsaw puzzle that is the succession matrix. His critics say that he plays spoon-fed type of politics and wait-and- see that has seen him lose in Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki succession.

Mudavadi cannot fight for himself and depends on friends who use his appealing name to bring him on board only to be flushed like a toilet paper after use.

Mudavadi

That the Big Five have previously touted willingness to cast their lot with one of them based on better prospects of riding all the way to State House is an intention worth noting. This could not get any better with influential council of governors’ boss, Kakamega’s Wycliffe Oparanya also declaring that he will shelve his presidential ambitions in support of a stronger option from the region.

However, Oparanya link to corruption and claims that he used county money to revive troubled Mumias Sugar to buy a hotel in Kisumu, build a residence in Likuyani and renovate his old Butere residence is haunting him badly.

A road contractor M-Big openly complains to have been blacklisted by Oparanya after he failed to part with millions kickbacks.

Instead, Oparanya has been cutting deals with Asians firms engaged in Bukhungu Stadium project.

But Mudavadi, much as he seems now to have rolled the sleeves ahead of the big battle, is being seen as a willing player in the game of neutrals, not ready to take the bull by its horns yet. With his foot soldiers beating the drums of war, Mudavadi has indicated he is not averse to a new political alliance, complicating his stakes even further.

Bunyasi

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ANC spokesman Barrack Muluka let the cat out of the bag when he asserted that Mudavadi would be partnering with Ruto to defeat a Raila-Uhuru BBI-led referendum ahead of 2022, and in readiness for 2022 itself.

By teaming up ‘to teach Raila a lesson’ Mudavadi and Ruto would ideally be aiming to take their marriage of convenience a notch higher – 2022 – cunningly partaking of the trappings of the BBI referendum to share power, for they already know they will lose the plebiscite, anyway. Remember Ruto’s ‘No’ to the 2010 plebiscite that ironically went ahead to make him DP?

Atwoli

Weekly Citizen last week reported that Mudavadi was mooting a partnership with Ruto, the very tormentor of yore. By siding with Ruto – especially in the potentially explosive BBI-led referendum – Mudavadi will have sought to wriggle out of ODM chief Raila Odinga’s grip. However, Mudavadi has categorically stated that “This is a big joke!”.

In simpler terms, he is divorcing Raila, himself a master tactician just to spite the Nasa leader. Perhaps as a maiden step, Mudavadi recently tapped Raila’s top aide, Eliud Owalo to his side.

The ANC boss would then go ahead to hand Owalo a direct ticket to do battle with the eventual ODM candidate in the November 7 Kibra by-election, in the race for the seat left vacant after the demise of ODM’s Ken Okoth who was felled by cancer.

The ‘jilted’ ANC brigade is out to teach Raila a lesson in the schismatic aftermath of the March 9 2018 handshake between Raila and Uhuru, a truce they argue has only benefited the former’s Nyanza support base.

Tellingly, the ANC MPs had hitherto sought Ruto’s support for their candidate in Kibra, perhaps buttressing the age-old adage; my enemy’s enemy is my friend. At this point in time, the free-falling Jubilee party was thought to be out of the Kibra mix, thanks to the politics of the handshake.

A precedent had earlier been set with Jubilee staying away from Embakasi South and Ugenya by-elections as a sign of the newfound comradeship with Raila’s ODM. This forced a characteristically dissenting Ruto to do what he does best – running against the grain.

Ruto, the de facto leader of the Tanga Tanga wing of Jubilee fancied sponsoring ODM’s opponents who went ahead to snatch victories from the Raila party’s jaws, a development largely attributable to ODM’s ill advised nomination tendencies.

Wamalwa

As Mudavadi relishes the prospects of outsmarting Raila at his own game, critics opine that it is the ANC boss who needs Raila more – not vice versa. It is on record that Mudavadi bagged more seats in Western, trading as Amani in the 2017 polls, compared to 2013 when he tried to ring fence the region on the UDF platform when he ran for the top seat.

But what if – just what if – Raila doesn’t run? To pundits, the answer is simple: Mudavadi would be the biggest beneficiary if he brings on his side the other Luhya forces and stop playing Maragoli local politics that has seen the Banyore and Tiriki rebel in his own Vihiga county.

In Vihiga county 2017 polls, ANC won only Emuhaya seat outside Maragoli land via Omboko Milemba of Kuppet. Atwoli is said to have played a mojor role. Ford Kenya won Hamisi through Charles Gemose. Governor Wilbur Otichillo who Mudavadi Maragoli kinsmen openly attack in his presence is on ODM ticket just like Luanda MP Chris Omulele.

Oparanya

This is an eerie reminder of a Musalia who could possibly have ridden on Raila’s goodwill, then at the top level of the now moribund Nasa coalition. In retrospect, ANC’s outing in Musalia’s backyard of Vihiga, Kakamega and Busia counties was anything but an impressive show.

With a moneyed Ruto waiting in the wings to grab and make capital of inevitable Raila-Mudavadi fallout, pundits appear to have put MM – as Musalia is fondly referred to – on the red alert against the background of a wily Ruto at his cunning best.

 

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Row simmering at Nyamira county assembly – Weekly Citizen

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A row is simmering at the Nyamira county assembly after MCAs allied to Nasa ousted their majority leader Duke Oyagi last week.

In a swift move that was endorsed by 11 MCAs out of the 21 required for the removal of leader of executive business in the assembly, the ward reps cited dishonesty and abuse of his office as major misdoings that prompted the removal.

As the new year dawned in Nyamira, the Nasa MCAs were busy laying course for the impeachment of Oyagi whom they replaced with Nyamaiya MCA Raban Masira who was also serving on the seat during the previous house.

They said the ousted leader was busy promoting his self-interests at the expense of his colleagues.

Among the accusations are claims that he used the name of MCAs to solicit unspecified amounts of cash from both the county executive and national government officials, monies which they were never given.

They also accused him of not sharing monies that were given to him on behalf of all the 35 ward reps for official functions to Bomet and Mombasa counties on separate occasions.

They also accused him of deliberately delaying the processes of vetting chief officers who were nominated by executive.

“We need a house leadership of integrity and honesty. We have tried to put up with the misdoings which have prompted our action but its not proper for an assembly of laws and order to tolerate such misdoings,” Kiabonyoru MCA Duke Omoti said.

In a letter dated January 2 2020 and addressed to speaker Moffat Teya and signed by deputy majority whip Lilian Nyamweya, the MCAs wrote: “We notify your office as Nasa coalition that changes have been made in the office of leader of majority. We hereby reference to outgoing Duke Oyagi and incoming Raban Masira as our new leader of majority. Kindly make necessary arrangements to this effect to enhance on service delivery for the party and for the Nyamira county citizens.”

However, Oyagi said he had no knowledge of the letter which already has been received by the offices of the speaker and that of the assembly clerk.

“Any business concerning the assembly and its leadership can only be valid while the house is on session and the matters communicated by the speaker. But so far, I am not aware of any communication and I am treating anything of the sort as rumour,” Oyagi said.

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Outgoing Majority leader Duke Masira (left), his Bogichora Ward counterpart George Morara and the new majority leader who is Nyamaiya Ward MCA Raban Masira recently vetting County Chief Officers.

Oyagi vehemently denied all accusation which the MCAs were leveling on him and accused them of blackmail.

Such was the standoff that saw Omoti ousted from the seat of deputy speaker and replaced by Robinson Mocheche (Bonyamatuta).

In another turn of events Nyamira county assembly majority chief whip Alfayo Ngeresa has dismissed the purported meeting of members of the county assembly which ousted the leader of the majority.

Ngeresa retaliated that as the chief whip, he was the one entitled to make any communication to the speaker pertaining any meeting meant to bring changes in the majority leader’s office and therefore the communications which was done by his deputy Lilian Nyamweya to the speaker and the clerks office were null and void.

The MCAs are fighting over bribes which they are given by the county executive committee members in a bid to protect them.

Weekly Citizen has also established that the MCAs three weeks ago failed to pass the supplementary budget because the county executive had refused to give in to their demand of Sh10m before passing the budget

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New political wave hits Jomvu constituency – Weekly Citizen

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As the clock ticks towards 2022 general elections, aspirants eyeing Jomvu parliamentary seat have hit the ground with campaigns aimed at endearing themselves to voters as part of their efforts to unseat the incumbent Badi Twalib.
Badi who is doing his second term continues to have frosty relations with senior and powerful politicians in the port city including Mombasa governor Hassan Joho due to his involvement with the tanga tanga political wing associated with William Ruto.

Joho

Governor Joho who bears overbearing influence on Mombasa county politics has declared total war on the MP, warning that he will not recapture his seat again after betraying his ODM party.
Among those angling to replace Badi in Jomvu includes Kilindini Knut executive secretary Dan Aloo who has already declared interest to vie for the seat come 2022 polls. He contested for the seat as an independent candidate in the last general elections and lost to Badi.
The teacher is said to be having a strong political influence on residents in the constituency.
Aloo is also claimed to be enjoying backing from allies of ODM leader Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta, who see him as the best alter.
The Knut official has in the recent past been spreading his political wings across the constituency in what many see as his attempts to outbalance Badi’s influence and be able to use the handshake to build a political base ahead of 2022 general elections.

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Badi

He is said to be capitalising on Badi’s failures to portray himself as the solution to various problems facing residents including the volatile land ownership and lack of piped water. He has organised several demos against cartels in the water supply chain fleecing the constituents.
Jomvu which was hived off the larger Changamwe constituency before the 2013 polls has many unresolved land disputes in the 32 settlement schemes that include Aldina, Kibarani, Ganahola and Maganda. The constituency is home to Bangladesh – the largest informal settlement in Mombasa.
Thousands of residents have also been displaced by heavy transport companies, which have built Container Freight Stations, motor vehicle garages and storage yards without compensating them. Aloo has vowed to ensure those displaced are compensated for their land.
The land on both sides of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway from Jomvu Madafuni, Mwamlai in the South West, Kwa Punda and North East, all the way past Mikanjuni, Zaire, Jomvu Primary School to Mbuyu wa Chapa in Jomvu Kuu, is said to be owned by a few tycoons.
Aloo is using his elaborate network to propel development initiatives like ‘Watoto Wote Shuleni Whatsapp Foundation’ that has seen him work together with the ministry of Education and wellwishers to support children in the constituency to easily and affordably access education since 2018.

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Maseno High School principal on the spotlight – Weekly Citizen

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Concerns have been raised over allegations that Maseno High School principal has secretly increased school fees against the government guidelines.
The troubled principal is seen to be courting trouble with the no-nonsense Education CS George Magoha following claims of dirty tricks employed to increase school fees at the old school.
According to multiple sources the school, principal Andrew Buop recently convened a parents’ day meeting that left tongues wagging after the occasion was turned into a platform to hike school.
Buop who is fighting a tainted past following his style of leadership was the architect of a plan that may likely put him under the scrutiny of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the ministry of Education.

EACC boss Twalib Mbarak

To make it appear as if the decision was a brainchild of the parents themselves, those in the know said that the principal hosted some parents perceived to be influential and communicated to them his agenda prior to the meeting day.
The said parents, ostensibly on his payroll strategically positioned themselves in every corner and their work was to maddeningly shout in support to the principal proposal for higher fees.
Despite warnings from CS Magoha against principals increasing school fees ahead of opening, sources told Weekly Citizen that Buop managed to outsmart innocent parents by approving additional fees, now haunting him.
Speaking at Kenyatta University where Equity Group was unveiling this year’s Wings to Fly scholarship beneficiaries, the CS told principals to adhere to the fee guidelines as indicated by the ministry adding those who violate the directive will face consequences.
Buop denied the allegations and in an SMS to this writer stated that the school only charges authorised amount and those complaining should challenge by proof if they use a different fee structure from that provided by the ministry of Education.

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CS Magoha

It is a common knowledge that principals across the country have devised clever ways to increase fees after the government issued a standard package.
The government recommended fees is Sh53,554 but some crooked principals have blatantly defied the orders and devised ways to increase fees adding more burden to parents.
One of the tricks being used to swindle parents of their hardearned cash is through publishing fees structure for one term as opposed to the whole year, which is the requirement by the government.
For Maseno High School a section of parents are concerned following what appears to be a back to back negative news since Buop controversially joined the school from Homa Bay High school.
In 2017, Maseno school board of management grudgingly resigned following the replacement of former principal Paul Otula by Buop.
The board made up of 10 members, expressed disregard for the newly-recruited principal claiming he had a tainted past.
Otula was sent on a compulsory leave after a Form One student was allegedly sodomised by students.
This caused Maseno students to boycott classes demanding Otula be reinstated.
Board chairman Carey Orege said investigations over the sodomy claims were carried out in a crude manner

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