Even as the battle-hardened Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua takes her war to unseat Governor Anne Waiguru in Kirinyaga to the courts, she is also rebranding herself in readiness to challenge other aspirants in 2022.
However, at the national level, her rival, Waiguru is leading the pace by rebranding herself as the ideal leader to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta as the boss of Kikuyus.
This is an affront to Karua, who by contesting the presidency in 2013, and backing Uhuru in 2017, was considering herself the frontrunner in the race to inherit Uhuru.
Last week, Waiguru laid bare her ambition by insisting she is ready to take the mantle of leadership if considered in 2022.
She said Mt Kenya region is open to forming a political alliance with Raila Odinga.
The governor who in the past had bitter differences with Raila said a wind of political change has hit Central Kenya throwing open the region’s choice of a presidential candidate in 2022.
“If it is Raila, he should know that the region will want a piece of his government,” Waiguru said. She also did not totally rule out supporting Ruto.
But even as the governor starts charting her political future, the firebrand Karua, according to her confidantes, has equally reached out to Raila and in the coming days she will join the Orange party brigade in championing constitutional changes.
Karua decided to join Raila ahead of Waiguru and was also driven by the fact that another challenger for the gubernatorial seat in 2022, the moneyed woman representative Purity Ngirici is firmly in William Ruto’s camp.
For Waiguru, she ditched Ruto for the Embrace Movement, which brings together Jubilee and ODM MPs out to stop Ruto from succeeding Uhuru.
On the other hand, Ngirici is a key member of the Tanga Tanga team. She has declared publicly that she will back Ruto in 2022.
Two weeks ago, a forlorn Karua came to the end of the road for litigation to nullify the gubernatorial election but she vowed the setback was not the end of the road for litigation.
She threatened to file a petition at the Judicial Service Commission to demand a probe on the judges who handled the matter.
While she did not elaborate on the case she is taking to the eight-member commission headed by Chief Justice David Maraga, she hinted that some of the judges who handled her petition are among her targets.
The judges who handled the case are High Court judge Lucy Gitari (Kerugoya) and appellate justices Stephen Gatembu, Roselyn Nambuye, and Hannah Okwengu.
Karua cried foul over the ruling issued by the Supreme Court, dismissing her third and final bid to oust Waiguru.
According to her, the apex court, like the High Court and the Court of Appeal, denied her justice.
“Our legal system decrees that it (Supreme Court) is the highest court. But I don’t have to believe in it,” she said.
She accused the supreme judges of electing not to consider her case.
She also dismissed calls by Jubilee party leaders in Kirinyaga, who asked the president to fulfil his pledge and give her a cabinet post.
For now, the Narc-Kenya leader is preparing to battle it out in 2022 with Ngirici and Waiguru.
Ngirici and Waiguru do not see- eye-to-eye and indeed the woman rep was excluded from the governor’s wedding guest list recently. Ruto was also conspicuously missing in the wedding.
Others who missed the governor’s second big day included Kirinyaga Central MP John Munene who said he was also not invited as well as a section of MCAs.
As part of her early campaigns, Ngirici has been demanding for audit of all the funds that have been allocated in Kirinyaga county for development since Waiguru took over the reigns.
Her demands came following a video that went round the social media circles showing a sorry state of Kerugoya Hospital.
While speaking to Kirinyaga residents, Ngirici demanded that a report should be done showing the money allocated to the hospital, how it was spent and how much is remaining.
Ngirici and Waiguru have in the recent past had their differences with the governor at one time demanding for Ngirici’s arrest for heckling and hijacking projects.
The two who were friends have been feuding since the campaigns for the 2017 general election after the Jubilee party nominations.
This came after Ngirici declared she would be contesting for the governor seat.
Already, leaders in the county are creating campaign strategies as they prepare to battle it out for the top county seat.
A section of residents in Kirinyaga are drumming up support for Ngirici owing to the projects she has initiated in the county through the National Government Affirmative Action Fund.
According to residents in Kerugoya, Mwea and Kirinyaga Central, Ngirici has uplifted the living standards of locals in the county through the empowerment of women, youth and the elderly.
“Ngirici has drilled boreholes for us and has helped in ensuring the funds for the elderly are disbursed on time,” said John Munene, a resident.
“We have been experiencing delays in the disbursement of bursary funds but Ngirici has been helping the poor by paying fees for needy students,” said Alex Mwaura, a Kerugoya resident.
As such, there is no doubt Waiguru will face an uphill task in defending her seat, given the inroads Ngirici has made.
Waiguru has also fallen out with her MCAs over the ward development fund and bursary allocations.
The new development will most likely destabilise her support base as realignments begin taking shape with MCAs leaning to Ngirici.
During the 2017 general election, Uhuru paraded Waiguru and Karua, saying whoever would not sail through as governor would be given a job in government.
Now Waiguru says the populous Mt Kenya region is open to forming a political alliance with Raila ahead of the 2022 elections.
Waiguru, who has had a frosty relationship with Raila, described the Orange Democratic Movement leader as someone who understands the significant role that women play in Kenya’s politics.
The cocky relationship between Raila and Waiguru hit rock bottom in 2016 after the opposition leader linked her to the multimillion shilling scandal at the National Youth Service.
Waiguru who was at the time a powerful minister in charge of Devolution, Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, responded to Raila’s claims with a legal suit which she dropped after their hostilities ended last year following a meeting at the opposition leader’s Nairobi Capitol Hill offices.
The prevailing rapprochement between Raila and Waiguru began in November last year after she withdrew the suit and announced the launch of a new friendship in the interest of national development.
Raila’s political dalliance with Waiguru became even clearer last month after the former PM accompanied Uhuru to the governor’s wedding in Kirinyaga last month.
Waiguru tied the knot with Nairobi lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo in a traditional wedding that was attended by prominent politicians and businessmen.
Kakamega man who cycled to bury Moi begs to host Sonko – Weekly Citizen
The family of a man who rode from Kakamega to Kabarak in Nakuru county to attend burial of former president Daniel arap Moi plans to offer special prayers for Nairobi governor Mike Sonko at their homestead.
They want Sonko to be present during the prayer session. It is not only going to be a thanksgiving day, but also special prayers to the embattled governor to overcome his current tribulations mostly political that have landed him in courts.
Mzee Nathan Ambuti, 76, old believes it is the late Moi spirit that led Sonko to buy him a posho mill and motorcycle. He wants Sonko to be adopted as part of his family. He wants to use the posho mill to serve mothers seeking maize milling services. He has nicknamed his old bicycle Mike Sonko and will not dispose it.
He wants Sonko to give him a date when he is free to receive prayers. He took four days to ride to Kabarak spending nights on verandas. At Kabarak, security team tried to block him.
The bicycle had national flags from anumber of countries. He was allowed into Moi’s residence but he later left behind his bicycle at Moi’s home.
Word has it, a section of Moi family members led by Senator Gideon Moi also want to meet Ambuti when he will be picking his old machine from their old man’s home in Kabarak.
The never-ending Watamu hotel court ownership battles – Weekly Citizen
A luxurious tourist establishment in Watamu, Kilifi county has been at the centre of fierce court battles for more than a decade, threatening its very existence.
One hotel, two names, two different sets of owners and a myriad of court cases.
However, the Judiciary, Malindi subcounty security committee have so far been unable to resolve the ownership dispute.
The property began as Temple Point Resort, built by a tour company based in Italy. It was later renamed Salama Beach Resort when the company owning it became bankrupt and was placed under receivership. A new owner emerged later and took over the running of the hotel, which he renamed Temple Point Resort.
The ownership dispute of the hotel sitting right in front of the glistening white Watamu beach, and which is popular with both local and international guests, has cost millions of shillings in legal fees and other charges, legitimate or otherwise.
As they say, it is the piper who calls the tune, so the party that has more money gets its way, albeit temporarily as the other party looks for more money. It is a circus of sorts.
The dispute pits a group led by prominent Kenyan hotelier Isaac Rodrot and Italian Stefanno Ucelli against another group led by Hans Langer, a German national.
In court, there are multiple cases, applications, notices of motions and rulings from both sides that have often led both parties to remain in the corridors of justice since 2010 with no solution in sight.
Court documents indicate that the hotel was initially owned by a Swiss tour company known as Viagi del Ventiaglio, which had several other properties in other parts of the world. The company went under receivership in 2010. Its owner died shortly before or after the collapse.
At that time, Rodrot and Ucelli are said to have been working as directors at Temple Point Beach Resort, one of the collapsed company’s properties in Kenya.
When they heard that the owner had died and the company was under receivership; and since they claimed to have bought shares from the collapsed company, they started running the hotel as their own and renamed it Salama Beach Resort.
The court documents say Langer was owed millions of Euros by the company, but when he went to claim payment, he was told there was no money. He could however pay himself by taking over the Temple Point Resort in Kenya.
The German then obtained a court order in Milan, Italy, travelled to Kenya and kicked out Rodrot and his team thus triggering the unending court battles.
According to Rodrot, the case was filed on December 15 2009 against Salama Beach Hotel Limited, which was owned by Ventaglio International S A Luxemburg, whose directors were Enrico Poma (chairman), Mario Scotti Camuzi ad Ucelli.
Rodrot claims that Ucelli was the resident director representing foreign interests in Kenya based in Salama Beach Hotel Limited, while he was also a director.
The dispute has left members of the security team in Malindi sub county scratching their heads, with orders and counter orders from the judiciary confusing law enforcement agents.
Recently, local security committee held a four-hour closed-door meeting with both parties, although Langer was not physically present and was represented by his lawyer.
The meeting was expected to decide whether or not to evict Langer, who runs the property as Temple Point Resort, and install the previous management under Rodrot and Ucelli, who used to run it as Salama Beach Resort.
It was to decide whether to implement a court order issued in 2015 against Langer’s group, an order Langer says has been overtaken by events.
Some of those who attended the meeting claimed the security team ruled in favour of Rodrot, but before implementation of the decision, there was a change of heart.
Speaking to reporters early this week, Rodrot said he received a call from the Malindi subcounty police commander Vitalis Otieno, informing him that the operation would not be carried out as earlier agreed upon.
“I do not know what led to the change of heart. The subcounty commander called me at about 2am and told me that the orders would not be implemented until after further notice, without explaining the reason,” he claimed.
Contacted for comment, Otieno said it was true that there would be no eviction, noting that there was nothing new in the dispute that would warrant the execution of any orders.
When journalists visited the hotel, everything seemed to be running smoothly. There was a good number of local and international guests too.
Ian Langer, a son of the current ‘owner’ of the hotel, said it was not possible for the security team to carry out the court order obtained by Rodrot and his team because the order referred to a totally different hotel.
“This is Temple Point Resort but the court order is referring to Salama Beach Resort, which is totally different from this one. Salama Beach Resort is a totally new company that has nothing to do with Temple Point Resort,” he said.
He said there was a court order staying the implementation of the eviction order issued in 2015 that protected the current ‘owners’.
“We have faith in the legal proceedings and the government in the manner the matter was handled,” he said, a position that ran counter with that of Rodrot and his group, which claims that Salama Beach Resort and Temple Point Resort refers to one and the same hotel.
“It is false to say that Temple Point is not Salama Beach Resort. The court order giving us back the hotel was clear and I wonder why it has taken so long to enforce it,” he said.
Rodrot sees an invisible hand in the saga pulling the strings in favour of the current management.
Tycoons join battle to control Kalenjin politics after Moi’s death – Weekly Citizen
With the death of retired president Daniel Moi who had taken control of Kalenjin politics since the 1950s, eyes are now on his favourite son, Baringo senator Gideon Moi.
But even as Gideon battles to control region politics, Kalenjin tycoons are scheming to take charge under a third force.
The family at the behest of his late father settled on Gideon as the political head with Rongai MP Raymond Moi as the head according to sources.
Infact it is whispered, a section of the family was against Gideon preferring Raymond. However, Raymond did not want to annoy his late father in grave and that is why he passed the Moi baton to his young brother broad daylight after being given it by Kalenjin elders.
Insiders say Raymond did not want to generate political heat within the family by waiting for the 40 days mourning period to elapse hence the move. Raymond, the Rongai MP even went further to caution Gideon to go full blast politically and stop playing soft politics.
It is said Gideon was lucky in that if his late elder brother Jonathan Moi was alive, he would not have passed the baton to him. Jonathan and Gideon were sworn family enemies with Jonathan leaning towards the mother late Lena while Gideon was Moi favourite. In fact within the family, Gideon is known to get on well with Raymond but at war with brothers Philip and John Mark.
During the preparations to bury the retired president, Gideon wanted to be the family spokesman but was overruled by his brothers and sisters preferring Raymond. It was on these grounds, deputy president William Ruto was allowed to visit Kabarnet Gardens in Kibera to mourn with the family.
With the Moi rungu, Gideon now faces the biggest test as he is set to try wrest control of Kalenjin politics from Ruto.
It is said, during the Baringo South by-election held in August 2018 following the death of Grace Kipchoim who had been elected on a Jubilee party ticket, Gideon did not field a candidate on grounds, with Kanu leaning towards Jubilee, he was going to cause a stir. Further he did not want to annoy his friend president Uhuru Kenyatta. Jubilee was defending the seat in the by-election and won eventually after Kanu chickened out.
Kanu secretary general Nick Salat was not spared after the withdrawal when Elgeyo Marakwet senator Kipchumba Murkomen, one of the deputy president’s key allies in the region dismissed the former ruling party as “inferior and of no consequence in Kalenjin politics”.
The Jubilee candidate Charles Kamuren went on to bag the seat garnering 12,777 votes, with Cynthia Kipchilat of Maendeleo Chap Chap coming second after getting 8,968. Kamuren was Kanu candidate 2017.
Chama Cha Mashinani’s Paul Kimaru Motoloi emerged a distant third with 355 votes.
During 2017 general election, Ruto and Gideon fought to control Rift Valley politics.
Kanu managed to retain key positions in West Pokot and Baringo counties, despite Ruto’s spirited campaigns to fully control the region.
In West Pokot, Kanu won the governor’s seat bagged by John Lonyangapuo and the senate by Samuel Poghisio.
In Baringo, Gideon retained his position whereas then county assembly speaker William Kamket beat then parliamentary security committee chairman Asman Kamama in the Tiaty parliamentary race.
Further in Baringo, Jubilee was the biggest casualty after losing all county assembly seats in Tiaty subcounty to Kanu.
The winners in the wards were: Zelemoi Ameja (Churo/Amaya), Solomon Makal (Kolowa), Sam Lourien (Tirioko), Shadrack Mailuk (Tangulbei/Korossi), Nelson Lotela (Silale), Daniel Tuwit (Ribkwo/Kositei) and Maria Losile (Loiyamorok).
But Jubilee won the Baringo gubernatorial race after Stanley Kiptis managed 137,668 but Kanu bagged the woman representative seat, which was won by Gladwell Cheruiyot.
The loss of the Baringo senatorial seat to Kanu was viewed as a big blow to Ruto, whose ally Simon Kiprono Chelugui lost to Gideon.
Chelugui was later appointed Water cabinet secretary before being deployed to the Labour docket.
But Kanu’s performance in the Rift Valley in the 2017 election was a far cry from its target of 60 national assembly seats.
Prior to the polls, Salat had boasted that the party would fight it out with Ruto whose then United Republican Party controlled most of the counties in Rift Valley with a few exceptions.
In the 2013 polls, Kanu had six MPs, with West Pokot’s Lonyangapuo as the only senator while URP had 58 MPs and eight senators mostly drawn from the pastoralist communities.
But in 2017 elections Ruto carried the day in Kalenjin politics as majority of MPs, senators, governors, women representatives and MCAs won through the Jubilee Party.
But even as Gideon lost seats to Jubilee in his Baringo home turf, Ruto also found the going tough in his Uasin Gishu county. In his Turbo constituency, Janet Sitienei was elected an independent just like Ainabkoi where William Chepkut was.
In Kericho, Jubilee got five parliamentary seats courtesy of powerful and influential cabinet secretary Charles Keter. Kericho county has six parliamentary seats with Sogowet-Soin going to an independent Benard Koross.
In Bomet county, Jubilee won four out of the five parliamentary seats. Gideon Koske won Chepalungu seat on Chama Cha Mashinani of Isaac Ruto. It is only in Nandi and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties that all parliamentary seats went to Jubilee.
In Kalenjinland, Kanu has only one parliamentary seat that of Tiaty in Baringo held by Kamket, a Gideon political disciple. MCC associated with Machakos governor Alfred Mutua won Baringo Central that was held for years by late president Moi. Why voters did not vote for Kanu in Baringo Central has left may political analysts questioning. Remember, for years Moi was unopposed as area MP. It is said Baringo Central voters were bitter with Kanu and Moi family that after voting for them for years, Moi decided to abandon them and settle in Rongai in retirement and never visited the constituency.
In Samburu, Kanu won two seats defeating Jubilee in the county. Kanu bagged Samburu West via Naisula Lesuuda and Samburu East through Jackson Lentol.
In Narok county, Jubilee won three seats of Gideon Konchella (Kilgoris), Korei Ole Lemein (Narok South) and Lemanken Aramat (Narok East ). Kanu won EmuruaDikirr via Joshua Ngeno with CCM getting Narok West thanks to Gabriel Tongonyo.
In Kajiado county, Jubilee out of five parliamentary seats got four with ODM one, that of Kajiado Central via Elijah Memusi. Kanu did not get any seat in the county.
But a now energised Gideon after he was handed his late father’s leadership baton is now daring to challenge Ruto for the control of Kalenjin politics and to larger extent Kamatusa read Kalenjin, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu.
The late president’s family formally endorsed Gideon as the late president’s political heir during the funeral of their departed father.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli who challenged Gideon to take his enemies headon, and not to hide.
Prior to Moi’s death, there was talk that Gideon had given up in his battle with Ruto.
The senator had gone silent sparking rumours that he was of the view the 2022 presidential race would unfavourable to him.Others say Gideon went silent to concentrate on his father’s ill health.
By then, there was also a believe Ruto would get the backing of Uhuru Kenyatta who during the campaigns gave an assurance he would back his second in command.
To further complicate matters for Gideon, out of every 10 Kalenjins one speaks to, 8 of them claim they have Ruto’s telephone number, or know him, while nearly all of them say they do not know and have never interacted with the Baringo senator.
There is also perception that Gideon is surrounded by an elite cabal of power brokers and shady businessmen who block the ordinary Kalenjin from accessing the Baringo senator.
Coupled with this is Gideon’s elite upbringing, which has seen him being unable to fluently communicate in Kalenjin dialect and also has problems doing the same in Kiswahili pretentiously or not.
Still, Gideon is not charismatic and his only credit is to imitate his father’s voice, which by 2022 will of no value.
Many Kalenjins also describe him as mean and out of touch with reality while in contrast Ruto is even comfortable eating in a kiosk, and even drinking the water locals take.
Gideon, who on two occasions blocked Ruto from visiting his ailing father at his Kabarak home even as he welcomed the DP’s political rivals such as opposition leader Raila Odinga as well as other leaders like Atwoli and Peter Kenneth, is also facing another rebellion from former business associates and former political allies.
The DP camp even claims Gideon was behind Jonathan’s death as he blocked his father from taking him overseas for specialised medical treatment only to die at a Nakuru Hospital -l not even Aga Khan or Nairobi Hospital.
Jonathan, the eldest son of Moi, and who in most African cultures, would have been at the forefront of decision-making in the family, died at the little known hospital
in Nakuru owned by Kesses MP Swarup Mishra.
There is talk that, were he alive, he would not have passed the leadership baton to Gideon but would have taken charge.
But the Baringo senator can pull a surprise given that he has aligned himself nationally with Uhuru and Raila where he is a firm backer of the Building Bridges Imitative.
There is talk that he is earmarked for one of the top seats once the BBI recommendations are adopted.
However, the Baringo senator is politically inexperienced if one compares him with the deputy president.
Gideon is yet to come out of his father’s shadow while Ruto who represents the sentiment of the so-called hustler nation, has established vital networks in nearly all the 47 counties.
The deputy president, to his credit, has also reduced the Kalenjin MPs rebels to inconsequential noisemakers with little impact at the grassroots.
Insiders say, a third force is likely to emerge in Kalenjin politics outside Ruto and Gideon camps.
Kelenjin MPs rebelling against Ruto are Silas Tiren, Alfred Keter and Joshua Kuttuny. They are now joining Kalenjin tycoons to form a third alliance.
They are in the same league with former ministers Franklin Bett, Henry Kosgey, Sally Koskei, former Kuresoi MP Zakayo Cheruiyot and Isaac Ruto. They are leaning towards CCM that has financing of businessmen Zedekiah Bundotich, David Langat and Joshua Chepkwony among others.
Even as the state machinery works to diminish Ruto’s fortunes in favour of Gideon, the DP is the man to watch in Rift Valley and beyond. However, the third force is bound to benefit in the fights as it happened in 2017 where independnts and other parties won seats in the area.
Political analysts say Kalenjin tycoons behind CCM must now get out to fight for recognition in region politics after the death of Moi to remain relevant 2022 and court other facesin Uhuru succession.
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