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Friday, January 31, 2014

Mutunga: Kenya's Political Parties Operating Illegally

AG Githu Muigai To Travel To The ICC

Corridors of Power

Thursday, January 30, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY POLITICAL DESK
Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter at a press conference. Photo/Vidija Patrick
Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter at a press conference. Photo/Vidija Patrick
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo Norbert Allan
President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo Norbert Allan
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. Photo/Charles Kimani
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen. Photo/Charles Kimani
The grand mullah is not only busy campaigning to reclaim his JSC position, he is also offering free legal services to big clients. After a section of MPs started casting aspersions on Nandi MP Alfred Keter for appearing in a committee session with Ahmednasir, he tweeted: "Hon Keter is my client. My service to him is pro bono. I am not charging him a penny. Part of our CSR to our country." MPs had claimed that Ahmednasir is too expensive for Keter and wondered how he would afford him.
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A county executive from Nairobi County has developed the habit of keeping people for too long outside his office before attending to them. Recently, several people complained that they will take their complaints to Nairobi Governor since the man kept them waiting for over five hours and never attended to them. They said the man kept on telling them to wait and treated them like High School students..“We came here to be served. We did not come here for peanuts as this man may think. He gave us small pieces of paper to write the reasons for seeing him and after five hours, he emerges from his office and tells us he cannot attend to us,” complained one Man.
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When President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed a press conference at State House on Tuesday, some keen eyes noticed that Deputy President William Ruto was standing at a longer distance than usual. It was also one of the few press conferences that the President did not asks his deputy to speak like he always does. But observers on social media did not fail to notice that the two appeared to have maintained their of white shirts and red ties "uniform".
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Senator Kipchumba Murkomen was yesterday a subject of ridicule on social media after his Twitter account was hacked into and posted some not so honorable posts. One of the posts was a retweet of a pornographic photo leading the Senator to apologize to his followers. The Senator had a long afternoon as he also discovered a Facebook page extorting money from people.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-152979/corridors-power#sthash.xF4JGlZi.dpuf

Machakos County governor Dr. Alfred Mutua unveils 120 police cars to enh...

Jeff Koinange with Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli (NSSF faulted o...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

President Kenyatta in Addis: AU Summit to discuss Africa's relationship ...

Corridors of Power

Wednesday, January 29, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY STAR TEAM
parliament building
parliament building
It seems the new trend in town is foreign trips for the members of county assemblies. Social media was yesterday abuzz with news that Nyeri MCAs went to Ethiopia at a cost of more than Sh10 million to learn about coffee. Interestingly, they never visited any coffee farm. In Nakuru, it is said the MCAs spent Sh16 million on a week-long trip to Uganda but there was no indication as to whether they went by bus. Yet in Kisumu, the MCAs are said to be in Germany to learn about waste management.
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So President Uhuru Kenyatta reads the Star after-all. Yesterday the President told a media conference at State house Nairobi that journalists should ask the Editor of the Star where he got the story of the impending cabinet reshuffle from. So i'm sure you know that the President reads the Star even though he told the country a few ago that newspapers were for wrapping meat.
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The President may have dismissed as rumours that UDF Leader Musalia Mudavadi was about to appointed to the cabinet plus two others, we are told that Mudavadi has asked for the post of Interior. Although the President's handlers want to hand Mudavadi the Develution docket, those in the know tell us that the son of Mudamba wants nothing but Ole Lenku's job!
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Some professionals from Baringo County were overheard conversing aloud in a Nairobi Hotel that they will file a case in court to have one Festus Kuniya the nominee for County Executive Lands Housing and urban development to leave office if he is sworn in. The professionals loudly complained to the amusement of other Patrons that Festus Kuniya never applied for the job, was not shortlisted but appeared before the vetting committee. They said that the man should not be given the job since he never applied for it.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-152780/corridors-power#sthash.9bXNjnoi.dpuf

Shebesh records statement with police on alleged assault of a security g...

Fmr. Presidential Speechwriter: Obama Plagiarized Bush's 2007 SOTU FNC (...

KTN Prime Full Bulletin 29th January 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

LSK Election Candidates face off on Morning Express with Sophia Wanuna

Offside Episode 09

Churchill show episode 48

Churchill Show Episode 47

President Uhuru Kenyatta's address from State House Nairobi

Rail tender train already left station -- Uhuru

Uhuru: Was the Star making Cabinet changes?

Young turks bow out in ODM polls

3 Luo Nyanza Mps Eying Sg's Position Beat A Hasty Retreat

President Uhuru Kenyatta defends railway project

KTN Prime Full Bulletin with Ben Kitili and Nancy Kacungira 28.01.2014

Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann

New Seattle parents name daughter Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann … yes, that’s her legal name

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Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann (@Kings5Seattle}
Athletes often have some interesting birth names. But who knew a football team could inspire one of the oddest middle names we've ever heard?
Welcome to the world, Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann. Yes, that's her name. Her legally binding name. Inspired by the Super Bowl-bound Seattle Seahawks, we assume, based on her post-birth swaddling clothes. (Thanks to Big Lead, who first picked this story up.)
Welcome to the world, Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann. And yes, 12th really is her middle name. #SEAbestfanspic.twitter.com/Ab3WljjEZ0
— KING 5 News (@KING5Seattle) January 28, 2014
There was the Number 5 robot character from the "Short Circuit" movies (yes, plural). There was Agent 99 from "Get Smart," the 1960s TV show that still resonates in the form of reruns. And there was a character from the "Star Trek Voyager" show, we're told, named Seven of Nine. Who knew?
But Cydnee Leigh 12th? She's first in our book.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

KTN Newsdesk Full Bulletin 28th January 2014

President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the nation over the railway tender row

Press Review 28th January 2014

Attorney General speaks out on corruption

Cabinet Meeting

Corridors of Power

Monday, January 27, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY POLITICAL DESK
A sample of the old railway line and the Standard gauge railway line displayed during the launch of the Standard Gauge railway line project by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo Norbert Allan
A sample of the old railway line and the Standard gauge railway line displayed during the launch of the Standard Gauge railway line project by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo Norbert Allan
They say it does not rain, it pours. A woman who recently made huge alimony claims against a senior state official is about to face music over a litany of scams which have suddenly erupted. We are told the lady is in trouble after conning the wife of a Nyandarua MP of millions promising to deliver tiles which she never did. She is also facing a suit after swindling Sh5 million from a man who collapsed on realizing the prison tender the lady claimed she had won was a figment of her fertile  imagination. Before the man died, she was swindled a further Sh100,000 as facilitation to secure his son's enrollment into KDF.
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A Cabinet Secretary holding a powerful ministry was recently heard complaining to a senior mandarin at the Treasury that it felt so low that he had to report to a senior politician in government every day morning for briefing before heading to his office. The CS who was fronted by the man told the mandarin as they queued to serve meals after attending a public function that even kindergartens are never subjected to this.
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"I do not take less than a billion" were the words of a senior government official who has been offered a bribe by an international company. The company's official were in the country at the weekend to push for a certain contract and met several people helping them out. However, when they met the senior official they were taken a back by the demand. The man told the foreigners that even before they talk they should commit to giving him 1 billion for his assistance!
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The amount of cash that is flowing among the pro and anti Railway proponents is amazing. An MP whispered to corridors that some of his colleagues in the two committees investigating the matter have been promised at least 100 million if they push they successfully push through the agenda of the two sides.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-152370/corridors-power#sthash.o3jnnWal.dpufa

RAILA TELLS OFF LUO MPs OVER POLLS

Monday, January 27, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY STAR REPORTER
THE BALLOT: ODM leader Raila Odinga with Anyang Nyong'o at a press conference on January 15.
THE BALLOT: ODM leader Raila Odinga with Anyang Nyong'o at a press conference on January 15.
ODM Leader Raila Odinga is understood to have told his close confidants that he will not favour anyone in the forth coming party elections.
 "Raila has made it clear that everybody for himself and party members for all of us. In other words he has said he will not favour anyone," said an MP known to be close to Raila
 Raila has been under pressure from Luo Nyanza MPs who want him to preserve the position of Secretary General and that of the vice chairman.
 But several aides to the former PM told the Star yesterday that Raila has made it clear he will go by the choices party members will make.
 "He has told Luo Nyanza MPs that there's nothing special about them and that they should campaign like anyone else," said one of the aides known to be very close to Raila.
 Yesterday Ababu Namwamba who is gunning for the position of Secretary-General also told Luo Nyanza MPs that ODM was a national party and it had many supporters across the country.
 The battle for ODM national positions Luo Nyanza has taken a new dimension as some of the current MPs in Luo Nyanza say it is about the nomination certificates in 2017.
 The buzzword is that as Raila goes for his third presidential bid, he is likely to leave the competition wide open and may not listen to them as he did in 2007 and 2013 nominations that ended in chaos. The MPs are aligning themselves with those promising them nomination certificates.
 An MP who did not want his identity revealed said that Kisumu Central Ken Obura who is contesting the secretary general position has promised the MPs free nomination certificates after the 2017 ODM nominations. Obura has since denied the allegations.
 “He is assuring the sitting MPs that if they back him as SG, they are assured of their nomination certificates. The idea of free certificates appeals to a number of Luo MPs because getting the ODM papers is more than halfway to parliament. But many of them know their hold is shaky and their victory in 2013 nominations was questionable,” the MP said.
 However, Suba MP John Mbadi who is also vying for the secretary general position dismissed those behind the scheme as being ignorant of the party structures. He said that the elections board and the secretariat needs to be reformed and restructured.
 “Unless those speaking don’t know how the party operates. I know that in the last elections the nomination certificates were issued by the party’s national elections board. The signature of the SG was not there and things have not changed ahead of 2017!” said Mbadi. He said that the SG only submitted to the country’s electoral agency.
 “The Mzee from rift valley called Keittany together with Mugambi Imanyara who was the chairman and then SG Tony Chege signed the papers in 2007. Those who think that they will be given the papers for free are in for a rude shock,” he said.
 Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi also dismissed the campaign trick as unfortunate and myopic. “We should be thinking of constituting the party as an instrument of good governance not for political opportunists. It is only committed members who will ensure free and fair polls. Those who have offered their candidatures must be evaluated on the basis of their ideological orientation that is important to the party,” Wandayi said. But opinion is still divided whether he actually beat his rival in Kisumu Central. Others in this camp share similar challenges back at home and would fear to be subjected to competitive nominations.
 Those alleged to be backing Obura are MPs Agostino Neto (Ndhiwa), Milly Odhiambo (Mbita) and Sylvan Osele (Kabondo Kasipul) among others.
 “Their performance has been wanting both in and outside Parliament, something Raila has raised with them in a number of meetings. At one meeting in the house of Nyando MP Fred Outa about a month ago, Raila asked these MPs whether they are in opposition or in government,” said another MP who did not want to be named.
 “Raila has instructed grassroots leaders to monitor the performance of MPs and be filing reports to party headquarters on how they articulate party agenda at the constituency and people’s feelings about their performance in parliament,” he said.
 The MPs are said to have sensed danger when Raila defied them in the Siaya governor’s by election. It is said that some wanted William Oduol to team up with Rasanga which would have meant Rasanga dropping his running mate in the first contest.
 Others came up with the idea that both Oduol and Rasanga be dropped and Oduor Ongwen be picked for the seat. However, it is said that Raila defied them and backed Rasanga on the ground that he had won the seat and the party had no reason to drop him in a by election.
 Those who feel Obura stands no chance have been quietly backing Orengo who never declared interest but has now openly declined the offer.
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-152352/raila-tells-luo-mps-over-polls#sthash.JQiukx6E.dpuf

Wetang'ula denies talks with Ruto

Monday, January 27, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY IBRAHIM ORUKO
WORKING TOGETHER? Deputy President  William Ruto  consults with Senator Moses Wetangula and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo. Photo/ File
WORKING TOGETHER? Deputy President William Ruto consults with Senator Moses Wetangula and Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo. Photo/ File
Bungoma senator Moses Wetang'ula yesterday denied that he was in talks with Deputy President William Ruto ahead of 2017.
 Last weekend the Star reported that the two had held talks and their allies led by Chris Wamalwa of Kiminini said there was nothing wrong with the two leaders working together.
 "I have not held talks with Ruto and I have no intention of doing so. Why would I leave Cord where I have a better chance of becoming president? I will remain in Cord," said Wetang'ula yesterday.
 Jubilee has been focusing its energies on western Kenya where it hopes to win over some leaders so they can get a foothold on the cord stronghold.
 President Uhuru is considering reaching out to both Musalia Mudavadi and Kenneth Marende for government appointments as a way of enticing them to his side of the coalition.
 This matter is reinforced by claims that both sides in the Jubilee coalition supported and funded different sides in last December’s Bungoma by-election, in which Wetangula retained his seat against Musikari Kombo.
 Analysts have linked the by- election to the continuation of the tension in Jubilee, where both URP and TNA have been having uneasy relationship over appointments and multi-billion government tenders.
 According to sources well versed in Luhya politics, Ruto is reported to have supported and funded Wetangula’s campaigns in the by elections out of realization that he needs a foothold in the region that is home to the country’s second largest community.
 In the thinking of Ruto’s court, Wetangula is an attractive prospect because his Bukusu people can be relied upon to deliver a collective vote that would be significant in his ambitions.
 Other sources suggest that Khalwale is keen to deputise Ruto in future political endeavors, which is why he has vehemently opposed the recent coronation of Wetangula as the luhya kingpin.
 Yesterday, Khalwale was non committal on the matter only telling the Star that “Wetangula and I control the thinking of the people of the region”. “The fact is that Ruto is Uhuru’s deputy but if he comes we shall give him a hearing,” he said.
 As tensions in the ruling coalition rise by the day, signs that the Luhya region has emerged as the theater in which Jubilee wars are being fought abound.
 With the two principals in Jubilee unsure of their future together, they are looking out to the region for what one analyst described as an “insurance policy” or “spare wheel” strategy.
 The appointment of Mudavadi to the cabinet is being premised on this “insurance policy or spare wheel” strategy just in case URP decide to ship themselves out of government.
 Under this arrangement, it is expected that Marende and Eugene, who are being considered for positions in the parastatals, will be Mudavadi’s vanguard to ensure TNA’s entry into the region is free of hustles.
 The Jubilee war in luhya land is significant because the region has considerable numerical strength and that it voted overwhelmingly for Cord's Raila Odinga in the last general election.
 While URP escaped with two parliamentary seats in Busia County, this is the only region in which TNA got nothing, not even a member of the county assembly.
 The political realignments in the region are however not amusing some. Vihiga senator George Khaniri believes both Ruto and Wetangula are engaged in politics of deceit.
 Youth leaders allied to CORD have also dismissed the two terming reports of their talks as Jubilee’s propaganda. ODM youth leader Ben Ombima said the Jubilee government has initiated the propaganda after sensing that CORD will be a formidable force in the 2017 elections .
 “Why are these reports coming just when the principals have shown the commitment of working together?” Ombima asked. Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa says a claim that Jubilee wars are being fought in western is propaganda.
 “Wetangula is our elected leader whom we are looking out for direction and the others are not,” he said. He said as the Luhya community, we have decided that we must have one, in this case Wetangula. The others are day dreaming
 Khaniri is of the view that rapprochement between the two is premature and unfortunate because Ruto still deputises president Uhuru.
 “This is politics of deceit. Making 2017 political pacts while still putting one leg here and another there is cheating Kenyans. Leaders must say what they mean and mean what they say. ,” he said.
 Khaniri maintains that the issue of who leads the community in any political talks is a matter that must involve everyone in the region and not an individual.
 Khalwale admitted the region has suddenly become attractive to the ruling coalition due to what he described as "troubles between TNA and URP".
- See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-152354/wetangula-denies-talks-ruto#sthash.ICs7JS5t.dpuf

Revealed: Who is who in ODM election line-up

 admin | January 27, 2014 |
ODMContestantsNAIROBI, KENYA: The battle for the ODM leadership is shaping up, as candidates rushed to beat the deadline for submission of applications to contest various seats in next month’s crucial polls.
As the deadline expired at 6pm Monday evening, dozens of candidates had filed their nomination papers to participate in the February 28 polls for the country’s single largest political party. And party leader Raila Odinga harshly rebuked a section of youthful MPs from Luo Nyanza over their demands for a lion’s share of the 24 seats up for grabs.
Raila, who was meeting the ODM National Elections Board (Neb) chaired by Judith Parleno, snubbed some Luo Nyanza MPs who had camped at Orange House hoping for an audience with him. The former Prime Minister was overheard dismissing one of the MPs who had wanted to confront him, saying ODM is a national party and the election outcome should reflect a national image. The board will today tour the venue of the National Delegates Conference (NDC), Safaricom Kasarani Stadium, to assess preparations.
Raila, the de-facto party leader, faces a feeble challenge for the position, although pundits see this as a ploy to demonstrate internal party democracy. He will battle it out with two other candidates as he seeks to retain his position of ODM party leader. Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati and another party member, David Songok Lang’at, are vying for the party leader position. NOMINATION PAPERS The two returned their nomination papers ahead of Monday’s deadline to become eligible for the February 28 to March 1 party polls.
The race for deputy party leader was reduced to a contest between two governors as only Mombasa’s Ali Hassan Joho and his Kakamega counterpart, Wycliffe Oparanya, had returned their nomination papers. By Monday evening, although the secretary general’s seat had attracted 10 candidates, only three – nominated senators Agnes Zani and Elizabeth Ongoro, and Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba – had submitted their nomination forms.
Two others, youthful MPs Ken Obura and John Mbadi, were yet to return their papers after picking them earlier in the day. Larry Gumbe, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and Simon Lilan are eyeing the deputy secretary general’s slot. For the chairman’s seat, Turkana Governor Josephat Nanok is pitted against MPs Paul Otuoma (Funyula), Manson Nyamweya (South Mugirango) and Mpuri Aburi (Tigania East) in the race to replace former minister Henry Kosgey who has not shown interest in defending the seat he has held since 2007. Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero will fight it out with senators Otieno Kajwang’ (Homa Bay), Janet Ong’era (nominated) and Eldas MP Adan Keynan for the position of vice chairman.
MPs Simon Ogari (Bomachoge Chache) and Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba) and party member Ibrahim Mohamed are gunning for the treasurer’s slot. Kakamega Woman Representative Rachael Ameso and delegates Steve Ringera and Rahab Robi are seeking the deputy treasurer’s post.
Former Standard Group journalists Beauttah Omanga (Nyamira County majority leader) and Denittah Ghati (Migori Woman Rep) will be competing for secretary for information while nominated MP Zulekha Hassan wants to be secretary for special programmes, security and social welfare. Nairobi political protagonists George Aladwa and Reuben Ndolo will once again renew their rivalry when they square it out for the position of organising secretary. Others in the race for the post are MPs Abdikadir Aden (Mbalambala), Irshad Sumra (Embakasi South MP) and Gitonga Wathanga.  Even as candidates dashed to seek clearance from the party, political intrigues surrounding the contest for the leadership of the party continued to play out.
standardmedia.co.ke

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The House Kibaki Won’t Live in

 admin | January 26, 2014 |
kibaki-LucyPassing by the gate, one only sees bored-looking armed officers from the elite General Service Unit (GSU) standing sentry. The first impression one gets is that the imposing building, sheltered by a huge thicket of indigenous trees and bougainvillea, is an exclusive members’ club or a security safe-house. There is no human or vehicle traffic going in or out of the home, making one conclude that whoever accesses the place is either by light aircraft landing inside the expansive compound or from the nearby Mweiga Airstrip.
Located at Sasini Ranch, about 10 kilometres from Nyeri town on Mweiga-Nyahururu highway, the Sh200 million property is as magnificent as they come. The intendedretirement home for immediate former President Mwai Kibaki is located on a 120-acre ranch lying in the imposing ridge between the scenic Mount Kenya on one side, and the Aberdare Ranges on the other.

But the beauty and opulence of the place apparently have nor made any big impression on the immediate former President. Neighbours say he has only been to the facility twice since his retirement in April last year. And on both occasions, they say, he only had a cup of tea, was taken round to inspect the high grade cows and merino sheep in the compound, and left as fast as he had come. On both occasions, he was served tea at the verandah where he chatted with the farm managers.

Nobody seems to remember him getting inside the house. Sources in the lonely neighbourhood say the only regular person at the home is the retired President’s daughter, Ms Judy Wanjiku, but who also has never spent a night at the place. “She only checks out on what is going on, sorts out one or two matters with the management, and goes away”, says a worker at the ranch. Unconfirmed reports have it that a Nyeri politician occasionally drives to the compound incognito, but sneaks out even before anybody gets idea that she was there at all.
Since his retirement, Kibaki has been to his “home” county, Nyeri, less than a dozen times, to attend to a civil suit at the Nyeri Law Courts where he is a witness, or to attend the burial of one or two close friends. It is on those occasions that he has spared a few minutes to be driven to the supposed retirement home and back to Nairobi the very same day. So why would so much public funds be spent on aretirement home the former President seemingly had no use for in the first place?
Sources in the government say the home was not constructed at the request of theretired President. A source at the Ministry of Public Works says it was all the work of “overenthusiastic” highly placed civil servants in the Office of the President. He says: “We were under so much pressure to put up the retirement home at a quick notice. The office of the Secretary to the Cabinet would demand daily. Sometimes, our men had to work 24/7 to cope with the tough deadlines.”
The public works official says some of the “excessive luxuries” at the retirement home were not in the original plan, but were pushed through by a top official in the Office of the President. Sources in the ministry of Public Works and in the OP contend that it is almost certain that Kibaki had no idea what went on. Says a source: “Knowing Kibaki, it is likely he was clueless about it all. It is not his nature to demand this or that for himself.
This is a man who didn’t want anything named after him when in power hence he couldn’t turn around and demand a retirement home he never needed.” Sources say the eager-to-please bureaucrats behind the construction of the retirement homewere the same who had come up with the proposal to buy a Sh700 million office block for the retired President, but which was vetoed by the State and Kibaki himself who, we have learnt, quietly communicated that he didn’t need an office block in his retirement.
Other sources say corruption cannot be ruled out as motivation for building or purchasing office block for the retired President when he did not need them. “Projects such as a presidential retirement home and office are ready cash-cows for unscrupulous civil servants and other cartels. That category of projects come with a security-tag which is good excuse to avoid scrutiny and steal public money.” Those who know Kibaki well say it is inconceivable that somebody figured Kibaki would re-locate to a rural home when he has spent all his adult life in Nairobi.
Retired politician John Keen who has known Kibaki for over half a century, says: “Except for the four years he studied and worked in Kampala, and the short period in college at London, Kibaki has been a Nairobi man all his adult life. How then do you tell him to go and live in Nyeri in the sunset of his life?” Keen says it would be very lonely for Kibaki to live in Nyeri when his close family, buddies and business associates are in Nairobi. The man loves golf and not the kind played in such small facilities as Nyeri and Nyahururu Golf courses.
He needs to be near Muthaiga, Limuru, Windsor or Karen clubs where his contemporaries frequent.” Speaking at Equity Bank scholarship awarding ceremony last week, Kibaki caused laughter when he asked his hosts not to hesitate to invitehim to such events because “I am just around here and have the time to come.” By “just around here” the retired President, known for humorous one-liners, may as well have meant the capital city where he now – as he would put it himself – enjoys himself – having cups of tea with friends at his favourite golf clubs – Muthaiga, Limuru and Kabete VetLab.
Which reminds one of a campaign rally in the city during 2007 presidential elections when Kibaki asked Nairobians to vote for him and his party since they were the “real” Nairobi people. “Kwani mnasema Nairobi niya kina nani? Ni sisi wenyewe. Tumeishi hapa hii miaka yote!” (“Who do you think are Nairobi people? It is us who own Nairobi. We have lived here all these years.)
While retired President Kibaki would not be caught spending a night in his rural Nyeri home, founder President Jomo Kenyatta would never sleep in Nairobi. RetiredPresident Moi was comfortable with either his city private home – KabarnetGardens, or the rural home at Kabarak in Nakuru County. Those who worked under founder President Kenyatta recall rarely spending a night in Nairobi where he had a home next to State House, Nairobi.
The same house is now the private residence of President Uhuru Kenyatta. Though Kenyatta’s children – including Uhuru – lived at State House as they were attending school in the city, the President and the First Lady, Mama Ngina, would always be driven to the family rural Gatundu home in Kiambu County. A cabinet minister in the Kenyatta government, Dr Munyua Waiyaki, recalls the late president would be driven home to Gatundu however late he stayed in town.
He says: “As Foreign Affairs minister, I remember we would stay late at State House, Nairobi, hosting late dinners for visiting heads of State. Sometimes, the state dinners would go to about midnight, but Kenyatta would always insist that he must go to Gatundu.” Dr Waiyaki recalls Kenyatta once explaining that he could never sleep at Nairobi State House because “colonial ghosts would haunt him at night.” State House, formerly known as Government House, was official and private residence of the British colonial Governor.
Similarly, though he spent many days at the coast, Kenyatta preferred to sleep at his private Mombasa residence and only go to Mombasa State House in the morning for official functions. However, as if in premonition, he had began to agree to sleep at Mombasa State House in the last few days of his life. It is here that he passed on. However, the late President had a sentimental liking for Nakuru’s State House where he lived and worked for the better part of his reign. The late Kenyatta too, had other idiosyncrasies as is expected of old men of his age and generation. He would never take a lift and would never travel by air in his years as President.
Dr Waiyaki remembers one occasion when the late President had gone to officially open the multi-storey Coast Provincial Headquarters. He was to take the lift to the fifth floor office of the Provincial Commissioner to sign the visitor’s book. But immediately the lift car opened, he asked Mama Ngina “to go sign the book and find us down here.” The visitor’s book had to be brought downstairs where he signed it. For the same reason, he would never work from Harambee House third floor office of the President. With flying, the last time the late President was in air was early in his reign when he was flown from Dar es Salaam in a light aircraft. His head of security Bernard Njinu recalls the journey in a light aircraft being so tumultuous that the late President came cursing all the way.
On landing at Mombasa, a fuming President sidled to his head of security in vernacular: “Ira g**i kau karikuaga nyina ti Kenyatta!” (Tell the ***** (expletive) white pilot that henceforth he will be flying his mother not Kenyatta!”) As for retired President Moi, Kabarak rural home was ever his preference and where he spent most of the weekends. While in Nairobi, he faithfully spent all nights at his private Kabarnet Gardens home next to Kibera slums. The Kibera house was official residence of the deputy colonial Governor. It automatically became home for the Vice President at independence. Upon Moi’s retirement in 2002, the Narc government under President Kibaki decided to allow the retired President to keep the Kibera residence.- The People
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