Unknown to many, this is now the most powerful man at State House after Uhuru? - Kenya Satellite News Network
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Unknown to many, this is now the most powerful man at State House after Uhuru?

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Nzioka Waita, the head of the Presidential Delivery Unit, has emerged as the new power broker at State House, multiple sources reveal.

Mr Waita also doubles as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s chief of staff, another position that puts him within arm’s reach of the President, having no executive role at the PDU, since it is run by Andrew Wakahiu, coupled with the fact that the role of the chief of staff is not well defined, Mr Waita has found himself with enough room to wiggle his way across government departments. And he has the President’s ear.

Speaking to the Sunday Nation, Mr Waita said power is a matter of perception and he would not be drawn into discussing whether he is powerful or not.

“I am a backroom person. My work is to ensure that the job I have been given is accomplished. I work at the pleasure of the President,” he said.

Since his appointment, Mr Waita has been instrumental in various decisions that have been made since the President’s second term started.

GROWING CLOUT

He co-wrote Executive Order 1, a powerful instrument that determines the duties of each government department.

He is the face of recent demolitions as the chair of the Nairobi Regeneration Committee. He has also been co-opted into the Cabinet and was prominent in Cabinet photos after the last meeting.

He has a refurbished office once occupied by former secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia.

And he has several deputies. Acting PSCU boss Kanze Dena and Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe report to him, making him the communication boss for the government.

Mr Nzioka has eclipsed Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and Comptroller of State House Kinuthia Mbugua.

When he was head-hunted from Safaricom to head the newly created Presidential Delivery Unit, Mr Waita perhaps never knew that one day he would be viewed as one of the most powerful people in the Jubilee administration.

POWERFUL MAN

Cabinet secretaries and principal secretaries, as well as parastatal executives, have been dealing with Mr Waita, thus making his reach in government far, wide and deep.

Previously, Mr Kinyua played this role but, as his time in government nears its end, it is Mr Waita who is slowly stepping into his shoes.

When an audio clip of a phone call between governors Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Ferdinand Waititu (Kiambu) over the arrest of the latter’s wife was leaked, an interesting tidbit passed unnoticed.

On the tape, Sonko is heard saying that his hands are tied and that Mr Waititu should call Mr Waita to have his wife released. It was telling that the elected governors were afraid of the unelected Mr Waita and not President Kenyatta.

“He is the new (Hezekiah) Oyugi, though not as powerful as the Moi man,” a source with knowledge of power manoeuvres in the corridors of power said.

The late Oyugi was a powerful permanent secretary in the office of the President at the dawn of multiparty politics in early 1990s.

DEMONSTRATIONS

When importers of Chinese products mounted a demonstration in city streets, shocking the government for their daring act, it was Mr Waita who scrambled a response to address their woes.

He led a high-powered delegation comprising top officers from the KRA, the Anti-Counterfeit Agency and the Kenya Bureau of Standards to meet officials of the Nairobi Importers and Traders Association, a lobby for small traders, in downtown Nairobi.

He promised them that the President was committed to ensuring that their problems with government agencies would end.

When the Kenya Medical Association and the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists’ Union opposed the Kenya-Cuba doctors deal, he was again at hand to provide a policy direction over the matter.

He said only experts in areas such as oncology (cancer), nephrology (kidney) and dermatology (skin) would be brought to Kenya.

CUBAN DOCTORS

He defended the Nairobi-Havana deal, saying deploying medical experts to rural areas would reduce the number of patients relying on Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital.

In June, High Court Judge Onesmus Makau temporarily stopped the implementation of a circular by the head of civil service on the vetting of procurement officers.

Mr Waita took to Twitter to air what was considered as the Executive position on the matter.

“Whereas the Judiciary shouldn’t be condemned wholesale, from today’s ruling by the Labour Relations Court stopping vetting of public officers, two things are now clear for all to see: 1) Corruption is fighting back 2) Agents of impunity have found refuge in court corridors,” Mr Waita wrote.

“No matter how many obstacles are thrown in the way of this fight against corruption, there will be no relenting. It is my prayer that the leadership of the Judiciary upon whom the country has placed a lot of faith will put its house in order. The fight against corruption will be messy and uncomfortable but it must be done for the greater good of the nation,” he added.

OFFICIAL COMMUNICATION

In July, Mr Waita moved to streamline communication in government by disowning several social media handles and setting the record straight on how information is disseminated.

He disowned @PresidentKE and @PSCU_Digital unit as official Twitter accounts and directed that official accounts would be @StateHouseKenya, @UKenyatta, @FirstLadyKenya and @KanzeDena.

“All official communication originating from the President’s Strategic Communications Unit will strictly be communicated through the listed channels,” he said.

“Operational correspondence by PSCU staff to media outlets will be done through officially assigned president.go.ke email addresses.”

He had also made the announcement that saw Citizen TV anchor Kanze Dena appointed the Deputy State House spokesperson in far-reaching changes made in the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit.

Mr Nzioka joined the government in 2016 from Safaricom, where he was the director of corporate affairs.

-nation.co.ke

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Sh18 million? DP Ruto bashed over launch of ‘outdated’ computers

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Deputy President William Ruto and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen over the weekend were at Sambirir Girls in Marakwet to launch the schools ICT and Resource Centre and the pictures taken during the launch have sparked fury on the internet.

The two leaders who were present to officiate the opening of the centre were trolled all over social media for what Kenyans term as a mediocre project.

Deputy President William Ruto and Elgeyo Marakwet Senetaor Kipchumba Murkomen at were at Sambirir Girls in Marakwet to launch the schools ICT and Resource Centre [Courtesy]

The initiative which was funded by the government of Kenya, Ministry of Education and National Government Constituencies Development Fund raised 18 million for the school to acquire new equipment for the ICT Centre including computers to replace the obsolete ones.

Sambirir Girls ICT and Resource Centre [Courtesy]

Coming to the leaders’ defence, blogger Abraham Mutai took to Twitter to explain that the pictures taken were of the old computers that are yet to be replaced.

The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator retweeted the blogger’s tweet on his official handle:

Lord Abraham Mutai [Twitter]

@ledamalekina My Good Lord … the computers are from the 19th century!LOL Mutatuonesha mambo!

@PeratoN_Senior If you are true and genuine leaders,  you should have bought brand new computers put them in your v8s. How could you even take a photo of such computers,?  you guys fear to think.

@proudMamasgirl African leaders never fail to amaze me ????????What kind of computer is that?

@jjogola ‘…funded by GOK through MOE & NG-CDF…’

‘…You raised 18M for equipping the centre…’How do you reconcile those 2? What exactly was the GOK funding? If you don’t come out with as much detail as you did for the dams, we are prone to misinterpret the whole exercise…

@JimmyJa89756016  Talk about launching computer’s museums

@gitongaraymond_ So they open a new lab and even cut the ribbon,,,, did the computers come with the new lab? Were they transferred from the old one?, why not buy the computers before launching the new lab, but who are we to answer such question

@glennkaruga Yaani computers ziko na kisogo ndio mmenunua na 18M???????????? Nyinyi wote mnafaa tu mkue situation ya designated survivor tuanze a fresh with young leaders wenye wanajielewa!

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MP Mishi Mboko’s brother, Dr Ali Juma dies in an apparent suicide

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The brother to Likoni Member of Parliament and ODM deputy director of election Mishi Mboko is dead following alleged suicide.

The family of the deceased, Dr Ali Juma, was informed of the incident on Sunday and is awaiting a postmortem report to be done on Monday in Cuba.ODM party, through their Twitter handle, has sent its condolences to the family in this trying moment.

“Condolences to the family of Likoni MP and deputy director of elections Hon @mbokomishi following the death of her brother Dr Ali Hamso in Cuba where he had gone to pursue Masters Degree in Medicine. We pray for God’s fortitude in the family during this sad moment.” Tweeted ODM.

Dr Ali Juma was among the 50 Kenyan doctors sent to Cuba to pursue further studies at the University of Medical Sciences in Havana, to specialize in Family Medicine.

The sponsored medics have been on record decrying harsh living condition and failure by the Kenyan government to provide them with the agreed stipend to meet their daily expenditure.

It was reported that an exercise book costing Sh30 here in Kenya goes for Sh800 in Cuba.  Majority of them were reportedly unable to afford a cup of tea due to its costly price of Sh600.

According to the agreement that saw them leave the country, they were to be paid a stipend of Sh36,000 monthly. However, complaints emerged over the failure by the government to be consistent in settling the allowances.

The medics are expected to undergo two years of training in Cuba with the government expected to cough sh215 million shillings in the program.

source:standardmedia.co.ke

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Patient stranded at JKIA after being ejected from plane

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A patient scheduled to travel to India for specialised treatment has been left stranded at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) after she was ejected from the plane.

Wangari Ndumia, 25, was whisked out of an Etihad flight EY 642 together with her sister after differences emerged on her fitness to fly.

While her sister, Ann Ndumia insisted that she was in a stable condition to board the plane that was making a stop in Abu Dhabi before connecting to Delhi, India, the officials of the airline claimed she was not fit.

This is despite the two having boarded the plane, already seated and was just waiting for the flight attendants to allocate her sister a favorable seat with enough leg room.

However, as soon as all the passengers had boarded, a call was made and what followed was the security officers directing them to leave the plane.

Ann said this was the second time they were being denied a chance to travel. The first time was on Tuesday where Air Arabia also did not allow them to check in.“And they (Air Arabia) refused to refund us the cash we paid a total of Sh116,870,” said Ann, almost breaking down.

According to an email seen by The Standard addressed to a local booking agent, Prudential Travels the airline laid blame on the agent.“For all medical reasons travel you ought not to issue tickets before medical clearance with a fit to fly remark,” read the email in part from Air Arabia.

It added: “Kindly note your ticket was within 24 hours we cannot cancel, only airport taxes can be reversed and credit note issued under the same passenger names. No cash fund is given on Air Arabia. You may cancel the inbound flight.”After this mail, Ann said she was forced to go back to the same agent to try a secure another flight, which she said, she was instructed to add Sh50,000 more.

She only had Sh25,000 and so  reached an agreement that she will pay the rest once she is back from India.This is when the agent booked another flight with Etihad that was scheduled to depart on Sunday 2:15pm via Abu Dhabi before connecting to Delhi.

This time round, the agent had all the papers right including a medical certificate signed by Dr Diane Mclvor of Etihad.On the flight ticket too it was indicated that she was a medical case described as ‘wheelchair all the way seat-confirmed.’

Plane tickets of Epharus Wangari Ndumia. The patient was going to India for medical reconstructive surgery accompanied by her sister Ann Wambui Ndumia. [David Gichuru/Standard]

But as soon as the plane was already boarded, Ann and her ailing sister, whose right leg is being held together with screws due to massive loss of bones, were instructed to leave the flight.

An exchange ensued between the Etihad officials and the family who wanted answers on why they could not be allowed to travel.

“We called Medilink, which is the global agent on medical issues for all airlines based in Singapore and they said she was not fit to travel,” said the Etihad official in charge, who also claimed that Wangari was screaming in pain when she was being assisted to board.“But she is sick. What did they expect her to do?” posed Ann.

source:standard.co.ke

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