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My first encounter with David Murathe, Uhuru’s strategist



On a sunny Saturday afternoon of October 4, 2008, I received a call from a man whose mobile phone number I did not have. He identified himself as Murathe, but I couldn’t recall the name and for a moment had him confused for Dr Stanley Murage, President Mwai Kibaki’s adviser and strategist. “Not Murage, Murathe,” the jovial, gravelly voice on the end of my mobile phone emphasised. I was still at sea. “David Murathe, the former MP for Gatanga,” he said. It mildly rang a bell. “I am now Uhuru’s (Uhuru Kenyatta) adviser,” he informed me by way of introduction.

I recall that call vividly even after all those years because it left a huge impression on me. At the time I was a rookie correspondent based in Nation Media Group’s Eldoret bureau and, therefore, not exposed enough to the country’s political movers to catch their attention or even that of their assistants. No one of Mr Murathe’s stature had called me before.

However, from that end of the world I had managed to write a number of in-depth analysis that had about the shifting political alliances that had obviously got the attention of some observers in certain quarters.

A tinge of fear often hits many a rookie journalists when they write articles that offends their powerful subjects. Mr Murathe’s unexpected call instilled that fear on that day. What could he possibly want from a correspondent he had never met before? I braced myself for the usual harangue.

“I liked the article you wrote today,” he said. Well, that was some sort of relief. I can recall him saying to me: “That is very good work and I want to encourage you to continue that way.”

The article in question was a special report I had written about an attempt by MPs from the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin communities living in Rift Valley to form a political alliance as a way of ending the hostilities between them.

Members of the two communities living in Rift Valley clashed following the announcement of the results of the December 2007 presidential poll which was won by President Kibaki (who was overwhelmingly supported by the Kikuyu), but disputed by his main challenger, Raila Odinga, whom the Kalenjin voted for almost to a man.

The proposed alliance was the brainchild of Molo MP Joseph Kiuna who termed it a reaction to what he claimed was the marginalisation of the Kikuyu diaspora by the regimes of presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Kibaki. Nominated MP Musa Sirma was among the first ones in the Kalenjin community to embrace the initiative.

“When two brothers fight, they often become best friends,” Mr Murathe told me that bright Saturday afternoon. “We should not have violence during every election cycle. This is the cure,” I can recall him telling me as clearly as my memory can serve me.

The Kalenjin-Kikuyu union or popularly known as the “KK” alliance, was one of the many reasons for the fallout between Mr Odinga and one of his key lieutenants in 2007 campaigns, Eldoret North MP William Ruto. Not only had Mr Ruto played a key part in Mr Odinga’s campaigns, he was in the four-man team that led the negotiations on behalf of Mr Odinga during the mediation talks led by former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan.

In the power-sharing agreement negotiated by Mr Annan, Mr Odinga was named Prime Minister deputised by Mr Kenyatta (representing President Kibaki’s side), and Mr Musalia Mudavadi representing Mr Odinga’s side.

Mr Ruto was named minister for Agriculture. But in a period of less than two years, the relationship between him and the PM had strained so badly over a number of issues culminating in Mr Odinga suspending Mr Ruto from the Cabinet in February 2010 over alleged graft.

All along, President Kibaki’s camp watched the infighting within ODM gleefully even as they sought to cut Mr Odinga down to size. One note of memory that stuck with me all those years is Mr

Murathe remarks about the clash between Mr Ruto and Mr Odinga: “Without the Kalenjin, he (Mr Odinga) is done,” he said. The main drivers of the KK alliance were to be Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto who were expected to mould it into a political vehicle through which to contest the 2013 presidential elections.

However, at the time of Mr Murathe’s call, Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto had not publicly warmed up to the idea of the ethnic alliance. The latter simply avoided any talk about it in public. Mr Kenyatta said it would not work, accusing Kalenjin MPs of insincerity. “Such an agreement cannot work because, while some of us are sincere, our brothers are not,” he said during Mr Kiuna’s homecoming ceremony in September 2009. But in the end, they were forced to come together by circumstances beyond their control after they were both indicted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their alleged roles in the 2007/2008 post- election violence. Well, 10 years later, things have gone full circle. Mr Murathe, who was one of the ardent supporters of the KK alliance — which essentially birthed the ruling Jubilee Party — is now an avowed opponent of one of its leading lights, Mr Ruto, who is now Deputy President and is seeking to succeed President Kenyatta in 2022. How times change!

As Narrated by Sunday Nation Writer Kipchumba Some

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Barclays Bank Sh14m ATM heist was an inside job – DCI Kinoti



The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti has confirmed that the theft of sh14 million at various Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) operated by Barclays Bank was an inside job.

According to the DCI, an initial investigation has revealed that the daring heist was executed by employees attached to the bank.

Kinoti said his team of detectives was concluding its probe in readiness to hand over the investigation file to the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Hajji’s office for prosecution of those found culpable.

“What happened at Barclays Bank is what we call constructive robbery which is a type of theft committed by employees of an organization. Look at the precision and exactly what was targeted. We are talking about a place that has CCTV cameras. However, those cameras were smeared with some substance,” he said.

On Wednesday detectives arrested a taxi driver and impounded a Probox vehicle suspected to have been used in the theft.

Five Barclays bank officials and a group of G4S security guards were earlier this week taken into custody to aid the police with the investigation.

A string of robberies in the long Easter weekend left Barclays Bank short of more than Sh14 million after four teller machines were broken into in Mutindwa, Mater Hospital, Kenyatta National Hospita and Kenya Cinema all in Nairobi County.


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BREAKING: Evans Kidero arrested again



Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and former Chief of Staff George Wainaina have been arrested.

The arrests come following investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission over irregular payment of Sh68 million by the Nairobi City County government to a law firm.

EACC has been investigating allegations of irregular payment of the money to M/S Wachira Mburu, Mwangi and Company Advocates.

In a press statement, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji said that after reviewing the file submitted by EACC, there was enough evidence to charge Dr Kidero and others over the suspected illegal payment.

According to the DPP, the suspects will be charged with, among others, conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, abuse of office and money laundering.

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Blonde Dj Mo caught using iPhone while marketing Oppo



The concept of an “influencer” is pretty clear; “an individual who can reach many people through various communication channels and can therefore, potentially, influence them to like or dislike, adopt, buy or skip buying, products and services”.

Samuel Muraya, popularly known as Dj Mo, broke the code by going the opposite while influencing for and endorsing the latest Oppo smartphone F11 launched this week.

The gospel Dj sent out several tweets to describe how he likes the latest Oppo gadget while using an iPhone which is a rival product.

Kenyans online, who never miss the opportunity to poke fun at an online gaffe, took notice before Dj Mo could delete the tweets.


Using celebrity influencers has become the new form of marketing. It is believed that their fans are likely to use a brand that their “idols” are associated with.

Mr Muraya is not the first person to make such a blunder.

American media mogul and former talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey once sent shares of Windows tumbling down after she used an iPad to promote Windows Surface tablet.

Another influencer Luka Sabbat was sued last year for failing to live up to an agreement to promote Snap Spectacles on his Instagram account.

The company filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, alleging that Sabbat breached his agreement to post three Instagram stories and one post to his Instagram feed in which he would be wearing the spectacles.

While in Nigeria, renowned tech YouTuber, Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) Samsung Nigeria was forced to deactivate their verified account after he posted from an iPhone.

Russian TV personality Ksenia Sobchak, who doubled as Samsung’s brand ambassador was also sued after she was photographed using an iPhone X during a TV interview instead of a Samsung.


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