My first encounter with David Murathe, Uhuru’s strategist - Kenya Satellite News Network
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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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We were not happy anymore – Lilian Muli speaks on split from ex-husband



Days after K24 news anchor Betty Kyallo opened up to her Instagram followers that she is happy that her ex-husband Dennis Okari has moved on, Lilian Muli has taken a cue.

Speaking to Kalekye Mumo, Muli disclosed that her relationship with ex-husband, Moses Njuguna Kanene, came to a slow, grinding halt and they had to go their separate ways.

The Citizen TV anchor narrated that though the relationship was bliss at first, it reached a point where she felt “strangulated.”

She added that they mutually agreed to part ways and still remain friends to date.

I was young, I was a small girl. That seems like a long time ago but it was pretty romantic. He was my friend, he remain my friend to date. He is an extremely romantic gentleman and so he guided me a lot along that process, it is what it is, things didn’t work out. He is a person I respect to date

We were not happy anymore, and we just got to a place where you know we were not friends anymore, and I felt strangulated, I just felt that the Lilian I knew was getting suffocated in this environment and we mutually opted it was not working. We agreed to go separate ways. It is easier that way, there is no unnecessary drama. Once you have a child with someone really that person is your life forever,” Muli told Kalyekye.

Source: SDE

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PHOTOS: Langata MP Nixon Korir weds lover in exclusive ceremony



A day after NTV anchor Dennis Okari exchanged vows with Naomi Joy in an invite-only ceremony along Kiambu Road, Saturday the 16th was Nixon Korir’s turn.

The Langata MP wedded his longtime lover Beryl Zoraima at an exclusive wedding held at the Karen Blixen Museum in Nairobi.

The event was graced by family and friends as well as the who’s who in the political and entertainment scene.

Take a look at photos from the ceremony below…


Source: SDE


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Murder most foul: Woman denies killing her ‘mother’



Suspect is accused of stabbing elderly woman 15 times in the neck, chest and stomach

Bernadette Njoki Gachinga, 33, was adopted by Esther Wangari Kanuri at the age of three months after being dumped by her biological mother.

But, on the evening of February 23, 2014, Ms Kanuri was brutally killed by unknown assailants at her home in Kihuyo village, Nyeri town. The slain civil servant’s body was found by her husband, Michael Kanuri, lying in a pool of blood in her adopted daughter’s bedroom.

Ms Njoki turned out to be the prime suspect in the murder. It is alleged that she attacked her foster mother while she was taking tea in her living room and stabbed her more than 15 times in the neck, chest and stomach. She allegedly later dragged the body to her bedroom, locked it from the outside and escaped to Nyeri town.

Ms Kanuri, who was suffering from arthritis, had just arrived home from a church service at Kihuyo Presbyterian Church of East Africa.

Although Ms Njoki has since denied killing her foster mother, the court found that she has a case to answer.

During her defence at the High Court in Nyeri on Thursday, Ms Njoki admitted hating her foster mother. The court was told she made Ms Kanuri’s life a living hell after discovering she was not her biological mother.

Justice Abigail Mshila heard that Ms Njoki was a wild and indisciplined girl since her days in high school and was addicted to drugs like bhang and alcohol.

While being cross-examined by State Counsel Emma Gicheha and lawyer Gitonga Muthee for the deceased’s family, Ms Njoki admitted that she became errant and defiant to her foster mother after completing primary school education in 2001.

“I discovered that she was not my biological parent after snooping into a cabinet in the house that was always locked. I was 14 years then and I told my brother that we are adopted children. I became confused and escaped from home for one month to look for my biological mother but I later returned,” Ms Njoki said.

She admitted harbouring a grudge against Ms Kanuri for reasons she did not disclose. She said she was not bitter although Ms Kanuri had not told her she was adopted.

Ms Njoki is accused of stabbing her foster mother to death following an altercation caused by her indiscipline. The disagreement allegedly arose after Ms Kanuri asked her why she had not reported to her workplace in Nyeri town where she was operating a fruits parlour.

The prosecution told the court Ms Njoki, while in high school, wrote a letter to her foster father telling him how she hated her foster mother.

“Remember I wrote to you an SMS telling you that I hate mum. I was angry. I wish I got to know my real mother,” reads the letter.

Source: Daily Nation

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