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The enigma of Kibicho: From varsity don to Mr Fixit of Jubilee



In public, Dr Karanja Kibicho walks with the confidence of a big cat. He rarely speaks — and leaves it to his boss, Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who like him, exhibits a no-nonsense public posture.

Behind the scenes, Dr Kibicho is, without a doubt, the super Principal Secretary, chairing the powerful National Development Implementation Technical Committee, which was formed by President Uhuru Kenyatta through Executive Order Number 1 of 2019 dated January 21.

With that, he has the administrative networks of the national government on speed dial and is Mr Kenyatta’s Mr Fixit. With new powers at his disposal, and support from State House, Dr Kibicho has been an insider in the war on corruption and the reorganisation of the Kenyatta II State.

The January 21 executive order also elevated his boss, Dr Matiang’i, to the supervisory role of government programmes and projects, thus whittling down Deputy President William Ruto’s powers — and denying him a chance to go around the country in the guise of opening and supervising projects, while laying ground for the 2022 elections.

That the duo of Dr Kibicho and Dr Matiang’i has, ever since, emerged as the most powerful Jubilee technocrats is thanks to the lofty position they hold at the Ministry of Interior too, the fulcrum of the Kenyatta Administration.

There is a political price that comes with that — both are loved and loathed in equal measure.

With the Jubilee Party torn into two, Dr Kibicho has turned out to be the punching bag of elements who favour the rise of Dr Ruto as the heir-apparent once President Kenyatta’s final term comes to a close.

In the last two general elections, and before he seemed to have made an about-turn, President Kenyatta had rallied voters in Mr Ruto’s backyard to support him with the promise that he would hand over to his deputy.

Although Mr Kenyatta has not succinctly indicated that he has shifted from that position, his recent political moves indicate a waning of confidence in a Ruto presidency — opting to maintain a studious silence on political developments that may shape his presidency.

When he recently spoke at the Kasarani stadium, and without naming names, he promised those writing him off in his Mt Kenya backyard a battle royale.

The rise of Dr Kibicho from a chairman of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology in 2010 to one of the most-coveted positions in President Kenyatta’s government is partly attributed to his resolute tendencies.

“When it comes to loyalty, he has no two sides. He is resolute and confident,” said a confidante who has worked with him.

Ever since independence, the Interior ministry has been the citadel of powerful public servants — the likes of James Mathenge, Wilfred Kimalat, Hezekiah Oyugi, and Zakayo Cheruiyot — with the provincial authority, now under Dr Kibicho, as the centre of rural authority and internal security.

For that, this makes Dr Kibicho one of the most informed public servants on matters security — managing the inner workings of the national government at a time when President Kenyatta fears that he could turn out to be a lame duck administrator in his final term.

While the President intended to use his final term to build his legacy around the Big Four agenda of food security, affordable housing, manufacturing, and affordable healthcare; the rush by DP Ruto to start an early political campaign seems to have detracted the politicos within Jubilee from their manifesto — and focused, instead on the post-Uhuru realignments, much to the chagrin of Mr Kenyatta.

Without Jubilee politicians, President Kenyatta has now turned to technocrats, the likes of Dr Kibicho, State operatives and intelligence services to manage the government and politics.

More so, he has banked on Orange Democratic Party leader Raila Odinga, whose absence from opposition politics — thanks to the truce he signed with President Kenyatta, has quietened the opposition ranks but divided the Jubilee Party from within. Within Mt Kenya region, Dr Kibicho has been criticised by local leaders, in support of Dr Ruto’s bid, who accuse him of waging a war against the deputy president by using elders — amorphous groupings that have emerged in various counties.

The most vocal critic has been Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, who has accused Dr Kibicho of using a confidential vote in his ministry to do politics and proposed to have it scrapped by Parliament. Dr Kibicho has not spared the critics either, daring them to go ahead.

“If they feel it (the expenditure) is not useful for our country they can scrap it. We have no problem. They can do as they please,” Dr Kibicho told the Nation last week. “Let’s see how far that gets.”

Whether that is a mark of confidence or arrogance depends on whom you ask. But those who know Dr Kibicho say that though he is a man of few words, he never minces his words.

With no love lost between Dr Kibicho and supporters of Dr Ruto, it was not surprising that he was thrown at the centre of the narrative that some Cabinet secretaries from Mt Kenya region were plotting to assassinate the Deputy President.

Monday, the CSs, led by Peter Munya, went to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations but left without recording a statement. Reason? There was still no complainant.

That alone exposed the soft-belly of Jubilee Party. But that Dr Kibicho finds himself being fried in the Jubilee pan is the hallmark of the confusion within the party and how the Kenyatta succession has reached the end of the tether.

He did not wish to be drawn into this discussion; opting to keep quiet.

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A case of two stolen cows and a DNA test



When Ann Cherotich and her husband John Tingiso lost their two Friesian cows to a cattle thief five years ago, their dairy business was shattered.

Ms Cherotich’s life would then be darkened even more, when her husband died two months later in a road accident.

At only 31, she was a widowed mother of three with no source of income.

One day in August this year, as she was travelling to Nakuru, she spotted two cows grazing by the road. The cows had all the features of her stolen animals.

Although five years had passed, she was convinced that the cows she spotted were hers, so she reported the matter to the police, and investigations began.

What appeared like a light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be another puzzle that has proved too complex to resolve.

A veterinary officer familiar with Ms Cherotich’s cows assessed the physical appearance of the cows and was convinced that they were the same ones. But a neighbour, Gloria Kandie, was claiming ownership.

A DNA profiling was done by another vet, and the results proved Ms Cherotich right. The cows’ DNA matched those of the cows that sired them.

However, the ownership of the two animals is now the subject of a legal battle between the two women at the Chief Magistrates’ Court in Nakuru.

Pregnant cows

Ms Cherotich says she lost the cattle on the night of August 27, 2015, around 3am. While sleeping, she and her husband heard a commotion at the cattle shed and when they woke up, found the cows — Rose Nangiene and Kisirani, mother and daughter — gone. Both were pregnant.

They tracked the animals’ footprints, but the trail ran cold on the Nakuru-Kericho highway.

Her husband reported the theft to the Ngata Police Post.

Ms Kandie, on the other hand, maintained that she bought the cows separately from different sellers — one from Nyandarua and the other from Njoro at a total cost of Sh215,000 in 2019. She named the cows Ruma and Legina and produced sale agreements between her and David Mogaka and Paul Majanga.

Investigations revealed that the description given by Ms Cherotich in her earlier police statements tallied with the features of the two cows.

A veterinary officer in charge at Rongai Sub-county office, Mr Peter Ngugi, was engaged to do a DNA test. His findings revealed that the cows were related and belonged to Ms Cherotich.

“All factors considered, Ms Ann Cherotich proved beyond reasonable doubt to be the owner of the two cows,” noted Mr Ngugi in his report dated August 28.

Ms Kandie, however, disputed the report, and the police forwarded the file to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Nakuru Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Daniel Karuri, on perusing the file, directed that the cows be handed back to Ms Cherotich, their legal owner.

The DPP relied on the evidence of Ms Cherotich, her mother, the veterinary officer who used to attend to the animals, and of the police.

Loss of the cattle

“In light of the above expert opinion that the two cows belong to Ms Cherotich, I direct that they be restored… to her,” Mr Karuri ordered on September 9.

Following the DPP’s directive, the Officer Commanding Station at Menengai wrote to Ms Kandie on September 20 directing her to surrender the cows in two days—an order Ms Kandie is challenging in court.

In the case, Ms Kandie has sued Ms Cherotich and the Menengai OCS, accusing them of conspiring to dispossess her of her animals.

She has dismissed the veterinary report as fraudulent.

However, as the case awaits determination by the court Ms Cherotich fears losing the animals as she claims to have no means to put up a fight in court.

According to Ms Cherotich, her husband was deeply stressed by the loss of the cattle and was knocked by a matatu while crossing the highway after a fruitless search for the cows in Molo.

“These animals were my life since I used to sell the milk to Kenya Cooperative Creameries where we managed to support our livelihoods,” she said.

by Nationafrica

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VIDEO: Garden of Joy is officially a GREEN PROJECT



Garden of Joy by Optiven is fully installed with solar powered street lights.

The initiative is an add on not initially earmarked for the project.

Implementation of water recycling technology, Recycling of biogradable waste and hundreds of trees in place.

We have been undertaking intentional education on green energy as per sustainable development goals no 11 and No 7

The launch of the green initiative was graced by reknown artiste -JUSTINA SYOKAU, of the hit song Twendi twendi.

Joy and dance broke out to celebrate this great step as Optiven ups it’s game in greening projects under it’s portfolio. Watch the video here>>>

The project is ready to build with owners already groundbreaking for their dream homes.

At a price of 1.495M, get a piece of Joy today. We also have installment options as well.

To secure your plot TODAY, call us on 0723400500 or visit

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VIDEO&PHOTOS: Drama in court as Bomet man is confronted by his daughter



Tension was high at the High Court in Bomet on Monday as a carpenter, who allegedly doused his wife with petrol and burnt her, was charged with murder.

Robert Kipkorir Tonui was arraigned before Justice Roseline Korir. He denied the charge of murder.

After he took plea, his eldest daughter, 21, confronted him outside the courtroom, demanding to know why he killed her mother.

Tonui is accused of murdering his wife Emmy Chepkoech Mitei, a former deputy headteacher at Cheptalal Primary School.

His eldest daughter confronted him outside the courtroom, demanding to know why he killed her mother.

Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

Emmy sustained 97 per cent body burns in the attack and succumbed to injuries while undergoing treatment at Tenwek Mission Hospital.

Emmy, who was 45 years old at the time of her death, was buried at her home in Kobel Village on October 19. She left behind seven children.

The offence is alleged to have been committed on the night of October 7 in Seanin Village, Konoin constituency.

Tonui was arraigned in a courtroom packed with tense family members and curious members of the public with a Kericho-based advocate, Brian Langat, representing him.

As soon as Tonui was whisked out of the courtroom after taking plea, he was confronted by relatives led by Anita, her sisters and brothers-in-law.

Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

Dressed in a black jacket zipped up to the neck, and a hood hanging on his back, Tonui, who is 50 years old, wore a blue mask that covered half of his face.

He spoke only twice when asked the language he preferred to use and while answering to the charge preferred against him by the State, which carries a life sentence upon conviction.

Unlike when he appeared in a Sotik court shaken and unkempt following his arrest a week after being on the run, Tonui was well groomed with his thinning hair neatly combed.

When the charge was read to him after prosecutor George Mureithi tabled in court a medical report that said the suspect underwent a mental test and was confirmed to be of sound mind, he looked directly at the court clerk.

Tonui denied the charge and his lawyer made an application for his release on bail.

But the prosecutor opposed the plea, saying Tonui was a flight risk and that tension was still high in the village where the alleged murder was committed.

The suspect Robert Kipkorir Tonui in court.

Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

“Releasing the suspect on bail will pose a risk to his life as tension is still high in Seanin village where the crime was committed. Two of the witnesses are the accused’s children and there are high chances he will interfere with them if released,” Mr Mureithi argued.

Justice Korir directed that the suspect be held at the local prison until November 12 when a probation report on the suitability of his release on bond will be tabled in court.

After the court session, drama ensued outside the courtroom when the deceased’s eldest daughter, Anita Chelangat, wailed uncontrollably and hurled insults at her father.

As soon as Tonui was whisked out of the courtroom after taking plea, he was confronted by relatives led by Anita, her sisters and brothers-in-law.

With his head downcast and a mask hiding his facial reaction the suspect, without saying a word, boarded the waiting police vehicle.

Tonui’s daughter was pulled away by relatives and taken outside the court precincts to the main road some 30 metres away and was put in a relative’s vehicle where she collapsed on  the front seat.

Anita was restrained in the vehicle until the police vehicle ferrying her father to the local prison, some 400 metres away, sped off.

“Why did you kill our mother? Why did you make us part orphans after all the years of psychological torture? Who will take care of us? Her spirits will hound you to the end,” Anita shouted as members of the public and court orderlies surged to inquire what the drama was all about.

During Emmy’s funeral, relatives said that on the fateful day, elders and local administrators had tried to reconcile the couple but Tonui declined to participate in a meeting at his home.

He allegedly later followed his wife to her parents’ home where he attacked her.


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