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E-mail leaks unmask Jubilee’s powerful woman

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Leaked e-mails seen by the Sunday Nation have lifted the veil on how reclusive State House operative Nancy Gitau and the controversial United Kingdom communications consulting firm Cambridge Analytica played a crucial role in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 2017 re-election.

The e-mails come in the wake of revelations by British MP Alexandra Philips, a former Cambridge Analytica employee about her role in that election.

The leaked e-mails appear to show Ms Gitau’s role as the overall coordinator of President Kenyatta’s re-election campaigns, with the firm, led by an Indian British citizen Sabhita Raju reporting to her.

The e-mails lift the lid on the role Ms Gitau, alongside President Kenyatta’s private secretary Jomo Gecaga, played in coordinating several meetings to plot the Jubilee leader’s re-election strategies, including commissioning research studies in the run-up to the August 2017 poll.

Throughout President Kenyatta’s tenure, so powerful has Ms Gitau been that her name is only whispered by politicians yet no one wants to go on record talking about her.

While she officially resigned from her Harambee House post following pressure from Deputy President William Ruto’s camp, multiple sources, who spoke in confidence, acknowledge she continues to pull the strings from behind the scenes.

Recently, she was back in the news when vocal Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, a Ruto ally, named her as one of the people involved in the controversial Mt Kenya leaders’ meetings.

Politicians from both Mt Kenya and Rift Valley acknowledge she is powerful but differ on the influence she wields within the country’s executive.

While those from Rift Valley claim her office is well-oiled, they also believe her influence is not as massive as claimed.

Those from Central region are cagey when it comes to discussing matters concerning her, though acknowledging her domineering presence in the country’s power circles.

That Ms Gitau never sees eye to eye with Deputy President is well documented. It is also common knowledge that Ms Gitau enjoys special ties with the Kenyattas, with this pointed out by some as the source of her powers.

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Her return to the news after a low public profile in the last few years came after she was mentioned over the La Mada meetings that stirred controversy over a purported plan to “assassinate” Dr Ruto.

Others said to have attended the meeting were four cabinet secretaries from the Mt Kenya region — Peter Munya (Trade), James Macharia (Transport), Sicily Kariuki (Health) and Joe Mucheru (ICT). Detectives are investigating the claims after questioning various people, including the Cabinet Secretaries and the Deputy President’s communications aide Dennis Itumbi.

“We have been discussing these issues (La Mada Hotel meetings) for the last ten days. There is a tell-all video clip which will be played in due time. I want to tell the chairman and the Secretary of the meeting Nancy Gitau, if you meant that you were at a development meeting, Ms Gitau does not belong to any office that plans development. We know more and we won’t be cowed no matter how many of us are arrested,” said Mr Sudi, alluding to Mr Itumbi’s arrest on allegations of authoring the “fake” letter that claimed Mr Ruto’s assassination had been discussed at the meetings.

Back in 2017, Ms Gitau alongside Mr Gecaga were the focal points for the campaign as the secret e-mails show.

Those from Cambridge Analytica who communicated with her alongside Ms Raju include Antonya Allen, Kieran Ward, Richard Bailey and Simon Waddington.

In the e-mails, Ms Raju signs off as Vice President of Programs, Cambridge Analytica and Director of Programs SCL group. SCL group, whose Kenyan elections connection was first revealed by Sunday Nation in March 2017, is linked to Cambridge Analytica, which was last year forced to close down.

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The secret e-mails paint a picture of the British consultants engaging with their Kenyan counterparts on the aspects of the campaign, with all e-mails being copied to Ms Gitau and Mr Gecaga. Once in a while, Ms Gitau offers direction on how the campaign should be conducted.

In 2012/2013 campaigns, the Kenyatta campaign had hired yet another set of consultants BTP advisers who also reported to Ms Gitau.

This week, high-profile Brexiteer MP Ms Phillips admitted that she secretly worked for Cambridge Analytica in the 2017 election campaign in Kenya.

She made the admission to the UK’s Channel 4 News after initially denying any involvement with the disgraced data firm, and pressuring journalists to drop the story.

She backtracked only after Channel 4 News obtained a recording of an interview from 2017 in which she confirms she had been “employed by Cambridge Analytica to work for Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.”

Cambridge Analytica, created around 2013 with an initial focus on the US elections, denies meddling in the 2017 Kenya polls, even though Mr Mark Turnbull, then MD of the firm, had been quoted by CNBC as saying they “rebranded the entire (Jubilee) party twice, wrote their manifesto, and conducted two rounds of 50,000 (participant) surveys”.

The admission by Ms Phillips will further dent the digital marketing firm’s controversial image.

But even as Cambridge Analytica faces sandstorm over their activities, sources who participated in the campaign told Sunday Nation that the two groups (CA and Kenyans working for the President) fell out over differences over an anti-Raila negative campaign.

“The consultants insisted on a negative campaign, Team Uhuru team insisted on vibrancy and positivity as opposed to raw propaganda,” said a source.

Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny, who worked under Ms Gitau at President Kenyatta’s office, has defended her from the accusations.

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“Time has come for these leaders to give Nancy respect. This is not the first time they are attacking her. They are jealous of her organisational skills. They should give her a break. These attacks demonstrate the fact that they are running short of ideas,” he said.

He maintained that Ms Gitau no longer works for the President or the government. Those in the know claim so powerful is Ms Gitau that many cabinet principal secretaries routinely reach out to her for “advice” before making crucial decisions.

Ms Gitau is also said to be one of the key players, albeit in the background, of the Kieleweke grouping within the divided Jubilee and which is opposed to Mr Ruto’s ascend to power in 2022.

She first came to the limelight during the National Rainbow Coalition rule when retired President President Mwai Kibaki appointed her as an adviser.

President Kenyatta retained her in the same capacity.

Deeply private and media shy, Ms Gitau’s name always pops up whenever discussions centre on the country’s political power games. And as the succession debate gains foothold, her name has once again started being whispered by elected leaders.

Ms Gitau served in the Kibaki administration from 2007 up to 2013, playing an instrumental, though behind the scenes role in the merger of President Kenyatta’s then The National Alliance and Mr Ruto’s United Republican Party to form the Jubilee juggernaut in the run-up to the 2013 general election.

Her differences with Mr Ruto go way back in 2015 when then Kericho Senator Charles Keter (now Energy Cabinet secretary) and his Elgeyo Marakwet counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen publicly named her as having been part of leaders who had conspired to fix Mr Ruto at the International Criminal court.

BY nation.co.ke

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Africa

Man praises stepdad for being amazing father

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Thabani Nhlengethwa, a South African man, has shared a touching story on Facebook about the man who raised him.

Thabani Nhlengethwa praised his stepdad for making him the man he is today. Photo credit: Facebook/Thabani Nhlengethwa

Thabani Nhlengethwa owes every success he will experience in the future to his stepdad. Photo credit: Facebook/Thabani Nhlengethwa
Source: Facebook

In a post written on #ImStaying group, the young man praised his stepdad for being an outstanding man and amazing human being.

He said he owes every success that he enjoys in the future to his dad, Jita.

According to Thabani, Jita met his mom back in 1996. He was only four years old at that time.

Jita accepted Thabani and his siblings who were all sired in previous relationships.

Man praises stepdad for being amazing father, exceptional husband

Thabani hopes to give his stepdad the world one day. Photo: Thabani Nhlengethwa
Source: Facebook

The kind man schooled them, fed them and protected them as if they were his own flesh and blood.

The netizen owed everything he knew to the man who raised him and hoped that one day fortune would knock on his door and enable him to treat Jita like a king.

He added that at the moment, the fanciest thing he can do is take his stepdad out for breakfast, but soon things will change.

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Man praises stepdad for being amazing father, exceptional husband

The man said his stepfather was the breadwinner and did not mind providing for them. Photo: Thabani Nhlengethwa
Source: Facebook

“I love and owe every success I might have in the future to this amazing gent right here. Jita met my mom in 1996, I was only four-years old by then and my mom already had 4 kids from her previous relationships.”

“Jita took all of us under his wing, took us as his kids and loved us. He took us to school and we all were able to finish matric because of him. My mom was not working and so Jita was the breadwinner,” he said.

In a related story by TUKO.co.ke, a young lady took to Facebook on Monday, June 15, and shared a beautiful story about the hero of her life.

At the age of three, Portia Thabisile’s biological father decided to leave her and her mother.

Thankfully, her mother met a wonderful man who raised Portia as his own daughter.

She shared her inspirational post via the I’m Staying Facebook group.

“I am staying because of my daddy, he took me in when I was three years, after my biological father left me and my mum, he gave me love till today,” the lady wrote.

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Hamisa Mobetto has spoken about her desire to reunite with Diamond’s first baby mama, Zari Hassan.

In a recent interview, Zari explained that her nature does not allow her to hold grudges and is willing to mend her relationship with Zari should an opportunity presented itself.

“If it ever happens, I’m here. I am a very kind and hospitable person so if it’s planned that we will meet, it will be okay with me. I’m here for it,” she said.

The Mobetto Styles founder stated that in situations where children are born of the same father and different mothers as in their case, it is every parent’s dream to introduce their children.

“When it comes to children born of the same father, it becomes everyone’s hope for them to meet as a family and become one thing and live in harmony. If any problem arises then it can be tackled within the family as we push on,” she continued.

 

Contrary to her almost nonexistent relationship with Zari, Hamisa and Diamond’s ex-girlfriend Tanasha Donna get along pretty well.

According to Hamisa, her friendship with Tanasha was made easier by the fact that they knew each other before Tanasha started dating Diamond but lost touch, a factor she said made their reconnection much easier.

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“It’s easy for Tanasha and I to get along because as I mentioned earlier, I knew her before. If you have met someone before or have a relationship with someone before, it is very easy to reconnect with this person compared to if you’ve never seen or heard of someone from the beginning.

“She is dope, she is a very nice person who works very hard. Also before I forget she is very beautiful,” said Hamisa.

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23-year-old who evaded arrest by shaving his dreadlocks arrested

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BY KEVIN KOECH

A 23-year-old is set to have it rough at the state correctional facilities after being allegedly found cohabiting with a minor, and evaded arrest by shaving off his dreadlocks.

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, detectives working on the case of a missing 13 year-old girl, arrested one Marcos Menza Masumbuko who is said to have lured the girl to his house.

The suspect allegedly used a social media platform to befriend and lured the minor to his house.

She later escaped to her aunt’s place in Nyakach, Kisumu County, and assisted the Police in arresting her captor.

Marcos upon learning of her dissapearance, shaved off his dreadlocks immediately after a missing child report was published.

The sleuths warned against any Kenyan found mistreating a child and promised stern action to those found culpable.

They also warned Kenyan parents to monitor their children’s activities on social media, owing to the increasing engagement of social media for e-learning materials

President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed to deal firmly with sexual offenders and victims of domestic violence, forming a special unit to investigate into the happenings that have so far been reported

READ ALSO:   Murkomen mourns friend who was abducted and later found dead
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