Connect with us

News

E-mail leaks unmask Jubilee’s powerful woman

Published

on

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.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Shock as Murkomen's PA murdered, body dumped in forest

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.

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.

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

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.

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

“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

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Reprieve for families in Ethiopian Airlines crash as renowned US lawyer takes up case 

Published

on

Kenya was the worst hit when Ethiopian Airlines plane Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed near the town of Bishoftu on 10th March 2019 killing all 157 passengers on board. A total of 32 Kenyans died in that crash, making Kenya the most affected country.

It has been five months since the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, affected families have been locked in a legal tussle with US plane manufacturer Boeing for close to half a year now.

Families who lost their kin in the deadly crash can now breathe a sigh of relief as renowned US-based lawyer Manuel von Ribbeck has filed additional lawsuits against Boeing.

For starters, Manuel von Ribbeck is a lawyer who focuses on representing victims of catastrophic incidents, including aviation disasters from human or mechanical errors.

Manuel von Ribbeck (left)Manuel von Ribbeck (left)

Lion Air

Ribbeck is basically the hope of many aircraft accident victims throughout the world. He also represented families who lost their kin in Indonesian carrier – Lion Air Flight 610, which is the same model with Ethiopian Airlines plane Boeing 737 MAX 8. The October 29th 2018 Lion Air crash killed all 189 passengers and crew on board.

Ribbeck’s law firm – Ribbeck Law Chartered and its co-counsels Global Aviation Law Group and Igeria and Ngugi Advocates filed additional lawsuits against Boeing in the case involving Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

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

A total of 66 affected family members are seeking $1 billion/Ksh 100 billion in compensation for damages from the American plane manufacturer.

The renowned lawyer seeks to consolidate the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines cases if no settlement is reached soon for his clients. The law firms argue that consolidating the two cases will solve the issue of contradicting orders if the cases are handled by different judges.

By Ghafla

Continue Reading

News

Catholic doctors oppose cervical cancer vaccination

Published

on

The government is set to roll out mass vaccination of girls against cervical cancer in two weeks, even as doctors affiliated to the Catholic Church have contested the move citing a myriad of health complications.

The Ministry of Health will give 10-year-old girls two free doses of the vaccine against the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), six months apart, at about 9,000 public, private and faith-based facilities countrywide.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends vaccination of all girls and screening, at least once every year, for older women to reduce cancer risk, and the vaccine is most effective when administered between the ages of nine and 14.

There are about 100 types of HPV, of which at least 14 cause cancer. Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers and cervical lesions.

The ministry met its partners Tuesday morning in preparation for the HPV national roll-out and to touch base on the local cancer landscape.

“The HPV vaccine is an extraordinary vaccine. It is the most effective means of preventing cervical cancer and is very safe. I am also a father of girls and all of them have received the vaccine. By vaccinating our girls against HPV we are preventing the disease for life. They will be able to grow, live up to their full potential and prosper,” said WHO Kenya Rep Dr Rudi Eggers, during the briefing.

MoH targets to reduce cases of cancer of the cervix — the second most common in Kenya after breast cancer, according to recent statistics released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

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

The disease claims about seven women in Kenya every day, about 3,000 per year, according to statistics from the MoH.

There are about 40,000 new cervical cancer cases annually. Globally, it is the fourth most frequent cancer in women.

“It is unfortunate that we lose seven women to cancer every day. This is preventable through vaccination. If you prevent HPV infection then you can prevent cervical cancer,” said the Ministry of Health Head of Immunisation, Dr Collins Tabu, during the stakeholders meeting held Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association (KCDA), in a 19-page document, questioned the decision to have 10-year-old girls vaccinated against HPV.

The doctors said their objection to the roll-out of the vaccine was backed by “studies” that indicated that the HPV vaccine was harmful to humans. “At 10 years, our children are not sexually active. They are not at risk of contracting HPV or other STDs. This applies also to other individuals who are not sexually active. It also includes those who are sexually active but faithful to their partners,” said the KCDA chairman, Dr Stephen Karanja, in the statement.

“It therefore makes neither logical nor scientific sense to expose children to a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease that they are not at risk of contracting. These children must be protected by everyone including the government from promiscuity and helped to remain chaste.”

Top health experts, however, termed the claims “sensational and unfounded.” Kenyatta National Hospital’s (KNH) top gynaecologist and surgeon Dr Alfred Mokomba said past clinical researches showed that the vaccine was effective and safe for use on children.

He said the vaccine was a preventive measure and was cheaper than cancer treatment, and would bring down the local cancer burden.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Shock as Murkomen's PA murdered, body dumped in forest

“The work of a vaccine is to provide cushion before exposure and that is how they work better-because the body builds up defence against the virus. I have taken my daughters for the vaccination; it is safe. Those opposed have no case at all, they need to come up with better evidence to show the risks,” he said.

“What we know so far is that the vaccine provides 90 per cent defence against cervical cancer. Two researches conducted at the KNH showed that the HPV vaccine was effective in dealing with the HPV types 16 and 18 virus — the common causes of cervical cancer locally,” added Dr Mokomba.

According to the Catholic doctors, the virus, like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), affected those “whose lifestyle involves irresponsible sexual behaviours”.

They, therefore, recommend that the government should ensure parents are empowered to “protect their children from contamination socially, mentally, spiritually, and physically from a world full of pornography.

“STDs are diseases of behaviour. When people of whatever age respect sexual discipline, chastity, abstinence and faithfulness in marriage, they are not at risk of contracting STDs and other diseases of perversity. These behaviours are the universal pillars of prevention of STDs, not vaccines,” said Dr Karanja. However, Mr David Makumi, the vice-chairman of Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance of Kenya and patron Oncology Nurses (Kenya), said the KCDA’s claims were not backed by facts and that they did not represent every Catholic’s position.

“We have a golden opportunity and if we can fix this then we will have done a great job. We owe it to our children,” said Mr Makumi. Rumours of potential harm from vaccines are not new and continue to spread even as scientists refute the claims. Locally, select groups affiliated to the Catholic Church have in the past opposed polio and tetanus vaccination drives. In all instances, the government has carried on with its plans. However, a number of people fail to take their children for vaccination for fear of the “risks” pointed out by the church — which is an authority — putting others in danger.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Shock as Murkomen's PA murdered, body dumped in forest

Mistrust in vaccines, for instance in America, has led to the worst Measles outbreak in 25 years.

As Kenya targets girls with the HPV vaccine, countries like Australia are also targeting boys to totally wipe-out the circulation of the cancer causing virus from its population.

Since HPV is transmitted sexually, vaccinating boys works in reducing its circulation of the virus linked to five per cent of cancers.

It is also a preventive measure for penile, anal and genital cancers and those of the head and neck.

Multiple studies in Australia indicate that the HPV vaccine has proven sufficient in providing protection. Australia’s Cervical Cancer screening programs ambitious plan includes wiping out cervical cancer by 2035.

Cost and access remains the greatest impediments towards early screening and treatment of cancer in Kenya to date.

Screening cost from about Sh3,000. Treatment too is costly with charges ranging Sh172,000 ($1,720) to Sh759,000 ($7,590) to treat cervical cancer without surgery in Kenya and Sh672,000 ($6,720) to Sh1.2 million ($12,500) if an operation is carried out, says the National Cancer Control Programme

by nation.co.ke

Continue Reading

News

New Zealand Speaker babysits MP’s child during parliament debate

Published

on

The speaker of New Zealand’s parliament has cradled a lawmaker’s baby while he presided over a debate in the House of Representatives.

Trevor Mallard tweeted a photo of himself feeding MP Tāmati Coffey’s baby boy in the speaker’s seat.

Mr Coffey, Labour MP for Waiariki, announced the birth of his son, Tūtānekai Smith-Coffey, in July.

The baby was born via a surrogate mother and is the biological son of Mr Coffey’s partner, Tim Smith.

In a tweet about the baby’s birth, Mr Coffey said he and his partner were “overwhelmed at the miracle of life” and the surrogate mother – a friend of Mr Smith – was “doing awesome”.

On Wednesday, Mr Coffey attended a parliamentary debate with his baby for the first time after returning from paternity leave.

BABYSITTER

During the session, father-of-three Mr Mallard took on the role of babysitter as well as speaker.

A picture of Mr Coffey holding up the baby in parliament was shared by Green Party MP Gareth Hughes on Twitter.

“Lovely to have a baby in the House, and what a beautiful one @tamaticoffey,” Mr Hughes wrote in the tweet.

Speaking to Newshub, Mr Coffey said he felt “really supported by my colleagues from across the House”.

Mr Coffey is the latest MP to bring his baby to parliament, following the example of politicians across the world.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Shock as Murkomen's PA murdered, body dumped in forest

Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, who attended a debate with her baby in 2018, and Australian Senator Larissa Waters, who breastfed in parliament in 2017, are among the legislators to make headlines.

And in September last year, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made history by bringing her baby along to her debut speech at the UN in New York.

by nairobinews

Continue Reading

Do you want to own an affordable home in Kenya?

Are you looking for a Church to fellowship in Atlanta Metro Area?

poapay3

Like us on Facebook, stay informed

NEWS TRENDING RIGHT NOW

2019 Calendar

satellite-communication1.jpg

Trending

error: Content is protected !!