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Waiguru, Kamotho celebrate nuptials in traditional event

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It is now official, Kirinyaga Governor is no longer Anne Mumbi Waiguru but Anne Mumbi Kamotho. This is after a traditional wedding, known as ngurario in Agikuyu community, was held Saturday at Kiamugumo Primary School in Gichugu Constituency, her rural home.

The governor walked down the aisle with Nairobi-based lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo in a colourful ceremony attended by more than 2000 people, bringing to end speculation and hushed conversations about their relationship.

The event, given a wide berth by the majority of Kirinyaga county leaders, saw the governor solemnise the marriage under customary law.

It was, however, a show of might and opulence that brought to life the sleepy Kiamugumo village as most of the invited guests from State and private sectors arrived in top-of-the-range fuel guzzlers and helicopters, to the awe of the villagers standing on the roadsides.

About three helicopters were parked at a nearby school. Laikipia Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and his Tharaka Nithi Muthomi Njuki counterpart were the only governors at the event.

Along the dusty road from Embu, there were multiple road signs written M & K (Mumbi and Kamotho) ngurario ceremony, to guide the guests including those from the groom’s family and clan.

The road appeared to have just been rehabilitated.

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The venue of the event was decorated with banana leaves, gourds and pots, symbolising a purely traditional event. Clad in long shiny brown dresses, women politicians showed up to witness the colourful ceremony, which attracted people from all walks of life.

Among the guests were President Uhuru Kenyatta, Nasa principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, five principal secretaries led by Karanja Kibicho and senators James Orengo (Siaya), Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga), Koitamet ole Kina (Narok) and Njeru Ndwiga (Embu).

Two Cabinet secretaries, Amina Mohammed and James Macharia, who served with Ms Kamotho in the Cabinet when she was in charge of Devolution were also present.

Members of the governor’s political lobby known as Team Embrace led by Chief Administrative Secretary Rachael Shebesh, Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, former Nairobi County Speaker Beatrice Elachi and Gender Commissioner Priscilla Nyokabi were also present.

The event was under the guidance of a Kikuyu tradition counsellor, Mr Kimani Murugami, wearing traditional regalia.

Mr Murugami said the traditional wedding is backed by the Bible. The bride and the bridegroom and their close friends, as well as dancers, also donned in traditional regalia. After solemnising the couple’s relationship, Mr Murugami forced them to vow that “they will never divorce or separate”.

READ ALSO:   Why Kirinyaga's Anne Waiguru campaigned with Raila in Kibra

The governor vowed to always take care, respect and obey her husband while Mr Waiganjo pledged he would protect his wife.

The couple was later blessed by their parents using Agikuyu traditional brew muratina.

Later, the governor served the lawyer with a traditionally-prepared sour porridge using a calabash to show her submissiveness and humility to the newly-wed husband. But the guests were left in stitches after Mr Waiganjo showed his pride and authority as an Agikuyu man by first declining to take porridge on grounds that the wife had not washed his hands and that the porridge was sugarless. The governor complied and the cheerful Waiganjo accepted it.

Finally, the two love birds cut the meat and they were declared officially married.

Earlier, the governor’s face was covered and she was made to parade with a group of equally covered women and Mr Waiganjo was asked to identify her.

Ululations rent the air when Mr Waiganjo successfully picked her out without any difficulty.

The dignitaries sat in two dome tents while other guests followed the proceedings on huge screens erected outside the tents.

On arrival at around 3pm, President Kenyatta joined Kayamba dancers at the podium.

Mr Murugami took his time to explain to the guests all about the traditional wedding, saying it was the final stage of a marriage within the community.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Waiguru tells off those unhappy with her being married in Murang'a

After the ceremony, the woman is completely part of the husband’s family and can never be divorced or marry another man, he explained.

A traditional marriage, he said, was so final that even if a woman conceives a child out of the wedlock, the husband must take care and take it as his own.

Source:nairobinews

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Kenya eyes up to Sh35bn aid from US to finance projects

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The head of a special US development programme is due in Kenya in the coming week to hold initial talks on the country’s potential eligibility for project funding of up to Sh35 billion.

Sean Cairncross, chief executive of the Millennium Development Corporation (MCC), said in a press briefing on Thursday that Kenya is making “excellent progress” toward meeting criteria for inclusion in the programme.

Successfully completing this initial step would likely result in Kenya being chosen for a “compact” with MCC. Such an arrangement, usually focused on infrastructure development, involves an MCC grant averaging about $350 million (Sh35 billion), Mr Cairncross said.

Established in 2004 during George W Bush’s presidency, the MCC conditions its assistance on countries’ performance in “ruling justly”, following free-market economic policies, and investing in health, education and environment.

Since its inception, the MCC has awarded more than $8 billion (Sh800 billion) to 25 developing countries, 13 of them in Africa. Kenya must make additional progress in controlling corruption before it can be deemed eligible for an MCC compact, Mr Cairncross noted. The country’s standing in that regard is determined by assessments by the World Bank and other “third-party data sources,” the MCC director said.

 Corruption does not have to be eradicated for Kenya to qualify for an MCC compact, Mr Cairncross told reporters. Eligibility for aid is assessed on the basis of a “trend toward dealing with that corruption and a willingness to engage government resources and political will to take those issues on,” he said.

READ ALSO:   No longer Waiguru: Newly wed governor drops ex-husband’s name – VIDEO

This is not the first MCC threshold programme for which Kenya has been chosen. It entered into an initiative of that type in 2007, which was aimed at reforming public procurement systems, improving health service delivery, and enhancing the monitoring capacity of government and civil-society organisations.

Despite some progress on each of those fronts, Kenya still fell short of the eligibility standards when the first threshold programme concluded in 2010.

“Kenya is an important partner in East Africa,” the MCC said in December, announcing the country’s approval for a second threshold programme.

That move reflects Washington’s aim to counter China’s influence in Kenya through its large-scale infrastructure investments in recent years.

by nation.co.ke

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Kaimenyi: How I was tempted with billion-shilling bribe offers

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When Prof Jacob T. Kaimenyi was serving as Education Cabinet secretary, a group of people approached him with a strange request: They wanted him to award them the multibillion-shilling tender to supply laptops to Standard One pupils, in line with the Jubilee government’s pledge to give free laptops to children in public primary schools, to a politician. In return for this consideration, the politician offered to reward the CS handsomely, offering him a generous share of the money as kickback.

Prof Kaimenyi did not bite the bait and he told them that what they were asking for was not possible. A few months later, a motion of no confidence in the CS was tabled on the floor of the National Assembly in July 2015. Again, he was approached by a different group of people, this time from Meru, who promised that they could make the motion go away if he gave them Sh5 million to deal with the matter.

“I told them that I could not do such a thing because I didn’t have the money, unless I borrowed it from a bank or stole it,” he reveals. Luckily for him, when the matter was put to the vote after a debate in Parliament, MPs were unable to marshal the numbers needed to kick him out of the Cabinet.

These were by no means the only incidents involving potential corruption and influence peddling that the CS had to face during his tenure in the Cabinet. In his newly released book, Betrayal of Public Trust, Prof Kaimenyi, now Kenya’s ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the European Union, reveals that after he was vetted by Parliament for appointment as a CS in 2013, rumours started doing the rounds that one of the nominees had paid MPs Sh50 million so as to be cleared.

READ ALSO:   Waiguru praises Imran, says win a handshake victory

“Whether this was simply the usual romour mill or not, I wasn’t sure,” he writes in his book, in which he characterises the numerous problems, such as poverty and bad governance in African countries, as the product of electing leaders who lack integrity.

He reveals that when he was vetted for the position of ambassador to Unesco, he was approached by another person, who told him the interview had not gone well and if he could give that person “something”, his case would be considered favourably.

“I must admit that this was one moment in my life when to bribe or not, was brought to an elastic limit,” he confesses.

In the candid book, Prof Kaimenyi details the many incidents when his principles were tested to the limit.

For instance, soon after he was first named to the Cabinet and put in charge of the Ministry of Lands, one of his acquaintances approached him with yet another idea of how they could get rich quickly.

He says that the individual “I had known for a long time wanted us to form a company to identify pieces of land whose leases were about to expire and demand that they part with ‘something’, before I can approve renewal of such leases. When this seemingly enticing proposal was put to me, I could not believe my ears,” he writes in his book, launched last Saturday in Nairobi on the same day that his third book, Don’t Hesitate, was also launched.

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Interestingly, not all the offers he received were about money. In two instances, he was offered sex soon after he was made CS. The first instance involved the wife of a friend, who offered to demonstrate to him just how good she was in that respect. The second involved a much older “national leader”, who offered to be with him from time to time. Flummoxed by the offers, he simply laughed them off in the hope that those making the offer would move on with time.

“Leadership,” he writes, “places an individual at the centre of temptations, and these temptations are many. You don’t have to be a bad leader to encounter the allure of shortcuts. You just need to sit at the helm of a nation, organisation or even family, and the floodgate of ideas and options that lead towards abuse will present themselves.”

This book, however, is not just about Prof Kaimenyi’s experiences. Rather, he uses them to spotlight the challenges of leadership in public office and to analyse how leaders ought to act for the benefit of the country and the populace.

“We need to be impatient with the culture of poor service,” he tells his readers. “We need to develop sufficient anger towards abuse by those whom we entrust with leadership across the spectrum.”

Although he offers ideas for reflection, the book is not only prescriptive. It also seeks to understand the root cause of problems in the public sphere, to examine how other cultures have dealt with such challenges and what outcomes they got. And it also challenges both the leaders and the led to think differently about their country, the question of leadership as a general principle and the role of the individual in crafting a better future as a citizen. And although his approach is distinctively Kenyan, this is a book that offers lessons for the rest of Africa.

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“Whether a country’s economy booms or finds itself on its knees is dependent on its leaders, especially the one in the highest office in the land,” writes Prof Kaimenyi, arguably the most prolific State officer, having published three books in two years. His first book, with the rather curious title Busy Office versus Responsible Fatherhood, was launched in June 2018.

His third book, Don’t Hesitate, is more of a personal guide, challenging individuals to be proactive in the pursuit of their goals and aspirations. It borrows heavily from Prof Kaimenyi’s own experiences, and his understanding of what other successful individuals have done to make it in life.

“Whereas traditionally patience has been a virtue, we are living in an era where ‘impatience’ is quickly gaining prominence,” he writes in the introduction, arguing that “the future belongs to those who make haste”.

Both books were published by Virtue Book Publishers and each costs Sh1,000.

Virtue Book Publishers works with self-published authors, institutions and organisations who wish to bypass traditional publishers. It specialises in publishing motivational, political and academic books as well as biographies and works of fiction.

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Moses Kuria: Why I dumped Uhuru for Ruto

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MP Moses Kuria reveals why he broke ranks with Uhuru
In an interview with Saturday Nation, Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria says a cabal of ‘clueless’ people close to Kenyatta have captured the presidency and edged out the thinkers who understand the Jubilee dream.

What is your issue with President Uhuru Kenyatta?

I have no personal differences with President Kenyatta. Since the 2007 elections, we have worked very closely and very well.

We found ourselves in the thick of things in 2007, when he was in Kanu, which had just decided to support PNU’s Mwai Kibaki.

Since he had to campaign for Kibaki, I had to cover for him in Gatundu South, in addition to my duties as director of programmes at the PNU headquarters.

So when did you break up?

On December 31, 2018, I made the now famous – infamous to some – Thika Speech about the development in Mt Kenya region, or lack thereof.

As a member of the Budget Committee since 2014, I was aware that Parliament has never rejected any budget proposal from the President and the Treasury.

But we had a huge problem with work execution. I had knowledge of the workings of ministries, departments and agencies and I knew the problem was not money but inefficiency on the part of those the President had assigned responsibilities.

Even worse was the takeover of the policymaking by an emergent elite squad whose appreciation of the real issues was suspect.

Those who understood the issues did not have the requisite experience and capability to formulate solutions. The rest were living in utopia.

The more the top-heavy policies failed to trickle down to the people, the more the people got more disenchanted and angry with the Jubilee government.

In the entire 2019, most of your speeches pointed out neglect of Mt Kenya by Jubilee

As the fires of disenchantment raged, the elite squad that was now fully in control of policy had only one tool at their disposal – blame the politician, demonise the politician.

This was the perfect tool after my Thika Speech. This was a convenient answer to the so-called Tangatanga forays.

Blaming the politician for an elite-driven policy misadventures was easy, convenient and reassuring on the part of the cabal that had taken over the Jubilee policy machine.

The more I complained of the low returns to coffee and tea farmers, opportunistic industry practices that nearly brought the milk farmers to their knees – awkward regional cooperation protocols that heavily disadvantaged the local dairy and poultry farmers – the more the clueless and elites worked hard to paint me as a rebel without a cause in the eyes of the President.

READ ALSO:   Waiguru now says she supports lifestyle audit

Rather than respond to the issues I was raising on the foreign-driven policies that were driving small traders to the point of committing suicide, the elitist cabal convinced the President I was the enemy and the problem.

It was criminal to stand with local suppliers and contractors and pushing law amendments to address the pending bills.

It was a crime standing with the likes of Keroche Breweries and fighting the weaponisation of our tax regime to drive out local manufacturers to the advantage of foreign manufacturers.

The President has kept asking what leaders have done with their allocations

Governors from the Mt Kenya region need to account for their contribution to development of the region.

For instance, how does Nyandarua’s potatoes, cabbages, onions and carrots go to waste when the county gets billions, which it can invest in agroprocessing?

What has Nakuru done to revive pyrethrum farming? How do Kirinyaga leaders watch as the price of rice plummets while they have has billions that can effect market interventions?

How does Kitui manage the Kitui County Textiles while the Mt Kenya counties cannot set up even a single coffee processing plant?

When I persisted in asking these questions, the Mt Kenya governors convinced the President that I was a rabble-rouser inciting the people against him, at the behest of William Ruto.

Did the handshake between the President and Raila Odinga push you to the periphery?
After the handshake, a team that again did not know why we wanted to form government and what the core elements of Jubilee were took over at the Office of the President and State House.

The narrative was very simple: rather than explain to us and discuss the rationale behind the handshake, this cartel brought in the narrative that some of us were beneficiaries of the divisive politics of the past and therefore we could not support a process that ended the divisions.

We were portrayed as investors in chaos and division. This presumption of guilt till proven innocent is what has led us to where we are.

READ ALSO:   New UoN student leader vows to search if she’s related to Anne Waiguru

To those like us who had navigated the post-2007 election torturous journey with Uhuru Kenyatta through consultation and lots of team work, this came as a total surprise and disappointment.

To date, close to two years since the March 9, 2018 handshake, there has never been a meeting of the Jubilee Parliamentary Group to discuss the ‘handshake’ or the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

I will continue insisting that Jubilee leaders are not irrational or irresponsible people who are not amenable to reason.

I am sure when the President sits down with Jubilee leaders in a Parliamentary Group, he will easily convince them of his BBI position and ensure we achieve a national consensus to move the nation forward.

The President should take this historic opportunity to bring his house together and avoid the temptation of fighting with his own child.

Do you feel vindicated by the President’s Tuesday policy direction?

Absolutely. The President addressed most of my concerns on tea, coffee, milk, bananas, potatoes and rice.

He also recently signed the Kenya Roads Board Amendment Bill into law.

This is a bill I pushed aggressively as vice-chair of the Transport and Infrastructure Committee and which brings my experience from banking into our infrastructure sector by raising funds from capital markets backed by the Fuel Levy to finance the completion of the remaining roads under the 10,000 kilometres programme alongside the national highways and urban roads.

Accordingly, the President announced the first tranche of Sh150 billion Roads Bond that will be floated on the capital markets by the first quarter of 2020.

Obviously, there is still more work to be done – like the passage of the Guaranteed Minimum Returns Bill, which I will be moving in partnership with Ndindi Nyoro when House business resumes.

We will also be moving to zero-rate VAT on all local teas to boost value addition of teas and increase farmers’ income.

But it is refreshing to see the President address the issues I have been pushing.

What is the genesis of the problems in Jubilee?

After victory in 2013, that was the end of the heavy involvement in strategy development and execution by those who had travelled the journey with Uhuru Kenyatta.

All of a sudden, the space was occupied by people from nowhere, who did not know why we wanted to win the election and what we wanted to do in government.

READ ALSO:   Excitement as Waiguru weds hunk city lawyer in ‘wedding of the year’

I was banished to Siberia and was jobless until I found myself in Parliament in August 2014, courtesy of a by-election following the demise of MP Joseph Ngugi.

The hostile takeover by people who didn’t understand why we wanted to form government with Uhuru Kenyatta after 2013 is the genesis of the current problems bedevilling Jubilee.

Without understanding the history, it’s impossible to understand what is going on.

In 2017, you were instrumental in the President’s re-election campaign

The year 2017 was difficult for me. First, forces I believe are from the President’s closest relatives sponsored candidates against me in Gatundu South.

This is despite the fact that I had worked very hard to deliver to my people, lifting the place from near-total darkness to electrification, initiating a roads upgrade programme and upgrading 75 per cent of secondary schools to have boarding facilities.

The 2017 Jubilee nominations were supposed to rig me out despite the fact that I was largely popular.

This shook me to the core. I am not sure I have fully recovered from that treachery.

But you still campaigned hard for Uhuru

We had to campaign for the President. The Mbele Iko Sawa team, which I led, combined in 40 of 47 counties and was made over 200 campaign stops in the period leading to the first and repeat presidential elections.

After the 2017 victory, it was back to post-election Raila management headache, which we had been involved in 10 years earlier.

Did you work closely with Uhuru in the 2007 post-election period?

When the post-election violence broke out, I had that onerous duty of assisting the then Deputy Prime Minister in navigating a very trying period for him personally.

Remember this was a conflict that pitted the Kikuyus against the Kalenjins, who had overwhelmingly voted for Uhuru only five years earlier.

It was a heavy and emotional moment for Uhuru. I was the only person who really understood the dynamics of both communities and for the entire 2008, I did nothing but camp in the Rift Valley to help Uhuru sort out the internally displaced persons (IDP) mess and post-conflict relations between the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin, which ultimately culminated in the political union that became the Jubilee Alliance of 2013.

by nation.co.ke

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