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Kibra poll: Voting, hitches and bribery claims

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Kibra residents in Nairobi County are voting in a high-stakes parliamentary by-election on Thursday seen as a do-or-die between Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.

Polls opened at 6am and long lines could be seen in polling stations across the constituency’s five wards – Sarang’ombe, with the highest number of registered voters at 30,754, Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course (28,066), Makina (25,695), Laini Saba (17,455) while Lindi has 16,688.

There are 24 candidates battling for the 118,658 votes.

A man votes at Ayany Primary school during Kibra by-election on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The by-election follows the death of MP Ken Okoth after he succumbed to cancer in July.

Mr J.B Ongote, a voter at the Toi Primary poling station, in Woodley/Kenyatta Golf Course ward, says the voting process is smooth and everything is in order.

Further, he says that he believes that the candidate he voted for will win the by-election and bring the change that Kibra needs.

“IEBC has done a good job, the station was opened on time and the voting process has been peaceful so far,” said Mr Ongote.

Voters queue to cast their votes at Toi Primary School in the Kibra by-election on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

However, it is not all smooth at Jamhuri Primary polling station in the same ward. At one of the streams, the biometric machine used to verify the voters’ identity is not working properly.

READ ALSO:   IEBC slams brakes on Mariga

The frustrated voters, who have been on the queue since 6am, say that this is not the first time that they have experienced delays at the polling station. They claim the same hitches occured in previous elections in 2017.

By 8am, only five people had cast their ballots at the affected stream with 672 registered voters.

IEBC officials struggle to verify a voter’s biometrics after the machine stopped working at Jamhuri Primary polling station in the Kibra by-election on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | COLLINS OMULO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

In Laini Saba, voters at the Mashimoni polling station claimed there were incidences of bribery with Sh200 notes being disbursed.

Kimilili MP Dismas Baraza, who was at the station, was also heckled.

But with heavy police presence, the situation calmed down.

Ford Kenya candidate Khamisi Butichi, addressing the press after voting at Mashimoni, said several cases of voter bribery were also reported in Lindi, and Sarang’ombe wards.

“We have witnessed three cases of some people trying to bribe voters to vote for a particular candidate. We will forward the evidence to police in the next one hour for action,” Mr Butichi said.

Lang’ata MP Nick Korir (left), ex-Embakasi MP Irshad Sumra, and Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo (right) at Ayany Primary School during Kibra parliamentary by-election on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

READ ALSO:   NTV dumps DJ Kriss Darlin over Kibra bid

The four parties are leading the pack in the battle for MP seat.

ODM has fielded the late Okoth’s brother Bernard Imran Okoth, while ruling Jubilee party is fronting football star McDonald Mariga.

Kibra residents queue to cast their ballot at Ayany Primary School in Nairobi on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Amani National Congress (ANC), led by Musalia Mudavadi, has thrown its weight behind Mr Odinga’s former aide Eliud Owalo, while Ford Kenya, whose leader is Moses Wetang’ula, backs Khamisi Butichi.

A man searches for his name on a voters’ list at Ayany Primary School during Kibra parliamentary by-election on November 7, 2019. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The two political heavyweights, Dr Ruto and Mr Odinga, have traversed the constituency chasing votes in what is shaping up to be a rehearsal for the 2022 presidential race.

Political analyst Herman Manyora says the race is a major battle for the two leaders describing it as “too close to call”.

“Anyone can win. I cannot place a bet on this race,” Prof Manyora told Nation.

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:   Moses Kuria throws cheeky jibe at Mariga after Kibra defeat

“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.

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

“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:   I support you, Uhuru tells Mariga - VIDEO

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:   VIDEO: Ken Okoth worked with Jubilee at night and ODM during the day - Anne Muthoni Thumbi

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:   Imran clinches Kibra ODM ticket

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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SHOCKING BBC VIDEO: Kenyan women taken to India and forced to engage in illicit sex

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BY BMJ MURIITHI

British Broadcasting C0rporation (BBC)  has uncovered an illegal network that lures women from Kenya and other African countries to India, where they are then forced into sex work to satisfy the demands of the many African men living in Delhi.

In this episode of The Africa Eye, the UK-headquartered media organization reports that the women are mostly from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania and Rwanda.

According to the Global Slavery Index, 14.2 million of the 35.8 million people enslaved throughout the world are in India. The index singles out women and children as disproportionately affected. India is a major destination for sex trafficking, particularly from other South Asian countries.

“There are reports of women and children from India and neighboring countries being recruited with promises of non-existent jobs and later being sold for sexual exploitation, or being forced into sham marriages,” the index found, noting that only 13 offenders were convicted of sexual trafficking in 2013.

One woman, Grace, who was trafficked from Kenya, agreed to go undercover and here is the story:

 


READ ALSO:   IEBC slams brakes on Mariga
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