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Inside Kenya’s deeply divided Cabinet

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Kenyan media outlets are reporting that the country’s top most executive organ, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet, is slowly turning into a tower of Babel — deeply divided and disjointed.

According to the Standard Newspaper, one of the two leading publications in the country, insiders are painting a picture of a team speaking in different languages, with some  members not seeing eye to eye while others have publicly proclaimed that they only take instructions from the President only in veiled references to mean they do not recognise Deputy President William Ruto.

But still, the paper notes, hothers have been caught up in their own altercations over issues of national importance.

In a number of cases, the country has witnessed two or more CSs contradicting each other on matters of grave importance. Differences that were being kept behind closed doors of boardrooms are now playing out in the open.

Last month, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i told a public gathering in Kirinyaga that he only recognises President Kenyatta and would not “listen” to any other voice.

“Matiang’i’s statement’s bordered on brazen disrespect. In essence, he was saying that he does not recognise the Deputy President who is part of the presidency and who by law is his boss,” said Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua. Just last week, what started as a tweet by an MP degenerated into a nasty back and forth that roped in other lawmakers and Trade Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya taking a jibe at the Deputy President in a tweet that captured the disdain some CSs have on the DP and the faction of Jubilee loyal to him.

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Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah kicked it off by tweeting about the plight of dairy farmers seen pouring their milk down in protest over low prices and tagged Munya and his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa.

 

“These farmers will need school fees in January. They depend on their produce for the same. After the floods, there’s likely to be a drought. This produce could save lives then,” Ichung’wah wrote.Deleted tweet

Feeling disparaged, Munya fired back. “Let him (Ichung’wah) take his rent seeking missions to (Agriculture CS Mwangi) Kiunjuri. Inspiration from Sugoi (DP Ruto’s home) will not improve dairy industry,” the CS shot back in a tweet which he promptly deleted when Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen asked him to clarify his sentiments and tagged State House.“It is clear for everyone to see that some CSs have forgotten that they are supposed to be apolitical.

Munya’s tweet bordered on insubordination and disrespect, that is why he promptly deleted it,” Belgut MP Nelson Koech said.     This was not the first time Ruto and Munya have been caught in a brawl. In June, the DP complained that Munya and two other CSs had met in a Nairobi hotel to plan how to “finish” him.

The President ordered top security officials to investigate the matter after the DP said the CSs — who included Joseph Mucheru (ICT) and Sicily Kariuki (Health) — had met at La Mada Hotel to plot to assassinate him.Munya, Mucheru and Kariuki were summoned to the DCI headquarters where Munya accused Ruto of being “out to portray us in a bad light so that we look like criminals.”

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The matter may have fizzled out, but the division in Cabinet, Saturday Standard has established, has gone from bad to worse.According to a CS who spoke to Saturday Standard on anonymity, the division is so bad that members now have to lobby for support of their agenda during Cabinet meetings. Every item in Cabinet meetings is put to a vote.“There are members who hardly greet each other or share pleasantries during the Thursday meetings at State House.

There is a deep divide, the Cabinet is no longer the one team it should be,” said the CS. Public engagementsThe division, he said, can be linked to the 2022 succession politics. According to another insider, 11 CSs support and are loyal to the DP. Others are deeply opposed to him and have distanced themselves from his movements.

It is this group that accompanied Matiang’i to Kirinyaga and never mention the DP in their public engagements.“These CSs are in government courtesy of the President and his deputy. They now think they are superior to Ruto. Let them continue living in fantasy,” said Gachagua.Some CSs have opted not to be drawn into the divide and are avoiding public engagements.

“The CSs serve under the presidency. They have no business taking sides and should be working hard to deliver Jubilee’s pledges,” said Charles Kibiru, the Kirinyaga senator. But some have openly contradicted each other in public.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I have lost many friends because of bomoabomoa - President Kenyatta

Last year, Matiangí and Industrialisation CS Adan Mohammed contradicted each other on sugar seized from traders. Mohammed, in whose docket falls the Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs), told the nation that no traces of mercury had been found on the sugar, contradicting an earlier statement by his Interior counterpart.

Political observers now say President Kenyatta must step in and ensure his Cabinet speaks in one voice before it is too late.“He cannot allow them to speak at cross purpose or at each other,” said Prof Munene Macharia, a political science lecturer at United State International University.

-Agencies


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Lifestyle

World’s most-traveled man Fred Finn says Kenya is the safest place to visit during the pandemic

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Diani beach in Kwale County has played host to the world’s most traveled man, Fred Finn.

Finn has traveled to more than 150 countries at the age of 75 and holds the current Guinness Book World Records.

Finn, who is in the country until Monday, November 30 said Kenya is safe for holiday destinations.

He however noted that his visit at the moment is not for leisure, but to send a message that the country is safe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

He says he has observed that Kenyans are following the protocols and guidelines than any other country he has traveled to during the pandemic.

“I did not come here on holiday, that is why my wife is not with me. I came because whenever Kenya has a little crisis I come and say Kenya is safe” he said

He said, during a pandemic, Kenya is the safest place to go on holiday.

Finn is scheduled to have his vaccine in December.

Tourism players say Finn’s visit to Kenya gives confidence to the international market that the country is an ideal destination.

“When you get an endorsement from the eyes of a traveler that is likely to carry the right persuasion to the potential travelers” said Kioko Musyoki, Leopard Beach General Manager.


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READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I have lost many friends because of bomoabomoa - President Kenyatta
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Entertainment

‘I regret…’ Anne Kiguta opens up about posting her daughter on social media

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TV news anchor Anne Kiguta has announced that she would like to share with her fans more about her life.

However, she draws a line on exposing her children to the limelight.

Anne has three children, one from her previous marriage and fraternal twins with Jomo Gecaga.

Responding to a fan who asked her about her babies, Anne posted a photo of her and her twins but blocked out the faces.

In her response she explained,

“Gosh, so many of you have said this… was the number one response. Well, I will have to let you down on that my loves.”

She added,

“I’m rather traditional (believe it or not) so I’m vehemently against it. My babies are are all still too young, including the eldest, to be on social media.”

Anne continued,

“In fact I really regret having posted my eldest at all. Mummy already has a pretty public life. They deserve their privacy.”

But not to break her fans hearts, Anne promised,

“A reference every once in a while but nothing more than that for a long long time.  Hope  you understand.”

In another post she still emphasized,

“That is my son. Quite the charmer. If only I could tell you half of what they say! But all these are are to me sacred moments…really can’t share much more.”

Not to be daunted though, Anne promised to talk about other aspects of her life.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I have lost many friends because of bomoabomoa - President Kenyatta

Here are the various topics she is open to talking about.

By Mpasho.co.ke


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Health

Shock as man ‘resurrects’ in a Kericho mortuary

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There was drama at Kapkatet sub-county hospital in Kericho on Tuesday night when a 32-year-old man who had been presumed dead and taken to the mortuary regained consciousness close to three hours later.

Mortuary attendants were getting ready to embalm Peter Kigen’s body when they noticed some movements.

Kigen, a resident of Kibwastuiyo village in Bureti Constituency, is said to have collapsed while at home before his family took him to hospital.

His younger brother, Kevin Kipkurui, said he was present when Kigen collapsed. With the help of their cousin, they took Kigen to the hospital at 5.30 pm.

“When we arrived at the casualty department, we met a doctor who asked us to register the details of the patient at the reception while he attended to him,” Kipkurui, who was still in shock, told The Standard.

After registering the patient, Kipkurui said he was again asked to the National Hospital Insurance Fund desk for further documentation of his brother.

Kigen reportedly suffers from a chronic illness.

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READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Is Matiang'i the unofficial Prime Minister? Kenyans read 2022 succession politics in Uhuru move

“When I went back to the casualty department at around 7.45 pm, I learnt my brother was dead. A nurse told me that he died long before we arrived at the hospital,” Kipkurui said.

He added: “The nurse later handed me a document to take to the mortuary attendant before my brother’s body was moved to the morgue.”

However, at 10.30 pm, Kipkuriu said, as they were waiting for embalming of Kigen’s body, they were informed that in fact, he was not dead.

Mortuary attendants who mummified the body told them that Kigen had regained consciousness.

“The mortician called me into the morgue and we saw him make movements. We were shocked. We could not understand how they could move a person who is still alive into the mortuary,” Kipkurui said.

Kigen, who spoke from his hospital bed yesterday, said he was shocked to learn that he was thought to have died and even taken to the mortuary.

“I cannot believe what just happened. How did they establish that I was dead?” he said.

Kirui, who donned his light-blue hospital uniform, was nevertheless happy to be alive and vowed to dedicate his life to evangelism once he’s discharged from hospital.

“I did not even know where I was when I regained consciousness, but I thank God for sparing my life. I will serve him for the rest of my life,” he said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I have lost many friends because of bomoabomoa - President Kenyatta

The hospital’s medical superintendent Gilbert Cheruiyot said Kigen was in critical condition when he was brought in.

Dr Cheruiyot said: “His relatives presumed he was dead and did not even wait for certification of death. They moved him to the mortuary, on their own.”

He said the clinical officers at the casualty were busy attending to other critically ill patients when Kigen was brought in, including an epileptic and a diabetic patient.

“They asked Kigen’s relatives to give them some time but they accused the clinicians of taking too much time and decided to take him to the mortuary. It was while the mortician was getting ready to embalm his body that she noticed some signs of life,” said Cheruiyot. He said the mortician informed the team at the casualty department which took Kigen back and begun resuscitating him. The process took three hours before the patient was stabilised.

“The patient was later taken to the ward and is responding well to treatment. We hope to discharge him in a few days,” Dr Cheruiyot said yesterday.

He added: “I advise those bringing their loved ones to the hospital to follow the laid down regulations. Before a body is moved the mortuary, it has to be certified by a clinician. In Kigen’s case, we can only say he was lucky, especially because of our qualified mortician who checked him before making any move,” said Cheruiyot.

READ ALSO:   Makau Mutua wants the corrupt to be beheaded

The bizarre incident saw local MCAs, led by the Majority Leader Hezron Kipngeno, storm the hospital. This is after Chelanget MCA Hezborn Tonui demanded a statement from the heath committee over the incident that shocked the county.


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