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Revealed: The truth behind Handshake

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ODM leader Raila Odinga agreed to work with President Uhuru Kenyatta under the famous March 9 ‘handshake’ as a result of pressure from Western nations and financial woes, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi has said.

Mr Mudavadi claims in a new book that Mr Odinga had been banned

from visiting many countries, including a key Western nation, and was particularly worried about what the US’s next course of action would be.

Mr Mudavadi, who was Mr Odinga’s chief campaigner in the 2017 election, claims the pact was shrouded in secrecy and that days before it, he and the other Nasa principals – Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula – had met the ODM leader, who did not drop any hint about the negotiations with President Kenyatta.

It was in the meeting, however, that he spoke of the pressure from the foreign nations.

“Raila also mentioned to us at this meeting that he had received letters of cancellation of his visas by various foreign missions in Kenya.

He showed us a copy of one such letter he had received from a leading western mission,” Mr Mudavadi writes in the autobiography, Soaring Above the Storms of Passion.

The book, authored with his long-time ally and ANC Secretary-General Barrack Muluka, and published by The Mudavadi Memorial Foundation Trust Fund in association with Midas Touch Media Limited, also details the intrigues in the heady days leading up to Mr Odinga’s controversial swearing-in on January 30, 2018.

On the visa blockades, Mr Mudavadi writes that Mr Odinga asked him to cross-check with other missions whether they were aware of this development and what their countries’ governments were thinking. “I cross-checked with Ambassador (Robert) Godec, who affirmed that he was aware of the developments …”

The former Vice-President also writes of a heated meeting in Athi River a day after the ‘Handshake’ during which other Nasa principals took Mr Odinga to task over the secrecy around the development.

“In this conversation, we also learnt that the visa embargo seemed to have covered many other people,”

Mr Mudavadi writes in the memoirs that delve into every epoch in his political career spanning 30 years.

Mr Mudavadi also details the financial woes Mr Odinga’s party was in, suggesting this might have been another reason for the latter’s

abandonment of his hardline opposition cause.

The ANC leader also suggests that the numerous litigations against a number of Nasa supporters and “other allied pressures” – which he doesn’t name – might have been too much for Mr Odinga.

READ ALSO:   Raila new found status

“We learnt that the financial capacity to handle these cases was not there. Basically the situation was becoming unbearable,” Mr Mudavadi writes.

He says he was on his way to Mombasa when Vihiga Senator George Khaniri called him frantically, alerting him about the ‘Handshake’ on the steps of Harambee House, the President’s office.

“A flurry of other phone calls flowed in. Kalonzo called me to ask if I was aware of what was going on.

I told him I was unaware.”

He says pressure mounted on him from a wide range of callers, who wanted to know what was going on, “bearing in mind that I had been the chief campaigner.”

“They wanted to know whether we were now going into a coalition government with Jubilee.”

Mr Mudavadi says the swearing-in went against what the rest of the principals believed in and was also in defiance of the caution by world and regional leaders, advice that was given in telephone conversations and in meetings.

The meetings

“The first one was Raila’s office at Capitol Hill, where we met with foreign diplomats accredited to Kenya, religious leaders and leaders from the business community.

They pleaded with us not to carry on with the swearing-in plans,” Mudavadi writes.

He says the second meeting was held at the American Ambassador’s residence. “Also present at this meeting was the Acting Assistant

Secretary of State for African Affairs, Donald Yamamoto. There was also Howard from the Security Adviser’s Desk in the White House and Ambassador Robert Godec.”

In these meetings, the envoys warned them that should they carry on with their swearing-in plans, they would be “considered warlords, with attendant international consequences”.

The diplomats instead offered to create an avenue for dialogue with the government to resolve the issues that had been raised.

Among the opposition’s demands were that victims of police violence receive compensation and that President Kenyatta apologises for the extrajudicial killings.

Besides the swearing-in, Mr Mudavadi writes of other decisions Mr Odinga pushed through without consultation or concurrence from his colleagues. He paints the picture of a leader who always had a plan B or one who would change course on the spur of the moment.

He writes of the various postponements of the swearing-in and of difficult private meetings even as they publicly demonstrated solidarity, if only to give morale to their supporters.

READ ALSO:   80 per cent of Kenyans support Handshake-Poll

He writes that just before one of the swearing-in postponements, Mr Odinga went out of circulation.

“For some time he could not be reached on the phone. We put together our heads with the technical team and agreed that in this move (postponement) we were giving an opportunity to the diplomatic and business communities to attempt their proposed intervention.”

But just as they were about to leave for the Okoa Kenya offices to announce the suspension of the ceremony, he reached Raila who told them to go ahead with the announcement and link up with him later in the evening.

“I would learn a few days later that while I was preparing to call off the swearing-in, Raila was in fact at Jimmi Wanjigi’s residence in Muthaiga with a number of family members and friends. The object of the meeting, I would learn, was for him to record a private swearing-in, which would be circulated to the media houses and on the Internet.”

He writes that people at Muthaiga would later tell him that just when the swearing-in was to take place, they saw the Okoa Kenya postponement meeting on TV.

“I learnt from the people present that Raila seemed to have been very shocked to watch us on TV calling off the swearing-in. He is reported to have said, “Oh, so they are calling it off? At this point the swearing-in at Muthaiga was called off. Before we left for Okoa Kenya from my office, he had called me to ask why we were taking long to make the announcement.”

Drifted apart

He writes that throughout the Christmas season, the Nasa team “had completely drifted apart on the issue of swearing in”, a time when Mudavadi believes the pro-swearing thinking must have prevailed. “At a public gathering in Kakamega just before the end of the year, Raila announced he would be sworn in on January 30. Once again, there had been no consultation, leave alone an agreement. The rest of us remained calm and restrained in the spirit of our agreement not to show our differences in public.”

He writes that as the clock ticked towards January 30, 2018, the D-Day of the swearing in, a lastditch effort was made to forestall it at a dinner meeting at Mr Odinga’s Karen home.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru says he and Raila drank many cups of tea on the "Handshake" day as both were very nervous

Present were all the four principals as well as Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o. “Also with us was former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, a close friend and confidante of Raila. He had specifically come to Kenya for this meeting.” Mudavadi recalls Mr Obasanjo advising Mr Odinga against the move, saying it would destroy his credentials. Mr Obasanjo also brought in Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s counsel as well as that of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

“All of us, including Raila, agreed that he would not take the oath. Beyond this, Raila also told us that on a different occasion and in the presence of James Orengo, President John Pombe Magufuli of Tanzania – also a close friend of his – had held a lengthy telephone conversation with him.”

Up to the end, Mudavadi and the other three principals maintained they would have nothing to do with the ‘Handshake’.

“On Monday, January 29, we the principals, held our last meeting ahead of the critical moment in the swearing-in saga. At the end of the Homa Bay rally, Raila had intimated to us that he had information that the Jubilee side would reach out to him in good time to forestall the swearing-in and begin negotiations about reforms.

Mudavadi also writes of intrigues hours to the controversial swearing-in and how Mr Odinga hoodwinked them up to the last minute that he would not be sworn in. “It was agreed that we would all, nonetheless, go to Uhuru Park – the venue where the swearing-in was to take place – to face our supporters and call off the swearing-in once and for all. We agreed that we would meet at a venue to be agreed upon in the morning.”

Having failed to hear from Mr Odinga, Mudavadi writes, the other principals met at Wetang’ula’s place. “It was while we were here, at about 1200 that Raila eventually called me using his regular phone number. Our telephone conversation was disjointed, creating the impression that he was under siege.” Moments later, however, they learnt that he had proceeded to Uhuru Park and was taking the “Presidential Oath of Office”.

I would learn a few days later that while I was preparing to call off the swearingin, Raila was in fact at Jimmi Wanjigi’s residence with a number of family members and friends,” Musalia Mudavadi

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Entertainment

Corazon, Frankie reveal their unborn baby’s gender and name

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Socialite Corazon Kwamboka and her boyfriend Frank Kiarie aka Frankie Just Gym It have revealed the name and gender of their unborn child.

The couple is expecting a baby boy whom they have named Tayari, which means our love in Spanish and ready in Swahili.

The celebrity couple made the revelation in a three-minute video, in which Frankie also surprised Kwamboka with a cake.

GENDER REVEAL

“Gender reveal. All I need in this life of sin. PS; We were just having fun and doing this for ourselves, this video was never intended to see the light of day. At this point, we never thought we’d ever had the courage to be open about us. I just felt like sharing 🤷‍♀️” Kwamboka posted on Instagram.

The cake was divided in two, one half in blue and the other half in pink. The cake also had the names Tayari and Kesia written on each half.

Before cutting the cake, Kwamboka said that if it turns out that she is carrying a baby girl she will name her Kesia and if it’s a boy, his name will be Tayari.

Upon cutting the cake, the colour inside was blue, meaning it’s a boy.

SECRET PREGNANCY

“It’s a boy, aawww… this is what I wanted, I just didn’t want to say it,” said a teary Kwamboka.

READ ALSO:   Raila new found status

Last month, after Nairobi News exclusively revealed that the two were expecting a baby, Kwamboka confirmed that indeed she was pregnant with Frankie’s child.

Until that point, Kwamboka and Frankie, who is the ex-husband of YouTuber Maureen Waititu, had been keeping the pregnancy a secret.

During a live Instagram session, she said she found out she was pregnant while in Diani on holiday with her mother.

“I found out that I was three weeks pregnant. When I came back to Nairobi, I bought pregnancy kits, tested myself and the results were positive,” Kwamboka said then.

By Nairobi News

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News

US-based Kenyan recounts her experience traveling to motherland after airspace was opened

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More often than not, Kenyans in the diaspora express their displeasure over how things are done back home.

You will come across negative comments on social media about how awful Kenya is compared to other countries.

President Kenyatta’s administration has come under heavy criticism from Kenyans who accuse it of mishandling the Covid-19 pandemic.

But it appears Kenya is doing as well far as stemming the Covid-19 disease is concerned if the account of a Kenyan diaspora is anything to go by.

The woman says she traveled from Baltimore, Maryland to Kenya last week and was impressed by the Covid-19 containment protocols Kenya put in place as international flights resumed on Saturday.

She says what she saw made her proud to be a Kenyan. Below is her full story.

Today I want to commend Kenya for making me so proud to be Kenyan🇰🇪😍
We get a lot wrong as a nation but we also get a lot right and from firsthand experience of our handling of post covid arrival of international air passengers … Im proud to be Kenyan 🇰🇪😁
On Friday 31st July I arrived at BWI airport in Baltimore, Maryland a place I had been calling home for a wee bit, to start my long awaited and anticipated return home 🇰🇪 as the Kenyan government was finally opening its international airspace on 1st August and I planned to be home on the inaugural flights.
So the 39hour😅 trip home began … truly a journey of love in a covid world!
At BWI my first moment of being proudly Kenyan happened mixed with a tad of anxiety when the Delta checkin crew told me Kenya had suspended flights into its airspace 😱 so told them yes but by the time I arrived in Kenya 39 hours later it would be 1st August and our airspace would be open. At this juncture I was ready to start walking and swimming home😅
The Delta supervisor affirms my stance then asks for my COVID test and entry authorization forms etc as Kenya is very strict … moment of pride No. 1 when the US is concerned at adhering with the strict entry requirements of Kenya 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Delta handled our boarding and on flight social distancing exceptionally well and kudos to them.
But both BWI and ATL airports were ghost towns with 90% of the duty free shops closed. This thrilled the Mrs. Monk in me as meant less exposure 😅
Nearly a day later I land in Amsterdam and find Schipol which, in my opinion is the world’s worst airport in terms of harassing passengers especially those from Africa, has set up a special screening area specifically for flights to Kenya to adhere to Kenya’s strict entry requirements. Who would have thunk Schipol well known for best screening et al would need to enhance their measures to be able to enter Kenyan 🇰🇪 airspace. Moment of pride No.2 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
At the screening station they check your covid test certificate, take your temperature and fill and stamp a form. Was bemused at passengers around me complaining at the strictness to enter Kenya ie how they had to cancel flights as didnt have covid tests etc. Was proud to say we don’t need you all to bring the virus home as we need to protect our own @Moment of pride No.3 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Before boarding at Schipol they once again reconfirm covid tests etc as remember Kenya is strict @ Moment of pride No.4 @@🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 However, Schipol needs to learn a lesson on social distancing while boarding as the normal status quo was maintained in practice. But at this juncture I have been “exposed” for over 31 hours so Im ready to start the final leg home 😅
Landing in Kenya is emotional and overwhelming and makes the long journey back home sooooo worth it …. while I was away y’all paved the pothole on the runway 😜🤣
As we taxi in the French gentleman seated next to me is awe of how JKIA is spraying planes to disinfect them @Moment of pride No.5 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
I say but of course we need to secure our peoples while inwards I’m in shock and pleasantly surprised that we have gotten our act together😅 … at this juncture this proud daughter of Kenya is in full bragging mode about her beloved 🇰🇪. Tomorrow I can go back to calling her out for all her crap but for now savoring the pride of all she 🇰🇪 is doing right😍
From there on things just got better as our team at JKIA have set up effective and efficient screening and counter checking all covid certificates et al. And are strict on social distancing measures too 🇰🇪👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Even customs and baggage control handled professionally … all cargo hold baggage screened before baggage carasouel so customs no longer physically check it only mechanically screen your carry-on luggage as you take the final steps and take your first breath of the crisp midnight air in Nairobi🇰🇪😍
Well done to MOH and Kenya Airports Authority for doing your best on this stance to secure Kenya and Kenyans in the covid world 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
#ProudlyKenyan 🇰🇪😍

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Uhuru says he and Raila drank many cups of tea on the "Handshake" day as both were very nervous
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Business

How Kenyan family stole billions in the US

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When in November last year, the National Police Service said it had received information from Interpol that some Kenyans were wanted in the US for alleged fraud offence, one of the names released was that of Edwin Sila Nyumu, a man who had been on the run.

Nyumu and his family were behind a US based crime syndicate that launched  hundreds of millions of dollars in the country but managed to escape the FB dragnet to hide in Mlolongo Machakos.

In total, the family members are believed to have stolen more than Kshs.2 billion in a tax fraud, the Nation has established. It is one of the biggest cyber-crime heists in the blossoming industry.

The Daily Nation reports that how this Kenyan family laid a scamming web and managed to bilk millions of dollars and send them to Kenya without raising an alarm has always petrified the investigators.

TheDaily Nation reports that for 12 years, since his name first appeared on the Interpol list, Nyumu oiled the palms of all those who his identity and the Nation was informed he was a cash cow of police officers, until the money ran out last year.

By then, and after 12 years, he could no longer be charged with fraud since the federal crimes have a statute limitations which protects the people from being harassed and having to constantly defend themselves from old charges.

READ ALSO:   80 per cent of Kenyans support Handshake-Poll

Record indicate that on November 6 last year, Corporal general Kamwaro swore an affidavit seeking a fresh order to arrest Nyumu.

Kamwaro said Nairobi Interpol office has contacted the US Nationla Central Bureau Interpol to forward extradition documents against the suspect.

By Daily Nation

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