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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:   VIDEO: Drama as Uhuru drives away with Raila, breaking all known protocol

“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:   Raila new found status

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:   80 per cent of Kenyans support Handshake-Poll

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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Lifestyle

We are just friends, woman says of ‘husband’ charged with assaulting her

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A man charged within assaulting his “wife” had bitter exchanges with the woman’s father in court as the father disputed his daughter’s marriage to the suspect.

Ferdinand Atandi was charged with assaulting Jackline Wanjugu, a Standard Gauge Railway station attendant, and causing her bodily injuries.

He is said to have snatched her phone immediately she arrived from work and forced her to disclose her pin before he started raining blows on her while armed with a knife. He later pushed her to bed threatening to kill her.

She allegedly disclosed the same after she started nose bleeding and sought help through Facebook while Atandi was hiding in bathroom.

But Atandi denied the charges before chief magistrate Heston Nyaga and claimed Jackline was his wife and the incident was a domestic issue.

But Jackline’s father Daniel Gathuma said he has no idea that his daughter was married to the suspect.

Gathuma told the magistrate that on January 13, he received a phone call at 5am from a woman who informed him that his daughter’s life was in danger following a communication she had with her on Facebook.

ABUSIVE BOYFRIEND

He was informed that Atandi allegedly wanted to kill Jackline. Gathuma claimed he drove from Utawala to Tassia in 15 minutes to rescue his daughter from an “abusive boyfriend”.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Drama as Uhuru drives away with Raila, breaking all known protocol

He claimed Atandi fled through a kitchen window after he knocked on the door but left a knife in the kitchen sink.

Gathuma maintained that he has been sending his daughter money to pay rent but Atandi said he lives with her at his rented house in Tassia, Embakasi in Nairobi.

The father added that he was not aware of the house rent arrangement as he has been sending his daughter Sh18,000 for rent every month.

Jackline claimed they were “just friends” and have been cohabiting and cost sharing the rent. Nyaga caused amusement in court after asking Gathuma whether Atandi had paid bride price.

“They are ‘just friends’ as I have not received any bride price from Atandi. They have been cohabiting and Atandi has only a few belongings like clothes in the house,” Gathuma said.

The two have lived together for 10 months and Jackline wanted a restrictive order to restrain Atandi from accessing the house because she fears for her life. Atandi, however, disputed this and said it was not logical since his household items were still in the house.

The issue degenerated into an argument between Atandi and Gathuma prompting Nyaga to summon the officer investigating the matter to shed light by establishing who actually owns the house between the two, before he could set bond terms and issue any restraining orders as sought by Jackline.

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

By NN

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Health

VIDEO: Crooks caught repackaging 300,000 expired GoK sanitary towels for sale

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Police have found over 300,000 pieces of expired sanitary towels in Juja stored in a building under construction where they were being packed afresh. 

Dorothy Megarusha, the Juja OCPD, said the expired sanitary pads belong to a business tycoon. The products were to be distributed to Mombasa, Kiambu and Kilifi Counties.

The pads expiry date was on June 2019. It is likely the sanitary towels were to be donated to school girls for free.

There were empty bags at the scene, clearly showing the pads were being repackaged. 

 “We are suspecting that maybe the person who had the position of these sanitary towels had the intention of repackaging the same into these empty packaging so that it could be supplied to schools withing either Kiambu, Muranga, Kilifi and Mombasa Counties. As the National Police service, we want to thank the members of the public for giving such information because we know that these are expired sanitary towels,” said Ms. Megarusha.

Police are pursuing the suspects.

 

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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Diaspora

VIDEO: Check out how much Lupita Nyongo spends on sneakers

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By JUDITH GICOBI

Kenyan- American actress Lupita Nyongo and her co-star Winston Duke bought five pairs of sneakers worth over $ 3,000 (Ksh 300,000).

The two actors shared with Jo-La Puma, the owner of Stadium Goods, a sneaker shop based in New York City, how their sense of style is shaped by their Kenyan and Caribbean heritage.

 

 

 

The Kenyan actor says;

“I have a very stylish mother. Growing up, I was always so impressed by how she always put herself together.”

She further adds; 

“One of my aunts was a cloth designer, so I would draw up the same way. I remember designing my own prom dress. It’s the African influence because we love, love color that’s why my clothes were always out there.”

 

 

 32-year-old Winston Duke says;

“For me, fashion is very expressive because in the Caribbean color is in our blood. Growing up, expensive shoes and fashion was kinda out of reach, I would draw sneakers and dream that I would touch it someday.”

The star actors have worked together in the new psychological horror “Us” and 2018 Marvel movie “Black Panther”.

 

 

READ ALSO:   Raila new found status
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