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This man Murkomen

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At a time when the relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto is on the rocks, one person has stood out of the Jubilee Party parliamentary pack.

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen has been the most outspoken of the ruling party’s legislators, who are unhappy with the course of events in government since the March 2018 handshake between the President and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Through a cleverly designed scheme, Mr Murkomen, who is also the Elgeyo Marakwet senator, has exploited the opportunity provided by technology and the floor of the House to deliver pronouncements that directly target the President much as they express the general feeling of the Rift Valley masses.

In the last couple of weeks, Mr Murkomen has mutated into some kind of Team Tangatanga’s Miguna Miguna – intense, erratic and ready-to-tweet rabble-rouser, who never shies away from any fight, even a mundane one.

But it is his role in the attempt to save Mr Ferdinand Waititu from impeachment that has exposed Mr Murkomen’s erratic nature, with questions being raised about his exact relevance to Ruto’s strategy in as far as the 2022 presidential election is concerned.

On Wednesday, the Senate upheld the decision of the County Assembly to impeach Mr Waititu against attempts by the lawmaker and other Ruto’s men to resist.

The task of rescuing Mr Waititu had been vested on Mr Murkomen’s shoulders by virtue of his role in the Senate, where the DP had mandated him to mobilise, lobby and get the numbers that would have ensured Mr Waititu survived.

But through a mix of excitement, boorishness and lack of tact, the majority leader bangled the task and Mr Waititu was sent packing.

READ ALSO:   Murkomen: Why I was ousted

He failed terribly in the mission. “He is the Team Tangatanga’s chief ideologue and megaphone,” a Jubilee senator says of Mr Murkomen’s value to the DP.

“If you want to know the thinking in the DP’s corner, follow up Mr Murkomen’s pronouncements. He is coherent and eloquent and perhaps the only politician in the current crop of legislators from Ruto’s backyard who can deliver a speech in English continuously for 10 minutes and make sense.”

“The problem is that he unbelievable. He comes out as deceitful and a defender of indefensible.”

University of Nairobi don Herman Manyora agrees with the assertion, arguing that the senator is of no-strategic value to Mr Ruto.

“He is all noise, a bit of politics but no strategy. He is just like the rest of the crowd in Team Tangatanga, which is very unfortunate,” Mr Manyora explains.

Nominated senator Isaac Mwaura believes that Mr Murkomen thinks with his mouth open and he is a master of deceit.

“On Thursday, he came out as a supporter of corrupt governors yet he was all over social media castigating corruption. He is erratic, thinks on his feet but not in a long-term manner,” he says.

Senate deputy majority whip Irungu Kang’ata describes his boss in the House as combative and extremist, warning that his character could be counterproductive.

Pundits observe Mr Murkomen’s behaviour is borne out of the desire to carve a political niche for himself, especially in the Rift Valley, having been elected first in 2013 as a senator.

Until mid-2012, he was Mr Raila Odinga’s person and was safely ensconced as the ODM aspirant for his county’s Senate seat.

READ ALSO:   Murkomen mourns friend who was abducted and later found dead

But with the political reality that Ruto was the man, he switched camps and was nominated and eventually elected on Jubilee Party.

His first days in the House were uneventful. Parliamentary records show that he regularly lambasted the regime’s attitude towards devolution, and he was among the first senators to call for a referendum to amend the Constitution and clarify the legislative roles of the two chambers of Parliament.

It was this character that pushed him further away from the centre of Jubilee Party and was regularly isolated from Dr Ruto’s inner sanctum.

But he had his Road to Damascus moment when he discovered that his then-nascent political career was on the cliff after Dr Ruto started ignoring him.

One day in 2014, he received an appointment for an early morning meeting at DP Ruto’s Karen home.

The lawmaker made it on time and was ushered in. But it took four hours of waiting for him to realise that something was amiss.

His boss had sneaked out through the side door, leaving him stranded at the VIP area.

It was this event that changed the political trajectory in Mr Murkomen political career.

“He became a real convert who is ready to kill for his boss as proof of loyalty,” says the Jubilee senator.

Through this loyalty, he was duly repaid and elevated to the deputy majority leader after Mr Charles Keter was appointed to the Cabinet, and in 2017 he was picked as the majority leader to replace Prof Kithure Kindiki, who became the deputy speaker.

When reached for a comment, Mr Murkomen was coy about his position on the DP’s 2022 bid.

READ ALSO:   Kenyans online rebuke Murkomen for faulting lift on cessation

“I am not the only person around the DP. There are so many people that he relies on. But for now, let that not be an issue; let’s focus on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) first,” he said.

During the BBI meeting in Mombasa, he came out as the leader to watch, given his choice of words at a political rally where he used the name “Baba” several times to refer to Mr Odinga.

He chaired the recent ‘Jubilee Parliamentary Group’ meeting in Naivasha to strategise on the BBI.

Mr Barasa Nyukuri, a governance expert, says Mr Murkomen embodies a young leadership that is arrogant and out of touch with reality and will add nothing to the DP’s bid to become president.

“Power and money have entered his head. He is more of a closed-minded but open-mouthed person,” Mr Nyukuri says.

“For a man who comes from a poor background, he has suddenly become arrogant and behaves like someone who has never gone to school. If this is the man the DP is banking on, he is lost,” he adds.

Mr Manyora believes that Mr Murkomen has led down the DP. “As the head of Ruto’s political wing, one would have expected him to have taken the lead to provide strategic thinking for their man but he has not.

He is young, educated and energetic but not effective for DP ambitions,” Mr Manyora argues, saying the senator’s behaviour is borne out of the desire to succeed Ruto in the Rift.

by nation.co.ke

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Kimunya hits at Maraga over Parliament dissolution

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BY KEVIN KOECH

National Assembly Majority Leader Amos Kimunya has accused Chief Justice David Maraga of creating chaos in the country with his advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta on dissolving the Parliament.

Kimunya said Maraga made advisory just a week after he appeared before a House committee that apparently annoyed him by insisting he should be prepared to leave office soon.

Speaking to K24 on Sunday, September 27, Kimunya said Maraga appeared before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on the September 14 and a week later, he issued the advisory “as an act of self-preservation”.

“This advisory was not done in good faith. It was an act of self-preservation,” he said.

The majority leader also added that the CJ was fully aware that the House had started the process of passing the law allowing for the representation of the marginalised groups including women.

He said there was a matter pending in court also linked to the law and said it was shady that Maraga did not wait for the court case to be determined but thought it was better the Parliament to be dissolved.

In his letter to the president, Maraga said the National Assembly and the Senate had failed to enact legislation required to implement the gender rule for nine years.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: DP Ruto laughs off Governor Mutua’s ‘threatening handshake’ claims

He said the dissolution of Parliament under Article 261(7) needed to be enforced to compel the political elite to fully adhere to the 2010 Constitution.

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Bungoma man who hung onto a helicopter dies

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Bungoma’s ‘James Bond’, the man who made headlines when he hung onto a chopper that was ferrying the body of fallen businessman Jacob Juma, has died.

The man, identified as Saleh Wanjala, died at the Bungoma County Referral Hospital on Monday, September 28, 2020.

Family members confirmed that ‘Bond’ was found unconscious and then taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

The man will be remembered for his dare-devil stunt when he was filmed in 2016 hanging onto a chopper for over 2km in a manner reminiscent of James Bond, the famous British movie spy.

After the chopper incident, he was arrested and arraigned but released thereafter.

His body was taken to Bungoma County Referral Hospital mortuary.

READ ALSO:   Kipchumba Murkomen sarcastically says he misses BBI rallies
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Ruto skips COVID-19 conference despite invitation 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Deputy President William Ruto on Monday, September 28, failed to attend the Covid-19 conference hosted at the KICC.

The official programme indicated that Ruto was expected to speak after former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and welcome Uhuru to issue his speech.

Kanze Dena confirmed that Ruto was invited to the conference but was a no-show when it commenced at around 2 p.m.

Ruto’s Deputy Director of Communications Emmanuel Talam, however, raised questions about the Deputy President being invited to the conference.

However, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said the DP had a meeting planned with European Union delegates.

“He had a very important meeting which took longer than expected. It is not necessary that he has to attend the conference because he is the assistant to the President so when Uhuru is attending, he does not necessarily have to attend.

“He was meeting EU delegates in Karen to unlock the deadlock of global funds brought about by the Covid-19 millionaires Exposé so that the country can resume receiving the funding,” explained Barasa.

Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga on her side insisted that Ruto was not invited to the conference.

“When planning for COVID-19 response mechanisms they neither invited Ruto nor did they offer him a seat.

READ ALSO:   E-mail leaks unmask Jubilee's powerful woman

“After messing up and they need someone articulate they offered him a seat at the National Covid-19 conference. And you expected him to attend? NEVER!” she noted.

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