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Why State won’t redeploy Moi staff soon

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The government is not in a hurry to redeploy public servants who had been seconded to former President Daniel arap Moi, government Spokesman Colonel (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna has revealed.

In an exclusive interview with the Nation, Mr Oguna said the employees of the former Head of State, will be given time to mourn before they are redeployed.

“The government will not immediately re-deploy the employees, they must be given time to mourn the departed president, before they are reassigned new roles. They were very close to the late president and must be given time to heal,” Mr Oguna told the Nation.

This comes days after the National Treasury said it is set to stop funding the office of former president Moi in what will save taxpayers hundreds of millions in retirement benefits offered to the former Head of State.

Mzee Moi, who was buried at his Kabarak home, had been receiving retirement benefits, including a fleet of luxury cars, a fully-furnished office and about 40 workers since leaving office in 2002.

The former president was entitled to four secretaries, two personal assistants, four messengers, four drivers, housekeepers, home cleaners and bodyguards.

READ ALSO:   MUST WATCH VIDEO: Lee Njiru reveals tightly guarded details about Moi, Jomo Kenyatta

Mr Oguna told the Nation that the public servants who include security officers, will be re-assigned new duties through a circular at an ‘appropriate time.’

Mzee Moi, who died on February 4 at The Nairobi Hospital aged 95, had a multi-million shilling palatial home in Kabarak, Nakuru County.

On his expansive Kabarak farm, the former President owned multi-billion shilling property including Kabarak Primary School, Kabarak High School, Kabarak University, Kabarak Guest House, a church and other establishments.

He had homes including the Kabarnet Gardens home in Nairobi.

The former president had seven known private residences-one in Nairobi and six in Rift Valley.

Colonel (Rtd) Oguna, on Friday revealed that the former president’s homes will remain guarded, but his office will be wound up. All the homes of the former president have round the clock security.

According to sources that sought anonymity, the former president had at least 30 police officers some guarding his homes and others serving as his bodyguards.

“The bodyguards will be among civil servants that will be re-deployed,” revealed the source.

Mzee Moi had an office with staff including his longest serving Press Secretary Lee Njiru, who had served the former Head of State for over 40 years and Mr John Lokorio who was the former president’s private secretary.

READ ALSO:   How Moi thwarted scheme to replace Lee Njiru

Others include former Standard Group Nakuru Bureau Chief Mr Alex Kiprotich, who has been Mr  Njiru’s deputy and Colonel Alexander Kiprop, who had been Mzee Moi’s aide de camp since he left office in 2002.

Recently, the Public Service Commission extended Mr Njiru’s contract to September 11, 2021. The contract was earlier scheduled to end on June 30, 2020.

Mr Kiprotich was appointed in 2016 to serve as Mr Njiru’s deputy. However, Mzee Moi was reluctant to let go of Mr Njiru, who was his most trusted aide.

Mr Njiru was recruited to the office of former president Jomo Kenyatta in 1977, and Moi absorbed him when he took over from Mzee Kenyatta in 1978. Mr Njiru is the longest serving civil servant in Mzee Moi’s office.

Last week, a source from the Treasury revealed that some of Mzee Moi’s staff will be declared redundant.

The source revealed that the Treasury will not have an allocation for the Moi office in the new financial year and his pension will be stopped.

Moi had been receiving a monthly pension equivalent to 80 per cent of the salary paid to the sitting president.

He was also entitled to fuel, house and entertainment allowances running into hundreds of thousands of shillings.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Why was Lee Njiru not on list of people thanked by Moi family, Kenyans ask

Running Moi’s office and that of former President Mwai Kibaki will cost the public Sh243 million in the year to June, with compensation to their own staff, excluding staff seconded from the government, taking Sh126 million.

Aides seconded from the government, including press secretaries and security officers, are paid by the parent ministry.

Data from the Treasury shows that Mr Moi and Mr Kibaki’s monthly pay and perks stood Sh74 million in the year to June, up from Sh64 million in the same period a year earlier.

In 2015, a High Court judge stopped the government from paying allowancesworth millions of shillings.

However, the Attorney-General appealed the decision, allowing the two to continue enjoying their retirement emoluments.

Former presidents are also entitled to four cars that are replaced every four years.

The government also caters for workers at Mr Kibaki’s Nairobi office that was bought at Sh250 million three years ago, and Moi’s office at Kabarnet Gardens, off Ngong Road, Nairobi.

Mr Kibaki retired as president in 2013 after serving two five-year terms.

by Nation


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Lifestyle

My cruel marriage to politician’s son

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Like any other woman about to get married, Esther Kisaghu was eager to tie the knot with her soulmate. When she finally settled down with the son of a prominent politician, who retired in 1988, it was all bliss. In her mind, the Cinderella life was a reality.

But she was wrong. She soon realised that marriage life wasn’t the bed of roses she had envisioned.

“I started like any other girl who is happy to get married. But soon, things changed. I started experiencing domestic violence,” reveals Ms Kisaghu, who studied at Alliance Girls’ High School, before going abroad for further studies.

She joined Boston University in the United States for a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

“When I was in the middle of my studies, my fiancé requested me to come back for us to get married…

“I didn’t complete my studies. Two years after we got married, however, he changed. He started strangling me, but I kept quiet,” she says.

Ms Kisaghu, who got married at 27, later completed her Bachelor’s at African Nazarene University in Kenya.

“It does not matter what the victim does, as long as the perpetrator wants to beat his victim, it will happen. Nothing the victim does, will stop the violence — only if the abuser changes. He chose to beat me, emotionally and psychological tortured me — it was his choice. At the heart of abuse is power and control — the twisted behaviour to control and abuse the victim,” says Ms Kisaghu, who has since founded The Rose Foundation, which assists women undergoing abuse in marriage.

“His family was powerful when he was abusing me. He also abused substance. However, as an expert in domestic violence, I later realised that drunkenness does not cause violence. It merely exacerbates it. There is no causal link between being a drunk and violence. Violence is a choice,” she says.

When the mother of one realised she was going through suffering with her son, she thought of means to get out of the marriage after nine years of painful experience.

Wanted to stab me

However, it was hard to escape and she had to devise ways out.

“I was married to a powerful politician’s son. So, escaping to the US via the studies route was not easy at all, especially because I left with my son — a no, no, in African culture,” narrates Ms Kisaghu, who was born in Taita-Taveta County.

Nevertheless, she joined Boston University, again, to study Public Health – International Health at Master’s degree level. Her going for further studies in 2004, she says, was just an escape.

“My life was in danger. I used the opportunity… to keep safe in another country with my son.”

It was at the university that it dawned on her that domestic violence is preventable.

“During the four years of studies, I decided that I should come and assist people back at home.”

Indeed, when she was done, she returned to Kenya and opened a new chapter in her life by establishing The Rose Foundation in 2015.

Gender-Based Violence

Prior to that, she volunteered her services at the Gender-Based Violence Recovery Centre at Nairobi Women’s Hospital for six months.

“Many women in Kenya get killed when the husband follows them to their new life. It’s true that victims face death every day in violent marriages, but when leaving, a safety plan must be put in place.

At The Rose Foundation, we do domestic violence training, which includes safety planning,” says Ms Kisaghu, who spent 11 years trying to get a divorce because her husband kept interfering with the case.

Children are affected

Ms Kisaghu notes that many children are affected psychologically when they witness domestic violence in their homes.

She says that victims ought to realise that leaving a violent home is possible, “no matter how difficult it is.

“What is important is to do a safety plan,” says Ms Kisaghu who is also the author of The Triumph of My Life: Domestic Violence and Society’s Thundering Silence.

by nation


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Lifestyle

Peter Gwengi: ‘Accepting I had HIV saved my life’

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“Can you imagine for the many years since I signed a memorandum of understanding with my virus, I have lived a happy and peaceful life. We have been faithful to each other,” this was Peter Gwengi’s opening statement when we visited him at his home in Migori County.

It was his wife’s poor health that made him test for the virus. He learnt about his wife’s status, and eventually his own, in a cruel manner.

“She was seriously ill and admitted to hospital in Migori, but when there was no change, and her health deteriorating, I requested to move her to a better hospital. A nurse called me on the side and whispered, ‘why are you wasting your money treating her and she is going to die anyway. She is HIV positive’,” said Mr Gwengi.

He did not believe it. He called the family doctor, who confirmed that his wife was HIV positive and had been taking drugs for six years. She had kept the news away from him, perhaps due to fear of stigma and rejection. “For six years, living with someone and not knowing she is HIV positive, and many people, including some of my family members, knew her status. I was the only one who had been in the dark all along. It took a toll on me,” he said.

READ ALSO:   I am not Moi’s Son, Lee Njiru says after Kenyans claim they resemble

Opportunistic infection

Fearing the worst, but determined to get it over with, Mr Gwengi got tested for the virus. Even though he had prepared himself for the worst, when the test came back positive, he was devastated. Nine months later, his wife died. He lived in denial for two years, not talking about the disease to anyone — not even close relatives and friends — and refusing to take medication.

The two years were not easy for him. It was one opportunistic infection after another, but he would not accept that he had the virus. He thought of committing suicide.

He could not get out of his house or face his family or friends because of the stigma that came with the disease.

“One thing that I kept on asking myself — and I did not have an answer — is, where the disease came from. But thinking deeply, I believe I contracted HIV when I worked as a field officer in the early 1990s, a job that kept me away from home for long periods,” he said .

One day in 2001, he got seriously ill and was rushed to hospital unconscious. It was after several counselling sessions and being told that he was going to die and leave his three daughters orphans that made him accept his status. He then did everything he could to prolong his life.

READ ALSO:   MUST WATCH VIDEO: Lee Njiru reveals tightly guarded details about Moi, Jomo Kenyatta

 Telling his inner circle of friends about his HIV status was easier than he had expected, because he had accepted it.

He was placed on drugs, and thanks to his employer, Mr Gwengi was fully insured and would get his drugs using his medical card. Having seen how his wife suffered, he vowed to keep to the drugs regimen.

“One day, I woke up and told my virus now that we are partners and they are going to be part of me forever, they should not put me down and I will not disturb them. I would obey and follow all the requirements. And that’s how I have been living with my virus,” he narrated to the Nation.

Mr Gwengi said he maintains a well-balanced lifestyle, healthy diet, taking antiretroviral drugs on time, exercising, having adequate rest, and dropping bad habits such as taking excessive alcohol.

“HIV is a very jealous virus. If you are to take your drugs, for instance at 9pm, and you skip, it will eventually notice that something is not right and it will attack with several diseases until you adhere to the rules,” said Mr Gwengi.

Stress, he points out, is also dangerous and can undermine your health.

“This is one of the most faithful viruses. It does not want to be disturbed and it will not disturb you. All you need to do is just to accept that you have it and it will respond positively. Get yourself good friends and family members who encourage you positively.”

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Why was Lee Njiru not on list of people thanked by Moi family, Kenyans ask

Mr Gwengi founded an advocacy organisation, where he runs campaigns to promote positive living and acceptance of people with HIV.

by nation.africa


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Courts

Fraud case opens lid into the sophisticated art of con game

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When seven suspects took to the dock to plead to fraud charges, they looked ordinary. Like any Tom, Dick and Harry – plain. But underneath the veneer of simplicity lay a suave and sophisticated lot that has opened the door to the world of conmanship.

The seven, who had purported to be officials from the Office of the Deputy President, were yesterday charged a fresh over a Sh180 million fake tender scam.

Allan Kiprotich Chesang, Teddy Awiti, Kevin Mutundura Nyongesa, Augustine Wambua Matata, Joy Wangari Kamau, James William Makokha alias MrWanyonyi and Johan Ochieng Osore appeared before Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku and denied the charges.

They were charged afresh after the prosecution consolidated their files.

They appeared before Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku after the prosecution consolidated their files.

The suspects, who duped the victim into supplying 2,800 pieces of laptops in August 2018, had forged a Local Purchase Order (LPO) purported to have been issued by a Mr Mulinge, an assistant procurement officer at the DP’s office.

Their case is a classic example of the tremendous transformation fraud – originally associated with dingy downtown areas, and targeting the naive and less educated people – has undergone in the last few years.

Lately, the majority of the victims – as the recent case of a high-ranking diplomat – are well exposed people.

But what has baffled detectives is the fact that some of the serious fraud cases are executed in high-level government and security offices.

READ ALSO:   How Moi thwarted scheme to replace Lee Njiru

According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the State House, Harambee House, Harambee House Annex, the United Nations, the Department of Defence (DoD), Jogoo House police offices and Afya House, are among places where fraudsters have either pitched tent, or purported to operate from.

The Economic and Commercial Crimes Unit of the DCI is currently investigating a case of fraud involving millions of shillings by suspects posing as UN staff.

The gang, including a man and a woman who the DCI a fortnight ago listed as wanted persons, are also wanted for bank fraud offences.

The DCI, in a notice in the newspapers, indicated that Gerald Gatheru Mwai and Gladys Mwara Kamau, were wanted following a warrant of arrest issued by a Milimani court in Nairobi, on October 16.

Apart from the case before court in which a warrant of arrest was issued against the duo, the two are also said to have been duping unsuspecting businessmen over nonexisting tenders at the UN.

The victims are issued with fake Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) after parting with some money, and would be directed to specific companies to purchase tendered goods, especially drugs and rice, but told to pay and wait for the goods to be delivered, because the UN complex is a security zone.

Some of the victims told detectives that since access to the UN compound was restricted, they were convinced to surrender the goods to a team of ‘UN staff’ to deliver. The fraudsters would then disappear with the goods.

The gullibility has been baffling, a clear proof that no one is immune to fraud.

READ ALSO:   MUST WATCH VIDEO: Lee Njiru reveals tightly guarded details about Moi, Jomo Kenyatta

In the latest fraud case involving Sh300 million that was in court on Wednesday last week, the victim, Haile Menkerios, is said to have served in different senior positions within the UN.

The suspect, businessman and former Embakasi East parliamentary aspirant

Francis Mureithi, is alleged to have defrauded Menkerios under the pretext that he could help the diplomat secure a food supply tender at the DoD.

Menkerios, 74, has served as the Head of UN office to the African Union (UNOAU) and as a Special Representative to the African Union.

He has also served as the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan.

According to Psychology professor Robert Cialdini, people fall for scams due to a number of reasons, including the principle of reciprocity or enforced indebtedness used to elicit unwise action from the targeted victims.

“Not all fraud victims are risk-taking and greedy individuals seeking to make a quick shilling. They come from a variety of socio-economic, educational, age and gender backgrounds,” a senior detective at DCI headquarters said.

And the fraudsters are not the ordinary slinky characters who operate covertly. Some of them are ubiquitous characters who use their community and professional credibility and respectability to con.

In most of the cases, fraudsters disguise themselves as employees of certain institutions and forge LPOs and letterheads to send fake tender bids to unsuspecting companies or businessmen with requests to supply goods.

DoD In another case at DoD in August this year, the once high flying former assistant minister Danston Mungatana was arrested by detectives from Kilimani DCI together with Collins Paul Waweru for the offence of obtaining money by pretences, forgery and making of a false document.

READ ALSO:   I am not Moi’s Son, Lee Njiru says after Kenyans claim they resemble

The two had obtained Sh1 million by pretending they were in a position to help a business person to secure a non-existent Sh70 million tender, purportedly to supply cereals and building materials to the DOD. After the complainant parted with Sh1 million, she was called to a Nairobi hotel to meet “a senior officer who would help push the alleged business opportunity”.

AFYA HOUSE

In March this year, detectives arrested Mercy Waihiga Wanjiku alias Linda Masake Mugundu for obtaining goods valued at Sh37 million from a businessman in another fake tender at the Ministry of Health (MoH), Afya House.

Wanjiku, together with other suspects, posed as senior MoH Health officials and lured Eastleigh businessman Ibrahim Adan to deliver 20,000 boxes of hand gloves, 1000 pieces of non-contact infrared thermometers and 579 boxes of face masks worth Sh37 million.

The meetings -to award the fake tender MOH/DPPH/DNMP/001/GFONT/2019- 2020 dated May 4 to Rocketway Construction Ltd -were held at the boardroom used by the Human Resources department. According to the businessman, every time he visited Afya House, he would find the ‘officials’ waiting for him and they would quickly whisk him past the security officers at the reception.

by Zadock Angira, PD.co.ke


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