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Save me from public transport, shame – Echesa tells court

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Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa has filed a fresh application in court seeking to have his Range Rover – registration number KCR 786H  -released to him, arguing that using public transports could expose him to the coronavirus.

That particular car is among Echesa’s five vehicles which were impounded three months ago when police raided his Karen home.

FIREARMS

Echesa, through his lawyer Bryan Khaemba, also told Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot that he also wants his firearms which were confiscated by police released to him.

“It is almost three months since the application was filed in court. It is against logic why the case was filed under a certificate of urgency. Let the vehicle and his firearms be released until the State is ready to respond to the application,” argued Khaemba.

Khaemba explained that his client has been forced to stay at home for fear of contracting the disease.

EMBARRASSMENT

The State has promised to respond to the matter within two days.

Echesa also moved to court in March requesting that the vehicle be released on grounds that he had suffered embarrassment and loss of dignity while using public transport.

“The respondents’ continued confiscation of the vehicle has subjected me to embarrassment and loss of dignity because I am now forced to use public transport, and even sometimes travel on foot,” he pleaded.

READ ALSO:   Rashid Echesa: It’s embarrassing to use matatus, please release my sports utility vehicles

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Lifestyle

VIDEO: How I survived the deadly landslide which claimed more than 20 lives

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Ms Nancy Pyatich, 23, a third year education student at Moi University, who was discharged from the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret where she was admitted on April 20, recalled that on the fateful day, she at Chesogon centre.

“It started raining moderately at around 4 pm and I started hearing unusual sounds from the river. I was in a shop when two men came running towards the centre, shouting that things would get worse that evening and that we should run. We immediately started gathering some documents, including the certificates of my brother who had graduated earlier, and some money,” she said.

Ms Pyatich says they started running towards the Marakwet side, only to realise that the river there had burst its banks and was carrying away houses and debris.

“The centre is surrounded by four rivers, two permanent and two seasonal. We decided to run to the Pokot side but the river there was also overflowing, so we decided to climb a mugumo tree, like other people were doing,” she adds.

Unfortunately. her last-born brother could not to climb the up fast enough and as she reached out to help him, she was swept downstream.

“He was shouting my name but I told him not to call me and instead talk to God by saying a prayer. We are grateful that God saved us. There was an iron sheet being swept by the water.It almost cut me but luckily, I dodged it,” says Ms Pyatich.

READ ALSO:   Echesa’s Land Cruiser V8 registration number is fake, DCI says

As she was being swept away, she hit her forehead against a stone and passed out.

“When I regained consciousnes, I realised that my head and hands were above the mud. I tried to reach for anything but felt a thorny tree and stopped reaching out. I started drifting off that Sunday evening,” she recalls.

The following day (more than 48 hours after the tragedy), she heard voices fading in the distance and cried out for help.

“That is how I was rescued and I thank God for being with me. I prayed to God to save me since I had a year to graduate and I had not achieved anything. I want to go back to university and get involved in serving God,” she adds.

She says it took the hand of God for her and her three brothers to survive the tragedy that saw many people buried in mud, with some bodies unlikely to ever be recovered.

When the Nation met her at the hospital her face, legs and hands bore scars, permanent reminders of her close brush with death.

She thanked medics at MTRH for the professional care they accorded her during the 47days she spent at the facility.

“At first I was in denial andcould not believe what had befallen me, but I have now accepted my situation and realised that I cannot change anything” she says softly.

READ ALSO:   Sh39bn fraud details emerge as Echesa gets bail

The experience changed her world view, such that she now wants to drop education and pursue a career in nursing.

“I was touched by the good care the nurses gave me. I want to study nursing to help other people,” says Ms Pyatich, who was driven out of the hospital shortly after midday by her uncle, Mr Robert Aledum.

Dr Richard Munyaru, a doctor at the MTRH, said that she was treated for multiple injuries, including some to the head and arms and an, ear infection. She was also in a state of intense psychological trauma.

“We started treatment immediately and we have been offering her psychological counselling regularly,” he said.

Yesterday, Moi University Vice-Chancellor Isaac Kosgey gave her financial assistance and a personal donation face masks.

“We want to appreciate her resilience for overcoming this trauma and urge her to continue with the resilience. As an institution, we will continue supporting her,” Prof Kosgey said.

MTRH Chief Executive Officer Wilson Aruasa praised the government’s efforts in assisting victims of the tragedy, which left many people homeless.

“We thank God that she has healed, courtesy of professional help received here and her resilience. We wish her all the best as she starts her life afresh after going through such a harrowing experience,” said Dr Aruasa.

READ ALSO:   Sgt Kenei was murdered, Kenyan newspaper quotes detectives as saying

He said the hospital would do everything l within its means to ensure that Ms Pyatich achieves her dream of being a nurse.

She ran up a hospital bill of Sh145,000, of which the ministry of Interior’s National Disaster Operation Centre paid Sh112,000, while the hospital took care of the balance.

According to Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya, 24 people are still missing following the tragedy, eight of which only body parts have been recovered.

He said that that in West Pokot side, three people, among them two police officers, lost their lives while another four were still missing.

Ms Pyatich now hopes to pursue another course related to medicine and nursing through her experience to assist more patients going through similar challenges.

BY Nation 

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Ruto’s office loses its shine, glamour

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At the Harambee Annex building in Nairobi, visitors are welcomed by a large red-and-white outdoor signage – Office of the Deputy President – on both the ground floor and fifth floor.

While the brightly coloured signage shines during the day and glows at night, the same cannot be said of the holder of the office: Deputy President William Ruto.

Of late, Dr Ruto, and most of his followers, have been subjected to rancorous attacks as the glamour of this office fades away, thanks to incessant attacks within Jubilee Party.

Just recently, two of his ardent supporters, senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika, lost their powerful positions in a palace coup – and more of his allies were this week put on Jubilee’s waiting list; ready for ouster. Among them is Leader of Majority Aden Duale.

Susan Kihika

 

Kipchumba Murkomen

When President Uhuru Kenyatta named his first Cabinet in 2013, he created for Dr Ruto an executive wing known as Executive Office of the Deputy President and which was based at the building that previously housed the Office of the Prime Minister, then occupied by ODM chief Raila Odinga.

By then, both Mr Kenyatta and Dr Ruto were facing serious crimes against humanity charges at the International Criminal Court and had promised to share power once in office.

The creation of the Executive Office – contained in Executive Order Number 1 of 2013 and which was published on April 13, 2013 – some 10 days before Mr Kenyatta named his first four nominees to the Cabinet, was the first indicator that Kenya would have a powerful Executive Deputy President within the Presidency. It was an experiment, since previously, vice presidents were given specific ministerial portfolios.

In public, there seemed to be tight chemistry between the two, whose dalliance looked unshakeable, and so was the political pretence. Dr Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP), with support in the Rift Valley, had signed a coalition agreement with Mr Kenyatta’s The National Alliance (TNA) to form Jubilee Coalition, a surprise camaraderie that had brought two antagonistic tribes on one side against the Nasa coalition of Mr Odinga.

READ ALSO:   Rashid Echesa: It’s embarrassing to use matatus, please release my sports utility vehicles

With Gazette Notice 4961A in place, it was now clear that the powerful Presidency not only included the Executive Office of the President, the Executive Office of the Deputy President, but also two powerful ministries: Interior and Coordination of National Government and that of Devolution and Planning. A third element within The Presidency was the Cabinet Affairs Office, a powerful Constitutional office created under the 2010 Constitution.

President Kenyatta had appointed Francis Kimemia into that position, but after a shortwhile, he was forced to step aside after he was named (he was later cleared) in a graft report released by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in March 2015.

But it was rather surprising when President Kenyatta and Dr Ruto picked a former Utalii College general manager, Joseph ole Lenku, to head the Interior docket and Ms Anne Waiguru, a former director of Integrated Financial Management and Information Systems (IFMIS), to head the powerful Ministry of Devolution and Planning.

Both were not known and, in essence, they could not outshine both Mr Kenyatta and Dr Ruto. They later left under a hail of controversy – but ended up as governors in Kajiado and Kirinyaga respectively.

Interestingly, after Mr Kimemia left, no powerful personality emerged at the Cabinet Office, a position that is superior to that of Head of Public Service. Only one man could fill that gap – Joseph Kinyua.

After his election, President Kenyatta took Mr Kinyua, his PS at the Treasury, and made him the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service. The departure of Mr Kimemia gave Mr Kinyua a chance to coordinate Cabinet affairs, although in essence he was not designated as Secretary to the Cabinet.

Within State House, Mr Kinyua soon emerged as the voice of reason and as the person Mr Kenyatta trusted most to run the State affairs – playing the role of Francis Muthaura during President Mwai Kibaki’s tenure.

An attempt to name Dr Monica Juma to the position of Secretary to the Cabinet was thwarted by Parliament, which failed to approve the decision, accusing her of arrogance. Ms Juma was the victim of emerging battles within Jubilee.

In subsequent Executive Orders, the Secretary to the Cabinet Office did not feature and the man deputising Mr Kinyua, Stephen Kirogo, a career administrator, was promoted to head the Public Service Commission.

READ ALSO:   Echesa: Ruto didn't protect his allies

Back at Harambee Annex Office, Dr Ruto’s executive role was felt in the appointment of various heads of parastatals during the Jubilee coalition’s first term, which did not go well with the TNA wing.

In recent changes, some of these have been removed and are facing corruption charges, leading to arguments that the anti-corruption purge was selective. For his part, Dr Ruto has openly accused Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti of playing politics in his arrests.

But it is these efforts that have led to the loss of glamour at Harambee Annex – which was in the news early this year after  former Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa was accused of using the office to defraud two foreigners.

While President Kenyatta did not show his might during his first term, and as he rolled out multibillion-shilling projects, it soon appeared that these projects had been turned into cash cows by the political elite. Insiders say that he had to wait for a second term to run the show.

By creating a new Cabinet office within State House, the President now looks not only keen to make a major appointment to the constitutional position, but also fill a void that has existed ever since Mr Kimemia’s exit.

Being a Constitutional office, the position will be above that of Head of Public Service, now held by Mr Kinyua – a respected insider within Kenyatta’s State House. Although Mr Kinyua has reached retirement age, Mr Kenyatta has not been willing to let him go without a powerful – and reliable – replacement.

In March 2016, President Kenyatta had appointed a Safaricom insider, Mr Nzioka Waita, as the Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of the Presidential Delivery Unit. But in a subsequent reorganisation, Mr Waita was promoted to take over as Chief of Staff, while recently, the Delivery Unit was moved from State House to the Ministry of Interior, where the coordination of government projects is done.

With the current shift in coalition politics and as President Kenyatta continues to build a formidable team, two years to the end of his rule, it is clear that various politicians are lining up for the Kenyatta succession.

READ ALSO:   Why DCI raided Ex-CS Echesa’s Karen home

A new function at State House or within the Executive is Parliamentary Liaison – which will be the new bridge between the Executive and Parliament.

Also, the appointment of Amos Kimunya, former Minister for Finance, to become the Secretary to the Jubilee Coalition Group, has brought in a new element in the taming of Dr Ruto.

While this position is not provided for in law, it now appears that Mr Kimunya will have much more clout within Parliament since he will be the link between the Executive and the National Assembly and the direct link between party matters and the Party Leader.

But whether the Majority Leader and Majority Whip will be reporting to Mr Kimunya in the new structure was not made clear.

It is these shifts that now help us understand the Kenyatta II State and how he has been crafting the workings of his government and in effect taking away some of the powers that Dr Ruto seemed to have both at the party level and within the Executive.

In the latest Executive Order, the President has also removed the Office of the Government Spokesman as a function of the Interior ministry and created the National Communications Secretariat, which is domiciled at the ICT ministry.

Another new creation is the Kenya National Commission for Culture and Social Services at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and whose functions were not spelt out. However, the National Archives and the Permanent Presidential Commission on Music have ceased to be proper institutions, but become “functions” within the ministry. The significance of that shift is not yet clear.

The biggest shift, however, was the designation of The Presidency into Executive Office of the President, with Dr Ruto as one of its senior officials. With this move, Mr Kenyatta appears to have removed the glamour that came with a substantive office.

The question now remains: What is President Kenyatta up to?

By Nation.co.ke

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Washiali: I have no regrets losing top House seat

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Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali has said he does not regret losing his position as National Assembly majority whip.

Mr Washiali and his deputy Cecily Mbarire were shown the door during the Tuesday meeting at State House attended by Deputy President William Ruto and 212 MPs.

Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe replaced Mr Washiali as majority whip.

The Mumias East lawmaker said he welcomes the changes and would support the new Jubilee House team.

Mr Washiali had vowed to remain with Dr Ruto when the purge in Jubilee began.

“I am ready to give them back the seat if that is what they want. Being the majority whip is not a matter of life and death. I will not kneel before anyone begging to retain the position,” Mr Washiali said.

The MP spoke at his rural home in Shitoto village, Kakamega County, on Sunday.

“The Deputy President has been in my constituency more than five times. He stood by me even in times of grief. Why should I abandon him?” he asked.

Mr Washiali was first elected to parliament on an Orange Democratic Movement ticket in 2007.

“I have my eyes on greater things and will devote much of my time serving Mumias East residents,” he said.

READ ALSO:   Rashid Echesa: It’s embarrassing to use matatus, please release my sports utility vehicles

By nation.co.ke

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