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Kembi Gitura’s Senate grilling marred by sarcasm, rude responses

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Senate ad hoc committee on Covid 19 was on Friday involved in a heated session as it grilled officers from the Kenya Medical Supplies Agency (Kemsa) regarding irregular tenders popularly known as the Covid19 millionaires scandal.

The Kemsa team was led by board Chairman Kembi Gitura who also happens to have served in the Senate as Murang’a Senator and Deputy Speaker between 2013 and 2017.

The session, however, degenerated into a shouting match as Senators angrily complained about Gitura’s attitude and what they regarded as rude responses to their questions.

An email from the board Chairman became the centre of the grilling session as it appeared to direct the Kemsa CEO to sign a contract with a company that had won a tender that was the subject of an investigation by the CEO.

Senators sought answers on why the board chairman wrote the email despite the fact that the board is not supposed to be involved to management issues.

“I don’t know why the Senator is relying on leaked documents and leaked emails. If he had asked me to provide it I would have done so because I wrote it and I own it. Don’t try to confuse Kenyans that I directed the CEO on a tender.

“That tender had already been won and if Kemsa did not sign the contract within the stipulated time, the consequences would have been dire, I directed the CEO to sign the contract to protect public money,” Gitura said.

At one point, Kisumu Senator Fred Outa interrupted Gitura accusing him of having a vested iinterest in the tender.

“Honorable Chairman, I don’t know if the standing orders of the Senate have changed but I have sat on that chair and you ought to protect me,” the Kemsa CEO said.

“You are not here to lecture us, you had your time to be a Senator but this is your time. You have made billionaires and we want to know,” Outa responded.

“Chair I came here to answer questions and you should let me answer, if I’m not going to be given a chance to answer, why did you call me here?” the visibly angered Kemsa Chairman stated.

“Don’t take us as if we are foolish or stupid. We know what we are dealing with…When we ask you a question about direct procurement, please answer. This is a very emotive issue and don’t give me that smirk,” Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina hit back.

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CJ Maraga rejects Senator Malala’s three-goat gift 

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Chief Justice David Maraga on Friday turned down Kakamega Senator Cleaophas Malala’s three goat gift citing the Judicial Service Commission code of conduct that bars him from receiving a gift worth more than Sh20,000.

CJ Maraga had graced the Grand opening of the new Kakamega Law Courts building when he was presented with the gift.

“Today on behalf of the people of Kakamega and as the Senator for Kakamega. I want to present to you a symbolic gift that is going to help you achieve this legacy.

“I have three animals here representing three arms of the government. I want to present it to you as a symbolic gift representing unity among the the three arms of the government.” said Senator Malala

The CJ who instead handed the goats to Kakamega law courts users’ committee chairman Sylvester Mambiri also sited Malala’s ongoing court case.

“If am not wrong, the senator has donated a gift to me but he has put me in trouble because I think he has a case in court, secondly under the Judiciary code of conduct I am not allowed to take a gift which is more than 20,000 shillings and this goats look like they are more than 30,000.” the CJ said

During the event, the CJ steered clear of the controversy over his advisory to President Uhuru Kenyatta to dissolve Parliament for failure to legislate on the two-thirds gender rule.

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ODM MP suspended for attending Ruto’s meeting

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has suspended Kilifi North Member of Parliament Owen Baya days after he attended Deputy President William Ruto’s meeting.

The MP was accused of switched alliances and teaming up with DP William Ruto and the party had resolved to take action on the MP over what they called “recent political alignments.”

In a statement through the Party’s Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, the party announced that the National Executive Committee (NEC) had also decided to suspend Baya from his position as the Deputy Organizing Secretary.

The party explained that the decision was made after his recent move which has cast doubt on his commitment to this party and its objectives.

“Cognizant of the central role that the party’s NEC plays in the management of the party and the need to maintain the probity of its deliberations the NEC resolved to suspend MP Owen Baya from membership of this critical organ and from his position as the Deputy Organizing Secretary given his recent public utterances and conduct that have cast doubt on his commitment to this party and its objectives,” read a statement from the party.

On Wednesday, Baya was part of a delegation of Coast MPs that escorted Feisal Abdallah Bader, an aspirant for the Msambweni parliamentary seat, to meet Deputy President William Ruto at his Karen office.

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Atwoli intensifies fight with DP Ruto over hustler tag

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BY KEVIN KOECH

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli has once again put Deputy President William Ruto on blast for using the ‘hustler’ tag.

Speaking during a press conference, the Atwoli stated that the tag hustler had a negative meaning which translates to someone who uses mischievous ways to get wealth.

He added that all Kenyans are yearning for is an organized system of government that could provide employment and not creating hustlers.

He pointed out that William Ruto was not poor as he makes his supporters believe and he is just using them to climb to the top. He disclosed that William Ruto owns choppers, mansions, and every space in the country.

Atwoli went on to call out the DP for the donations he has been giving out to the youths and women stating that they were just peanuts compared to the amount of wealth he has amassed over the years.

“The person telling you about being a hustler owns five choppers, a mansion and owns every empty space in the republic of Kenya. You are calling yourself a hustler and yet you are not. Even God cannot allow. Then you go to the church to cheat about being a hustler,” he said.

A few days ago, Atwoli blasted William Ruto for using the tag while asking Kenyans to reject him stating that no one should allow themselves to be called a hustler. He claimed that hustlers are thieves.

Atwoli who claimed that he would disown his children if they referred themselves as hustlers stated that people should go to school, get an education and get jobs in reputable companies instead of hustling.

“You then become a branch manager of Kenya Breweries, get a house allowance, a car loan, and have a nice house. You are not hustlers. We cannot have a nation of hustlers because it is a man eats man society,” Atwoli said.

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