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How Raila plans to “flatten Ruto’s Curve”

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ODM is working on strategies to counter Deputy President William Ruto’s spirited presidential campaigns ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Ruto has been crisscrossing the country, spreading the anti-referendum agenda and championing his presidential bid.

Initially, he was riding on launching government projects until that was taken away from him through an Executive Order. He then engaged a full-blown campaign mode, provoking a fallout in Jubilee Party which saw his allies kicked out of House leadership positions.

And after a lull, triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the DP surged back a few weeks ago, hosting political and religious delegations, touring regions and hitting hard through media interviews.

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In response, ODM is planning meet-the-people tours, unveiling of the Handshake report and coining the time-for-change slogan to keep up with the election campaigns that have started in earnest.

Last week, Raila visited Coast to reassure his support base. His Orange party is also beginning to look inwards to make amends and draw new allies.

According to ODM Chairman John Mbadi, the party will not give room for Ruto to overtake them in the presidential race ahead of 2022.

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

Mbadi said although Raila had not officially declared that he will run for president in 2022, the party considers him their 2022 flag bearer.

“Raila was our presidential candidate in 2017 and we have not picked another person. He is still our best bet. We shall do all we can to support him for the presidency,” he said.

The National Assembly minority leader said ODM will push for a set of reforms to counter Ruto camp’s anti-constitutional change agenda.

“We are pushing for meaningful changes that will see a more expanded Cabinet, as we seek to transition to more powerful MPs who can also be appointed as Cabinet ministers,” Mbadi said.

He said the proposals will include opening up of public access to government administration, reforming the voting system and improving the government’s interaction with the public.

The party also plans tours in towns in coming days to showcase what it calls a pragmatic approach to fixing Kenyans’ historical woes.

“Real change is in the air. ODM and Jubilee have been talking about change and new modalities to make sure that BBI succeeds. If there was ever any doubt, we will be clearing them in coming days,” said Suna East MP Junet Mohamed.

The biggest task for ODM is to convince Kenyans to trust the Handshake and the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to put Kenya on a pedestal of prosperity and peace.

READ ALSO:   Ruto allies want Raila arrested

In the plan, Ugunja MP and ODM’s Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi says, the message of a “super grand coalition government” where decision-making process will be transparent, will feature prominently.

“Very soon, the two principals will receive the BBI report. Then we will go to Kenyans and tell them that this is the remedy for all the problems we have been having. We can’t allow this winner-takes-it-all mentality to continue. We want a united country. Anyone opposed to this is selfish, just like Ruto,” Cotu boss Francis Atwoli told The Standard.

Prof Macharia Munene, who teaches history at USIU-Africa, says the country is entering a full-blown succession politics mode.

“We are witnessing interesting times. This is pure competition between Raila and Ruto on who succeeds Uhuru in 2022. These are two ambitious politicians trying to outdo each other,” Munene said.

Support bases

He said Ruto is setting the stage to take over from Uhuru and is targeting Raila’s strongholds.

“Raila is no longer at ease just to wait and see Ruto make inroads in his support bases. He has to wake up and undo what Ruto is building because he has realised that he can’t just sit and imagine that these areas still support him,” Munene said.

He said the campaigns will focus more on BBI once the task force releases its final report and Kenyans read and understand its contents.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I will stop Raila's Reggae, says DP Ruto who later raises funds to build a Mosque in Embu

Junet said Raila will hold more rallies in coming days to reactivate his political networks.

“He is consolidating his support base. His cylinder is shooting as he sets the stage for the BBI. He is waiting for the Covid-19 pandemic curve to flatten. Then he will be seen in his usual element,” said the National Assembly Minority Whip.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said those backing the BBI do not intend to neutralise anyone on the issue.

“We will just deal with the lies and propaganda that our DP is sending out as part of his premature 2022 presidential campaigns,” Wambugu said.

Political scientist Michael Ndonye argues that kingmakers can punish a rival harder by sponsoring and crowning alternate kings so that they can gain some control.

This is what Raila did in 2002, and what Ruto did in 2013. The battle obtaining now is the clash of two kingmakers who believe their time has come.

“Ruto, as a kingmaker, wanted to punish Raila, who betrayed him in the coalition government. This way Ruto succeeded in isolating Raila from the throne between 2013 and 2018, when Baba usurped the throne by winning Uhuru’s political heart,” said Ndonye.

For him, if Ruto wants to beat Raila in 2022, he should front a candidate. Likewise, for Raila.

Politics

DP Ruto busy elsewhere as BBI report is presented to President Kenyatta

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President Uhuru Kenyatta has received the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report from the Yusuf Haji-led team at Kisii State Lodge this morning.

The President arrived in the company of ODM leader Raila Odinga, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Kisii Governor Evans Ongwae.

(Download a copy of the BBI Report unveiled today: BBI REPORT)

By this morning, several political leaders had already arrived for key political event including Jubilee Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri.

Others are Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka, Kitutu Chache North MP Jimmy Angwenyi, Kisii Woman Representative Janet Ongera and Nakuru Town West MP Samuel Arama.

Deputy President William Ruto was not present for the key event in Kisii. Instead, he graced the burial of Huruma MCA Peter Chomba, who died from Covid-19 complications recently.

Journalists present for the BBI event were asked to refrain from taking pictures and switch off their phones until the unveiling of the report was concluded.

Raila hits out at Ruto

During the Wednesday event, Mr Odinga noted that there were wide consultations on the document.

“We had to find a way in this Constitution to isolate problems affecting the minorities and find a way of addressing them…from sharing of resources to land rights, infrastructure, minorities, management and value addition to resources,” he said.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Given a choice between Raila and Ruto, I would go for the former - Martha Karua

He also hit out at DP Ruto’s recent campaign activities.

“You have been around all along, is it now that you have discovered the mkokotenis (handcarts)? If you are really concerned why can’t you give them your helicopter?” he said.

“You didn’t drop from the heavens…you are not an angel,” he added.

He also said the report was not about creating an awarding jobs to individuals, terming the rhetoric as propaganda.

“We are certain we shall find a consensus. We are determined to achieve that before next General Election. It’s not about making Odinga president or Uhuru PM. That’s propaganda,” he said.

Uhuru: BBI will make us better

When Mr Kenyatta took to the podium, he praised the document as a key unifying element for Kenya’s future.

He also asked that the BBI report be shared widely so all Kenyans have an opportunity to read it.

“I know there are a lot of good proposals. I hope and pray that we shall internalise this and turn this into a national dialogue,” Mr Kenyatta said.

He also spoke out against petty politics, noting that this moment in Kenya’s history should not go to waste.

“Let us not squander this document over petty political differences..tame ambition for the greater good,” the president said.

READ ALSO:   Ruto allies want Raila arrested

“If you are seeking a position of leadership, you would want to seek this in an economically strong environment…let us work together…the success shall not belong to an individual but to the people of Kenya,” he added.

Further, he said: “This is a document that I am encouraging everyone to read with a view of making it better, not contestations and not to look for what we disagree with. I plead with my political colleagues, this is not the time for political divisions…this is the time to show political leadership and bring the country together.”

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Lifestyle

How MP Gachagua moved Sh12 billion in just seven years

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On the list of wealthy industrialists, Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua hardly features. His billionaire status has been baffling state agencies, which are now seeking to understand how the Mt Kenya politician made his fortune.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) is investigating how Sh12.5 billion passed through Mr Gachagua’s three accounts for seven years and whether money laundering was involved.

Before the agency moved in, the MP allegedly withdrew Sh7.3 billion, disbursed it to various companies and invested a portion in some assets. As a result, the agency could only locate Sh5.2 billion.

The three accounts are being held at Rafiki Micro Finance and ARA has written to the bank seeking clarification on the money trail.

In one of the accounts, the MP allegedly received Sh5.83 billion and withdrew Sh5.831 billion, leaving a balance of Sh773,000.

In the second, a fixed deposit account, he allegedly received a total of Sh827 million and Sh792.9 million left the account, leaving a balance of Sh35 million. It is this money trail that is exciting ARA investigators.

Secure tenders

Although Mr Gachagua is a director and shareholder of several companies, which he has used to secure tenders from state agencies, parastatals and county governments, ARA says it wants to establish whether he used them to launder money.

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

Mr Gachagua may, in the interim, lose Sh200 million, which have since been frozen, to the state if an application by ARA goes through.

 In the third, also a fixed deposit account, the MP is alleged to have received Sh5.87 billion and Sh705 million was withdrawn, leaving a balance of Sh165 million when the account was frozen in May.

Court documents showed that Mr Gachagua received a total of Sh347 million from several companies, including Sh112 million from Encarta Diagnostics, Sh7.5 million from Wamunyoro Investments, Sh58 million from Rapid Medical Supplies and Sh103 million from Specific Supplies.

Business associate

Some of the money was later transferred to the two fixed deposit accounts while he wired Sh12.9 million to his spouse Dorcas and Sh9 million to Toyota Kenya and Taitan Motolink.

The agency investigated a total of 33 accounts associated with the MP and his companies, including Wamunyoro Investments Ltd, Crystal Kenya Ltd, Machine Centre, Technical Supplies and Services Ltd, Skytop Agencies and Specific Supplies Ltd.

The agency said Mr Gachagua and an associate identified as Anne Kimemia, who traded as Jenne Enterprises, were involved in a complex money laundering scheme in collusion with his companies.

Some of the funds were from Kwale and Bungoma counties, which paid Sh112.4 million to Encarta Diagnostics.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: I will stop Raila's Reggae, says DP Ruto who later raises funds to build a Mosque in Embu

Development funds

Other payments were made from Ministry of Lands (Kenya Informal Settlements Programme), state department for Special Planning, Ministry of Health, Mathira Constituency development funds, Nyeri county government and the National Irrigation Board.

The agency says that on July 15, 2015, Jenne Enterprises received Sh30 million from Rafiki disguised as loan disbursement.

But on the same day, the firm wired Sh28.5 million to Wamunyoro Investment, where Mr Gachagua is a director and shareholder. The documents show Jenne Enterprises also transferred Sh10 million to Wamunyororo Investment on April 3, 2017.

The following day, the same firm wired another Sh5 million to Mr Rigathi’s personal account.

Former District Officer

 “There are reasonable grounds to believe that the said accounts received and are holding funds, which are believed to be proceeds of crime and the accounts were used to execute a complex money laundering scheme in an effort designed to conceal, disguise and hide the nature, source, movement and disposition of the funds,” the petition stated.

The agency stated that within the said period, there were massive suspicious cash withdrawals, inter and intra-bank transfers from other accounts to the accounts under investigations and other banks accounts owned by Mr Gachagua in suspicious complex money laundering schemes.

READ ALSO:   MPs in near fist fight at Ruto meeting

The agency said they received information in March this year of suspected complex money laundering schemes and proceeds of crime.

The agency opened an inquiry and subsequently applied for and was issued with warrants to investigate the accounts.

Further, the documents stated that after being transferred to companies or businesses entities, the funds were ultimately moved to a fixed deposit account, which is the MP’s personal accounts.

A key ally of Deputy President William Ruto, Mr Gachagua is arguably one of the richest MPs in Mt Kenya and follows in the footsteps of his brother, former Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua, who died in February 2017.

A former student leader at the University of Nairobi, he was a close ally of former President Daniel Moi.

As a District Officer in Kiambaa, Mr Gachagua kept the opposition on its toes — if they insulted the President.

At one point, Mr Gachagua was Uhuru Kenyatta’s personal assistant when he was the Local Government minister.

by Nation.co.ke

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Lifestyle

‘He had fallen in the bathroom two weeks ago’ Family of dead Eldoret MCA Peter Chomba say

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It’s a gloomy day for the people of Eldoret after their MCA Peter Chomba collapsed and died as he was being treated at the Eldoret hospital.

Chomba was MCA for Huruma ward which is the largest in Eldoret town.

A family source said the MCA who was serving his third term, fallen  had two weeks ago in his bathroom and had been undergoing treatment for injuries.

“This morning he felt unwell while at his house and was rushed to hospital where he died as he was being treated”, said a family member.

Chomba was mourned by Deputy President William Ruto, his close ally.

‘Peter Kiiru Chomba was a political powerhouse, a lustrous debater and a renowned warrior for equal justice, especially for the low-cadre businessmen like Mama Mboga.

Mheshimiwa Chomba was modest but vocal. He was formidably firm, persistent with unwavering dedication to public service.

We celebrate the marvelous life he led and the indelible legacy that he leaves behind.

Our gratitude and thoughts to his family and their loved ones, the people of Huruma Ward and the Uasin Gishu County Assembly during this grieving time.

Rest In Peace Mheshimiwa.’

He will be greatly missed for fighting for rights of the business community in Eldoret especially hawkers.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Given a choice between Raila and Ruto, I would go for the former - Martha Karua

May he rest in peace.

By Mpasho.com

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