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Police fail to arrest Sudi after night of gunshots, breaks in

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BY KEVIN KOECH

Kapsaret MP Oscar Sudi is still a free man after police failed to arrest him despite having camped at his house for four hours straight.

The dramatic night at the MP’s house saw a section of residents engage the police in battles as they attempted to shield the MP from getting arrested.

Video clips shared online indicated that there had been gun shots fired during the altercation between police and residents.

Unconfirmed reports indicate that the MP’s watchman may have been injured during the exchange.

Police would later force their way into the MP’s home only to find that he was not inside.

The MP’s whereabouts remained unknown at the time of going to press.

On Friday, Sudi had held a rally in Eldoret town with heavy police presence in the area where he responded to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The legislator has been the subject of news for most of the week after he made some controversial statements about former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta would later respond to the insult asking the legislator to leave his mother out of their politicking.

A defiant Sudi went on to call the president his equal during the Friday rally.

“Yesterday [Thursday] President Kenyatta responded to what I had said and we are now equal. That debate will not end there but I will continue to speak out my mind just like other Kenyans should do,” Sudi told Eldoret residents.

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Lifestyle

My night classes with Uhuru made him a wordsmith

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Every time President Uhuru Kenyatta amiably greets a crowd with ‘ndugu zanguni’, an inaudible sigh of dismay escapes the lips of an out-of-work teacher in Thika.

The battle to expunge this phrase and a string of other popular but ungrammatical Kiswahili words was fought and lost two decades ago after the dissolution of a ‘war council’ constituted to polish the budding but reluctant presidential candidate.

When Kefa Ng’ang’a Ndung’u sees his former student on the podium, he sits upright with pen poised over paper, dreading to hear echoes of his past. But how did a primary school teacher find himself giving language tips to a prince who could have the best tutors in the world at his beck and call?

To answer this, one needs to go back to September 2002 when the country was at the cusp of a generational transition. Former President Daniel Moi was exiting the presidency after 24 years and had to groom a successor with limited public exposure. At the time, Uhuru was a nominated MP after losing his first parliamentary contest to Engineer Moses Mwihia. The battle for the presidency would be stiffer. Uhuru would be facing off against Mwai Kibaki, a veteran who had been in competitive politics from 1963, had served in Jomo Kenyatta’s Cabinet, and was eyeing the top seat for a record third time.

It was David with a sling but no rock, versus Goliath.

“I was teaching at Happy Times Schools in Gatundu when I was approached by one of the parents with an irresistible offer. He wanted me to join the Kanu presidential campaign team,” said Kefa.

The parent was Information PS Wamatu Njoroge who had attended the school’s prize-giving day on several occasions and was aware of Kefa’s mastery over Kiswahili. Wamatu was part of the presidential team and in charge of communication and messaging, which involved polishing Uhuru’s speeches to ensure they were delivered effectively to the masses. That was how Kefa gave up his chalk and blackboard in exchange for a perch at Windsor House in Nairobi that was to become his base for the next few months.

Speeches

His mission was to prepare Uhuru’s speeches in Kiswahili to the satisfaction of Wamatu, who would go through them with a pen and occasionally strike off words he did not like. “Twice a week, I would be driven to The Chancery Building at night. I would meet  Uhuru after a day of campaigning and assist him in pronunciation. At first, the candidate was talking too fast and I had to tutor him to go through his address in measured tones,” recalled Kefa.

Uhuru also had a tendency of massacring some words, said the teacher. He noted the President’s fondness of ‘ndugu zanguni’- a non-existent term popularised by his father. One undated script gives a clue about what needed to be corrected.

Tafadhali mheshimiwa jisahihishe makosa yafuatayo: Matumizi ya ‘amba’. Twasema hivi: Kazi ambayo, si ambazo. Siasa ambazo wanasiasa wanazungumza kwa karibu miaka kumi hazijanufaisha raia hata kidogo.

The marking scheme, which Kefa said he prepared at Uhuru’s request, had more instruction. Serikali yangu haitahusisha chuki, ukabila na ufisadi. Kila jambo litasuluhishwa kwa njia mwafaka ili kila mwananchi ajihisi ako Kenya anaipenda kwa dhati.

After every rally, Wamatu’s team would evaluate Uhuru’s performance. One report analyses a public meeting held at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on September 7, 2002.

“This was clearly the most important rally the subject has addressed. The numbers were overwhelming (about 50,000). The general consensus is that the subject rose to the occasion. In fact, his performance was sterling as his Cabinet colleague Julius Sunkuli admitted on Kiss FM’s Crossfire show on Sunday evening … the subject’s speech was the best he has delivered so far. It was mature, forceful and inspiring.”

The report further observed that Uhuru had spiced up his speech with jokes and light touches, making allusions and disparaging the Kibaki-led Rainbow Alliance as the croaking of frogs. Uhuru also had a few barbs for Kibaki, painting him as a leader who could not be trusted. The decision not to launch a full-throated attack appeared to be suggested by a note drafted by Wamatu’s team when Uhuru had been nominated as the Kanu presidential candidate. “Time has come when Kibaki should be attacked directly. But this should be done with decorum and decency,” read the note.

Kefa shared other briefings that offered insight into how Uhuru’s team had predicted a fall-out in Kibaki’s camp.

When he accepted the Kanu ticket, Uhuru said, “Going by the memorandum of understanding between Kibaki’s Narc and Raila Odinga’s LDP, which binds Kibaki to appoint Raila as executive prime minister within 100 days of his new government, voting for Kibaki will mean voting for Raila. Yet Kenyans want to elect a president who will not bring an unelected prime minister through the backdoor.”

Ruth Sietinei, who was at Windsor House under Wamatu, said they would work late into the night before heading to Uhuru’s other offices either at The Chancery or KICC. Kefa would enter the boardroom for a 45-minute session with Uhuru.

“Wamatu brought Kefa to the office to work on mkubwa’s speeches. He was very good in Kiswahili. He taught him secretly, of course, late at night twice a week. We would stay at the reception until Kefa finished and then we would all go home,” said Ms Sietinei.

She said it was a pity that after Uhuru’s defeat, the team was broken up and Wamatu later died of cancer. And although a few of them offered their services prior to the 2013 General Election, this time they were outsiders.

Uhuru’s PA, at the time, Rigathi Gachagua said he vaguely remembered a communication team at Windsor under Wamatu. He, however, said he had no recollection of Kefa or Uhuru being tutored at night, instead arguing that his boss’s speeches were ‘incredible’.

“His grasp of English, Kiswahili and Kikuyu was amazing. He could drive crowds into a frenzy with his delivery. He knew when to stop and what to emphasise. His diction and tone was good. He never had a problem talking to audiences,” said Gachagua.

Meanwhile, Kefa dreams of the day he will reunite with Uhuru and exchange notes. He can then hand over some of the materials he worked on 18 years ago, including a translation of the Kanu manifesto.

by Standardmedia.co.ke

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Lifestyle

Four held for defrauding foreigner Sh29m in fake gold sale

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Four suspects were at the weekend arrested for allegedly obtaining Sh29 million from a foreigner in the pretext of selling him gold.

The men had also posed as police officers attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) while engaging the foreigner. They were arrested in Karasani area, Nairobi by detectives from the Special Service Unit.

DCI George Kinoti said the suspects obtained over Sh29 million from an unsuspecting client on the pretext that they would sell him gold.

According to detectives, they approached a foreign national pretending to be DCI officers on diverse dates between April 1, 2019, to February 28, 2020, on a mission to sell him gold on behalf of an alleged senior DCI officer.

The suspects reportedly continued demanding more money from the same victim up to the time of their arrest.

The four are presently being held in lawful custody awaiting further processing for arraignment.

And after providing him with a sample, the businessman is said to have fallen into their trap and started wiring in more money having been assured that authorities high up were part of the deal.

It is the latest such incident to happen. Police say they have dozens of cases of complaints from foreigners who say they had been conned by Kenyans pretending to be selling gold.

In efforts to address such incidents, the DCI has asked embassies in the country to join the fight against the vice by urging them to advise their nationals engaged in trade to follow procedures.

The DCI also told the traders to be wary of a marauding fake gold syndicate operating in the country.

“We urge the Embassies (High Commissions) to advise their nationals coming in for business to be apprised of con business of gold going on in the country and first contact the Department of Mines and Geology for the procedure that pertains to buying and selling of gold and other precious metals,” the DCI said.

It has extended similar caution to Kenyans trading in the commodity to conduct proper due diligence and ascertain that the people they are dealing with are not fraudsters.

“The gold scam has now reached alarming levels as unsuspecting foreign nationals are being swindled large amounts of money by fraudsters,” he said.

By Standardmedia.co.ke

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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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