It Is Not Corruption. It is a Crime Against Humanity. Dr. Ndii on Jubillee Mass Theft.

DAVID NDII ON THE JUBILEE MONSTER OF CORRUPTION.

The Dam Has Broken. Time to Call Jubilee Plunder What It Is.

To budget anything from a quarter to a third of the country’s annual GDP for stealing — to then borrow it, steal it, feign outrage, compromise parliament, and diffuse public anger with ineffectual corruption investigations, again and again and again – defies
corruption. It is a crime against humanity.

Published 1 day ago on March 18,
2019 By Dr. Ndii.

The debut of this column in the E Review grappled with the Jubilee administration’s profligate spending.

As it happens, dams were one of the big red flags that popped up. Records show that during its first term, the Jubilee administration spent upwards of KSh 160 billion on water and irrigation projects.

These Arror and Kimwarer dams are costed at KSh 51 billion — let us say KSh 26 billion on average. The KSh 160 billion spent works out to at least six of these dams completed, or alternatively at least double that number under construction.

And KSh 26 billion is a huge amount of money for a dam. Thika Dam, commonly known as Ndaka-ini, our biggest reservoir for drinking water to date, cost US$80 million in the early `90s, equivalent of US$140m (i.e. adjusted for dollar inflation) or KSh 14 billion today.

These dam budgets are telling us that the cost of building dams has doubled in dollar terms, or that we are building infinitely grander dams. Neither is the case. We now know for sure that there were no dams built. This mindless plunder is replicated in virtually every sector.

The budget records show KSh 280 billion on power transmission lines, enough for 6,000 kilometres of 400 Kv lines (based on the cost of Marsabit-Suswa line), but information posted by KETRACO, the agency responsible for building them, shows only 2800 km of lines under construction, whose total cost is at most KSh 100 billion.

We are talking KSh 180 billion missing, an amount, I should add, of the same order of magnitude as the Eurobond money that the Auditor General could not find.

Overall, records show that KSh 2.5 trillion went through the development budget during Jubilee’s first term.

The biggest ticket item here is the SGR railway which cost KSh 350 billion. The remaining KSh 2.15 trillion works out to KSh 45 billion worth of development projects per county.

The money available to county governments over the same period would have enabled expenditure on average of KSh 6 billion on development projects. In effect, we should be seeing six times more national government development projects in each county as county government ones.

We now know for sure that there were no dams built. This mindless plunder is replicated in virtually every sector.

The budget records show KSh 280 billion on power transmission lines, enough for 6,000 kilometres of 400 Kv lines …but information posted by KETRACO, the agency responsible for building them, shows only 2800 km of lines under construction, whose total cost is KSh 100 billion.

We are talking KSh 180 billion missing, an amount, of the same order of magnitude as the Eurobond money that the Auditor General could not find.

Makueni county built a 200-bed Mother and Child hospital for a princely sum of Ksh. 135m.

Kibra MP Ken Okoth built and equipped a girl’s secondary school that’s been all the rage for Ksh. 48m.

A hospital like Makueni’s in every county is KSh 6.4 billion; a girls school like Kibra’s in every
constituency, KSh 14 billion.

Both combined add up to just over KSh 20 billion — about the money that has already been spent on the ghost dam projects.

If a national government has spent KSh 45 billion per county on development projects these two projects would not be the talk of the country.

There would be the equivalent of 300 Mother and Child hospitals in every county or alternately, 150 Kibra girls schools in every constituency.

Galana-Kulalu Irrigation project is on its death-bed. It is not yet known how much money has gone down that drain.

One senior Jubilee official said to me that it is their Goldenberg, to which I quipped that the competition for that dubious appellation would be strong.

The last mile connectivity project was one of Jubilees flagship projects: over 800,000 connections are dormant.

The connected households have never switched on the power. This should not surprise.

Most of these households cannot afford electrical appliances other than a few lightbulbs that they would use only for three or four hours a day.

It would have been infinitely more sensible and cost effective to mandate the Rural Electrification Authority to serve these rural hamlets with micro-grids and stand-alone domestic solar installations.

The Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) is now weighed down with the costs of maintaining these loss-making connections. These costs have to be passed on to consumers.

And this is over and above the costs of carrying the excess generation capacity courtesy of the equally hare-brained if-we-build-it-they will come 5000 MW drive that has now been abandoned.

It has been a long climb for KPLC to recover from the plunder of the Moi regime.

Makueni County built a 200-bed Mother and Child hospital for the princely sum of KSh 135 million. Kibra MP Ken Okoth built and equipped a girl’s secondary school that’s been all the rage for KSh 48 million.

A hospital like Makueni’s in every county is KSh 6.4 billion; a girls school like Kibra’s in every constituency, KSh 14 billion. Both combined add up to just over KSh 20 billion — about the money that has already been spent on the ghost dam projects.

This week, we have been entertained by the mysterious disappearance of 51 million litres of aviation fuel worth KSh 5 billion from the tanks of the Kenya Pipeline Company. This follows from a report that KPC lost 23 million litres worth Ksh 2.3 billion in 15 months.

Even for the KPC, historically one of the most profitable and cash-rich public enterprises, a KSh 7 billion hole is a crippling loss. When Jubilee took over, the project on the table was to upgrade the 14-
inch pipeline with a 16-inch one at a cost of KSh 16 billion. Jubilee scaled this up to a 20-inch one at a cost of KSh 48 billion, three times the mooted cost.

The pipeline was to be completed in 18 months — by 2016 that is. Costs have escalated, and it is still not complete. It has been reported that the corruption investigation in KPC covers 27 projects worth
KSh 95 billion. Most of this money is expensive foreign commercial loans.

It’s hard to see how KPC can remain solvent. We are looking at another black hole here of the same order of magnitude as Kenya Airways, if not bigger.

The mother of all Jubilee financial blackholes is indisputably the SGR. According to Compass International, an engineering and construction consultancy, the benchmark cost for a new single-track high speed rail at between US$997,000 and US$ 1.13m per km, plus cost of signaling infrastructure at between US$154,700 and US$189,000 for a total of US$1.15 million to US$1.3 million.

The SGR is not an electrified high-speed rail, but we paid $6.7m per km, five times the high end of the benchmarking cost.

Galana-Kulalu Irrigation project is on its death-bed. It is not yet known how much money has gone down that drain.

One senior Jubilee official said to me that it is their Goldenberg, to which I quipped that the competition for that dubious appellation would be strong. After years of denial, a government task force has
established that the SGR is not viable.

The SGR was sold on bringing down the cost, and improving the efficiency, of freight. According to the said task force, the SGR has increased the cost of transporting a 20-foot container by 118 percent, from $650 (Ksh. 65,000) by road, to US$1,420 (Ksh.142,000) and by 149 percent for a 40-foot container from $850 (Ksh. 85,000) to US $2,120 (Ksh. 212,000).

There are two components in this cost escalation. First, the SGR tariff is set to try and repay the loans. Even then, the SGR is yet to cover operating costs, let alone generate an operating surplus that
can service debt.

Secondly, the SGR has introduced additional costs notably “last mile” cost of transporting containers from the railway terminal to the owners premises, as opposed to trucking which is port-to-door, as well as additional container handling logistics.

These challenges of integrating rail and seaport are universal, and are part of the reason why the rail share of freight in the EU has declined from over 40 percent in the 70s to less than 20 percenttoday.

Even for the Kenya Pipeline Company, one of the most profitable and cash-rich public enterprises, a KSh 7 billion hole is a crippling loss.

When Jubilee took over, the project…to upgrade the 14-inch pipeline with a 16-inch one at a cost of KSh 16 billion. Jubilee scaled this up to a 20-inch one at a cost of KSh 48 billion, three times the mooted
cost. The pipeline was to be completed in 18 months – by 2016 that is.

Costs have escalated, and it is still not complete. The long and short of it is that SGR is increasingly demonstrating what this columnist and others have maintained from the outset— that it is a white elephant. Without being forced, people would not use it.

And if it were to charge a competitive tariff, it is doubtful that it would keep the trains running, let alone service its debt. I have opined before that the least costly option may be to mothball it, seeing as the debt will be paid by the taxpayer, we should not be made to pay four times namely, the debt, operational subsidy, higher freight cost and trucking industry jobs and incomes.

The next best thing is to take over the debt, cancel the Chinese management contract and leave it to swim or sink in the market place under the management of Kenya Railways.
The only beneficiary of this project is China. It is doubtful that the Jubilee administration can muster the resolve to bite the bullet on this one.
So we will continue to bleed. After years of denial, a government task force has established that the SGR is not viable. The SGR was old on bringing down the cost, and improving the efficiency, of
freight.

According to the said task force, the SGR has increased the cost of transporting a 20-foot container by 118 percent, from $650 (Ksh.65,000) by road, to US$1,420 (Ksh. 142,000) and by 149 percent for a 40-foot container from $850 (Ksh. 85,000) to US $2,120 (Ksh. 212,000).

This is Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy as it now stands. Mindless plunder and worthless vanity projects—a US$ 25 billion (Sh. 2.5 trillion) hole in the economy and counting, and contingent liabilities, financial booby traps if you like, Kenya Airways, Kenya Pipeline,

Kenya Power and others we don’t know of yet, that could go off at any minute.

This is Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy as it now stands. Mindless plunder and worthless vanity projects—a US$ 25 billion (Sh. 2.5 trillion) hole in the economy and counting.

The penny is beginning to drop, and sections of the regime are now beginning to talk about a turn-around strategy that can salvage the President something of an economic legacy.

They have their work cut out. Economic crises of this nature are not solved by the same people who created them. Ethiopia’s EPDRF government came to this realization about a year ago.

Ethiopia was headed for a revolution such as unfolding next door inSudan. Former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn has recently intimated that he resigned to make it easier for the regime to
reform.

So far, the bet on a leadership change is paying off, even though the new Prime Minister’s magic touch is yet to be tested on the inevitable painful economic reforms.

The political honeymoon also appears to be ending. The penny is beginning to drop, and sections of the regime are now beginning to talk about a turn-around strategy that can salvage the President
something of an economic legacy. They have their work cut out.

Economic crises of this nature are not solved by the same people who created them. The rapprochement between Kenyatta and Raila Odinga a year ago, popularly known as the “handshake” offered an opportunity to engineer something similar. But as soon as they pledged to build bridges, Kenyatta set off to burn them.

A year later, no-one seems to know where it is headed, other than hazy talk of a referendum, and holding the political ground as Kenyatta prosecutes yet another hypocritical and inept anti-corruption war, as opportunistic as it is ineffectual.

With toxic succession politics in full throttle, it is difficult to see how resolve and focus on radical economic reform can be mustered.

Amidst the entire dam hullabaloo, there was a small event last week that did not attract much attention.

The cornered Treasury CS took time out from his daily commute to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to launch a private external audit of the Eurobond funds commissioned by the
Treasury.

No prizes for guessing that the audit sees no evil. External audit is an exclusive constitutional mandate of the Auditor General. We all witnessed the President staring down the Auditor General on his special audit ordered by parliament. It has yet to see the light of day.

The national government’s audit for the year remains qualified. There is no country where questions can be raised about two billion dollars of public money, and the president of the country acts about
it as nonchalantly as Kenyatta has, unless there is direct complicity with the thieves.

Malaysia’s 1MDB and Mozambique’s Tuna sovereign bond frauds have unravelled.

This one will too, in the fullness of time. Kenyatta has plenty of reason to want to extend his influence beyond his term of office.

To plunder the way the Jubilee administration has, it has had to raze the public financial management system to the ground.

Without public financial accountability, there is no government, no economy, no country.

To budget anything from a quarter to a third of the country’s annual GDP for stealing — to then borrow it, steal it, feign outrage, compromise parliament, and diffuse public anger with ineffectual
corruption investigations, again and again and again – defies corruption. It is a crime against humanity.

Yes, the economy is crumbling, but its turnaround is not the priority.

Getting rid of this monster called Jubilee is.

 

And here is Dr. Ndii in a KTN interview.

Interesting but I decided to put at the end  of the story because the article above is one of the most powerful pieces I have tried to digest in the fight for the economic and political health of our Jamhuri. That fight will never stop.

But here is the interview.

 

 

Advertisements
By adongoogony Posted in kenya

International Women’s Day: Greetings Everyone.

Yes indeed these are words of battle for women’s rights coming from Ndugu Mwandawiro Mghanga.

Mghanga was my comrade at Nairobi University in the student union (SONU). He was the second chairman of SONU after Adungosi.

He went to exile in Norway then came back to Kenya in the 1990’s and was elected a member of parliament. I met him at the BOMAS conference in Nairobi 2003 where our old friend (comrade) Prof. Kivutha Kibwana was now working with Mwai Kibaki to kill constitutional reforms because they did not like the idea of an executive Prime Minister.

Mghanga was still on the side of the people but we lost that battle and came up with this bad constitution which they want to “fix” again.

So I always keep up with comrade Mghanga and here is the statement they released in commemoration of and continued fight for women’s rights as a fundamental part of human rights.

When I met Mghanga at the University he was the only person I met who told me he was studying Kiswahili language and wants to be a graduate in Kiswahili language.

Have you ever met anybody in campus telling you that they are studying Luo or Kikuyu language? You would be stunned. I mean what do they do with it after they graduate. What a terrible world we live in.

I was telling my son the other day that in my school days we had something called a “disc”. You speak your ethnic language in school you get a disc. That means punishment at the end of the school day.

Well here is Mghanga who went on to do post graduate studies in the Kiswahili language and literature.

Obviously, his statement is in Kiswahili. The clean one.

Happy International Women’s Day Everybody.

Here is the statement :

UJUMBE WA CHAMA CHA KIKOMUNISTI CHA KENYA (CPK) SIKU KUU YA WANAWAKE, MACHI 8 2019 USAWA WA KIJINSIA NI KIGENZO CHA KIWANGO CHA UHURU WA JAMII

Ijumaa hii, Machi 8 2019 ni Siku Kuu ya Wanawake Ulimwenguni. CPK tunaungana na wanawake wa Kenya kukumbuka na kusherehekea siku kuu hii pamoja na wakereketwa wa usawa wa kijinsia kote ulimwenguni.

Wanawake nchini bado wanapigania haki za wanawake za kumiliki maliasili, mali na urithi wa wazazi wao sawa na wanaume. Huku wakizingatia hali za wanawake nchini, wanawake wanapinga siasa, tamaduni, maadili, mifumo na chochote kile kinachowabagua, kuwadhalilisha, kuwanyanyasa na kuwasukuma pembeni wanawake katika jamii ya Kenya. CPK daima tuko pamoja na wanawake na wanaharakati wa usawa wa kijinsia katika mapambano haya ya kuondoa mfumo wa udhalimu wa mtu kwa mtu.

Waanzilishi wa ukommunist wa kisayansi, Karl Marx na Fredrick Engels, waliwahi kuandika kuwa tunaweza kupima kiwango cha uhuru wa jamii fulani finyu kutokana na kiwango cha uhuru wa wanawake. Kadiri wanawake katika jamii wanavyokuwa huru zaidi ndivyo jamii hiyo, sawia, inavyokuwa huru zaidi.

Nayo jamii inayozuia uhuru na ukombozi wa wanawake vilevile inapinga uhuru na ukombzi wa jamii yote kwa ujumla. Hivyo basi, harakati za ukombozi wa jamii kutoka kwa mifumo ya unyonyaji wa mtu kwa mtu lazima ziende sambamba na harakati za ukombozi wa wanawake na usawa wa kijinsia.

Katiba ya Kenya ambayo imetokana na mapambano makali ya umma ya wakenya ni hatua kubwa sana mbele ya kuelekea kwa demokrasi, uhuru wa kijamii na kitaifa, usawa wa kijinsia na ukombozi wa wanawake.

Changamoto linalosalia kwa mkabala huu ni kuitafsiri na kuitekeleza katiba yenyewe ili isibaki ahadi za maneno matupu bali iwe vitendo halisi vya kuboresha maisha ya kila mtu katika jamii mkiwemo kuhakikisha usawa wa kijinsia na haki za wanawake. Ndiyo kwa maana CPK tunalaani kwamba vitendo vya bunge za Kenya za kuvunja katiba ya Kenya kwa kukataa kutengeneza sheria ya kupiga hatua ya kutekeleza usawa wa kijinsia katika uwakilishaji bungeni.

Wabunge wanawake waliyo katika msitari wa mbele wa kupigania usawa wa kijinsia bungeni na taasisi zingine za uwakilishiji wa umma wanapaswa kuwa na ujasiri wa kuvihama vyama vya kisiasa vinavyozingatia mfumo wa ubepari na kuungana nasi kupigania ukombozi wa jamii kutoka kwa kila aina ya unyonyaji na unyanyasaji wa mtu kwa mtu. Vyama vya kisiasa vinavyotawala bungeni leo ni vya itikadi ya kibepari na ni mahali kuvitegemea kupigania ukombozi wa wanaodhulumiwa Kenya, mkiwemo wanawaki katika jamii.

CPK tunatambua kuwa kukiwa na usawa kati ya wanaume na wanawake katika jamaa, jamii na taifa, vilevile amani, haki na maendeleo yanakua kwa haki, usawa na kasi zaidi. Mwanamume anayemnyanyasa na kumnyima mke wake fursa ya kushiriki kikamilifu katika mipango ya jamaa yao ikiwa ni pamoja na uzalishaji, kumiliki pamoja ardhi, maliasili na mali ya jamaa, huzuia maendeleo ya jamaa yake sawia.

Mwanamke akishirikishwa ipasavyo na mume wake katika uzalishaji na ugamvi wa kile kinachozalishwa, na katika usimamizi wa rasilimali, familia hiyo itaona manufaa makubwa na ya haraka. Maana mara nyingi wanawake ni wasimamizi na wahifadhi bora zaidi wa rasilimali za jamaa na jamii kuwaliko wanaume.

Aghalabu, kwa mfano, mwanamke akipokea pesa za mazao ya shamba kama maziwa, kahawa, chai, mboga na bidhaa zingine za kilimo, huzitumia kwa ajili ya mahitaji ya nyumbani ambayo hufaidi watoto na vilevile mume na mke.

Kuna visa vingi ambapo wanaume wanafuja pesa zinazotakana na juhudi za jamaa zao kwa anasa na starehe ambazo pia zinahatarisha jamaa nzima kwa maambukizo ya maradhi ya ulevi na ngono. Aidha, kuna taarifa ya visa vingi ambapo mume anafilisi jamaa yake kabisa kwa kuuza na kuponda mali na ardhi ya jamaa.

Usawa wa kijinsia ni haki ya binadamu. Maana binadamu wote ni sawa kwa mujibu wa kuwa binadamu, wawe wanawake wawe wanaume.

Kwa wanaume kuwanyanyasa wanawake ni kutokuwa na shukrani kwa mama zetu ambao wametubeba miezi tisa tumboni mwao tena wakatuonyesha mapenzi kwa kutulea kutoka watoto hadi tukakua watu wazima.

Isitoshe, kukubali hali ya kubaguliwa kwa wanawake katika jamii ni kushiriki katika kudhulumiwa kwa wasichana wetu pamoja na dada wetu. Ndiyo kwa maana, mzazi mzuri ni yule anayehakikisha usawa wa kijinsia nyumbani kwake; anayewafundisha watoto wake kutokana na mfano halisi wa uhusiano wake na mke wake kwamba wavulana na wasishana ni sawa na wanapaswa kukua wakizingatia ukweli huu kwa maneno na vitendo.

Nayo jamii lazima iendelee kupambana kuhakikisha kuwa wanawake wanajishindia uwezo wa kuwa na fursa sawa na wanaume kwa kila hali. Tena ikumbukwe kwamba harakati za ukombozi wa wanawake si za kuwafanya wanawake kuwa na uwezo wa kuwanyonya na kuwanyanyasa wanaume, si kuwawezesha wanawake kushiriki katika maovu yote yanayofanywa na wanaume leo.

Harakati za kweli za ukombozi wa wanawake ni za kukomboa jamii kutoka kwa mfumo wa unyonyaji na unyanyasaji wa mtu kwa mtu. Ni za kukomboa jamii kutoka kwa mifumo ya kikatili na ya kupinga maendeleo kama ukabila, ubepari, ukoloni na ukolonimamboleo. Ni harakati za kuleta usawa wa kijinsia ambapo wanawake na wanaume wanashirikiana kwa haki, usawa, amani na mapenzi ya kweli. Ni kugawanya majukumu ya kijamaa na kijamii kwa ajili ya faida ya wote huku wakitambua tofauti zao za kimaumbile.

Tunakariri, hapawezi kuwa na maendeleo endelevu katika hali ambapo wanawake ambao ni zaidi ya nusu ya watu wote nchini wananyanyaswa, wanabaguliwa, wanawekwa pembeni na kunyimwa fursa za kushiriki kikamilifu katika siasa, uchumi na maendeleo ya jamaa na jamii. Hakika kuwabagua na kuwanyanyasa wanawake ni hasara kubwa kwa taifa kwa kila hali!

Mwisho, tunasisitiza, ingawa kuna mambo na matatizo halisi ambayo yanawahusu wanawake kama wanawake na ambayo yanavuka misingi ya kitabaka, la msingi ni kuwa wanawake na wanaume wote wanaishi katika jamii.

Na jamii ya Kenya na Afrika imegawanyika kitabaka, tabaka la wengi mafukara na wachache matajiri. Sawa na mwanamume, mwanamke wa kutoka tabaka la mafukara hawezi kuwa sawa na mwanamke kutoka tabaka la matajiri.

Tukizingatia jamii ya Kenya yenye mfumo wa kibepari, wanawake wa tabaka la mabepari wanaungana na wanaume wao kuwanyonya na kuwanyanyasa wana wake na wanaume wa tabaka la wafanyikazi na makabwela. Kwani hapawezi kuwa na usawa kati ya matajiri na mafukara, wanyonyaji na wanyonywaji.

Kwa sababu hii, CPK tunaamini kuwa harakati za kitabaka ndiyo msingi wa harakati zingine zote. Bila usawa wa kitabaka hapawezi kuwepo usawa kamilifu wa kijinsia wala ukombozi halisi wa wanawake.

Basi mapambano ya ukombozi wa wanawake lazima wakati wote yachukue mwelekeo wa kupigania usawa wa kijinsia na kitabaka sambamba na sawia. Usoshalisti ndiyo barabara sahihi zaidi ya kuelekea katika uhuru na ukombozi wa wanawake na ya kuleta usawa wa kijinsia Kenya na ulimwenguni.

Yadumu mapambano ya ukombozi wa wanawake!
Zidumu haraka za kuleta usawa wa kijinsia!
Zidumu harakati za kikomunisti!
Idumu CPK!

Mwandawiro Mghanga, Mwenyekiti wa CPK

 

 

 

By adongoogony Posted in kenya

Murathe is saying something….but what is it?

Bwana Adongo  you have said in the past that  Murathe can be reckless, is this one of those occasions?
He is basically saying that they are done with Ruto as a community. And many from the mountain seem to agree.
Could this be the deal?

……………………………………………..

Murathe: Uhuru loyalist whose word can decide Kenya’s future

 

A character in the 1990 BBC political drama The House of Cards says of wheeler-dealers, buccaneers and functionaries who infest corridors of power supplying all manner of political labour to parties and politicians: “A politician needs a wife and other people; regrettably, a man of state needs helpers to do his bidding … even unwitting pawns who don’t know who they serve …”

President Uhuru Kenyatta has no shortage of helpers, but few display the bravado, brashness and, lately, a penchant for taking a rare irreverent dig at Deputy President and Jubilee deputy party leader, Dr William Ruto, as Mr David Murathe does.

In old communist Russia, these ranks of political labourers were called the apparatchik, non-professional, non-specialist, but ever available and ready for deployment on any political assignment.

Their most valued credentials beside loyalty are that they must harbour no known or expressed aspirations for higher office.

2022 POLLS

They are never deployed to any of the top echelons of party leadership as chairmanship or secretary-general, party leader and deputy leader, the cadres reserved for potential national leaders.

Kenya’s political anthropologists and biographers are yet to study and document the role of unelected informal players in contemporary Kenya state, who seem to pack so much political heft and influence in government actions at various phases of Kenya’s post-independence political evolution than elected leaders, but are not accountable to the public.

Last Wednesday, Mr Murathe chose an opposition-organised event at Mbale Stadium, Vihiga County, hosted by his old college mate at the University of Nairobi, Musalia Mudavadi, to launch the most scathing attack on Dr Ruto’s presidential ambitions.

In what sounded like a valedictory speech, he essentially said Ruto’s days of calling the shots in the house of Jubilee was an illusion, Jubilee had its owners, and the jury was still out on their preference of Kenyatta II successor.

MERGER

It was a loaded statement that seems to have taken even Ruto’s staunchest opponents by surprise.

As one of the close allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta, many will be hard put to separate Mr Murathe’s sentiments from those of the big man.

For those who know him, Mr Murathe never has illusions where his loyalties lie, and who his heroes are.

He is known to use phrases in discussions about politicians’ penchant for ambiguous utterances, but his was not ambiguous by any measure.

When, in 2016, current Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi seemed keen to assert himself inside Jubilee’s top leadership after small affiliate parties, including his Alliance Party of Kenya (APK), dissolved to join Jubilee, Mr Murathe told him with a curt retort: Jubilee is no Party of National Unity (PNU) where Kiraitu was secretary-general).

In the second term of retired President Kibaki’s term (2008-2013), an amorphous appointment was made of retired civil servant, Mr Stanley Murage, as a powerful “policy adviser” based at State House in addition to the State House Comptroller.

Mr Murathe remarked at the time: “That is the office I want when Uhuru is President.”

EVENTS

He may not have been appointed policy adviser, but his bravado and recent provocative statements throw broad enough hints about the latitude he enjoys.

His behind-the-scenes activities in Jubilee, its predecessor, The National Alliance (TNA), and his ability to criss-cross between political spaces at personal and political levels on errands for his buddy cuts the portrait of a trusted loyalist.

Few ask questions about who sent him when Mr Murathe shows up at funeral meetings, wedding committees or political events of entities perceived as Uhuru rivals.

Once in 2007, Kalonzo Musyoka and Dr Julia Ojiambo were holding a delegates conference at Kasarani sports stadium.

Suddenly a Kalonzo ally, Mr Gideon Ndambuki, found his way to a social joint where Murathe was and breathlessly asked: What can you do?

Apparently, Mr Kalonzo and Dr Julia had difficulties with delegates’ allowances and didn’t want a fallout in front of media cameras. Mr Ndambuki and Mr Murathe drove off together.

SPOKESMAN

On President Kenyatta’s axis of politics, Mr Murathe has come to symbolise the counterweight and political checkmate to Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and Jubilee Majority Leader Aden Duale, who symbolise Dr Ruto’s proxy attack dogs, especially on knotty issues.

To his credit, Mr Murathe’s steadfast loyalty to President Kenyatta long before and after he assumed power has never been in doubt, so much that few personalities are sought after by newshounds to give the President’s political pulse of things whenever they cannot get an official State House dispatch.

If they ever differed over things Murathe says on his behalf, the President, his family members and aficionados have never contradicted the former Gatanga MP for things he says on their behalf.

Once when Uhuru seemed partyless for some time after bolting out of Kanu in 2009, Mr Murathe was asked what party he supported.

Without batting an eyelid he shot back: My party is Uhuru Kenyatta.

INTERIM

President Kenyatta, Dr Ruto and Mr Murathe come a long way, politically, and it is significant Mr Murathe never sought an elective party office unlike his two buddies. Even the one he holds currently is interim.

As an unelected interim Jubilee Party vice-chairman, Mr Murathe is the only Jubilee office bearer who displays audacity to publicly criticise his deputy party leader and Deputy President on matters normally few Jubilee elected leaders would touch on publicly.

An unwritten rule since President Kenyatta assumed power on a Jubilee flagship in 2013 is that no elected leader from his Mt Kenya base ever mentions Dr Ruto’s name negatively in public, until the President himself invented the term “tanga tanga” in relation to Dr Ruto and his lieutenants.

Mr Murathe is the first senior Jubilee official to explicitly mention the DP’s name and brazenly tell him off on the matter of 2013 pre-election Kenyatta II succession pact, that is supposed to have obligated President Kenyatta to mobilise his Gema base in support of Ruto’s presidential ambitions in 2022.

POWER

Lately, Mr Murathe has also been keeping the company of former Jubilee bigwigs whose careers were sunk at the disputed primaries in May 2017, and who blame the Deputy President for their predicament.

In his book, Illusion of Power (2001), a long-serving parliamentarian, the late Geoffrey Gitahi Kariuki, (popularly known as GG), grimly described his party, Kanu’s pervasive disregard for rules, decorum and expectations and lack of any semblance of concern for political morality or consequences, thus:

“Those who succeed in criminally acquiring and maintaining their power, at whatever cost, are forever haunted by the fear of losing their soul-deadening harvests.

“No doubt, extreme megalomania and the desire to hold onto power regardless of consequences for millions who look up to their leaders for guidance in creating a better life, are the most crucial factors that have stifled Kenyan’s democratic development …”

FOLLOWERS

Among questions that have been raised in social media reactions to Mr Murathe’s affront on the DP is if he is among entities Mt Kenya voters look up to for leadership in the current political discourse.

A strange silence has met his provocative statements, especially in Mt Kenya region, where he may have calculated to trigger a chorus of public statements against the DP as politicians normally do upon receiving the cue.

Despite repeated public jibes at the DP, the soloist is yet to inspire a chorus in response. The question is: Is the silence speaking to the message or the messenger?

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/politics/Uhuru-loyalist-with-unnerving-influence/1064-4914394-lc0gq6z/index.html

 

———————————————————

Ruto’s allies set sight on Jubilee boss Murathe, truce deal

Three days after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s confidant David Murathe declared that Jubilee Party has no candidate for State House race in 2022, Deputy President William Ruto’s allies are planning a counter-move in the new year that he hopes will turn the tide in his favour going forward.

On Friday, Dr Ruto reached out to members of county assemblies (MCAs) as he sought to solidify his national support across the country ahead of 2022.

Dr Ruto met MCAs from Kakamega, Baringo and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties at his Sugoi home in Uasin Gishu County.

Though the agenda of the meeting was “empowering MCAs to strengthen devolution”, sources said that 2022 succession politics cropped up, with the MCAs assuring Dr Ruto of their unwavering support.

PEACE

This week, conversations with a number of Dr Ruto’s allies suggested that they are not sitting pretty, even after the President moved to allay fears on Friday that he never engaged in 2022 politics with ODM leader Raila Odinga in their March 9 “handshake” that has dramatically changed the political scene.

During an interview in Mombasa on Friday, the President dwelt at length on the Building Bridges Initiative, saying it would be part of his administration’s priority focus area in 2019.

Dr Ruto’s lieutenants, who double up as members of “the war council” charged with delivering the presidency, are working on a multi-pronged blueprint they hope will neutralise the effects of the political truce (handshake) Mr Kenyatta had with Mr Odinga on March 9.

The truce has increasingly blunted his succession plan and emboldened those against his State House bid, some even in the ruling party.

Part of the plan is to go public on their displeasure and, at some point, play the victim card.

ABANDONED

This, we gathered, will be intended to make the President and his allies look dishonest in the court of public opinion. The hope is that this could boost Dr Ruto’s popularity ratings.

“We were together as Jubilee Party under the slogan “Tuko Pamoja” (we are together). But are we really together?” Majority Whip Ben Washiali, who sits in the council, told the Sunday Nation.

He went on: “We were together and we are now out. You can’t keep telling us that we are together when you have other people at the eating table. Let’s see what the new year holds.”

He hinted that a major announcement on a way forward could be coming.

“If he (Dr Ruto) has an MoU with Mr Kenyatta, then that was an agreement between two individuals,” Mr Murathe said on Wednesday in Vihiga, sentiments that have now sparked a political storm.

While opinion is divided inside the DP’s camp on whether such a move would be prudent, going for an all-out war more than three years to the next elections, there is near consensus after Mr Murathe’s remarks that the deep State is keen to back somebody else to take over from Mr Kenyatta.

REFERENDUM

Equally, the deep State is keen to drop its support for the presidential system of government in favour of a parliamentary one, an abrupt U-turn from an earlier position.

Dr Ruto has maintained that he would like to assume the mantle of power without any alterations to the current structure.

“He (Dr Ruto) is going around opposing the referendum. Jubilee is yet to take a position. What is he opposing yet there is no question? Uhuru said in Kisumu we must change the Constitution to accommodate all to ensure inclusion. Raila has a following that must be accommodated in government,” Mr Murathe said.

The change of heart, a high-ranking member of the council confided, is to avoid isolation as the referendum campaign gathers steam.

Mr Kenyatta’s remarks in Kisumu a fortnight ago, calling for a change in law to correct the winner-take-it-all arrangement, is said to have informed the new position.

They argue that taking on the President head-on could boomerang.

ENDORSE

They have interpreted the Kisumu trip, the first since Mr Kenyatta took the oath of office for his second term, as a formal launch of the referendum push that would see changes introduced into the Constitution before the next General Election.

The war council, made up of majority leaders in Parliament Kipchumba Murkomen and Aden Duale, Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter, Deputy Senate Speaker Kithure Kindiki, former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and Mr Washiali, among others, believes that chances of their man becoming the next President are thinning by the day.

This is especially so since President Kenyatta appears reluctant to publicly endorse him, as they had expected when the two sides joined hands in 2013.

Other sources pointed out that the feeling in the group is captured in the recent pronouncements by Mr Duale on the floor of the House.

Those around the Deputy President have identified the presidential results transmission system as the greatest impediment to his dream of ascending to the presidency in 2022, and a referendum would present an opportunity to correct this.

They also complained that President Kenyatta had abandoned the people who supported him in 2017 and is busy dining with those who opposed him.

TALLYING

They say the current votes transmission regime is prone to manipulation that could lead to subjugation of the popular will, something that is bound to raise questions about the integrity of past elections.

In the last three presidential elections, the transmission of results has been the source of furious disputes, with the Supreme Court being requested to determine whether the final tally matched what was transmitted from the constituencies in the last two polls.

While those close to Dr Ruto say he strongly prefers the presidential system, the option to support a parliamentary one is borne out of the fact that it has fewer risks when it comes to transmitting results.

In any case, in a parliamentary system, the prime minister (PM) is almost always elected by Parliament, where the leader of the party or coalition that wins the largest number of seats automatically becomes PM.

PRIME MINISTER

There are indications that the political class is keen to reintroduce the premier position.

“The presidential system is enticed and entangled with corruption, because the contestants want to take money. There is corruption at IEBC, there is corruption in the transmission of results,” Mr Duale said, expressing the fears that haunt the DP and his team.

“Let’s adopt the parliamentary system of government so that the constituency becomes the theatre of electoral battle,” Mr Duale said last week when he revealed the camp’s change of plan on the floor of the House.

The Ruto camp has been unnerved by the President’s recent tour of Kisumu, where he was hosted by Mr Odinga.

KISUMU

During the tour, protocol was angled in favour of Mr Odinga, to the disadvantage of Dr Ruto.

This raised fears of a possible political deal between the Kikuyu and Luo communities, the top two groups that have defined Kenya’s post-independence politics.

“If you want everybody to win, then the country must adopt a federal system of government where each county will have its own president. I also want to be the president of the Garissa federal state,” Mr Duale told the House while calling for introduction of a majimbo system of government.

Under the system, the Garissa Township MP said, all functions would be devolved while 80 percent of the national revenue would be devolved to the federal states.

“This is a conversation that we must have starting January. I will only support the push to amend the Constitution if federalism is the way to go.”

Aware that some powerful brokers would not support the majimbo idea, the DP’s camp knows it is muddying the waters.

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/politics/Ruto-allies-plot-against-Uhuru-Raila-alliance/1064-4914352-w31i50z/index.html