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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Corridors of Power

Nairobi senator Mike Sonko
Nairobi senator Mike Sonko

A video showing President Uhuru Kenyatta walking away as Nairobi Governor aspirant Mike Sonko is on the podium addressing a Jubilee rally in Kakamega has surfaced. Sonko arrived late, against all protocol, when the President was making his address and went straight to the podium. The crowd demanded that the Senator address them. While he was on the podium, the President, together with other leaders, including National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale, stood up and walked away. So, was the President bored by Sonko's speech or was it just a message the head of state sent to the senator for breaching protocol!

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Did Busia independent gubernatorial aspirant Paul Otuoma beg the Jubilee people not to mention his name last week when the President toured Busia county? We are told that the former Cabinet minister told Jubilee associates that mentioning his name would diminish his chances of defeating ODM’s Sospeter Ojaamong. Remember Otuoma was linked to Jubilee during the party’s nominations in a county that is considered a NASA stronghold.

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A former MP who won a court case last week to the ODM flag for a parliamentary seat is now a worried man, after supporters of his opponents barricaded the constituency's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission office since he won the case to block him from being cleared by the polls body. The former lawmaker, who had long lost support in the constituency, was overheard lamenting how his opponent, a first-term MP, had influenced all police bosses in the county and his effort to get a police escort for clearance was met by reluctance from the security officers. Our mole eavesdropped on the ex-MP banging a table and vowing to 'import' friendly police officers from a neighbouring county to escort him on his mission. His opponent, who enjoys massive support in the area, has so far appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeal.

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Jubilee strategy to make the August 8 contest a tribal faceoff seems to have fallen flat on its face. First, it was the ICC narrative used in 2013 which has failed to whip up voter emotions in 2017. Last week JP also activated the land issue, when NASA flagbearer Raila Odinga spoke in Kajiado but it seems to have failed. A senior vocal Jubilee official was overheard at a coffee house dismissing leaflets circulated in the Maa region as a failed propaganda gambit. He warned JP should be more worried about #1Milli4NASAInMtKenya than voter apathy in their strongholds.


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