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July 15, 2018

Corridors of Power

Suba MP John Mbadi. Photo/ Jack Owuor
Suba MP John Mbadi. Photo/ Jack Owuor

If you thought that only MPs from the Coast are opposed to the NASA parliamentary leadership, think again. In Nyanza, the lineup has triggered a storm, but for different reasons. Top on the list is the supremacy wars and succession politics. Suba MP John Mbadi (pictured) was named National Assembly Minority leader, while his Suna East counterpart Junet Mohamed was named Minority Whip. Siaya Senator James Orengo was named Senate Deputy Minority leader. But some MPs, previously positioning themselves as the Nyanza political supremos after Raila Odinga, are very bitter. The new lineup, they think, will not only diminish their influence but also elbow them out of the Raila succession race. One of the MPs from Nyanza is said to have engineered the bitter press conference that some Coastal MPs held last week.

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A section of former and current Siaya MPs are said to have held a secret meeting to discuss what has been described "weighty matters". It is rumoured that the MPs resolved that President Uhuru Kenyatta should directly deal with them and should not use proxies. "We are ready to work with the Jubilee government. Only that the President should contact us directly," one was quoted as saying.

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A petitioner in one of the cases before a Machakos court was heard bragging to supporters how they will use a former member of the Judicial Service Commission to influence the outcome of the case. The petitioner was in a local hotel owned by an MCA. But some of the supporters demanded to know how that will work, considering the independence of the Judiciary and the fact that the person quoted as "willing to help", no longer works at the JSC, hence has no influence.

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A top Jubilee technocrat at a top city restaurant told his friends – both Jubilee and NASA - that Raila Odinga's presence was a blessing in disguise. The official at the OP said Raila controls millions of Kenyans and it might be hard for the government to take charge of them if he quits politics. He added, "Despite Raila giving us sleepless nights, we have an easy punching bag for our politicians to hit when we have no agenda and there must be a strategy to hold on his rebellious masses when out."

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Gangs have taken over bus stops in Nairobi at night and claim they have blessings from "above". Some gang members harass, extort, steal and rob. The police seem to be part of the system and will easily tell you "we cannot track your phone", since all stolen mobile phones are sold in Tanzania. Some gang members collect revenue from businesses on behalf of the rogue cops. The most affected bus stop is the Kiambu stage at Commercial, where they report from 10pm.

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