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February 26, 2018

Corridors of Power

Rashid Achesa during vetting for CS Sports and Heritage by the Parliaments Appointments Committee on February 9, 2018. /Jack Owuor
Rashid Achesa during vetting for CS Sports and Heritage by the Parliaments Appointments Committee on February 9, 2018. /Jack Owuor

WERE some of the Cabinet nominees coached before they were vetted last week? Well, some activists were heard saying the manner in which some of the nominees responded to questions was suspect. One nominee who has not worked in government, they complained – had all the details, complete with facts and figures – of the ministry where the said individual is yet to report. They also accused the Appointments Committee of failing to ask the tough questions. Among their concerns were lack of questions regarding academic papers for Sports CS Rashid Mohammed. The nominee narrated his humbled background and thanked President Kenyatta for recognising the son of “a peasant”.


IS there a plot by the West to isolate Raila Odinga and, among other things, slap him with travel restrictions? Some senior people in government think so. The officials, who were taking lunch in a five-star hotel were heard whispering that the latest statement by the diplomatic community on Raila was unprecedented. For the first time, the envoys openly trashed Raila's claims about the last election as “unsubstantiated” and blamed the unbridled political ambition of some for fundamentally weakening Kenyan institutions. The officials said the diplomats have often communicated in vague and cagey language and that the blunt tough talk was a warning salvo.


A prominent governor is being blamed for persuading his party leader not to turn up for the swearing-in ceremony of Opposition chief Raila Odinga on January 30. The governor is said to have told his boss that the 2017 politics is done and dusted and he should instead focus on the 2022 polls. However, as it turned out, the absence of his party leader triggered a massive backlash. Some party officials are now accusing the governor of plotting to kill the political career of their boss so that he can take over. The said party leader has elbowed most of his former lieutenants out of the way and is now working with a new team.


A Jubilee politician from Nyanza is a bitter man. The man, a former powerful State officer, had told his friends that he was headed to Cabinet. The man reportedly bragged that President Uhuru Kenyatta needed Cabinet Secretaries with political clout. He is reported to have been preparing to throw a huge bash as a show-off to all and sundry. But Alas! His name was not there. In fact, even the Party's Secretary General, Raphael Tuju, was handed a CS position without portfolio. He has reportedly told his friends that if he is not in the list of the remaining PSs or even Chief Administrative Secretary, he will call Jubilee’s bluff.


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