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November 17, 2018

Corridors of Power

Uhuru Kenyatta.
Uhuru Kenyatta.

Do both President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM supremo Raila Odinga walk the talk when they say the youth jobs time bomb is a challenge they understand? The political bigwigs seem to be reading from the same scripts by keeping the youth out of key political processes, yet they identify with the youth when sending key political messages. The apparent exclusion of youths in the Raila-Uhuru 14-member national unity team might be a glaring indicator of just how they take youths for granted by not living up to their soaring speeches that portray them as empathetic politicians who understand the depth of the problem. Many have been left wondering how youths can chart their path, yet they hardly get a chance to get their foot in the door.

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An first-time MP from Eastern is facing simmering resentment from former supporters. Reason? The youthful Member of Parliament is a pathological liar. His former supporters have been heard saying the law maker has never kept any of his promises and that it will be near impossible to convince his constituents to hand him a second term in 2022. A major blow to his political credentials happened when traders contributed cash to repair a road he had promised to repair inside his 100 days in office.

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Last week corridors told you of how some MPs were planning to stop the businesses of some betting companies in Kenya. Now a senior government officer was overheard, on Monday evening, saying they are investigating betting firms with a view to establish ownership. The official said they were shocked to learn a majority of the firms are owned by foreigners. He said the government is in the process of compiling a list to present to parliament. He believes it will be a matter of time before some of the firms are deregistered and their foreign directors kicked out. All this, he said, was prompted by complaints from clerics who claimed most gambling companies are run from abroad, yet it is Kenyan youth who get addicted to the vice.

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Just two months to go before the end of 2017/2018 financial year, a source in government has whispered to Corridors that this is that season every head of department looks forward to. Top bureaucrats, in collusion with senior staff, make fictitious financial claims to avoid the situation where approved budget cash is surrendered to the national Treasury. Some claim they attended training abroad, while yet others say they have training upcoming sessions locally. More often than not it is an avenue for making free public cash. According to the source, the decades-old habit keeps on being improved each financial year.

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