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January 21, 2019

CORRIDORS OF POWER

Governor Mike Sonko at his office on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. /GPS
Governor Mike Sonko at his office on Tuesday, March 13, 2018. /GPS

A last minute phone call by ODM leader Raila Odinga on Friday stopped Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko from announcing his nominee for Deputy Governor. Sonko, a source whispered, had ignored a letter by NASA CEO Norman Magaya asking him to consider nominating the coalition's choice, Rabab Ndabuki, in the spirit of handshake. Magaya pleaded with Sonko for more than five hours before reaching out to Raila for intervention. The governor had promised to name his deputy on Friday, a year after Polycarp Igathe's resignation. Sonko read out Magaya's letter during a press conference in Mombasa, citing it as the reason he failed to name a deputy to allow for consultations.

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The graft empire by a governor from the Western part of the country is crumbling after anti-graft investigators froze several accounts belonging to top bosses including the county secretary. The Governor is said to have gotten into the habit of paying everyone who questioned his administration into silence. So when the sleuths first summoned his officers for interrogation, it is whispered that they carried loads of cash in their cars. But the gang used to buying their way were greatly disappointed. Why? The investigators are said to have been so unfriendly that talking about a kick-back was unthinkable.

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The Director General of the spy agency, the National Intelligence Service has his work clearly cut out. Why? Some civil society players were heard whispering that there is a silent threat against some communities in the Rift Valley if they will not vote in a particular direction in 2022. In fact, one of the culprits recently went on social media and unashamedly announced how post-election violence will be engineered. The civil society actors say this is the time to deploy State machinery and properly document the subtle threats although the general election is still three and half years away. Maybe Philip Kameru needs to learn from his predecessor Michael Gichangi on the 2007/2008 experience.

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Still at City Hall, are county employees planning to stage a protest against Sonko? Well, this seems to be the talk at the county headquarters. The more than 13,000 staff are said to have been stone-shocked to learn that they no longer enjoy medical cover from the county government. Some of them were overheard murmuring about the recent meeting their union officials held to deliberate on the matter and the impending protest.

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