'Incompetent' loyal senator gets top panel job, elicits grumbles

Fellow was picked to chair an influential committee post for playing his political cards right

In Summary

• Resentful colleagues say the senator who rarely contributes to debates on the floor was elected to lead an influential committee. Played his cards right.

• Worried parastatal chief at the Coast is now using tuk-tuks and boda bodas, not his swnky official car, hoping to avoid scrutiny of his wealth.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata.
THE WHIP: Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata.

Political appointments are sometimes not about competence but loyalty, so they say. This is the lesson some senators seem to have learnt in the recent installation of House committee chairs and vice chairs spearheaded by Senate Majority Whip Irungu Kang’ata (pictured). Recently some senators were overheard questioning how a colleague, who rarely contributes to debates on the floor and has obvious challenges with the Queen's English, was elected to lead an influential committee. The man was elected unopposed following directions given to the House leadership. The disgruntled lot concluded, ‘He played his politics right'.

A parastatal in the Ministry of Transport is now the target of anti-graft detectives. Sources whisper to Corridors that the entity’s awarding of huge contracts has been opaque and there are claims of tender fixing. A whistle-blower is said to have sent a dossier to one of the agencies documenting the agency bosses' misdeeds. Some of the firms awarded contracts are said to have lacked requisite documentation; others had no tax returns from the Kenya Revenue Authority. Insiders say anti-graft detectives should conduct a covert lifestyle audit of the agency bosses. A  new anti-corruption strategy of targeting unexplained wealth could bite many at the agency, insiders say. 

We once told you of an embattled parastatal boss at the Coast who is under pressure to quit the post because of allegations of corruption. The man who was recently accused of chewing allowances meant for workers who endure the sun, wind and rain to serve wananchi has now changed his movement patterns. Eyes on him tell Corridors the man now moves around on a tuk-tuk or boda boda to deceive people keen on scrutinising his lifestyle. He no longer uses his swanky official car and has changed locks to his offices as well, ostensibly following the recent theft of crucial files at the parastatal’s premises.

A former MP from one of the counties in Nyanza and who is plotting run for governor is in trouble. There are reports the ex-MP's party faces imminent de-registration. The party, which the former MP used to seek an elective position in the 2017 polls, is said lack the requisite requirements. For instance, the party doesn't have any office in any of the counties across the country, hile its national office was closed last year due to rent arrears. With the situation getting complex, the former MP's dream of using the party may not work out for him, even as forces against him are out to ensure the party is de-registered.