Coups and counter coups at state house continued

Afraid that former finance minister David Mwiraria was on his way back to the cabinet and specifically at finance ministry following intense pressure on Kibaki from Merus, Kimunya pulled a fast one on Mwiraria and sent his friend, a one Gitau who is a lwayer, to London where he handed self exiled former PS John Githongo a fat cheque in exchange for the release of the now infamous Mwiraria tapes.

Thus even as Githongo continues to knife the heart of Kibaki's government from foreign soil whith his Gestapo-styled tapes, it is emerging that people right in the centre of government itself are actually actively encouraging him in his quest if only to have an edge over their rivals.

Kimunya is in the so called Kibaki golfing buddies camp which also include John Michuki, Joe Wanjui and George Muhoho which have been upstaged by the Saitoti group in the latest power games but the Kimunya camp now takes some comfort from the fact that they have for the moment stopped Mwiraria right in his tracks from rejoining his powerful treasury docket.

The diminutive soft spoken Mwiraria who of late appears to be seeking solace form his community frequently seen dancing away with a walking stick is said to be one of Saitoti's right hand men who was also recently cleared of Anglo Leasing claims (albeit technically) had little time to celebrate before Githongo released his earth shaking tapes which left the former finance boss with a lot of egg on the face prompting his bold faced "no comment" to journalist who confronted him.

The night before the tapes were posted on Githongo's blog on the net, weekly citizen has established,  a relaxed Kimunya was spotted celebrating satisfied that Mwiraria's journey back to the centre of power would come to a dead end the next day. It is not clear what the Saitoti camp will do next in a bid to rescue the ill-fated Mwiraria whose comrade in arms Kiraitu Murungi is back in the cabinet but suffice it to say that Mwiraria's absence is being felt in the Saitoti camp as was evident last week when the former VP officially launched his bid to become the Narc-K chairman. The launch in his Kajiado North constituency where another big wig Kiraitu Murungi who like Saitoti was cleared of the Anglo-Leasing scam led the drum-beating in praise of Saitoti.

Political watchers say that those behind Saitoti are not leaving anything to chance and seem to have convinced Kibaki that Saitoti is the best bet to take over from him once the president retires in 2012 if he wins this year's poll that many agree will be a very tight race indeed.

Towards that end, Saitoti backers are leaving nothing to chance as far as his re-election in Kajiado North is concerned. At the Kajiado meeting, speaker after speaker pleaded with the voters to return Saitoti to parliament 'because there were bigger things for him." The bigger things, it is understood, si the vice presidency and late the presidency.

The idea, it is said, is to make Saitoti the Narc-Kenya chairman first but stop at that until elections are held after which if Kibaki wins, then he will pick Saitoti as his VP something that will confound many political watchers. Not that things are that easy though as the president appears to be walking into a political minefield.

To start with, those working on the Saitoti scheme want the president to defend his seat without naming his running mate so that he leaves all contenders for the seat guessing on who will eventually bag the post. Without a clear running mate, those working on this plan say, Narc-K will avoid a fallout at a critical stage when all efforts should be directed towards destroying ODM-K.

But walls have ears, Awori has gotten wind of the scheme that he sees as bitter betrayal and has now declared that he will fight like a man to retain his number two position. His rivals however seem to have an upper hand over him as they say that the person whom Kibaki picks as VP must be someone who can succeed him in 2012 when Awori will then be approaching 90 years of age. Those for Saitoti also say that he is virtually a Mt Kenya persona and so the House of Mumbi will still be calling the shots in state house once Kibaki goes in 2012 and Saitoti takes over.

Also feeling the heat of Saitoti's entry are other pretenders to the throne such as Mukhisa Kituyi and Kipruto Kirwa who had shown interest in the Narc-K chairman's seat and who now have to contend with the challenge of surmounting the hurdle in the shape of the professor of mathematics. The two had reasonably fair chances of taking the seat if Awori had been their sole opponent but they now have a really slippery slope to scale. Not all is lost for them though as they are now said to be working overtime to pull the rug from under Saitoti and expose the dirt that lies underneath.

In this, they are being helped by Simeon Nyachae who is a sworn enemy of Saitoti the two having crossed swords when they worked under Moi. Nyache, it is said, ahs sworn that Saitoti will become president over his dead body.

Whether Saitoti's foes will succeed in dealing his steaming train to the number two slot remains to be seen. What is clear however is that they need to borrow a leaf from Kimunya whose ruthless effective scheming worked magically as once the Mwiraria tapes were released, president Kibaki suddenly shelved the mini cabinet shuffle that he is alleged to have already crafted to accommodate Mwiraria.

The question is: do they have anything against Saitoti that would suddenly deflate his rising political balloon in the manner Mwiraria's planned return was halted? This is something disturbing Saitoti schemers.

Bookmark the permalink.