Nairobi Star Corridors of Power Political Gossip

Overheard at a private function in Mombasa last Sunday: "Ningependa watu wajue kwamba Raila si Mungu na ODM si Dini! (I would like people to know that Raila is not God and ODM is not a religion!)" That's Tourism minister and ODM Pentagon member Najib Balala.

That nominated MP Musa Sirma is now a Tugen Elder is just part of the bigger plan to divide Rift Valley. We are told by those close to Prime Minister Raila Odinga that Sirma, one-time ally to Agriculture minister William Ruto, has the ability to help split the Kalenjin vote should Ruto and other MPs decide to join another party.

A senior police officer funded a campaign to discredit one of his colleagues. The officer, who was recently transferred by Commissioner Mathew Iteere, is reported to have given money to some activists who launched a campaign to discredit the other policeman who was at some point tipped to take over from Commissioner Hussein AN.

The Bomet seat may be turned into a family affair. Held for several terms by Kipkalia Kones, his widow Beatrice Kones was elected MP after his tragic death in a plane crash. Rumours are now rife that she might not be interested in defending her seat in the next election. To ensure that a Kones captures the seat, her son is reportedly already campaigning and is confident that his name will be on the ballot box come 2012.

A group of civil society activists siphoned millions of shillings from donors using dubious projects. We are told that the group, working with a number of highly placed and credible people in civil society, received the millions in the run-up to the December 20007 elections and the money was meant for voter education. The individuals also received more money soon after election to "document" the post-election violence cases. But to date they have not handed their reports and donors have now demanded that they account for all the money by the end of this month.

Are there people scheming to buy Kenya Electricity Generating Company? We are told that very influential people are scheming to buy the parastatal once the government decides to sell it. One of them told a friend that he is in the process of liquidating some of his assets in readiness for the big buy-out of the electricity generating company.

Another MP from Eastern Province is apparently planning a stab at the Presidency. We are told that Kareke Mbiuki, the MP for Nithi and Assistant Minister for Agriculture, is working behind the scenes to have his name in the ballot in 2012. The youthful MP has not officially declared his candidature but has shared his plans with a few close friends.

Musikari Kombo may be determined to defend his seat as chairman of the once popular party during the forthcoming Ford-Kenya national elections but there are some of his supporters who are convinced that the former Webuye MP may at the last minute decide to support another candidate. Apart from Kombo, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula and Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa are battling to take over Ford-Kenya.

Grumbling has resurfaced at the Ministry of Sports and Culture where some of the officers are complaining that Minister Heller Sambili is making decisions without consultations. Those complaining say the minister is going ahead and issuing statements without consultation and making decisions which have made it difficult for them to work.

Staff at a government agency were surprised when their chief executive officer who had been dismissed for gross misconduct was re-appointed back to his former post. We are told that the CEO was sent home for among other things mismanaging the agency's funds and failure to attend board meetings. The minister responsible for the agency has however gone ahead and re-instated the man saying the Kenya Anti-Corruption Com-mission had cleared him of any wrongdoing.

A senior Cabinet Minister linked to the troubles of the Internally Displaced People has been trying to get a number of MPs to come to his defence. The minister has been reaching out to "friendly" MPs to try and persuade them to issue a press statement in his defence against growing allegations that he is responsible for the misery faced by the IDPs.

Gideon Moi's announcement that he will run for President may not have elicited much reaction but we are told that his supporters in parts of Rift Valley especially in Baringo Central are excited about the prospect. They believe that the man has the financial muscle to mount a serious campaign for the seat and if Agriculture Minister William Ruto falters then the young Moi will be the next "king" of Rift Valley.

Why did Mungiki leader Maina Njenga join Margaret Wanjiru's Jesus Is Alive Ministries church? We are told that the leader of the outlawed sect wanted to be associated with a high profile church, which he will use to "re-launch" himself. Maina's decision to join JIAM has increased speculation that he is likely to ask his supporters to back Margaret Wanjiru's presidential bid should she declare her interest for the top job. Talk has been rife that Wanjiru is preparing to contest in 2012 and she has already identified a party with his son as an official.

People who visited the Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura this past weekend were shocked by his humility. Portrayed as a hardliner on the Kibaki's side of the coalition government, Muthura shocked many of his visitors when he, together with his wife, tirelessly served guests in his Nkoroi home. The top civil servant carried plate after plate and served people who qualify to be his juniors with a sumptuous meal.

Francis Atwoli's decision to hold rallies across the country to push for Agenda Four reforms is raising questions. Some COTU members are questioning the source of the money their Secretary-General is using to fund the rallies. They are also questioning Atwoli's motives saying the COTU membership had not approved Atwoli's latest campaign. Could Atwoli be laying ground for his presidential bid? If so should he not declare his sources of funding?

A human rights activist is planning to sue a top permanent secretary whom he claims has sent 13 obscene and insulting short text messages to his mobile phone. The activist has already instructed his lawyers to take up the matter and sue the PS.

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