Nairobi Star Newspaper Corridors of Power Political Gossip

A former MP from South Nyanza has turned his experience in-serving the people to good use. The Mheshimiwa is now the barman of an exclusive establishment in Hurlingham, Nairobi. While the honourable man tends the bar, his wife is the congenial waitress who attends to the patrons comprising top businessmen, academics and political pundits from the region.

An ODM assistant minister has been shown the door after his wife discovered he was cheating on her with a well-known city designer. The man, who has been frequently spotted at various city hotels enjoying the company of his inamorata over cups of cappuccino, is hoping his wife will forgive him and let him return home.

Euphoric from their successful campaign to ensure KACC director Aaron Ringera became the ex-director, the lawmakers have now trained their eyes on the ever smiling Attorney General Amos Wako. The MPs are planning to wipe the smile off Wako and remove him from office. However, one lawmaker was overheard saying they might face an uphill task as many MPs, and even Cabinet Ministers, are unwilling to let the man go.

We are told the strategy of Simama Kenya, the outfit led by President Kibaki's son Jimi, is to cajole, persuade and convince all "heartbroken" politicians whose demands have not been met by their parties to join the group. If this happens, the Orange parties of Prime Minister Raila Odinga (ODM] and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (ODM-K) are likely to be the major casualties. They seem to have the largest number of unhappy politicians.

An MP from Nyanza is at loggerheads with his wife over Sh20 million which she had secured from donors to put up an orphanage. Instead, the MP used the money in his election campaigns. Confronted by the donors who wanted to know just how the money was spent, the MP is reported to have informed them that the orphanage was established but all the equipment and furniture bought with the money was looted during the post-election violence. Our moles tell us that the MP's wife is angry with her husband as her reputation is at stake and has given him an ultimatum to return the money before the end of the year. Now the MP has opted to hire out his official Prado to raise the cash and has been using the vehicle bought with CDF as his personal vehicle. His aides have been told to solicit funds from any available source.

Yet another MP from Nyanza is struggling with finances. We hear the MP has run up bills at a hotel in Kisumu which has become his second home as he has been living there for days on end when he travels upcountry and dares not spend even a night in his constituency. A mole has told us that out of the monthly Sh800,000 pay in salary and allowances, the MP is barely taking home Sh10,000 as the rest goes into settling his outstanding bills and loans!

Two small parties that partnered with ODM in the 2007 elections are unhappy that the "mother party" is not willing to share with them about Sh61.2m which it is supposed to get from the political parties fund. Some officials of the parties have been heard complaining that ODM has been treating them as though they never brought any vote during the election. Some 80 per cent of the entire Sh200m kitty is supposed to be shared by the parties based on votes garnered in the election.

Just where were the bodyguards guarding PNU activist Mary Wambui deployed to after the recent reshuffle? The Nyeri businesswoman and her daughter Winnie Wangui each have a new team of armed bodyguards who provide round-the-clock security. Interestingly, three of the people currently on presidential detail closely resemble those who had earlier been deployed to guard Wambui before the reshuffle.

Businessman Kamlesh Pattni is making good use of his passport. We hear that brother Pattni was the "elder" of the Asian community in Kenya during the recent Kenyan elders trip to Libya, courtesy of the "great leader of the great revolution" Col Muammar Gaddafi. Corridors of Power was left to speculate on how he got back his passport from the courts.

Was the chair of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Bethwel Kiplagat considering resigning sometime last week? We hear that during the induction seminar for the commission a fortnight ago, international experts rammed the point of a legitimate commission so much that Kiplagat started to weigh the options. The grey-haired former diplomat has been rejected by victims of past atrocities and civil society groups.

Talking of Kiplagat, we hear that the old man was almost conned when a quack masquerading as a journalist approached him with an offer to help clean his image in the face of public criticism. Unknowingly, the old man agreed to the offer but backed off when the con artist insisted on getting his cut first.

Minister for Special Programmes Naomi Shaaban pulled a fast one on guards at the Kenya Pipeline Company's Changamwe depot in Mombasa over the weekend. Inconspicuously tucked at the back of a Nissan Sunny car, Naomi let the guards subject the car to a thorough mandatory check only for them to get the shock of their lives when they realised it was her. The Taveta MP who was being driven by her younger sister to officiate at a function however told them it was quite in order.

Will the parties affiliated to ODM get a share of the huge chunk of money due to-the Orange party. Some of the affiliates are Water minister Charity Ngilu's Narc and the little-known POP of Richard Onyonka. The affiliates' officials say they should get a share in the money due from the Registrar of Political Parties as their three MPs add to the Orange party's parliamentary strength.

A Cabinet minister who strongly suspects he is on the Waki list of the post-election violence perpetrators and financiers has been consulting widely to find ways of putting up a strong defence. Among the options he has been considering is confessing to the deeds and throwing himself at the mercy of the court or alternatively hiring the best lawyers possible and putting up a formidable defence. If that fails, fall back to the tried and tested scenario to claim that his community is being unfairly targetted!

Assistant Minister for Sports Kabando wa Kabando wants the United States to go ahead and ban politicians from travelling to that country if there is credible evidence to support US government's claims that the people are responsible for delaying or frustrating reforms. Kabando told Corridors that issuing warning letters without evidence was reckless.

A senior assistant secretary who was recently deployed from the Provincial Administration to the Ministry of Housing and placed in charge of transport has been giving drivers sleepless nights. The man, the son of a former High Court judge, has confiscated all the fuel cards issued to all the ministry's drivers and taken on the responsibility. He either makes a call to the petrol station or personally drives to filling stations whenever government vehicles have to be fuelled. The man's style of micro-management has riled the drivers who are too scared to report the man because they are afraid of his "godfathers".

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