The Star Corridors of Power Political Gossip

Henry Kosgey may be the ODM chairman but over the weekend he may have realised he had been played by his Rift Valley colleagues when he was given and took up the first chance to address a gathering of elders at Eldoret. Traditionally, the protocol observed in meetings is to have the least important people speak first and the last word is left to the person deemed the most important. Nobody else is supposed to speak after this person. Whatever the case, Kosgey spoke first and Agriculture minister William Ruto spoke last in what his henchmen tell us was a not so subtle reminder to all and sundry that the Eldoret North MP's status as the king of Rift Valley is unchallenged.

The strange habit by an ODM MP to never let his bodyguards and drivers know his home in the city has been adopted by another MP, this one from the PNU side. Like his ODM counterpart, the flamboyant PNU MP has issued strict instructions to his driver and security to drop him off every evening at a city hotel and pick him up there the next morning. The strange thing is, neither of the two are booked in as long-term guests of the hotels they have made their "homes."

Something seems to be going on as far as the settlement of IDPs is concerned. We hear that the initial sum agreed as compensation was Sh10,000 which was gazetted by President Kibaki. However, following complaints that the amount was inadequate for the IDPs to start life afresh, some Cabinet ministers and senior civil servants are reported to have argued for the amount to be raised to Sh35,000. Whether this has been gazetted or not is not the issue, it is the growing complaints that some of the money is yet to be accounted for.

A senior official at Maseno University is being accused of "grabbing" a car bought by the University. Those in the know tell us that the official has become very hostile to anyone who dares question his "personalisation" of the campus vehicle. He has even threatened to fire anyone who asks questions about the car, a brand-new Pajero, whose green registration number plate — denoting it belongs to a public institution — has been replaced with the normal yellow one indicating the car is private. All this, we hear, was done on instructions of the official.

Our moles tell us that several district commissioners who expected to be promoted to deputy provincial commissioners were "cheated" out of the promotions by some senior civil servants. According to some of those affected, the list of DCs to be promoted was ready for action but when Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura fell sick, the list was doctored and some of the DCs were dropped and their names substituted.

Maina Njenga's vehement denials that he is not interested in political office may just be hot air and have not convinced anyone, least of all his close associates. The talk among the Kenya National Youth Alliance is that Njenga might take on Ferdinand Waititu in Embakasi or even George Saitoti in Kajiado North. They say the man has many supporters in the two constituencies and would make a formidable rival to anyone he decides to run against.

Officials of some sporting associations are quietly getting signatures in a petition they want to present to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga requesting that they sack Sports minister Hellen Sambili. The associations accuse the minister of interfering in the management of sports and failing to consult them. But the big question is, isn't it her responsibility to keep the associations on the straight and narrow?

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