The Star Corridors of Power Political Gossip

WHAT'S it with our assistant ministers? Yet another assistant minister unsuccessfully tried to seduce her driver over the weekend to the dismay of the man who decided to let Corridors in on the situation. The man said his boss summoned him to go to her home on Saturday night so that he could driver her to the airport. She insisted that he should not pick up her bodyguard but to go to her home alone. When he got there, he was received by his very intoxicated boss who was nearly naked. Shocked by her appearance, the man was further taken aback when she told him she had no intention of going anyway and that the idea was a ruse to have the driver come to her home and perform what she said would still be 'official duty." The driver did not succumb and he says he will this morning be seeking to be transferred to another ministry!

Simama Kenya may be a movement but speculation is rife it might evolve into a party to become the vehicle for President Kibaki's son Jimmi to vie for his father's seat in Othaya. In case that doesn't work out, there is always the possibility of the man forming his own party!

Some Muslim scholars suspect that a senior Cabinet minister from Central Kenya may be sponsoring some church leaders who are opposed to the inclusion of the Kadhi's court in the new constitution. A meeting by scholars at Yaya centre, Nairobi, was recently told that it was not mere coincidence that most of those who have been vocally opposed to the Kadhi's court come from the region and are close to the politician.

Remember the internally displaced people who were reported to have walked from Limuru to Naivasha? Now we are told that some of them did not actually walk and an MP has obtained video footage showing that some of them were ferried by trailer truck and dropped just before Naivasha town and walked the rest of the way to be met by journalists. Those in the know tell us that the whole event was staged-managed by some politicians in Central Kenya and senior officials in the Office of the President to create the impression that the Ministry of Special Programmes had failed in its duties.

A minister who has presidential ambitions has been behaving badly. The minister has reportedly been named as the person responsible for impregnating many young girls in his region and now several elders have decided to talk to him because the matter is likely to hurt his political ambitions.

We are told that some people who wanted to donate money during Prime Minister Raila Odinga's harambee at Kibera on Saturday returned home with their cash because they were unhappy that former Makadara MP Reuben Ndolo was the MC. The guests felt Ndolo acknowledge their presence or even mention the amount of cash they were contributing.

An MP from Western Kenya has been forced to use taxis after auctioneers raided his parking lot and drove away with his two brand new cars because he had not paid for them. The MP, who lives in a rented apartment in Kilimani had apparently taken the two cars, one Mercedes Benz E 200 and a Hummer on credit promising to pay up within three months. But nine months down the line, the man had not paid up and the owner decided to repossess the cars and auction them to recover his money.

A former Cabinet minister made millions of shillings from the misfortunes of Internally Displaced People by procuring substandard construction materials at inflated prices. The man is reported to be among those contracted to supply the materials. A confidential audit report prepared by the Efficiency Monitoring Unit cited the minister's firm as one of those that inflated the cost of building materials.

IDPs beware! We are told that some people, supported by well known politicians, are going round IDP camps claiming that they are agents of the International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo. They are telling the IDPs that they have been sent to confirm how many IDPS still exist in the camps so that they can be compensated. Ocampo has indicated that some IDPs could be compensated. The fake agents are asking each IDP to pay Sh1,000 as registration fee to be included in a list of those who will be compensated.

The Law Society of Kenya might soon find itself in court as one of its former employees has filed a wrongful dismissal suit. The Okong'o Omogeni led council is scheduled to start holding its nationwide elections soon.

Speaking of LSK, we are told that some of its council members are lobbying to be appointed to the Bench. Some of them have been openly seeking the assistance of anyone they think can help. The Judiciary has vacancies for at least 10 more judges and some of those who may have served in the council are eligible if they do not want to defend their positions and are interested in going into public service.

The plot against politicians who sponsored or participated in the post- election violence has thickened. Apart from the adult relatives and family members who were injured and rendered homeless, testimony is now being collected from children affected by the violence. The accounts by the children, which are being collected by an international NGO dealing with children's rights, will be presented to the International Criminal Court
Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Parents in a number of city primary schools are up in arms against plans to reintroduce the school milk programme. But this time round, the milk will not be subsidised like it was under Moi. Instead, parents are expected to pay Sh7,000 a term per child for the milk which will be given to the children three times a week. A packet of milk sells for Sh15.

A senior ODM Cabinet minister has reportedly 'fallen in love' with the sister of his Cabinet colleague who holds sway in the politics of the region he represents. The man is hoping that the relationship, which he has been pursuing ardently for the last few months, will come in handy during the next elections. Reason? He has realised that his Cabinet colleague may switch his support to a political rival and thereby bring his political career to an end. The minister has decided to get intimate with the sister of his influential colleague in the hope that she can intervene at his hour of need.

John Haroun Mwau may not be in the public limelight a lot but we are told the PICK boss is working behind the scenes together with Water Minister Charity Ngilu and Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo to establish a new political order in Ukambani. The trio are hoping to have their group elected to Parliament as part of the plan to stop Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka from realising his presidential ambition.

Retired President Moi once refused to meet with the Yash Pal Ghai-led team of constitution commissioners after someone showed him a wrong copy of the draft constitution. The Ghai team had secured an appointment with Moi to brief him on the final draft but apparently some mischievous person gave the former President a 'fake' copy of the draft which contained proposals that made Moi very angry and he promptly decided to cancel the appointment.

Speaking of Moi, a senior Kanu official who owes his political career to Nyayo grooming is behaving very badly. We are told the man has become so disrespectful that he snubs calls from the former President — disregarding any courtesy. We are now told his behaviour has caused concern among some of the party stalwarts who are wondering why the official is ignoring the former President.

The daughter to a Cabinet minister from Rift Valley is very upset with her father. The University of Nairobi Student is unhappy with her father because he has been seducing her friends. The minister is understood to have hit on so many young girls from the university that some of them decided to tell his daughter. The daughter reported the matter to her mother who then confronted her philandering husband.

Another Cabinet minister has asked one of his lecturers to award him top marks for the exams he has not sat. The minister was going for part-time classes until a few months back when he stopped. He was nowhere to be seen when his classmates sat the exams and when he finally remembered his books the minister told his lecturer, "Just give me good marks and I will appoint you to a senior position in my ministry".

Word has it that some people in government are looking for witnesses who will implicate a senior politician from Central Kenya and a former Nairobi MP in the post-election violence. Those involved, we are told, want the two sacrificed to save a senior Cabinet minister believed to be on the Waki List that was given to the International Criminal Court by Kofi Annan.

Officially police have denied that the dreaded Kwekwe Squad which has been accused of extra-judicial killings has been disbanded but unofficially the squad is still existing and
some of its team leaders now want it disbanded. They argue that the officers under the unit have become unruly and no longer take instructions from their seniors.

An MP has been playing hide-and-seek games with court orderlies who want to serve him with a summons to appear in court to answer to charges of failing to remit child support. The MP from Central Kenya is alleged to be the father of a child he sired with a young woman who worked as his personal assistant. He allegedly promised to maintain the mother and child but a year since the child was born, he has neither visited nor assisted her. Out of frustration, the young woman filed a court suit last week, and obtained orders requiring the politician to appear in court but he has since been evading court process servers by increasing his security detail to screen all the people who come close to him.

Several MPs were stunned on Thursday when a Cabinet minister fell ill within Parliament Buildings but flatly refused to be taken to hospital insisting that he was OK and did not need medical attention. The MPs were forced to carry the minister to the House lounge where they laid him on a settee so that he could recover. The minister regained consciousness after a few minutes and was even well enough to go to the Chamber where he responded to a question shot by one of the MPs!

A Cabinet minister walked up to the CEO of a parastatal under his ministry and demanded Sh500,000 cash. It "is not clear why the minister wanted the money but the CEO refused to give in to the demand saying that he could not be able to justify or even account for the money. Unwilling to accept the CEO's explanation, the minister insisted the CEO must find the money "from somewhere within the parastatal and give it to me".

A group of MPs from Central Province allied to a senior politician from the region are planning to hold a demonstration outside the US Embassy in Nairobi to show solidarity with Attorney General Amos Wako who has been banned from travelling to the US.

The Ministry of Tourism is in the news again for all the bad reasons. Some employees at the ministry are accusing their seniors of nepotism and tribalism in recommending staff for training. We are told that some of those being hired to work in various departments within the Najib Balala-led ministry are not just related to the senior managers but are not qualified to hold such positions. Balala, isn't this an issue you need to deal with especially because your ODM party promised to end such things when its leaders, including yourself, were campaigning in 2007?

Still on matters of employment, what is happening at the Kenya School of Law? We are told one of the senior managers at the school is not qualified for the position he holds. The manager is apparently not an advocate of the High Court and his own colleagues have been wondering why the man has continued to serve in the managerial position. It is stipulated one must be an advocate of the High Court to occupy the position.

Drivers of several ministers and assistant ministers who drove the new Passats to Mombasa for the weekend Cabinet retreat are complaining that the cars are guzzling a lot of fuel. Two of them told Corridors that they used more money on fuel than their colleagues who drove the 1800 cc Mercedes Benz. Question is, will the government really make any savings from the Passats?

What do you do with a policeman who loses his swagger stick (a baton usually carried by a uniformed officer as a symbol of authority)? Corridors picked up the swagger stick at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Friday after the airport disaster preparedness drill and we are wondering how a senior administration police officer could lose his/her symbol of authority? Is it that he/she just did not care or was he/she trying to put a message through to his boss Kinuthia Mbugua? Corridors has the silver-capped stick bearing regimental insignia just in case the officer wants it back.

We are told that one of the Artur brothers may have sneaked back into the country recently. He came to pick up the dog they were forced to leave behind when they were deported. The Artur brother was able to come back because despite the manner of the duo's departure, they were not declared prohibited immigrants and therefore can still visit Kenya.

Speaking of the Arturs, just what happened to the grand plan to wed Winnie, the daughter of high-profile political activist Mary Wambui? Local media were so enthusiastic about the impeding nuptials between Artur Margaryan and Winnie but the whole thing seems to have fizzled out after the brothers were deported.

Kenyans may not value the knowledge and experience Prof Yash Pal Ghai has gained over the years on constitutional matters but in other parts of the world, he is well respected and regarded. Just the other day, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso who is both the head of state and spiritual leader of Tibet picked Ghai to advise him on matters constitutional. Ghai, who is currently in Rome to meet with the Dalai Lama, is expected to advise him on how to make Tibet autonomous. Remember Ghai also helped write the Afghanistan constitution but his work at Bomas was trashed!

LAST week a hard-up media consultant thought up a good wheeze - to exploit his friendship with American Ambassador Michael Ranneberger in getting a travel visa for a former close associate of ex-President Moi. The two rolled up to the ambassador's Muthaiga residence and rang the bell, only to be told to get lost. The ambassador has now apparently cut off relations with the media consultant.

Some senior managers at the National Social Security Fund have been fighting the managing trustee Alex Kazongo. While some are starting to show outright insubordination, others are quietly taking their sweet time to implement directives. We are told that the managers have conspired among themselves to frustrate Kazongo because they want him fired. Those in the know say the situation may get worse in the coming days unless the board intervenes.

The son of an assistant minister from Western Kenya who quit his job at a local bank recently shocked neighbours in Ngong after he locked himself in his room and threatened to commit suicide to protest what he said was his father's neglect of him and over-pampering his sisters. The minister, who harbours presidential ambitions, was not taken in by the boy's antics and even called in a few friends and relatives to witness the "suicide". When they arrived, the MP went on to taunt the boy to hurry up with his suicide so they could start arranging his funeral. It took the intervention of an uncle to prevail upon the boy not to take his life.

Politicians are streaming to Foreign Affairs ministry to seek favours for relatives and friends. We are told most of them want their people hired and those who are already working in the ministry posted out of the country because of the perks that come with an overseas posting.

The girlfriend of a senior Cabinet minister from Central Province who works in Parliament has annoyed many MPs and ministers for treating them with disrespect and outright arrogance. A minister who tried to talk to her was taken aback when the woman, who is in her late 20s, told him off and boasted that nobody could discipline her because her boyfriend was rich and powerful.

A Cabinet minister from Rift Valley has been lying to his in-laws that he "dumped" his wife. Word has it that the man has told his in-laws that their daughter was associating with his political enemies which he found untenable. The reality is however different. Those in the know say the man's wife left him because he used to beat her and just wouldn't stop sleeping around.

Political circles are agog with the antics of a minister who flew a girl to Mombasa for a night and ended up paying her Sh1 million. The girl flew back to Nairobi and was overheard boasting that she had made a killing from the minister. She did not seem unduly perturbed when her friends alerted her to the fact that the minister was actually HIV-positive and she should have used protection.

A vehicle belonging to a senior policeman was used to ferry mourners to the burial of Mungiki spokesman Njuguna Gitau. Our mole tells us that the newly acquired City Shuttle bus which is linked to a deputy police commissioner was among the vehicles that carried mourners to Ngoliba village in Thika where Gitau was buried onTuesday.

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