The Star Corridors of Power Political Gossip

Assistant minister Omingo Magara who has appealed the petition verdict that nullified his election as South Mugirango MP on Tuesday kept a senior judicial officer waiting after he failed to keep an appointment he had made to discuss some urgent matter. The judiciary official's secretary was at one point forced to call Magara to remind him he was running late for the appointment. Those in the know now tell us that Magara did not make his appointment and it was rescheduled for today.

We are told a youthful MP from Ukambani caught a heavy dose of the Christmas spirit and decided to be "sufficiently philanthropic" by booking 25 of his friends at the luxurious Serena Beach hotel for a week-long holiday. The MP is reported to have paid close to Sh30,000 daily for each of the 24 guests whose airfare he also footed. By the end of the fun and games, the MP is reported to have splashed at least Sh5 million for the holiday.

The CEO of a huge parastatal with offices in Mombasa visited some witch doctors last weekend to seek 'protection' because he has apparently fallen out with his bosses and some influential politicians want to push him out of office. His senior managers and staff are also up in arms over his management style. We are told that the CEO spent the better part of last weekend in the hands of four Kaya elders in one of the largest Kayas in Kaloleni. A total of four goats were slaughtered in the forest as the CEO underwent rituals to preserve his job. And to ensure the charms worked, the CEO drove two Kaya elders into his office at night to install other charms to "stop" his sacking.

Corridors has learnt that yet another parastatal chief got his current post courtesy of a well known female activist. The high profile activist apparently delivered some cash to the recruiting agency to ensure that the CEO topped the short-list of those chosen for consideration. The minister responsible went ahead to appoint the man but since his appointment the CEO has ignored the minister and even board members which has infuriated them and they are now planning to kick the CEO out.

A prominent Cabinet minister from Nyanza has raised eyebrows for allegedly spending an inordinate amount of time attending to 'guests' who call on him at his office. While it is to be expected that a minister would invariably have many 'visitors', it is the fact that the two 'guests' are always some two young women. They two women call on him separately at different times of the day. When one or the other 'guest' enters the office, the minister drops everything he is doing. Even when in a staff meeting with some of his ministry staff, he orders them to go away so that he can attend to his 'visitor'. These meetings with his 'guests' go on for so long that even senior officers who want to complete their briefings or seek his guidance are turned away on the pretext that the minister is 'busy.'

The same minister reportedly made some Sh10 million and blew it up in just one week! We are told that the minister got the money from a deal that he cut a few months before Christmas. Once the cash was delivered, the minister is said to have literally abandoned his work and booked the next flight to Seychelles where he went to relax and rest. When he returned after three days, the man was flat broke after spending the money on fun and games. Talk of enjoying life to the fullest!

The political secrets of First President Jomo Kenyatta, those of his successor Daniel Moi as well as President Kibaki are about to be released to the public through a book by retired Anglican Archbishop David Gitari. The retired archbishop has already completed the chapters on Kenyatta and Moi and he is putting the final touches on Kibaki's legacy. Interestingly, Gitari argues that there is very little to write about Kibaki compared to his predecessors.

Remember the parastatal chief whose sacking is imminent after the release of an audit report implicating him in some dirty deals? Well, it seems that the board's patience with the man's shenanigans is soon reaching an end after they discovered that the CEO has been implementing strategies without their authorisation and then expecting them to rubber-stamp the same.

A senior politician who suspects he is likely to be indicted by the International Criminal Court met various representatives from the internally displaced camps over the Christmas holiday and gave them gifts of Sh10,000 each and promised more if they persuade any of the camp members not to give out any information that may incriminate him.

A flamboyant assistant minister from Nyanza embarrassed a colleague from Western at the executive section of a local commercial bank near Continental House when he went to withdraw cash. The MP loudly asked the teller to withdraw Sh50,000 from his account so that he could give it to his colleague who was very broke. Everyone within earshot turned to look at the MP and his embarrassed colleague who was just standing behind the minister!

A newly appointed parastatal chief might be forced to make an early exit from his position after a report by the auditor general recommended that he should be barred from holding public office after he was found guilty of financial impropriety in yet another parastatal where he was in charge of finances. The man's imminent departure might be forced through by the publication of the damning auditor general's report.

The publication of an item about the illegal curfew in Makadara being enforced by a top cop sent him into a total panic after his bosses at Vigilance House demanded to know why he had imposed and was enforcing the curfew. The man, who was transferred from Kisumu recently did not interfere with the Makadara residents' New Year celebrations. What is however intriguing is that the senior cop was spotted enjoying a few drinks at a known chang'aa den in the area on New Year's eve.

Pressure may be mounting to have Uhuru Kenyatta distance himself from the nascent Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Kamba alliance that dominated the political scene last month. According to people in his camp, the Deputy Prime minister has been advised that continuing with the alliance which brings together Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Agriculture minister William Ruto and Tourism minister Najib Balala will reduce him into a tribal chief and harm his attempts to win support across the country as a potential presidential candidate in 2012.

Remember Maurice Dzoro, the former Minister for Tourism who was accused by his former assistant minister Kalembe Ndile of dancing Ndombolo instead of working? We are told that the man from Kaloleni is about to finish his Masters degree through distance learning. We are told by some of his family members that Dzoro wants to prove to his critics that he too is learned and his opponents should not use his education status to campaign against him. The former minister has been quietly lobbying to get a diplomatic appointment and his latest academic qualifications are only meant to enhance his chances.

A group of MPs from Nyanza Province are planning to introduce a motion in Parliament to amend sections of the Mau report. We are told that the legislators are targeting former Kanu officials who got the land without paying a single cent because " they stole". One of them told Corridors that they are determined to ensure that the "thieves" do not earn anything because they are likely to use those earnings to fight Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

The IIEC is under the microscope for allegedly appointing some people for jobs the individuals did not apply. Whatever the reasons, those who missed out on getting the appointments are unwilling to accept their failure gracefully and are now bandying about all manner of allegations.

A senior police officer in Makadara constituency is enforcing an illegal curfew on residents. The man who was recently transferred from Kisumu has issued instructions to police on patrol to arrest anyone who is out of their house after 9 pm. The residents live in fear of the police who demand 'something small' from anyone found in breach of the 'curfew'. The patrols have not stopped the robbers who now break into the homes after the policemen end their patrol 'shift'.

Fire engines and ambulances belonging to the City Council of Nairobi have been grounded because the person responsible for signing the cheque to pay for fuel and lubricants supplies has been away on Christmas holiday. The man has reportedly told those who have contacted him that the reason he has not returned to the office as he is nursing a boil.

The desire by the Annual New Year bash organisers at State House Mombasa to pep up the usually humdrum programme will remain just that— an unfulfilled desire. The organisers wanted to "hijack" the Tanzanian bongo flava artiste Ali B and have him perform at the bash. The attempts were made on Tuesday but Ali B's Kenyan promoters refused to release him from the contract he has signed to perform at a New Year event in Nakuru. The concert has been months in the planning and with thousands if not a million or two expected in gate charges, the promoters refused to release Ali B.

It might be the truth or the stuff of fiction. Whatever the case, a key political party tried to saturate the Committee of Experts with specific views held by the party. The party reportedly hired university and college students to craft thousands of memos using pen-names which they then inundated the COE with during the 30-day period when the public was supposed to make their views known on the draft constitution. The students were hired through a human resource firm and worked on the memos at a city hotel before submitting them to the unsuspecting CoE.

Abuse of political office is not the reserve of Kenyan politicians. Some Tanzanians MPs are upset with President Jakaya Kikwete and senior officials of his Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party for investing millions of shillings in 200 cars which the party intends to use next year during its campaigns. But the Tanzanians are not quibbling over the model of the vehicles to be bought as their Kenyan counterparts did when Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta decided to buy the VW Passats. The Tanzanians want to know: What is the source of the millions to be spent on the vehicles?

President Kibaki and the First Family's absence at the Christmas Day service at the Holy Ghost Cathedral in Mombasa has been speculated upon for days since then. The presidential security detail had completed all the arrangements, the red carpet was laid out and all was in readiness to receive the president only for him to fail to turn up. The over-enthusiastic presidential guard not only blocked off several roads within the vicinity of the church but also ordered vehicles parked along Nkrumah road towed away at their owners expense only for the President and family not to show! The question is, will State House compensate the motorists for the towing costs and the inconvenience caused?

From browbeaten motorists in Mombasa to angry patrons at a Malindi hotel. This time, the cause of patrons' anger was the decision by the management of a well known establishment to turn away guests who had lunch and dinner reservations just because the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka was expected there at the same time. Not only were they locked out of the hotel, the patrons did not even get an apology or explanation from the hotel management and are now demanding compensation for inconveniences suffered.

Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetangula wants Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa locked out of the Ford-Kenya leadership contest which is due in the next few months. Wamalwa has expressed interest in taking over from chairman Musikari Kombo. Wamalwa has also been cited as a possible presidential candidate for Jimi Kibaki's Simama Kenya outfit.

Speaking of Simama Kenya, we are told that some politicians from Central Kenya are getting very worried that its patron Jimi Kibaki may further split the region's vote. We hear that some very influential and politically correct people within the region are getting convinced that it would be dangerous to allow Kibaki Junior to support a presidential candidate from another community because he may just deliver some votes to that candidate instead of "one of our own".

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and his cousin Public Health minister Beth Mugo must have wished they had chartered a plane to their holiday destination in Ukunda. The two were caught up in heavy traffic in Mombasa as they headed for the ferry in their special tourist van.

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