The scavengers; MPs united in greed

The scavengers; MPs united in greed

The Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) is a very important facility that must not be tampered with. NG-CDF cash is not pocket money for MPs. If anything, such an important facility should be strengthened.

It facilitates important development needs such as roads, school infrastructure, security infrastructure and bursaries. Leaders are elected by everybody and it is only fair the NG-CDF is used to improve the livelihoods of constituents.

When Constituency Development Fund (CDF) acquired its new name, National Government Constituencies Development Fund (NG-CDF), it meant that there would be   more money for schools and security-related projects such as police stations and police posts, as well as bursaries.

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This meant that CDF committees in constituencies were to be disbanded and fresh ones be set up under the new system. The MPs were to be more of observers than active participants in deciding how the fund is used, they were to also mobilize communities in coming up with projects that would benefit the whole community.

Nevertheless, the MPs forcefully oversee use of the funds and have a say on who sits in management committees.

Consequently, the Fund has been a pet project for MPs, who over the years have been using it to buy loyalty and financial muscle to campaign against their opponents, read (2022 succession battles).

About Sh5 billion is allocated to the NG-CDF in each of the 290 constituencies annually but the audit has revealed many constituencies have no documentation to back up huge expenses.

If managed better, NG-CDF money does small things with big impact, such as bursaries, improved roads and hospital infrastructure.

Former Auditor-General Edward Ouko had raised the red flag over blatant misuse of billions of shillings allocated to the National Government-Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).

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In the report, the Auditor General further revealed that bursary funds had also become a cash cow for “greedy” leaders. For instance in Laikipia East, Sh9.3 Million was set aside for bursary purposes with Limuru and Mukurweini constituencies allocating Sh4.9 and Sh5 Million respectively, funds that Ouko said could not be accounted for.

Former Kasarani MP Elizabeth Ongoro and her husband Ferdinand Masha Kenga have been summoned over Ksh. 48 million that was meant for construction of Kasarani Girls’ High School. Eight years ago, Masha Kenga was arrested and charged with stealing Ksh. 1.9 million from a CDF kitty.

The outspoken Gatundu South legislator Moses Kuria who has in the past accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of abandoning the Mt Kenya region in terms of development has a case to answer after it was revealed that he had incorporated his relatives in Gatundu’s CDF committee who went ahead and allocated a company run by his wife big tenders.

MPs, and women representatives who ought to oversee cash utilization, tend to deploy the money with political goals in mind.

They either spend it in areas where they have strong support at the exclusion of other areas or devote the resources to activities that give short-term populist results but are hardly sustainable.

Thus, ridiculous cases have been reported of MPs spending the cash on funerals or building houses for constituents. Often, projects stall when new MPs are elected.

Matters have been compounded with devolution, which came with a bigger basket for cash flow to the regions, creating room for project duplication or delay in execution.

Another fund that is equally being used as a tool to campaign for 2022 succession politics is NGAAF.  NGAAF is anchored on the Vision 2030 development blue print under the Social Pillar to address the plight of vulnerable groups through enhanced access to financial facilities for socio-economic empowerment among women, youth, Persons with Disabilities, needy children and elderly persons in the country.

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Contrary to this, the Inua Mama Initiative has since politicized this fund and only supporting women groups that have aligned themselves to DP Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid.  It is no longer on need bases but on ‘whose side you are on’ bases.

In Laikipia for instance, there is one group of women who have received cheques of Ksh4million and Ksh2.5million within the same budget year yet other groups have been applying severally for the same and not even a coin has been approved.

In his financial year ending June 2018 report, Auditor General Edward Ouko painted a gloomy picture of the ongoing at the kitty. These defeats the efforts woman MPs put in agitating for development funds similar to the National Government Constituency Development Fund.

Consequently, investigative authorities must take up the Auditor-General’s reports and institute comprehensive inquiries with a view of prosecuting those who misappropriate or misuse CDF cash.

Wanjiku crys as leaders laugh louder

Wanjiku crys as leaders laugh louder

Millions and millions of Kenyans work round the clock to earn a living for a decent life. Millions and millions of Kenyans live a hard-pressed life but the good thing is Wanjiku has learnt the art of optimism. Wanjiku does everything they know to provide for their families, get decent education, have a good life. Wanjiku duly and dutifully pays her taxes because she never wants to be on the other side of the law. But Wanjiku is feeling dejected because of the inadequacy of Kenyan leaders.

Kenyans voted, a majority did if not all and this was to elect leaders who would serve us as mandated by the law. From the President down right to the junior leaders, Kenyans expect a working nation with working leaders and not warring leaders solely focused on 2022 politics and appointed leaders such as Cabinet Secretaries chasing the paper through corrupt deals as they fatten up in their palatial offices and homes.

The country has a constitution and that constitution has defined the roles of our leaders but seems majority are in their own world. Every job has a job description with duties and responsibilities but our leaders are doing Kenyans a disservice and Wanjiku is totally exhausted with the crop of leaders fleecing our country, feeding us with poison, punishing our pockets because of their mistakes and doing nothing as Kenyans feel the heat from the high cost of living. Wanjiku has a message for you…

Wanjiku wants working and performing leaders and not governors who are always partying and engaging in unmentionable behaviours – our dear Governors Hassan Joho and Mike Sonko have shown us what living the ‘party life’ is all about, as their counties rot in filth. Kenyans have seen enough bickering of County Assemblies from different parts of the country with irate MCAs whose main work is to fight and embezzle county funds. Governors have turned out to be the main corruption suspects with a number of them being charged in court; Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal,  Kiambu Governor – Ferdinand Waititu, Homabay Governor – Cyprian Awiti, Migori Governor Okoth Obado, Nairobi governor- Mike Sonko as the list goes on and on. A shameful lot of leaders we have.

Wanjiku is angry with Cabinet Secretaries who ravage ‘Ministry’ billions and are thereby urging the President to perform his duties by first sacking these CSs as they have done enough havoc to our economy. The high cost of living has bludgeoned Wanjiku to live a destitute life full of despair with the ilk of Mwangi Kiunjuri, a man characterized by scandal after scandal, finally ensuring Kenyans serve aflatoxin in their meals. The man who loves food imports is now killing the local farmers source of income and now destroying the health of Kenyans, just because he is a major beneficiary of importation of fake rice, mercury laced sugar, maize flour in aflatoxin among other food imports.

Every Cabinet Secretary has their fair share of corrupt dealings and blunders. Sadly, Wanjiku has come to know Cabinet Secretaries with their respective scandals with the likes of Mwangi Kiunjuri milking farmers dry and now the poisonous leader, Sicily Kariuki sniffing the Health sector, Charles Keter the electricity inflator, Simon Chelugui and the illegal water connections, Amina Mohammed  and the Football Kenya Federation scandal and the list goes on and on. The Cabinet Secretary for Transport James Macharia also treats the transport ministry as his personal toy yard. This man James Macharia has over Sh100 billion of stalled projects on his wait list and the list keeps getting longer. He is a man who minces his words which are full of empty promises. More deadly accidents are killing Kenyans, city roads are in a pathetic condition, he has never implemented the 45-road safety enforcement and he even covered up a one Captain Martyne Lunani that involved Sh442,000 by the director of Aircraft Accident Investigation Department.

Enough has been said about MPs and their greed and we no longer know how sanity will be brought back in the National Assembly. They have increased their perks to the rooftop with no care in the world. There is no crop of elected leaders who have their act right in this country. What happened to integrity as a leader? Even the government communications team seems to have lost it following their frequent blunders of misinformation and their nonreactive nature leaving Kenyans to fill in the puzzle as far as disasters are concerned. The ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru even pointed out that government communication officers need to undergo training on issues to do with change. Not that he is a saint but interestingly that is his area showing the sense of disconnect he has with his Minstry.

All these issues are directly affecting Wanjiku and making life more and more unbearable. Kenyans can be and have been patient for a while but seems our leaders are hellbent on wrecking havoc to the Nation and living on the motto of ‘It is our time to eat’. Kenyans are watching and reviewing their mistakes on the choice of leaders they made. Too many wrongs never make a right, our leaders must stop living in oblivion and carry out their responsibilities as the law stipulates.

Maraga should just resign to save the Judiciary – Concerned Kenyan

Maraga should just resign to save the Judiciary – Concerned Kenyan

By David M.

Chief Justice David Kenani Maraga came out in the open and asked to be helped to run the Judiciary. He asked the people of Kenya and the public at large to assist him. It is very difficult to understand what kind of help he was seeking because he mixed a lot of issues—ranging from luxurious Mercedes S500, VIP treatment at airport lounges to under-funding of the institution he heads.

I have decided to help CJ Maraga by asking him to resign so as to give the Judiciary a new lifeline.

The Justice system is today in lackluster riddled with poor management and pure incompetence, bias and consequently bad service. I am not talking about perception, screaming headlines or a lack of proportional judgment. It’s about systemic failure. Every day seems to bring another example of grotesque incompetence on the part of our Judiciary that lies squarely near the Chief Justice’s doorsteps. I watched, in shock, his address to the nation this week, and I imagine most of you in Kenya did when the Chief Justice launched a scathing attack on the Executive, actually falling short of mentioning President Uhuru Kenyatta himself for the inadequacies at the Kenyan Judiciary.

This got me to the conclusion that perhaps, there is need to interrogate and review the system of governance and leadership of the Judiciary. Why did Maraga choose to speak of the kind of Mercedes Benz he aspires to have and underfunding of the judiciary all in one sentence. Why.

Somehow, and in particular the current justice system may not be fit for the purpose. It is inadequate in terms of its scope, it is inadequate in terms of its leadership style, management, systems and processes. The sad truth is that those who are supposed to assist in policy making like CJ Maraga are passing the blame.

This only happens when you have wrong people in the right place. That is why we want to assist him by telling him to resign. Drafters of the Kenyan Constitution did not help matters when they declared that there are three arms of government.’ We honestly feel there is a way this is confusing Maraga. It makes the likes of Maraga to think that him being the President of one arm of government is equal to, if not powerful to the Head of State. It’s time Kenyans considered reviewing such glaring loopholes in the Constitution.

Truth be told that up to now there has been a predictable pattern of failures/prejudice on the Judiciary in the way it has been carrying out its job yet Maraga, the man at the helm wants to lay blame elsewhere and hoodwink Kenyans into believing that such are not his failures but the executives’.

We are all aware of the leaks and career-ending embarrassments, Maraga should not pass responsibility but instead, choose to retire honourably and Kenyans will forever be grateful for his service. Kenyans want to remind CJ Maraga that inasmuch as there could be challenges; financial as he claims, dogging the Judiciary, there is always a better way to address them without necessarily appearing to lecture and belittle the Executive, because he fell short of mentioning the president.

The Chief Justice might have had some legitimate complaint, but the manner in which he chose to communicate them is worrying. Worrying because we are left wondering whether he has advisors or maybe he never takes their advice. Maraga should do the most honorable thing to resign instead of waiting for petitions to push him out.

The Maraga speak: For the judiciary or for himself?

The Maraga speak: For the judiciary or for himself?

A chauffeur driven Mercedes S500 with armed and robust body guards at my beck and call. Who would not want it? This is the question many Kenyans are asking and wondering in disbelief from a man mandated to practice servant-leadership. Maraga clearly stated that it is the Kenyan people he is serving but is now issuing threats of no service delivery if he is not upgraded and awarded due ‘status’ as he has observed in other countries, all at the expense of taxpayers’ money.

Another Sh14 million sleek Land cruiser V8 is always under Maraga’s beck and call, that comes with a customized number plate and a chauffeur with bodyguards. However, ‘the mighty man of the judiciary in his self-glorification says that is belittling his nature and status. “Where are the outriders?” he roars angrily. “Kenyans must know and acknowledge me when am in their midst!”

The mighty Maraga wants Kenyans to know when he is passing, with a siren and outriders cruising their way as they cruise around the Capital, the wider Kenya or even in his hometown Kisii as he inspects the numerous court constructions he envisions must be built despite the fact that Sh290 million has so far been wasted without any form of accountability to indicate where the money went.  It is no misfit that Maraga wanted to be a self-proclaimed President through the Judiciary coup after annulment of the presidential election but fate had it that Kenya would not plunge into such chaos and confusion.

The Maraga rant is unwarranted as all institutions and parastatals are facing budget cuts. All he is vouching for is the sympathy of Kenyans after coming to the realization that Kenyans have seen the ‘real face’ of the Judiciary. A judiciary full of corrupt judges and magistrates sitting under the Maraga umbrella as they are sure their ‘corrupt deals’ will not be curtailed. Moreover, coming from a non-performing Chief Justice issuing threats to Kenyans that there will be no service delivery is an act of irresponsibility.

Interestingly,  as Maraga claims that he was speaking for the Judiciary but the ‘I’s had it for the morning. In most occasions, Maraga live pressers are usually characterized by a parade of the Judicial Service Commission officials right behind him. However, Monday’s address showed a lone man fighting for his own selfish interests. Where was the Judicial Service Commission? Where was the corrupt Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu.

Kenyans let us not be fooled by a self-glorified individual. Respect is earned and never demanded. The chickens have come to roost and if Maraga cannot face the pressure and start performing by first dealing with corrupt judges, he must resign! But of course, we all heard it from the horse’s mouth, ‘I CANNOT RESIGN!’

Kenyans need service delivery and will not be manipulated by Maraga threats! Serve Kenyans and stop the empty rhetoric.

That Kenya is a ‘hustler Nation’ is a fallacy; DP Ruto must change his narrative

That Kenya is a ‘hustler Nation’ is a fallacy; DP Ruto must change his narrative

Deputy President William Ruto appears to have taken a cue from his political mentor, former President Daniel arap Moi, by adopting a grassroots campaign strategy, which he hopes to use as the launching pad for his 2022 presidential bid.

Ruto, who hopes to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, has been engaging directly with ordinary people with the aim of creating a strong grassroots network, which he intends to activate during his campaigns.

Moi is known for his elaborate political network, which he built using the then ruling party Kanu operatives and the provincial administration.

Lately, the DP has been photographed eating in roadside kiosks, entering manyattas and grass-thatched houses in rural areas and attending functions, which may be regarded as too “local” in a move calculated to endear himself to the ordinary voter.

Yesterday, Ruto had a busy day in Nyeri county, attending two church functions before sharing lunch with residents of Ruguru location in Mathira. Area MP Rigathi Gachagua hosted him.

Speakers at the gatherings encouraged him to continue with his countrywide tours, saying it was the only way to understand reality on the ground.

Although opinion is divided whether Ruto’s strategy will deliver results, it is a potential game changer.

Gatundu MP Moses Kuria, his Kimilili counterpart Didmus Barasa and former Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire yesterday told People Daily the grassroots strategy could benefit the DP.

“The strategy has sustained him. He is going directly to the people who vote. Kenyan voters love warmth and closeness,” said Kuria.

“The DP addressed more than 10,000 people in Mathira yesterday. He may pick a good chunk and replicate the same countrywide. The only challenge is that the man is currently racing against himself. It is too early. The picture will be clearer when the President hits the ground with the Building Bridges Initiative,” said Kuria.

Ruto’s allies have sent strong signals that they will oppose the initiative expected to come up with proposals that could alter the country’s power structure.

On Friday, he mocked his opponents “for sitting pretty in Nairobi waiting for leadership to fall on them”.

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Image result for Dp Ruto eating in kibandas

Image result for Dp Ruto eating in kibandas

Image result for Dp Ruto eating in kibanda

“I would like to tell some of my friends who are resting in Nairobi that leadership doesn’t come easily. That is why I am busy moving around delivering the projects we promised Kenyans in 2017,” he said.

According to Bosire, Ruto’s Moi-style “direct and speed interaction” with ordinary Kenyans could work for or disadvantage him.

“By going around dishing goodies in the name of implementing development projects, the DP is taking advantage of the vulnerabilities of poor and hungry people, who are likely to look up to him as a saviour.

He is depicting himself as a down-to-earth leader who understands the conditions of the ordinary people. By misleading people, he might harvest here and there,” Bosire said.

The former MP thinks the plan could be counter-productive as it projects the DP as a defiant and impatient man with a strong sense of entitlement.

“He has been running around alone campaigning against the advice of his boss and has built an alternative centre of power. He might find himself unable to move around if his boss finds him a liability,” he added.

But Barasa thinks Ruto’s trips will translate into votes.

“The difference between Raila Odinga and the DP’s tours is that while Raila is telling riddles, Ruto is preaching development,” the MP said.

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Women legislators allied to DP Ruto referring to themselves as ‘Inua Mama Initiative’ during one of their grassroots visits.  Photo/Courtesy

The DP has been working with friendly MPs to organise political gatherings under the guise of launching projects and attending church services.

Some of the functions – he can hold five in a day – end with rallies. The DP has also been hosting the clergy and political leaders at his Karen and Uasin Gishu residences.

Lately, the DP is hardly at his workstation in Harambee Annex. Since July 1, he has graced at least 139 events in 34 counties, which include launching county or CDF projects, an inspection of national projects, funerals, homecoming parties, weddings and church services.

Moreover, he has attended graduation functions in at least four polytechnics in the past two months.

His boss, the President, has not been excited by the flurry of political activity as associated with his deputy, who he has unsuccessfully asked to stop early campaigns, in what he once termed as “kutanga tanga” (loitering around). The DP used the term to advance his tours.

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 Inua Mama Initiative members during their grassroot visit. Photo/Courtesy

Like Moi, the DP has recruited foot soldiers in almost every constituency who are responsible for planning his events. He has also assembled an army of bloggers who flood social media spaces with messages that push his agenda.

Besides, Ruto has also deployed his son, Nick, who has visited parts of the country to raise funds in churches as he rallies support for his father. In the past two months, Nick, a businessman, has been to Mombasa and Siaya counties for harambees.

In addition to his own tours, the DP has formed the Inua Mama grouping, which comprises women leaders backing him and is reported to be financing their grassroots activities.

In return, the women leaders sell his 2022 bid to beneficiaries of their activities.

During the last four months, he has been to Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bomet, Kericho, Nandi, West Pokot, Kisii, Kakamega, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Nakuru, Laikipia, Marsabit, Turkana and Samburu counties.

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MPs allied to DP Ruto while visiting one of the churches in the country.  Photo/Courtesy

He has also visited Narok, Kajiado, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Tana River, Kitui, Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma, Migori and Nyamira counties. Sometimes he crisscrosses two or three counties in one day.

For instance, between September 12 and 16, Ruto had 21 events in Tana River, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Kwale and Mombasa counties that have been opposition strongholds. Most of the events were organised by Woman Reps or MPs allied to him.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, a fierce Ruto critic, says the DP’s visits are futile unless he creates a good relationship with regional kingpins who are key factors in a presidential election.

For instance, according to Ngunjiri, no matter how many trips Ruto makes to Mt Kenya region, without Uhuru’s endorsement in 2022, “whatever he is doing is a waste of time and resources”.

“If the President was to make an announcement against him, that would be the end of him because Uhuru’s influence will determine the political direction the region will take. If he says it’s not Ruto all his visits will be in vain,” Ngunjiri said.

But political analyst Dismas Mokua thinks Ruto’s strategy “will definitely work in his favour”.

He argues that in Africa, the familiarity of a candidate is a key factor, and that is what Ruto is doing.

This, Mokua said, is why Ruto’s foot soldiers have since the 2017 election constantly organised visits, especially in areas where he is deemed “unwanted” so that he can create familiarity and forge a relationship with voters.

 

Standard Media Group – the breadbasket of lies and propaganda

Standard Media Group – the breadbasket of lies and propaganda

The practice of journalism in Kenya has tremendously grown however, the issue of ethics has proven to be a jargon to those who are in practice. Simplistically ethics in media entails providing information that is true, accurate and fair; avoiding biasness especially on matters of public interest. It is about integrity and giving your audience factual information and not that which is construed through lies. But what happens when a whole media house is hellbent on pushing propaganda, feeding Kenyans with lies as a strategy to pursue personal interests of employees? Where are the checks and balances if the top leadership right from the Chief editor intentionally provide falsified information without any verification?

From giving Kenyans false information on the Standard Gauge railway to glorifying corruption, the Standard media group have engaged in cheap propaganda. Over the years, the media house has been on a downward trend in sales as well and advertising revenue as they have lost clout over their audiences and being overtaken by other media houses. This is especially because of their biasness in reportage as well as openly lying to Kenyans through their newspaper articles.

The Standard Media Group openly lied to Kenyans preaching gloom and doom for various government projects and initiatives that are set to catapult the country towards a middle-class economy. For instance, a one Dominic Omondi in all his articles dwells on creating fear in the country based on unverified figures and giving his own estimates without verified statistical figures. He is common in using phrases that skew facts and ultimately distorts reality. In one of the articles the said reporter mentioned that there were 545 stalled projects valued at Sh365.9 billion as of June 2018 yet he intentionally fails to mention these ‘stalled projects’ and yet in the same article bashes the SGR which currently has two phases complete with the recent Phase 2 having being opened in October.

This is no surprise from the media house as they have over the past five years been making desperate moves in a bid to recoup their lost glory. With rising competition from other media houses, they have struggled with marketing of their print and digital media as more advertisers turn away to other media houses. In their desperation Standard media Group back in 2016, hired Denis Galava as Chief Editor immediately he was fired at Nation Media Group. An expert propagandist, Galava had become a liability towards Nation Media Group’s reputation as they were shunning propaganda, having well invested in digital media to move its products.

As journalism is business, standard media group, has grown to become the breadbasket of lies and falsified information more so becoming a tabloid or the street name of ‘gutter press’. Paying total disregard to the code of conduct for journalist some of which are provide in the Media Act, this man Denis Galava was able to propagate lies to make sales continuously pursuing his personal vendetta against the government. Indeed the lies worked for the media house whose sales then increased from a circulation of 50000 to 70000.

Despite letting him go, Dennis Galava was recently rehired as the standard media print circulation tumbled again. The newspaper is based on lies as journalists are instructed to be sensational in their reportage with no need of verification of facts. It is a free far all media house so long as the figures make sense at the close of business. With zero strategy on maintaining its market the media house is convinced that propaganda is their road to success.

Consultation and review is a requirement before a story is published but if the chief editor and journalists in a media house are affiliated to politicians and accept to be used who will save Kenyans from these paltry of lies? The media needs to give information that is authentic and verified without creating animosity, hatred towards individual, communities or leaders. It is about giving the true facts and not swaying the public towards a certain direction. Will riding on controversy and propaganda catapult standard media to selling more newspapers and gaining clout? Is that their ultimate marketing strategy? Let us stop buying the lies!