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Corridors of Power | The Star, Kenya

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Has agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri abandoned the Sugar industry taskforce that President Uhuru Kenyatta set up during this year’s Madaraka Day celebrations? Well, nine weeks since the team was formed, a mole whispered to Corridors of Power that the CS has left everything to his co-Chair and Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya citing his packed diary. Stakeholders are now questioning if the CS is out to sabotage the President’s efforts to turnaround the sugar industry in this country. Surprisingly, there has been no word on the payment of Sh2.7 billion for payment of and millers. The National Treasury and Kilimo Houses are mum over the matter even after the 30-day deadline set by the President lapsed. Is there some mischief behind the silence? Well, only time will tell.

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Have some broke MPs turned Deputy President William Ruto into a cash cow? It has emerged that some of the MPs who hang around the DP, do so for their selfish interests especially when they are broke. Sadly they position themselves for fat handouts whenever the DP is visiting their areas. Apparently,some MPs from the Coast region, where Ruto has made frenetic campaigns, were overhead celebrating that the leader will visit their region and were even rehearsing on what they will say in rallies to earn political ‘Bonga’ points as they grinned from ear to ear. Interestingly, they only preach and sing Ruto’s name when he is with them in the region but when he flies away, the praises die a natural death.

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Will MPs receive their usual Sh100, 000 Christmas token from President Uhuru Kenyatta this time around? Well, the Jubilee lawmakers have been receiving the money annually as an appreciation for ‘a work well done’ but it could be a big doubt this year. The handshake deal could have neutralized the annual ritual with State House said to be noncommittal as to whether the money would be available. With President Uhuru Kenyatta away in Australia, the MPs must be prepared for a dejected Christmas if they don’t recuse other sources of income before they are plunged into an economic crisis. Some of the Jubilee MPs used with the handouts were overheard complaining on Monday that they don’t see the money forthcoming. If all the 416 MPs were to get each Sh100,000 then it means the presidency must spend up to sh41.6 million.

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Did the parliamentary service commission slam brakes on a globetrotting senior official? Corridors of Power is aware that the PSC-the statutory organ that employs MP- was concerned with the high number of international trips the official made by October this year and decided that they suspend any other international tours. It was reportedly resolved in the full commission plenary that all other trips must be sanctioned by the commission in a bid to control the public wage bill. It was indeed a sad year 2018 for the senior official of parliament. There are reports that he has been quietly grumbling over the trips ban.

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