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Corridors of Power | The Star, Kenya



A senior Kisumu county official is in the bad books of parliamentarians. He allegedly tried to block them from a closed-door meeting with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Raila met county officials before the launch of a dredger last week. The official, said to have started early campaigns for a parliamentary seat in the lakeside city, is accused of misusing his closeness to the county chief to gain political mileage and settle political scores. Moles told Corridor it took the intervention of former Kisumu deputy governor Ruth Odinga (above) to have the legislators allowed into the meeting after the all-powerful official gave instructions that only county officials will attend the meeting with Raila.

 So how is bitumen being cleared at the Port of Mombasa and are there some underhand tactics? Well, traders in the construction industry want the managements of the Kenya Bureau of Standards and the Kenya Revenue Authority to investigate and dismantle a cartel that has reportedly been clearing substandard bitumen products at the port. The cartel, which is well-connected is slowly pushing local industry players out of business, with the government losing millions in revenue. KRA Commissioner General John Njiraini and the new Kebs bosses should spearhead the crackdown.

 All is not well in a ministry headed by a Cabinet secretary who enjoys good media relationship. An insider at the ministry tells Corridors that some heads of department have complained they are facing it rough in the hands of a female communications officer assigned to the CS. It is said the official has been using unprofessional language not only to the bosses at the ministry, but also outsiders. Word has it that the official has been boasting she is untouchable. The staff wonder if the woman ever attended any classes on public relations and if she is of any help to the CS.

Have some of the parastatals and commission chief executive officers gone mute on a top Jubilee politician and his associates? Some of the politician’s bosom friends who would throng his office are said to be avoiding him like plague. In fact, they do not want to be seen in the same hotel with the politician. The parastatal bosses are also said to be avoiding the politician’s aides, including refusing to pick their phone calls. Why? Sources say that being associated with the man and his dealings will automatically put you on the radar of anti-graft detectives.

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