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Corridors of Power | The Star, Kenya

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Dr Fred Okengo Matiang’i is the talk of town again. Why? Some people think one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s most dedicated foot-soldiers is a pacesetter and presidential material. They recall how he changed the education sector and ended the culture of exam stealing as Education boss say. Some activists have been impressed by pictures that emerged of the CS inspecting vehicles at roadblocks to enforce the Michuki rules. The hands-on approach is what government officers must adopt, they argue. Uhuru has publicly castigated CSs for just sitting in the office, attending meetings of the elite and appearing on TV.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Protection now says there is no chance that beneficiary data for elderly persons under the government payroll in the Inua Jamii programme was manipulated. John Gachigi, the head of Social Assistance, says the enrollment details of the elders were sent to the programme database through a secure connection. He says during account opening by banks, all the beneficiaries underwent a validation process which included ID verification with the Integrated Population Registration Service (IPRS) database. All the beneficiaries were also taken ten fingerprints by the banks which were sent to the ministry database. However, the ministry says if anyone has a complaint, it should be shared for redress.

Did one of the Cabinet secretaries try to sack a chief executive of a parastatal for refusing to hand over some donor money to be used in unknown political activity? Sources whispered to Corridors that the CS identified with one wing of government wrote a letter sacking the CEO. The man was however saved by the board. According to the law, only boards have the powers to hire and fire parastatal CEOs. The parastatal was quietly moved to a different ministry as the push and pull persisted. Those familiar with the incident say the level of impunity in Kenya is mind-boggling. You wonder how the graft war will ever be won.

The life of a junior officer in a county government in South Nyanza is in danger following several attempts on his life by goons hired by cartels. He is accused of being a stumbling block to the execution of their dirty work as well as having access to key information that can lead to the arrest and prosecution of the cartels. The man on the run is operating as be has been trailed for months. Two weeks ago, he was blocked at his gate while returning from a Sunday service in a local church. He maneuvered and sped off. The head of the cartel has now taken it upon himself to fix the officer using his network at the EACC. Corridors is watching the events as they unfold.

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