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Top 10 News in Brief: Waititu’s Ksh2bn Secret Wealth Puzzles EACC



Saturday, 28th May – Good morning! This is your daily edition of our brief, but salient Kenyan news selected for you.

Waititu in Trouble Over Ksh2 Billion Wealth 

Former Kiambu Governor is on the radar of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) again after investigations revealed his wealth grew exponentially between 2015 when he became Kabete MP and 2020. Waititu was elected Kiambu Governor in 2017 before his ouster in 2020.

The agency has filed a case in court seeking to recover Ksh2 billion from Waititu, his wife Susan Wangari, and their three companies.

According to EACC, Waititu’s legitimate sources of income would have given Ksh110 million within the five years.

The watchdog now wants the politician compelled to forfeit vehicles, parcels of land littered in different parts of the country, and money in various bank accounts.

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Raila Staves Off Sibling Rivalry in Western 

ODM leader Raila Odinga has been cutting deals among his allies in western Kenya who are seeking various elective positions using different political vehicles under the Azimio la Umoja Coalition Party.

As he continues his five-day tour of the western region, the former Prime Minister has ensured that Azimio has only one gubernatorial and senatorial candidate in each of the following counties; Kakamega, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia, Busia, and Bungoma.

Raila also implored the region not to abandon him in the coming General Election. He reiterated that “his administration” will work with area leaders to spur economic growth.

He added that the region stands to benefit greatly since Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya will be the National Treasury Cabinet Secretary in “my government”.

Gachagua Messes Again 

Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua has irked Kenyans again after making unguarded remarks during a rally in Baringo County.

Gachagua told the gathering that if the Kenya Kwanza Alliance forms the government, he will ensure that areas that vote UDA MPs will be prioritised during recruitment to the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

He added that he will have no time for lawmakers elected as independent candidates. Dr. Ruto’s Rift Valley backyard has the highest number of contenders running as independents.

It was the second time in a week that Gachagua was called out by Kenyans. On Monday, he said during a media interview that the Kenya Kwanza administration will regulate big corporates like Safaricom to grow small enterprises.

Karua’s Demand to IEBC 

Azimio la Umoja deputy presidential candidate Martha Karua has challenged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to reveal how it has addressed issues that led to the nullification of the 2017 presidential election.

Addressing civil society actors in Nairobi yesterday, Karua said Kenyans need to know how prepared the agency is to ensure the same mistakes do not recur in the forthcoming election.

“We should be briefed on how the commission intends to conduct the polls, the tools it intends to employ, and how it has addressed the shortfalls that made the Supreme Court nullify the last presidential election,” she said.

Ruto, Gachagua Position Jolts Kenya Kwanza Allies 

Deputy President William Ruto and his running mate Rigathi Gachagua are now pushing residents of the Mt Kenya and Rift Valley regions to elect candidates sponsored by the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

This is despite the fact there are other aspirants under constituent parties that have signed an agreement with the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.

According to Ruto and Gachagua, elected leaders are loyal to their party bosses first and that explains why they are rooting for six-piece voting.

The Service Party (TSP) leader Mwangi Kiunjuri has threatened to bolt out of Kenya Kwanza, claiming that Gachagua was disrespecting other partners in the coalition.

IEBC Disqualifies Kalonzo From Presidential Race 

The electoral commission has locked Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka out of the August presidential race.

In a list made public yesterday, only 16 out of the over 40 presidential aspirants were approved though the process is not over yet since the cleared candidates will have to present their nomination papers.

Kalonzo was thrown out of the contest after failing to submit a list of his supporters in the Microsoft Excel sheet.

Women in Drug Trafficking

The Anti-Narcotics police officers are in hot pursuit of women who are suspected to be engaging in drug trafficking at the Coast.

This comes days after a woman identified as Nuru Murshid was found in possession of cocaine worth Ksh110 million at her residence in Kisauni, Mombasa. Police believe other women have been her supply the drugs in Kenya and beyond.

In recent weeks, police at the Coast have arrested at least 11 women for drug trafficking.

Kinoti in New Fight With Haji 

Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) boss George Kinoti has dismissed the new guidelines formulated by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution on the prosecution of criminal cases.

Under the new directive, only a State Counsel can sign a charge sheet, a job that Officer Commanding Station (OCS) would do in the old guidelines. Also, only prosecutors will be allowed to produce suspects in court and not police officers.

Kinoti accused DPP Noordin Haji of drafting the rules in an attempt to control the police service.

“We won’t allow him to micromanage independent constitutional offices within the criminal justice system,” he said.

IEBC Warns Aspirants

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has fingered aspirants and their backers who are using public resources in their campaigns.

The agency has ordered the contenders to withdraw government vehicles in their campaign trail or risk being disqualified from contesting.

Several Cabinet Secretaries have been spotted marketing Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga using public resources.

Earlier this week, police were looking for Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa after turning a CDF vehicle into a UDA asset by branding it.

Matiang’i Bring Together Gusii Leaders 

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has read the riot act to Gusii candidates under the Azimio la Umoja for engaging in petty fights.

Addressing the aspirants during a meeting at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Matiang’i expressed disappointment with how they have been conducting their campaigns.

He particularly took issue with outgoing Kisii Governor James Ongwae for opposing some Azimio candidates. Ongwae is said to be quietly supporting a contestant outside Azimio to replace him yet his ODM party has fronted Dagorreti MP Simba Arati.

The CS insisted that the leaders must unite and rally their supporters behind ODM leader Raila Odinga for the presidency.

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