Snub started ‘The People’ newspaper

If you are holding a copy of this newspaper today (www.peopledaily.co.ke), you owe it to the fallen pro-democracy icon Kenneth Matiba. His vision – coupled with varied political frustrations – was what gave birth to Kenya’s fourth national newspaper in the heady days of early 1993. Twenty-five years on, the publication that started as a …

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Kenneth Matiba passes on at 85

Family of veteran politician says he suffered multiple organ failure at Karen Hospital ICU before his trumpet call Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram Second Liberation icon Kenneth Stanley Njindo Matiba is dead. Matiba, who is remembered for his crusade for the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya in the 1990s passed away yesterday afternoon at the Karen …

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Nasa fallout boosts Ruto’s 2022 poll bid

Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram He may not have been present when the now famous handshake happened on the facade of Harambee House, but Deputy President William Ruto may be seeming to reap more than just crumbs from President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga’s deal. Even though he already had visible advantage over his would-be competitors, Ruto …

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Sticking issues driving Nasa to brink of collapse

Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram The finger-pointing in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) is the culmination of sharp divisions it has been embroiled in before last year’s General Election,People Daily can reveal. Unilateralism on crucial matters, isolation of some of its senior partners and succession tiffs ahead of the 2022 election are the main cause of feuds …

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Did Raila use ‘last bullet’ to shoot himself in the foot?

The hurried mock oath administered on self by National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday may have placed a bigger burden on him than on the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta that was keen to deflate any effects intended by the Opposition team. If Nasa had started the day on a high note, …

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Ministers on tenterhooks as Uhuru crafts Cabinet

Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram Anxiety continues to define the lives of Cabinet and Principal secretaries as well as other top public servants in anticipation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reconstitution of government for his second and final term in office. Speculation had been rife early last week that the President would name his remaining staff before travelling …

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Disquiet grips legal circles over Senior Counsel ‘club’

Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram Disquiet is creeping into Kenya’s legal fraternity over what is being described as “a selfish and discriminatory club” of barristers sheltering under the exclusive umbrella of Senior Counsel. Equivalent to the rank of Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth jurisdictions, the position was first introduced in Kenya in February …

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Tense holiday for CSs ahead of Cabinet unveiling

Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram Majority of the Cabinet and Principal secretaries have embraced muteness and a wait-and-see approach in the wake of reports that more than half of their present composition is likely to be shown the door in a pending razor-sharp reconstitution of policy-makers. Sources indicated yesterday that the pending announcement would leave more than …

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Uhuru, Raila likely to meet at Nyenze burial

Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram President Uhuru Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga are expected to attend the burial of Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze at his Kabati home today. It will be the first time the two political rivals will share a public platform since Uhuru was sworn-in as President on November 28 for his second …

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Uhuru set to appoint Defence College chief

Mukalo Kwayera @Kwayeram President Uhuru Kenyatta’s swearing-in for his second term in office on November 28 has placed the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) top leadership on tenterhooks in readiness for a high-ranking replacement expected shortly. The replacement of immediate former Commandant of the National Defence College (NDC) Lt-Gen Leonard Muriuki Ngondi, who landed an international …

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Swearing-in fetes with statement of stability

Kenya has had four presidential transitions since independence in 1963. However, it has had 14 swearing-in ceremonies within the 54 years. Today’s event at the Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani—where the fourth President, Uhuru Kenyatta, will be taking oath of office for his second and last term—will be the 15th such ceremony. The country’s founding …

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It’s 2013 rematch for Uhuru and Raila as old rivalry rekindled

NASA fragbearer Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta. Photo/Courtesy

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto yesterday presented their nomination papers to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to officially kick-start what is arguably the last of the five-decade-old political duels between the revered families of fallen nationalists Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga and his runing mate Kalonzo Musyoka in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) had presented their credentials to IEBC on Sunday morning.

For the second time in five years Uhuru and Raila will be going for what has been dubbed a two-horse race, a rematch of their 2013 duel. It is another rekindling of the Kenyatta-Odinga rivalry.

Their fathers, once dear bosom friends, fell out in 1967 following a high-octane power struggle within the independence party Kanu. Since then, Kenya’s post-independence political landscape has largely gravitated around their prominent families.

During the 10th Parliament that formed the Grand Coalition Government of retired President Mwai Kibaki which was cobbled after the post-election chaos of 2007/8, Raila served as Prime Minister and Co-odinator of Government Affairs while Uhuru held the portfolio of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance.

With or without victory, both combatants will by all indications sit out in 2022 given that Raila has signed a pre-election agreement with his co-principals not to run again, whereas Uhuru has already laid the ground for a William Ruto candidacy after his.

Raila, 73, will be making his fourth stab at the presidency after making unsuccessful attempts in 1997, 2007 and 2013, while 55-year-old Uhuru will be third time on the ballot after first losing to Kibaki in 2002 before winning in the last General Election.

It will be Kenya’s biggest election ever, with an estimated 19.5 million voters for the taking. With each side commanding at least two solid strongholds, the battle will be fought and won in the swing regions where each has a foothold.

The main ‘yours for the asking’ regions as seen as Nairobi, Kisii, Narok, Upper Eastern, North Eastern, Coast, Turkana and Samburu. However, it is Jubilee that is seen as having eaten larger tracts that were solely opposition in 2013, seeing as large swathes of North and North-Eastern, Upper-Eastern and parts of Gusii regions have to varied extents cast their lot with the ruling party.

In the Nasa power-sharing pact, Mudavadi was handed the position of Premier Cabinet Secretary for Interior and National Co-ordination in the event that Nasa wins the election, Wetang’ula the Deputy Premier for Finance and while Ruto was named as Deputy Premier for Devolution, which positions Jubilee luminaries have been quick to dismiss as non-existent in the constitution. UhuRuto return with a replica card of 2013 when they won against many odds.

Curiously, the political clouts for both families may wane after this election as figures related to both the Kenyatta and Jaramogi families will not be contesting for any elective seats in this year’s General Election after either voluntarily withdrawing or losing to opponents in party nominations.

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