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NASA chief financier under siege

Wanjigi has been associated with NASA since the Supreme Court ordered repeat a presidential election but has not attended the Opposition coalition’s high profile events

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The Malindi residence where security officers conducted a raid early Monday. Credit: The Star/Courtesy

Flying Squad officers raided the Nairobi home of businessman Jimmy Wanjigi on Monday.

Wanjigi’s house is located opposite that of US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec. About 10 Subaru Outbacks are in the luxurious home, a witness told The Star.

Earlier, police officers raided a home in Malindi suspected to belong to him and recovered five AK 47 guns and hundreds of bullets. The billionaire has been accused of smuggling guns into the country with accomplices.

A heavily armed multi-agency team arrived at the house early Monday morning with court orders to ransack it. They recovered five AK 47 guns with several rounds of ammunition.

It is understood police and intelligence agencies have been closely monitoring movement to and from the house and several other people both in Nairobi and Mombasa.

Police suspect the businessman has been working with several people to bring guns into the country using different entry points.

In a well-coordinated raid, another group of officers raided a house in Isiolo where they recovered an unknown number of guns and bullets.

Workers at the Malindi house said businessman Jimmy Wanjigi is their boss and documents found bear the name Kwacha Group of Companies, which is his.

One of the documents was work on a generator where the customer is listed as Kwacha Group of Companies (Malindi).

Wanjigi has been associated with NASA since the Supreme Court ordered repeat a presidential election but has not attended the Opposition coalition’s high profile events.

A search of one of the cars found in the compound shows that it is currently registered to Aldewright Consultants Limited.

The car is a black Porshe Cayenne registration number KBH 441Q.

Police say the house is owned by two Italians but are investigating to establish the suspect behind the firearms

The city businessman has lived a very quiet and sometimes mysterious life despite his business prowess.

Before May 6, 2016, the morning after controversial businessman Jacob Juma was shot dead, the only existing image of Wanjigi was one taken when he was 11 years old.

Two photographs were taken that day – the first proper image of the man in a decade was of him standing next to Opposition leader Raila Odinga, viewing Juma’s body at a mortuary.

For power watchers in Nairobi,  his presence meant Juma was dear to him. The only other time he was spotted in public was four years before when another one of his friends, Interior minister George Saitoti died in a chopper crash.

The event that had Wanjigi in the press in 2005 was one of happiness. In November that year, The Standard published a large full-color image of the man smiling broadly. He was sporting expensive ivory and gold-framed spectacles. The only other image of him taken that day was never published. It was at the wedding of the presidential press service director Isaiah Kabira.

The publication of three images of Wanjigi, taken around events that followed Juma’s death, fascinated those who, in Nairobi’s power circles, know the undercurrents on which the government runs.

For them, Jimmy ‘James Bond’ Wanjigi, is no ordinary man. He is perhaps the most powerful outside of the Kenyan government.

Orengo-Jimmy-Wanjigi-home-in-Muthaiga NASA chief financier under siege

Siaya Senator James Orengo arrives at businessman Jimmy Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home following the police raid. Others who were at the scene include his father, former Cabinet minister Maina Wanjigi, former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed.

Known as James Bond to his friends and enemies, Wanjigi has a carefully culled and almost non-existent public profile. Yet the tentacles of his power reach across government agencies, and his hand has been behind some of the greatest deals in the last 15 years.

The businessman’s first interaction with Kenya’s power politics began when he was young. Born in 1962, his father Maina was a senior civil servant with impressive credentials and a bright future.

ALSO SEE: Someone out to take Jimmy Wanjigi’s life?

He joined politics in 1969, when Wanjigi was seven. At only 38, the elder Wanjigi was one of the most learned men in Kenyatta’s circles. An alumni of Alliance High School, Makerere University and Stanford University, his political career spanned two and a half decades and covered several ministries.

Like most men of his generation, the elder Wanjigi created several investment vehicles to handle his money. At the apex of these companies was a single holding firm, Kwacha Group of Companies. Kwacha, in Wanjigi’s story, is a central pillar.

With a political career and a growing fortune, Maina could afford to educate his kids in some of the best schools in Kenya. At St. Mary’’, the younger Wanjigi and his siblings would have the children of the president, the vice president, and other senior government and private sector officials as schoolmates.

In fact, Wanjigi is President Uhuru Kenyatta and Jimmy Kibaki’s age mate and attended school with they and Gideon Moi.

 

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Politics

Uhuru’s win leaves Raila in limbo

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President Uhuru Kenyatta election in a single-horse race upheld by Kenya's Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed two consolidated petitions against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election, dealing a major blow to NASA leader’s push for another presidential election.

Six judges, who quashed the August 8 poll on September 1 after citing “irregularities and illegalities”, today upheld the October 26 repeat election which has been criticsed by the opposition and other observers as a sham. In the election boycotted by Raila after IEBC failed to reform its operations, Uhuru garnered 7.4 million votes, way ahead small contenders.

In a summary judgement read by Chief Justice David Maraga, the judges said the two petitions, filed by former assistant minister Harun Mwau and another by Njonjo Mue and Khelef Khalifa, had no merited.

Judge Maraga said a detailed decision would be issued within 22 days. Dismissal of the two cases now paves way for Mr Kenyatta’s swearing-in for the second term on Tuesday next week.

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While Mr Kenyatta’s arch-rival Raila Odinga did not challenge his win in court, the apex court’s decision leaves him in a tight situation amid mounting pressure from his supporters. Mr Odinga, leader of the National Super Alliance (Nasa), has vowed not to recognise Mr Kenyatta’s victory and has embarked on an elaborate campaign for “electoral justice”.

Upon his return from 10-day US trip, which was marred by death and chaos, Mr Odinga announced the launch of what he termed “The Third Liberation.”

Jubilee leaders and lawyers who attended the short session left the Supreme Court and headed to Consolata Shrines for prayers.

The court decision was received with joy and celebration in Mr Kenyatta’s strongholds in central Kenya and the capital Nairobi. Conversely, the judgement sparked violent demonstrations in Mr Odinga’s strongholds of Nyanza and Nairobi slums, with cars being torched in Kisumu.

Jubilee leaders praised the court’s judgment, with Majority Leader Aden Duale saying it had paved the way for President Kenyatta’s swearing-in. Mr Duale asked President Kenyatta to form an inclusive government and develop the country equally. (Additional reporting by Daily Nation)

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Politics

Three NASA MPs arrested ahead of rally

According to Homa bay Women’s Representative Glady Wanga, MPs Babu Owino, TJ Kajwang and Steve Mbogo, were taken to Kilimani police station after being arrested.

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Three NASA MPs have reportedly been arrested while on their way to a rally in Nairobi ahead of their leader Raila Odinga Friday from a tour of the United States.

According to Homa bay Women’s Representative Glady Wanga, MPs Babu Owino, TJ Kajwang and Steve Mbogo, were taken to Kilimani police station after being arrested.

“Hons Babu, TJ Kajwang’, Steve Mbogo already arreated and taken to Kilimani. Crime: Planning to welcome RAO tomorrow. ,” she tweeted.

NASA MPs led by Siaya Senator James Orengo and former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama had earlier attempted to hold a press conference at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport but were barred by security officers.

Police also sealed off the historic Kamukunji Grounds where the opposition formation intended to hold a curtain-raising rally forcing them to shift to Kibera.

READ: Priest charged with stealing cash

Speakers at the Kibera rally led by ODM Senator John Mbadi criticised Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, saying he had no power to stop them from accessing the JKIA.

Mbadi said Raila was the winner of the August 8 election and claimed President Uhuru Kenyatta was no longer the legitimate President of Kenya. Muthama and Orengo addressed the rally by phone before joining the supporters at the venue.

NASA leader have hinted they plan to swear-in Raila when he returns to the country.

The Supreme Court yesterday finalised hearing petitions filed against Uhuru’s win with the Supreme Court expected to render a verdict by November 20. The Kibera rally is currently ongoing.

SEE: Don’t buy a TV before you check these six features

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Mugabe under siege as military takes power

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Military says President Robert Mugabe, 93, and his family are “safe and sound”.

Zimbabwe’s military on Wednesday confirmed that it had seized power in a targeted assault on “criminals” around President Robert Mugabe, but gave assurances that the 93-year-old leader and his family were “safe and sound”.

Military vehicles took to the streets of the Zimbabwean capital and prolonged gunfire was heard near the presidential residence early Wednesday as questions mounted over Robert Mugabe’s grip on power, even as the army denied a coup in a state broadcast.

Tensions between the 93-year-old leader and the military that has helped prop up his reign have intensified in recent days, with Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party on Tuesday accusing army chief General Constantino Chiwenga of “treasonable conduct”.

The military’s actions have been seen as a major challenge to Mugabe, but Major General Sibusiso Moyo went on state television in the early hours of Wednesday to deny the army was targeting the increasingly frail leader. “It is not a military takeover of government,” Moyo said, reading a statement.

In a short broadcast on national television, which was seized overnight by soldiers, a spokesman for the military said it expected “normalcy” to return as soon as it had completed its “mission”.

According to a government source, Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo among those detained by army.
Chombo was a leading member of the so-called ‘G40’ faction of the ruling ZANU-PF party, led by Mugabe’s wife Grace, that had been vying to succeed the 93-year-old president.

SEE: TZ president Magufuli tells off Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta

Following is the text of an address made by Zimbabwe Major General SB Moyo, Chief of Staff Logistics, on national television after the military seized power:

“We wish to assure the nation that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and commander in chief of Zimbabwe Defence Forces, Comrade RG Mugabe, and his family are safe and sound and their security is guaranteed. We are only targeting criminals around him who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice.

As soon as we have accomplished our mission, we expect that the situation will return to normalcy. To the civil servants, as you are aware, there is a plan by the same people to influence the current purging that is taking place in the political sphere to the civil service. We are against that act of injustice and we intend to protect every one of you against that.

Zimbabwean-coup Mugabe under siege as military takes power

SOLDIERS STAND BESIDE MILITARY VEHICLES JUST OUTSIDE HARARE, ZIMBABWE, ON NOVEMBER 14, 2017. PHOTO | REUTERS

To the judiciary, the measures underway are intended to assure that as an independent arm of the state you are able to exercise your independent authority without fear of being obstructed as has been the case with this group of individuals.

To our members of parliament, your legislative role is of paramount importance, of peace and stability in this country, and it is our desire that a dispensation is created that allows you to serve your respective political constituencies according to democratic tenets.

To the generality of the people of Zimbabwe, we urge you to remain calm and limit unnecessary movement.
However, we encourage those who are employed and those with essential business in the city to continue their normal activities as usual. Our wish is that you will enjoy your rights and freedoms and that we return our country to a dispensation that allows for investment, development and prosperity that we all fought for and for which many of our citizens paid the supreme sacrifice.

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To political parties, we urge you to discourage your members from engaging in violent behaviour. To the youth, we call upon you to realise that the future of this country is yours. Do not be enticed with the dirty coins of silver, be disciplined and remain committed to the efforts and values of this great nation.

To all churches and religious organisations in Zimbabwe we call upon your congregations to pray for our country and preach the gospel of love, peace and unity and development.

To both our people and the world beyond our borders, we wish to make this abundantly clear this is not a military takeover of government.

What Zimbabwe defence forces is doing is to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country which if not addressed may result in violent conflict.

We call upon all the war veterans to play a positive role in ensuring peace, stability and unity in the country. To members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, all leave is cancelled and you are all to return to your barracks with immediate effect.

To the other security forces, we urge you to cooperate for the good of our country. Let it be clear we intend to address the human security threats in our country. Therefore any provocation will be met with an appropriate response.
And to the media, we urge you to report fairly and responsibly.

We thank you.” (additional reporting by Reuters)

READ: Sad story:  Mother’s words after losing five newly born babies

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Politics

US observer group joins calls for dialogue

The Carter Center’s statement came a day after NASA leader Raila Odinga called for formation of a six-month coalition government to pave way for review of the Constitution

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A section of the observers enlisted by The Carter Center to observe this year's electoral process.

US Observer Group, The Carter Center, has called for constructive dialogue to end the political dispute in the country resulting from NASA’s withdrawal from the October 26 fresh presidential election and subsequent rejection of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win.

In a statement, The Carter Center urged Kenya’s political leaders to bridge the gap between the opposition and ruling parties, and their respective supporters, following a tense electoral period.

It said the fresh presidential election, which resulted from the Supreme Court’s annulment of the August 8 race, unfolded in a context of heightened tensions stemming from the protracted electoral process, confrontational tactics and harsh verbal attacks by key political leaders, and outbursts of violence around election day.

“These problems severely undermined the ability of Kenya’s electoral and judicial institutions to implement the fresh presidential elections. Rather than consolidating support for a national political programme, the election polarised the country and exposed the deep tribal and ethnic rifts that have long characterised its politics,” the statement read in part.

“Regrettably, the actions of Kenya’s political leaders served to weaken its democratic and independent institutions, constrain the ability of citizens to participate in the civic affairs of their country, and damage the nation’s democratic development. In the days ahead, it is incumbent on political leaders to put personal agendas aside and take steps to heal the country while maintaining the country’s constitutional order,” The Carter Centre added.

It said Wednesday’s statement provides an initial summary analysis of political and electoral developments between the August 8 elections and the fresh election held on October 26, based on the reporting of the Center’s core team of experts and long-term observers who were on the ground for the October 26 poll.

“We note that the electoral process is not yet complete, as electoral disputes are pending in the Supreme Court. The Carter Center will release a comprehensive statement on the overall election process after its completion. A detailed final report will be published in early 2018,” the observer group said.

The statement came a day after Opposition leader Raila Odinga, in an interview with Reuters, said he is willing to dialogue with President Uhuru but insisted on a six-month interim government to provide for a constitutional review aimed at lowering the risk of violence from minority groups who feel excluded from power.

“A pure presidential system enhances ethnicity because each community believes that they are not safe unless their man is at the top,” Raila said in the interview with the news agency in his office.

Though the Constitution of Kenya 2010 sought to disperse power from a centralised presidency by, among others, creating counties, Nairobi continues to wield a lot of power, including controlling the national budget.

Raila says it is time to revisit the supreme law to further slice the powers wielded by the presidency and strengthen the electoral agency.

“We had a new Constitution that we enacted in 2010; we think that now it is time to revisit it. We think that maybe six months will be required to carry out all these changes that we need in this country,” the NASA leader said.

President Uhuru has previously said he is willing to dialogue but only after the political process, including the petitions before the Supreme Court, is concluded.

He and his deputy William Ruto have, however, ruling talks on the formation of a coalition government, which Raila also said he is not interested in.

Several people were killed in Nairobi and parts of Western Kenya before and after the fresh election piling pressure on both sides to find a way out of the dispute.

READ: Major changes at Standard as Munywoki quits

NASA has also launched a revolutionary movement that will use various means, including street protests, picketing and economic boycotts, to undermine the Jubilee leadership.

The political formation has also initiated a process of establishing people’s assemblies in the counties to provide alternative mechanisms of governance until a “legitimate” government is established in the country.

Religious leaders and some key Jubilee leaders, including senators Kiraitu Murungi and Kithure Kindiki, have proposed the creation of other positions such as those of prime minister and official leader of opposition to accommodate those who lose in elections.

Raila is currently in the US where he is scheduled to meet key congressional leaders to explain the situation in Kenya.

 

 

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