Sat. Feb 16th, 2019

Corridors of power

Water CS Eugene Wamalwa./FILE

So is Water CS Eugene Wamalwa planning to move to NASA or is it Moses Wetang’ula, the Ford Kenya leader and third Cord co-principal, that has some plans? Well, could be none of the above. But what is going on between the two gentlemen has left mouths agape. Sources whisper to Corridors that the two met for elaborate talks at the Ole Sereni Hotel, Mombasa Road, Nairobi, on Tuesday. Details of their discussion remain scant. Wetang’ula initially appeared to be rattled by Musalia Mudavadi’s elevation as the de facto Luhya leader. Recently, he said he only recognizes Cord, not NASA. So could Wamalwa, currently Jubilee’s blue-eyed boy in Western Kenya, be wooing Wetang’ula to the ruling party, or is it the other way round? Only time will tell – and the clock is ticking.
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Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu counties have received overwhelming numbers of applications from doctors who are ready to move there and begin work immediately. Top county officials say they have a difficult time deciding which doctors to employ. The new medics are expected to replace the striking medics, who have officially lost their jobs after participating in an illegal strike, and failed to respond to show-cause letters by their employers. The move has shaken the doctors’ union officials, who admit they are under pressure from members to accept the government’s offer and call off the strike, because the government has made it clear the offer made by President Uhuru Kenyatta was final.
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Anger is growing in Embu after it emerged that President Uhuru Kenyatta will visit the county to launch a Huduma Kenya office. Youths on different WhatsApp groups complain Embu residents are being taken for flower girls all over again by President Uhuru, just the same as during President Mwai Kibaki’s regime. They plan to hold a press briefing to complain after the President’s visit. They say the President launched major infrastructure projects in Meru and Central Kenya, but the people of Embu have nothing to show for supporting him.
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Something fishy is going on regarding the years-long debate about the SGR, Jubilee’s signature flagship infrastructure project. And it doesn’t add up so badly that even the government spin doctors hesitate to address it. First, the project costs were inflated to Sh500-billion plus. The Chinese did the feasibility study; decided the costing; then provided us Kenyans with the financier – aChinese bank; decided the contractor (a Chinesecompany); provided their own workforce (although there are millions of qualified Kenyans for the positions); provided the engines and locomotives (media report they are very old); and, ofcourse, the Chinese will operate the SGR for 10 years. Kenya received their trains from China the same day as Senegal. But Senegal has better trains that cost Sh50 billion while Kenya’s older models cost Sh150 billion.