On Monday 13th March 2023, President William Ruto hosted a cross section of political leaders from the Luo Nyanza.
To Ruto, this was a show of might against the expected rising impatience against his regime engineered by right honorable Raila Amollo Odinga, the head of the Luos.
In his endeavor, Ruto netted some bigwigs; i.e. former Migori Governor Okoth Obado, former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma.
The meeting at state house was obviously facilitated by the state but organized by Interior PS Raymond Omollo and ICT CS Eliud Owalo.
It is the sheer size of the political rejects from Raila’s backyard and their willingness to partake in bringing a knife to a gun fight PR, that astounded both critics and foes.
Ruto, a great schemer had scored an own goal of sorts and fished out what he was mostly associated with over the past 15 years; corruption and murder suspect.
Alibaba and the 40
The aforementioned trio of bigwigs, owing to the fact that they once occupied big offices, are moneyed but in the eyes of the electorate only one mattered in terms of numbers. The rest, even attributes, for such a big political fight was missing.
Okoth Obado is the only one that successfully challenged ODM, Raila’s party, in the Luo Nyanza backyard and won twice. He has the people.
Nothing of the sort can be said of the other two.
Kidero took over Nairobi purely riding on Raila Odinga’s clout.
Jack Ranguma can easily be forgotten and cannot even get elected as a village cattle dip chairperson. He rode into power through sheer luck. This was at a time when people didn’t know what a governor stood for. That’s that.
However, the trio are not saints, as is covered below.
The former Migori County Governor is still battling a Sh2 billion corruption case in court.
Obado is accused of embezzling funds from the county for personal enrichment.
The Sh2 billion sum is cumulative of all the charges of corruption.
In a Sh505 million case, Obado and his four children, Dan Achola, Scarlet Susan, Jerry Zachary and Evelyne are facing trial over alleged conspiracy to defraud the county government of Migori.
Also facing the charges are businessman Jared Oluoch Kwaga, his wife Christine Akinyi Ochola, mother Penina Auma, brothers Joram Opala Otieno and Patroba Ochanda Otieno, and sister-in-law Carolyne Anyango Ochola.
The prosecution has also named Misoft Ltd, Tarchdog Printers Ltd, Kajulu Business Ltd, Victorious Investments Ltd, and Deltrack ICT Services Ltd as the entities they allegedly used to siphon public funds from the county government.
A pregnant university girl, Sharon Otieno was murdered in 2018 and the murder pointed to Governor Obado’s doings.
The scene where the body of the young woman was found was described in details.
“Ms Otieno’s bloodied body was found in a thicket. She lay in her blood-stained white track suit, with her underwear and condoms around her. She had been stabbed in the neck, back and abdomen and, according to the post-mortem, bled to death. Her unborn son was stabbed through the spine and the knife exited through the stomach,” the Kenyan media reported.
Both the cases have not been handled to date.
And with cases falling by the wayside, courtesy of pardons by the state office of the DPP. It is quite sad if they go away.
The first Nairobi County Governor Evans Kidero came into office after allegedly paying a Sh202 million bribe to Judge Philip Tunoi to win the case challenging his election..
It was described as a scene from the movie.
Both Kidero and Tunoi denied that they ever met or paid or received the said bribe.
Elected in 2013, Kidero was always questioned about the collapse of Mumias Sugar Company.
In fact, two-time Kakamega Senator Bonnie Khalwale wouldn’t let the matter rest until a picture of a check alleged from a bribe from Kidero started circulating online.
Khalwale became mum over the issue.
But whatever happened next is the stuff of legend.
Some Kenyans have perfected the art of moving money from state coffers undetected.
Kidero is still fighting in court over the looting of Sh58 million.
Certainly, Kidero is alleged to have acquired more than Sh58 million that EACC is charging him for, during his 5-year tenure at City Hall.
The former Kisumu Governor is a nobody, a serial underdeveloper and totally lacks the clout to add to Ruto’s dwindling fortunes.
The harder task is to maintain a presidency and this has become true of the smooth talker William Ruto who still excites his small base with promises instead of tangible work, forgetting that he is now in charge.
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