The state ministry which falls under the Office of the Vice President & Minister for Home Affairs (Kalonzo Musyoka) was one of the ministries that was deeply involved in the Anglo-Leasing mega-scandal that threatened to bring down the government of President Mwai Kibaki. The same scandal resulted in John Githongo seeking political asylum in the UK while Finance Minister Daudi Mwiraria was forced to ‘step-aside’.
Following formation of the Grand Coalition Cabinet, one Hon Gerald Otieno Kajwang of ODM’s mapambano fame has found himself in charge of this ministry, well known for its corruption dens.
One of Kajwang’s first ministerial duties was to sign deportation papers for one Canobbio Pietro who claims to be a naturalized Kenyan after having lived in the country for the last 18 years. Canobbio, who Kajwang labeled an Italian fugitive, says he is a contractor with plenty of business interests in Malindi. He has since challenged the deportation in court winning a temporary reprieve allowing him to stay in Kenya up to early June.
Italians have a huge presence in Malindi and the town has been dubbed Italian Home Away From Home. Some of the Italian foreigners – who speak local languages fluently - even tried to venture into local politics during the last general election. Some have been accused of engaging in illegal businesses including child-sex tourism and hard drugs, but so far no one has been arraigned in court.
Secondly, even before the Canobbio’s case has been finalised, Kajwang’ was in the news again this week when he was reported to have declared a Mr Mohamed Sirat a prohibited immigrant, claiming that the Australian Embassy had confirmed to him that indeed Sirat was their citizen. It is not lost on political observers that Sirat is a member of the Vice President’s ODM-K party and has been challenging the election of Wajir South MP Abdirahman Ali Hassan. He is among some of the rich Somali businessmen coalescing in ODM-K and running 24 hour businesses in Eastleigh. One presidential candidate in last year's general election is on record having promised a 24 hour economy.
Coming to the connection with Eastleigh, and in what is considered Kajwang’s biggest scoop so far, the immigration ministry busted an international passport and visa printing racket that was headquartered in Eastleigh (Nairobi) where, yet again, rich Somali businessmen are said to conduct illegal businesses including arms trade, human trafficking and modern day slavery. Western Embassies are said to have been shocked at the discovery of passport printing ring in Eastleigh right within the capital city 'without the knowledge of the NSIS'. The matter has far reaching implications because terrorist groups known to have cells in Kenya could easily have taken advantage of the Eastleigh immigration office to export terror merchants. The Al Qaida Comoran and Yemeni suspects who bombed the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1997 were found to be travelling on Kenyan passports!
More recently, it was widely reported in the local and international press, that a Kenyan court had ordered the freezing of property of one of the world’s most wanted Rwandan genocide suspects, Felicien Kabuga, who is known to travel in and out of Nairobi using several aliases including some on Kenyan diplomatic passports which Kajwang is reportedly said to have already cancelled and accordingly informed Interpol. Despite a US$5million bounty on his head, Kabuga is said to have escaped capture mostly due to his connections with power brokers within the Kenyan government. The ICC had issued an international arrest warrant for Kabuga in 1999. Rwandese Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said his country welcomed the court's decision but said Kenya should do more to arrest Mr Kabuga. The Kenya Police, under the Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, is the one to effect the arrest. I am not suggesting anything but both Saitoti and current President Kibaki were ex-President Moi’s vice presidents for many years including the time that the Rwandan genocide took place. Why should Kenya shelter a genocide suspect?
Kajwang Fighting Back
It is therefore coming as a great surprise to Honourable Otieno Kajwang that his ‘hard-working’ ministry has been earmarked for split with the immigration docket set to be moved back to the Home Affairs ministry headed by none other than Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka - another of ex-Presidents Moi former long serving Foreign Affairs minister, in whose time Kabuga and a host of other international fugitives like Abdulla Ocalan found safe haven in Kenya.
Sources informed this blogger that because the NARA peace accord prohibits President Kibaki from sacking or re-shuffling ministers without first obtaining consent from Prime Minister Raila Odinga, PNU/ODM-K insiders have advised the president to hive off sensitive departments from independent ODM ministers before they unearth what they called explosive dossier going back to the Moi and Kenyatta errors (no typo here).
As Kajwang discusses his tribulations with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Kenyans will remember that portfolio balance nearly resulted into the collapse of the Annan peace talks and even when they agreed to form cabinet, ODM came out of the process seriously short-changed. It now seems like PNU/ODM-K are planning to engage in a portfolio shuffling game so as to frustrate the work of ODM in government.
It remains to be seen if Raila Odinga will allow this to happen. What is coming out however is that there are power barons in Kenya who dictate the government operations by remote control and whose connections run deep into the corridors of power.
Watch this space: The powerful individual(s) who have been uncomfortable with the stories published in Kumekucha will be soon exposed – with irrefutable proof!
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