Geoffrey Kingani MP – Did not use witchcraft to win election

Forget the Russians being involved, of servers being hacked, or indeed just out-and-out bribery, in Kenya election petitions can take on a far more sinister, even spooky dimension.

Election petitions aiming at overturning a result from an election are commonplace here. Only in the last few days the High Court has ordered a recount in the constituency of Embakasi East (results did not tally with the official forms); dismissed a case against Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong through lack of evidence; and dismissed an attempt to rescind the election of Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua over alleged “irregularities” in voting at the August 2017 election.

Mbeere South MP Geoffrey Kingangi however, has just survived an altogether more unusual challenge to his election.


On Thursday a court dismissed a petition against Mbeere that had sought to declare his election null and void on the grounds that he, allegedly, had used witchcraft to secure to gain his democratic victory.

A witness by the name of Kevin Murimi alleged that Mbeere had employed the services of two witch doctors to oversee a ritual to influence 3,000 voters.

Murimi alleged that the witch doctors had slaughtered a bull and fed the assembled voters raw meat (plus given them Sh500 each) whilst warning them that if they did not vote for Mr Mbeere thEY would suffer the most terrible (but unspecified) calamities.

Judge Robert Limo, however, dismissed the petition, declaring that the petitioner, a Mr Kamau Nyutu, had not proven his allegations and that the witness Murimi could not name anyone at the meeting.

Mr Murimi had told the court that he wasn’t influenced by the witchcraft because he hadn’t eaten the meat and anyway he had left the meeting early.

Justice appears to have been done. The question is, how on earth, in 2018, did such an allegation ever come to court!

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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has published its annual report for 2016/2017. The good news is that part of Kenya’s economy is booming. The bad news is that it’s the corruption sector that’s on the rise!

According to the EACC,the average bribes rendered in Kenya rose to Sh7,801.05 in 2016, showing a hefty 25 per cent increase from Sh5,568.58 in 2015.

Within Kenya’s corruption sector it has been the market for tenders that has seen the most robust increase, with the average bribe paid (or is that ‘consultancy fee?) rising to an average of Sh196,987.82 in 2016, up from a measly Sh63, 687.39 for the year before.

But with the high levels of unemployment in the country, particularly among young Kenyans, it is perhaps little surprising that the price paid in the scramble to procure a good job, has also shown a marked increased.


The percentage of people paying a bribe has also increased.

The EACC estimates that in 2015 some 38 per cent of Kenyans paid a bribe but in 2016 this rose to 46 per cent.

No one area is more corrupt than another, the EACC suggests, with corruption and “unethical conduct” rising across all 47 of the country’s counties. So good news for devolution.

The EACC, however, have been combating corruption.

In 2016/17 the EACC received 8,044 complaints of corrupt behaviour, up from 7,929 in the previous year. Of the 8,044 filed complaints the EACC took up 3,735 of them.

The Kenya Forum has as yet been unable to to ascertain how many of these complaints resulted in a conviction but the figures for 2015/16 might give an indication of how successful the EACC have been.

In 2015/16 the EACC received 5,551 complaints of corruption and unethical behaviour. Of these they sent 117 to the Office of the Director  of Public Prosecutions. This resulted in just one (1) conviction…


US Cuts Health Funding Over Corruption (10 May, 2017)

The Allen Stanford Scandal, Kenya and the Kroll Connection (15 June, 2012)

Marianne Briner-Mattern, Sex, Lies and ‘Corruption’ Part 1 (10 February, 2012)

Marianne Briner-Mattern, Sex, Lies and ‘Corruption’ Part 2 (12 February, 2012)

The Forum Hasn’t Forgotten: The Kenyan Human Rights Commission Report (7 September, 2011)

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Odinga pays tribute to Morgan Tsvangirai

Cord leader Raila Odinga has paid tribute to the late Zimbabwean opposition leader and former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who died on Wednesday in a Johannesburg hospital at age 65 after a long battle with cancer.

Odinga has celebrated Tsvangirai as a great leader who championed democracy, freedom and justice for his country.

“I have learnt of the passing of former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai with deep sorrow. Morgan dared to dream of democracy, freedom and justice for his country and his people despite the firm hands of dictatorship that held sway.

I pray that the party he founded, the MDC, will hold firm and pursue the ideals he lived for. My family, our party the Orange Democratic Movement and the National Super Alliance join Mr. Tsvangirai’s family, the MDC and the people of Zimbabwe in mourning his death,” Odinga said in his tribute.

Tsvangirai was the boldest opponent to longtime leader Robert Mugabe.


Leaders across the globe have celebrated Morgan Tsvangirai for his bravery in championing democracy in the face of oppression.

 “Morgan Tsvangirai represented courage and determination in the face of oppression, and gave ordinary Zimbabweans faith to believe in the future. He was one of the bravest political leaders of his time and will be sadly missed” Boris Johnson, us Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs.


Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has promised free and fair elections in honour of Tsvangirai.

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By Martin Minns

Dr Robert Ouko

I suppose by now I shouldn’t be surprised and perhaps the misrepresentation wasn’t as bad as I’ve read many times before but The Daily Nation’s coverage of the 28th anniversary of the murder of Dr Robert Ouko, Kenya’s Minister of Foreign Affairs who was killed on 13 February, 1990, still perpetuated the Kenyan media’s long track record of preferring the often told and erroneous stories surrounding his killing over anything so annoying as the provable facts.

Ouko disappeared  from his farm in Koru, near Muhoroni, ‘on the night of February 12, 1990’ wrote Justus Ochieng. Well it’s a minor point but no, he was last seen alive by more than one member of his household staff in the early hours of February 13.


The slain minister’s body was found at Got Alila ‘a few kilometres from his home’, continued Ochieng, and ‘the body had been mutilated and burnt’.

Just to get the facts straight, Dr Ouko’s burning body was found by a herdsboy on the morning or early afternoon of February 13 but this was not reported to the local authorities at the time (and the herdsboy didn’t know it was Ouko). A police search did ultimately find the body on February 16 but it hadn’t been ‘mutilated’.

Ouko’s body had been burnt using about five litres of diesel and he did have a broken ankle but the often repeated stories that his arms had been broken, his eyes gouged out, his veins removed and even that his genitalia had been cut off, are entirely untrue as forensic evidence from both the British and Kenyan pathologists will attest, as do multiple colour photographs of his body, copies of which I have.


Gor Sunguh chaired the PSC into Ouko’s murder

Justus Ochieng had done some research however, namely interviewing Eric Gor Sunguh, formerly the Member of Parliament for Kisumu East and in 2003-05 the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee that was tasked to investigate Dr Ouko’s murder.

Gor Sunguh is of course entitled to his views but Mr Ochieng should know that many eminent and knowledgeable people thoroughly disagreed with the manner in which he chaired the PSC which in my view is one of most disgraceful episodes in post-independence Kenyan history.

Referring to the PSC’s report Gor Sunguh told Ochieng, “unfortunately it was never debated”, who added, “The evidence is well documented in our report. It is upon MPs to revisit the matter”.


What Justus Ochieng may not know is that there were multiple reasons why the PSC report into Ouko’s murder was not debated in parliament following the completion of its report.

As the Select Committee continued its deliberations over nearly two years (at an estimated cost to the Kenyan taxpayers of Sh8 million per day) five members of the Committee resigned. They were replaced but of the final 10 people sitting on the Committee, four did not sign Sunguh’s report.

No less a person than the redoubtable lawyer and civil society campaigner Paul Muite, stood down from the Committee.


Mr Muite was interviewed for the six part major TV documentary aired on Citizen TV last year (Murder at Got Alila – Who Killed Dr Robert Ouko and Why?). “Over time I came to the conclusion that our chairman, the Hon. Gor Sunguh, was out of his depth in chairing a committee of this nature”.

For Muite the “final straw” came when Gor Sunguh would not allow the cross-examination of certain witnesses.

“There must be some Kenyans who are proceeding on the basis that if Mr Muite is there, he is a lawyer, he would see to it that certain things are achieved. And since I was not being effective… I thought I had no choice but to resign and I resigned”.

Veteran Daily Nation columnist Macharia Gaitho told the documentary makers, “Gor Sunguh himself, I think, completely mismanaged it. He went looking for glory… at the end of the day it was a big disgrace”.

The PSC hearing were a show trial. Witnesses who disagreed with the story the Committee (or some of them) wanted were dismissed as being “not a witness of truth”. Testimony from some witnesses who were clearly lying, was accepted.

The PSC’s report into Ouko’s murder wasn’t put to parliament in 2005 because too many people thought it to be a “shoddy” piece of work.


But Justus Ochieng wasn’t finished with the old story. Out came the “mysterious deaths” nonsense.

An unnamed villager from Nyhera told Ochieng, “Many witnesses have lost their lives in mysterious circumstances. We would not want to be part of the statistics”.

The ‘Mysterious Deaths’ story was much favored by Gor Sunguh. He said over 100 witnesses had indeed died mysteriously but the PSC named just 18. Of these several most certainly did not die “mysteriously”, for example the British pathologist Dr Iain West who died of cancer in 2004.

One of those list as having died mysteriously was former New Scotland Yard detective Ken Linsey. Readers, and perhaps Mr Ochieng, will I am sure be pleased to know that Ken Linsey is alive and living in south London. I spoke to him on the phone just before Christmas and have swapped emails with him.

In researching the subject of Ouko’s murder I have personally interview three people who have been declared “mysteriously” dead! Only last week, Zablon Agalo Obonyo, Ouko’s security guard, who was reported “mysteriously dead” several years ago, was buried in Kapuonja.

I live in hope that one day a journalist in Kenya will realise that there is a much bigger story to be told about the murder of Dr Robert Ouko – it’s called the provable truth.

Gor Sunguh told Justus Ochieng that, “His [Ouko’s] killers are well known”. I think not. But in my view they are still alive.


Murder at Got Alila – Who Killed Dr Robert Ouko and Why (Citizen TV March 2017)

Gor Sunguh owes far more than Sh3 million and an apology to George Oraro (Kenya Forum, 17 July, 2011)

The Riddle of Kenya’s “Mysterious Deaths” (The Star, 17 Feb, 2015)

Contrary to reports Robert Ouko’s murder witnesses are still alive (Standard, 25 August, 2017)

Ouko’s security guard dies – But there is no mystery (Kenya Forum, 3 Feb, 2018)






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Kalonzo Musyoka – I’m thinking, I’m thinking…

As the Kenya Forum reported yesterday Wiper leader and sometime ‘Co-principal’ of the NASA opposition, Kalonzo Musyoka, was in two minds (depending which press report or ‘insider’ you read or listened to) whether or not he was ready to take the oath as ‘the People’s Deputy President’ following Raila Odinga’s ‘swearing-in’ on January 30, an event Kalonzo failed to turn up to.

Everything has now been clarified in true Kalonzo Musyoka/Wiper fashion.

Speaking to the Wiper Women’s League forum in Athi River yesterday, Kalonzo said he was ready to be sworn in and that he “was not afraid”.

However, he warned the audience that there should be no rush to be sworn in and that, “We need serious analysis of the situation before I take the oath”.

As for the speculation, indeed the NASA statement made in the last couple of days that Kalonzo would be bible in hand on February 28 to take the oath, he said this was a story being put about by Jubilee to cause disunity in the NASA coalition.


So Kalonzo Musyoka might not be sworn in at the end of February? Possibly not, according to the Wiper leader. The date, apparently, will be announced publicly by the coaltion’s leadership at some time… after the principals have consulted further over some tricky issues.

Just to be clear, Kalonzo said that suggestions he would be sworn in at a convention somewhere in Nairobi at the end of the month were inaccurate.

One statement made by Kalonzo at the Athi River meeting that seems to have gone largely unnoticed is his assertion that both he and Raila Odinga knew that the taking of such an oath was “unconstitutional”. He didn’t elaborate as to how a former Vice-President of the Republic of Kenya could knowingly take part in something that was against the Constitution.



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Black Panther/Marvel film release



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