Jubilee Party headquarters in Nairobi. [Photo: File, Standard]
Aware that NASA brigade would harp on damaging mega corruption scandals that have rocked the Government since 2013, Jubilee Party has developed a strategy paper to put their rivals on the defensive.
And the strategy appears to be working as planned. The two rival running mates — Deputy President William Ruto and NASA’s Kalonzo Musyoka — have been trading accusations on each other’s links to corruption cartels.
In a secret document titled The Narrative Of Corruption in Kenyan Politics, President Uhuru Kenyatta’s team concludes that the NASA principals were not clean on corruption after all and have no moral authority to point fingers at the Jubilee government.
“Almost from the day President Kenyatta was sworn in ….Opposition leader Raila Odinga has consistently peddled the narrative of ‘run-away corruption’ supposedly perpetuated by the Jubilee regime. Almost every big project the Jubilee Government touched, started or completed was viewed by the Opposition leaders as a perpetuation of grand corruption,” reads part of the document.
The document, which urges its campaigners to remind Kenyans of the corruption allegations the NASA leaders have been caught up in, reads: “Whether it is the SGR, the international airport nearing completion in Isiolo, the irrigation schemes, the expansion of tarmacked road networks or other LAPPSET projects in various stages of completion; everything to the Opposition was seen through the prism of corruption, never mind that there was little, if any, evidence of shady commercial shenanigans in the procurement or execution of Jubilee projects. Raila and other Nasa leaders have dubbed them, one and all, corrupt.”
No chance to rig this time, NASA tells JP
The Jubilee Party top leadership believes they need to fight off the corruption narrative that has formed a critical part of weekly messaging by NASA advisors and columnists such as David Ndii, George Kegoro, John Githongo and others.
One of the ways, the strategy document reveals, is to bring to the fore businessman Jimi Wanjigi’s dark past.
Says the document in regards to Wanjigi’s support for NASA: “…as the old saying goes, the chicken always come home to roost, the corruption chicken appears to have come back home — with the Opposition fraternity.”
The document terms NASA’s corruption finger-pointing as “a case of the pot calling the kettle black”.
It is with this background that the story of Mr Wanjigi, which has been published widely by some media houses, has given the Jubilee team impetus to hit out at the Opposition. Since the story was first published, Ruto has become particularly vocal in rubbishing NASA as an outfit funded by corruption cartels.
And NASA has swallowed the bait. Earlier in the week, there was exchange of words between Ruto and Kalonzo over their closeness with Wanjigi, with the DP accusing the Wiper leader of deep involvement with the businessman.
“Wanjigi was the architect of the Anglo Leasing Scandal… this has been documented in various public forums including the famed WikiLeaks cables. At the time, Wanjigi could not countenance the name Githongo being mentioned in his presence. The two were on very different and diametrically opposed sides. But it is surprising today the two foes-turned-friends sit together and amiably discuss “how to end corruption,” noted the document sarcastically.
It notes that, at the height of the Anglo Leasing Scandal, Ndii and Kegoro used their writing prowess to fight for Githongo in opinion pages of local newspapers which invariably meant fighting Wanjigi. “But they all now sit together as NASA’s dynamic anti-corruption quartet with Githongo, Ndii and Kegoro having forgotten the bitter fights they had with Wanjigi, whom they then branded as the archetypal head of corruption cartels in the country,” notes the document.
Jubilee pushed the corruption blame bar even higher on Friday when it launched another scathing attack at the NASA leadership, accusing it of being captives of corruption cartels that bankroll its campaigns.
This time NASA chose not to respond even after Jubilee listed 10 controversial tender cases, such as Anglo Leasing, Goldenberg and others whose proceeds they claim finance the NASA campaigns.
Yesterday, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said Jubilee was clutching at straws by using corruption in counterattacks against the Opposition. “Nasa is not in government, so Jubilee cannot pretend to accuse if of theft,” said Junet.
But Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe said it is only fair that Kenyans know NASA well so that they can decide between “a government that has performed and power hungry leaders”. “Most NASA leaders have no moral ground to point fingers … they are more corrupt and have entrenched that during their years in government. We will tell people who they are,” Murathe said.
On Friday, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju, Senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Beatrice Elachi and MP Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu), challenged Raila to come clean on NASA’s campaign financing.
“NASA has auctioned its soul to the corruption cartels. It is being held hostage. Our country is in danger of being over-run by a ruthless cartel,” said Tuju at the party headquarters.
[Additional reports by Roselyne Obala]