Uhuru key aides to be transferred

Uhuru aidePRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta is under pressure to reorganise State House in a move likely to affect some of his key aides.

The Star has learnt that Uhuru’s Private Secretary Jomo Gecaga and Political advisor Joshua Kuttuny may be assigned new duties away from State House.

The sweep, according to insiders, may target more State House officials who are “perceived to be a liability to the Presidency.”

Some State House operatives have been on the spot over a number of decisions made by the Presidency and later reversed.

Internal competition has also seen the President’s teams at State House divided, including the Presidential Strategic Communication Unit, which is also a target in the shakeup.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu, Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua and Comptroller Lawrence Lenayapa are now in full control of the President’s affairs.

Indeed, Gecaga has been missing from the President’s side for a while, as sources say that the Kenyatta family has asked he be moved.

Gecaga is Uhuru’s nephew and was his Special Assistant when he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance.

State House has several times distanced itself from comments made by Kuttuny, declaring that he “does not organise the President’s diary.”

Kuttuny, a close ally of Deputy President William Ruto, has been quoted several times in the media talking about the President’s travels to Rift Valley and Western Kenya.

But State House has often come out to dismiss his comments, saying that he does not speak for the Presidency.

When she appeared before the EACC, suspended Lands CS Charity Ngilu accused Kuttuny of pressuring her to give up a two-acre plot on State House Crescent, Nairobi.

Ngilu said that Kuttuny spoke to her in her office in January and said President Kenyatta had ordered that she go slow on the land, in light of “new developments.”

According to sources within the Presidency, Kenyatta is seeking to clean up State House as he gets into the last two years of his first term.

It is unclear why Gecaga is being considered for a diplomatic post, but some in political circles have accused him of blocking access to the President.

Gecaga has also been on the spot for perceived interference with the work of Parliament and independent commissions.

One recent instance is the behind-the-scenes activities that led to the President tabling a list of possible corruption suspects in Parliament that led to the suspension of a third of his Cabinet.

Appearing before Parliament, the then EACC CEO, Halakhe Waqo, said it was Uhuru’s Private Secretary who asked for the List of Shame. One commissioner, Irene Keino, now no longer in office, claimed the list was edited to remove the names of some government officials.

Waqo told the Senate that Gecaga invited him to State House to deliver the report, which he also said was to be “for the President’s consumption.”

When Igembe South MP Mithika Linturi rose in Parliament to deny receiving money from Ruto’s office to impeach Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, he narrated to the House how Uhuru’s aides made him drop the motion.

Linturi said when he met MPs at Panafric Hotel, they resolved to go on with the motion, but he was later forced to sign a letter withdrawing it at Jacaranda Hotel.

“After Panafric, I went to Jacaranda Hotel, where I was joined by my colleagues Mwiti Irea, Alice Ng’ang’a and Kimani Ichung’wa. We were later joined by Njee [Muturi, Solicitor General] and Gecaga, who gave me a letter to sign,” Linturi said.

He added Njee and Gecaga are the ones who personally delivered the letter to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi later that evening.

– the-star.co.ke

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