Kidero: A Disaster Personified


Nairobi Governor’s Race

Kidero: A Disaster Personified

Disaster personified

By Kenya Confidential Political Editor – Nairobi August 15, 2016

Kidero featured on the list of Shame tabled by President Kenyatta in Parliament in 2015 but with many other Governors he refused to step down arguing they were elected not appointed

Born in Nairobi’s Majengo, to a policeman Evans Kidero appears to have all the academically enabling papers and qualifications to make both an enviable business executive and broad-minded politician. But that is not the case at all.

Kidero attended one of the best secondary school in Kenya, Mangu High School where he was the head boy, and the University of Nairobi, where he graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree. Yet Kidero does not appear to have worked out the formula that would combine his leadership capabilities with the chemistry of managerial acumen.

His Masters of Business Administration degree from the United States International University in Kenya appears not to have armed him with administrative or managerial capabilities. His qualifications and his personal abilities run parallel to delivery of successful corporate management never converging to produce durable long-term success.

His career highlights include: 4 years at Warner Lambert, 12 years at SmithKline Beecham Healthcare International, 2 years at the helm of Nation Media Group and 10 years at the helm of the now infamous multi-billion-shilling Mumias Sugar Company. In all his earlier engagements, Kidero never hit newspaper headlines.

It is from Mumias where Dr. Kidero resigned to pursue a political career as Nairobi County that he became a familiar Corporate name. Mumias offered Kidero what many other quasi-governmental corporations give unpatriotic heads of parastatal bodies. A Cashcow opportunity of personally controlling billions of shillings in an environment of lax financial management regulations. He held the key to decisions of capital investments, purchases and disposal of assets worth billions of shillings. A lot of money was made from inflated cost of equipment and machinery.

Mumias factory looted to bankruptcy

Over a 10-year span at Mumias, Kidero bank accounts read like they never had read before – figures soared in leaps and bounds. One would say Kidero had acquired leadership and management skills to make him a suitable candidate for a job that requires experience, competence and great public concern. Some even thought he left a track record of business success at each of the organizations that he led.

The facts of the matter tell a different story. At Mumias his corporate management pinnacle where he was the first ever Kenyan Managing Director, his public relations spin-doctors claimed, “he turned a run down, failing business into a resounding success”. The truth is that his mismanagement style ran down the factory to the tune of over Ksh 5 billions.

The PR story was that during Kidero’s tenure “Mumias Sugar accounted for 60% of the country’s sugar sales, and under his leadership, had diversified into a series of related businesses from the by-products of sugar manufacturing, including generation of electricity and sales of bottled water.” The façade faded and evaporated the moment Kidero vacated the Managing Director’s chair. In a short span of three months Mumias literally went under and is still on its knees four years later.

Little did Kenyans know the 60 per cent market share attributed to Mumias was in the hands of sugar barons and smugglers importing the commodity or getting it duty-free from Mumias and packaging it as “Mumias”. Kidero provided a fertile bastion of millionaires who grew faster than sugarcane on extensive farms owned by peasants who today cannot pay their children’s school or university fees while millionaires created overnight by Mumias export their children to foreign universities and hire professional tutors.

Imported sugar repackaged

A public relations script describes Kidero’s “caring leadership style as evident in the welfare arrangements he put in place for the staff of the organizations he worked for, which earned him loyalty from those whom he led over the years”. The only evidence to support that claim is his disgraced long-time Personal Assistant at Mumias and Chief of Staff at City Hall millionaire George Wainaina. He was to Kidero what Nicholas Biwott was to Dictator Daniel arap Moi.

It is claimed that Kidero believed that he owed his achievements to the excellent systems and services that were available to him growing up in Nairobi, but that are no longer available to the people of Nairobi. What a flattery? Although he came from very humble beginnings, he benefited from the affordable and good quality education and healthcare that was available then, he grew up on safe and clean streets of Nairobi, and he was employed by a Government which, at the time, was able to provide job opportunities to the youth.

Today his government cannot afford pay staff and contractors on time while corruption runs through the veins of most of his government staff looting millions upon millions. Nairobi County government budget of Ksh 36 billion is ten-fold bigger than the entire Kenya government enjoyed when Kidero started working at Kenyatta Hospital.

For over three years he has won blinkers never to see corruption staring at him. He never follows up reports by the media or concerned residents in the hope that they will face away. The end result has been breakdown in revenue collection with millions of shillings going to individual corrupt officers.

Governor Kidero wears blinkers

Finance officer deposited Ksh1.4 billion to his accounts

City Hall corruption is bigger than was in the entire Kenya government until ten years into Moi regime. A County Chief Finance Officer Jimmy Mutuku Kiamba deposited nearly Ksh1.4 billion to his private and business accounts over a period in which his gross earning was just Ksh 5.8 million. Although he stole over a period of five years, the volume and the frequency of the deposits increased substantially in 2013 until December 2014, with Kidero as Governor.

On September 11, 2014, Ksh 83.6 million was deposited to Kianba’s accounts. Ksh 72 million was deposited to his Standard Chartered Bank account, Machakos branch. That was the single highest amount ever deposited to his accounts on a single day. His other frequent deposits were as low as Sh50,000 to as high as Sh70 million in day.

Killer houses have foundations cemented in City Hall Corruption – courtesy Royal Media

During his tenure Kidero has allowed corruption to determine who breaks City Bylaws in every aspect of the City life with impunity. House builders bribe Planning Department officials to construct killer buildings on grabbed land – some of it riparian land and children’s playgrounds all over the city – even in residential estates belonging to the County government itself.

He sheds some crocodile tears

To cover up his inadequacies he sheds some crocodile tears and soon after it is business as usual. He is often reported suspending suspect officers in public relations exercises – through the media – but many are never punished because of their ethnic ties to Cord.

A kiosk bar that County government Uhuru estate residents have complained to the Governor about still stands over three months since complaints were made to him. His PR office circulated the complaint to ten officers, including the Governor, but no action was taken. The residents have appealed to NACADA to ensure the kiosk is not licensed as a bar. The kiosk bar, whose woman owner claims to be a County Revenue officer, is attached to the wall of a fully operational bar.

Yet Kidero wants residents in Uhuru Estate to believe that he cares about their children’s welfare when they are subjected to nuisance of alcohol and drug abuse by such kiosks operating as bars within a County estate. He does not even care about young primary school children being exposed to immorality by drunks in cars parked on their playground. The record wealth accumulated by County Chief Finance officer explains the kind of money County revenue  officers can access.

The structure had been marked for demolition with three red X marks which the County Revenue Officer painted over tally ignoring he employer’s instructions. A bulldozer which visited the scene when the kiosk bar was finished saw its driver and other County staff  stagger away after feasting on nyama choma and two bottles of Black Label John Walker whiskey. They also shared a fat ward of Ksh 1,000 notes which were probably extorted from business community or illegal contractors.

Agutu Kiosk Bar

The same revenue officer has grabbed public land on an access road which was blocked using a letter on Governor Kidero letterhead but signed by one PW Mwakazi “For: Drirector of City Planning on behalf of Interim County Secretary”. That is the kind of letter given to people constructing illegal killer structures by City Planning Department using the Governor’s letter heads to purport the Governor has given the authority for such structures.

However, when Mwakazi’s letter was referred to Kidero’s attention in several letters, he did not bother.That kind of land grabbing, illegal structures and impunity that will cost Kidero votes dearly. Nobody who has suffered as a result of City Hall inaction after land was grabbed and killer structures built there as a result of City Hall Planning department corruption will vote for Kidero.

The closure of the access road and its permanent blockage led to massive flooding of a neighbouring tenant’s house when El Nino flood water found its route had been blocked. The tenant suffered tens of thousands of shillings in damaged household goods including clothing bedding, cookers, fringe among other electrical appliances affected by water that rose upwards of a meter. Nobody compensated her as City Hall absolved itself and the offending Revenue Officer and her conspirators told the victim to go to court.

Blocked access Road rain damage jpg

Land grabbing, illegal structures and impunity that will cost Kidero votes

This year opened with the arrest of Kidero’s chief of staff Wainaina in whose office a million shillings was stuffed in a khaki envelope. Wainaina was not a County revenue officer and had not collected any per diem for a trip outside Nairobi or any major harambee event. Allegations were that he intended to bribe his boss’s arch political enemy Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko Mbuvi to drop a case of a grabbed water storage piece of land. Wainaina also featured in irregular allocation of City Park Bowling Green restaurant but Kidero did nothing.

According to reliable City Hall sources senior County officers and MCAs have always held the Governor hostage at times blackmailing him for hefty allowances and foreign trips. Sources say Kidero’s MoUs with Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) to trace and expose City Hall corruption are not worth the paper they are written on. County investigators prey on corrupt officers for long periods, allowing them to continue plundering County coffers that they share, before any action is taken if ever.

Wainaina 2

Kidero featured on the list of Shame tabled by President Kenyatta in Parliament in 2015 but with many other Governors he refused to step down arguing that they were elected not appointed. August 2017 General Election will offer Nairobians and other Kenyans the opportunity to tell Governors, MCAs, MPs and Senators that they were not elected to engage in corruption, false claims and untamed arrogance laced with impunity.

The Nairobi County Public Accounts Committee has formed a habit of changing reports on grabbing of County assets and dropping names of companies and individuals in very suspicious manner. A report last year on how land was hived from a County depot land in industrial area and public land grabbed along Jogoo Road was doctored and corrupt deals removed.

2 million dollars of shame copy

Finally the worst that would happen to Kidero was a claim that he bribed Supreme Judge Philip Tunoi with a whooping Ksh 200 million. The judge has since retired and the case buried in a tribunal that was investigating the claim dustbin but the matter will haunt the Governor next year and many years to come.

During investigations of the claims Kidero successfully blocked EACC from scrutinizing his bank accounts and those of his wife. Kidero last March obtained orders stopping investigations into their private accounts over allegations of economic crime. High Court Judge Joseph Onguto suspended for search warrants Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) investigators were given by a magistrate, allowing them to access the couple’s seven bank accounts over allegations that they fraudulently used them to transfer public funds.

“It is apparent that the EACC obtained the search warrants without disclosing some material facts and as such, I grant conservatory orders stopping them from inspecting the accounts, lifting the documents or investigating the telegraphic money transfers,” ruled Judge Onguto.

Governor’s Merry-making Ball

On winning as Governor of Nairobi Kidero celebrated his election in 2013 with year-end Christmas “Governor’s Ball” to which a majority of favoured business tycoons who were doing business with Mumias were invited to continue their beneficial relationship. Some later got contracts as garbage collectors in Nairobi. There are reports that Kidero paid Ksh 50 million for his ODM nomination, that he needed to recoup, but that is hard to confirm as it is a closely guarded party secret.

Kidero night to remember

The single night Ball abolished the popular Mayor’s annual link with the city’s poor- the Christmas Tree Charity event – in which cash was raised to help the less fortunate within the city. The event, which Kidero rubbished, provided the bridge for rich business community to contribute to the welfare of the poor in the city.

A proposal had been made to Kidero to replace the Mayor’s Christmas Tree with a County Road Safety Christmas Tree, replete with a fund raiser dance that would raise cash to finance a County project for city residents’ awareness and help accident victims. But the Governor chose to dance the idea away with among others, President Uhuru Kenyatta and briefly Raila Odinga. Read how Raila embarrassed Kidero below.

Governor Kidero sticker

Kidero’s decision came two weeks after he survived a serious accident in Kisii. He later sacked his Roads Executive namesake Evans Ondieki incidentally from Kisii whom he had assigned the Road Safety project and was pushing it in futility. The County government has never bothered to put in place any sustainable Road Safety project for the benefit of city residents. Kidero’ victims at City Hall describe him as a dictator of sorts (some say he is a small Raila) and when you cross his way or block his interests you get fired.

Restore the facilities and opportunities

Kidero was elected to the Governor’s office on a ticket that he would fight corruption and restore Nairobi to its former glory riding on the then unknown gross mismanagement of Mumias whose fame was built on make-believe success quick sand. Nairobi residents hoped he would restore the facilities and opportunities that they need for their families to progress and flourish. All that now is a dream they wish never to dream again come August 8, 2017.

Governor Kidero is the kind of person the Americans had in mind when they said “you can remove a person from a Ghetto but you cannot remove the ghetto in him”. His meteoric journey to the second highest public-cum-political office in Kenya seems to have failed to deliver him to the stage of a foresighted public affairs manager for the City of Nairobi. The sooner Nairobians show him the way out of City Hall the better.

Said to have been born in Nairobi’s Majengo, Kidero appears to still appreciate the imagery features of Majengo he was born in. Majengos in all urban towns of Kenya mostly comprise slum-like mud houses in generally unplanned and inadequately provided for social and hygienic facilities – including tap water. To a large extent garbage piles all over, roads are non-existent or dilapidated like most of Kidero’s Nairobi today.

Kidero garbage Kahawa west

Specialized in grabbing prime public land

The capital City of Nairobi has lost the Glory she enjoyed during the years of Mayors Charles Rubia, Isaac Lugonzo and Margaret Kenyatta. Margaret built the last City Council estates of Buru Buru and Huruma and initiated tenant-purchase estates sprawling over Umoja and Dandora. Her departure saw the entry of Andrew Ngumba, subsequent Mayors, deputy Mayors, chairmen of Finance Committees and City Commissioners who specialized in grabbing prime public land for their personal housing estates and buildings. A trend personal aggrandizement Kidero was unable to stop.

Kidero’s tenure at City Hall has earned him a page in Kenya’s “Book of Failed Politician” who in Kenya is a man or woman who voluntarily forfeits a life of honest decency and opts to pursue a deceitful life riddled with claims of success riding on unbridled corruption. He had the opportunity to transform Nairobi into a 21st Century world capital but squandered it in pursuit of urban luxury.

Kidero was elected to the Governor’s office on a ticket that he would fight corruption and restore Nairobi to its former glory riding on the then unknown gross mismanagement of Mumias whose fame was built on make-believe success quick sand. Nairobi residents hoped he would restore the facilities and opportunities that they need for their families to progress and flourish. All that now is a dream they wish never to dream again come August 8, 2017.

1. Kidero Roads

Nairobi residents must cleanse their City of the tag that it is the East African Corruption headquarters and free wheeling City Hall Corruption. They must sanitize their City from the eyesores mountains of garbage and stench last seen in Dictator Moi’s era. They must save their City from the gaping craters on City roads, avenues and estate drives. They must halt the mushrooming population of hawkers for lack of appropriate markets facilities. They must put an end to wasteful traffic jams with resultant air pollution. They must demand more public housing projects to reduce slums.

Nairobi is in dire need for business investments that create thousands of jobs for the burgeoning youth populations, opportunities that can create skills for self-employment, recreational facilities and conducive social engagement for a better living environment. Nairobi residents need leaders who would be more concerned about citizens living in peace not political strives which degenerate into ethnic hate and combative flare-ups ruining businesses and scaring investors and tourists.

The work of a Governor is a management job that requires deep understanding of the challenges facing Nairobians and foreigners living in Nairobi today. Experience from Kidero has shown Nairobians that they have to make a more informed, indeed thorough, decision in in their choice of the person who can maneuver through the monumental challenges of a rapidly growing City. A city bursting with uncontrollable population growth and run down systems. That person is not Kidero.

End City Hall Corruption


Aide explains how Raila embarrassed Kidero’s function

Ball of confusion

Don’t quote me on this, but this is what happened.

Raila Protest at Governor’s Ball

The nation story on Raila walking out of Governor’s Ball needs to look a little deeper at what went on.

Raila was met by the hosts, the Governor and his wife who escorted him into the hall. The event organiser and her team took over as they did with all the dignitaries/VIPs who attended the function.

There were lapses in preferred seating arrangements that not only affected Raila but a couple of other dignitaries too including, James Oswago, The US ambassador and believe it or not, the Deputy Governor and his wife as well who had not been allocated a seat on the high tabled as had been planned.

Considering that there were very many high profile VIP guests and limited space these things were difficult to avoid. Part of the problem stemmed from that fact that Raila arrived with a number of people who all wanted to sit together. As there was only space for that number on table 24 he was assigned those spaces.

His aides then promptly complained to the event organizer that he was too far from the high table (24 was in the 2nd row away from high table).

Six (6) tables had been reserved right in-front of the high table for the families of Mboya/Kidero, top ranking GOK officers from office of President including the Presidents aides, Top businessmen in Nairobi and cabinet secretaries and a couple of tables for Diplomatic Missions.

Raila was then moved to the Family table who accommodated him by asking two friends to move to another table. Raila and his late son Fidel and an aide now sat with Mboya/Kidero family right in-front of high table.

Night of daggers

A few minutes later, as President was arriving Raila’s aides again called the event organizer and began insisting that he must be accommodated on the high table with President and his wife, Governor Kidero and wife and Deputy President and his wife.

As the President approached his seat greeting people as he walked, Raila aides seemed quite prepared to cause a scene that would have embarrassed the President and Governor as Raila stood in line waiting to greet him.

It was quickly agreed to take an extra seat to the high table for Raila. The Deputy Governor stood waiting with his wife as another 2 seats were added to accommodate him and his wife at high table as well.

Finally the dinner got underway.

Next the aides wanted to know when Raila would be able to speak. They again signaled the event organizer and caucused. Going in terms of seniority, the cabinet secretary Wario was to speak first and invite the deputy Governor who would then invite Governor to speak and invite Deputy President who would then hand over to the President. The fact that Raila was not included as a speaker and was seated on high table caused much head scratching.

As both President and Deputy are Senior to him and it was the Governors function, the only place he could be slotted was to be introduced by the Deputy Governor to greet the gathering then the deputy would take over again and introduce the Governor.

At this the aides consulted with Raila, and it seemed it had been resolved. But before the Cabinet secretary had spoken, Raila stood to leave after briefly speaking to the Governor and President. It was not in any way acrimonious. Kidero says Raila went to bid farewell to a visitor of his at the airport.

The question is then, is it expected that wherever Raila goes to a function in which the President is in attendance they should be treated the same? How can this be? At the Kenya@50 celebrations Former President Kibaki was not given any chance to speak?

It may be time for Raila’s inner circle to realize that there is a Government in place with all the associated protocols and his place is that of the leader of an opposition party. He is free to address that by running for office again in 2017.