President Uhuru Kenyatta has scarcely ever hidden his disgust against the freewheeling style of businessman Jimmy Wanjigi. The President was aghast that Wanjigi, from the house of Mumbi, would go out of his way to finance Mr Odinga’s CORD presidential elections campaign in 2012 against a “brother”.
Many people have wondered why one of Kenya’s most respected newspapers went out of its way to carry such a banner headline, of a man only popular for all the wrong reasons
A blazing banner headline this week about the ‘return of Jimmy Wanjigi” while being described as “mercenary journalism” at its worst is little comfort for Kenyatta” Many people have wondered why one of Kenya’s most respected newspapers went out of its way to carry such a banner headline, of a man only popular for all the wrong reasons? He was an opposition key financial bank-roller yes but what would merit such front headline treatment
At one time Mr Kenyatta sort to show who is boss by flexing his muscles, dispatching the police to search Wanjigi’s homes, he had allegedly stashed a cache of weapons
There was no shortage of news from the BBI in court preceding’s to Covid-19 vaccines, kidnap and murder at the coast yet the paper found Mr Wanjigi merited a banner headline. That Wanjigi made most of his wealth “overnight’ during the Kibaki reign and through “suspicious” Eurobond deals was not lost to Mr Kenyatta.
So was Jimmy Wanjigi’s support for Mr Odinga, a former rival who twice in 2013-2017 sort to beat Uhuru in closely fought and hotly contested presidential elections meant to achieve? At one time Mr Kenyatta sort to show who is boss by flexing his muscles, dispatching the police to search Wanjigi’s homes, he had allegedly stashed a cache of weapons.
Some commentators say perhaps it’s Mr Odinga sending an eerie message to his handshake partner of 3 years, Uhuru that’s it’s time to change tack. Why was Wanjigi on the headline of Kenya’s largest-selling daily? This is said to have angered both President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. Both men have no love lost for the political wheeler dealer-cum-businessman and a close ally of ODM chairman Raila Odinga.
Insiders have told The Weekly Vision online that among the conditions agreed on in the handshake truce of March 9 2018 between Uhuru-Raila was a demand by Mr Kenyatta to Mr Odinga that Jimmy Wanjigi be phased out of any future political or business deals. But as Kenyatta navigates his final year in office as president, Mr Wanjigi has returned on the scene with a bang as if to dare the president to another duel. Mr Wanjigi is widely believed to have made a fortune supplying government tenders in single-source deals okayed by his political godfather Raila Odinga when he was PM.
At the height of their dispute in 2016 Uhuru is said to have cancelled several deals fronted by Jimmy Wanjigi, most of whom were Chinese firms forcing the latter to run to Odinga. On Wanjigi’s back is none other than the ghost of his close associate, the slain businessman Jacob Juma still crying for justice. Juma was in 2016 waylaid by an elite squad of assassins on motorcycles and two saloon cars in a vicious ambush that left little chance for his escape.
The assassins breached the businessman’s bulletproof window screen vehicle using grenades before unleashing a volley of deadly firepower on the former YK operative killing him instantly. Despite the public outrage that followed no suspect has been arrested to date, Juma’s killing has taken a back seat despite Mr Odinga vowing to find his killers. Before he was assassinated, Jacob Juma was involved in several high-profile legal cases against the government over failed business deals. Juma had warned of a plot to kill him because of his outspoken views. “We don’t know the motive but this seems to be a pure murder,” Nairobi police chief Japheth Koome was then quoted telling the media.
Mr Juma a business associate to Wanjigi successfully sued a state corporation for about $5m (£3.4m) in compensation for a breach of contract to supply 40,000 tonnes of maize in 2004. He also took the government to court in 2015 for revoking his company’s mining licence, saying this was because he had refused to pay an $800,000 bribe.
The businessman had also been critical of the governing Jubilee Coalition about corruption and was supportive of opposition leader Raila Odinga, whom he kept giving top secrets many claims may have led to his demise. He was especially outspoken about the alleged disappearance of government money raised from the sale of Eurobonds in 2014.
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