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Ties To Mama Ngina Keep An Incompetent CS Macharia In Uhuru’s Cabinet

Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development CS James Macharia. [PHOTO/ COURTESY]

Despite James Macharia being in government for over six years now, as a cabinet secretary, an average Kenyan cannot associate him with any positive change.

From his days at the ministry of health to the ministry of transport, his reign has been of ill-health and bumpy road, riddled with scandals and nonviable policies that have always flopped.

At the ministry of health the CS oversaw the loss of Ksh5 billion, in a scandal that involved phoney companies, just like the NYS scandal.

Among the companies implicated in scandals include one owned by Mr Philip Kinisu, the former chairman of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission who resigned after when things backfired.

Another company, Estama Investments Ltd, got Ksh200 million supposed to have been for free maternity meant for county hospitals. By the time the scandal erupted, Estama had not paid taxes for two years.

He was later moved to the ministry of transport where he initiated the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system which turned out to be a white elephant.

The fruits of the BRT system have never been seen, even as the government goes mute on the story despite massive  investment.

In January, Macharia announced that the government had finished purchasing the first batch of 64 buses. The year is almost halfway, with no bus on sight and the infrastructure is yet to be set up. Billions were sunk for the project.

The CS also promised the importation of 11 trains from Spain, but the project seems to have stalled. As usual, billions could have been sunk into the project, which may never materialise.

He is also the mastermind behind the GreenPark terminal at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where Ksh22 billion was invested, The project was stopped, even as the government reviewed its economic viability, suggesting that the project was not well thought out.

Then came the matatu CBD ban, which left the minister with an egg on the face. The ban failed terribly, putting into question his competency.

As all these flops were being floated, Macharia was working on another project in favour of the first family, where he is said to be a relative. He was ‘secretly’ initiating the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) takeover by cash strapped Kenya Airways (KQ).

The project backfired, after an uproar by Kenyans. It was alleged that the first family has shares at the KQ, and would have been the biggest beneficiaries if the project went through.

Read:  Sony Sugar MD Bernard Otieno Sent on Compulsory Leave After Workers’ Strike

Under his reign, the CS also introduced the housing fund levy, which has faced several backlashes and is almost crumbling before even a  single room is built. Talk of dead on arrival.

It is alleged the he struck a deal with Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) before he brazenly announced that workers would start being deducted 1.5 per cent of their basic salary towards the fund.

The contribution has now been put to a halt by court cases, and might not survive.

But what has kept the CS at the helm with all these failures?

According to sources, the CS is a cousin to Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the matriarch of the first family who is said to have much say in the government.

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Kahawa Tungu

Written by Kahawa Tungu

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