FORMER Cabinet Minister Simeon Nyachae reaped big in the parastatal appointments announced on Monday, as the Jubilee administration named five members of his family to plum positions.
Nyachae’s daughter Judy and son Kenneth Bitange Nyachae were appointed to the Export Processing Zone and the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority boards respectively.
Nyachae’s niece Violet Omwamba was appointed to the Lake Victoria South Water Services Board, while his nephew Christopher Ayienda was named board member at New Kenya Co-operative Creameries Limited. Another nephew, Samwel Nyanchama, was appointed to the Energy Regulatory Commission Board.
Nyachae’s elder son Charles is currently the chairman of the Constitution Implementation Commission and is reported to be interested in becoming Kisii governor in the next election. There is word that, before then, the CIC boss could be headed to the Cabinet, when his term ends at the commission in a matter of months.
Another of Nyachae’s sons, Lee, is a big time contractor and was at the centre of retired President Kibaki’s campaigns and in 2013 joined President Kenyatta’s team.
Nyachae and his family have dominated Kisii politics from the days of his father, Senior Chief Nyandusi, who acquired a lot of land as well during his tenure.
His son Simeon worked for the government most of his life, rising to the position of Chief Secretary (Head of the Civil Service) and eventually Finance minister in the Daniel Moi government.
He is known to be very wealthy.
Nyachae is also reported to have helped push for the appointment of Information and Communication Technology Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, who campaigned for him in 2002 when he unsuccessfully run for President.
Nyachae, the patron of the Ford People Party, led a host of legislators in the last elections in backing Jubilee. He donated two of his choppers to the UhuRuto campaign team and even made a passionate appeal to the community to vote for Uhuru, despite criticism from local elites.
Several other politicians from the Gusii region known to be close to Nyachae and were appointed this week include Ford People chairman Henry Obwocha, who was appointed chair of the Privatisation Commission, while former Kitutu Masaba MP Walter Nyambati was named chairman of the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation.
Former Nyaribari Chache MP Robert Monda heads to the Board of the Kenya Accreditation Services. Monda is a member of TNA and lost in the 2014 by-election to Ford People’s Richard Tong’i.
Uhuru also appointed two brothers, Julius Sunkuli as a member of the Board of the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation, and Andrew Sunkuli to be a member of the Lake Victoria South Water Services Board, the two lost in 2013 elections.
Susan Wakhungu, the sister of Environment CS Judy Wakhungu was also appointed as Executive chairperson Kenya Year Book editorial board.
Some of President Kenyatta’s appointees to state corporation boards have had run-ins with the police and serious integrity questions may be raised about their suitability.
Top on the list of nominees that have had trouble with the law is the controversial URP activist George Ayugi, aka Mbuta, as well as former assistant minister Raphael Wanjala.
In October 2013, Mbuta, who has been appointed member of the Lake Victoria South Water Services Board, was involved in a police case for allegedly distributing biscuits laced with drugs to security guards manning the Trans National Bank building in Nairobi.
The guards complained of fatigue, high temperature and had painful erections that lasted for hours on end. They were rushed to a Nairobi hospital, where they were admitted overnight.
However, Ayugi denied the allegations, insisting that he bought the cookies at Schiphol International Airport when he was returning home from The Hague and was unware of their ingredients.
Wanjala and his lover Joyce Akinyi have been dogged by a series of drug trafficking claims, despite repeated denials. In 2008, the lovebirds were detained in India after authorities found them with an undeclared Sh7.59 million.
Before the 2007 polls, a cache of pangas was discovered in a GK car attached to Wajala in a convoy headed to Western Kenya.
Source: The Star