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Karanja Kibicho: The Tangatanga nightmare

Dr Karanja Kibicho wasn’t known to many until the Jubilee government came to power in 2013.

But since then, he has risen to be a key figure in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, starting of as Principal Secretary at the high-ranking Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kibicho swapped positions with Monica Juma, who was at the time at the Interior docket, when President Kenyatta reogranised government in November 2015.

Since then, other than stopping his moderate drinking completely to stay alert as he told some administrators in Nyamira, Kibicho has risen to be among the most powerful figures in the Jubilee government, especially in the second term

Together with his boss, Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, they have streamlined coordination of government and often crossed lines with allies of Deputy President William Ruto.

The latest case involved former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, who claimed him and Kibicho, with other individuals in the ‘deep state’, bought ODM t-shirts and second-hand cars, which they burnt on Ngong Road at the height of 2017 elections to paint the Orange party as violent.

Kibicho denied the claims and recorded a statement with DCI. He also threated to sue Sonko for character assassination.

This, is however, — and Kibicho noted as well — not the first time they are fighting. They have been on a warpath for more than three years.

When talk of impeachment started getting louder at City Hall, Sonko claimed Kibicho was frustrating him.

On October 2020, he said President Kenyatta was surrounded by the Interior duo, whom he said were misleading him and labelled them conmen .

Their fight goes back to March 19, 2013 when appearing on Citizen TV, Sonko claimed Kibicho and former Gatanga MP and Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe were determined to block him from vying for Nairobi governor under the Jubilee ticket.

It does not stop with Sonko.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi has in the past said Matiang’i and PS Kibicho are working on a political scheme to undermine DP Ruto.

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has also accused a “certaing clique of civil servants at teh Office of teh President” or working to frustrate teh DP.

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