In his famous book the 48 Laws of Power, author Robert Green advises those who want to be successful leaders to be as cunning as foxes when dealing with both friend and foe. In rule number 14 titled ‘Pose as a friend, work as a spy’, he states: ‘Knowing about your rival is critical. Use spies to gather valuable information that will keep you a step ahead.
Better still, play the spy yourself. In polite social encounters, learn to probe. Ask indirect questions to get people to reveal their weakness and intentions. There is no occasion that is no opportunity for artful spying.”
Raila Amolo Odinga – the politician affectionately nicknamed Agwambo by his supporters – is a man who has perfected this art of spying on both friends and enemies and the noxious mercenaries saga is the latest and most credible case that has proved claims that the Lang’ata MP runs a very effective parallel secret spy system.
THE MP, using this elaborate network, has effectively infiltrated key state institutions including the police force which falls under the office of the president, the sensitive immigration ministry whose headquarters are at Nyayo House, the Kenya Ports’ Authority, the Registrar of Companies and Kenya Revenue Authority’s motor vehicle registration department.
Additionally, the MP, a political strategist of no mean repute, has a formidable information gathering machinery whose work is to collect and process as much intelligence as possible on his real and perceived enemies.
For instance, during his political duels with the late Vice-President Wamalwa Kijana, he enlisted the services of a Wamalwa kin who had 24-hour access to Wamalwa to effectively monitor his rival’s activities. It is said Raila capitalized on the infighting among the late Senator William Wamalwa’s siblings to achieve the spying aim.
Using the relative, Wamalwa was able to receive information on which people had spoken to, where he had slept and the cars he had used. It should be recalled that Wamalwa was always ridiculed as a politician who liked watching cartoons, the favorite being Tom and Jerry.
This information is said to have been passed to the public after Raila received it from the Wamalwa kin. Indeed Wamalwa enjoyed watching cartoons, at times at the expense of very important functions.
And while he served as minister in the Moi cabinet and
until recently the Kibaki cabinet, raila made sure that he had all the necessary intelligence on all ministers, particularly those from Nyanza province opposed to his politics.
Word has it that last year, a Luo minister warned his driver and bodyguards to stop associating with Raila’s bodyguards and drivers. This was after the minister discovered that Raila’s bodyguards and drivers had a habit of talking ill of their boss openly, claiming he was arrogant and mean.
This was a strategy to get others talking about their bosses, information that was passed on to Raila. This way, the enigmatic MP learned a lot of secrets on the ministers.
An insider in Raila’s camp says through such networks, the Lang’ata MP has gathered massive intelligence on practically all the important politicians in the country.
“Agwambo knows which politician coughs at night, their
favorite drinks, love affairs, business associates and investments and of course bank accounts,” said the insider who did not want to be named.
A shrewd political operative, he has a secret security network which travels ahead of him during public functions including weddings and funerals. The politician has very strong contacts in the media, usually at senior management and editorial levels.
These contacts brief him on all the news that touch on
him or his political interests before the information
is made public.
Last week when the alleged Armenian mercenary, Artur Margaryan visited Standard Group offices, Raila aides were spotted at I&M Buildings in a white Peugeot vehicle registration KWS 606 an hour before the controversial businessman arrived.
A Lang’ata councilor, Opete Opete, was also spotted at the press
conference. What he was doing there is anyone’s guess.
The two well-built men kept on talking on mobile phones and when the alleged mercenary was forced to flee a lynch mob, one of Raila’s men was heard communication the information to a second party. That the government is concerned and worried about Raila’s information gathering machinery was well manifested when an immigration officer suspected to have given Raila details of the Armenians from the Immigration Department
The officer was suspected to have been instrumental in giving out the photocopies of passports and work permits of the two controversial brothers. Copies of the two passports displayed by Raila to the media indicated that the two men, born in 1970 and 1973 respectively entered Kenya for the first time on January 23, 2006, and were issued with residence visas for two years.
The passports also show that the two traveled to Dubai between 2005 and 2006. initially, the CID thought the copies of passports were not genuine and made a follow-up at Immigration offices. To their surprise, the copies were of genuine passports.
And to add insult to injury, Raila went ahead to name the residential house in Runda where the Armenians were staying beside providing information on a truck registration KAU 967W that was seen entering and off-loading materials in the compound before speeding away with occupants.
Raila’s recent exposes, complete with documentary proof is said to have caught top CID officers and the staff at the National Intelligence Security Services (NSIS) headquartered at Ruaraka and headed by Michael Gichangi off-step.
According to observers, Raila has penetrated a section of the country’s intelligence that is giving him useful information that he has been using to embarrass the government.
A second theory has it that a group of influential personalities who were recently elbowed out of State House after being fingered by former Ethics PS John Githongo is on a revenge mission and could be responsible for the credible adverse information Raila has been releasing with such devastating effects.
The fallen group which still enjoys sympathy in various strategic government departments can lay their hands on confidential government documents including those at State House.
Last week, state intelligence network were pursuing ODM luminaries for leads on the mercenaries, exposing how the raid at the KTN studios and the Standard newspapers at I&M Building and on the Standard press at Likoni Road was executed on March 2nd.
ODM claims that more foreigners among them Tanzanians including a woman only identified as Shifana are on the government’s dirty payroll. They have been issued with police certificates and guns by a CID officer which they used to plan and raid the Standard. Police are puzzled that Raila’s network was able to identify the vehicles used in the raid whose registration were given as KAQ 010W, KAU 828Y (white Lexus),
and KAP 448Z, a blue Mitsubishi and KAR 4553H, a green Toyota Prado.
Raila’s underground network has been able to unearth numbers of several vehicles that are available to foreigners. They are KAH 980M, a blue Merceded Benz 320; KAS 501S a Mercedes-Benz 320; KAQ 010W and KAU 838Y, both white Lexus; KAT 331P, a white Volvo; KAR 453H Toyota Prado Green; KAU 801P, a grey Land Rover Discovery; KAT 285Y blue Peugeot 406; GK A222H white
Subaru; KAS 847F, a blue Mercedes Benz KAQ 215J; blue Subaru and KAP 448Z a blue Mitsubishi.
It is suspected Raila has been able to capitalize on the current infighting among Kibaki close confidantes to access sensitive information. For example, queries are being asked how the fiery MP established that two officers from the presidential escort unit have been deployed as bodyguards and drivers to the foreigners.
Our informant tells us that Raila gets sensitive information either directly or from close allies in the business, social and political areas. It is said that Raila’s information gatherers are to be found on streets of Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu and when they land on information they either call him directly or his aide.
The network, according to sources has to verify information. For example, if news comes in that Kibaki was planning to visit Kisumu and raila is not aware, the network immediately starts gathering hints from close men associated with Foreign Affairs Minister Raphael Tuju.
The reason here is that the president cannot visit Nyanza without Tuju’s knowledge. We have established that among politicians Raila has detailed his men to monitor closely are Prof. George Saitoti, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka, Nicholas Biwott, James Orengo, Musalia Mudavadi, Gideon Moi, Najib Balala, David Musila, Musikari Kombo, William Ruto, Mukhisa Kituyi, Simeon Nyachae, Raphael Tuju, Mutula Kilonzo, Fred Gumo and Cyrus Jirongo among others.
And within Kibaki’s kitchen cabinet, Raila is interested in the activities of Strategic Planning PS Stanley Murage, ministers Njenga Karume, Amos Kimunya, John Michael and Martha Karua. Francis Muthaura secretary to the cabinet and head of the civil service, George Muhoho, Eddy Njoroge and Joe Wanjui, The Chancellor University of Nairobi.
Within the Asian community, is is said the late road contractor Sunil Behal alias “Lord Fupi” used to be Raila’s informer. For now Raila, the man who studied in the then Communist East Germany gets tips from a number of Asians in Nairobi who have roots in Kisumu and are fluent in the Luo language, which they use to
communicate in five-star hotels.
For Raila’s security network, he is said to mostly depend on ex-air servicemen who were involved in the 1982 coup. It is this group that is said to have been used as an advance party during last year’s referendum campaigns. Traveling in hired Nissan vans, with crude weapons, petrol bombs and with mobile phones, they offered security for ODM luminaries throughout
the hectic campaign period.
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