A vicious war for the control of Uhuru Kenyatta’s diary has claimed the first casualty, head of Presidential Delivery Unit Waita Nzioka
Though Nzioka remains at State House, he has now been clipped of his powers by deputy Chief of Staff Njee Muturi, Comptroller Kinuthia Mbugua, former presidential adviser Nancy Gitau and former Jubilee Party vice chairman David Murathe, whom the head of state is giving an ear.
In his heyday, Nzioka who was a schoolmate of Uhuru at St Marys used to call the shots at State House and would enter the president’s office anytime but these days he has to book an appointment to see him.
So frustrated is Nzioka that he has started drinking beer during the day. He is regretting his decision to leave Safaricom for State House.
It is him who singlehandedly ejected four Presidential Strategic Communication Unit directors and barred them from accessing their work station inside State House.
To date, the fate of PSCU directors remains uncertain but their redeployment to less influential offices underlined Nzioka’s power.
From a legal officer in Safaricom in 2001 to emerge as the most feared Chief of Staff with the president’s ear in 2016, doubling as the head of Presidential Delivery Unit which played a key role in Uhuru’s re-election campaign of 2017, Nzioka has in the span of just two years, gone from one of Uhuru’s righthand men and most sought-after fixer to a political pariah rejected by his boss and shunned by everyone else.
With his deputy Njee steadily having made a comeback, Nzioka has become a surplus requirement in the last quarter of 2019, triggering anxiety and depression that nearly saw him hand in a resignation letter before the Christmas break.
Nzioka no longer calls the shots and rarely meets with the president.
Once considered one of the president’s most powerful aides based at State House, Nzioka is today a pale shadow of his former self and prefers to spend most of his time whiling away at exclusive pubs and clubs with friends who still believe he can pull strings.
Nzioka became one of Uhuru favourite workers when he joined government fresh from Safaricom Ltd.
He became so powerful and was floated as a potential head of Public Service to replace the aging Joseph Kinyua.
The abrupt transfer of the PDU that manages Uhuru’s the Big 4 agenda legacy projects to the Interior docket under Fred Matiang’i was a pointer of how things have gone wrong for him.
He has now been reduced to retweeting announcements by the PDU which he once headed.
In his recent government reshuffle, Uhuru retained Nzioka as Chief of Staff but the reality is he has been elbowed out of mainstream affairs of State House and hardly knows what is in the president’s diary.
Within State House itself, Nzioka has cut an increasingly forlorn figure on the sidelines as colleagues and outsiders actively go about business in the seat of power.
Nzioka is now fighting to save his job, following a vicious power struggle involving State House insiders.
Nzioka has fallen out with his deputy Njee, Mbugua and Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho.
He has not accompanied the head of state in a number of occasions as has been the case in the past.
Another accusation against the Chief of Staff is that he is influencing top appointments, with critics pointing at Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai and others from his Ukambani backyard.
Via Weekly Citizen
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