Saturday, 29 June 2013

Raila:Jubilee won't force me to quit politics

At a hotel in Ivory Coast’s largest city Abidjan 10 days ago, former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa bounded across the lobby to greet Cord leader Raila Odinga.
Mr Mkapa is well known for his bubbly, jovial demeanour but this time he had a concerned look on his face.
“Raila,” he said. “Ni jambo gani hii nasoma kwa magazeti ati wewe huwezi tumia VIP (lounge) JKIA? (What is this I hear that you cannot use the VIP lounge at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi?).”
“It is true,” Mr Odinga said. “You and (Frederick) Sumaye (former Prime Minister of Tanzania) can use the VIP lounge in Kenya but I cannot.”
Mr Odinga told that story with a chuckle in an interview with the Sunday Nation on Friday.
But he was making a more serious point. The ODM party leader has in the recent past become the target of what appears to be a campaign of intimidation and bullying by elements within the government, including the withdrawal of most security personnel assigned to him and the vehicles they used.
One of the country’s most senior political figures now travels around without a police escort and his personal security detail has been cut down to the bare minimum. He and his family were also notoriously subjected to humiliation when they were barred from using the VIP lounges at the airport three weeks ago while on trips to Kisumu and a second time before Mr Odinga travelled to the US.
The disputes Mr Odinga has engaged in with the authorities and the repeated security breaches at his offices have raised questions about the maturity of the nation’s democratic culture.
In stable democracies on the continent such as Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius and Tanzania, former presidents, vice- presidents and prime ministers are offered state security and reasonable levels of compensation after leaving office.
Mr Odinga said the Jubilee administration should borrow a leaf from those countries although he was at pains not to blame the treatment to which he has been subjected directly to either President Kenyatta or Deputy President William Ruto.
“I am ordinarily not the complaining type,” Mr Odinga said. “I recognise that there is another government in power and they are entitled to their attitudes. But I think we should be a civilised country that respects its citizens. Everybody has rights: children, the sick, the disabled, the infirm, the aged, everybody. At every stage of life people should be treated with respect. It’s a culture we should institutionalise.”
The Cord leader pointed to the almost total withdrawal of the security personnel assigned to him to illustrate his point.
“In my home (in Karen) there is only one person. When he is asleep, I have nobody there. The guards assigned to my home are not provided with transport. That leaves the question whether they are supposed to carry guns in a matatu. I was a Prime Minister who was an equal partner with the President.
That’s why I had 20 ministers and Kibaki had 20 ministers. They say I’m not entitled to anything. I am not a VIP. Look what they do for the others. Nyayo (former President Moi) is given six cars. Kibaki has 25 guards. He has been given a budget of Sh250 million for an office. What about me? Don’t I have things to do? I have not been paid even a single cent in pension since I left office. Yet I served as an MP for 20 years, as a minister and prime minister. How am I supposed to survive for the rest of my life?”
Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia declined to comment and asked that all inquiries be directed to Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo. When Mr Kimaiyo was reached, he said he was in meetings and could not discuss the issue.
Key leaders in government, including House Majority Leader Aden Duale, have demanded that Mr Odinga retires from politics before he can receive any retirement benefits but the former PM dismissed this out of hand.
“I am not their subject. I can’t be ordered around by the spokesmen of people. They never brought me into politics and they can’t force me to retire. I will not be held to ransom because of benefits.
It’s a carrot they are dangling before me but they should be more civilised. I have a mission in politics and it is to serve the people. Only they can tell me to retire and not some government functionaries.”
The former PM said the notion that his security cannot be catered for because a retirement benefits Act had not been passed rang hollow because top officials in government enjoyed wide discretionary powers and could make those arrangements without the need for a special law.
He advised the government to concentrate on the task of delivering on the promises they had made to Kenyans and to spend less time attempting to humiliate opposition leaders.
“I don’t want to speculate on the reasons behind this. Maybe it’s insecurity or some kind of phobia which I cannot explain. As you can see, I have tried to be very quiet and very uncontroversial. I’ve avoided issues which could bring me into conflict with this system. I thought it’s necessary to give them space to implement their programmes. Then they can be judged by what they have been able to deliver.”
On speculation that some within government have been pushing him to retire so that they can inherit his political base, Mr Odinga said that his best advice to anyone seeking to win over the ODM base would be to deliver on their pledges to Kenyans rather than trying to force Cord leaders to exit the scene.
“Whoever is doing this is trying to break my spirit. They are spoiling for a fight. I don’t know who is doing it. I can’t accuse the President or Deputy President. I don’t think they would stoop so low. I would want to think they are above that because even I and Kibaki used to have our differences but we would find a way to manage them.”
The former Prime Minister, who with President Kibaki was one of the principals in charge of the grand coalition government formed in February 2008 to bring to an end the unrest which followed the 2007 elections, offered his assessment of Mr Kenyatta’s first three months in office.
“We formed a Cabinet within two days of taking office and swore them in and started work. This government is still a work in progress. I would have done things differently. Time is of the essence. 100 days on we still don’t have strategic plans for the ministries to know what they need to do. Within two weeks I and Kibaki had laid down the plans for the government.
We were a coalition and the first thing we did was to form a taskforce to harmonise our manifestoes. Shortly thereafter we held a workshop at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies and told each ministry what we wanted and they hit the ground running. Some of the leaders of this government were in the Cabinet and I wish they learned from it because they are digital and we were analogue.”
Mr Odinga said he would continue to work to strengthen the Opposition and ODM, which he said needed to be consolidated and re-energised.
The former PM said the last election showed that the nation’s reform process was not complete and criticised the electoral commission and the Supreme Court for the way they handled the election.
He also said the country needed to re-examine the role the National Intelligence Service plays in the electoral process, arguing that the agency played an active part in blocking Cord’s path to power.
Mr Odinga said he remains optimistic about Kenya’s future and made the case that the grand coalition had laid the grounds for the country’s economic take-off with their large-scale investments in infrastructure, special economic zones and the Lamu port project and added that Kenya was a “plane taxiing. It just needs the right pilot to fly and time will tell if the current leaders will press the right buttons”.
On the question of his security and benefits, Mr Odinga concluded with a trademark proverb.
“When Mkapa asked me about this, I told him the story of the tortoise. Somebody met a tortoise on a path and decided to punish it. He picked it up and threw it into a river. He didn’t know that the river was the tortoises’ second home. The tortoise was very happy. It began to swim and enjoy its new environment. They say I am not a VIP and have thrown me to the public. They don’t know that’s where I am happiest.

Raila :Jubilee won't force me to quit politics by Murithi Mutiga

Deputy President William Ruto to pay Adrian Muteshi 5 Million Kenya shillings for trespassing

Who would have thought?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

How Ruto can overcome crying at Public Functions by Pedro Tish

Ruto’s Habit Of Crying Explained II
In the previous part I discussed Borderline Personality and related that to why I suspect Ruto has that disease! Join me for Part 2.
Now over to Ruto, and parallels with the story in Part 1.
First of all I am a single born again Christian. That’s why it irks, irritates and annoys me when Ruto has lately resorted to annoyingly crying in every public function to control Kenyan’s emotions. It’s about attention and control and this maladjustment and bad habit has to stop.
Ruto has to find better ways to deal with his guilt of living contradictory lifestyles. Salvation/purity vs being involved in major corruption scandals. Ruto is living a double life. Caught between ruthlessness of politics and worldly Riches, and holiness of Christianity. We must engage in this theological debate. This Davidian contradiction or is it Solomonian?
Ruto wants to taradiddle and hoodwink Kenyans into thinking that because he cries, he is a man who feels sorry for their poverty and suffering, and while actually, he is part and parcel of their problem as evidenced by the jet scandal. 
Kenyans sweat their butts off lining up for matatus, and while it takes millions of taxpayers making Shs 9000 a month to produce Sh18m in taxes, Ruto spends all that blood money in a 48 hr lavish jet trip thanks to borderline personality. (kunyonya maskini is a sin and Ruto should seek medical intervention)
He cries in public but inside the flying sh 100m massage parlour, he deceptively hired with taxpayer money, he is laughing at how stupid Kenyans can be.
He cries because, after all the swindles he has committed against Kenyans, he can’t reconcile that with the fact that God has been so kind to him that he is now their Deputy President. Ruto knows that he doesn’t deserve to be Deputy President if ethics laws were to be followed to the “Tee”.
But power can also come from the Devil, and had his power been from God, he wouldn’t be in ICC. This is how the devil does things. He gives you with one hand, and takes it with the other. He makes you President or is it 50% president, but then throws Genocide accusations against you- puts you on the road to life in prison. Ruto seriously needs to pray. And I know God loves him, and he can help him stop crying at every function.
When Kenyans are watching on TV he is crying. When making money in the corridors of power and making deals behind our backs, he is laughing. Am preaching to Ruto- he needs to repent to God- so he can be healed of this bad disease- Borderline Personality.
Ken Wafula, according to a press release, has recently received threats from Ruto aides for his role in fighting for justice for the ICC victims who were displaced in 2007. Rather than follow God’s teachings, Ruto hasn’t ordered his aides to stop threatening Ken Wafula with murder. Threatening or even imagining Murder is a sin.
Ruto and Uhuru knelt at Swearing-in ceremony not because of humility but DECEPTION. It was aimed at deceiving Kenyans, that now “we have a God fearing duo in State House”.
Uhuru, his kneeling partner is, according to the authoritative Business Daily, accused in court of working in cahoots with James Gichuru to intimidate Standard Chartered Bank to terminate S.K. Macharia’s Royal Card Services credit lines, which led to S.K. Macharia incurring losses and subsequently closing his business. That’s your president. Dangerous man.
Welcome to UhuRuto’s politics by deception. The image building driven by insincere gimmicks. Playing with God to achieve a political end. Breaking commandment number 3. Do not take the name of the Lord in vain”. Wonder how far this sacrilegious impunity will go. Crimes against God.
Ruto knows for sure that he is one of the most hated men in Kenya. Most of them hate him due to the sins he is alleged to have committed against his own people through corruption cases in which he has been accused.
He wants to use the name of God, and little tears to cleanse his name. He now has made enough. But he will have to return all the goods first, if he is to be accepted in the Kingdom-it’s well laid out in the bible. That’s all am saying.
Ruto at the University of Nairobi, as the Christian Union leader, he played the same game to win Moi’s heart. He knew Moi loved God-fearing people. And so he pretended to be God fearing. Doing anything including playing with “God’s name” to get his way. Ruto should pray to God, rather than play with God.
As soon as he got wealthy he backslid. Then started abusing Moi-  the hand that fed him. The bible teaches us to be thankful to those he uses to uplift us. He was not only thankless to Moi, but also to concoct lies against Raila who helped catapult him into a national figure.
We all know that he has been at the center of numerous scandals. And the very first Jubilee Government scandal features Ruto in the “jet massage scandal”.  
I hear every time you backslide, you get allocated 7 more demons. So let’s calculate how many demons does Ruto have? He keeps backsliding and I know at least 5 times.
·        When he tasted Moi’s cash, he backslid, 7 demons
·        then got saved when Kibaki started taking him in and out of court over corruption
·        When he took the 100 acre land from his non-Kalenjin neighbour that’s another 7 demons, total of 14 demons
·        When Raila made him Agriculture minister, Ruto backslidand begun getting new scandals, add another 7 to the 14=(21 demons)
·        Then got saved again when he was mentioned in the Waki envelope
·        Jet scandal add another 7 to 21 demons=(28 demons)
·        Massages in the jet another 7 to the 28=(35 demons)
·        I could even add the Mutunga scandal/ and the 2013 election lack of transparency, plus his involvement in the airport VIP scandal but I don’t wonna scare Kenyans. So (let’s stop at 35 demons)
So besides his Recce unit security, this dude probably has 35 demons hovering around him, if the 7 demon addition rule is to be believed. That’s a National Security risk right there and that is why we need to pray for our DP everyday before we sleep.
Even if he were to cry a Tana River or quote all manner of biblical verses, I don’t trust Ruto with half the Cabinet and Nation’s budget. I can bet by 2017 he would be the richest man in Kenya. Just being near Moi between 1992 to 1997, made him one of the wealthiest in Kenya. For every million he gets he makes it 10m through dubious means (alleged). Ruto needs Jesus, for real, and I mean it.
A hallmark of Borderline personality, which Ruto has, is wasteful spending. We saw it with Ruto’s Sh18m jet scandal.
It is hypocrisy, for a man who has the hallmarks of borderline personality as evidenced by crying unnecessarily with the intention of controlling, obsession with lavish spending and kneeling to manipulate unsuspecting Kenyan population.
Kneeling is my preferred position to pray at, but when the intentions are to cover-up for other sins, then I ain’t buying that. I won’t be swayed by hypocritical gimmicks, unless Ruto renounces corruption, deception of my God and embraces reform.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Chinedu deportation saga

All this for a drug dealer!

What are the procedures of deportation in Kenya

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Why the Jubilee leadership is afraid of Raila by Makau Mutua

In democratic politics, “adversaries” are not “enemies,” but “opponents”. But methinks that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s regime is treating Cord leader Raila Odinga as an “enemy,” and not an “adversary”.
Since the ascension of Jomo’s scion to the pinnacle of power, Mr Odinga has been subjected to mean, petty and humiliating slights by state functionaries.
It hasn’t stopped there. His spouse, Mrs Ida Odinga, hasn’t been spared, either. Nor has Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
But it’s Mr Odinga who’s the prime target of these “primitive attacks”.
The question is why. What does Mr Kenyatta, or Deputy President William Ruto, have to gain by rubbing Mr Odinga’s nose in the dirt? What’s the rationale here?
Let me refresh your memory if you’ve missed the brouhaha over Mr Odinga’s “VIP woes”. But I will spare you the gore details. Bottom line is that Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka, as well as their spouses, are being “jerked around” like common raia, or hoi polloi. Both Mr and Mrs Odinga have been denied the use of Kenya’s VIP lounges.
So has Mr Musyoka. Those on Jubilee’s side seemed to relish Mr Odinga’s public humiliation. Majority Leader Aden Duale “apologised” to Mr Odinga, but opined that the former Prime Minister was “inferior” to the President, his deputy, and ex-presidents.
The rambunctious Mr Duale was clearly “carrying water” for State House. His hair-scratching and tortured “explanation” didn’t cut it.
Isn’t Mr Odinga an ex-prime minister, like Britain’s Tony Blair, or Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi?
Would Mr Kenyatta’s regime deny them VIP treatment were they to grace Kenyan soil?
Would Mr Kenyatta deny former President Mwai Kibaki, Mr Odinga’s co-principal in the defunct coalition government, VIP honours?
Mr Odinga was Mr Kibaki’s “equal” in the last government, and that alone should settle the matter.
But alas, not in the mind of the Jubilee state. Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto have kept completely silent on the matter. They must know the buck stops at their desks. Their silence implies complicity, or worse.
My crystal ball tells me Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are deathly afraid of Mr Odinga, the veteran of opposition politics.
Even though they “defeated” him in the March 4 elections, they are looking over their shoulders. That’s why they want to crush and “murder” his spirit to vanquish him for good.
They must be seeing visions of the Kanu one-party state of which they are the ideological – and biological – children.
It stretches credulity that a factotum like Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia could, without authorisation “from above”, dare a takedown of Mr Odinga.
Mr Kenyatta ought to fire Mr Kimemia if he acted alone, and publicly apologise to Mr Odinga.
It’s not rocket science to connect the dots, and figure out why Jubilee shudders at the mention, or sight, of Mr Odinga.
Their mobs tend to go into uncontrolled paroxysms.
Jubilee ideologue Mutahi Ngunyi let the cat out of the bag last week on his Twitter account. He’s usually a good barometer of what the Kenyatta insiders are thinking, and plotting.
On June 8, he told Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto on Twitter to “stop holding hands and deal with Mr Odinga unapologetically and decisively”.
He alarmingly warned that Mr Odinga “was regrouping”. He had concluded that the “honeymoon [playing nice with Mr Odinga] is over”.
Isn’t “regroup” what the opposition does in democratic politics? Or isn’t Kenya a democracy?
Which begs the question – what does the erudite Mr Ngunyi mean that Mr Odinga must be dealt with “unapologetically and decisively?” I recall that Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka surfaced at State House to congratulate Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto on their “victory” soon after the Supreme Court denied the Cord-Africog petition.
Mr Kenyatta must have been salivating at the sight of his nemesis falling on his sword.
I certainly would have advised Mr Odinga against the visit. But I believe it showed Mr Odinga to be a magnanimous statesman. So why is the Kenyatta regime paying him back in such an ugly coin? Methinks it’s because Mr Odinga refused to be Mr Kenyatta’s international “errand boy”.
Let me warn the Jubilee regime. The Book of Mathew 7:21 teaches us to “do unto others as you would others do unto you”. That’s not idle moral, or religious, advice. It’s an ageless nugget of wisdom common to most cultures. It’s a central civilisational rule. It teaches that “civility” is the pivot of all human relationships.
Poking Mr Odinga in the eye is synonymous with spitting at half of Kenya – which voted for him – in the face.
This is my question – what’s to be gained by such spiteful and pitiable behaviour? Why is Jubilee so bitter with Mr Odinga if it, indeed, won the election fair and square?
Mr Kenyatta needs friends, not more enemies. Why? That’s because he’s not out of the woods. His victory was tenuous and highly contested. He, and Mr Ruto, his deputy, have The Hague noose around their neck.
No amount of bloviating by Mr Kenyatta’s supporters will make the charges for crimes against humanity go away.
He will be navigating very tricky legal rapids for the next several years. He could be convicted either in person, or in absentia.
Why make Mr Odinga one more enemy?
Makau Mutua is Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC. Twitter @makaumutua.

Why the Jubilee leadership is afraid of Raila by Makau Mutua

Disarming with Empathy:Jo Berry at TedxExeter

Imanyara awarded Kshs 15M for Moi era detention

Monday, 10 June 2013

Mother against stepdaughter:Nduku Kilonzo to run against Kethi Kilonzo for Makueni seat

I will be watching this to see what the outcome is. I don't think Nduku stands a chance.

Update related article: Mutula's widow to Vie for Makueni Senate Seat

Makueni race does not augur well for Mutulas 

Update This tweet from Kethi Kilonzon on her twitter page

Update two Nduku Kilonzo opts out of Makueni senate race, backs Kethi Kilonzo by Machua Koinage

I am getting confused now with what is happening in Makueni.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

3 foreigners arrested over recruitment racket

Kethi Kilonzo: Get this, the ICC is not the enemy of the people

Let us not forget the victims

Kethi Kilonzo: Get this, the ICC is not the enemy of the people.

The discussion of post-election violence has become faceless.  The society has forgotten (or wishes to forget) the victims.
During the mayhem there was systematic attack on Kenyans based on their ethnicity and political leanings. Attackers, organised along ethnic lines, assembled considerable logistical means and traveled long distances to burn houses, maim, kill and sexually assault their occupants because there were of particular ethnic groups and association. 
“Guilty by association” was the guiding force behind deadly revenge attacks with victims being identified not for what they did but for their ethnic association.
The free for all was made possible by the lawlessness stemming from an apparent collapse of State institutions and forces. The international community with the African Union taking a lead responded to the post election violence instantly.  From 8th to 10th January 2008 then AU Chairman John Kufuor, then President of Ghana, visited the country and initiated a mediation process between the Principals.  After he left and with the blessings of the two Principals, the mediation process was taken over by a three member panel of eminent African personalities composed of three African icons:  Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, former Mozambique Minister and First Lady Graca Machel and former President of Tanzania Benjamin Mkapa.   
The Principals in the presence of the Panel launched the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation and agreed on an Agenda Comprising four main items.  The Waki Tribunal and its Report were the result of Agenda 4.  The Waki Tribunal was formed and its report released under a written Agreement signed by the Principals.
The Waki Report recommended the creation of a special tribunal with the power to prosecute crimes committed as a result of PEV. It also recommended that if the option of a special tribunal failed, a list consisting of names of the persons bearing the greatest responsibility for the crimes committed during the PEV is forwarded to the Special Prosecutor of the ICC. This report’s findings and recommendations have never been challenged.  The Special Tribunal was never created.  The two Principals released the list prepared by the Waki Commission of persons bearing the greatest responsibility to the Special Prosecutor of the ICC through the Chair of the Panel, Kofi Annan.
Crime is a free willed choice.  It occurs when the benefits of breaking the law outweigh the costs.  It is prevalent when people pursue self-interest in the absence of effective punishment.
The ICC didn’t come to Kenya of its own motion. It was invited to Kenya by our elected representatives. We chose not to prosecute our own.  Choices have consequences. ICC is not the first international tribunal at which persons accused of bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes against international law have been tried.  The Nuremburg and Tokyo tribunals were the first.
They prosecuted persons who were primarily responsible for the atrocities committed during the Second World War. The process at the ICC is an embodiment of this principle. Justice for all humanity.  As we vigorously debate about the ICC, and the African Union’s recent resolution on the Kenyan situation, perhaps we should spare a thought or two for the faceless victims of PEV.  Are they entitled to justice? Have they obtained it.
ICC is not the enemy.  It seeks in its own fashion under international law to grant faceless and helpless victims their day in court.
Most of them have been denied that platform in their own country.

Why Kenya's cabinet secretaries are figureheads by Makau Mutua

Every action has a counter-action. The “boomerang” – or counter-reaction – may be unintended. Remember this phrase – “choices have consequences”.
This is particularly true in the rationale behind a Cabinet of so-called “technocrats”. What’s my point? The idea may have been great, but it’s impracticable in Kenya today.
Our constitutional design is too advanced for Kenya’s fledgling political culture. Many of the Cabinet secretaries are simply not technocrats.
And those who are technocrats are ensconced in completely the wrong dockets. Which begs the question – was the mismatch deliberate, or the ugly child of unintended consequences? Methinks it’s both.
The Constitution borrowed the idea of severing the Cabinet from the Legislature from the United States. But the “constitutional heist” may have been ahead of its time. Unlike Kenya, the US Cabinet isn’t the locus where “tribes” bargain for the national cake.
Sure, the American Cabinet should “look like America,” but it doesn’t share out America’s goodies. That’s done through the budgeting process where the Executive must bargain – and compromise – with Congress. In Kenya, the Cabinet was traditionally the “national tribal council of elders”. This is where every tribe – especially tribal elites – pigged at the trough.
You got nothing if “your own” wasn’t in Cabinet. That’s why the Cabinet was a tool of national stability. But that’s changed – for now.
Unlike previous ministers, today’s Cabinet Secretaries are unelected and have no political power to steer pork to their “tribes”. Let’s look at a few.
Foreign Secretary Raychelle Omamo has been thrown into the deep end of the pool. It’s a docket in which she can’t swim, and is out of her depth.
I hope she doesn’t drown. That’s because she knows absolutely nothing about defence, weapons systems, or military strategy. I doubt she can tell a brigade from a battalion, or a general from a colonel. She may know much less about military culture, traditions, and protocol.
How is she supposed to superintend over a military-industrial complex in which she’s a complete “alien”? What’s up here?
Methinks President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto couldn’t agree on a “substantive” appointment in defence. Neither would let the other commandeer this powerful portfolio.
So the compromise was to give it to a person who’s completely unqualified, and from a community – the Luo – in which she has absolutely no political base.
That way she couldn’t rally the Luo behind her, or use her post to bargain for largesse for the community.
Her appointment – and power – is completely dependent on what Mr Kenyatta, or Mr Ruto, delegate to her. She’s nothing but a figurehead, a complete token. The “Luo” get the Defence post, but it’s not worth a measly cent. This is repeated in other Cabinet posts.
Take the case of hotelier Joseph ole Lenku who’s been nominated for the powerful Interior docket. This post is located in the Office of the President, and handles all critical security matters. But Mr Lenku knows zilch about security.
But he got the position because the Maasai complained that they were “left out” of the Cabinet in spite of supporting Jubilee. Once again, Mr Kenyatta gave “ethnic diversity” a nod, but put a complete novice in charge of security.
Which means that Mr Kenyatta, or his trusted aides, will actually run the docket, not Mr Lenku. He may be a technocrat, but he’s completely a fish out of water in this docket.
This pattern is repeated in many dockets. For example, banker James Wainaina Macharia landed in Health; a portfolio he couldn’t tell you an intelligent thing about. Then two “political orphans” – seasoned politicians Charity Ngilu and Najib Balala – were given a lifeline by Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto. Both lost their senatorial contests.
Mr Balala got the Mining docket while Mrs Ngilu was “gifted” the Lands docket. Neither knows much about their docket. But they were rewarded – in spite of Mr Kenyatta’s vow to keep politicians out of the Cabinet – for sticking with Jubilee in Cord strongholds.
There’s no doubt they will be completely subservient to Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to whom they owe their posts. That’s because they were rejected by “their people”.
The Cabinet has been cut to size by the Constitution. Much of its power has been given to county governments in the devolution structure, and to MPs and Senators.
The “tribal bargaining” for resources won’t take place within the Cabinet, but at the county level. In the new dispensation, Cabinet Secretaries are nothing but “glorified senior aides” to Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto.
Their work will be to run “errands” for Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto. This may not be a bad thing especially if devolution truly works. Perhaps it will reduce the influence of the “Big Five” ethnic groups in resource distribution. But this won’t happen if the Legislature and counties wag their tails in front of State House.
I don’t mourn the death of the old “political Cabinet”. No sir. But let’s not lie to ourselves that the new Cabinet is one of technocrats. It actually isn’t. It’s largely a hodgepodge of misplaced professionals and political retreads. It’s a neutered version of its previous iteration.
The new Cabinet lacks the political muscle to “talk back” to the “king”. I suspect that the real power will lie with Principal Secretaries. It remains to be seen what culture of governance will emerge out of this curious political beast. Will the “king” become stronger?
Makau Mutua is Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC. Twitter @makaumutua.

Why Kenya's cabinet secretaries are figureheads by Makau Mutua

Friday, 7 June 2013

94 ICC victims withdraw from case

Will there be any witnesses at this rate?

How do you ensure that the conducts  of these trial locally protects the victims, and does not disrupt peace, indeed.

Update related articles Kenya witnesses face harassment by Bernard Momanyi and Simon Jennings

Victims withdraw from ICC cases  by Diana Madegwa

Found this on African seer. Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are promoting impunity in Kenya by Maina Kiai 

Questions linger on ICC witness withdrawals by Lilian Aluanga Delvaux 

Great article ICC:Kenya's is a lose-lose strategy even if the African Union has its way by Wachira Maina
Quotes below
The Kenya government’s frenetic and wasteful sorties to the UN and AU trying to stop the ICC cases against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto show, if proof were needed, just how easy it is to be busy without being productive.
In the long view, neither effort matters: Not ambassador Macharia Kamau’s insipid and inept letter to the UN Security Council nor ambassador Monica Juma’s dogged, more professional and ultimately successful effort to get the ICC issue on the AU Summit agenda in the first place and eventually to secure a near unanimous resolution against the ICC.
READ: Kenya asks UN to end Uhuru, Ruto ICC trial
There are many reasons why these efforts do not matter: They cannot get the ICC to terminate the cases against the president and his deputy; they undermine the “we-shall-co-operate-with-the-ICC stance” they have maintained since before the elections and could damage Kenya’s diplomatic standing and complicate relations with not merely Western countries but also African countries like Botswana and South Africa.
Even the most dramatic scenario would not matter: An AU-inspired walkout from the ICC by the 34 African state parties — implicit in the Union’s most recent resolution — would only damage the future of the ICC, not its ability to complete the cases it is currently hearing.
READ: Kenya pulls out all the stops to have ICC cases dropped
Let’s take a closer look at each of these busy efforts to see why they are so unproductive: Start off with Macharia Kamau’s letter to the UN Security Council a few weeks ago asking the Council to terminate the two ICC cases.
Bereft of the usual diplomatic niceties, this salad-bowl of bad arguments, anti-ICC calumnies and national self-congratulation was so bizarre many initially thought it to be a forgery. Why did the ambassador think that the Security Council should stop the cases?
Ostensibly because the ICC is a failure; the prosecution witnesses have been coached and are unreliable; the ICC is itself illegitimate; the recent election shows that Kenyans have overwhelmingly rejected the cases against the president and his deputy and, crucially, the cases are a threat to regional peace and security.
The infelicities of language aside, the idea that the Security Council could terminate ICC cases on the say-so of the ambassador is embarrassing. Though the Security Council has powers under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to tackle threats to international peace, the Council cannot act on the contents of this letter. It would take substantive evidence to convince the Security Council that the cases from Kenya are a threat to peace within the meaning of the UN Charter.
More important, even if the ambassador had laid some evidence before the Security Council, his arguments make no sense. Consider. That the witnesses have been coached and unreliable is an evidential question for the relevant ICC Trial Chamber, not an issue for the Council.
Whether the ICC is legitimate depends on the respect and commitment it enjoys from the 122 state parties to the Rome Statute. As for the call to terminate the two cases, the wide powers the Security Council has under Chapter VII of the Charter do not include supervision of the ICC’s judicial power.
Of course, the Council may, under article 16 of the Rome Statute, defer a case for 12 months if it’s a threat to international peace.
And even though this deferral can be extended if a state party applies again, deferrals cannot be perpetual and certainly don’t imply any power to terminate. As for the results of the recent presidential election, votes do not answer criminal indictments unless they are jury ballots. In short, Mr Macharia’s potpourri of issues is inept and misdirected: He is asking the Council to consider questions it never could and seeking remedies it has no power to give.
In the end, we are on shifting sand: What is the gravamen of ambassador Macharia’s case? Is it the electoral legitimacy of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto; the weakness of the two cases and the bogus witnesses against them or the threat that the cases pose to regional peace?
But consider the ambassador’s arguments against the legal point that President Kenyatta and his deputy have consistently made, namely, that the evidence against them is worthless. If so — the former Yugoslavia prosecutor at the ICC, Nick Kaufmann thinks it is so — why bother with expensive charter jets and other lobby efforts to stop cases so congenitally defective that they must fail? Where is the public interest?
What could better vindicate the president and his deputy, embarrass the ICC and humiliate its chief prosecutor to boot than the dramatic collapse of the cases at trial?
Which brings us to the real issue: These frantic efforts do not help the president and his deputy or the country. Long before the elections, they said that they would co-operate with the ICC if elected. Asked if the burdens of an arduous trial coupled with the rigours of office would not sap their performance, they were emphatic: The heavy schedules were no object. The latest oscillation between co-operation and rejection suggests that something has changed. What though?
Cynics think that the ambassador was floating a balloon, principally to test if diplomatic opinion would countenance a decision not to co-operate with the ICC. Hopefully, this is not so. Nothing would hamper the mobility of the president and his deputy and damage Kenya’s standing as a law-abiding state globally than a decision not to co-operate with the Court.
At a personal level, article 27 of the Rome Statute makes it clear that it applies “equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity.”
This means that President Kenyatta and William Ruto’s official capacity as head and deputy head of state do not, in the words of the article, “exempt [them] from criminal responsibility.” In fact, “immunities … which may attach to the official capacity of a person” whether these are in national or international law “shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.”
If one thinks, as President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto clearly do, that the case against them is weak and unprovable, co-operation is both good political optics and smart legal strategy. Which is why it would be foolhardly to take seriously President Yoweri Museveni’s “inside information” that President Kenyatta risks arrest if he travels to The Hague. The truth is the other way: Failing to turn up would trigger the very risk President Museveni claims that President Uhuru would be running by travelling to the Netherlands.
President Museveni’s comment brings us neatly to the AU’s position on the Kenya cases. Though the ICC issue got onto the agenda only two days before the Summit — thanks to back channels efforts and corridor diplomacy by ambassador Monica Juma — it spurred the Summit to a near unanimous resolution on the ICC. The resolution opens with “unflinching commitment” to fight impunity and promote democracy.
Though an earlier draft had included all the arguments in ambassador Kamau’s letter, the final decision is a terse attack on ICC and includes, not only the Kenya cases but also that of President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan.
Drawing from the AU’s Final Decision and the Summit proceedings, one can summarise the AU stand, which echoes the now familiar one in the Kenyan press: The ICC is a tool of Western powers that targets and discriminates against the continent; undermines African efforts to solve its problems, especially finding peace and reconciliation in post-conflict situations; and is shot through with double-standards, focusing its firepower only on African countries such as Sudan, Kenya and Libya but not on Iraq or the Gaza.
With reference to Kenya, the AU thinks that the two cases can be tried locally given Kenya’s newly minted Constitution, ongoing judicial reforms and the legitimacy the judiciary now enjoys, courtesy of its Solomonic judgment in the recent presidential petition.
What are we to make of these arguments? My friend Jack Muriuki has shared his diligent work on the ICC for use in this article and it amply demolishes the AU’s anti-ICC claims.
Let us start with the argument that the ICC is a tool of Western powers. Muriuki mines the ICC archives and notes that the Rome Statute came into existence, in no small measure, because of strong and enthusiastic support from Africa. South Africa, Senegal, Lesotho, Malawi and Tanzania were among the pioneer states in the formative discussions to create the ICC as far back as 1993.
Senegal was the first country in the world to ratify the Rome Statute on February 2, 1999. The Democratic Republic of Congo brought the treaty into force by becoming the 60th state to ratify it on April 11, 2002. Kenya, now at the forefront of attacking it, joined on March 15, 2005. The African governments’ passion for an International Criminal Court matched that of African NGOs.
More than 800 African civil society organisations participated in the drafting of the Statute, making up nearly a third of the global CSOs involved in that effort.
Of the 122 states parties to the Rome Statute, 34 are from Africa, 18 from Asia-Pacific, another 18 from Eastern Europe, 27 from Latin American and the Caribbean, and 25 from Western Europe and the rest of the world. In short, Africa makes up the largest regional bloc with one in every four parties being an African country.
Could it be that having helped write the Rome Statute, Africa then lost out to the West in the establishment of and influence at the Court?
Muriuki also shows that contrary to the rhetoric of helpless victim-hood with which anti-ICC African presidents speak of the Court; Africa is well represented in numbers and influence at the ICC.
Five out of the ICC’s 24 currently active judges — or one in every five — are African: Fatoumata D. Diarra from Mali; Akua Kuenyehia from Ghana; Chile Eboe-Osuji from Nigeria; Kenya’s own Joyce Aluoch and Sanji M. Monageng from Botswana. Moreover, Africans are in positions of real influence: the Prosecutor is Fatou Bensouda from the Gambia, the Court’s First Vice President is Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng from Botswana and the Deputy Registrar is Didier Preira, a Senegalese. If Africans feel hard done by in the ICC, it canot be because the European contingent at the ICC has taken all the plum positions.
It turns out, then, that Africans helped write the law and are well represented in the ICC. What then is the AU grievance based on? Maybe it is the cases before the ICC? It turns out that it is not even that.
True, all the eight referrals — which give rise to 18 cases and investigations in total — now before the ICC come from Africa: DR Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Libya, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali — it is crucial to see how they got before the court.
Well, four of these referrals — making 50 per cent of the total referrals and accounting for 12 of the cases — were actually made by African countries themselves —DR Congo, the Central African Republic, Uganda and Mali. Only two situations — Libya and Sudan — which account for six or 30 per cent of the cases — were referred to the ICC by the UN Security Council. Ironically, it is President Museveni himself — now the ICC’s most vociferous critic — not some imperialist, who referred the Joseph Kony case to the Court.
Kenya and Cote d’Ivoire are interesting, the one because it is, indirectly, the African Union’s own referral and the other because it was a voluntary submission to the court.
Let’s begin with the Kenya case. On reflection, the cases were, in a roundabout way, referred to the ICC by the very AU now fronting the angry fight against the Court.
The referral came from the Panel of Eminent African Personalities — with Kofi Annan as chair and Benjamin Mkapa, former president of Tanzania and Graca Machel, former South African first lady as members.
The Panel had an AU mandate to broker peace and forge a framework for peace and reconciliation in Kenya in the wake of the 2008 post-election violence. They were the ones who referred the Kenya case to the ICC when it became clear that there was official reluctance to deal with crimes detailed in the final report of the Waki Commission of Inquiry.
Twice, parliament snubbed the opportunity to fashion a local solution by voting down Bills creating a local tribunal. The catchy mantra then was: “Don’t be vague, go for The Hague.” If there is now a sudden vagueness about The Hague, it is certainly not because America or Britain took us there in the first place.
Now consider Cote d’Ivoire. Though Côte d’Ivoire is not party to the Rome Statute, it has thrice voluntarily accepted the jurisdiction of the ICC.
It first accepted jurisdiction on April 18, 2003 and again on December 14, 2010 and May 3, 2011 when the president of Côte d’Ivoire reconfirmed the country’s acceptance of this jurisdiction.
On that acceptance, the Pre-Trial Chamber III granted the Prosecutor authority on October 3, 2011 to open investigations into the situation in Côte d’Ivoire. In fact, the case against Laurent Gbagbo started formally after he was transferred to the ICC detention centre at The Hague by the Ivorian authorities themselves.
Which raises the question: Where are the insidious imperialists who are targeting African leaders and shipping them out to The Hague?
So much for the ICC as an imperialist tool. What of the argument that it undermines reconciliation?
The AU itself accepts that impunity threatens peace but neither the Kenya government nor the AU has said anything about justice for the 1,133 children, women and men who were killed; the many more who were maimed and the displaced who have never been settled.
It is therefore difficult to see how ICC hurts reconciliation in Kenya. In the diplomatic kerfuffle over the ICC, it has been forgotten why international trials became necessary in the first place. The Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence laid out in painful detail the weaknesses that had made it impossible to hold perpetrators accountable “even when strong evidence existed.”
The CIPEV report lamented that of “1,133 deaths, the police have initiated prosecutions for a mere 19 homicides.”
Looking at the antecedents of 2007 — the clashes in 1992 and 1998 — the Commission was aghast at the serial failures of the then Attorney General, Amos Wako.
Evaluating his record over the 1992 and 1998 crimes, CIPEV noted that 37 out of 70 files relating to the 1998 electoral violence had been closed; 9 files were with the DPP having been re-submitted after further investigations; and 24 were still with the police for further investigations. Unimpressed by this performance, the Commission that only a “special tribunal,” not the Attorney General, could enforce accountability for “crimes against humanity relating to the 2007 general election in Kenya.”
There are many who think, with good reason, that it is this history of prosecutorial stutter and dither — as well as policy inertia — that is the real long-term threat to peace and reconciliation in Kenya.
This brings us to the third point: ICC double standards. If we go back to how the eight African referrals at the ICC ended up there, it is hard to see any merit in this charge. Half the referrals were made by African states; one by the AU’s own mediators; another arose from voluntary submission to the Court’s jurisdiction by a state that was not even a party to Rome Statute and the last two referrals were by the Security Council.
If the Court has no referrals from Iraq, Syria, Gaza or other violent and dangerous places, the blame surely lies with the Security Council and the relevant state parties, not with the Court.
The AU’s final argument is that the cases should be brought home.
Maybe. But even though the case for this is rather weak, some ICC judges have urged that this possibility be considered. If the ICC eventually makes this concession, they will almost certainly divide the hearing with certain elements still to be heard out of the country, principally because of witness safety.
But the more general point is that even though judicial reforms have been impressive and a real fillip to Kenya’s political remake, they have not properly taken root. The implementation of the Constitution may even stall.
Consider, for instance, the MPs’ execrable demands for higher pay and Kamlesh Pattni’s legal trickery in the courts. Both cases tell us that we must not be sanguine that changes are irreversible. As for the argument that the Supreme Court has secured its legitimacy with its judgment on the presidential election, the less said the better.
But the fact that some of the glitterati of the legal profession say that only those with years of university teaching and aeons of private practice can discern its profundities suggests there is less there than meets the eye.
Yet bad as the case that the AU makes is, it has been emotionally and powerfully resonant across the continent. It may even energise efforts to create an African Court of Justice and Human Rights with an international criminal law mandate as first mooted by the AU in 2008.
That may, in turn, eventually lead to a mass walkout from the ICC.
Nonetheless, it would, legally speaking, all be a pyrrhic victory. The Kenyan cases would still go on to the ignoble or glorious ends that the contending critics and supporters now prophesy.
And therein lies the puzzle: Why is Kenya expending so much energy and money on a cause in which even if we win, we shall lose?
Wachira Maina is a constitutional lawyer

Bringing it all back home

Thursday, 6 June 2013

How can I encrypt my laptop to protect my personal data

How can I encrypt my laptop to protect my personal data?

Richard has personal data on his laptop PC and would like to encrypt the hard drive to protect it. Is this still the best approach?
Laptop theft
Losing a laptop containing unencrypted personal data could cause you a real headache. Photograph: Getty
How do I encrypt the hard drive on my laptop so that if I lose it the personal data on it is protected?

This is one of those ideas that sounds good but may be more trouble than it's worth. If you work for a big company then drive encryption is straightforward. Staff will be using the Enterprise edition of Microsoft Windows, which includes the BitLocker drive encryption system. This automatically encrypts any files saved to the hard drive, and USB thumb drives and other external devices can be encrypted using BitLocker To Go. IT staff can set everything up using a management console and use your Active Directory service to store the recovery keys.
However, BitLocker is not included with consumer versions of Windows, only with Enterprise and (expensive) Ultimate versions, and I wouldn't recommend this approach to individual users. Nor would I recommend similar systems aimed at corporate users, such as McAfee Endpoint Encryption and Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise.
If you really want to take this route, the usual option is TrueCrypt, though it's far from user-friendly. This is free (donationware), open source "virtual drive" encryption software, and it's available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. However, it has no supporting management infrastructure, and no key recovery system. If you forget your password, or something goes wrong with the TrueCrypt file, there is no way to get your data back. You must therefore keep separate backups.
The drawback with full disk encryption is that the hard drive is, in effect, unencrypted when you are using it. This is a good thing because you want everything to work normally. However, once you have entered the password, anyone who can access your PC can also access your data. If you are logged on and using your laptop in a coffee shop, for example, your data isn't protected.

Encrypting files and folders

There are other problems with full disk encryption — see Gizmo's Encryption is Not Enough — which suggest that other approaches may be better. If you need to carry personal data around, then I suggest you encrypt specific files and/or folders, or use an encrypted USB memory stick. Someone should then need at least two passwords — for your user account, and your encryption — even if they have physical access to your laptop while it's running.
To do this, set Windows so that the on/off button puts the PC into sleep mode and a password is required when it is woken up. This works well with Windows 8 since it should restart almost instantly (as Macs have done for years).
You could follow Gizmo's recommendation and use Sophos Free Encryption. This unrestricted freeware program works much like a zip compression program. It seems to have been removed from Sophos's list of Free Tools but, at the time of writing, you can download it directly from Sophos using this link. If you decide to try AxCrypt instead, decline all offers to install the other programs it tries to foist on you, especially Open Candy.
Sophos encryption Sophos provides a free encryption program, which is a rebadged version of Utimaco's PrivateCrypto, which Sophos owns Note: you may be using a version of Windows that already includes an Encrypting File System. This wasn't part of the Windows XP Home version, but home users can do the job by right-clicking on the folder they want to protect, selecting Properties, clicking the tab for Sharing, and checking the box for "Make this folder private". However, this only works if the hard drive is using the NTFS file system, not the old FAT file allocation table from MS-DOS.

Use the cloud

Bearing in mind the risk of theft and the hassles of travelling overseas — where some official may well demand that you provide access to your PC — it's better to carry laptops that contain little or no personal data. (If you need to work on a flight, keep the data on a USB stick, or on an SD card that you can extract from and then re-insert into your digital camera or similar device.)
You can store the bulk of your personal files in password-protected cloud services such as Dropbox and Microsoft SkyDrive, or store them on the PC or server you keep at home. You can get to them remotely using a VPN (virtual private network) or an easy-to-use web-based system such as LogMeIn.

Browser hygiene

After that, you need to take great care with your web browsers. It's very important that you never use a browser to store passwords. If you do, someone who gets into your PC can easily access your cloud services and data.
You can also set up your browsers so that they delete everything when you close them down. This means clearing the cache where temporary internet files are stored, and deleting other browser data. WikiHow has an illustrated guide, How to Clear Your Browser's Cache, which covers all the main browsers.
An alternative is to use the browser's InPrivate browsing mode, Incognito or (in Firefox) open a Private Window for browsing. These don't save data or clear it automatically when you end the session.
Another idea is to run the browser in a separate sandbox using a program such as Sandboxie for Windows. This not only stops data leaking into Windows caches, it helps protect you from malware. This is why Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 10 already have their own built-in sandboxing.

CClean and Prey

Finally, it's a good idea to keep a copy of Piriform's free CCleaner installed on Windows laptops. This removes temporary files, history files, cookies, logs, auto-complete entries and other detritus from browsers and many common programs. It also includes a Windows Registry cleaner. For best results, run it immediately after a re-boot, with no other programs running.
Programs like CCleaner always carry some risk, but I've been using it since at least 2005 (the earliest mention I can find in Ask Jack) without any problems. However, download it from the Piriform site, and do not follow any scam links from adverts on Google. Also, when installing CCleaner, remember to untick the offers to "Install Google Chrome as my default browser" and "Also include Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer". Free software suppliers get paid for installing "foistware" but it should always be provided on an "opt in" basis. You should never have to opt out. That's evil.
Finally, you may want to consider installing tracking software on your laptop, to help you find it again if it is lost or stolen. Prey is probably the most popular free option, though it also offers Pro accounts at $5 to $399 per month. Prey password-protects your data and lets you wipe stored passwords remotely. With Prey, you want the thief to be able to access your PC, so remember to install a Guest account with limited functionality.

How can I encrypt my laptop to protect my personal data by Jack Schofield

Shock as parliament evicts accredited journalists

How will we know what is happening, so much for transparency

Update related article there will be consequences Journalists tell MPs by Laban Wanambisi

Monday, 3 June 2013

Raila Odinga blocked from VIP lounges

Related articles

 Raila Odinga barred from accessing airport VIP lounge

JKIA locks out Raila out of VIP room

Update: the Kenya Ports Authority now denys that Raila was barred from the VIP lounge kAA by Lydia Matata 

Update related article: It was thoughtless to frustrate Raila at Airport lounge by Philip Ochieng

I shudder at the thought that a future regime may eject Jaduong’ Mwai Kibaki or Jaduong’ Moody Awori from our VIP facilities merely because they no longer hold high state offices.
The Luo honorific jaduong’ is highly illustrative of my point. The adjective duong’ refers primarily to physical size and chronological age – the two things into which we all grow after birth.
But chronological age also confers knowledge, memory, wisdom and, in many cases, power, authority and respect.

In tradition, I think, this is true of all African communities – indeed, of all human peoples at the gentile level of socio-economic formation. I am told that the Kikuyu word munene and the Kiswahili word mkubwa have the same semantic career and social significance.
What’s more, unless he commits a sacrilegious act, a man who acquired such a title of power, authority and respect retained that title even after he left office (including through death).
That is why human societies raise monuments to their warriors, liberators, magi of knowledge and technique and other heroes of yore.
That is why we, in Kenya, have mounted statues to commemorate Dedan Kimathi, Jomo Kenyatta and Tom Mboya and should mount them for our other heroes and heroines of the struggle to defeat British imperialism in Kenya.
By the same token, whenever a person is in authority – notwithstanding his body size and chronological age – all gentile communities traditionally bowed in front of him as munene, mkubwa, jaduong’, ruoth, omwami, suchlike.
That is why – although Uhuru Kenyatta is spindly in body and more than two decades my junior – I have no problem recognising him as Jaduong’ Maduong’ (“paramount chief”).
Although I have frequently criticised his activities, I have no problem thinking of him as my elder brother – in social status – and thus giving him every due that I owe him as such. On the other hand, against the resources we fritter away in useless “projects”, privileged treatment of individuals who have vitally served this country in all fields costs virtually nothing.
This mutual service respect – from the younger generation to the older and from the older to the younger – was what Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto themselves promised this country when they campaigned on the platform of youth taking over from Mr Kibaki’s gerontocrats.
It was thus that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere introduced the expressive Zanaki word ng’atuka into Kiswahili.
Kung’atuka is to progressively retire from active leadership in favour of more energetic blood and more idealistic brain. Those who ng’atuka continue to serve vital roles through avuncular sanction, through caution, through tuition.
That is why the generation which takes over cannot afford to treat its immediate predecessors as ignominiously as we have just treated our former Prime Minister.
A wise management group cannot subject its Kalonzos, Musalias and their opposite numbers in other walks of life to the embarrassment Mr Odinga suffered this last week. If the urge is merely to wreak revenge upon your election rivals, then it is astonishingly thoughtless and childish.
First, you succeed merely in undermining the same government in the international public’s eyes.
Secondly, you are playing the pro-Odinga-Musyoka communities against the government. By mistreating their perceived leader(s), you are making them feel that Uhuru Kenyatta is not their President. You are suggesting to them to withdraw their cooperation and support.
Uhuru Kenyatta’s government also requires the entire world’s goodwill. But this week we received headlines the world over which depict our MPs as Maneaters of Tsavo and our State House as bent on wreaking revenge upon its election rivals.
That kind of headline can only undermine the very government you think you are helping by your juvenile behaviour. That is why Uhuru needs to punish those responsible for this juvenile disorder.

Update related article: Treating Raila Odinga so shoddily is unworthy of a reasonable government by Macharia Gaitho

It is now official. If Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, Portia Simpson-Miller of Jamaica, David Cameron of Britain, Manmohan Singh of India, or Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel paid us a visit, the government would deny them the use of the presidential pavilion and the top VIP lounge at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
The official Kenya Government position is that a Prime Minister is a second-rate leader who can never be accorded the privileges befitting a president.
Therefore as merely a former prime minster, Mr Raila Odinga cannot enjoy the same access to the VIP sanctums granted his co-principal in the defunct Grand Coalition government, retired President Mwai Kibaki; or the other ex-president, Daniel arap Moi.
That was the gist of the government stand delivered in Parliament last Thursday by ever-garrulous Majority Leader Aden Duale in response to the brouhaha over the former Prime Minister suddenly being shut out of government VIP lounges at Kenyan airports.
Mr Duale took the House through the various VIP facilities at the airports and made it clear that a prime minister, or a former prime minister, in the officially-recognised hierarchy, ranks nowhere near the President, Deputy President or retired presidents.
From Mr Duale’s argument, the operative rank is ‘president’ and therefore no mere minister, even if ranked as prime, should dream of accessing the top VIP facilities.
The argument advanced by Mr Duale would be laughable, but for the fact that he was not demonstrating his own ever-vacuous reasoning, but the official view of the government.
What the government forgot is that the title prime minister is not exclusive to Mr Odinga, but to many leaders from around the world, who will sooner or later be paying official visits to Kenya.
The Majority Leader was actually echoing, with suitable embellishment, a letter written last month by the Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia warning airport officials against allowing unauthorised persons to use VIP lounges.
Mr Kimemia did not have to mention Mr Odinga by name, but that he appended a list of ranks of ‘authorised’ VIP’s, who included the former presidents but not the former prime minister, was enough evidence who was targeted.
Airport officials, under threat of summary dismissal, got the message and acted on the letter.
Now, this rally should be no big deal under any circumstances. If President Kenyatta’s minions insist on infantile displays of power, it might have been better for Mr Odinga to stand above the useless din and ignore them.
Mr Odinga’s aides need not have gone to histrionics reminiscent of the nusu mkeka affair.
However, there is an important principle at play. The VIP lounge affair reminds us that Kenya’s government policy is sometimes being driven by an amazingly petty and vindictive mindset.
Leaders at any level deserve a modicum of respect even if one disagrees with them.
That is why, when President Kibaki took power in 2003, he had no problem assenting to President Moi’s retirement benefits, and privileges such as security and staff. He even allowed him to remain in the government house he had used since his days as Vice-President.
In retirement now, President Kibaki too enjoys all the perks due to him.
Granted that Mr Odinga is not retired yet, but there is still no reason to hound him and humiliate him. The elements who so fiercely opposed his status as President Kibaki’s co-principal on the coalition government are clearly intent on keeping him in his place even after that shot-gun marriage served out its term. Treating a vanquished election rival so is primitive behaviour unbecoming of modern democracy.
One must wonder why backward elements in the Uhuru Kenyatta regime hate Mr Odinga with such venom. Or is there something they instinctively fear in having him still around as an opposition leader?
After the disputed electoral victory and the Supreme Court decision, they were all over with their new ‘accept and move on’ creed. But it is clear now they are the ones refusing to accept and move on.

Kenya President's office censored report on high level land grabbing-commissioners

Why am I not surprised

Kenya President's office censored report on high level land grabbing by Katy Migiro

article below

NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Three foreign members of a commission looking into historical injustices in Kenya have said the president’s office censored a report to exclude references to irregular land seizures.
The commissioners said the Office of the President put pressure on the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) to delete paragraphs from its May report in which witnesses testified that Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta irregularly gave out public land to his family, friends and ethnic group. Current President Uhuru Kenyatta is the son of the country’s founding leader.
“We could not in good conscience agree to the removal of these voices, particularly when such removal was so clearly motivated by political pressure from high government officials,” commissioners Ron Slye of the United States, Berhanu Dinka of Ethiopia and Gertrude Chawatama of Zambia said in a statement published on Sunday.
As a result of this pressure, changes were made irregularly to the approved and signed report, which was published on May 21, after the end of the commission’s operational period, the foreign commissioners said. The dissenting commissioners’ opinion was also excluded, contrary to agreed procedure that it should be printed with the main report.
“The political pressure that was brought to bear ostensibly to protect the reputation of the first President will probably have the opposite effect of tarnishing that legacy,” the statement added.
The commissioners said they do not know whether the current president was aware of the actions of officials in his office.
The TJRC report detailed political assassinations, human rights violations, corruption and other historical abuses in Kenya between independence in 1963 and 2008, when the commission was set up following post-election violence that killed 1,200 people.
Land was one of the drivers of conflict during 2007/08 and of other conflicts that Kenya has experienced since 1963.
The commissioners said a copy of the chapter on land from its report “appears to have been leaked to individuals with ties to State House [the president’s official residence]” while the document was waiting to be printed.
The Office of the President then insisted on being given an advance copy of the entire report so that President Uhuru Kenyatta could familiarise himself with its contents before officially receiving it.
Soon after, several Kenyan commissioners began arguing for major revisions to the land chapter.
“A number of Commissioners, including at least one of the international Commissioners, received phone calls from a senior official in the Office of the President suggesting various changes to the land chapter,” the statement said.
The deleted material mainly details allegations of land grabbing by Jomo Kenyatta.
For example, one paragraph says Kenyatta gave his son a wedding gift in 1976 of “a large tract of government land which was, apparently, acquired without official approval and without compliance with legal procedures”.
Another paragraph says Kenyatta “unlawfully alienated to himself 250 acres” of trust land on the coast that was supposed to be held by the government in trust for the people.
“Irregularly, President Kenyatta took all of Tiwi and Diani trust lands at the expense of local people who immediately became ‘squatters’ on the land and were subsequently evicted, rendering them landless and poor,” it said.
Tiwi and Diani are prime holiday destinations on Kenya’s coast where international hotels line the beachfront. This land currently sells at 15 million Kenyan shillings ($176,000) per acre, the report said.
Also deleted was a warning that such land disputes “should be carefully addressed to avert the possibility of more secessionist movements” – referring to the Mombasa Republic Council on the coast, which wants independence from Kenya.
Campaigners have cast doubt on any action being taken in response to the alleged censorship of the report, given that President Kenyatta’s father is named as one of the main culprits in the irregular land seizures.

Related article: Missing paragraph in the TJRC report on the land question

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Did a million ghosts vote does it matter by John Githongo

 Have Kenyans really given up the ghost, we have promise despite our two fraudulent elections. The numbers do not add up.

The article below by John Githongo.

Did a million ghosts vote does it matter by John Githongo

Last Thursday, The Star published a seemingly innocuous piece titled ‘IEBC wants Political Parties Act amended’. The amendment, the report explained, was because the IEBC is now considering changing the way of "calculating funding for the parties".
Currently, the Act ‘provides that political parties’ funding should be computed on the basis of election votes. The new proposed formula is based on the number of elected representatives that each party has.
"As a result, and unsurprisingly, political parties have been pushing the IEBC to hurry up with its final release of results ‘so that they can work out how much state funding they are entitled to".
To date, however, the IEBC has not ‘finalised’ the exact figures from the March 4 election and "there are allegedly still substantial differences between the presidential and parliamentary numbers."

The report carried what I, in hindsight, considered a startling revelation. One of the IEBC’s commissioners was recorded as having said, "We are having sleepless nights reconciling the presidential results and those of the other positions. Over a million votes must be reconciled with the others and if the requirement is not changed, then it will cast the IEBC in a negative light…"
The IEBC was thus reported to have devised three options that would resolve the impasse. The concern ‘of casting the IEBC in a negative light’ was a little rich. That said, the commissioner’s admission itself was deeply troubling about the overall integrity of the polls.
A million irregularly introduced ie rigged votes would take the overall result of the presidential election closer to the scientific pre-election opinion polls and the exit polls that have emerged since, like that from Harvard University that called a close race between Uhuru and Odinga.
Then, last weekend the Daily Nation carried a long interview with Raila Odinga in which he discussed both the elections and his future plans without a hint of bitterness. Here too my attention was captured by the remarks he was reported to have made:
But this idea that there were some areas where there was 95 per cent or 100 per cent turn-out is a myth. Because if you look at the records, the average turn-out was 72 per cent for county reps, for women reps, for MPs, for governors, for senators but only for the presidential 86 per cent. What accounts for that difference?... They were stuffing ballot papers and that was the evidence that we wanted to adduce in court that over one million people turned up for the ballot and only voted for the presidency and not for the others.”
Some of the top experts on election matters – both Kenyan and foreign – have been pleading ever more insistently for the IEBC to release the full results of elections held almost three months ago.
To them, this admission that essentially around one million more Kenyans voted for the presidential candidates but did not vote for any of the other offices (Governor, Senator, MP etc) was a bombshell. After all, none of the multiple teams of election observers noted what surely would have been difficult to miss: one million voters casting presidential ballots and deciding not to vote for any other of the offices.
Nor has IEBC reported five million spoilt votes spread out amongst the other five offices, which would have been the expected result if all these voters had somehow managed to cast only one of their allotted six ballots right – the other plausible explanation. So the one million ghosts in the books are a problem.

It is ironically comforting to many that the gut feeling that something slick, big and nasty was likely pulled off at the last election is seemingly now proving to be more and more likely correct.
This is notwithstanding the sometimes garbled reassuring statements by both local and foreign observers whose positions at the time were not backed up by what Kenyans saw with their own eyes. It is always a relief to realise you did not dream something up.
Little can be changed at this stage; we need to “move on” as Kenyans are being constantly urged to do. I am among those who believe national cohesion can only be achieved if a majority of Kenyans don’t believe in the malevolent ‘tyranny of numbers’ narrative that seems to have laid the ground for subsequent events.
To be blunt, it is important that the majority of Kenyans from all races and tribes believe that there are enough Gikuyus who don’t appear to ascribe to the conviction that one ethnic community must lord it over all others in perpetuity.
That so many are not convinced that this is the case is the source of the most furious resentments among non-Gikuyus – and the source of a rapidly dwindling interest in the project of nationhood – ironically at the very historical moment that the country celebrates a significant milestone – 50 years since the end of colonial rule.
All this brings us to grips with our present condition, for better or for worse. That we reached here without the kind of violence we saw in 2008 is a good thing. Second, we acknowledge the reality that Kenya has a legally sworn-in head of state; cabinet secretaries and other functionaries are being appointed.
We have a government and matters of everyday life can proceed. On the economic front, the government has been making all the correct noises. It is now in an enviable position of translating its pre-election promises to reality - ensuring that our growth delivers jobs for the youth, for example.
Potentially exciting times indeed, what with the huge economic potential promised by the combined coincidence of a critical mass of energetic, young, educated and entrepreneurial African ‘human capital’; massive external economic interest in Africa; the discovery of a range of minerals etc – there is indeed great promise that Kenya could be on the verge of a take-off to that dream envisioned at independence.
However, there still remains important cleaning up to do with regard to our election processes and institutions. Indeed, I would argue, we need to rethink the first-past-the-post system in its entirety.
It has brought us much grief: a more volatile polity; tribal division compounded by festering anger and generally less social cohesion, ironically, than when Moi was president of Kenya.
No election is perfect, however, this one was the worst ever in terms of the sheer scale of divergence between public expectations and actual performance by the electoral body.
We have now had two apparently fraudulent elections in a row where the fraud was televised, SMSed, tweeted and generally widely reported on, especially during and since the court case that followed contestation of the presidential results.
That said, regardless of the manipulations, the voting pattern – largely along tribal lines – told us a great deal about ourselves. It also forces difficult questions upon us.

For starters, what is the point of people participating in national elections if it is believed by a critical mass of the population that certain pivotal positions are reserved for certain communities, based not on ability but on ancestry?
What does people believing this mean for Kenya? First it explains the generally foul mood of many middle class Kenyans who are neither Gikuyu nor Kalenjin.
A Nigerian friend made the observation last week that the contradictions inherent in the current ruling tribal alliance are so vast that it shall wobble too with time forcing a ‘militarisation of consent’ both formally and informally; both judicially and extra judicially.
I’m not so sure it is possible to militarise consent in Kenya. It has been attempted in northern Kenya since before independence and the project has never really been a total success.
Trying the same in say, the Rift Valley, would be an ambitious prospect. Instead, crime and ethnic cleansing on a voluntary basis has swept across entire swathes of the country.
Secondly, we are slowly coming to terms with the fact that the First Kenyan Republic has given up the ghost. The Second Republic under our 2010 constitution is the Tribal Nation – before all things in the way we relate to one another outside the realm of simple transactions.
Prof. Ogot was correct in April 2006 when he declared the Kenya Project as conceived by the African nationalists who breathed life into the attempts at Nations that colonialism left behind - dead. A more complex beast is emerging. More on this next time…