Warning: Brutal Content: Viewer Discretion is Strongly Advised…
The Kenyan community in Stockholm has been plunged into fresh mourning. Jared Adiwa, a Kenya-Stockholmer, has passed on in hospital after a long illness. According to Antony Adiwa, the younger brother of the deceased, the late Jared passed away last night at a hospital in Stockholm where he has been undergoing treatment.
Antony told KSB that an “Open House” has been set up at Storholmsbackarna 10 B in Vårberg for relatives, friends, sympathisers and well-wishers to condole with the bereaved family. The late Jared, who was 60 years old, was a very humble person who was loved by all those who knew and interacted with him.
KSB sends deep condolences to the entire family of Jared which must be going through a very difficult moment following the passing of a loved member of the family. We hope that the family will gather the strength and courage to go through this very difficult moment marked with great sadness and sorrow.
The passing of Jared comes hot on the heels of the passing of Millicent Omaya, a Kenya-Stockholmer, whose body is awaiting transportation to Kenya for burial.
The late Jared, who arrived in Sweden in the early 70s, is survived by two children, Bjorn (32), Sony Roy (27) and four grandchildren. Tonny told KSB that the family is having discussions following the departure of his brother and that further information will be released to the public later. The family can be contacted through Antony at: 0729144101.
Abolish all privileges for MPs in Kenya
If KRA were in power, the question of MPs demanding higher salaries could not have arisen in the first place. This is because at a salary of Ksh 532.000, their monthly income is already 425 times higher than that of the average income of Kenyans. In fact, a KRA President could have ordered all MPs who are unhappy with their pay to resign from their positions on grounds that Parliament is not a business enterprise but a House which represents the interests of the people of Kenya.
Secondly, a KRA President could have recommended to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to work towards reducing the MPs salaries even further to the level of that of an ordinary worker because according to the KRA Manifesto, an MP’s salary should not be more than that of a skilled worker in Kenya. The reason is that Parliament should not be a source of wealth but an institution that enacts laws in the interest of the people of Kenya.
Thirdly, a KRA government could have recommended the scrapping of all privileges for the MP on grounds that the ordinary worker or Kenyan the MP purports to represent does not enjoy any privileges at the work place. Specifically, a KRA government could have recommended the scrapping of the Vehicle Fixed Cost Allowance of Ksh 336.000 on grounds that every Kenyan who can afford to own a car maintains the machine so why should the representative of the people be treated differently?
Next to go would be the Car Maintenance Allowance which stands at Ksh 247.000. Surely, why should a total of Ksh 583.000 of tax payer’s money (more than half a million Kenyan shillings) be used for monthly maintenance of an MPs car? Apart from greed and robbery of the taxpayer, there is no other explanation. This is why under a KRA government, these allowances would be scrapped for good!
While the MPs would be allowed to maintain House Allowance, a KRA government would recommend a reduction of this allowance from Ksh 70.000 to Ksh 50.000 which is still far beyond that of an average Kenyan worker. The Entertainment Allowance, which stands at Ksh 70.000; the Constituency Allowance, which stands at Ksh 50.000; together with Committee Meeting Allowance which stands at Ksh 40.000, would all be scrapped because of two reasons.
Every Kenyan foots his/her own entertainment bill so why should a person who represents them be entertained at the expense of the tax payer? Secondly, the salary paid to an MP is for the work they do and this includes meetings so why should an MP be paid a “Committee Meeting Allowance?” It is pathetic that the MPs are demanding more money when, together with their allowances, they are already taking home Ksh 1.2 million per month.
The most ridiculous observation is that the MPs are seeking the dissolution of the SRC, a Constitutional body, which they accused of violating the Constitution because their salaries were decided before they were elected to Parliament.
Reduce MPs salaries to Ksh 100.000 of less
Under the circumstances, it is barbaric that the Jubilee government sent police to brutalize Kenyans who gathered outside Parliament to protest against the greed of the MPs. The tear-gassing and brutalization of the protestors by riot police is a clear signal that despite the coming of a new government to power, nothing fundamental has changed in Kenya. Jomo Kenyatta, Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki all used to send riot police to tear gas peaceful protestors and this is what Uhuru Kenyatta is doing so what has changed?
The treatment of the protesters confirms what KRA has been saying for the last 20 years. In a capitalist State, the role of the police is to protect the interests of the rich. The protesters were not violating any law while Kenyans are within their constitutional right to engage in peaceful Assembly. Under the circumstances, KRA condemns the brutalization of Kenyans who were protesting outside Parliament to stop the greed of the MPs.
It is the responsibility of every Kenyan to struggle against the conversion of Parliament into an institution for wealth grabbing especially by the MPs. The view of KRA is that the struggle against greed by the MPs should go hand in hand with demand for the abolition of the capitalist system of government represented by the Jubilee government and which allows the MPs access to huge salaries and allowances that all amounts to stealing from the tax payer. Debating the dissolution of the SRC is an act of treason because SRC draws its mandate from the Constitution which the President and the MPs vowed to protect.
In demanding for the abolition of s system that encourages greed, wealth grabbing, exploitation of workers and plunder of public resources with impunity, KRA is putting forward the alternative of a Socialist system of government where MPs will be on a salary of an ordinary worker and with no privileges.
Let MPs pay for their vehicles and entertainment. Reduce MPs salaries to Ksh 100.000 or less. Scrap all privileges for the MPs. Scrap Committee Allowance. No Meeting Allowances because meetings are part of the job MPs are hired to perform! Let the MPs resign if they are not happy with their salaries. The Kenyan people are the employers and they have said “NO” to greed, exploitation and plunder of public resources. The greedy M-Pigs must be stopped from looting the Kenyan economy.
Kenya Red Alliance (KRA)
Dekula Band “Ngoma Ya Kilo”
Place: Lilla Wien”Little Nairobi”
Pendel: Södra Station
According to Don Clay Onyango, a total of 65.000kr (Ksh 823.000 at current rates) was raised at the funds drive that was held in Märsta on Saturday, 11th May 2013 towards body transportation cost of Millicent Omaya, a Kenyan who passed away in Stockholm last week following after a long illness.
The funds drive was attended by Kenyans from different walks of life, ethnic groups, political affiliations and lifestyles. Relatives, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers alike, contributed generously throughout the night as DJ Jimmy kept the mourners busy with some of the latest hits in the Kenyan music industry.
They all came for Milly, a jolly friend, Kenyan, mother, sister and daughter of her mother who has been in Stockholm since Milly fell seriously ill.
By ordinary standards, it can be safe to conclude that the funds drive was a big success because the minimum is that enough money was raised to transport Millie’s body to Kenya. Of cause, there are other expenses like tickets to Kenya for the mother, the hubby, George and Millie’s two children who must all travel to Kenya to attend her funeral.
From past experience, the cost of transporting a body to Kenya ranges between 35-45 Swedish crowns. At 65k, Kenyans and friends who gathered at Märsta can rest assured that the mission was, at a minimum, accomplished. In case there is need for more funds, those concerned will have to wait for the Millie Funeral Committee to update them. This is because in such a difficult situation, there are usually “hidden expenses” that may have to be factored in.
Through its Chairperson, Clay, the Millie Funeral Committee would like to thank everybody who took their time to attend the harambee and to contribute generously so as to give Millie a good send-off. The Committee has also thanked everybody who was involved in the organization of the Harambee. Further information about progress will be released as the Committee moves into the next phase of action.
Harambee: Today 11th May 2013 in Märsta
Odensalavägen 1, Märsta
Very Shocking: Eleven Kenyan women and a foreigner have been arrested in Nyali, Mombasa after they were found shooting a pornographic movie with a dog. The women and the foreigner who police identified as a Swedish national were arrested last night in at an apartment in Nyali . Cameras used in the shoot were also confiscated from the scene. Kisauni DCIO Shadrack Juma said the apartment operates as a brothel and police raided the place last night following a tip off. He added that the Swedish national arrived in the country as a tourist two days ago and is believed to have been engaging in the pornography business. He said the eleven women and the foreigner arraigned in court today where they will be charged with engaging in unnatural acts.
News Courtesy of The Star.
Mount Kenya Mafia Cartel Working Overtime
Stella Aloka Harambee Contunues in Stockholm: KSB Honours Brayo’s Great Grandy
Kenyan Representative to UN wants Uhuruto Cases Terminated
Kenyans, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers are cordially invited to the fund raising Party for the transportation of Millicent Omaya’s body to Kenya. The Party will take place on Saturday, 11th May 2013 at odensalavägen 1 (Norrbackaskolan) in Märsta from 13.00 hrs to the next day on Sunday May 12th 12.00.
The DJ on the Mike will be the one and only one: DJ Jimmy who will rock the crowd all night long. Clay Onyango, the Chairman of the “Millie Funeral Committee” in Stockholm has appealed to all everybody to attend the Party to celebrate the life of Millie while at the same time raising funds for the transportation of his body to Kenya for burial.
Millicent, who was the wife of George Doctor, passed away last week after a long battle with cancer, plunging relatives and friends alike, into deep mourning. She lived a good life, she faught a good fight and now she has departed to rest in eternal peace.
SOMALI PRESIDENT “HONOURED” INSTEAD
The family of Jacinta Njoroge would like to thank everybody who showed solidarity with the family following the demise of Jacinta’s sister, Monicah, in Kenya. In a message transmitted to KSB, Jacinta said that they were able to travel home for the funeral. “We whole heatedly embrace your effort. May God bless you all”, said the message which was signed by Jacinta and Monicah’s two daughters, Winnie and Mercy.
At KSB, we welcome Jacinta back from Kenya and hope that the family has now began a process of healing following the loss of a loved member. Coping with the death of a loved one is a process and we can only hope that the bereaved family will receive the support it needs from friends and well wishers following their return from Kenya.
Millicent, the wife of George Ochieng “Doctor” has passed away in Stockholm after a long illness. Following the sad news, an “Open House” has been established at the residence of Doctor located at Åbyvägeen 21 in Västerhanning. Relatives, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers are meeting at the residence daily to condole with the bereaved family.
Millie was a loved member of the family and once again, death has robbed the Kenyan community in Stockholm of a humble and trustworthy member. The family is planning to transport Millie’s body to Kenya for burial and further information will be released as soon as details are finalized.
KSB crew joins the entire family of Doctor in mourning during this time of great shock and sorrow. We hope that the Almighty God will give the family the strength and courage to go through this very difficult period marked with sadness and sorrow. May God rest Millie’s soul in eternal peace. For further information, call Clay Onyango at: 0762169132.
Christabel Adhiambo Ekman, a Kenyan resident in Stockholm, has lost her mother in Kenya. Relatives, friends, well-wishers and sympathizers are meeting at Christabel’s residence at Valfiskensgatan 756 in Hanninge to condole with the bereaved family. An “Open House” has been set up at the residence daily.
To get to the residence from Hanninge, take bus number 834 towards Svartbacken and alight at Ramsdalsvägen. Walk backwards to Valfiskensgatan direct to the end of the street (756). In case of difficulty or in need of further information, call: 0734992363. Christabel will travel to Kenya on 10th May 2013 to attend her mother’s funeral.
KSB sends deep condolences to the entire family of Christabel during this time of great shock and sorrow. We hope that God will give the family strength to go through this very difficult moment. May the soul of Chrstabel’s mother rest in eternal peace.
Dekula Band “Ngoma Ya Kilo”
Place: Lilla Wien” Little Nairobi”
Pendel: Södra Station
“We have families that are hurting because of these attacks”
Recently the Judiciary, and particularly the Supreme Court, has been the target of attacks from Kenyans. We have been the target of attacks, slander, libel, and outright indecent, vulgar, and unacceptable abuses (Tanzanians term such abuses MATUSI YA NGUONI). Indeed, today a Kenyan gleefully tweeted that s/he wishes I had died instead of the late Mutula Kilonzo. We are human beings and we hurt, too. We have families that are hurting because of these attacks.
For me the most hurtful allegation was that I had been bribed in the Presidential Petition. I did not know where to turn. I have never been offered a bribe in my life. I have no doubt in my mind that anybody who dares offer me a bribe, regardless of status, would be the first one I arrest under the Constitution and the laws of this land. I do not believe I should sue fellow Kenyans in defamation. All I can demand from Kenyans is justice that they demand of me and the Judiciary I head. We must give justice to each other in implementing our progressive Constitution.
I acknowledge that public service means accountability to Kenyans. However, the same Constitution Kenyans use to demand accountability of us, and they invoke it for the protection of their freedom of speech, and for their right to public participation, also demands justice for judges and magistrates. The Constitution does not decree that Kenyans are not accountable for their actions!
I urge Kenyans to give us justice! To do so is simple. If you have any evidence of our wrong doing the Constitution under its Article 168 allows you to petition the Judicial Service Commission for our removal. And if you do not have such evidence then give us justice, treat us as family, compatriots and fellow human beings!
I and the Judiciary demand justice from Kenyans at all times!
The case of Dr. Any, a Kenyan con artist, may never end soon. Through his cleaver and never-ending schemes, he continues to trap innocent Kenyan girls seeking greener pastures abroad, cons them out of their hard earned money before dumping them as he disappears into thin air.
In a developing story, “The Doctor” has conned yet another Kenyan girl. Dr. Andy’s strategy is simple. Although he permanently resides in Kenya, he poses as a Diaspora Kenyan with a strong base in Denmark where he allegedly practices medicine. He usually claims lots of connections and the ability to do almost anything to enable a young Kenyan girl travel abroad for further studies. Through this scheme, he has managed to explore several luscious vajeyjeys especially in Nairobi where he picks his prey with the ease of a matatu conductor picking up passengers from a Nairobi stage.
According to his victims, Dr. Andy is a well-polished guy, smart, well-fed, very convincing and very believable at first encounter. Two cases in which Dr. Andy has struck again are just in although details of the second case are still being gathered. Despite several warnings to Kenyan girls, they keep falling prey with 99% of them becoming wiser only after bumping into Dr. Andy’s storos at KSB. It is then that they report that they too have fallen victim. Unfortunately, it’s usually too late.
In one case received in the heat of election campaigns in Kenya, Dr. Any had convinced a cute Kenyan girl of 26 that he would “make ways” for her to study in Norway as long as she could raise her air ticket, Visa fees and part with a one-time fee of half a million Kenyan shillings. The young girl is the daughter of a Kenyan tycoon and, after being convinced by Dr. Andy that education in Norway is free from kindergarten to university, parting with half a million for a degree and Master’s program in Norway was basically chicken feed for the family. A similar arrangement in say, the United States (together with upkeep) would run into more than 2 million Kenyan shillings so Dr. Any’s offer was “the real deal”.
Cash delivered in a brief case: To allay any fears of possible romantic encounters with the girl, Dr. Andy allegedly told the girl’s family that their daughter would stay with his (Dr. Andy’s) family “as long as she wanted”. To dampen fears about risks of Dr. Andy being tempted to consume the girl’s goods ad infinitum, the Doctor is reported to have painted the picture of a successful family man with three children and a lovely wife who would be more than happy to help Clare (the girl) find her way through Oslo once the deal matured and it was time to go. “I know she can make a good company with my wife because she looks jolly”, Dr. Andy told the girl’s dad. Don’t worry that the fake Doctor does not reside in Norway.
As usual, the money would be delivered in cash. As a matter of principle, Dr. Andy usually leaves no paper trails. To oil the delivery process, he told Clare’s father that he was almost completing the construction of a Five Star hotel in Mombasa and that instead of converting Norwegian currency into Kenyan shillings to be used in financing part of the construction work “in progress”, the money out of the deal (delivered in Kenyan shillings) would make life easier. Dr. Andy even offered to finance an air trip to Mombasa for Claire’s dad to view the property but the man had too many business appointments already scheduled so he skipped it.
The truth is that with time, cleaver Dr. Andy is said to have masterminded the psychology of Kenyan tycoons who are unlikely to accept an offer of an abrupt trip away from the city at very short notice. At another point, he is said to have invited another Kenyan tycoon for a trip to South Africa with the intention of enabling the tycoon to tour a seed processing factory he had just set up to carter for the market in the East and Central African region. The trip never worked out because of short notice. Back to Claire.
Once the deal was sealed, the money was delivered in a brief case and after he got his loot, Dr. Andy was never seen again. Now, he is wanted by police once again to answer to charges of fraud. When Claire’s dad made a report to the police station, it emerged that three similar reports had been filed in the last three months with focus on Dr. Andy as the main culprit. From his style, it seems like Dr. Andy usually strikes 3-4 victims within a span of 2-3 months then he disappears for even a year without activity.
Assuming that he hits 4 victims at a price of half a million Kenyan shillings each, he has Ksh 2 million to live on for at least a year before striking again. Claire’s dad contacted KSB about his situation after being tipped by a contact that his story is similar to others that have so far been reported about a Dr. Andy. It was Dr. Andy’s photos at KSB that eventually convinced Clair’s dad that he had been conned. “I just saw Dr. Andy’s photos at KSB and I can confirm that he is the same person who appears to have conned me”, Claire’s dad wrote in an email.
The conman has been arrested several times but he always finds his way out of police custody before he can be taken to court because of corruption within the police force. At KSB, we do hope that with the new government, one day, the case of Dr. Andy will be declared a “national disaster” so that he can be stopped from fleecing hard working young Kenyan girls out of their money.
By Oscar Obonyo and Daniel Nzia
NAIROBI, KENYA: Shock turned into grief on Saturday as Kenyans learnt of the sudden death of high-profile lawyer-turned-politician, Senator Mutula Kilonzo of Makueni County. A jovial Mutula reportedly arrived at his Kwa Kyelyu ranch near Maanzoni Lodge on Mombasa road, on Friday afternoon and retired to bed never to wake up. Upon getting the news, The Standard On Sunday team rushed to his home, a few kilometres from Nairobi, to find several policemen and pathologists crowded in his compound.
According to a housekeeper who found Mutula’s body in his bedroom, the politician arrived at the farmhouse about 2pm and appeared okay. The Senator retreated to his bedroom after having his favourite meal of githeri and roast meat at 7pm. A worker who did not wish to be named said his boss was in a jovial mood when he arrived home driving himself: “He parked the vehicle at the parking bay and walked into the house after greeting us.”
Sources said the late Mutula usually showed up for his breakfast between 9.30 and 10.30 whenever he is on the farm. But on Saturday he did not, prompting his long-serving cook to go and wake him up.
Cook’s knocks unanswered
The aged cook said he knocked on his boss’ door several times without reply. He then turned on the door’s handle and went in: “He appeared deeply asleep with a lot of foam coming from his mouth,” he said adding that he immediately called for the farm manager.
The manager then called Mutula’s son Mutula Kilonzo Junior and a brother in law, Chris Musau, who were the first to arrive at the scene. Police officers led by Machakos Deputy OCPD Wambugu and DCIO Kavete Kuloba visited the homestead after being informed by the late minister’s family.
He was the only one in the main house, as the rest of the family was said to be in his Muthaiga home, in Nairobi. According to the police, the deceased had vomited on his bathroom sink, a pointer to the fact that he woke up at some point to vomit and went back to sleep. Pathologists led by Chief Government pathologist, Dr Johansen Oduor performed preliminary examination on the body before removing and taking it to Nairobi’s Lee Funeral Home.
The East African Standard
The Late Mutula Kilonzo’s Last Moments
• 3pm: Arrives at his Maanzoni ranch driving himself
• 4pm-6pm: Inspects the ranch and gives instructions on maintenance
• 7pm: He is served githeri for dinner but orders nyama choma
• Retires to bed after dinner
• Breakfast is served but senator still in his bedroom
• 10am: Worker finds breakfast untouched. Calls senator but there is no response
• Workers open bedroom and find senator lying motionless
• 12pm: Senator pronounced dead
End of brief
Mutula links death threats to ICC: June 30 2012
Education minister Mutula Kilonzo has attributed the threatening text messages sent to him and members of his family to his stand on a number of politically sensitive issues. In an interview with the Sunday Nation, Mr Kilonzo, the former Justice minister, cited his outspoken stand on Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC), free education funds and constitutional reforms as possible reasons he was being targeted with death threats.
He spoke on the sidelines of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association meeting in Mombasa on Thursday. Last week, the minister told Parliament that he had received two messages from unknown people, threatening to kill him, on Tuesday. Mr Kilonzo said that his wife and daughter had also received similar messages.
“I am not like Martha [Karua] who bowed out of the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs under pressure. I am a hard nut to crack.
That is why they removed me from the ministry because of my stand on ICC trials,” he said. “I am the first sitting Cabinet minister to receive such messages in the history of this nation.” Mr Kilonzo vowed to get on with his life, saying that conceding to the threats would hand the people behind the messages a leeway to control him. “Fear is the key that is used to control the human will and resolve. Brave people die only once but cowards die very many times,” he said.
“Their messages are horrifying for a soft heart because they threatened to rape my wife and daughter before killing me in cold blood.” Mr Kilonzo said he received the first message at his Jogoo House office in Nairobi on his way to Parliament but ignored it. The second message followed at 4.20 p.m. while he was in the House. “This time round I could not keep it to myself so I shared the two messages with my Cabinet colleagues and Speaker Kenneth Marende,” he said.
The sender, who did not identify himself or herself, claimed to be working under the instructions of a ‘boss’ he named and who works at a firm on State House Road. The boss, according to the sender, has connections to the Al-Shabaab terror group.
The sender alleged involvement in the recent kidnapping of Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara, the bombing of Assanands House and the explosion at a church in Ngara, Nairobi. The minister recorded statements with the police, the CID director and the National Security Intelligence Services (NSIS) on Wednesday after consultations with close associates. While at the Justice ministry, Mr Kilonzo was outspoken for his firm stand on the ICC trials and repeatedly advised Kenyans facing charges to cooperate with the court.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo is dead
By JUDIE KABERIA | April 27, 2013
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo is dead.
According to a family member the legislator was found dead at around 1pm on Saturday at his Maanzoni home.
“He was found dead at home about two hours ago. We don’t know the cause of the death but he has not been sick. The body is still in the house,” the family member told Capital FM News.
Another close relative also told Capital FM News the deceased did not show any signs of sickness on Saturday.
“He was working on Friday and even last night he was ok, he did not show any signs of ill health,” the relative said.
The cause of death of the former Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs Minister is not yet established.
The police were in his house early afternoon carrying out investigations on cause of his death.
Meanwhile, shock engulfed the entire country on learning the sudden death of the newly elected Makueni Senator.
Messages of condolence started trickling in.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi said it was sad that the country had lost a great man in legal profession and a committed leader especially in reforming Kenya.
“It is with deep sorrow that I have learnt of the untimely death of my friend and former cabinet colleague Senator Mutula Kilonzo of Makueni,” Mudavadi said.
“Senator Mutula was a consummate lawyer who was revered at the bar for his forceful legal arguments and mentoring of young legal minds. This is a person to whom convictions and logic were second nature. The country, Senate and the legal profession has lost a consummate policy maker and thinker,” he asserted.
Mutula had built an image of a man who always took strong and mostly controversial stand despite criticisms.
He will be remembered for tirelessly convincing Members of Parliament to pass the bill seeking to establish a local tribunal when he served in the Justice Ministry.
Mutula will also go down in the history books for his important role in delivering a new Constitution.
He will also be remembered for his unique stand when he served as Minister for Education when he proposed the above the knee skirts for school girls.
The renowned lawyer was among the key leaders in the Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) party which was led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Born in Mbooni Constituency in 1948, the Senior Counsel was the first to serve served as the Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development.
Prior to his election as a senator, he served as Mbooni MP in the 10th Parliamen
Makueni Senator, Mutula Kilonzo has died of heart attack.
Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka announces Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo is dead.
Kalonzo made the shocking announcement during a burial in Tseikuru in Mwingi North Constituency on Saturday afternoon.
Police say Mutula was found dead this afternoon in his Maanzoni home in Machakos County.
More to follow….
Jomo was the Pioneer of Tribalism in Kenya
Osewe, many thanks for chipping in for me. This is your pet topic and the retort touched on everything within it. You gave the same last week to Hatari who often equates discussants around ethnicity with tribalists. You summarized it so well with this line: “If you are living in a racist society, analyzing racism in all its forms does not make you a racist.”
Sikwekwe: Why did you focus on ethnicity yet I also gave a gender distribution of the Cabinet nominees? Instead of discussing whether the persons reflect regional and gender balance, you chose to go personal by labeling me a tribalist. Ethnicity and gender are independent or status variables used to investigate and understand socio-economic and political disparities in all societies. Worldwide, major institutions of higher learning have departments/faculties dealing with ethnic studies to examine labor market placements and income differentiations. The results of big studies continually recommended affirmative action or quota systems within certain ethnic groups for the sake of parity. Sweden, which was ethnically homogeneous, is now a multicultural society and has authorities handling ethnic divisions to understand the complexities of integration. The Swedish office of the Ombudsman against Ethnic Discrimination deals with ethnic-related matters. Is it tribal too?
Kenya’s new Constitution is a template for correcting the ethnic divides exacerbated by all the past presidents who pitted big tribes against the small ones for political expediency. These leaders never righted the shameless typecast by the British colonizers who categorized various tribes as thieves, lazy and so forth.
Ethnicity reared its ugly head during Kibaki’s first term when plum jobs in the public sector went to members of the Mt. Kenya region. The Kenya Revenue Authority exemplified this within its top 18 Commissioners. The current Uhuru-Ruto power-sharing formula is on the basis of a pre-election tribal arrangement between Kikuyus and Kalenjins. In 2010, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission investigated claims of tribalism in public jobs and the outcome reflected citizens’ perceptions of seriously skewed placements in favor of the Mt. Kenya members.
In 2012, author Charles Hornsby published a book titled ‘Kenya: A History Since Independence’. He dedicated some pages under the sub-heading “The Kikuyunization of Kenya Under President Kenyatta” to show how unashamedly Mzee had appointed 11 senior parastatal heads from the Kikuyu community in the 1970s. Also, out of the then seven Provincial Commissioners, only three were non-Kikuyus. Below is the section from from Hornsby’s book and you can brand him a tribalist too.
The Kikuyunization of Kenya under President Jomo Kenyatta
Although the State continued to talk of Kenya as one nation, and to de-emphasize ethnicity in its public statements and policies in land, service delivery and jobs, the unifying rhetoric of nationhood concealed a less palatable truth. The 1970s saw the entrenchment of Kikuyu power via a web of both formal and informal networks. As with the security forces, the senior civil service was increasingly Kikuyu dominated. The crucial posts of provincial commissioners, for example, were held by a small group of conservative insiders, more than half of whom were Kikuyu from 1967 until Kenyatta’s death, and three of whom were sons of chiefs. Appointments to statutory boards and parastatals showed the same trend.
These men were powerful, educated, intelligent and able, and they effectively ran Kenya in the interest of Kenyatta, themselves (they all had substantial business investments) and the country. Just as their colonial predecessors had done, they disliked local politicians, whom they treated as competitors, and made no pretence of democracy. Provincial Commissioner (PC) Eliud Mahihu was particularly well known for his dictatorial attitude and concern with development. As he said in 1998: ‘About calling us governors, I had no problem … we were employed to govern our provinces and we did.’ Simeon Nyachae was in a class of his own as the most able, politically astute non-Kikuyu PC with direct personal loyalty to Kenyatta (though he had married a wife from Nyeri). His governorship of Central Province was a critical ethnic balancing act. Moi’s influence was seen in the appointment of two Kalenjin PCs, and Kenyatta took care to ensure that the Luo were governed not by a Kikuyu, but by a Kipsigis.
The same pattern was seen elsewhere. In the central government, Geoffrey Kariithi (a Kikuyu from Kirinyaga and educated at Alliance High School) headed the civil service from 1967 to 1979). Other senior figures included Kiereini (ex-Alliance, also from Kirinyaga and an ex-detention camp warden) who ran the Ministry of Defense, Peter Gachathi (Alliance, Kiambu) was education secretary from 1969 to 1979. Duncan Ndegwa (Alliance, Nyeri) was governor of the Central Bank. Joseph Gethenji (Nyeri) was director of personnel from 1968 to 1978, while Joseph Kibe (Murang’a) was permanent secretary for commerce and industry. Of course, there were powerful civil servants who were not Kikuyu, but they generally played a secondary role. A study of top civil service posts in 1972 showed that Kikuyu now held 50 per cent of the top jobs, a rapid increase since the 1960s. There were reports that a Posting Committee in the Office of the President (OP) made civil service appointments in advance of interviews by the Public Service Commission, and that this committee was dominated by ex-Home Guard Kikuyu.
The situation was a little different amongst the parastatals. Many heads of parastatals, appointed by Kenyatta or his ministers, were also Kikuyu. There is no doubt that these were intelligent, competent individuals. Many had gone through the elite forcing-ground at Alliance High School and knew each other well. Whether they were the best men for the job was another question, as personal loyalty to Kenyatta was critical. Kenyatta was lucky that he had an educated, able cadre of loyalists to choose from, a luxury that Moi did not have a decade later.
Amongst private sector organizations not led by Europeans or Asians, Kikuyu dominance was equally strong. Francis Thuo (Murang’a) was chairman of the Nairobi Stock Exchange during 1970-83. Joseph Wanyoike (Murang’a) was managing director of Kenya Cooperative Creameries from 1968 until 1978. Bethwell Gecaga (Murang’a) chaired BAT from 1967 until 1995. His son and Kenyatta’s nephew Udi Gecaga was then Lonrho chairman. Ex-permanent secretary Kenneth Matiba (Alliance, Murang’a) ran Kenya Breweries until 1984, while Joe Wanjui (Kiambu) ran East African Industries until 1993.
The Kikuyu dominance at the top filtered down to other levels. Each appointment generated power and income for its holder and a trickle-down to their home area through contracts, jobs for clients and preferential allocation of development funds. A self-reinforcing structure of privilege was built which 24 years of Moi’s rule never fully dismantled. In October 1973, Shikuku presciently warned that if the Kikuyu did not share the fruits of Uhuru with others, they would eventually be ‘eaten’ by the other 41 tribes ‘like a satisfied hyena was eaten up by hungry hyenas’. Not every job was set aside for the Kikuyu, however. The ethnic sifting process worked much the same way when a non-Kikuyu ran an organization. There were protests in 1970, for example, that East African Airways (EAA), the National Housing Corporation (NHC) and the KNTC were the ‘monopoly of Abaluyias’.
The Luo received little preference from the State. The 1965-66 split and the Kenya People’s Union (KPU) era had alienated Kenyatta permanently from the community and as Kenya Times suggested: “Henceforth, the Luos became second class citizens of Kenya. They were viewed with suspicion in all quarters and they were given the lowest rating whenever it came to jobs. Apart from the Kisumu-Busia, Kisumu-Kericho and Kisumu-Kisii roads, Luo Nyanza roads were not tarmacked.”
While the Kamba had the military, the Luo—with some of the best-educated and most active elites at Independence—had few avenues for their energies. They had no large settlement schemes and most of Luo Nyanza was unsuitable for coffee and tea. They could go into business, but the commercial sector was tilted in favour of the Kikuyu and they had capital. Distrusted in the military, parastatals and politics, they focused instead on the civil service, the professions, trade unionism and religion. Luo increasingly blamed their marginalization, both real and apparent, on the Kikuyu, and built a mythology of resistance and social cohesion around opposition to the Kikuyu elite’s political and economic goals.
It was now clear that the Kikuyu and to a lesser extent their Mount Kenya neighbours in Embu and Meru were embedding a sense of pre-eminence in their collective culture. There was growing assumption of their right to rule. Many Kikuyu believed they were smarter, more entrepreneurial and had suffered more under colonialism. They compared themselves with Europeans, and viewed other Kenyans as backward and likely to destroy the economy if given power. Their widespread antipathy to the Luo was not based on their failure to practice male circumcision (though it was a genuine point of cultural tension), but on the threat they posed because of their numbers and history of recent conflict. By the 1980s, under Moi, the Kikuyu had become firmly associated in the popular imagination with competitive differentiation and ‘money grabbing’, while their Luo counterparts had come to epitomize indolence, poverty, socialism and rebellion. Jaramogi Odinga and Jomo Kenyatta symbolized this cleavage: Odinga was the dispossessed; Kenyatta the benevolent dictator but simultaneously ‘the chief architect and patron of the Greater Kikuyu Community’.
KENYATTA’S KEY PROVINCIAL COMMISSIONERS
- Paul Boit — PC Central, Western and Nairobi (1964-80) Kalenjin – Nandi, son of chief
- Isaiah Cheluget — PC Nyanza (1969-80). Kalenjin – Kipsigis
- Charles Koinange — PC Central and Eastern (1967-80). KIKUYU from Kiambu, son of senior chief, Mbiyu Koinange’s brother and Kenyatta’s brother-in-law
- Eliud Mahihu — PC Eastern and Coast (1965-82). KIKUYU from Nyeri, colonial administrator and ex-Home Guard
- Isaiah Mathenge — PC Coast, Rift Valley and Eastern (1965-82). KIKUYU from Nyeri, ex-Home Guard and detention camp warder
- John Godhard Mburu — PC Coast, North-Eastern, Nairobi and Western (1964-79). KIKUYU from Murang’a
- Simeon Naychae — PC Rift Valley and Central (1965-79). Gusii, son of chief
SENIOR KIKUYU PARASTATAL HEADS IN THE 1970S
- Ephantus Gakuo — Director-general of East African Railways (later Kenya Railways), 1987-1970s. MURANG’A
- Bethwell Gecaga — Chairman, Industrial Development Bank (1976-9). MURANG’A
- Julius Gecau — Managing director, East Africa (later Kenya) Power and Lighting Company (1970-84). KIAMBU
- James Karani Gitau — General manager, Kenya National Trading Corporation (1969-79). KIAMBU
- Stanley Githunguri — Executive chairman, National Bank of Kenya (1976-9). KIAMBU
- Charles Karanja — General manager, Kenya Tea Development Authority (1970-81). KIAMBU
- John Matere Keriri — General manager then managing director, Development Finance Company of Kenya (1972-82). KIRINYAGA
- Peter Kinyanjui — Chairman, East African Harbours Corporation (later Kenya Ports Authority) 1970-80. KIAMBU
- John Michuki — Executive chairman, Kenya Commercial Bank (1970-9). MURANG’A
- Philip Ndegwa — Chairman, Agricultural Finance Corporation (to 1974). KIRINYAGA
- Matu Wamae — Executive director, Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (1969-79). NYERI
Kenya: A History Since Independence (Pages 254-258) By Charles Hornsby (2012)
Remah and Lutalo Under One Roof for the First Time in History! BE THERE!
Sikwekwe: Nice to see that the ethnic hardliners are sticking to their guns. Even a ethnic breakdown of the cabinet has been made available, courtesy of one Jared Odero (surprised?). What tribalists, all their observations have to have an ethnic hue. Shame!
KSB: I might be accused of holding brief for Jared here but let me have my say. If you are living in a racist society, analyzing racism in all its forms does not make you a racist. What Kenyans have at the moment when it comes to politico-socio-cultural manifestations is ethnicity. The other side of the coin that has not found effective expression in society but which also exists with ethnicity side by side is class differentiation. Apart from belonging to an ethnic group, every Kenyan also belongs to a specific class. The class perspective is more advanced than the ethnic perspective because of the known element of ideology in say class politics or a class-based interpretation of society.
For example, if you are a Luo and I am a Kikuyu, our ethnic origin would be of little significance if we both recognize ourselves as say, workers, peasants, students, unemployed or even the thieving ruling class. Uhuru and Ruto belong to different ethnic groups but they are working together for mutual benefit because they are all members of the thieving wealthy class aka mavulture class. Uhuru has cheated millions of gullible Kikuyus that his Presidency will benefit them when the reality is that as I write, millions of Kikuyus will continue to rot in the slums with other ethnic groups living on “hell on earth”. Ruto has done the same and many Kales are very proud that their man is the Deputy president even if they continue to skuma mkokoteni in Eldoret with fellow jaluos and kikuyus.
Jared has used ethnicity to differentiate members of the Cabinet line up and he did come up with different ethnic groups appointed to the Cabinet. It is obvious that the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin are more represented in the Cabinet. Why? If we now decide to use “class” to try and differentiate members of the Cabinet, we end up with only one class – the “ruling class” with the heap of Wakenya (from the 42 tribes) comprising the “exploited classes”.
The reason why ethnicity continues to feature prominently in the analysis is because the alternative of “Class analysis” is missing in action because classes are not represented in national politics. Ethic groups are. The working class is mainly represented at the Union level. If the Unions were to vie for power, they will have to set up a Workers Party because Union regulations does not allow Unions to vie for power. The reason why the Unions in Kenya cannot set up a Party is because their leaders do not know anything about “Working class politics” at the electoral level. They only understand working class politics at the “strike level” to demand for higher wages. Working class politics could put workers on the road to power with the possibility of the rich class being overthrown by workers’ power! KRA knows exactly how workers can seize power and run society in the interest of Wakenya but this could be taken up another day.
We have ethnic political parties and as long as “class parties” remain missing in action (Workers Party for example), the commentary and analysis will continue to be instructed by ethnicity especially in public discourse. These dimensions must be explained over and over again otherwise Kenyans will continue to be stuck with ethnicity, thinking that life begins and ends with Wajaluo na Wakikuyu. This explanation is what we call “political education” and it should be the responsibility of all Kenyans who understand this dimension to explain it to our people. Sorry for this long lecture but I do hope that it increases your understanding without sounding academic. Regards.
Don’t Just Hear About It: BE THERE!
Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto are mere figure heads and they know it
When Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto entered into a “50-50 power sharing deal” ahead of elections, there were no details on how the division of power at the Cabinet level would be accomplished. More than two weeks after Uhuru and Ruto were sworn following a rigged election, the two have been unable to name the Cabinet. Although Uhuru said that the waiting would be over by today at 9.00 am, there must be explanations behind the extra-ordinarily long delay.
According to Uhuru and his Deputy, the two have been involved in lengthy interviews with the candidates and that this engagement explains why more than two weeks after inauguration, the Cabinet is not yet in place. For the man in the street, the two probably needed more time to construct the best Cabinet possible but for the man in the political think tank, there can be no explanation apart from a protracted power struggle with the 50-50 deal taking centre stage. A look at the background of Uhuru’s and Ruto’s political situation after their take-over of State House could help unravel the puzzle.
Both Uhuru and Ruto are beneficiaries of a rigged election (courtesy of IEBC) and a compromised Supreme Court (courtesy of Dr. Willy Mutunga). Consequently, it must be recognized that there are other powerful forces behind the scenes who brought them to power. These forces include Commander of the Armed Forces John Karangi, Director of NSIS George Gichangi, Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo and Head of Civil service Francis Kimemia.
Anybody who is capable of controlling the military, the police, the Intelligence Services, the Supreme Court and the Central Bank of any country can be said to be in power. If this postulation can be accepted, it can be safe to assert that a mafia cartel composed of a thieving and ruthless group of Kikuyu elite are the real forces in power and they are the ones who are responsible for the delay in the composition of the Cabinet, not Uhuru and Ruto. They were the same forces who were in control of the Kibaki regime as the old man slept at State House.
Having brought Uhuru and Ruto to power, this cartel has a big say in the composition of the Cabinet irrespective of propaganda to the contrary. Regardless of the theater Uhuru and Ruto try to play to demonstrate that the delay in composing the Cabinet is due to work constraints, only the man in the street can believe them. Indeed, a courageous journalist did ask them if internal power struggle is the problem and the two were clearly in denial. The composition of the Cabinet will have to ensure that power remains on the hands of the cartel irrespective of what was written in some 50-50 power sharing deal before an election that was, in reality rigged.
Power Ministries: Uhuru and Ruto are mere figure-heads in government and they know it. They are more grateful that they are in State House and therefore temporarily shielded from ICC which is hovering above their heads on a daily basis. The tussle with Cabinet compositions might be centered around the need to allow the rigging mafia cartel to have their way on the one hand and Ruto to save face on the other so that the son of the Kalenjin is not seen by his supporters to have been short changed by the Kikuyu Raila Odinga style. In fact, the problem rotates around control of the “power ministries”.
These are the Ministry of Defence; Interior and Coordination of National Government; National Treasury; Foreign Affairs; Devolution and Planning; Mining; Energy and Petroleum; Transport and Infrastructure together with the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. As the country waits for the announcement of the Cabinet this morning, the most important outcome for the ethnic Kenyan public will be the ethnic origin of personalities who will occupy the above Ministries regardless of the propaganda being peddled to the contrary. Kenyans “voted ethnic” and they expect this tendency to be reflected in the composition of the Cabinet.
As mentioned, both Uhuru and Ruto tried to downplay the issue of a power struggle at a Press Conference at State House yesterday with Ruto going out of his way to explain that Kenyans should not be seeking to establish who is TNA or URP in the Jubilee Cabinet because such a line is non-existent. Surely, if this distinction cannot be established, then what was the 50-50 power sharing deal all about?
It seems as though Ruto has just discovered that he has lost it because for an electorate which cast its votes on purely ethnic lines, it will be impossible to keep supporters satisfied if TNA’s and URP’s share in government is invisible to the naked eye. The power sharing formula cannot be hidden from an ethnic electorate which believes that it “will gain” in some way when the loaf of bread is eventually shared.
Ruto may have discovered that as Deputy President, he has no power to decide on anything major. Having been rigged in by the cartel, Ruto’s big dilemma will be hinged on the fact that he has no voice in the power sharing arrangement ahead of ICC hearings. The mafia cartel is unlikely to compromise on the “power ministries” without which Ruto shall have ended up with a quarter of a loaf (or less) when the deal was half a loaf. Uhuru is sitting pretty because by virtue of his ethnic origin, he is naturally aligned to the mafia cartel controlling events from the background. Why should Ruto be a worried man?
The remaining Ministries like Industrialization and Enterprise Development is useless in a country unable to industrialize due to technological constraints arising out of imperialist monopoly of technology. The Ministry of Health is rout with problems in a country where the health care system is on private hands, public health facilities dilapidated, medical personnel poorly paid and the health care system is poorly funded. The free maternity services promised by Jubilee will cost Ksh 9 billion annually and no one knows where the money will come from with public debt standing at Ksh 1.8 trillion. Both Doctors and Nurses are waiting for the establishment of the Cabinet so that they can resume demands for higher wages and supply of equipment in hospitals. The implication is that the Ministry of Health will be one of the most “problematic” from day one. Already, the Doctors, through their representatives, have publicly rejected the nominee for health Cabinet Secretary on grounds that the nominee has no background in health care and will therefore be unable to understand critical issues.
Uhuru and Ruto are in power at the pleasure of their bosses
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development will be awash with conflicts in a country where the President’s family is the biggest land grabber and where the government stopped building houses for citizens especially in urban areas in the 70s. Without a program for nationalization of land (with or without compensation) being put forward by Kenyan socialists, Jubilee has no solution to the perennial problem of landlessness in Kenya. The urban areas are themselves infested with poverty, slums, high unemployment especially among the youth, crime by idle frustrated youths, poor infrastructure and collapsed social services, deficiencies that have made life in the cities “hell on earth”. If the government had money, the picture could be brighter but the situation is bad because the government has a huge budget deficit while real wealth producing sectors (like the transport sector) are on private hands. Who wants the Ministry of lands, Housing and Urban Development?
When one evaluates the Ministry of Education in terms of problems, the immediate and newest items that comes to mind are the free laptops for standard one kids and free milk. That is if the thorny teacher’s wage hike, strike headaches, shortage of teachers and lack of school books are set aside. In any case, there will be no real money for the mafia to loot in the Ministry of education whose wage bill is the biggest in the public sector. While Uhuru could do business with the government by selling Brookside milk to schools, the lap-top project remains an expensive “wait and see” project because the country does not have enough money to even finance the budget and the Jubilee government will be depending on borrowing to make ends meet.
In fact, Ruto may end up with the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Arts or Ministry of Labour, Social Services and Social Security in a country where there has never been any form of social security, leave alone jobs to keep the Ministry of Labour running.
The Mafia cartel feared Raila Odinga because they did not want to lose their jobs so how will they allow themselves to be sacked, now that they have brought both Ruto and Uhuru to power? For the cartel, both Uhuru and Ruto should be happy that now, they are in a better position to fight against their ICC cases and not bother too much with issues of governance. The two are in power through the pleasure of their bosses, not through the Kenyan electorate which has been hood-winked. To suggest that there is no power struggle that may have delayed the composition of the Cabinet nominees is to assume the intelligence of all thinking Kenyans. It is a difficult situation because while the faces in the Cabinet might be new, they must be aligned to either TNA or URP.
By appearing “in uniform” like school children to face the media at State House (it’s their idea of projecting a united front), both Uhuru and Ruto might be unconscious of the fact that the uniforms make them look more like real clowns with their political godfathers pulling the strings from the background. As the Cabinet is announced and Kenyans encouraged to forget about TNA-URP faces in the Cabinet my take is that William Ruto has all the reasons to be a worried man because he is surrounded by a cartel that will, at best, use and dump him if necessary. If he becomes problematic, he could as well be handed over to the ICC as Kenyatta is shielded to maintain the status quo.
Uhuru should tap into the services of the information and communications technology
Providing laptops for Class One pupils in Kenyan public schools was a key pledge by President Uhuru Kenyatta. However, one begs to question whether it should be a priority, given the huge debt burden his Jubilee Alliance Government has inherited. Further, there are more important educational needs for such children which he should focus on.
Insofar as the immediate former Grand Coalition Government led by retired President Mwai Kibaki and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga lauded a robust economic growth, Uhuru has inherited a broke Government. In a report by Nasong’o Isaac on April 8, 2013 at kuzabiashara.co.ke, Kenya’s domestic debt tripled to Ksh74.9 billion from Ksh25.2 billion in September 2012, because of short-term borrowing. Due to a shortfall in the tax revenue and donor funding, the Treasury embarked on domestic borrowing to the tune of Ksh32 million last December. The domestic debt currently stands at “nearly half of the total public debt which is about Ksh1.8 trillion”, said Nasong’o. A recent analysis by Kestrel Capital, an independent stockbroker, cautioned that the high debt burden was because of increased Government spending amidst a slow pace of income generation. On April 15, 2013 George Ngigi wrote in the Business Daily newspaper that: “Gross government domestic debt increased by Sh141.4 billion to Sh1.0 trillion on April 5, 2013, from Sh858.8 billion at the end of June 2012.”
During Kibaki’s first term, World Bank experts warned that a lot of Government revenue was being allocated to the three arms of Government; namely, the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, at the expense of other vital sectors. To make it worse, members of these wings did not pay taxes uniformly as other Kenyan workers. In the past, the country’s tax collector, Kenya Revenue Authority, has repeatedly attempted to enforce income tax payments on Members of Parliament without success. When key politicians like former President Kibaki, Prime Minister Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo paid their income tax arrears in 2011, it was highly publicized in the Kenyan media. Very few parliamentarians like former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth and newly elected Senator Johnstone Muthama paid taxes during the last government.
A court petition filed by a civil society organization prior to this year’s General Election, wanted the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission to bar some former 209 politicians in the last Parliament such as Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, from contesting because they had refused to pay tax arrears. Since the duo has such a poor record of tax payment, how will they enforce the process on the current politicians? Also, will Uhuru curb waste in public spending, yet he used two helicopters for himself and his wife to Ukunda in the Coast during his first weekend as president-elect?
In 2008-09, a total of Ksh1.229 billion was factored into the country’s national budget to cater for household and press expenses of Kibaki, Raila and Kalonzo. Here is the breakdown cited verbatim from a report by Mars Group on September 8, 2008:
“President: The total cost of the President’s household and the press service is Ksh888.5 million this year. The National Budget says that the cost of maintaining the official residences of President Kibaki (6 State Lodges and State House Nairobi) is Ksh823 million for this year. The President’s Press Unit (comprising 37 staff) is Ksh65 million this year. The President has 388 staff employed in all the State residences and the use of 149 cars.
Vice-President: The total cost of the Vice-President’s household and the press service is Ksh230.7 million this year. The Vice-President’s household and press unit will cost the Kenyan taxpayer Ksh185.3 million. The amount provided does not include the VP’s house allowance of Ksh2.4 million (Ksh200,000 per month). The Vice President’s household has an annual budget of Ksh4.3 million for hospitality – about Ksh358 000 per month. Just over Ksh30 million is budgeted for rent under the VP’s Household budget line. The household can consume Ksh14 million per year on fuel and stay within budget, while also spending Ksh11 million on routine maintenance of vehicles, and a further Ksh6.5 million on maintenance of other assets in the households. Over Ksh75 million has been allocated to the VP’s household for domestic and foreign travel. Last year the Vice President’s official household comprised of 57 staff and there were 12 cars.
Prime Minister: The total cost of the Prime Minister’s household and the press service is Ksh110.6 million this year. The Prime Minister’s household and catering budget Ksh36.9 million annually. This includes Ksh5 million for utilities-water and electricity, Ksh1.2 million for advertising, Ksh26.5 million for hospitality and Ksh2.2 million for purchase of household furniture this year. Next year the Finance Minister projects the purchase of household furniture to increase to Ksh5.5 million. Additionally, the Prime Minister has a house allowance of 4.8 million this financial year (about Ksh400,000 per month). The Prime Minister also has a dedicated press unit whose budget is Ksh68.9 million per annum.”
A balancing act
The Jubilee government is walking a tight rope of balancing between delivering its ambitious election pledges and prioritizing economic demands for national development, as stipulated in the Constitution. Uhuru’s spending plan includes: abolishing maternity charges at all public hospitals and access fees at dispensaries and health centers. According to Ngigi in the Business Daily, he has the following options: to adjust the debt growth if he gets donor support, increase taxes or simply break some of the political promises in his party manifesto. Pundits assert that higher taxes will amount to tax evasion. However, an immediate option would be to re-introduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill, which if passed, could bring immediate short-term revenue of Ksh11 billion.
During President Kenyatta’s maiden speech at the 11th Parliament on April 16, 2013 he emphasized that Kenya’s public sector wage of Ksh458 billion for this year alone, is not sustainable, since it swallows 12 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), against the global recommendation of seven per cent. His speech centered on reducing Government waste so as to invest more in his economic goals. Other pledges during the joint session in Parliament included ending grand corruption and harmonizing the youth and women funds to allow easy access within constituencies.
Laptops or lollipops?
Social media is abuzz with Uhuru’s laptop promise claiming he was misquoted in the election campaigns, since what he meant was lollipops and not laptops for Class One children. Nonetheless, the President is emphatic that solar-driven laptops will be provided from January 2014 and some people estimate they will cost Ksh10 billion. Granted, in any society that affords children all the basic educational needs, they are an added value in cognitive skills development. But Kenya’s educational landscape lacks skilled teachers amounting to 80,000. Overall, there is an urgent need to increase the number of teachers from the current 275,000 to 350,000, according to the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT).
When former President Kibaki began to implement his 2002 election pledge for free primary education (FPE) in public schools in January 2003, teacher recruitment was not prioritized. Moreover, the high pupil enrolment rates have not only led to overcrowded classrooms, but also the burden of having around two teachers only to manage over 300 children at schools in marginalized areas. To make it worse, the teacher-pupil ratio in some schools is 1:100. For Ksh10 billion, Kenyatta’s Government can train more teachers within the next two years to bridge the gap. But the Treasury recently put a freeze in public sector staff recruitment despite KNUT’s request for Ksh15 billion to recruit 40,000 teachers, and an additional Ksh6 billion to employ teachers into the early childhood development program. Countrywide, more than 3.5 million children do not have teachers yet there is a surplus of 40,000 trained, but unemployed teachers. The problem began during Kibaki’s era when KNUT disagreed over his government’s push for an intern/contractual basis of recruitment, yet the union wanted permanent employment for teachers.
A Class One child in Kenya can benefit a lot from computers, just as any child in a developed country. Nevertheless, without adequate learning materials and other needs like school uniforms which still remain the burden of parents, why would laptops be a priority? Will the children be allowed to carry them home and back to school or they would remain for safekeeping at school? What about installing computer labs so that children can use them at scheduled periods? Many children in semi-arid and pastoral communities are attracted to school because of feeding programs. They don’t have enough food at home and survive on the single school meal. Can this be prioritized instead? A hungry child will not benefit from a laptop.
Uhuru had an upper class childhood and attended Kindergarten and Class One and Two at the prestigious Loreto Convent, Valley Road in Nairobi. He was also privileged to study at St. Mary’s School in Nairobi from Class Three to Form Six. Could it be that he subconsciously wishes to see Kenyan children enjoy a portion of his early lifestyle? The reality on the ground for many of the almost one million children absorbed in public primary schools annually is shocking; they live in abject poverty. In addition, various reports indicate damning evidence of poor learning outcomes with very marginal skills improvement nationally, especially for such children. For instance, a study by Uwezo East Africa 2012, found that: “Two out of three pupils in Standard 3 across East Africa are not able to pass basic tests in English, Kiswahili or numeracy at the Standard 2 level.”
Uhuru should tap into the services of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector and top educators to understand expected challenges in his laptop promise. The way to go would be to install Internet-driven systems for collaborative learning, since these children could gain a lot by linking virtually with others in the country and globally. Images are very important during a child’s formative stages of life and seeing other parts of the country and people albeit virtually, would broaden their perspectives. Videoconferencing through Skype and other virtual platforms could help them grasp the English language and Kiswahili, especially in rural and poor urban areas. Talking to children from other ethnic groups would humble them and instill a sense of tolerance for their varied cultures. The laptop program should have a broader goal beyond enhancing basic literacy.
There is no shortage of suppliers for low-cost technological tools from China, Asia and Europe. However, can the Jubilee Government learn from the mistakes by Kibaki’s Narc Government in the implementation of FPE? Can the Government watch out for Anglo-Leasing ghosts who could hijack the procurement process of the laptops to get their cut/commission? The One Laptop per Child initiative is already benefiting some students in Kenya; can Uhuru’s Administration learn from it? Why is the initiative facing challenges in Nigeria? How is the one laptop per child project faring in Rwanda? Why Class One only in Kenya, instead of wiring all primary schools so that there is continuity of usage as pupils transit to other classes? A mixed mode of technology and traditional learning remains the most appropriate for Kenya. Replacing textbooks or teachers with laptops is clearly not a solution.
The Kilgoris Project is an example which Uhuru can get his experts to examine. Pedagogically, what is the value of assigning Class One children laptops? Sweden for instance, is a world leader in ICT and constitutionally accords access to computers throughout the compulsory level of education. Furthermore, the educational system does not have a laptop per child program, but the sharing of computers per number of children in classrooms. These are connected to the Internet which enables them to twin with schools outside the country and run virtual projects among themselves. If high capacity solar-systems are installed in Kenyan schools, perhaps projectors with Internet connection would be more beneficial. Primary school beginners gain a lot cognitively through interaction, which builds their confidence and promotes socialization. There are a few months to go before the program kicks off in January 2014. Thorough investigations should therefore be carried out; otherwise the laptop pledge will amount to another white elephant.
The judgement set a bad precedent for Kenya, East Africa and common law in Africa
The Kenya Supreme Court Judgement in Raila Odinga & Others v Uhuru Kenyatta & Others will have enormous impact on the political landscape of African States whose legal system is based on common law/Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence. Recognizing the enormity of the stakes inherent in the petition and the contentious issues on both law and facts, it is surprising that there were no dissenting or separate opinions from the honourable judges of the Supreme Court, a common practice among many of the Supreme Courts in common law countries. Second, the Supreme Court’s apparent uncritical reliance on judicial notice to dispose of the central issue in the petition, namely, the matter of electronic voting and the failure of technology in the electoral process, in my view, is an error of law.
Significantly, there are a number of issues that the Supreme Court casually and uncritically examined in its judgement. Some of these issues are: First, the Supreme Court’s voluntary limitation of its jurisdiction, its decision to resort to narrow legalism, and adopting technicalities of the rules of evidence over substantive justice notwithstanding the express constitutional provision of Article 159(2) (d) of the Constitution. Further, whatever conflict that may exist between Article 159(2) (d) and Article 140 of the Kenya Constitution, the Supreme Court failed to articulate its reasons why it concluded that the provisions of Article 140 overrides that of Article 159(2)(d) to the extent that the Supreme Court preferred to provide procedural rather than substantive justice to the Petitioners.
Second, the Supreme Court exhibited a muddled reasoning in the determination of the standard of proof in election petitions. At some paragraphs of the judgement, the Court pointed out that the standard of proof are above the balance of probability and below that of beyond reasonable doubt. However, in the presidential elections, the Court opined that proof is beyond reasonable doubt. No articulate reasons were provided for these conflicting conclusions. Third, the Supreme Court’s adoption and reckless use of the principle of judicial notice without sufficient analysis and distinction is a grave error of law.
A court of final resort is expected to provide clarity on contentious legal issues. The Supreme Court failed to articulate its reasons why those set of facts referred to by the Attorney General, based on discredited Nigerian cases, qualified as judicial notice. Fourth, the Court’s reliance on an equally discredited case of Bush v Gore as a legal authority for the adoption of the principle of judicial restraint is unfortunate. By adopting the Bush v Gore precedent, the Supreme Court opted to preserve not only the status quo, but to import bad law in the jurisprudence of Kenya and ultimately East Africa and other common law countries.
Finally, the court’s use of discredited jurisprudence, particularly the case law from Nigeria and Uganda, the two countries where election rigging is the norm and the rigged result is regularly confirmed by compliant judiciary, is to underscore the point that no petitioner, challenging a presidential result on the basis of irregularity or incompetence of an electoral body, will ever succeed in overturning the decision of a bias electoral commission. Due to questions of space, unfortunately I will not address all the above errors of fact and law in the judgement but limit my comment to the pivotal issue in the case, namely: The Supreme Court’s decision to rely on the principle of judicial notice and therefore exonerate the IEBC of its incompetence and failure to conduct a free, fair and transparent presidential election.
Judicial Notice: The Supreme Court relied on two judicial notices which resulted in the rejection of the Petitioner’s submission relating to electronic voting and the submission of vote results. The first judicial notice, at paragraph 133, is that “most polling stations are in rural areas, where the primary-school polling stations are dilapidated, and the supply of electricity, to date is a distant dream. Yet voters still go to such polling stations to exercise their rights to vote, and to discharge their duty.” Having acknowledged the challenges of using electricity in these areas, the court then proceeded to assume that there would be no alternative method of providing electricity whether through generators or use of sufficient batteries. If these were not provided by the IEBC, the Court failed to demand or order the IEBC to provide reasonable explanation why electronic submissions failed. Instead, the judicial notice served to shield IEBC from explaining its many failures.
Second, at paragraph 233, the Court took judicial notice of the fact that, “as with all technologies, so it is with electoral technology: it is rarely perfect, and those employing it must remain open to the coming new and improved technology.” The court therefore appears to have taken the view, based exclusively on judicial notice, that technology used by the IEBC was expected to fail in any event. The Court does not provide factual basis or legal reasoning for reaching this conclusion. Further, the Court does not address the fact that if IEBC knew, or had reason to know, that technology would fail, why did IEBC mislead the voters and candidates that technology, purchased at great expense, would work?
The two judicial notices, when read together, suggest that electronic voting could not, and is expected not, to function well or at all in both rural and urban areas. In rural areas, technology is expected to fail because supply of electricity is erratic. On the other hand, in urban and rural areas, technology is also expected to fail because of the unpredictability of technology which by its very nature requires regular updating. Why did the Supreme Court fail to adopt a case-by-case analysis based on the specific condition of each polling station? Some polling stations, even in rural areas, may well have functional electricity, generators or with better organization by the IEBC, sufficient batteries. Thus, the Court’s assumption is erroneous and not necessarily supported by the facts on the ground.
On the other hand, if the facts were so obvious that technology would fail, the Court ought to have decided which party should bear responsibility for the resultant failure? If the responsibility is that of the IEBC, why should the Presidential Candidates be made to suffer the consequences of acts or omission that they are not responsible for?
The Supreme Court did not, however, address the responsibility of the IEBC for the purpose of determining the rights of the Petitioners, and subsequently whether election was free, fair and transparent. Significantly, the Supreme Court does not make a finding whether the IEBC must take legal responsibility for the failure of technology and electronic voting. Instead, the Court recommends that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) investigates the circumstances surrounding the purchase of the failed technology. Regardless of what the result of the DPP’s investigation is, the findings shall be irrelevant for the purpose of the Presidential Election Petition of 2013. Thus, the judicial notice taken by the court, read together with its finding at paragraph 131 that “the elections of 4th March 2013 were not envisaged to be conducted on a purely electronic basis,” and further that “the voting system envisaged in Kenya appears to be manual (emphasis in original) is not only a circular argument, but the Court appears to suggest that manual voting and counting is superior to electronic voting based on a state of the art technology.
Overall, the Supreme Court’s reliance on the two flawed judicial notices, effectively disposed of all arguments relating to technology and the failure of electronic system against the interests of the Petitioners. Finally, even if the 1st Petitioner’s second affidavit, which was rejected by the Court for procedural reasons and not substantive law, were to be admitted in evidence, the two judicial notices would have rendered the affidavit irrelevant for the purpose of determining whether the Presidential elections of 2013 was free, fair and transparent. The judgement therefore sets a bad precedent for Kenya, East Africa and common law in Africa.
Dr A. Obote Odora
Constitutional and International Criminal Law Consultant
The UK could confine asylum seekers in leased houses in Kenya if a proposal by Conservative Party MPs aimed at reducing illegal immigrants is approved. Unlike today when most immigrants are housed in secure locations inside Britain, this could change with immigrants shipped to ‘safe houses’ in Kenya and upkeep paid by the UK government as cases are processed. Kenya hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees and it remains to be seen whether the new government would approve the move. The country also hosts 10,000 UK soldiers for training annually.
A group of Conservative MPs has forwarded the proposal to have Britain pay Kenya and other countries to host the immigrants from various countries in “processing camps.” The plan, contained in a report by the Conservative Way Forward group and authored by Tory MP Julian Brazier, says population growth is putting a strain on UK infrastructure which they claim ends up benefiting ‘immigrants’ at the expense of British citizens.
“Overcrowding in turn holds back economic growth, reduces quality of life and puts heavy pressure on government spending,” The Sun reported the Tory MP saying. Last month, British Prime Minister David Cameron called for introduction of stringent measures to curb “easy” granting of citizenship to foreigners, saying immigrants must be made to pay a premium on all services enjoyed by British citizens.
The Conservative Party, in a ruling coalition with Liberal Democrats, has increasingly appealed to voters’ anti-immigration sentiment since Lynton Crosby was put back in charge of the Tory election campaign. The Australian strategist is referred to as the Wizard of Oz in the British press after he helped former Liberal Prime Minister John Howard to win four terms.
Australian government has a similar scheme, which sends boatloads of arrivals to the Pacific island of Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea to be warehoused in camps as their asylum bids are processed. The immigrants’ problem has been fuelled by UK’s membership of the European Union which has seen EU immigrants from low-income countries such as Romania flood the UK. Britons have in turn protested saying their housing crisis could reach alarming levels if immigrants are accorded similar rights.
The planned asylum camps are aimed at reducing the cost of handling people held within the country. Julian’s report urged UK ministers to urgently set up offshore “processing centres” to house the immigrants with the Tory MPs identifying Kenya as a likely destination. Some immigrants have described their home countries as “worse-than-hell” and live in poor conditions in the UK. In their report, the Conservative Way Forward Group says: “Overcrowding holds back economic growth, reduces quality of life and puts heavy pressure on government spending.”