Uhuruto’s 100 Days in Office: An Evaluation by Jared Odero Part 2
First Lady’s “moral paradox”: Margaret Kenyatta, Uhuru’s wife, recently called on countries allowing the illegal importation of ivory tusks to stop it. Ironically, her own mother in-law, Mama Ngina, was involved in the sale of ivory tusks in the 1970s as then-First Lady. Part of the massive wealth sustaining the Kenyatta family was acquired illicitly through poaching elephants. According to Jon Tinker in the New Scientist magazine on May 22, 1975: “At the present rate of attrition, Kenya’s elephants may be exterminated within a decade. Although the Kenya government banned the private export of ivory last August, Margaret Kenyatta, mayor of Nairobi and the daughter of the President, has since then illicitly sent over 6 tons worth $200,000, to People’s China. The identity of these ivory queens is a matter of common gossip in Nairobi, and the most prominent of them are said to be Mama Ngina and Margaret Kenyatta, respectively wife and daughter to the President. In Kenya today, you can be sent to prison for what is called rumour-mongering, so in this article I shall confine myself to provable fact. And there is now documentary proof that at least one member of Kenya’s Royal Family has recently shipped over six tons of ivory to Red China. Moreover, in spite of repeated denials from the Kenyan wildlife ministry that they have issued any licences to deal in or export raw ivory, this trading is being carried out with the active connivance of the highest officials in the game department.”
Insecurity: Uhuru’s government seems incapable of taming insecurity that is rampant countrywide and especially incidences by gangs of youth that have in the recent past, slashed, maimed and killed innocent residents in rural parts of Bungoma and Busia counties. The gangs are alleged to have been used by politicians during this year’s campaigns. Acts of terrorism and inter-clan clashes are also being experienced, especially in the North Eastern counties and within sections of the pastoral communities. On July 1, 2013 the media reported that three Administration Police officers were seriously assaulted in public by Ugandan police on Migingo Island because they had earlier refused to allow them into a part of Kenya carrying their weapons, as required by law. However, there was no official reaction from the Kenyan government or specifically from the Defense Secretary, Raychelle Omamo. Sporadic attacks by Sudanese cattle rustlers on Turkana villages and by Ethiopians on the Borana people have also not elicited reactions from Jubilee.
Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill: The re-introduction of the VAT Bill is aimed at raising Ksh10 billion per month from basic consumer goods that are currently zero-rated or tax-exempt. They include: processed milk and cream, maize and wheat flour, bread, glucose, baby formulas and sanitary pads, etc. As Finance minister in 2011, Uhuru allocated Ksh300 million under the Education ministry to provide sanitary towels to all needy primary school going girls. Under his presidency, poor women and girls will not have the provision. Kenyans have been on the street demonstrating against the Bill which is supported by Jubilee politicians.
Deportation of suspected drug-dealers to Nigeria: The Government will pay Ksh27 million to the company which owns the plane that was grounded in Nigeria for 24 days after being detained by authorities, when Chinedu demanded it be sold to compensate for his lost property in Kenya. What happened to due process? In normal democracies, deportations come after convictions. By deporting Chinedu and company, it meant that the government was certain they were drug dealers. Will this deter others? Foreign secretary Amina Mohamed tweeted that the Kenyan crew had been freed and would be home soon. But this was rebuffed and only the intervention of the Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan got them freed. The drama was as a result of Uhuru’s orders for the deportation of all drug dealers without thinking about the consequences. He is accused of ruling by decree; meaning he does not consult.
Ruto’s Hustler Jet: Ksh100 million of public money is likely to be wasted on a personal quest to marshal the African Union to support Uhuru and Ruto’s ICC woes. Publicly, they lied to Kenyans that it was a move towards Panafricanism. How come Ruto has not sued the Daily Nation newspaper if their jet report was false?
Renovating Ruto’s official residence: Ksh100 million will be used to fit his taste, yet the house was officially opened by Kibaki last year having cost taxpayers Ksh400 million. It means that future deputy presidents will use public money to renovate it to their liking.
Teachers’ strike: The strike has just ended after 24 days. Government had recommended legal action against William Sossion, chairman of the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) for contempt of court. The teachers wanted Legal Notice No. 534 of 1997 to be implemented in full, yet a court order wants the strike ended. The incompetent Kazungu Kambi claimed the 1997 agreement was invalid, yet it had been gazetted. While the laptop program is new, the teachers’ grievances dogged Kibaki’s regime for 10 years and Uhuru expected it. Any sensible government would pay teachers well in order to improve the quality of education. However, Jubilee politicians don’t see this or even improving delapidated school buildings as priorities.
Ruto-Muteshi land saga: Recently, the ‘reformed Judiciary’ ordered Ruto to pay Ksh5 million as compensation to Muteshi, an IDP, for illegally possessing his 100 acre piece of land in Rift Valley. That’s Kenya’s deputy president.
Luxury cars by Cabinet secretaries: To curb rampant wastage in Government expenditue, as then-Finance minister in 2010, Uhuru announced a new transport policy banning the use of fuel guzzlers by Cabinet ministes and top government officials. However, as president, his new team of Cabinet secretaries and members of constitutional commissions bought fuel guzzlers and expensive Mercerdes Benz limousines at the end of the 2012/13 financial year.
The Jubilee leadership seems to ignore certain provisions in the Constitution and policies, then falls back on its numbers in Parliament for protection, while Kenyans suffer uniformly, regardless of their political leanings. Uhuru cautions against wastage yet MPigs and other top officials defy him and misuse cash. Last year, former Mpigs got 350 chairs worth Ksh400 000 ($3000 or £1 900) each, for use in the newly renovated Parliamnet. Currently, the new Mpigs are planning a trip to China to window-shop for chairs to fit into their County Hall offices. On July 13, 2013 The Saturday Nation reported that: “A return ticket to Beijing costs Sh85,000 ($985) while a hotel room goes for between Sh26,000 ($300) and Sh43,000 ($500). If they decide to fly to Shanghai, the air ticket price rises to Sh91,000 ($1,056). The PSC is a nine-member commission that oversees the welfare of MPs, Senators and staff of the two houses. MPs are paid about Sh78,000 ($920) as allowances per day while touring Asian cities, including Beijing, Dubai and Singapore according to the current parliamentary travel rate card.”
Lastly, the ICC trials in The Hague, which are personal matters for Uhuru and Ruto, will definitely be paid from Government money under the guise of ‘official foreign trips’. Anyway, it is their time to eat.