Challenges Facing Uhuru Kenyatta’s Laptop Promise for Kenya’s Standard 1 Pupils: Part 3

Uhuru’s moral obligation

Children waiting for Uhuru's laptops

Children waiting for Uhuru’s laptops

Uhuru Kenyatta has to take ownership of the laptop project. He may have copied the idea from some politicians in India who promised voters freebies like laptops, cows, TVs, electric fans and so forth, during elections in 2012. Nevertheless, on July 12, 2013 Uhuru reaffirmed his commitment to the project when he addressed members of the Editors guild and stressed that the government had detailed plans to integrate ICT in schools. He said: “The government is not only going to equip pupils with gadgets, the project is aimed at transforming children lives in facing challenges associated with technology in the society.” Since there is a national framework for integrating  ICT in education, Uhuru should have promised to fast-track it instead of providing laptops to Class One children. The digital content will definitely be in the English language, yet most children in rural areas don’t speak or write English at this stage. Apparently, the project is “growing horns and tentacles” causing confusion, because the initial promise was for solar-powered laptops. Now Uhuru is talking about supplying electricity to some schools and building computer labs. He had initially mentioned that the laptops would be carried home by children and maintained by their parents, yet he now wants safe storage built in schools. If adults are so scared to carry laptops in some parts of Nairobi for fear of being robbed, what about physically defenseless children? Recently, Education Secretary Professor Kaimenyi said the government might opt for tablets because laptops shall be obsolete in five years. Uhuru should assign the project to experts who know the most appropriate gadgets for Kenyan children.

Uhuru should adapt an altruistic and philanthropic approach in leading, Kenya because he is a true example of one who was literally brought up using taxpayers’ money. His father, first President Jomo Kenyatta, enjoyed trappings of the State and acquired enormous wealth illegally. Therefore, Uhuru has a moral obligation to right some of the wrongs still being experienced many generations later, due to his father’s faulty leadership. He should not fall into the Mt. Kenya homeboys’ trap that ensnared retired president Kibaki for 10 years, thereby losing the initial trust that many Kenyans had in him when they vanquished Moi politically, in 2002. Kibaki has left the country highly indebted and among the most corrupt globally. Uhuru served under Kibaki as a Cabinet minister and shaped some policies that were both useless and beneficial. For instance, as then-Finance minister, he authorized a forensic audit of the Kenya Education Sector Support Program (KESSP) in 2010, due to theft of money for the Free Primary Education (FPE) program by some top Government officials and school headteachers, from 2005-2009. There was a loss of Ksh4.2 billion ($51 million) yet Uhuru mentioned that it was a mere 1% of what had been spent in the program. However, critics mentioned that it could have done a lot to improve the learning conditions for many children. For instance, textbooks worth Ksh1.7 billion were stolen during the first six years of FPE.

The results of an investigation by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in October 2011 on the FPE looting scandal, recommended that only administrative action should be taken against a few officers in the ministry. It meant transfers, surcharges and demotions. Procedurally, the Treasury should have handed their forensic audit report first to the then Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (now Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission) for action. But Uhuru side-stepped the Commission and handed it over to the CID. If the Director of Public Prosecutions upheld the CID recommendations, then more than 100 top officials at the Education ministry escaped court trials. At least one senior official was jailed in 2012 and other small fish suspended or transferred, but nobody took political responsibility for the scandal. The then Education minister Professor Ongeri was instead made Foreign Affairs minister by Kibaki and later became Uhuru’s political point man in Gusiiland, during the presidential campaigns earlier this year.

Unbeknown to many Kenyans, the Government silently refunded a total of Ksh7 billion to donors who had demanded back their donations because of the theft. Some key sponsors of the FPE program were: the UK’s Department for International Development (DfiD), World Bank, Sweden, Japan, Canadian International Development Agency (Cida), the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and the Fast Track Initiative (FTI). Since 2009, all donors stopped sending FPE money directly to Government but are now willing to continue funding educational programs if corruption is controlled. It is therefore important that Uhuru declares zero-tolerance on corruption, unlike Kibaki who made ending it a key political pledge during his 2002 campaigns, but did not fulfill it. Around Ksh300 billion is lost annually in Kenya due to corruption.

Does Uhuru really need his basic salary of Ksh1.2 million per month? He is extremely wealthy and should instead be like President José Mujica of Uruguay, (“the world’s ‘poorest’ president”) who donates 90% of his $12 000 monthly salary to charities and small entrepreneurs in his country. Uhuru and his deputy Ruto, were among 209 Mpigs from the last Parliament who had not paid their tax arrears, according to a suit lodged in court by a civil society group in January 2013. How then, will they enforce taxation yet they have no respect for rules set by the Kenya Revenue Authority?

In conclusion, Uhuru should act upon the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report released in May this year. It was very disturbing for Kenyans to learn that a high ranking official at the Office of the President forced the TJRC commissioners to ‘water down’ paragraphs 203, 227, 231, 257 and 261 of the chapter on historical land injustices that adversely mentioned the Kenyatta family. For instance, paragraph 203 which originally stated that the late President Jomo Kenyatta dished out a “large tract of government land” as a wedding gift to his eldest son Muigai, was expunged. Uhuru should not be like Kibaki who commissioned the UK’s Kroll Associates to investigate acts of corruption by past high ranking officials and politicians, yet when their Kroll Report was submitted to him in 2004, he shelved it after realizing that the culprits were mostly people he had worked with, or were then working under him as president.

Jared Odero

RELATED:

Part 1 in the Series
Part 2 in the Series

12 comments

  • Agwambo toshaaaaa
  • Uhuru panicking

    WHY UHURU WANTS CASES IN SECRET
    Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – 00:00 — BY STAR TEAM

    President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer Steven Kay is seeking communication data that could be used by the head of state’s defence at the International Criminal Court. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is relying on communication data to establish among other things the links between Uhuru and the outlawed Mungiki sect who he is accused of funding to commit crimes during the post-election violence. Yesterday, Kay’s lawyer Kennedy Ogetto confirmed that they were seeking the information through confidential court proceedings in order to protect the identities of witnesses and victims. “The proceedings were permitted to be filed confidentially after the applicant established the appropriate legal basis in order to protect the identity of witnesses and victims in the ICC case against President Uhuru Kenyatta,” Ogetto said in a statement. Bensouda will be calling Lars Bromley, an American satellite imagery and communication expert to testify on his findings on analysis of the technological evidence in the case. The case to get data from Safaricom and Airtel mobile phone companies was prompted by Bensouda’s disclosure of the evidence she intends to adduce in the case against Uhuru. During the confirmation of charges hearings, the prosecution referred to telephone communication made between Uhuru and his then co-accomplices Hussein Ali and Francis Muthaura. The court refused to confirm the charges against Ali while the prosecution has since dropped the charges against Muthaura on grounds that one of the key witnesses—James Maina Kabutu— had recanted his testimony. One of the witness, according to the confirmation decision, claimed that they were “called to State House” in Nakuru where they were given guns. Another witness claimed that he was present as Muthaura called Ali in the presence of Uhuru to give instructions that Mungiki should not be interfered with by the police during their operation. There are also allegations that Mungiki leaders would receive instruction from their then leader Maina Njenga through phone calls from prison. “Witness OTP-4 also states that “information flowed well in the organization[…]; the communication and orders were given through mobile phones”. Witness OTP-11 confirms this particular point, stating that “it is through phones and the message can reach in the grass roots within a period of 15 minutes,” the confirmation decision says. Kabutu, otherwise referred to as OTP-4 recanted his testimony which led to Bensouda withdraw charges against Uhuru’s co-accused, former secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura. In February, Bensouda had claimed that representatives of either Muthaura or his Uhuru had bribed a crucial witness whose exit precipitated the dropping of the case. “Witness 4 revealed in the May 2012 interview that he had been offered, and accepted, money from individuals holding themselves out as representatives of the accused to withdraw his testimony,”Bensouda said in February when she dropped the testimony of Kabutu. Witness 11 is still part of the prosecution list of those to testify against Uhuru. Yesterday, the parties in the ‘secret’ case sought to downplay the implications of handling the issue confidentially. Ogetto said that there was nothing ‘extra-ordinary’ about the confidential filing as Kenyan law including the Witness Protection Act, the International Crimes Act and the Rome Statute permitted such filings. Ogetto said that there was nothing “secret” with the proceedings. “In fact, the ICC itself routinely permits confidential filings for the same reasons and there is nothing wrong with Kenyan courts doing the same,” he said citing Article 50(8) of the Constitution. The article which deals with fair hearing does not prevent the exclusion of the media or public from any court proceedings if it is necessary for the protection of “witnesses or vulnerable persons, morality,public orderer national security.” Yesterday, Judiciary Registrar Gladys Boss Shollei defended the court’s decision to bar the public and media from the case saying it was within its judicial authority to ensure that ‘justice shall be administered without undue regard to procedural technicalities.” “Indeed certain proceedings in the cases relating to the Kenyan nationals before the International Criminal Court at The Hague have been conducted in camera with the public being notified of the decision at a later stage,” the Registrar said without specifying which cases. She added that whereas the general principle of conducting open and public hearings is a well grounded in the country’s judicial system, there are exceptions where the interest of justice “as determined by the nature of the proceedings” allow for in-camera hearings. She cited examples of such matters as cases involving children, rape, commercial matters relating to bank accounts etc which are usually held in-camera with the public excluded from all or part of the proceedings as determined by the court to be ‘strictly necessary.” Shollei said the public will be informed about the case once it is concluded and only ‘if it does not affect the integrity of the ongoing trials at The Hague.” Yesterday, the executive director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict Ndung’u Wainaina threatened to go to court to challenge the ‘secret’ proceedings and to protect public interest and the victims’ rights to access to information. James Gondi, a program advisor at the Africa Center for Open Governance (AfriCOG) accused Kay of using “unorthodox and non-transparent” methods in what was otherwise a public interest matter. Descrining the approach as ‘absurd’ Gondi said the -in-camera sessions should only have beeb granted after a substantive suit is heard in public. He urged the Judiciary to redeem its public image by not allowing Kay’s request.

  • K-Moja Peace Poem
  • Ntimama interview
  • Kazungu Kambi useless
  • government spokesman

    Betty Waitherero’s Article that annoyed Muthui Kariuki and the government

    Betty Waitherero Njoroge

    This is an article that was written by a journalist/ blogger (Betty Waitherero Njoroge). She was forced to pull it down by the government’s spokesman, Muthui Kariuki.

    Enough with the propaganda already, Jubilee!

    I think parents should do more than just pay for their teenagers school fees; they should go out of their way to forge a sound relationship with them, one that is not based on arrogance and violence but on mutual respect and love. Teach your kids how to be honest and clear minded adults, because the result of just ignoring your teenage miscreants is one Muthui Kariuki.

    Talk about a juvenile delinquent; Muthui Kariuki is the epitome of a childish deviant. As government spokesman for the backside of the Jubilee government, Muthui is really good at his job. In between issuing threats while claiming to be accommodative, this character has the audacity to claim that Raila Odinga’s politics are “chest thumping, hateful, arrogant and toxic.”

    The pot calls the kettle black. For someone who has a record ZERO accomplishments as a civic leader this hot head sure brings a mouthful of trash to the table. By the way, he is a perfect representative for the Jubilee government which, despite having several stalwarts with over 20 years experience in government, have also a record of ZERO accomplishments.

    Or as one colleague expressed recently, within the first 100 days of the Kibaki administration 1 million children went to school under the free primary education program; within the first 100 days under the Jubilee administration all children were out of school.

    Of course, when you are busy doing nothing and yet being paid 76 times the average GDP, you need a mouthy person to sidetrack the people by saying all sorts of ridiculous things about perceived enemies. We are now to believe that despite Jubilee forming the government, and despite Jubilee dominating Parliament, the Senate and the County administrations, Raila Odinga is still the bane of Kenya and is somehow behind the many problems Jubilee is actually not dealing with.

    The propaganda machinery in this government needs to improve by the way. Couldn’t they try something more intelligent than filling the daily news with stories of men shagging livestock? Or repeatedly insulting a man you claim is insignificant. When it comes to stupid utterances, none can out do Muthui Kariuki.

    I don’t know what’s worse, some wannabe loud mouth or a president who is busy posting his latest status update in a rugby shirt. Each time I see his photos of how he was where laughing with who I feel so nauseated. Meanwhile his deputy is busy reinventing reality by calling himself a hustler. Is it the pain of the lie that makes him cry so much or what?

    A man who made a fortune through corrupt means turns around and calls it hustling, another one who spends his time goofing off turns around and complains to teachers about the high wage bill meanwhile he does nothing for the economy and in fact sanctions ridiculous expenditure.

    Now look here – why were our children out of school while you decreed that 250 million kshs will be spent on giving a retired 80 plus year old an office? Then you say the wage bill is high. It looks like it’s only high when you have to do the right thing and pay the service providers their dues.

    Meanwhile, I expect that the next thing the government will say out its backside AKA Muthui Kariuki is that there is no money to pay for the free maternity despite it being a Jubilee campaign promise. That won’t surprise me at all, because there is money for luxury planes to Congo Brazzaville and money for retired old fogeys to have an office but no money to pay teachers and of course no money for hospitals.

    I don’t even know how Uhuru Kenyatta finds the temerity to attend social functions. Wait. I get it now. He isn’t president, he is a celebrity! That’s why if he wears a rugby t-shirt, automatically he supports the rugby team with funds right? Where is that money coming from, if there is no money to pay the teachers?

    This government is beyond redemption really. Rather than attempt to be functional we are going to be submitted to 5 whole years of propaganda and hogwash. Pictures of matching ties and laughing buffoons coupled with lurid tales of political bogeymen meanwhile the entire system is incapable of any form of decent service delivery. All of this will be conducted via the dumbest outlets no less

  • what is going on in kenya ?
    knut are blackmailed,intimidated,cheated and now teachers salary is to be deducted,robbed or denied salary but expected to work extension by kamenyi.
    are demoralized ,unpaid teachers worthy of teaching quality education for vision 2030 leave alone laptops for std ones ?
    why cant jubilee be realistic instead of continuing to believe their own sweet promises of success judged by themselves ?
    why is excise duty being introduced on financial services ?
    is this to subsidize some well known banks in Kenya or is it jubilee is short of money for their grandeur tour of Africa and Asia ?
    why are monies for rural electricity,roads, etc being recalled back to Nairobi ?
    why are we being fooled by parties at state house that all is good when evidence is not smelling niece ?
    why is jubilee engaging Kenyans in controversy with controversy ?
    which bills are priority ?
    marriage bill.
    police bill
    who is fooling who in makueni by elections court sagas and ballot papers.?
    the cid saga with owallo ?
    with police recovery of bomb materials but no arrests at bu-stage in nbi ?
    why are social unrest,insecurity,misgiving,despondency being created by jubilee king pins
    why attack isaac ruto and threaten governor for bomet for telling kalenjins to open their eyes beyond jubilee world after seeing the way soosion was mishandled by so called jubilee firefighters ?
    what interest does kambi have in nsssf ?
    kambi is agent of ruto and your guess is to put hands in nsssf money,projects ,land etc
    they did this in yk92 days and looted fund dry.they cant wait to go in again.odongo would have been a hindrance ?
    do you expect atwoli to talk for workers again since he is now jubilee compliant after cheating musalia ?
    uhuruto 1oo days is complete success by any standards and Kenyans can see where they are coming and going.
    who is going to speak for Kenyans?
    havent you heard clearin firms in mombasa will loose out to ugandans and rwandese after kenya was misled and patronised by big brother uganda on icc ?
    this is the prise kenya is paying.
    have you heard of tariff barriers for kenyan goods to the region ?
    despite good talk by jubilee there is nothing on the ground to back their claims of success whichever way you look at it.

  • Catoon Catoonizen

    The ICC got Uhuru Kenyatta by the balls>President Uhuru Kenyatta’s lawyer at the ICC is reportedly seeking information about 60 people some of whom may be witnesses in his trial scheduled to start in November.

    Yesterday, it emerged that the information being sought by Steven Kay includes SMS data, voice calls and MPESA and Airtel Money transfer of the 60 people from as far back as 2008. The individuals include some witnesses who ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has lined up to testify.

    The president’s lawyer could be seeking to get the phone records that would indicate the locations of the witnesses within a 200 meter radius of the nearest Base Transmission Stations (BTS); the records of the person being called, the duration, time of call and Mpesa and Airtel Money transfer records.

    The records will also show the common numbers that the witnesses were communicating with during the time. This will help corroborate or negate the claims some of the witnesses have made in regard to the offense that President Uhuru is facing.

    If the two mobile phone companies provide the information that Kay is requesting, the telephone records, Mpesa/Airtel money transactions and texts of the individuals he is targeting will be made available.

    “Normally mobile service providers can keep records for as long as three months but they do have records beyond that depending on the importance of the individual. But if someone has a lot of calls, the records are sometimes only held for two months,” the expert who sought anonymity said.

    However, the mobile service providers have back up systems outside the country which stores most of the data that they can fall back on in case their systems are compromised.

    President Uhuru’s team has allegedly brought on board a British investigator who is booked at a hotel along Thika road and whose task is to help strengthen Uhuru’s defense by discrediting some of the witnesses.

    Uhuru on Tuesday night issued a statement in which he defended his action of having his case against the two mobile phone companies heard in confidence.

    Dismissing civil society’s criticism and intention to go to court to challenge the ‘in-camera’ proceedings, Uhuru said he had a right to demand confidentiality as he worked on clearing his name at the ICC.

    He said the ‘secret’ hearings were part of his defense preparations for the ICC trial which opens on November 12.

    Accusing the civil society leaders of acting in bad faith, Uhuru said they were ignoring the rule of natural justice where one is presumed innocent until proved guilty.

    The executive director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict Ndung’u Wainaina had indicated he might go to court to challenge the ‘secret’ proceedings and to protect public interest and the victims’ rights to access to information.

    Uhuru and his co-defendant at the ICC, Deputy President William Ruto have previously accused the civil society of “cooking” evidence and “coaching” witnesses who will testify during their trials.

    Reports indicate that ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is relying on over 100 witnesses some of whom have been relocated several times to different countries to reduce the risk of having them intimidated or compromised.

    This is after she alleged that over 13 witnesses had withdrawn from the case due to intimidation and fearing for their lives.

    The confidential petition filed by Kay against the two mobile service providers will either confirm or refute the ICC’s allegations that people close to Uhuru have threatened witnesses.

    ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is relying on communication data to establish among other things the links between Uhuru and the outlawed Mungiki sect who he is accused of funding to commit crimes during the post-election violence.

    Bensouda will be calling Lars Bromley, an American satellite imagery and communication expert to testify on his findings on analysis of the technological evidence in the case.

    The case to get data from Safaricom and Airtel mobile phone companies was prompted by Bensouda’s disclosure of the evidence she intends to adduce in the case against Uhuru.

    During the confirmation of charges hearings, the prosecution referred to telephone communication made between Uhuru and his then co-accomplices Hussein Ali and Francis Muthaura.
    HUSSEIN ALI(BRGD) Muthaura Can still be called to testify in Uhuru Kenyattas Case!
    Why not The CIS Has the whole Conversation Btw State-House /Through eavedroppings) read Wikleaks/Snowden! Uhuru either you Go Under or Perish!

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