Uhuru Kenyatta Cannot Successfully Fight Corruption In Kenya
I often get a chill down my spine whenever I hear Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto repeat their now boring and tired rhetoric: “The Jubilee Government will crack the whip on corruption.” Take a look at Ruto’s past corruption allegations and Uhuru’s plush life, courtesy of his mom Mama Ngina’s and dad, Jomo Kenyatta’s alleged looting of public coffers, land grabbing, and massive killing of elephants for illegal ivory trade. Mama Ngina is listed online as the third richest woman in Africa worth $1 billion, with her family owning “Kenya’s largest dairy company Brookside Dairies, media company Mediamax, Heritage Hotels, Commercial Bank of Africa and hundreds of thousands of prime Kenyan land.”
Given the above background, Uhuru Kenyatta does not have the political will to fight corruption since his enormous wealth is based on it. Three foreign commissioners who were among Kenyan publishers of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report in May 2013, mentioned in a statement that the Office of the President had pressured them to delete paragraphs from their final report which documented witness accounts of irregular land distribution by Uhuru’s father, first president Jomo Kenyatta, to his family, cronies and members of his Kikuyu ethnic group.
Some of the deleted paragraphs revealed Kenyatta had given his son “a large tract of government land which was, apparently, acquired without official approval and without compliance with legal procedures as a wedding gift in 1976.” Further, Kenyatta “unlawfully alienated to himself 250 acres of trust land on the coast that was supposed to be held by the government in trust for the people. Irregularly, President Kenyatta took all of Tiwi and Diani trust lands at the expense of local people who immediately became ‘squatters’ on the land and were subsequently evicted, rendering them landless and poor.”
With such allegations, Uhuru can never implement the TJRC report which directly implicates his family members and threatens his wealth, since it recommends repossession of all illegally acquired public land. It is also important to note that in 2013, the Jubilee-dominated National Assembly deleted a section in the TJRC Act of 2008, which had earlier prohibited MPs from altering the report, thus enabling political manipulation of its findings and recommendations.
Roots of corruption in public sector
Confusion reigns in Jubilee as each member shouts loud in defense of the government’s useless record against corruption. When you see Senator Kithure Kindiki, a distinguished professor of law kneeling down among Jubilee political thugs and praying that the International Criminal Court (ICC) should set free William Ruto, then you know Kenyan academics become stupid when they get elected as politicians. Another light-weight Jubilee debater is nominated Senator Beatrice Elachi, whose naïve take on corruption is just pathetic.
Corruption in the public service is traced back to the Ndegwa Commission, authorized by Jomo Kenyatta in 1970, and headed by then-governor of the Central Bank of Kenya Duncan Ndegwa, to investigate the appropriate structure and remuneration of the public service. A key recommendation of the Commission’s 1971 report was that public servants would be allowed to own private property and run businesses. However, it ran against the global trend that does not allow them to engage in private enterprise since “by owning private property or engaging in business, a public servant is likely to abuse his public position” (Odhiambo-Mbai, 2003, p. 121, in the African Journal of Political Science). Njonjo Kihuria avers that: “In fact, some of the richest people in this country were either cabinet ministers, permanent secretaries, provincial commissioners, districts commissioners, district officers and parastatal chiefs, because they used their offices to privatise public wealth.” (The Star Newspaper, November 2, 2015)
The public-private nexus
Sebastian Gatimu, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies, recently published a comprehensive article titled: ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Corruption’, which outlines the nexus between the public and private sector, in the perpetuation of corruption. “Kenya’s private sector has been listed among the world’s most corrupt. International audit firm Ernst & Young reported that one in every three Kenyan companies surveyed had paid bribes to win contracts. The survey, which is conducted in 59 countries, ranks Kenya behind Egypt, Nigeria and Namibia as economies where private sector corruption is most pervasive and tender award processes most distorted,” wrote Gatimu.
Meanwhile, an article in the Business Daily newspaper on November 9, 2015 titled: ‘Succession Wars Lift Lid on the wealth of Kenyatta Era Oligarchs’, mentioned that a Mr. Kathumba who was Jomo Kenyatta’s cook while he was prisoner in Kapenguria prison before independence, left a “50-acre prime land in Embakasi, next to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi estimated to be worth Sh3.5 billion.” It is only in Kenya where a mere cook can be a real billionaire, and not in Zimbabwean dollars.
The Standard newspaper has also run a piece titled: ‘Corrupt Kenyan Leaders to Face US Sanctions’ which states: “President Barack Obama’s government has warned Kenya’s leaders linked to corruption that they risked facing sanctions believed to include travel bans.” Obama has simply walked the talk he gave during his July 2015 trip in Kenya. Whereas Jubilee sycophants claim the West means nothing to them, and they do not care about American sanctions, they are internally bitter that Uhuru Kenyatta has engaged the former British prime minister, Tony Blair, as his chief adviser. However, they forget that Uhuru’s father had sucked up to the white folks and even sired a son, Peter Magana Kenyatta, by an English woman named Edna Clarke.
Uhuru belongs to the thoroughbred class: far from his die-hard peasant followers, and has married a half German, half Kikuyu woman. It is documented that Jomo Kenyatta was against the Mau Mau, who were Kikuyu freedom fighters whose large tracts of land had been grabbed by white colonialists. A report by journalist John Kamau indicated that Jomo Kenyatta had planned to deport hundreds of Kikuyus to the tsetse-fly infested Mpanda Settlement Scheme in Rukwa region of Tanzania, just 25 days after he had become prime minister in 1963. See http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/blob/view/-/683648/data/112144/-/yrf7yfz/-/seeds.pdf
It is pointless to remain academic about Kenya’s corruption because available documents indicate its pervasiveness, yet the political class fuels it for personal gain. All the legal instruments are in place, yet Jubilee keeps blaming Opposition leader Raila Amolo Odinga, for their inept strategies in fighting corruption. Uhuru and Ruto are “political sons” of former Dictator Daniel arap Moi, whose 24-year plunder of Kenya’s economy is a case study of how NOT to be a leader. Further, in 2002, then-presidential candidate and now former president Kibaki had promised to stem corruption, but his ten-year record beat that of Moi. Uhuru Kenyatta, the selfie, PR president, was in the beginning quite vocal about fighting corruption and even created a web portal to directly engage Kenyans, yet he has hit a dead end in the process. His personal anti-corruption web portal http://www.president.go.ke/en/category/corruption.php never took off.
Although Gatimu recommends that: “To end corruption, African governments must urgently re-evaluate the role of public and private sector and come up with stringent regulations to curb the menace” all the ethical provisions enacted to curb corruption during Kibaki’s tenure in office, currently mean nothing for Uhuru’s administration. In 2013, five out of the 18 Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) nominated by Uhuru and William Ruto and vetted by the National Assembly, were suspended in march 2015. Suspended CS Davis Chirchir, a Ruto ally linked to the Chicken-gate Scandal, has been vetted once again and cleared of all corruption allegations, yet the public money reportedly lost under his watch has not been accounted for. In conclusion, Uhuru and Ruto have no moral grounds to fight against corruption, since they personally continue to gain from it.
World | Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:28pm EST
Related: World, Africa
Kenyan journalist detained over writing about corruption
NAIROBI | By Drazen Jorgic
Kenyan police on Tuesday arrested a journalist who wrote about corruption at the Interior Ministry, drawing accusations from media groups that the government was trying to trample free speech.
Reports alleging outrageous spending by civil servants has raised pressure on President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has promised to tackle rampant corruption in a country where many people still live in poverty.
Tom Mshindi, the editor-in-chief of biggest-selling Daily Nation newspaper, said senior reporter John Ngirachu was arrested on Tuesday in relation to an article questioning spending at the Interior Ministry.
“This is, in our view, intimidation,” Mshindi told Reuters. “We don’t expect this government to resort to these kinds of strong-arm tactics to try and intimidate us.”
An Interior Ministry official confirmed Ngirachu’s arrest but could not comment on details. Media reports said Ngirachu was released on Tuesday evening.
Ngirachu was interrogated by police last week over a Daily Nation article about a parliamentary report which queried why the Interior Ministry had spent 3.8 billion shillings ($37.20 million) in a single day.
Angered by the article, Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery labeled the story as “unacceptable” and said it was “calculated to harm the nation” as it portrayed his ministry as corrupt.
Mshindi said detectives wanted to know the source of the article, even though the parliamentary report was available to public.
Nkaissery said there was a well-choreographed campaign to ignite mass action against Kenyatta’s government by alleging was graft in Kenyan institutions.
“(This is) increasingly taking the shape of a larger plot of economic sabotage”, Nkaissery said, warning that anyone who spread false stories about corruption would be “held to personally account”.
Kenya’s editors guild said it was concerned about Nkaissery’s statement and the arrest of Ngirachu.
“If the statement is anything to go by, the arrest of journalist John Ngirachu is only the beginning of tougher times for the media and any other independent voices brave enough to raise questions on the corruption crisis that ails our country,” said Linus Kaikai, the chairman of Kenya Editors Guild.
Several other prominent individuals have voiced concerns about corruption in Kenya in recent days.
“As I have said many times, corruption is undermining Kenya’s future,” U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec said on Monday when discussing a U.S. trade deal with Africa. “It is destroying jobs and causing investors to take their money elsewhere.”
John Githongo, who quit as Kenya’s first anti-corruption adviser in 2005 and later blew the whistle on one of the country’s biggest graft scandals, said Kenyatta has failed to get to grip with the problem.
“This is the most corrupt Kenya has been since we began measuring corruption in the ’90s,” he said.
($1 = 102.1500 Kenyan shillings)
(Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
Read more at Reutershttp://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/11/us-kenya-corruption-idUSKCN0SZ2GK20151111#mPbIIKBRRGZiWPuE.99
Sweetee you might make me a one term president. I feel much worried that is why my sexlife with you is being affected, not like before, sometimes i have sleepless nights .My sweetee allow me to sleep try to wake me in the morning then we try to have sex my dear Anne.
Kenyan firms ranked among the most corrupt
Kenya’s private sector has been listed among the world’s most corrupt, presenting the Uhuru Kenyatta government with yet another daunting task to tackle in the quest to make East Africa’s largest economy the region’s preferred investment destination.
International audit firm Ernst and Young says in a report released on Thursday that one in every three Kenyan companies surveyed had paid bribes to win contracts.
The survey conducted in 59 countries ranks Kenya behind Egypt, Nigeria and Namibia as economies where private sector corruption is most pervasive and distorting of tender award processes.
More than a quarter or 27 per cent of the chief executives, financial controllers and internal auditors surveyed in Kenya cited high levels of fraud in their companies — only lower than 44 per cent in Egypt, 30 per cent in Nigeria and 28 per cent in Namibia.
E&Y says private sector bribery, fraud and corruption is mainly driven by middle-level managers, especially men aged between 35 and 45.
“Their actions are mainly driven by pressure to perform and achieve set targets,” said Miriam Gaituri, the associate director at Ernst and Young.
The study found that most recipients of bribes do not ask for it but act in a manner that signals their hands need to be greased.
“We found that when someone wants a bribe they delay services and so you feel you have to grease their hands for things to move faster,” said Peter Kahi, a partner at the audit firm, adding that up to 90 per cent of the interviewees said they have never been asked for a bribe directly.
The survey found that entertainment was the most common method of bribery that companies use to acquire and retain business. Half of the executives interviewed said it was justified. Another 27 per cent of those surveyed justified offering personal gifts to get business.
The survey found South Korea’s private sector the most virtuous, with none of the executives interviewed citing significant levels of fraud or bribery.
The small European nation of Luxembourg, Poland, Philippines and Argentina make the list of five countries with the least private sector corruption — a distinction that continues to earn them competitive advantage in the race to attract investments.
E&Y found that private sector corruption was most rampant in transactions between business associates, including suppliers and much less when doing business with the government.
The survey does not reveal the amount of money paid out as bribes to win contracts or lost in fraud and the auditors said it was futile to ask because of rampant understating.
Other studies have estimated that companies lose between seven and eight per cent of their revenues to corruption, translating to loss of millions of jobs every year.
The report names financial services sector as the most affected by fraud because of their handling of large amounts of hard currency on a regular basis.
Kenya’s industry captains said corruption has intensified in the past couple of years with 86 per cent reporting rampant bribery and corrupt practices in their business transactions up from 76 per cent in 2012.
Kenya’s public sector has consistently ranked poorly in global corruption surveys but the latest revelation that the private sector is no better casts a dark cloud over the country’s ambition to attract investments and speed up its economic advancement.
Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index, 2013 ranked Kenya at position 136 out of 177 countries and territories surveyed, with a score of 27 on a scale of 0 to 100. Zero indicates highly corrupt while 100 is for top integrity.
More recently, Kenyan companies have fought bruising court battles over the award of tenders giving the public a glimpse into the mostly secret world of deal-making.
Kenya’s corruption has defied the many layers of regulatory and oversight mechanisms that have been put in place to curb it, leaving the practice to continue unabated.
The depth of Kenya’s corruption was recently revealed in a London court where the UK’s Serious Fraud Office has charged senior managers of a security printing firm Smith and Ouzman with massive bribery of Kenyan officials to win contracts.
READ: UK court exposes corruption ring at Kenya poll agency
Court documents show that Smith and Ouzman paid millions of shillings in bribes and organised lavish annual trips for Kenyan officials to the UK in exchange for multi-million-shilling contracts.
Some of the officials are said to have received electronic gifts for themselves and their children.
Meanwhile, E&Y found that the fraud and corruption industry regularly asks customers or partners to make charitable contributions to identified causes. More than half of the executives said there is nothing wrong with the arrangement.
In Kenya, businesses have been asked to participate in fundraisers organised by politicians — a form of corruption that the country has tried to tackle with the passing of a law that bars politicians from participating in such fundraisers. Poor enforcement of the law remains its weakest point.
E&Y found that companies have more recently become complacent in their dealing with corruption, leading to a big drop in the number of institutions that have a written anti-corruption policy and code of conduct.
Only 88 per cent of companies have a policy compared to 96 per cent two years ago.
Board members are expected to enforce integrity in the institutions they lead but are not actively engaged, the survey found.
E&Y recommended that boards ensure they put in place whistleblowing mechanisms in their companies while recruiting officers are made to conduct background checks on new employees.
A profile on fraudsters’ survey conducted by E&Y shows that it tends to be a repetitive habit with the perpetrator being
Fraud incidences were also said to be on the rise and were mainly driven by technological advancements.
Now Police officers want Standard Reporter over graft Story
By Standard Team
Updated Wednesday, November 11th 2015 at 10:58 GMT +3
Nairobi, Kenya: Police officers in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi are looking for Standard Group’s Parliamentary reporter Alphonse Shiundu over a story he wrote on the Interior ministry about questionable tenders.
Mr Shiundu is facing a similar fate like Nation Media Group’s Parliamentary editor John Ngirachu who was arrested Tuesday by Directorate Criminal Investigation officers with Interior Cabinet Secretary, Maj-Gen (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery demanding that he discloses his sources of information.
In what has been seen as a fresh attack on media freedom, the arrest and police summonses have elicited outrage from within government and Opposition alike as well as Church leaders and the civil society.
The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the onslaught on media professionals and the brief detention Mr Ngirachu by police on Tuesday.
At the same time, the Media Council of Kenya is gravely concerned and disturbed over rising cases of harassment and intimidation of journalists.
The Council is particularly bothered by the arrest of John Ngirachu, a parliamentary editor with the Nation Media Group over an article deemed offensive by the Interior Ministry.
It is against the spirit of Media Freedom and Freedom of Information for the CS Nkaissery or any security officer to demand revelation of the source of information Mr Ngirachu used to write his story as this amounts to abuse of Journalists right to protect their sources.
“As the body charged with ensuring the protection of the rights and privileges of journalists in the performance of their duties, the Council is particularly concerned with the increasing number of journalists facing threats, harassment and in extreme circumstances murdered in the course of duty in Kenya,” Dr Haroun Mwangi the CEO of the council said in a statement.
Kenya Editors’ Guild chair Linus Kaikai equally voiced his concerns on increasing attempts to intimidate and muzzle the media by State agencies. He condemned the arrest of the journalist and demanded the police and the State respect independence of the media and freedom of expression.
Kenya Union of Journalists Secretary General Oduor said he will mobilize members and resources to jealously guard freedom of the media in Kenya without fear or favour.
“KUJ strongly condemns the harassment of journalists by Jubilee Administration. Summoning Shiundu to record a statement over a story is a ploy to intimidate journalist by government that rocked with graft scandals,” Oduor said in a terse statement.
The Scandals That Have Hit Jubilee
STAR REPORTER November 9, 2015
PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee administration has been hit by a series of suspected scandals since 2013, with the latest financial improprieties threatening to bring the government to its knees. The government has been hit by mega scams, among them procurement issues with the Sh1.3 trillion Standard Gauge Railway project, Sh22 billion botched procurement of laptops for schools and the Sh100 million Hustler Jet saga. There are also the Sh13 billion NSSF Tassia II and Hazina Towers projects scams, for which Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli played the role of whistleblower. Various parastatals have been rocked by corruption allegations that saw Uhuru send tens of state-corporation chiefs packing on March 26 this year.
Former Central Bank of Kenya Governor Njuguna Ndung’u and the heads of the Export Processing Zone Authority, Kenya Meat Commission, Kenya Airports Authority and the Football Federation of Kenya were among those named on the List of Shame. Lucy Mbugua, Charles Tonui and Alex Kabuga, of the Kenya Airports Authority, the Kenya Pipeline Corporation and Kentrade respectively, were among those shown the door. Then came the Sh791 million NYS scam that now threatens the illustrious career of Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.
There is also the alleged scam concerning the uses the proceeds of the Sh250 billion Eurobond were put to. And then there was the Sh37,000 per bar of soap scam for “El Nino preparedness.” It emerged last week the Devolution ministry could have lost as much as Sh11 billion in inflated costs, including 18 inter-office condom dispensers at Sh25,000 each. “The Jubilee government is not running Kenya, corruption is instead running Kenya,” said Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba yesterday, echoing former anti-graft czar John Githongo, who told the New York Times, “We don’t have a government. We have a scandal.”
Controversy has surrounded the construction of the railway, with integrity questions being raised about how the total cost rose from the initial Sh220,921,502,221.08 quoted by the China Road and Bridge Corporation in its acceptance of the tender award letter in 2012, to the current Sh1.3 trillion. In May 2013, President Kenyatta issued an executive order for direct procurement of a jet rented at Sh100 million to fly Deputy President William Ruto and his entourage to four West African nations to lobby them against the Kenyan ICC cases. Surprisingly, Jubilee MPs ganged up in Parliament to shoot down a special audit report on the irregular procurement of the luxury jet that had indicted, among others, Ruto’s now suspended Chief of Staff Marianne Kitany. – See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/scandals-have-hit-jubilee#sthash.X0Go7ZuP.dpuf
Corruption in Kenya ‘worse than ever’ says veteran campaigner
Tristan McConnell, AFP
Aug. 2, 2015, 1:56 AM
Nairobi (AFP) – Corruption in Kenya is sliding out of control, veteran anti-corruption activist and whistle-blower John Githongo has warned in an interview following a scathing audit of government finances.
The comments also came after US President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya when he spoke of “the cancer of corruption”.
The publication of an official audit found just one percent of Kenya government spending and a quarter of the entire $16 billion (15 billion euro) budget was properly accounted for.
“This is the most rapacious administration that we have ever had,” said Githongo.
“Corruption in Kenya has deepened and widened,” since President Uhuru Kenyatta came to power in 2013, he claimed.
Apart from the Auditor-General’s report, a series of scandals have emerged in the media concerning government procurement and land grabbing, perhaps the oldest trick in Kenya’s corruption playbook.
The country is slipping down Transparency International’s annual corruption index and is now 145th out of 174 nations, down from 136 in 2013. With media and civil society also under pressure the 50-year-old corruption fighter warned of “the speed with which democratic space is shrinking”.
The government insists it is battling graft and Kenyatta has spoken out clearly and often against corruption, including during Obama’s visit. Earlier this year a handful of ministers and other officials were suspended, but Githongo said this was “lip service”.
“There is a complete disconnect between what he says and what he does,” he claimed, accusing Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto of creating “the atmosphere in which civil servants, politicians and businessmen can engage in corruption on the kind of grand destructive scale we are seeing today.”
In a speech to the Kenyan people last Sunday, Obama said, “Corruption is tolerated because that’s how things have always been done”.
Paying bribes to police and bureaucrats remains routine for ordinary Kenyans, but Githongo said the current level of corruption outstrips anything he has seen in a more than 20-year career battling graft.
“The details come out in dribs and drabs, but it’s clear we’ve reached a scale of looting that surpasses anything we’ve had in Kenyan history,” he said.
– ‘Captured by corrupt elites’ –
In 2002 Githongo was appointed ‘anti-corruption czar’ by then president Mwai Kibaki, but three years later he fled for his life after uncovering a $770m (700 million euro) security procurement scam known as Anglo Leasing.
Githongo’s whistle-blower story became the basis of Michela Wrong’s 2009 book “It’s Our Turn to Eat”, a year after Githongo had returned home.
The earlier government of Daniel arap Moi, who ruled for 24 years until 2002, was defined by the $1 billion (900 million euro) gold subsidy fiddle known as Goldenberg.
More recently, parliament has questioned the tendering behind the new $13.5 billion (12.4 billion euro) Mombasa-Nairobi railway line, a huge infrastructure project seen as essential to Kenya’s economic growth.
Githongo said there are suspicions the railway was “from the very beginning… engineered as a corrupt project”, while the Auditor-General had exposed “an environment of unprecedented permissiveness” for corruption.
“That only 1.2 percent of government expenditure can be properly accounted for is a stinging indictment of the management of public resources. The entire system is either in a state of failure or has been captured by corrupt elites,” he said.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Henry Rotich shrugged off the 361-page auditor’s report in a three-page statement that said his ministry “has since established that there were no resources lost”. As with the government accounts, scant supporting evidence was provided.
Githongo dismissed the recent, belated start of prosecutions in the Anglo-Leasing case as “a fig leaf” allowing Kenya to claim to be fighting corruption.
Nor was he impressed by the suspension of ministers, depicting the well-worn path of stepping aside, going to court and avoiding prosecution, as “a laundromat to cleanse their reputations and allow them to go back to public office”.
“This administration isn’t going to have one Goldenberg or one Anglo Leasing, we have got several going on at the same time in different departments,” said Githongo.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Alfred Keter accuses Speaker Justin Muturi of blocking bid to oust Waiguru
By JOHN NJAGI
More by this Author
Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter has accused National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi of blocking a motion seeking to impeach Devolution Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru.
Mr Keter claimed the Speaker has made dubious demands regarding the motion.
He said Mr Muturi had asked that he substantiate the reasons he wants the CS impeached.
He said the Speaker should allow MPs to scrutinise the issue of corruption in the Devolution ministry by approving the motion.
He said he had secured the support of 180 MPs, a number well above the 88 required.
“There is no requirement in Parliament’s standing orders that an MP moving a motion should substantiate. The same was not required during the impeachment of Education CS Jacob Kaimenyi. Why is Ms Waiguru getting special treatment?” Mr Keter said at a press conference on Wednesday.
The push for Ms Waiguru’s impeachment has been gathering momentum, with both Jubilee and Cord MPs supporting the bid to remove her.
Uhuru Kenyatta incapable of slaying the dragon of corruption, says Raila Odinga
EMEKA-MAYAKA GEKARA and RUTH NDERITU
Cord leader Raila Odinga has accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of sleeping on the job in the fight against corruption.
Mr Odinga paints a grim picture of the country’s anti-graft campaign, saying it was apparent that the institutions that are supposed to tackle the vice had failed.
He says despite highly publicised declarations by the President that corrupt government officials will be punished, no action had been taken against those implicated in multi-million-shilling scandals and powerful individuals accused of grabbing public land.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation at his Opoda home in Siaya County on Saturday, the opposition chief said the Jubilee leadership was playing public relations with corruption which had morphed into a “national crisis”.
“There is no commitment to fight corruption by the top Jubilee leadership. The cancer continues to spread but there has not been any attempt to address the matter since the Jubilee Government took over,” said Mr Odinga who described President Kenyatta’s executive as “rotten”.
His argument is that an executive whose members have a history of corruption or are involved in the vice cannot be trusted to lead the anti-graft campaign.
According to Mr Odinga, failure by the President to take concrete action had fuelled corruption mainly in government tenders and grabbing of public land whose leases were expiring.
“We are experiencing a complete system failure. The Executive is rotten. The Legislature is more rotten. The anti-corruption commission is rotten. It is a dangerous situation,” he said in the morning interview.
According to Mr Odinga, the Jubilee coalition was incapable of tackling corruption because its members are beneficiaries.
Secondly, the Opposition leader thinks that the Uhuru-Ruto Government is glaringly incompetent, low on substance but strong in public relations.
“On PR and propaganda I will give them an A-minus. On substance and delivery of things that can improve the lives of Kenyans, I give them a D-plus,” Mr Odinga said.
He called for the disbandment of the Mumo Matemu-led Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission saying it had failed to deliver on its mandate. The commission has been entangled in wrangles lately with two of its commissioners petitioning the President to sack Mr Matemu for alleged malpractice.
However, Mr Odinga faulted the move, saying the commissioners should have petitioned Parliament to set up a tribunal to probe the matter.
“The commission is supposed to be independent of the President. By writing to him, the commissioners were suggesting that the commission takes instructions from the Executive.”
The former Prime Minister said that being a businessman, the President is “fully aware” of the corruption networks in government that were brokering kickbacks in mega contracts.
“The President is not naïve. I have told him that his legacy will be based on his performance. Not rhetoric. It is not enough to give warnings. He accepted that there was corruption in his office and declared that heads will roll. No heads have rolled.”
Just this month, the President repeated that corrupt government officials will be dealt with.
Earlier in January, President Kenyatta sounded a warning to inept and corrupt public officers saying they will be fired. He cautioned that laziness and graft would not be entertained and that those not willing to work hard were free to go home.
“There are so many young and educated Kenyans who are willing to replace such government officers,” he said.
And as part of his effort to address graft in public tendering, the President on March 6 ordered that matters of procurement be handled online to ensure transparency and ordered an audit of tenders awarded for the two years that Jubilee has been in power.
Mr Odinga spoke amidst concerns by key voices in the private sector, international community and civil society about what appears to be unprecedented high levels of corruption in government but also disturbing official inaction.
Members of the civil society and trade unions have threatened mass action if the President does not come up with a strategy to fight runaway graft. They claim that 20 mega scandals have been reported in two years of the Jubilee Administration.
WALK THE TALK
Anglican Bishop Eliud Wabukala, who chairs the National Anti-Corruption Campaign steering committee, on Friday asked President Kenyatta to walk the talk on corruption.
“The level of corruption being witnessed in government is only comparable to the 1990s during the Kanu era,” said anti-graft crusader and former Ethics Permanent Secretary John Githongo who was a critical player in exposing the Anglo Leasing scandal during the President Mwai Kibaki administration.
In the interview on Saturday, Mr Odinga also accused the Jubilee Coalition of selective prosecution of Anglo-Leasing suspects, saying some individuals with a strong relationship with the Kanu regime had been left out.
Mr Odinga has questioned what he calls reluctance by the Jubilee Government to prosecute election officials involved in the Chickengate scandal involving bribery by a British printing firm whose managers have since been jailed.
To address corruption, he suggests reforms in the public service, security sector and implementation of Agenda Four issues identified by the Kofi-Annan panel in 2008, mainly creation of jobs for the youth.
The other is strict implementation of the Constitution, particularly Article 10, which demands that only people of integrity be entrusted with public offices.
‘A HUGE TAX’
British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond on Friday warned that unless tackled, corruption will slow economic growth.
“The problem with corruption anywhere is that it is damaging to the economy. It is a huge tax to the economy. It is a tax on business, it deters investment.”
“Defeating corruption will send an incredibly important signal to business. It will help business to thrive, it will encourage investment and it will ensure that the fruits are spread more equitably and more fairly.”
On Saturday, Mr Odinga said that members of the private sector had raised concern with him that corruption had increased the cost of doing business in Kenya.
He said that investors have to bribe members of the Executive for award of tenders, the Judiciary in case of court cases arising from tender disputes and committees of Parliament purporting to be investigating issues relating to the contracts.
“The MPs who pretend to be investigating the tenders are only looking for a cut. They give approval after their hands have been greased,” Mr Odinga said.
He claimed that members of key House committees were being bribed by forces in the Executive to stop investigations into the theft of taxpayers’ money.
“The focus should be on the individual in the Executive who is throwing money at members of the Public Accounts Committee in order not to be mentioned adversely in investigations.”
The former Prime Minister was making reference to claims in Parliament that members of the committee chaired by ODM secretary-general Ababu Namwamba were bribed to shield a senior government official.
But Mr Odinga was uncomfortable with suggestions that having been accused of bribery in House committees, Cord MPs — including Mr Namwamba — had no moral authority to raise questions on corruption.
“That is nonsense. A majority of the MPs in the committees are from the ruling coalition,” he said.
However, Mr Odinga could not hide his excitement over the Kajiado by-election, which his party won despite a spirited and highly-oiled campaign by the Jubilee coalition.
But he strongly thinks that Jubilee should not have fielded a candidate in Kajiado having “poached” Mr Joseph Nkaissery of ODM for appointment as a Cabinet Secretary.
He argues that ODM should have been given a free hand to retain their seat.
“It was an act of terrible bad faith but the Kajiado people taught them a lesson, that we in ODM stand for bigger things than public appointments and false promises of development.”
The seat was won by ODM’s Elijah Memusi against Jubilee’s Patrick Tutui.
Report implicates Kenyan military in sugar smuggling racket in Somalia
Updated Thursday, November 12th 2015 at 07:50 GMT +3
Kenya’s army is involved in a $400-million sugar smuggling racket in Somalia that also funds the Al-Qaeda militants it is supposed to be fighting, a report alleged Thursday.
Far from fighting the Shebab, Al-Qaeda’s East Africa affiliate, the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) are, “in garrison mode, sitting in bases while senior commanders are engaged in corrupt business practices,” said the investigation by Nairobi’s Journalists for Justice rights group.
The report is based on months of research conducted in Somalia and Kenya, including interviews with serving Kenyan officers, United Nations officials, Western intelligence sources, sugar traders, porters and drivers.
The report also accused Kenyan troops of “widespread” human rights abuses — including rape, torture and abduction — and conducting air strikes “targeting crowds of people and animals” rather than the militant training camps it claims to bomb.
Kenyan army spokesman, Colonel David Obonyo, denied the allegations, insisting Kenyan soldiers were fighting hard as part of the 22,000-strong African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
“We are not involved in sugar or charcoal business,” said Obonyo. “How can you sit down with Shebab one minute, and the next you are killing each other?”
Kenya’s army has denied repeated allegations of war profiteering since invading Somalia in 2011 after a string of kidnappings of tourists and aid workers blamed on the Shebab.
– Illicit business, terrorist blowback –
In the years since, Shebab attacks in Kenya have grown in number and scale — including the killing of at least 67 people at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall in 2013 and the massacre of 148 people at a university in Garissa in April — with the militants saying the attacks are retaliation for the Kenyan military presence in Somalia and “war crimes” committed by Kenyan troops.
Persistent allegations of Kenyan military involvement in illegal business dealings in Somalia first emerged soon after the army occupied the southern port town of Kismayo in 2012, where it took control of a stockpile of millions of sacks of charcoal.
Successive reports by the UN Monitoring Group — which investigates terrorist financing and infringements of an arms embargo — have detailed the joint role of KDF, the Shebab and the local Jubaland administration in the illegal export of charcoal.
The most recent annual report, published last month, also referred to KDF involvement in the illegal sugar trade.
Journalists for Justice estimates the total value of illegal sugar smuggling to Kenya at between $200 million and $400 million.
Its investigators found that KDF taxes every sack of charcoal that leaves and every sack of sugar that arrives at Kismayo, earning an estimated $50 million (46 million euros) a year.
The Jubaland administration and the Shebab also tax charcoal and the sugar trucks driving from Kismayo to the Kenyan border at Dhobley-Liboi.
“The illicit conflict economy is benefitting both Al-Shebab and those ostensibly opposing them,” the report said.
The group accuses an unnamed “high ranking military official” of running a sugar smuggling network that enjoys “the protection and tacit cooperation” or Kenya’s political leaders.
“The corruption and human rights abuses undermine Kenya’s goals in Somalia, provide funds to Al-Shebab, and ultimately result in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Kenyans,” the report said.
Europe, US envoys fire warning shot in war on corruption
Mrs Ngilu and Mr Kamau have already been charged in court.
•Eleven diplomats who held a meeting with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Thursday said they would impose travel restrictions on officials linked to corruption.
•After the questioning, her lawyer, Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, said the CS would at best be a witness in the case but EACC officials said investigations were still on.
•However, they said that the EACC and other anti-corruption agencies were not well-equipped to fight graft, which has dented Kenya’s image also deterred investment.
State and public officers who have either been questioned or adversely mentioned over corruption risk being barred from travelling to Europe and America as western diplomats moved to raise pressure in the war against graft.
Eleven diplomats who held a meeting with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Thursday said they would impose travel restrictions on officials linked to corruption, saying graft was undermining the country’s future.
“We are prepared to take further steps to support the Kenyan authorities including, when permitted by law, the return of stolen assets to the Kenyan people or to impose travel restriction on those responsible for graft,” the envoys said in a joint statement they issued after the meeting at Integrity Centre, Nairobi.
The joint statement was read to the press by the US Ambassador to Kenya, Mr Robert Godec, who led the team to the EACC offices.
The meeting between the envoys and EACC officials came just two days after the Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, Ms Anne Waiguru, was questioned over loss of hundreds of millions of shillings from the National Youth Service.
After the questioning, her lawyer, Mr Ahmednasir Abdullahi, said the CS would at best be a witness in the case but EACC officials said investigations were still on.
Apart from the US, other countries represented in the meeting are the United Kingdom, Canada, Finland, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
Under the Grand Coalition administration, the western envoys imposed restrictions on top Kenya officials implicated in corruption by denying them visas.
Several Cabinet secretaries in the Jubilee administration have been asked to step aside to pave way for investigations into corruption allegations in their ministries.
They are Lands, Housing and Urban Development CS Charity Ngilu, her Labour counterpart, Mr Kazungu Kambi, Mr Michael Kamau (Transport and Infrastructure), Mr Davis Chirchir (Energy) and Mr Felix Koskei (Agriculture).
The Devolution and Planning Ministry, headed by Ms Waiguru, has also been in the spotlight over corruption allegations at the National Youth Service.
On Tuesday, Ms Waiguru was questioned by EACC detectives over the loss of Sh791 million from NYS. The money disappeared in dubious procurement deals.
Early this year, President Uhuru Kenyatta vowed to crack down on all officials implicated in graft after he received a report from EACC.
He subsequently suspended four Cabinet secretaries and 12 other high ranking officials.
Mrs Ngilu and Mr Kamau have already been charged in court.
EACC Chief Executive Halakhe Waqo, who chaired Thursday’s talks with envoys, said the commission was making every effort to fight corruption and promised to engage the international partners.
“We shall be taking each complaints or issue raised and once we are ready we shall forward the case to other agencies for arrest and prosecution,” said Mr Waqo, flanked by his deputy, Mr Michael Mubea.
Opposition politicians, led by Cord leader Raila Odinga, and NGOs, have in the recent past faulted President Kenyatta and EACC, accusing them of being selective in fighting corruption.
The Head of State has also come under pressure from MPs in his Jubilee Coalition to sack Ms Waiguru. In his Mashujaa Day address last month, Mr Kenyatta said he was aware of the problems in his government and promised that action would be taken.
On Thursday, the envoys said the government should investigate all allegations of corruption and those found responsible should face court action.
“If they are found guilty, they should not be spared. They should be punished appropriately, regardless of their position or wealth,” read their statement.
As Kenya’s international partners, the diplomats said they would continue to assist with investigations where their citizens are involved.
“We are committed to taking tough and swift action when our own citizens are involved in activities that weaken the rule of law in Kenya,” they said.
While reiterating their support to strengthen the culture of integrity, the envoys said they broadly welcomed the steps that President Kenyatta and his government had taken in recent months to address corruption.
However, they said that the EACC and other anti-corruption agencies were not well-equipped to fight graft, which has dented Kenya’s image also deterred investment.
“We urged the government to take further steps to empower the commission (EACC) and other corruption-fighting agencies with the tools and resources needed to counter the scourge of corruption in a credible, effective, and sustained manner,” they said.
They asked government officials, opposition politicians, the Judiciary, civil society, business people, faith leaders and ordinary citizens not to tolerate corruption of any kind.
“As international partners, we will work together with Kenyans to achieve this goal,” they said.
Lack of political goodwill entrenching corruption in Kenya
By Alexander Chagema
Updated Friday, November 13th 2015 at 20:08 GMT +3
NAIROBI: Adage has it that it is pointless flogging a dead horse. Similarly, you cannot make a frog walk and neither can you make a snail gallop. It is in the nature of the latter two to move as they were created to do without variation.
That analogy is descriptive of Kenya’s political elite today. Overall, they are dead horses, frogs and snails, all heaped into one. Flogging a dead horse would not make it move no matter how hard one tries. It is thus pointless urging the current administration to do things it has clearly indicated through its inactivity are above its ken. The buzzwords are ‘corruption’, ‘clueless’ and ‘intransigence’, so let us stick with those for the moment.
The refrain on corruption has been going for so long that if today all we can get are more revelations of sleaze and sordid procurement at the tax payers’ expense, those in authority and positions to stop the vice are clueless and out of depth. The inference, on the other hand, is that they condone the practice by the manner of their intransigence and deportment.
We understand that politics is a delicate game of numbers, alliances and deceit, but there are times when national interest and image override these considerations; like now.
The day one gets a frog to walk majestically will be the day corruption will jump out the window and leave Kenya alone. Many in Jubilee, representing the whole, have been jumping from one scandal to another. Entreaties to go slow from those concerned over the fate of ailing Kenya don’t register, because it is not in these individuals nature to walk slowly.
One would have thought that after Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter blew the whistle on the Standard Gauge Railway scam in 2014, after the hullabaloo that followed the payment of Sh1.4 billion to Anglo Leasing, complaints on skewed government appointments, the scams that were the Sh13 billion National Social Security Fund and Tassia II projects, those with sticky fingers would go slow.
But they didn’t because the authorities are inert. So inert a further Sh791 million simply disappeared from the National Youth Service, and nobody is willing to open the can of worms for fear of what might come out. That is not the last of the story; there is more to it. Early in the year we were told a serious war had been declared on corruption and a few individuals immediately became prisoners of war. Unfortunately, the weapons of mass destruction of public resources we were told they had turned out to be a hoax, well, Iraq style; we are still waiting.
What hurts is that the generals who led us into the war on corruption are backtracking, petrified at the sight of blood and the possible carnage from a drawn out battle. Then there are the slimy snails.
These are people, hangers-on in Jubilee who can’t catch up or catch on, never. They don’t understand the changing political dynamics, and to cover up their inadequacies, they choose to rant, like the deranged at market places. Yes, I once heard a madman call another madman mad and laugh so hard I laughed too.
Asking Jubilee, under Uhuruto, to end corruption is flogging a dead horse. Jubilee was brought to power through massive rigging made possible only with equally massive corruption. Kenyans will remember the billions lost through the security related transactions overseen by Kimemia, and the fear that the Treasury had been swept clean. It’s not surprising that corruption became a Jubilee agenda; and it can only get worse as we move precariously towards 2017. The other day Uhuru was receiving advice from Moi and Biwot, the two people who nearly bankrupted Kenya through corruption.
Kenya donors threaten travel bans on ‘corrupt’ officials
By Tristan McConnell
November 12, 2015 12:30 PM
Nairobi (AFP) – Kenya’s biggest donors on Thursday issued a fierce rebuke to rampant corruption in the east African nation, warning it weakened economic growth and security and threatening to impose travel bans.
In a rare joint show of force, a dozen ambassadors from key donor nations — including the United States, Britain, the European Union, France, Germany and Japan — together visited Kenya’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EAAC) for talks.
“Corruption is undermining Kenya’s future,” said US ambassador Bob Godec, reading a joint statement by senior foreign diplomats, including from Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
“We share the concern of Kenyans at the ongoing problem of corruption,” Godec said, warning that “corruption threatens the country’s economic growth, the provision of government services, and security. It deters investment and costs jobs.”
Kenya, which is placed near the bottom of Transparency International’s annual corruption index, coming in 145th out of 174, has long been blighted by graft.
Newspaper front pages this month have been dominated by a string of graft allegations.
They include a parliamentary inquiry into the devolution ministry, where officials are alleged to have massively inflated government purchases, including claiming to have bought simple pens for $85 (79 euros) each.
It follows another widely publicised case in September, when protesters in the western Bungoma district marched on government offices after officials bought 10 wheelbarrows costing over $1,000 (930 euros) each.
– Corruption undermining security –
On Thursday a new report by Nairobi-based rights group Journalists for Justice, said Kenyan soldiers in Somalia were involved in a $400 million sugar smuggling racket that also funds the Shebab, the Al-Qaeda militants it is supposed to be fighting.
Godec said Kenya was facing a “corruption crisis”.
“All allegations of corruption must be investigated. When evidence of corruption is found, those responsible must be prosecuted and, if guilty, appropriately punished – regardless of position or wealth,” he said.
The diplomats threatened “to impose travel restriction on those responsible for graft.”
Britain’s high commissioner added that the proceeds of corruption stashed abroad would be traced and seized.
“People should not be allowed to enjoy the ill-gotten gains of corruption in London, New York, Geneva or anywhere else,” said Christian Turner.
The latest scandal to emerge involves the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) which was deployed to fight the Shebab in Somalia in 2011.
But far from fighting the militants, KDF are “in garrison mode, sitting in bases while senior commanders are engaged in corrupt business practices,” said the Journalists for Justice investigation.
The report said a smuggling network run by senior KDF officers with political protection earns $50 million a year in taxes on illegal sugar imports and charcoal exports, with Shebab earning much more from the same illicit trades.
Kwamchetsi Makokha of Journalists for Justice said both Kenyans officers and jihadists were sharing profits.
“KDF has been eating with the enemy,” Makokha said, using a common Kenyan idiom for graft.
The report also accused Kenyan troops of “widespread” human rights abuses — including rape, torture and abduction — and conducting air strikes “targeting crowds of people and animals” rather than the militant training camps it claims to bomb.
Kenyan army spokesman, Colonel David Obonyo, denied the allegations.
“We are not involved in sugar or charcoal business,” said Obonyo. “How can you sit down with Shebab one minute, and the next you are killing each other?”
Nevertheless, George Kegoro, executive director of the Kenya Human Rights Commission, said the report was “extremely worrying”, showing that Kenya was in Somalia “serving the personal interests of political and military elites.”
Veteran anti-corruption activist John Githongo, said corruption was “hollowing out” Kenya’s security apparatus leaving the country vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
“Our elites are undermining our security and empowering Shebab,” said Githongo.
Godec urged the Kenyan government to investigate the smuggling allegations — and other graft claims — and prosecute anyone against whom evidence is found.
“Indeed, Mama Ngina, wife of Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and mother of its serving one, Uhuru Kenyatta, was believed to be heavily implicated in the ivory trade.”
Visa threats worry senior State officials
The statement was read to the press by US ambassador Robert Godec.
•The announcement by the US and EU diplomats that they would impose travel restrictions sent panic waves in government circles as anxious officials sought to know their status.
•The “Joint Commitment to Promote Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kenya” was intended as the winch by which the Obama administration would help lift that anchor.
A top Jubilee official who has been linked to a series of corruption scandals is on the list of people Western powers have targeted for travel bans in support of Kenya’s war on corruption.
Impeccable sources have told the Sunday Nation that the announcement by the US and EU diplomats that they would impose travel restrictions sent panic waves in government circles as anxious officials sought to know their status.
The sources said that the individuals who have been targeted for the travel bans would only know their status the moment they apply for a visa to any of the countries participating in the travel ban.
The Western governments – which issued a joint statement at the Ethics and Anti-Corruption offices on Thursday – are considering freezing bank accounts associated with government officials who have stolen public money and hidden it abroad.
The information filtered through days after 11 diplomats, who held a meeting with the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission on Thursday, said they would impose travel restrictions on officials linked to corruption, saying graft was undermining the country’s future.
“We are prepared to take further steps to support the Kenyan authorities including, when permitted by law, the return of stolen assets to the Kenyan people or to impose travel restrictions on those responsible for graft,” the envoys said in a joint statement they issued after the meeting at Integrity Centre in Nairobi.
The statement was read to the press by US ambassador Robert Godec.
EACC Chief Executive Halakhe Waqo, who chaired the talks with envoys, said the commission was making every effort to fight corruption and promised to engage international partners.
Little progress has been made in implementing a joint US-Kenya anti-corruption initiative announced in conjunction with President Obama’s visit in July.
The 2,200-word, 29-point plan commits the US to a multi-faceted effort to aid Kenya in fighting graft.
But the initiative, described by a US official in August as unusual in its purpose and scope, has yielded no tangible results nearly four months after its unveiling by the White House.
US officials did not respond to requests last week for an update on the status of the project which includes specific timelines for action.
Mr Obama highlighted the importance of cracking down on corruption in his July 26 address at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi.
Speaking directly to Kenyans, the US leader likened graft on the part of public officials to “an anchor that weighs you down and prevents you from achieving what you could”.
The “Joint Commitment to Promote Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Efforts in Kenya” was intended as the winch by which the Obama administration would help lift that anchor.
Mr Godec’s blunt expressions of dismay last week about Kenya’s failure to ensure good governance suggest that the initiative has had no tangible impact.
“Corruption is a crisis in Kenya,” the US envoy declared.
Under the terms of the July agreement between Washington and Nairobi, the Kenya government is supposed to have instituted by October “compulsory ethics training for all public officials across all levels of government.
On its part, the US offered to help Kenya develop an ethics-training curriculum.
Posted Saturday, August 2, 2014 | by- AHMEDNASIR ABDULLAHI
With Muturi as Speaker, Kenya is doomed
When Lewis Hamilton, the British Formula 1 driver, suffered a series of misfortunes in this season’s races starting with the Monaco one, he said his misfortunes were more than just mere bad luck.
He subtly made the point that none of the accidents were attributable to his personal slip-ups. He didn’t say it but everyone knew that his finger pointed towards the higher echelons of Team Mercedes.
The misfortunes, the bad press and poor performance of the Jubilee government is not just because of bad luck and the push by a re-energised opposition.
The Uhuru Administration is not firing in all the cylinders as was projected. It is not as visionary as prayed. It is not focused and disciplined.
In the past 12 months, it has fought unnecessary wars. It has made unnecessary political enemies. It squandered many golden opportunities. And it chose the wrong priorities. All these are the least of the problems it faces.
Many Kenyans want to give the government more time. They appreciate that the learning curve for the Uhuru Administration has fairly been steep.
Uhuru’s biggest and most potent enemy is not the Opposition, the Judiciary, the civil society or Western embassies and their governments. The biggest and most lethal enemy that faces Uhuru and his government comes from Parliament under the pitiful leadership of Speaker Justin Muturi.
The government’s misfortunes are the sole creation of the new face of impunity, the Speaker of Parliament. His tenure as Speaker has been a calamitous and sacrilegious defilement of the Constitution. He has, in a mere 12 months, reduced the august House into a smouldering rubble of parliamentary tomfoolery. In a single year, he has made Parliament a rogue institution unaccountable to anyone.
He tried to destroy the Judiciary and routinely passes legislation that flouts the Constitution, all with a view to destroying devolution. He allows just a few pre-selected and pre-screened MPs on the government’s side to contribute to debate. He has silenced the Opposition.
Never has a Kenyan parliament been led by a more inept, incompetent, dull, unknowledgeable and ignorant Speaker. This is the result you get when greatness is forced on a political dwarf.
OUT OF HIS DEPTH
The burden on his shoulders makes his knees crack and give in and, as he tumbles and sinks, he will take many with him. Muturi has all the shortcomings of a man out of his depth clowning on a national stage with the Kenyan population watching in utter bewilderment.
It is not his dismissal of court orders as nonsense and idiotic that will cause the country lasting damage. It is not his dismissal of the Supreme Court’s advisory opinion as worthless that should concern Kenyans.
The Judiciary can be trusted to look after its turf and the interests of Kenyans. What should frighten Kenyans are two virulent shortcomings of the Speaker. Whether it is due to political haughtiness or deficiencies in his training as a lawyer, Muturi has a penchant for breaching the Constitution.
The House has passed countless statutes and amendments that are blatantly unconstitutional. Most of these unconstitutional amendments are designed to undermine devolution and county governments.
Playing the role of a partisan Speaker, Muturi is a hired gun in the hands of those who seek to undermine governors and county governments. He bestows — through unconstitutional amendments — powers, privileges and honours on Members of Parliament, Senators and the national government all with the sole intention of undermining devolution.
The second lethal shortcoming is that he is a political activist passing off as a neutral Speaker of Parliament. Even his demeanour in the Chair is repulsive.
He shrieks, shrills and hisses when giving orders. His rulings on matters of law and politics from the Chair are superficial and pedestrian. His grasp of law and parliamentary procedure are at best laughable.
But it is his partisan and small-minded moderation of parliamentary debates that should alarm Kenyans. Parliament will either shut or suffer mass boycott if Muturi is not replaced as a matter of national priority. He stifles debate.
He defines and delimits the tenor and contours of debates. He ignores the Opposition. Parliament is an empty shell!
Senior Counsel Abdullahi is the publisher, Nairobi Law Monthly email@example.com