16-Point Open Letter to President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta from Mr. Eliud Owalo

Mr. Eliud Owalo

Mr. Eliud Owalo

20TH JUNE, 2014


Dear Mr. President

Yes, Mr. President, the Country is evidently besieged by several problems and threats, and the general public is apprehensive and needs guidance. In this regard, the issues affecting the people include high cost of living beyond the reach of ordinary citizens, run-away inflation, widespread and destructive state of insecurity, debilitating corruption in high corridors of power leading to wastage of public funds and resources, unemployment and entrenched ethnicity in recruitment to Public Service, ethnic discrimination in service delivery including access to Government contracts as well as youth and women funds.

On insecurity, your appeal to the citizenry, echoed daily in the media, to cooperate with the Government especially law enforcement agencies in efforts towards curbing insecurity is in order. But this message which is replayed almost daily on local television is inadvertently contradictory and consequently unhelpful in addressing the insecurity issue at hand. In any case, your Government was already in power during the JKIA fire outbreak, Westgate Mall attack, and the Bungoma, Ahero, Muhoroni, Garissa and Mandera killings. However, there was no talk then of ethnic profiling in the killings as is the case now following the Mpeketoni killings in Lamu. In fact, the Government promised a public inquiry into the Westgate Mall attack and Airport fire outbreak but there has never been such inquiry or reports thereof. And with regards to ethnic profiling in Mpeketoni killings, you are just but inadvertently giving terrorists incentive for success.

And, this is why. First, just in the run-up to and after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya, the level of awareness amongst the citizenry had become extremely high and this has been sustained to date. Most people in the Country are not only aware of the laws of the land but are also able to analyze and draw conclusions on issues of concern to them, as such issues unfold. They are able to differentiate between truth and falsehoods out of statements and allegations emanating from political leaders.

Second, following the 2013 Presidential Elections whose results were judicially challenged, the Country has remained politically divided into two halves. Statistically, it has remained difficult to discern if there was an outright winner in the last Presidential elections, hence the sharp division which exists in the Country and which needs to be fully addressed in order to engender national unity and cooperation in the fight against terrorism, ethnicity, graft, marginalization, neglect and nepotism. Consequently, the ongoing call for National Dialogue should be considered and adopted.

Third, your daily appeal to the citizenry to assist in curbing insecurity by volunteering information is bound to land in deaf ears for as long as your Government continues to unnecessarily castigate and vilify some national leaders in the Country along ethnic and party lines. Such attacks on innocent and well meaning leaders are seen as an act of disrespect to them by their followers and will go further to alienate their followers from cooperating with your Government, over and above the already questionable legitimacy.
Forth, your Government continues to exhibit an insatiable preference to one ethnic community in the recruitment to Public Service jobs, positions in National Security organs, access to Government services and contracts, etc. In the context of the current state of economic hardships facing the citizens, this discriminative practice by your Government is pretty clear to all and sundry and invokes high level of resentment from many quarters. I submit that such a practice can never engender the rest of the populace to the Government, in any way.
Fifth, your Government’s foreign policy direction continues to aggravate the suffering of the citizens in several ways, including but not limited to scarcity in foreign exchange especially from the West where most of such earnings traditionally comes from. It also continues to destroy the tourism Sector as evidenced by the recent massive evacuation of foreign tourists from the Country; and National Wildlife through the killing of Elephants, Rhino etc; an activity in which new foreign partners and Government officials have been repeatedly implicated and prosecuted.

Sixth, Your Government promised to assist the youth and women with financial support from the Kshs 6 Billion, which was initially set aside for use in a re-run presidential poll, in the event such a poll became necessary. However, there have been protests, complaints and queries in the manner in which the so – called youth and women funds are being used to benefit only the youth and women from one ethnic group.
Seventh, your Government has entrenched impunity in the Country by arrogantly displaying blatant disrespect to the rule of law as exemplified by disregard of Court Orders by senior officials of the Government, even in cases where such officials have openly acted in contravention of the law.

Eighth, Your Government has shown disturbing hostility to other political leaders and parties in their efforts to exercise their constitutional mandate to engage the citizenry in public discourse aimed at addressing issues of concern to them including developmental matters.
Ninth, Your Government has consistently made efforts to undermine the letter and spirit of devolution by creating unconstitutional and parallel administrative structures at the County Government level as manifested by the appointment of County Commissioners.

Tenth, Your Government has refused to heed the popular demand for the overhaul and comprehensive audit of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), despite the fact that there is glaring evidence of incompetence, partiality, under-performance, mismanagement and continued wastage of public funds by the electoral body in matters relating to procurement of electoral materials, preparation and supervision of electoral processes. Since credible elections confer legitimacy to govern, it is imperative to re-organize the IEBC to ensure free and fair elections in future.

Eleventh, Your Government appears to be opposed to the legitimate activities of opposition political parties and their leaders yet the Political Parties Act envisages and empowers the parties to remain active throughout the year, hence the funding.

Twelfth, Your Government has continued to witness serious cases of high-level corruption; including questionable payment of huge sums of money to Anglo leasing fraudsters, unconvincing zeal in pursuit of the laptops project and rolling out of the standard rail gauge project e.t.c; all in questionable and dubious circumstances and in total disregard to concerns raised by the Kenyan public.
Thirteenth, Your Government through the Ministry of Lands has continued to interfere with the independence of the National land Commission (NLC) in contravention of the Constitution and related laws.
Fourteenth, Your Government has failed to implement the recommendations of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) Report.

Fifteenth, Despite the fact that Article 2 of the Constitution of Kenya explicitly states that sovereign power belongs to the people and may be exercised directly by the people or indirectly by the executive, legislature and the judiciary, your Government seems to be oblivious of this fact and has so far acted as if the people have no such powers to even get together to address National issues of concern to them.

Sixteenth, in order to fully address the afforestated problems bedeviling the Country, your Government needs to urgently and soberly consider intervention options which have so far been proposed by sections of the populace. And such intervention options include fast and foremost facilitating a National dialogue to deliberate on the cited issues among others. Specifically, the Country’s leadership must consider the full implementation of Agenda four of the Serena Talks, which focused largely on security sector reforms. Related issues for consideration under the National Dialogue should include full implementation of the Constitution in the context of the devolved system of governance in the Country, creating opportunities to citizens from all Kenyan ethnic groups to serve in the Public Service and to access Government services including contracts.

In conclusion Mr. President, the cardinal responsibility of any Government is to first and foremost protect the lives and property of its citizens. Thus, as the President, you’re not only the Chief Executive of the Country but also the Commander in Chief of all our Security Organs. You are the ultimate centre of accountability in the Country and so there is no point of unconvincing apportionment of blame here and there. The buck stops with you, Mr. President.



By Cont-ED Posted in kenya

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