SABA SABA RALLY AND WAY FORWARD

 

I followed the Saba Saba rally closely (thanks to Al Jazeera) and here is my comprehensive take.

  • Contemporary struggle: In spite of an attempt by media to sabotage and give the programme total blackout – reminiscent of the height of past electoral maplractices, CORD strategically achieved its priority objective of commemorating and essentially initiating a new popular and national struggle for freedom, democracy and good governance in Kenya. No one can now dare accuse the opposition of being asleep on the job.  Only good governance can cure insecurity, corruption, tribally-skewed appointments, and other national vices. Tactically, CORD succeeded in forcing Kenyatta to err in knee-jerk reactions and have his Jubilee government coming out in true colors – cementing the need for a modern-day struggle. Kenyatta first agreed to dialogue before the mafia surrounding him and the corruption cartels currently benefiting from Jubilee’s reign forced him against it; Kimaiyo (read Jubilee) attempted to ban the CORD rally – an unconstitutional move which left him with eggs on his face; TNA henchmen like Moses Kuria unsuccessfully attempted to use threats of violence (registering a parallel Jubilee rally) to thwart the rally; Kimaiyo and the entire security apparatus misappropriated 15,000 police officers at Uhuru Park when Lamu residents are still being butchered and overrun by Al-Shabab; Kenyatta’s unseen hand also showed up in Justice Lenaola’s courtroom where the latter attempted to blackmail opposition leaders and curtail Constitutional freedoms for assembly and picketing (mass action) – executive abuse of the Judiciary to undo constitutional freedoms; Kenyatta’s Men-in-Black moment was seen in his thrusting of a propagandist currently charged with ethnic incitement and hate speech (Moses Kuria) to inherit his former Gatundu South Parliamentary seat despite the latter losing primary elections to the widow of the deceased immediate former MP.  In short, the launch of this contemporary struggle was largely gifted by Jubilee’s own ineptitude, incompetence and alacrity to take Kenya back to the dark days of suppression.

 

  • Looming Referendum and the OKOA Kenya initiative: The carefully scripted broad representation of luminaries at the rally and the burning message repeated in the day essentially heightened the need for a people-based referendum to address burning national issues, which are now at every Kenyan’s lip – insecurity, mega corruption, tribal appointments, IEBC, and assault on devolution.  The constitution of Kenya vests sovereign power in the people of Kenya. The next national forum to address Kenya’s urgent problems is logically a peoples’ referendum.  The people are not naïve to assume it is coming easy.  That is essentially the new battle and struggle – the people forcing change on an unresponsive government through their own sovereign will expressed in a referendum.  The parliament and Senate have time and again demonstrated their sycophantic and moot stance on matters not concerning their pockets. In the face of urgent and legitimate national concerns and an unresponsive Jubilee government, calls for dialogue by the opposition (supported by sections of the religious community, business community, the civil society, and even some members of Jubilee) were rebuffed in front of the eyes of all Kenyans.  Jubilee walked right into the bait.  The people of Kenya now have a genuine, legitimate and constitutional means of addressing them through a referendum. Kenyans of goodwill must now convene an all-inclusive National Referendum Committee (NRC) to prepare Kenyans for a national referendum on these critical issues bedeviling our nation. There should be maximum participation of the people of Kenya in the referendum process – right from the Ward levels across the country in formulating the referendum questions and collecting the one million signatures for initiating the referendum. This will be good exercise of the benefits of the new Constitution – which gives people the power to choose how to be governed and how not to be governed.

 

  • IEBC: For any referendum initiated by a popular wananchi initiative to succeed, a neutral electoral arbiter is required. This brings up the question of – IEBC!  Will the people trust that this current IEBC that is so clearly in bed with the Jubilee administration safeguard their voice on important national matters? Be your own judge.  IEBC’s time is up. The Jicho Pevu investigative series clearly showed IEBC’s umbilical cord tied to NSIS and the president’s party TNA, with evidence still lying open at Bomas. Isaak Hassan’s own characterization of the CORD leader during the presidential election petition effectively exposed his personal bias against Raila Odinga and the latter’s political inclinations and ideals. It is about time this openly biased commission is disbanded and reconstituted afresh, using the sovereign power of the people. The IEBC is now a stumbling block to the peoples collective agenda to reform and safeguard their country.

 

  • Commercial boycotts. For the first time in our history, commercial boycotts of anti-people companies may become a feature of Kenya’s national discourse.  I see this coming quite soon.  This culture has worked so well in America where racists are quickly run out of business the moment evidence comes out. In the US recently, a popular Caucasian food icon Paula Deen was dropped from a national TV show and had her businesses boycotted into oblivion when her racist remarks against Blacks were exposed.  Billionaire NBA team owner Donald Sterling is currently facing decisive commercial and social sanctions that threaten to send the octogenarian to his grave in humiliation and at a hefty price for racial remarks against Blacks.  In the US, even TV anchors of mainstream media have been forced to reflect the diverse face of America.  No corporation is stupid enough to expose itself to ukabila and face commercial sanctions, therefore companies are robustly having minority representation even in their top boards.  Kenya should also inculcate this culture whereby tribalists, warlords, and those perpetrating tribal discrimination have their companies profiled to face consumer boycotts and sanctions.  Public and private corporations (including parastatals and government departments) with ethnically skewed boards and management must be sanctioned and reformed to keep in line with our new Supreme law (the Constitution).  We have plenty of yesteryear ukabila thinkers in Kenya who have been having a field day for 50 long years.  People-and-wallet-based sanctions should be extended to companies engaging in kick-backing and mega corruption that bleeds taxpayers – whether it is supermarkets engaging in tax evasion or companies engaging in corrupt procurement – like the one Safaricom is trying to play in with regard to CCTV cameras.

 

Besides the above, here is a summary of other important things the rally achieved:

 

  • It succeeded in highlighting a comparative and stark reminder of the events of the 1960s (that led to the systemic dismantling of the democratic ideals in the Lancaster Constitution by the Jomo Kenyatta administration) to what we are witnessing today under Jomo’s son Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee regime. The TJRC exposed historic injustices by Jomo, including irregular tribal-based settlements in Lamu, Uasin Gishu, and Nakuru, which are exploding today. Instead of Uhuru redressing them, using well-researched templates such as those offered by TJRC, he is today doubling-down on ethnic incitement, scape-goating red-herrings, while basically doing his own version of fresh ethnic-based IDP settlements in Rongai, Kuresoi, and Narok. Uhuru Kenyatta is following the footsteps of his father in sowing seeds of future clashes while fervently blocking the implementation of the TJRC report. People are being told to bury their heads in sand and move on. Only a fool cannot predict the natural outcome of this skewed trajectory – it is just a matter of time and all the signs are on the wall judging from the 2008 PEV and current events at the Coast.

 

  • The rally speakers reminded Kenyans that Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration hit the ground running by reversing democratic gains of the new Constitution by:

 

  1. Killing devolution softly: Denying counties the correctly calculated proportion of funds; imposing parallel County Commissioners to compete with elected governors; stuffing counties with now obsolete tools of the Provincial Administration – some are triggering insecurity to destabilize opposition governors; fighting and weakening governors through corruptly paid MCAs and state-instigated impeachment motions. Kenyans know who is really inciting MCAs across the country to demand from governors all manner of things – whether it is cars, i-phones, foreign trips (quickly approved by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi) etc. It is the national government that is actually mischievously sponsoring these MCA demands and holding certain governors at ransom. They have almost effectively frustrated Bomet Governor and devolution champion Isaac Ruto into silence – using threats of fake audits and impeachment. This is clearly not the kind of devolution Kenyans envisaged – it is TNA’s (former PNU’s) watered-down and bastardized version.  It is a stage rehearsal for dismantling of devolution the same way Jomo Kenyatta killed the majimbo governments in a few  short years .  Handing over a new constitution that was set to redress important issues such as devolution and land reforms to anti-devolution, land barons like Kenyatta – thanks to tribal prejudices and electoral malpractices – was a very expensive travesty of our conscience and collective will. It is unfolding right before our eyes.
  2. TNA’s head-long dive into mega corruptionAnglo-leasing, Standard Gauge Railway, other Chinese Infrastructure Contracts, School Laptop project, Security surveillance equipment procurement etc. Alfred Keter made it clear URP is not involved in this mega looting – this is good ‘ol TNA acting alone in characteristic fashion. It is this corruption and massive borrowing that is responsible for the suffering of Kenyans – through resultant heavy taxation of basic commodities. The TNA era has broken a record in massively and mercilessly inflating the price of contracts. They are looting like there is no tomorrow.  TNA henchman Najib Balala is today quietly presiding over massive Ken-ren type mining deals with questionable foreign characters which will tie Kenya into future massive debts. As a leading phone company, Safaricom had better tread very carefully with regard to the State-House initiated corruption on super-inflated surveillance cameras – pull back and allow procurement laws and competitive bidding to take effect or face consumer boycotts! These acts of corruption are pinching Kenyans hard in the long-term. Some speakers at the Saba Saba rally tried to make this connection between peoples’ suffering and corruption. It should now be followed by substantive action (against corruption) from CORD – audits, evidence sharing with EACC, LSK, etc and corruption lawsuits. The Judiciary must be put to work on this.
  3. Heavy taxation of basic commodities (VAT) due to corruption-created budgetary shortfalls and massive borrowing of kick-back-laden loans from China. The price of basics like milk, and the cost of transportation have sky-rocketed under this so called digital regime. The TNA mandarins collecting our taxes need to be put to task regarding over-taxation of ordinary Kenyans through VAT while big businesses like Nakumatt do not pay billions in taxes. The Vimal Shahs and other billionaire merchants and factory owners are probably enjoying Tax holidays thanks to corrupt TNA mandarins at KRA. Make no mistake – these KEPSA folks are not nervous about temporary reduced sales during mass action. They are more worried about exposure and permanent closure of the direct links to TNA which facilitates tax-evasion channels and other instances of incentive-favouritism. The corrupt business class does not want to upset the prevailing connections to TNA that is minting for them billions at the expense of poor wananchi.  The people must come in to break these unholy alliances that cloud the line between state and the private sector which has tax obligations. COTU Secretary general Atwoli has complained that Kenyatta is the first President who does not write back to legitimate worker concerns yet corporation CEOs (like Safaricom and other KEPSA affiliates led by the president’s brother Muhoho Kenyatta) are getting direct calls regarding business deals and contracts straight from State House. This is why no one in state cares when bus fares jump by 50% in just 3 months. The introduction of cards for riding matatus and buses is yet another tax-killing scam targeting continued pinching of over-taxed and poor citizens with bonus corporate giveaways to banks associated with the President’s family – which is also benefitting from each MPESA transaction that a Kenyan uses.  The state is being used to force the masses to direct their shillings to the president’s family each time a Kenyan buys milk, rides a matatu, exchanges funds by MPESA, applies for Youth Funds, and more.
  4. Stalling land reforms by introducing amendments to the land laws to remove powers from the National Land Commission to the executive. Kenyatta, heir of Kenya’s biggest land-grabbing families, is now trying to be clever in half – attempting to steal thunder from CORDs referendum push by “promising” to issue 3 million title deeds. The trouble is – the last tens of thousands of title deeds he issued at the Coast (where they hoard hundreds of thousands of acres of native lands), all turned out to be fake. The ground is too smart for these cheap gimmicks. Jubilee barons starting with Uhuru Kenyatta himself are holding the “genuine” (albeit irregularly acquired) title deeds for most speculative land in Kenya – from Lamu, Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa, and more recently around Turkana. The native people already know it. The Constitution prescribed how to deal with this land problem – Kenyatta and fellow land barons have started dismantling land reforms in the new Constitution, for example weakening the National Land Commission using the Jubilee-controlled parliament and turnaround sycophants like Charity Ngilu. Subsidiary legislation is being made by this Jubilee-controlled Bunge to specifically reverse land reform clauses – such as the requirement for taxing idle (speculative) land held by the Kenyattas in Taita, Taveta, Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa, Nakuru, etc. These are not the land reforms Kenyans fought for in the new Constitution. Kenyans expected a very strong National lands Commission with teeth.  Jubilee has effectively killed the National Land Commission. Kenyans must fight back to retake this Constitutional gain.
  5. Tribally-skewed appointments are rapidly dividing our beloved country, yet Uhuru has defiantly and arrogantly turned deaf ears to these repeated calls to obey the equity and equality guaranteed by the constitution. Uhuru Kenyatta’s real hallmark is about tribal appointments. Kenyatta cannot even respect the JSC recommendation on appointments of Judges because it does not fit his tribal modus of Jubilee appointments. Right now, Kenyatta has locked out 14 already-vetted Judges from appointment because they come from the “wrong” tribes. The nation is keenly watching. CORD must seriously push and demand the requirement for a National Audit and publication by the Public Service Commission (PSC) of all appointments made in the public service by the Jubilee administration – if not the opposition should start compiling the list pronto – with full details listing names, gender, ethnic backgrounds and respective percentages. This should be compared with the well-written constitutional requirements followed by a series of LAWSUITS in COURTS. Kenyatta is flagrantly breaking the Constitution when it comes to this issue.
  6. Curtailing media freedom through the enactment of the Media Act. Everyone can see for themselves the effect of this – a cowered press that does the bidding for the government of the day. In addition, Kenyatta himself surreptitiously adopted intimidation and suppression through a frivolous and vexatious lawsuit against the independent Star newspaper – specifically regarding coverage of ICC proceedings. Kenyatta has also virtually bought off sections of mainstream media which are now shamelessly pro-Jubilee.
  7. Reversing security reforms by amending the National Police Service Act and the National Police Service Commission Act. Saitoti tried – he is dead. Lack of genuine police reforms is why we have frequent tragedies at Westgate, Mpeketoni, Gikomba, Eastleigh, Hindi, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Turkana and other parts of Lamu. A corrupt, tribalized, and politically-focused police force will not solve Kenya’s serious insecurity problems. Our ngoroko-infiltrated police (including the fake Waiganjo types on payroll) would rather run errands for drug barons, Somali warlords, tribal warlords, elephant poachers, cattle rustlers, Ethiopian, Ugandan, and Rwandese intelligence fishing out political refugees, and political hotheads interested in curtailing political rallies rather than safeguard the security of citizens. Another problem is myopic foreign policy and shunning of intelligence-sharing with the West. Kenyatta effectively burnt those bridges and Kenyans continue to pay a hefty price. Keeping Kenyan soldiers known for gross indiscipline in Somalia (the nation watched their antics on full display at Westgate) with generals supplying charcoal and importing commercial merchandise while lower ranked soldiers raping starving Somali women and looting from businessmen will never keep Kenya safe. I am told of horrifying stories of Kenyan soldiers bragging about the number of Somali girls and women they have impregnated. These activities are definitely breeding retaliation and killing sprees which are already playing out in our streets and sleepy villages. This is just common sense.
  8. Blocking TJRC reforms by amending the Truth Justice & Reconciliation Commission Act to allow Parliament to debate, amend and mutilate the Commission’s Report on historical injustices. Kenyatta has fuataad the Nyayo of Jomo, Moi and Kibaki in ignoring commission report recommendations and basically using the recommendations as templates for devising escape routes and circumventing change.  Land-based or political-violence-associated historic injustices could be diffused through these TJRC recommendations but Uhuru himself is deeply involved in the injustices, one of which has him facing charges at the ICC court.  By acknowledging these injustices, Kenyatta feels he will be incriminating himself, his family, his political mentors like Moi and Kibaki, and will thus shelf and kill such reports instead.
  9. Curtailing the Civil Society by introducing legislation to limit foreign funding and free movement of NGOs and sections of the Civil Society in the country. Kenyatta and Ruto believe that a strong Civil Society is what led them to the Hague, courtesy of witnesses interviewed and protected by the NGOs – it is therefore their mission to weaken if not kill many of these pro-democracy and human rights NGOs in Kenya. Stealing elections also becomes difficult if strong pro-democracy NGOs have widespread presence across the country. Uhuru and Kenyatta do not want more confrontations with a well-funded AFRICOG or Mars Group and such.  They would rather kill such organizations.  By limited foreign funding of these NGOs – the thousands of jobs lost and lost contracts worth hundreds of millions to local suppliers, will not matter to Uhuru and Ruto so long as the end trumps the means and have them rig elections without the watchful eyes of NGOs.  Kenyans have to fight back and state categorically that the nation is more important than two individuals currently facing serious charges at the ICC.

 

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12 comments on “SABA SABA RALLY AND WAY FORWARD

  1. By Oduor Ongwen

    Saba Saba was day of shame for Kenyan media

    Saturday, July 12, 2014 – 00:00 — BY ODUOR ONGWEN

    Circa twenty years ago, Kenya’s veteran journalist, Philip Ochieng’, wrote a book with the title, I accuse the Press. This last week, I was tempted to call Ochieng’ and scream: ‘guilty as charged.’ But I changed my mind after reviewing the events of that day as they unfolded.

    Kenyans who would have wanted to follow the goings-on at Uhuru Park and Nairobi on that day are justifiably enraged. It matters not whether they supported the rally or not. What matters is that their right to be informed was curtailed by Kenya’s mainstream media. Their space was violated when they were compelled to watch cartoons, amateur musicians and filler programmes on television. The other option was to switch off the telly and make a beeline to Uhuru Park. The many FM radio stations were also broadcasting “soft content” as their rural and urban listeners were kept in the dark.

    I concede that the media in Kenya – save for the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, is mainly privately-owned. For that reason, they are at liberty to air what they choose. They are, in theory, free to be lead by the bottom line. But it is irresponsible – bordering on criminal – to hype up an issue for five weeks, spread hope and panic in equal dozes then turn around to treat it as a non-event.

    Was the Saturday information blackout by the mainstream electronic media an independent decision by the media owners based solely on business considerations? I doubt. I doubt too if the media adjudged the Uhuru Park gathering un-newsworthy. My inference – like that of many Kenyans and non-Kenyans alike – is that there was an external hand at play. A hand stronger than the media’s appetite for television audiences and radio listeners.

    I first received the news of media blackout of the events at the Saba Saba rally through a post on my Facebook timeline. Someone had averred that one Faith Muthoni, a media advisor to the Inspector General of Police, had posted in the social media that resolved not to air, live, the proceedings at Uhuru Park . My first instinct was to dismiss this as one in the thousands of items of disinformation in the social media. But I was terribly wrong. Almost immediately, a friend called me from Kilifi complaining about the information blackout. A few calls around confirmed to me that indeed, the dark days were back.

    Was Faith Muthoni acting as the media owners’ messenger? Unlikely. As information gatekeepers, the media Moguls would not need Faith Muthonis of this world. They have the keys to the information gate and the discretion to facilitate or block the flow of information. So, in what capacity was Muthoni sharing this vital information? We can only conclude that Muthoni was passing to us, in coded language, an order issued to the media by the state.

    But why would the state issue such unconstitutional edict and why did the media owners obey it? In spite of the brave face the Jubilee government has exhibited to Kenyans, it was deeply worried. The worry worsened with each day the Saba Saba day approached. With CORD keeping its card very close to its chest, rumours took over and dictated each move the state apparatus made. Attempts at such propaganda that CORD was recruiting Mungiki and the Mombasa Republican Council to terrorise Kenyans were as ineffectual as an attempt to sell cigarettes to Archbishop Wabukala. Use of footloose activists to preach hate and even threaten eviction of some communities from certain regions and locales also only ended in strengthening the resolve of the opposition supporters. Yes, Uhuru Kenyatta’s 15-month-old government found itself in tinderbox.

    Rumours like the ones that suggested that Raila Odinga was going to take oath of office at Uhuru Park, as Head of State, on that day; that people would occupy the park and refuse to leave; and that the crowd would march to State House and forcibly evict Uhuru Kenyatta, among others terrified our rulers. Not ready to have a revolution televised, the government resorted to threats and persuasion to have the media toe the line. It found a willing partner. The media has indeed been complicit since the infamous breakfast meetings with new Head of State last year.

    The struggle to free the media has been long and tortuous. Many names like those of the late Wallace Gichere, Wahome Mutahi, Njuguna Mutonya and the late Njuguna Mutahi and David Makali among others remind us of this. It has been observed that when slavery was abolished in North America and elsewhere, many a slave was reluctant to leave the former masters’ houses. They began missing the fact that even though they were now free, they would miss the “comfort” of the master’s home, would have to fend for themselves and would have to bear full responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Many returned to their former masters and pleaded with them to accept them back.

    In acquiescing to the unconstitutional dictates of the Executive, our media owners have demonstrated that they prefer to prosper in servitude than to struggle in freedom. With that shameful decision of last Saturday, Kenya’s mainstream media has rubbished Margaret Thatcher’s observation that “given the freedom to choose, people would always choose freedom.”

    Statistician, Economist and Political Strategist

    – See more at: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-176276/saturday-was-medias-day-shame#sthash.vM6Aa30T.ym9sC7xc.dpuf

    • Job
      How ironic that you were on the money when you said this; about what Ngilu has been busy doing sanitazing the land records and purging every land name with Uhuru Kenyattas name http://www.nation.co.ke/video/-/1951480/2378642/-/fswc0r/-/index.html
      I just wonder how gullible and foolish Uhuru Kenyatta must be thinking Kenyans are, a shameles Githu Muigai has the temerity to spew such hogwash in an open international court of law and expect the world to buy it.

    • Job

      I wrote about this in May this year, see this link here

      https://deepcogitation.com/2014/05/15/is-the-national-youth-service-key-to-tnas-2017-electoral-victory/comment-page-1/#comment-13592

      it was evident right from the get-go that the so called “land registry reform” was not driven by any policy. Policy takes time to formulate and then requires months for some planning to implement. And then followed by a systemmatic implementation regime. This shock and awe approach always means something aint quite right.

      So here is someone bulldozing into an office and shutting each and everyone out. That smells of desperation, and of course a boatload of cash. I believe there is one lady CS who will never go broke again.

    • This was bizarre and surreal. I watched the proceedings. The AG said that 1.3 million files were misplaced or lost. Yet only a few weeks ago Ms. Ngilu announced and was praised for supposedly finding 1.3 million files. I also wonder what Kenyans think of their AG getting up on a world stage and announcing that the country has a very shambolic system for lands registration.

      • Quite right John

        Here is what Kenyatta’s newspaper says in May at the end of the “audit” (copied text in full because some stuff can disappear quite easily)

        http://www.mediamaxnetwork.co.ke/thepeople/77718/operations-resume-ardhi-house

        =
        Operations resume at Ardhi House

        Posted by: The People in National May 20, 2014

        By MERCY MWAI @wangumarci

        Normal operations at the Lands and Housing ministry resumed yesterday even as it emerged that 100 officials have been moved to other government departments while 10 others are under investigations for various offences. It was a beehive of activities as Kenyans trooped to the ministry to seek services from various officers who had set up tents and desks outside the offices.

        Kenyans who spoke to The People said the delivery of services at the ministry has improved as the time taken had reduced. Lands Cabinet secretary Charity Ngilu said desk have been set up outside the building to provide services for Kenyans, adding that 100 officials were moved during the 10-day audit and assessment exercise at the Central and Nairobi registries.

        She said her ministry will not allow corrupt officials and brokers to transact business within Ardhi House as all the areas have been streamlined. “Of course we are not going to allow corruption, we will do everything possible to make sure we offer services to Kenyans,” she said. Ngilu said after the audit, it will now take two days to have a stamp duty as opposed to four, valuation will take four days as opposed to 20 days while transfers will take two days.

        “We have been able to turn around the ministry and now it will be easier for anyone to trace the files,” she said. Nakuru Governor Kinuthia Mbugua who had paid a courtesy call to the ministry supported Ngilu, saying the audit will ensure Kenyans get better services. “ We have had land issues and cases pending, and are glad the CS has done this within a short time,” he said.

        The Audit which cost the ministry Sh67 million saw 1.32 million files retrieved. During the closure among the areas that were affected included the banking hall, searches, stamp duty payments, land rent payment and application for valuation and processing.
        ==

  2. Just thought of compiling all the statements leading to the “Okoa Kenya” narrative in one spot, and this thread appears most ideal, It fits in well with the analysis provided by Job above and together provides comprehensive reference to the governance issues that we face today under the Jubilee administration.

    (good to see you here Job, thanks for the write up)

    [admin note: will later on reformat for clarity, and add comments from Adongo, Mzee, Phil for in-depth review]

    ==
    Our concerns are as follows:

    1. INCLUSIVITY AND NATIONAL UNITY:
    One of the most consistent amalgams of themes throughout the Constitution is the issues of national unity and inclusivity.
    Yet today, Kenya is a Nation apparently at war with itself, posing an existential threat to the idea of Kenya and our very survival as a Nation.

    Inter-ethnic relations between our diversity of communities have deteriorated to their lowest point in our history. The Njemps and Tugen, Orma and Pokomo, Gabra and Borana, Degodia and Garre, Turkana and Pokot, the coastal and upcountry people are all seemingly in the grip of ferocious communal conflict or their relations poisoned by suspicion and mistrust.

    Making an already bad situation worse, key state institutions appear to have abandoned the constitutional requirement that the appointment of state officers be conducted via processes guided by the principles of equity, competitiveness and transparency and the promotion of gender equality in the management of public affairs.

    Recruitment in state organs has manifestly failed to reflect the diversity of the Kenyan people. As a result, today, entire communities feel excluded from participating in the management of national affairs on the basis of ethnicity, gender and other forms of identity.

    It is our constitutional responsibility as citizens to demand full accountability.

    In this regard we demand the following:

    (a): A publication by the Public Service Commission of all appointments made in the public service since election, with full details listing names, regions and percentages. Here we are speaking of starting from the top with an assessment of diversity with regard to our Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Directors, directors in the Ministries, all special committees including the security committees and all others.

    (b): A publication of the list of all senior public officers categorised by ethnicity, region and gender from the position of Director upward who have been sacked or transferred.

    (c): A detailed activity plan of all national government development projects in every County indicating the nature of activity and the amounts of money allocated to these activities. Details must include all significant national infrastructural development project indicating the regions to benefit and amounts allocated.

    (d): On a County by County basis, the budgets allocated to farmer and cooperative subsidies with a clear indication of the intended beneficiaries.

    (e): A detailed enumeration, listing beneficiaries by name and region, of all direct cash transfer and social spending schemes across the country including the social empowerment funds.

    2. ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION
    Regarding the conduct of the 2013 elections, Kenyans set their standards high. They demanded an election that would be free, fair and transparent, meeting top international standards.

    They backed their hopes with money, giving the IEBC billions of Kenya shillings to buy equipment and create an infrastructure that would ensure the elections met the expectations of Kenyans. These failed calamitously.

    What couldn’t have been anticipated was that the IEBC in setting standards for itself, were comfortable delivering what they were later to call ‘Third World Elections’.

    In subsequent public submissions, the IEBC has stated that its performance ought to be measured “…in the context of a third world election: violence, voter intimidation, bribery, mass disfranchisement of voters…” The IEBC has the temerity to actually terms ours “a first world complaint.”

    It is impossible to go to the next elections unless the issues surrounding IEBC’s performance are first addressed.

    We are not contesting the results of the presidential elections held in 2013. We have put that behind us. However, we are talking about the future. We are expressing the overwhelming desire by Kenyans for the country to develop a political culture based on the determined hope that elections should not merely be moments of angry disagreement and attendant instability but events that see Kenyans consolidate their democratic culture at the ballot box in free and fair polls.

    3. DEVOLUTION AND RESTRUCTURING OF THE PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION:
    We are concerned that the key rationale of Devolution, which is to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources and put power in the hands of locals is in a state of failure. The Constitution protects the Counties from the mischief by the National Government of using historical, old audited and approved accounts in the division of revenue. The funds allocated to the Counties ought to be based on the audited accounts of the financial year immediately preceding the current financial year. That has not happened.

    As a result, the County governments have lost nearly 600 billion shillings in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 merely because the National Treasury deliberately used outdated accounts for the purposes of revenue sharing between the national government and the County governments. This must not be allowed to become a pattern and must stop. The starvation of devolved units of funds is underway amid frantic efforts to reestablish the centralised old order by merely recalibrating the provincial administration in its colonial format of an occupying force managing the ‘natives’ and protecting the government against the people.

    4. CORRUPTION
    Impunity with regard to corruption in Kenya has become the norm again. Corruption costs Kenya about 300,000 new jobs every year. Corruption has contributed to Kenya sliding steadily down the annual list of Failed States listed by Fund for Peace to 17th from the bottom globally in 2013.

    An inability to stem it on the part of the population and its leadership has contributed to a sharp spike in the destruction of the country’s national heritage that it holds in trust for the rest of humanity through the poaching of elephants and rhinos in particular.

    This year alone, it is estimated that over 100 elephants and 20 rhinos have been killed for their tusks and horns.

    Corruption has become systemic, pervasive and the cause of a fundamental national malaise that despite the implementation of a new constitution in 2010 has continued to hollow out key governance institutions like the Judiciary, Executive, security services and Legislature considerably undermining the capacity of government to implement even simple policy initiatives.

    Far more troubling, corruption has essentially collapsed the capacity of the Kenya government to prosecute one of its core mandates as a State: to protect the lives and property of Kenyans. The security failure has been worsened by threats posed by groups like al Shabaab as Kenya develops its own cadre of young religiously radicalised youth in part derived from the youth bulge (75 percent of Kenyans are below 34), economic inequality, spiraling unemployment and cost of living, and the conspicuous consumption of a tiny elite that unapologetically dominates political and economic power along tribal lines.

    As public outrage has continued to mount, over the past year alone the list of giant transactions entered into by the Executive perceived to be corrupt have multiplied: from the payment of Ksh.4.1 billion to an Anglo Leasing type company; the humiliating conduct of the Kenya Defense Forces during the Westgate attack in September 2013, to the US$14 billion Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

    This project, which is a key and vital development in the expansion and modernization of Kenya’s infrastructure, has raised serious credibility concerns and it would appear that costs have been escalated in order to accommodate rents and kickbacks for brokers.
    In similar vein, we have the US$200 million primary school laptop project, the US$170 million the Safaricom/Vodafone opaque security contract, among a host of others.

    Corruption has compromised flagship projects of Vision 2030 and new development initiatives. Major questions are being raised about the probity and accountability of several pork-barrel and ‘sweetheart’ deals in the energy, oil, mining and agricultural sectors.

    Corruption serves to deepen inter-ethnic mistrust as perceptions grow that appointments are being made on an ethnic basis in parastatals, the judiciary, the executive and other positions so that fellow tribesmen can ‘eat’. We would therefore declare corruption a national disaster.

    5. NATIONAL SECURITY
    The deteriorating state of security in the country has served to deepen anxiety about Kenya’s future cohesion. It is important that the following happens:

    (a): That matters of security are not politicised or even ethnicised. For a country whose greatest vice is tribalism, this is a recipe for disaster that can be exploited by terrorists to harm citizens.

    (b):. On Mpeketoni, the president should admit having failed to act in accordance with his Office. He must take full responsibility for any ethnic tension currently prevailing in the region and should be ready to be held accountable for any crimes that may occur as a result of incitement. He must not run away from the responsibility to deal with terror attacks against the nation and assure us of our safety. This is part of his job description.

    (c): Security chiefs must be faithful to their professional calling and refuse to be used to abuse their offices and divide the nation along tribal and sectarian lines. The current security lapses that can be openly witnessed at our ports of entry, the borders and in the handling of terror attacks speak for themselves.

    (d): We call on our soldiers and policemen in the service to reaffirm their loyalty to this Republic and resolve to do their work professionally. They are sons and daughters of this Nation who hail from the villages of this country. We call on them to resist the temptation of being used in unconstitutional schemes of terrorising citizens and participating in activities that ethnicize war on terror or target certain communities.

    6. COST OF LIVING AND IRRESPONSIBLE BORROWING
    The Jubilee Government increased our public debt by Ksh.860 billion in one year from Ksh.1.8 trillion to Ksh.2.6 trillion. This is an increase of 50 percent and is the largest annual increase in our history. The Grand Coalition government increased the debt by Ksh.900 billion in the five years it was in office, an average of Ksh.190 billion. Jubilee is borrowing at almost five times the rate at which the Grand Coalition government borrowed.

    What does this mean? When Jubilee came to power, every Kenyan owed Ksh.44,000. A year later, each Kenyan owes Ksh.66,000. If Jubilee continues its borrowing spree at this rate, each Kenyan will be owing Ksh.140,000 in 2017. We cannot stand by and watch the Government mortgage our future, or bankrupt the country.

    Cost of living has accelerated sharply. Inflation surged to 7 percent in the year to May 2014, compared to 4 percent in the preceding 12 months i.e. April 2012/May 2013.

    Food price inflation increased by 9 percent as compared to 4 percent in the previous 12 months.

    The price of maize flour which had declined from 120 to 110 shillings per two kilo. packet is back to Ksh. 120. Milk has hit an unprecedented Ksh.50 per 500 ml packet up from 38 shillings a year ago.

    Farmers earnings are plummeting. The tea price paid to farmers fell 19 percent last year and the outlook for this year is worse. The price paid to coffee farmers declined 15 percent. Maize farmers received 7 percent less, despite consumers paying more for unga. Overall, farm gate prices declined by 5 percent while the cost of inputs increased by 10 percent.

    7. HISTORICAL INJUSTICES AND THE TJRC REPORT
    Addressing long-term issues, including undertaking constitutional, legal and institutional reforms; land reform; tackling poverty and inequality as well as combating regional development imbalances; tackling unemployment, particularly among the youth; consolidating national cohesion and unity; and addressing transparency, accountability and impunity particularly over historical injustices is critical to ensuring a stable nation. It is for this reason that the country spent billions of shillings on the TJRC. The product of that effort was first doctored then sat on by the Executive.

    We reaffirm Saba Saba, well aware that some national prayers have been called for Sunday.
    We encourage Kenyans to turn up for the prayers, although CORD will proceed with its rallies as scheduled.

    We urge the religious leaders convening the prayers to see them as an indication that there is a problem and that we will need to go beyond prayers and seek practical solutions.

    We also call on the convenors to pray for the Saba Saba rally scheduled for Monday so that we are able to deliberate peacefully and soberly and find practical solutions. It our hope that the prayers will reinforce the Biblical dictum of, “come, let’s reason together”.
    At times like this, we will always fondly remember the great work of liberating our country that was done by leaders like the late Henry Okullu and Alexander Kipsang Muge, David Gitari and Rev Timothy Njoya, who is still with us.

    But we must also remember that in the final push for a new constitution in 2010, Churches campaigned against the constitution. It is our hope that it is not the intention of the religious leadership of the country to stand in the path of Kenyans to meaningful change.

    Finally, we wish to assure Kenyans that we stand for peace. All our rallies have been peaceful and we intend to continue in that mode.

    We expect the government to take seriously its responsibility to ensure security for all our rallies and for all Kenyans.

    Thank You All. God Bless Kenya.

    ==

    WE THE PEOPLE OF KENYA here assembled at Uhuru Park on this historic day on which we commemorate our struggle for freedom, democracy and good governance;

    REMINDED of the events of the 1960s leading to the clawing of the democratic ideals in the Lancaster Constitution by the administration of the late Jomo Kenyatta and noting that the Jubilee regime has adopted a similar pattern in reversing the democratic gains in our new Constitution by curtailing media freedom through the enactment of the Media Act, Amending the National Police Service Act and the National Police Service Commission Act, introducing amendments to the land laws to remove powers from the National Land Commission to the executive, amending the Truth Justice & Reconciliation Commission Act to allow Parliament to debate, amend and mutilate the Commission’s Report on historical injustices; and, introducing legislation to curtail the Civil Society movement in the country.

    RECOGNISING that Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya vests all sovereign power in the people of Kenya;

    ALARMED by the direction that our country is taking; in particular, the rising insecurity, escalating cost of living and increased negative ethnicity and exclusion from public service and national resources;

    CONCERNED about the refusal by the Jubilee regime to accede to National Dialogue with the CORD Coalition to discuss issues of national concern to the people of Kenya;

    CONCERNED by endemic corruption rife within Jubilee Administration, including complicity by senior officials in Jubilee Administration including: Anglo-leasing, Standard Gauge Railway, School Laptop project, Security surveillance equipment procurement fiasco;

    CONCERNED that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has failed to take responsibility for their failure to duly discharge their mandate of managing an independent, impartial electoral process, with the open connivance and protection of the Jubilee Administration;

    DISTURBED by the Jubilee Government’s relentless assault on our Constitution; in particular, the curtailing of our fundamental rights and freedoms including the freedom of belief, expression and assembly; freedom of the media and press; undermining devolution by establishing parallel structures of Provincial Administration in competition with County Governments; and, flagrant failure to uphold the national values and principles of patriotism, equity and inclusivity;

    AWARE that Devolution is the greatest gift in the new Constitution to the people of Kenya to promote equitable sharing of national resources and therefore deserves to be jealously guarded;

    CONCERNED about systemic profiling and victimizing of sections the country based on religion and ethnicity by the Jubilee regime, leading to capital flight by for example the Eastleigh Somali business community to neighboring countries;

    DISMAYED by the emasculation and abuse of Parliament by the Jubilee administration by subverting and undermining its legislative authority and mandate;

    NOTING that this has already led to the assault on and reversal of democratic gains brought by the Constitution by enacting retrogressive and unconstitutional legislation;

    DETERMINED to defend our hard-earned Constitution and to continue undeterred our pursuit of democracy, good governance, unity, peace, equality, inclusivity, justice and prosperity;

    THEREFORE ASSERTING our sovereignty as the people of Kenya and our right to exercise the sovereign power directly; the Jubilee administration having refused to accede to our plea for national dialogue;

    WE NOW RESOLVE as follows: –

    1. We launch today OKOA KENYA, a people’s movement to defend our Constitution, support one another in good and bad times, protect the gains we have made in democratic governance, and rededicate ourselves to national unity and peaceful co-existence.

    2. Demand that the Jubilee administration addresses the escalating cost of living by reviewing the taxation regime; failing which we will boycott the consumption of goods and services whose prices are beyond the reach of the common Mwananchi and commence commercial sanctions against companies which continue to ignore our plight.

    3. Convene an all-inclusive National Referendum Committee (NRC) for the purpose of preparing the people of Kenya for a national referendum on the critical challenges facing our Nation.

    4. Mandate the National Referendum Committee to ensure the maximum participation of the people of Kenya in the referendum at the County, Sub-County and Ward levels all over Kenya; in formulating the referendum question(s), collecting and collating one million signatures to initiate the referendum.

    5. Having lost all confidence in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC); do now demand its immediate disbandment and the establishment of a new electoral body.

    6. Demand the immediate end to corruption, wasteful spending, reckless borrowing within and by Jubilee Government. In this regard, we demand that the Jubilee administration immediately cancels the inflated security camera contract irregularly awarded to Safaricom and that Safaricom withdraws from the contracts and subjects itself to competitive bidding, failing which we will commence commercial sanctions on Safaricom and other companies abetting corruption or engaging in monopolistic practices.

    7. Demand that the Jubilee administration takes immediate steps to withdraw our gallant soldiers from Somalia to join our forces in securing our nation from home.

    8. Demand that the Jubilee administration takes visible, decisive action to deal with runaway insecurity, including holding the senior security officials accountable for hundreds of Kenyans who have been killed and maimed in the various attacks and conflicts across the country.

    9. Reject attempts by the Executive through Parliament to bastardise the Report of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC Report) and demand the immediate implementation of the original and unadulterated Report.

    10. Demand that the Jubilee administration immediately addresses the underlying land issues that are at the heart of some of the most enduring historical injustices and conflicts in our society.

    11. Demand a National Audit and publication by the Public Service Commission of all appointments made in the public service by the Jubilee administration, with full details listing names, ethnic backgrounds and percentages.

    12. Recognizing that the Jubilee administration has failed to apply national resources equitably across the country, we demand that 40 per centum of the projected ordinary revenue of the current fiscal year be allocated to the County Governments.

    13. Demand that a National Audit on how resources at the disposal of the National Jubilee administration are applied across the country.

    GOD BLESS KENYA
    ==
    WHATS NEXT AFTER RESOLUTIONS?

    THEY are coming to a venues near you in this month of July. CORD referendum petition forms requesting for your signature and voter registration number.

    It’s the intent of CORD coalition to collect up to and exceeding six (6) million signatures to:

    1. Force a referendum
    2. Prove to the world that Raila Odinga was indeed duly elected president only that one candidate had his votes illegally topped up in an elaborate rigging scheme.

    Kindly check and make sure your voter card and national ID are safe and within easy reach. We know, the predictable Jubilee will soon issue a budget to buy your voter registration or ID. Please resist the urge to sell your birthright. We know people are hungry and broke, but for the sake of future generations DO NOT sell your ID card under whatever circumstances. Mvumilivu hula mbivu.

    Meanwhile, the up coming referendum shall not be presided by IEBC. IEBC has to be reconstituted and reconstructed prior to the referendum. Isaak Hassan has been for the last three months now trying to reach out to CORD principals, more so Raila Odinga using third parties. His time and that of his corrupt commissioners is up.

    Be ready, as the comprehensive resolutions issued at Uhuru Park are just the start towards a peaceful, constitutional and people driven process to change our beloved country.

    GOD BLESS KENYA
    ==

  3. Here is a healthy exchange of thoughts between the editor of Daily Nation, Magesha Ngwiri, and Raila Odinga, initiated by the former. Please read the public comments at the end of the article to feel the readers’ pulse.

    From Ngwiri to Raila:

    http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/-Dear-Raila–I-speak-to-you-from-the–heart/-/440808/2364292/-/klwl8n/-/index.html

    Reply from Raila to Ngwiri

    http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/-we-owe-Kenya-the-duty-/-/440808/2375102/-/xct3dbz/-/index.html

  4. Phil et al.,

    Please provide us with feedback from the ground – the real mashinani perceptions and mood, not elite and middle-class sentiments.

    One immediate sentiment I have heard is a mounting complaint against media bias in mainstream media – which deliberately kow-tows to the corrupt regime’s calling. Rather than inform the public of what CORD’s SABA SABA rally was indeed all about, and what the opposition aims to achieve, media has painted this in ethnic terms if not engaging in deliberate scare-mongering.

    • The proposed referendum is probably headed for constitutional court since the katiba (article 257) is silent about what happens if county assemblies disapprove draft bill on amendment of constitution by popular initiative.

      The secret is to collect signatures that are more than 50% of registered voters to support this referendum

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