Why Kenya must pass referendum now to avert disaster later

THE AUTHOR: Dr. Akala

THE AUTHOR: Dr. Akala

By Dr Noah Akala (M. B. Ch. B, MBA)

A wise (wo)man once said, “there is nothing new under the sun!” In this same regard, the myriad of challenges that Kenya is facing in the transition from the old constitutional dispensation to the new are not unique to this Republic. Ranging from lack of political will to questionable capacity, the bottlenecks come thick and fast, one after the other. A quick study of modern African history reveals overlapping parallels with other jurisdictions. A good example are the socio-political similarities we share with Liberia.

While we have been fortunate as a country not to have suffered a civil conflict to the same extent as the Land of the Liberated did, we have not entirely escaped the pang of bloodshed in our national past. The stain of the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence still blots the otherwise progressive story of Kenya. This, however, pales in comparison to Liberia that has endured two civil wars most recently between 1999 to 2003. This bloody conflict was brought to an end following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement stewarded by the United States Institute for Peace. Students of Kenyan politics will draw a parallel between this social contract and the Koffi Annan mid-wifed National Accord and Reconciliation Act.

Both bore a peaceful resolution to the political conflicts that prompted their drafting. Both documents, in my view, are also the most relevant to the modern day context of Africa ever developed. My reason for saying so is simple. Both took an in depth (and eerily similar) view as to the raison d’être as to why the conflicts erupted in the first place. The Kenyan Accord laid out glaring electoral malpractice, perceived judicial rot and societal inequity as key contributors to the spark that lit the flame. The Liberian Agreement identified similar issues in their society alongside a strong feeling of ethnic disenfranchisement and economic marginalization from the embers of their civil war.

Both documents prescribed a consensus-based political cure to the ills set out in the preamble; what were laid out as Agenda Four items in our Accord were detailed in elaborate form in the Decentralization and Devolution roadmap for Liberia. The only difference is that the Liberian context took into consideration the consequences of failing to implement their national resolutions. That is what we have failed to do as a nation.

The current administration haughtily took over the reins of power following the controversial Supreme Court ruling arising from the contested March 4th polls making it clear to their electoral adversaries that the game was up and it was their proverbial “turn to eat.” Since then, the frequency with which we hear it said by TNA/URP top honchos that this is a Jubilee Government and not a Kenyan one serves as an illustration of the attitude adopted by those entrusted with leadership. The President’s dismissal of the recent call for dialogue by the Opposition further entrenched this perception among the 5 million Kenyans who voted for CORD that not only are they electoral losers but are now voiceless tenants in their own homeland. This return to politics of exclusion and marginalization is exactly what took Kenya to the brink in 2007 and what tipped Liberia over in 1999. And this is why Devolution must succeed.

This brief analysis of African history is meant to illustrate to the reader the political necessity for a Referendum. The issues brought forth to do with devolution, constitutional commissions, land reform and inequality are so pertinent that they cannot be brushed off with casual promises of legislation. It would be nothing short of irresponsible if we were that laissez-faire with our national destiny. We have to make a deliberate choice as a country to swallow the medicine, as bitter as it may taste to some, so as to ensure complete cure of the ills that have plagued us for the past 50 years since independence.

The writer is a Public Administration masters student at the Kenya School of Government.

Jubilee Govt Kibera Title Deeds Issuance is a Major Scam

A major scam is in the making. The issue of Kibera title deeds is now taking a life of its own. What are the facts?

Nubians originally expected to be allocated more than 700 acres of land. Ngilu is giving them less than 300 acres with rest having been supposedly sold to unspecified people. As at the time Raila was stepping down as MP, all land in Kibera belonged to the state, so what has happened in the few months Ngilu has been in charge of the Lands Docket? Clearly, Ngilu is pulling a very fast one on Nubians. The National Land Commission have denied approving this allocation.

The land on which Kibra sits is worth Kshs60billion and this is conservative estimate. Now we are being told 60% of the land is already sold off. Reliable sources confirm that Chinese developers will be coming to Kibera to build hundreds of housing units and they are the suspected developers who Ngilu has cut a deal on Nubian land. Moreover, Nubians are being given titles with the rider that they must agree to Chinese housing development on the land they own. Chinese, as we learnt from Wikileaks, have no qualms paying kickbacks to government officials.

Meanwhile, Ngilu and people ring-fencing Uhuruto have spread propaganda that CORD leadership (Raila Odinga, Governor Kidero and local MP Hon Kenneth Okoth) are against the issuance of titles. As we all know, these titles are a brainchild of Raila Odinga himself. An extensive housing estate of 300 housin gunits will be developed by Chinese on Nubian land in Kibera yet the governor and the local MP are not involved. The residents are not involved, and Nubians themselves are not aware of these plans. Who gave land to the Chinese and what did the Chinese give in return? Land is an emotive issue every where, and moreso in Kibera where we know all communities of Kenya live there. There are already reports of clashes between Nubian and Luo youth in Kibera and that a certain group has been armed in preparing of teaching the other a lesson. Mind you these are communities that have been living in these neighbourhoods for decades and have even inter-married among themselves.

CS Ngilu is intent on making hay while the sum shines. She is mobilizing funds to launch a campaign in 2017. What better way than to target free prime land in Kibera? She clearly is not interested in what the Nubians think and cares less about the peace and tranquility Kibera has enjoyed in the recent past. This is why she lied to Nubians that President Uhuru would be presenting titles to Nubians on Sunday. Uhuru has denied ever having such plans in his diary, and is in fact flying off to Nelson Mandela’s memorial in Johannesburg.

Why would Ngilu host Nubian Elders at a private club in Nairobi and repeatedly offer them a fully paid trip to China to meet the investors? Does Ngilu want the elders to mortgage community ancestral land in exchange to having their palms greased? Ngilu has gone at great lengths to rope in leaders of the Nubian Council Chairman Issa Abdul Faraj and trustee Ms. Husna Mabruka, who in turn have been unable to conceal their bitterness towards Kibra MP Hon Kenneth Okoth, accusing him of sabotaging a free trip to China by asking too many questions and demanding transparency in the issue of the title deeds and the land sold off to developers. The MPs has been on the fore front pushing for a clean transparent process involving the entire 700 acres and for all Kibra residents to be considered for this allotment fairly and on merit. Ngilu on the other hand has corrupted community leaders and they are living off handouts from the ministers associates.

Ngilu is to Uhuru, what Chris Murungaru was to Kibaki. The earlier President Uhuru gets rid of her the better it will be for Jubilee and for Kenya.

Moreover, Jubilee Government has to stop this impunity. The responsibility for land allocation is now in the docket of National Land Commission, so why is Jubilee so much keen on these titles?

Condemning the Intimidation of Turkana MPs by the State

 Assistant Minister Josphat Nanok who is also Turkana South MP was arrested on Friday night over remarks he made a day earlier on killing of 42 police officers. The MP was picked by police outside the Nation Centre soon after appearing on ‘The Trend’ show.

http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2012/11/mp-nanok-arrested-after-live-tv-show/

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/MP-arrested-after-appearance-on-TV-show/-/1056/1622350/-/26wtjnz/-/index.html

———-

It is instructive that the MP has been arrested following the killing of police recruits by suspected Turkana militiamen who ambushed the cops in the known death trap that is Suguta Valley in Bargoi, Samburu.

Police HQS have not been able to clarify why recruits who are ill-trained and inexperienced, as well as ill-equipped were deployed to pursue armed bandits in an area that is a known death trap!

The media has increasingly distorted facts through skewed reporting and the public believes that the Turkana MPs were justifying the killing of police officers by Turkana rustlers.

Far from it and on the contrary, the MPs were questioning the rational the government wants to use in disarming one community whilst leaving the others (read Samburu) armed to the the tooth. To both the Turkana and Samburu communities, cattle rustling is a way of life.

During the show hosted by James Smart at NTV Studios, the moderator exhibited open bias shooting up to 80% of his questions to the MP while treating the police spokesman Charles Owino with kid gloves. Hon Nanon was allowed little time to respond and the moderator kept on going for breaks when it was the MP’s turn to talk.

It looks like the Nation Media Group instigated the MPs arrest by misleading him to a trap laid out by the dreaded Flying Squad officers. Mr. Smart  even tweeted later after the MPs arrest that the MP would be charged with incitement to violence! How did he know this? How come the MP was not arrested before the show when he was going about his daily business? Did the Nation intend to stage-manage a scoop over other media houses and increase viewer ratings which were at an all time low last week?

The military deployment leaves more questions than answers. For instance, Turkana villagers have been repeatedly attacked and killed in their hundreds by invading bandits from Kenya and neighbouring Ethiopia, but the Government has never seen it fit to deploy military to protect Turkana citizens. The atrocities committed by the military in Mt. Elgon against civilians is still fresh in our minds.

It is not escaping our attention that the cattle rustling incident is quickly taking the TNA / ODM political fault-lines since Turkana County is known to be solidly ODM, while the Samburu region is a tug-of-war between ODM and TNA. The arrested MP is a member of the ODM Reloaded campaign group. If you visit Bargoi town, the residence know that a certain nominated MP knows more than she is saying about the ambush that led to the police massacre. That MP is TNA aligned and she is not being intimidated by police as is her Turkana counterparts.

It remains to be seen how the police will sustain a trial on basis of remarks the MPs made in parliament buildings where the law gives them immunity from prosecution against anything they say while in parliament.

 

The Diabolical TNA Conspiracy

**Hot**  (filed by our Kisumu Correspondent)

Kisumu Under Siege

Cover note from Blog-Admin
The following is an unfolding story filed by our Kisumu Correspondent, who managed to infilter some of the Kisumu based gangs to uncover some rather disturbing truths behind gang activity.  This is the first of a series of posts that explain in detail the composition and financing of gangs and their operations. More information will be published as the correspondent updates the forum

 
Contents

Part I: Background
Part II: The America Squad
Part III: The China Squad
Part IV: THe Gang Fallout
Part V: Working Relation TNA/China Squad
Part VI: TNA/China Squad Connection

After visiting Kisumu earlier today and holding talks with government security team, no less a person than the Prime Minister of the republic confirmed our worst fears. Criminal gangs are taking over Kisumu County, and worse, a section of the local police are conspiring with these gangs.

In this well researched exposé, this reporter was able to infiltrate the gangs with assistance from insiders, and to author this article which unravels the motives and the individuals behind the spate of killings and unrest in Kisumu City in the recent months. It is becoming clearer that it is part of a wider ploy to cause unrest, while spreading fear and despondency with the intention of disrupting the voter registration exercise in Kisumu County (and Coast Province) – all of which are ODM strongholds, and the intention is to ultimately cripple and critically impact the largest and singularly otherwise unshakable support base of the ODM. These two regions have since independence been marginalised and excluded from any gains, support or financing by the Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki regimes and/or have had skewed policies that impoverish the masses, grab prime land and resources while rewarding pro-establishment sycophants e.g H. Oyugi, R. Tuju, etc

Part 1: Background

For a long time Kisumu (especially main Buspark and Kondele suburb) was a hotbed of fierce political resistance of oppressive regimes, often resulting in politically instigated violence as pro-establishment agents cracked down on the populace that rejected status quo every election year. Previous political protagonists (read Kanu stalwarts versus the then Opposition) were using these gangs as supporting casts in perpetuating violence whenever there was a political mission to be accomplished or a supremacy contest to be showcased be it a political rally or when a KANU bigwig was visiting. This eventually gave birth to the proliferation of criminal militia gangs like “Baghdad”, “Taliban”, etc.

These militia gangs came in handy in perpetuating KANUs so called “penetration” in Luo-Nyanza, then a bedrock of opposition politics led by the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Sometime in the 1990s, the late Cllr. Lawrence Akinyi Oile assumed the political leadership of these gangs as he was a KANU stooge and used finances gained from his dalliance with KANU to gain influence and eventually become the undisputed leader of “Baghdad” thereby ending up as the commander of the most prominent and the most violent gang in town whose nerve centre was the Kondele area of Kisumu town.

When the political landscape rapidly changed and the world economy also demanded change, the tact of the gangs had no option other than to mutate. This was accelerated by the fact that several leaders and key members of these gangs retired, while others diedor just opted out due to old age. Majority of the members though were incarcerated for long periods in Kisumu’s Kodiaga Prison for a myriad of criminal acts. Inevitably, this necessitated the emergence of new leaders.

With the death of the criminal gangs; “Baghdad” and the metaphorsis of its then feared and notorious leader Audi Ogada, the group changed its mission and renamed itself to “Baghdad for Peace”. Rebel members of Badhdad who were maturing in crime abandoned the mission and formed their own small gangs culminating into the birth of two main gangs: “Wash-Wash” (aka “China” and “America” (a.k.a “U.S”).

Without fear of contradiction, it must be asserted here that The National Alliance Party (T.N.A.) founded by Uhuru Kenyatta is at the heart of sponsoring the recent violence in Kisumu and is linked to the leadership of the gang culture gaining root in Kisumu each passing day. It makes no sense for an individual facing an ICC court for crimes against humanity to involve himself with even more violence. But there you have it!

click here to read Part II: The America Squad (aka US Marines)

Mudavadi’s Statement: All Kenyans Bear Responsibility for Post Election Violence

PERSONAL STATEMENT ON THE ICC BY DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER HON. MUSALIA MUDAVADI

I have taken time off while here (USA & UK) to reflect on the environment in our country as we prepare for the General Election next year. Having been part of the negotiators under Kofi Annan process that restored normalcy, I have reflected deeply on the PEV and the ICC cases facing four Kenyans. I have also applied my mind to the unfortunate situation in Tana River. And I am persuaded that there are national issues we need to deal with exhaustively rather than wishing them away. We have buried heavy matters alive, and they are kicking from underneath violently. Tana River and retaliatory attacks on innocent communities when terrorism incidences occur are just some of the manifestations. But what must we do? I have three suggestions on the way forward to this dilemma.

ADMISSION OF NATIONAL GUILT. We killed each other in 2008. Women were raped; children were molested. It would be cowardly to wish this away. We must accept responsibility collectively. The nation is guilty. To prosecute four people for the sins of 40 million people is therefore preposterous. The four carry our national shame, but they must not carry our national guilt. We must all own up. And we must do this before we enter the 2013 electoral season.

I was among those who supported that any trial related to the PEV must be done locally. I still hold this view because no civilized society can allow their own to be tried in foreign jurisdictions. If it were in my powers, I would bring the ICC trials home as part of shouldering the guilt. Admission of national guilt is the first step to our national redemption.

SPEEDY JUSTICE FOR THE IDPs. Five years later, the IDPs are still in camps. This is another national shame. Yes, the IDPs are a complex problem with no quick solution. This is why we must all commit that no Kenyan will sleep hungry or insecure because of the national madness of 2008. Land justice for the IDPs is urgent. Justice for their other loses must also be given. And we must give it with speed. It is a shame that we are going into this election with this issue unresolved.

Resolve the Violence Culture Once and For All. ICC will not address the root causes of the growing culture of community and election-related violence. In fact, it has become a hindrance to police operations in situations of violence like Tana River and when terrorism attack. We cannot watch as evil people massacre others and police watch helplessly out of fear of being accused of targeting a given community. This is not good in the fight against terror and for the coming election. I will personally sponsor specific legislation to deal with such perpetrators decisively and to empower the police in maintaining order humanely, but firmly in exceptional circumstances of terror attacks.

Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH, MP,
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER
London, October 1, 2012.