Archive for September 2010

Latest Kenya Political Gossip by The Star

A presenter in one of the leading vernacular radio stations is at the centre of a growing storm caused by a top Nairobi lawyer. During one of the talk shows, the lawyer accused a top Nyanza politician of doing little to uplift the standards of his people who have blindly and staunchly kept supporting him over the years. The lawyer's statements have infuriated some of the sycophantic MPs from the region who are putting pressure to have the presenter fired. However, the station management are standing firmly behind the presenter and have refused to reprimand or punish him for his guest's statements.
An assistant chief in Manga district has for the last few months been making a killing by collecting Sh40,000 each from anyone seeking a job as a driver, clerk or subordinate staff in the Ministry of Education. The cunning chief has now been forced to take a loan to repay more than 50 frustrated job seekers whom he had conned and who have vowed to get him fired.

In yesterday's Corridors, we erroneously said it is Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo who wants the headquarters of the
Kitui County based at Mutonguni as opposed to Kitui town. The true position is that it is Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who wants the headquarters transferred to Mutonguni, a plan which Kiema is resisting hence putting the two leaders at log-gerheads.
A senior figure at the National Assembly has bought a new, top-of-the-range and custom-made Mercedes-Benz S-Class from a local motor dealer and paid Sh22 million. The cheque was delivered to the motor dealer early this week and was drawn on the Parliament account. The question that goes begging is how come the purchase is being made even after the government has banned the acquisition of vehicles whose engine capacity is above 1800cc?
A former minister from Coast has become an embarrassment to his former colleagues in Cabinet, Parliament and friends. The man is said to be constantly borrowing money from friends, colleagues and acquaintances but does not pay back. The man once the epitome of success and power - has gone to the extent of borrowing Sh50,000 from clerks at his previous ministry. One of the clerks is repaying a Sh200,000 loan which he took on behalf of the former minister who has since reneged on the repayment. His indiscrimi-ate borrowing has seen the man accumulate a debt of Sh6 million.
A senior cabinet minister, who strongly believes he is in the International Criminal Court list of the post election violence suspects, has been leaking sensitive documents about ICC to the media. The minister has also been sponsoring meetings of leaders from his area to rally communal support for himself should the ICC seek to arrest him.
An MP from Central Kenya has puzzled his colleagues over his new love for Khat or Miraa. The legislator has been carrying with him bundles of the mild stimulant herb which he does not shy away from chewing whenever he gets an opportunity.
Parties with vested interest in the ongoing parliamentary investigation into Charterhouse Bank have reportedly been sharing their largesse far and wide. Among some of the beneficiaries are several members of the Fourth Estate who have received a share of the millions. One of the journalists received Sh600,000 which he spent to complete building his rural home and refurbished and remodelled his parent's house.
Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo is bracing himself for yet another battle with VP Kalonzo Musyoka this time over where the headquarters of the Kitui County will be located. The MP wants the headquarters to be transferred from Kitui town to Mutonguni. Kiema has been blaming "Steve" for not strongly pushing for a Mwingi County during the negotiations on the new constitution in which the counties are enshrined.
An MP from North Rift is no longer visiting his constituency after his advisers told him that his chances of recapturing the seat in 2012 are almost zero. Instead of eyeing re-election, the advisers have told the man to concentrate on accumulating wealth for the remaining period in readiness for his retirement. The constituents, who are not aware of the plan, have been wondering why their lawmaker has abandoned them and is no longer attending funds drives or other functions in the constituency.
About 150 ODM-Kenya party delegates from Central Kenya are not so happy with some of the party leaders. Reason? Over the weekend, each of the delegates was given Sh1,000 as "bus fare" after a two-day party workshop which was attended by among others VP Kalonzo Musyoka. Immediately the VP left, some of the delegates started protesting questioning how delegates from Nyeri, where the meeting was taking place, could be paid the same amount as the ones who had travelled from as far as Nyandarua or Kiambu counties. Some of the delegates are reading mischief arguing that someone may have pocketed part of the cash due to them.
An ODM minister is getting jittery after he received information that some MPs want to move a censure motion against him in Parliament over some transactions he has been handling in the last two years. The MPs are planning to table documents which they say will be enough evidence to prove that there has been a conflict of interest and probably abuse of office by the minister after his company was hired to offer professional services by one of the parties involved in a dispute that directly touches on the ministry the man is in charge of.
A top grand coalition member was committed to six months civil jail when he was a Kanu member in the 1980s. We are informed that the man did not serve the term. A judge has hinted that the case registered in the 1980s is very much alive but police seem unable to find the man, who had enormous influence during the Kanu days and still enjoys the trappings of power.
The Makadara by-election candidate, who placed portable toilets in a slum adjacent to South B Estate during campaigns, removed them on Friday evening. The man duped the residents that the portable toilets would be permanently in place to get votes from the slums. The slum residents protested and tried to stop the people carting away the toilets in vain.
Corridors wants the real owner of identity card number 2624126 to stand up. A photocopy of the ID card we have shows that it is in the name of controversial businessman Ibrahim Noor Hillowly, involved in a land dispute in Nairobi's Eastleigh Estate. Curiously, a search at the National Registration Bureau shows that the ID number belongs to Kitetu Kilemi Mbithi. It also shows that the ID is supposed to be replaced with the new-generation cards. Maybe Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang can tell us how these things work.
Drivers and workers at the Chinese company building the Northern Bypass which cuts through Kamiti Road and Garden Estate in Nairobi are on a fuel siphoning spree. The workers at the Kamiti Road section, near Githurai 44 Estate, routinely siphon fuel from the construction trucks into drums. We are told a black Nissan van comes to pick up the drums between noon and 1 pm almost daily. Witnesses have seen the drivers and workers secretly offload and sell ballast meant for the highway construction.
They say once bitten twice shy. A Permanent Secretary who was recently interdicted took off from his office to avoid signing a contract he did not understand. The multi-million-shilling project being pushed by highly connected individuals was to construct social amenities in Kakamega County. Maybe more senior officers should be interdicted if it will save taxpayers money from greedy vultures.
Two PNU MPs whose constituencies neighbour each other are angling to replace former Makadara MP Dick Wathika in government as assistant minister. The two have been calling deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta frequently to plead with him to take their case to "Mzee" but we are told one minister from Rift Valley has also whispered to the President that the seat should go to Kilgoris MP Gideon Konchellah describing the other two contenders as being underserving of the post and point to lurid footage of the two engaging in colourful political spats.


An MP from Rift Valley has banned his two wives from visiting him at his Continental House office. The ban followed an incident where the two women met at the MP's office and had a heated argument that greatly embarrassed the MP. He hopes that by barring them from coming to his office, he will save himself any future embarrassments.


The Government's legal department is finding itself in a dilemma over the stance taken by the government on its cooperation with the ICC. Top government officials fear that Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo already has copies of security minutes which the government doesn't want to release claiming they are classified.


Two senior PNU party officials who are on opposite camps in the growing debate over whether to change the party leadership or retain it have been exchanging all manner of text messages trying to outdo each other. The exchanges have taken a 'learned' turn. One of the MPs who wants to retain the party leadership with Prof Saitoti sent the sms "a wise man laughs once, a fool twice." His rival who wants to oust the Saitoti leadership team promptly responded saying: "Not that I loved Caesar less, but I loved Rome more," a quote by one Marcus Junius Brutus who was a servant and close friend of Julius Caesara but who conspired in his murder!


Several MPs are angry with a young and brash city MP who has taken to inviting dozens of young women to visit him at Parliament's cafeteria since the House resumed work from recess last Tuesday. It may be sour grapes but the MPs are now complaining that their colleague's guests are denying them and their own visitors space to sit as his guests stay for hours on end and occupy all the seats in the MPs' Lounge.


A polygamous MP from Western Kenya has taken up a new weekend habit of taking a retinue of young nubile girls to Naivasha for visits. The girls, many of whom are tempted by the prospects of visiting a new town and staying at some of the most resorts do not balk when the MP asks them to come with a friend or two for the fun and games. And if they are more than two, the MP is known to hire a vehicle specifically to ferry the young ladies to the venue!


A Central Kenya MP who hopes to replace defeated Francis Thuo as the Chief Whip has now asked a city MP to lobby MPs to his cause. Wags are saying the mheshimiwa has 'facilitated' his Nairobi counterpart to 'handle' fellow MPs to support his quest for the post. The city MP was overheard telling some MPs that the Central Kenya MP is the best suited for the seat as he was wealthy and would be able to use his immense resources to 'whip' MPs into supporting the government agenda.


Top cops in Central province panicked at the weekend following reports that former Mungiki leader Maina Njenga was due to visit the area to protest the arrest of 82 young people suspected to be sect members. To forestall any confrontation, the senior policemen rushed from Nyeri to Kiambu to establish exactly what was going on and under what circumstances the 82 youth had been arrested.


A top PNU politician has despatched a team of his own to South Africa to dig into the background of PNU political adviser Prof Peter Kagwanja, the president and chief executive of the Africa Policy Institute, a senior research associate at the Department of Political Science, University of Pretoria; and visiting professor of Political and International Studies, Rhodes University. A close associate of a top Kanu leader was overheard telling friends at a city restaurant that his boss was financing the team which is expected to report back soon.

Close allies of deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi are taking seriously statements by National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende which have created the impression that he (Marende) plans to run for Presidency in future. An MP who is a close associate of the DPM was overheard saying he and others would systematically and politically deal with Marende to ensure his political ambitions are checked at the end of this Parliamentary term.


Just a day after the MP-elect for Makadara Gideon Mbuvi Kioko alias Sonko was sworn in, he was telling friends how he intended to refurbish his office at Continental House and install a wardrobe of the suits he has bought to attend Parliament. The MP, who does not hide his love for bling and whose sartorial sense of dressing has raised eyebrows, he says his suits will be only for Parliamentary business.


Some ODM MPs are now pushing to have the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission called in to investigate how the party's share of the political party's fund has been spent. The legislators are unhappy with the way in which party aspirants in the recent by-elections were handled. A top party official was insisting on spending money meant for the aspirants on their behalf.


Still on matters ODM, Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba is set for bigger things. The man, once a close ally of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, is reportedly being groomed to take over the ODM secretariat. Corridors has information that some party members feel the seat should go to Internal Security assistant minister Orwa Ojode credited for his "cool" relationship with people from across the political divide.


An MP from Rift Valley who was being investigated for corruption sent a gang of thugsto deliver a chilling message to a former senior official at the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission—stop the investigations or die. The thugs developed cold feet when they got to the man's home and found it well guarded and instead pasted the warning message on the ex-KACC officer's gate.


A Cabinet minister is not amused. She was left out of President Kibaki's delegation to New York to attend the United Nations summit on the Millennium Development Goals. The minister was overheard complaining that she should have been included in the delegation as her ministry is one of those crucial in the implementation of the MDGs. The President has also been accused of not including the minister in delegations to African Union meetings where issues directly under the ministry's mandate are discussed.


An MP from Central Kenya has organised a forum for professionals from his constituency to assist him in drawing up development strategies for the electorate. The invitation from the MP has been sent through sms but now many of the professionals invited are complaining because the MP has advised them that they will have to pay Sh300 for their lunch at the venue where the meeting will be held. Some of the professionals who want to attend the meeting are now claiming the MP is 'taxing' them and prefer that he meets the cost of their lunch!


The acquisition of a hotel owned by a top grand coalition official is becoming the subject of debate among his colleagues and supporters. The man cut a deal with a foreign road contractor during the Moi regime that saw him assume ownership of the multi-million company after he 'facilitated' the contractors to acquire the tender.


A city MP is in trouble after a lawyer accused him of conning him out of an undisclosed amount of money through a third party. The lawyer has now threatened to expose the MP whom he claims has four identity cards and who has been using the IDs to fleece him of the money.


Failure by an MP from Rift Valley to put up a permanent home in his village is causing concern among his family and relatives. They say the MP has on three different occasions attempted to put up a house only for the structures to crumble on their own. The MP's family and relatives believe the man is cursed and that the reason for the structures' collapse is ills he may have committed in the past.


A PNU MP was recently compelled by the Parliament security to tow away his Mercedes Benz which had been at the Continental House parking lot for the last six months. Those in the know say the MP had been unable to take the vehicle for repair and had left it at the parking lot. The authorities at Continental House wrote to the MP complaining that the car was jeopardising general tidiness and was a health hazard as rats had invaded it.


Employees working for a top Cabinet minister are becoming curious on the source of their boss' money. The workers claim that any cash the minister gives them as gifts disappears mysteriously. They now say past employees of the minister have died mysteriously or in poverty.


An assistant minister decided to take his wife and family to shop at an Armed Forces Canteen Organisation store in one of the military bases. The AFCO stocks a wide range of products which are heavily subsidised for the benefit of the military. The Mheshimiwa and his family in tow surprised many of the military officers there who expressed surprise that he could be shopping for tax free goods and yet he pays a negligible amount of taxes for his huge allowances and salaries.


The spouse of a prominent politician may soon be caught in a net that the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission is laying to nab her. The woman has been getting cash from politicians and businessmen promising them that she will use her influence on her husband to sort out their businesses and political problems.


AnMP from Rift Valley is selling arms illegally. The man who has been in the arms business for many years also controls many of the armed militia gangs in the country which are behind bank robberies and other extortion rackets in urban areas. The man's business is so secretive that not even his wife, his many concubines or his children, know what he is up to. His security detail and driver cannot also say where the MP lives as he always instructs them to leave him somewhere in town where he takes a cab to his destination.


Still on our waheshimiwa, another well known MP has refused to pay rent for a mansion he has been living in for the last 15 years. Agents managing the property say the (dis) Honorourable MP has been issuing bouncing cheques for the last 12 years. The MP has been organising thugs to intimidate the landlady whenever she demands for payment. He has also ignored several court orders directing him to pay the rent arrears. Instead, the man has used his connections in government to ensure these orders disappear from the files and even has APs assigned to guard the house. The intention, according to his friends, is to grab the house. He used a similar ruse to 'grab' another house at Yaya Centre.


An MP from Central Kenya is ruing his decision to campaign against the new constitution. Since the referendum, the man has been having sleepless nights fearing that his many rivals might start gaining the ground he lost for opposing the constitution. Recently, the MP had a public spat with a city councillor who had gone to the constituency to donate sand and bags of cement for the reconstruction of a classroom at a local primary school in the constituency. The MP's handlers and agents tried to coerce the school administration to reject the donation claiming it was meant to undermine the MP. This, the handlers said, is not good for development


Cabinet minister George Saitoti has been keenly strategising how he can remain relevant in the changing political scenario. Corridor has information that the PNU chairman has met everyone who matters in his Kajiado County to consult on which position to seek in the 2012 general elections. The mathematics Professor, we are told, has been scrutinising the recent voter register and has accurately found out that he has the numbers to become the governor of the wealthy county. Just wait and read his lips!


Did President Kibaki deliberately refuse to undertake a far-reaching reshuffle after the new
constitution was promulgated? We are told that the President, in consultation with PM Raila had agreed to reshuffle the Cabinet, civil service and the provincial administration in a move that would have signalled a new beginning. However, for some reason, the President declined to announce the changes and instead announced a mini-reshuffle that saw Chirau Ali Mwakwere return to the Cabinet.


A senior manager at one of the parastatals under the Ministry of Energy has been sacked because of what our mole called insubordination. The manager, who was rewarded for dropping a petition case against a senior Cabinet minister was accused of "haphazard and indiscriminate appointments."


Talk of grass suffering when two bulls fight. We hear that a misunderstanding between two senior civil servants- Foreign Affairs PS Thuita Mwangi and Public Service Commission boss Titus Gatere has seen many diplomatic staff at Foreign Affairs ministry by-passed in promotions. Corridors heard that various proposals on how to boost the low morale of diplomatic staff through promotions have been turned down by the PSC boss.


A top lawyer who was once paid a huge amount of money for litigation is not lost to the dangers around his wealth. We hear the lawyer convinced a security officer to quit state service to serve him. Apparently, the lawyer who does not live in the city has successfully obtained a new muscle — a gun.


What was police spokesman Eric Kiraithe's motive when-he sent out a statement to a section of the media denying that First Lady Lucy Kibaki had kicked out security boss George Nderitu? We are told Kiraithe sent the statement to media houses but left out the Star that broke the story after he failed to get the attention of Star editors.


The fuel saga which many Kenyans have been complaining about seems to have finally caught up with some senior government officials. They were overheard discussing a possible solution to the problem—replace Energy PS Francis Nyoike with someone else. Those discussing the same seem to have forgotten a small detail—they have no authority or even powers to appoint or dismiss a PS!


A senior deputy secretary in a ministry who acted as a PS for a few months but was never promoted is so bitter that he has been saying everything nasty about the public service. The bureaucrat's anger is finding its way to his juniors who have been on the receiving end of his acidic tongue.


A group of Cabinet ministers are unamused by US ambassador Michael Ranneberger's frequent excursions to different constituencies without informing local MPs. The clique of ministers celebrated when news broke that Ranneberger might soon be replaced with President Obama's point-man in Sudan, Scott Gration.


Speculation is growing that President Kibaki may be planning to stay in power until August 2013. Some people in the government are claiming that the President has been advised that the new constitution allows him to remain in office till then. Our mole tells us the President may have intimated to PSs that those saying he will have to call elections by August 2012 are misinterpreting the new constitution!


A senior politician who lost big time in the recent by-election is said to have been taken ill immediately the reality that he had lost dawned on him. Sources close to the politician who had banked a lot on winning the seat said he could not comprehend the loss of a seat he had drooled over for years.


New CMB (cash man brother) MP Mike "Sonko" Mbuvi is a man in trouble. Corridors heard that there are several Facebook accounts trading under his name and where thousands of fans are congratulating him. Apparently, their inboxes are flooded with proposals and offers. The pokes are also uncountable.


We hear that a cabal of senior politicians and civil servants successfully schemed to halt the impeding sack of a powerful PS whose ministry has been riddled by scandals. According to our mole, the man earmarked to take over was given a big UN job leaving those who schemed the PS's ouster at a loss over what move to make next.


There is no love lost between commissioners of one of the Agenda Four commissions and their secretariat. We hear the commissioners are taking over daily activities of the secretariat when actually their role is at policy levels. Corridors heard that it's only a matter of time before the row erupts in public.


A mad woman who has been stripping naked every other day along Muindi Mbingu Street is causing jitters in town. A city resident yesterday called to complain why the City Council is not taking action to move the woman to a mental hospital and save her from ogling mindless men.

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Janet Mbogo: Vet public servants in new dispensation - The Star

The new constitution is not an end in itself; it is a means to an end that must not be treated as a stand-alone project. It only gives the tools and mechanisms to bring forth the desired transformation of the state. The people of Kenya must give it Life and teeth.

Kenya has a history of impunity. There have been many corruption and human rights scandals in the country. Recommendations by commissions of inquiry are never implemented and the perpetrators continue holding powerful public and political offices. Due to corruption and political patronage, public institutions have been forced to employ unqualified staff.

Promoting and consolidating the rule of law and democracy while dealing with country's efforts to dealing with the authoritarian past is challenging but it must be done. It is even more challenging especially where the change process is under the stewardship of those with track record of blocking change and/or responsible for overseeing gross violation of human rights.

Institutionalising change is a precondition for dis-mantling authoritarianism and successfully transforming state into constitutionally sustainable democracy. This is what the new constitution seeks to do. But if those implicated in past scandals are given the task of implementing the changes, then it is not yet Uhuru.

A democracy which replaces a dictatorship endangers its credibility and forfeits it altogether in the eyes of the dictatorship's victims when perpetrators go unpunished and the new democracy does not prevent these people by legal means from retaining their positions and further pursuing their careers.

In order to address this deficit, it demands for legal sanctions and vetting. It is primarily the preventive affirmation of civic virtues and the strengthening of democracy under new order. The new constitution ushers a ground-breaking new value and culture system and sets up radical framework for good governance and accountability.

One key condition of cleaning the public service and other offices is vetting the holders of such offices, not only judges but all public servants. This will ensure only hardworking deserving Kenyans remain in public service. Vetting is meant to breathe new norms, practices and values in the management of public affairs. It lays down roots without the danger that the people in high positions of power will try to undermine the new nascent emerging democracy. The aim is
not to punish people presumed guilty but to jealously protect the newly emerging democracy.

Vetting covers both recruitment or appointment and dismissal or removal of public employees.

Vetting may clash, however; with the principle of non-discrimination, as well as several rights of persons targeted. Rights that may be violated are: to hold a job in the public service in conditions of equality and without unlawful discrimination or unreasonable restrictions; to be protected from unlawful attacks on honour and reputation; to an effective remedy; to the presumption of innocence; to have one's case heard fairly and publicly by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal; to equality before the law and to equal protection of the law without discrimination; and to work.

Vetting procedures are in principle administrative and preventive. They are not meant to replace criminal or punitive measures determining liability. A key issue in vetting processes is ensuring equitable procedures and procedural guarantees. The following criteria should be
kept in mind when designing a vetting process.

First, in order to have legitimacy, a vetting measure should respect the rule of law and human rights. Second, vetting should respect the rights of those targeted. Third, the process should not neglect objectivity, and therefore procedures should be based on objective and reasonable criteria. Fourth, all measures should be governed by law in order to avoid arbitrary application.

Fifth, it is important that vetting respect the principle of individual responsibility. Finally, vetting should be relatively autonomous and should be independent of criminal proceedings.

Procedures should allow for a phase of investigation and verification of a candidate's background by an impartial body, separate from the appointment organ. The candidate should be granted the right to respond to allegations and the right to a judicial remedy to challenge a decision. The investigation and verification body must allow a candidate or family to respond and have access to legal remedies, including appeal.

Vetting processes should be based on objective criteria, conducted by independent and impartial bodies and provide procedural guarantees to the persons concerned. Qualitative and quantitative participation, consultation and exclusivity are key.

The writer is Communication Associates, International Centre for Policy and Conflict.

Posted in | Leave a comment

Jerry Okungu: What By Elections Taught Party Heads - The Star

Yes, the chickens are coming home to roost if they haven't already. Wanjiku is finally flexing her muscles. She has said she must part ways with the past for good. She is screaming on the rooftop warning the political class that with the advent of the new constitution, it will not be business as usual.

And she doesn't seem to have any respect for the high and mighty, rich or famous. She seems to scorn pedigree in our political system. Major political parties don't intimidate her either. But somehow, she seems to loathe individual arrogance most on the part of those who want to be our national leaders.

The just concluded by-elections in Juja, Makadara and Starehe are classic examples in how Kenyan politics has changed. In Juja, it did not matter that the fairly wealthy George Thuo was openly supported by Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalonzo Musyoka, the two political heavyweights that also lead two major parties in Parliament.

To have lost a seat he supposedly won with a landslide in 2007 just two years ago was some kind of a paradox because he dropped to third position far behind the man he is supposed to have beaten. Was this proof that Juja ballot boxes were stuffed in favour of the winner in 2007?

To come third after the relatively new Alice Wambu Ng'ang'a of Thika must have been really painful to the former Government Chief whip who has hardly spent three years in Parliament.

The Starehe results also sent a strong message to the political establishment that the old order must give way to the new order. The new wine cannot survive in the old wineskin. Maina Kamanda may have been a good councillor in Nairobi in the last century and even a good MP for Starehe at the turn of the century.

However, times have changed and the electorate has grown younger, more politicised and better informed. The old politics is gone kabisa. Now the electorate is demanding more than handouts.

Give them handouts but also show them that you can improve their lives.

Bishop Margaret Wanjiru may not have done better than Kamanda in the two years she has been in Parliament but at least she has consistently preached hope for them every week since her election.

Another twist to Kamanda's loss must have been the Mungiki factor, with adherents voting for the lady that their former boss openly supported. The combination of her church followers and Mungiki adherents was a factor anybody could ignore in Starehs at their peril. It came to pass.

The Starehe results were intriguing in one aspect. They were too close to the 2007 results to be ignored. However, they were way off the mark when one considered the recount results just before Wanjiru's victory was nullified. The question that begs answers is: If Kamanda beat Wanjiru by 15,000 during the recount whereas Wanjiru beat him by 1,000 votes during the 2007 elections, where did Kamanda's supporters disappear to this time round?

Incidentally more or less the same numbers that voted in Wanjiru in 2007 voted for her again this week. Were Kamanda's ballot boxes stuffed with more votes after the 2007 elections?

Reuben Ndolo lost a seat he thought was his for the taking in Makadara. He had successfully petitioned against Dick Wathika and the courts decided in his favour. However it seems the voters in Makadara had something up their sleeves.

They looked at Ndolo and Wathika and thought there was no difference between the two. So they opted for the third option. They chose little known Mike Sonko.

This must be a wake-up call to all political parties.

Free the democratic space within your parties. Practice internal democracy before you come out to compete against other parties. Forget blue-eyed-boy mentality where certain individuals
must get direct nomination at the expense of even better and more popular candidates.

Encourage internal competition because it is healthy for the growth of the party!

The secret to political" popularity lies in being tested from the grassroots. Those who claim to be popular yet fear to face challenges at the nomination level are conmen and women who are used to riding on the backs of popular parties. They not only give the party a bad name but they are also expensive for the party in the long run. Worse still, they cause unnecessary rebellion and protest voting against their parties and party leaders. Had ODM and PNU listened to Wanjiku, they would not have lost Juja and Makadara. One hopes that this is a lesson well learnt.

The writer is a media consultant.

Posted in | Leave a comment

Wycliffe Muga: Governor is the hot seat in devolution - The Star

The word gubernatorial is one which you may expect to see used very often in the near future.
It is an adjective which means of or pertaining to a governor. With every Tom, Dick and Harry dreaming of occupying a governor's mansion, the kind of writer who likes to make reference to President Kibaki's gentlemanly mien or to the mammoth crowds that turn up at Prime Minister Raila Odinga's campaign rallies will soon have a new word to play with.

More seriously, the fact that the country is moving into uncharted electoral waters should give us all cause for thought. So far, debate on the new electoral offices has focused largely on the question of why all these old men whom we thought had retired from politics, have suddenly resurrected their political ambitions, and resolved to serve the nation as senators.

Such views overlook the fact that in all democracies, senators are often old men, and often much older than any of our current lot of senatorial aspirants.

In the US, Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina served in the Senate from 1956 to 2003, and retired as the only senator to reach the age of 100 while still in office.

You would think that the 47 years he was senator would also make him the longest serving senator in US history. But in fact, that title goes to Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who served in the Senate from 1959 to 2010. He died in June this year, at age 92, while still a senator having been one for 51 years.

Nor is great age the only thing commonly found in senates all over the world. Some democracies have instituted lifetime tenure for some members of the senate, or whatever body they have that is equivalent to a senate.

To quote one source: A senator-for-life is a member of the senate or equivalent upper chamber of a legislature who has life tenure. As of 2010 [update], seven Italian senators out of 322, four out of the 47 Burundian senators and all members of the British House of Lords have lifetime tenure. Several South American countries once granted lifetime membership to former presidents but have since abolished the practice.

And no doubt there are those among President Kibaki's most dedicated supporters who now wonder how on earth they left out a clause in the recently promulgated constitution, which would have enabled the President to spend the rest of his life in the Senate, without having to bother about the nuisance of re-election campaigns.

One more thing we can learn from the US example: these complaints we have heard about how some regions will have more MPs for each senator, while in others there will be very few MPs for each senator or governor, have no basis at all.

No country has yet found a perfect formula for the ratio of MPs to senators to governors; and there will always be some irrational outcome from the attempt to provide adequate representation at every level of government.

In the US, each of the states gets two senators, and there is a 100-member Senate. But when it comes to the House of Representatives (where the congressmen serve) the basis of calculating the numbers is that the 435 seats must be divided equally on the basis of population.

And so you find that a large state like California has two senators and 53 congressmen; while a small state like Delaware has only one congressman (based on its population) but nonetheless has two senators.

We must therefore accept that there will always be dis-satisfaction about the varying levels of representation resulting from a two-chamber legislature.

That depending on whether you focus on geography or on populations, there will always be regions that will appear to have benefited at the expense of others. And there will always be plenty of old guys in the senate.

But what should be of far more concern to most of us, and what will certainly touch our individual lives in a far more direct manner, is the question of who gets to be a governor.

For this will be a man or woman who with barely any serious oversight institutions looking over his or her shoulder, will be in charge of a budget of some Sh3 billion for the county.

And while admittedly much of that money will go to pay salaries and other recurrent expenses, there will be plenty of room for development expenditure which has traditionally been the focus of huge rip-offs in Kenya.

So the question is, will each county really be able to find a man or a woman who can be relied on to spend Sh3 billion annually, in ways that will provide long-term benefits to the ordinary people?

The writer comments on topical issues.

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Sam Nyamweya: MPs Misleading over fate Of DCs and PCs - The Star

It is more than one and a half months since Kenyans overwhelmingly voted for the new constitution. The new set of laws are a landmark step towards the establishment of a truly democratic and just society where probity, accountability, transparency, equality and equity will be the prime movers of our social, cultural, political and economic development.

That a massive 68 per cent of Kenyans endorsed the new constitution is in itself a testimony to the strong desire Kenyans had held for so long for a new dawn of governance that gives dignity and opportunity to every Kenyan regardless of their ethnic, gender, religious, racial or economic backgrounds.

It was the hope of one and all that when President Kibaki promulgated the new constitution, we would all hit the ground and commence the implementation of the new document. However, that does not seem to be the case. While the President and Prime Minister Raila Odinga have shown total commitment to the implementation, it is clear that some of their hardline lieutenants are bent on sabotaging the process.

The hardliners are sending wrong signals to Kenyans and the international community about the government's determination to see the process reach its conclusive end.

After endorsing the new constitution on August 4, Kenyans handed the mantle over to parliament to legislate 49 more provisions to make the new constitution fully operational.

One would therefore expect our parliamentarians to conduct themselves maturely by seizing this opportunity and accomplish for Kenyans the yet-to-be cleared path in the implementation of the new constitution.

Once Parliament re-opens in October, The MPs should debate and enact relevant Bills that will guide us in the new constitutional framework. Hurling accusations at each over the Bills to be enacted does not help Kenyans in any way. Take the brouhaha about the Provincial Administration for example.

In submitting their views to the review body, Kenyans were very clear that they were not comfortable with the widespread abuse of office by chiefs, DO's, DC's and PC's. They however did not call for the scrapping of the system.

In their wisdom, members of the Committee of Experts recommended that the Provincial Administration be restructured to fit into the devolved system of government. The restructuring process is to come via legislation by parliament and that is as it should be.

Why are the MPs, including senior cabinet ministers, now taking us in circles over this issue? The CoE never called for the scrapping or abolishing of the Provincial Administration. And that is the truth as we speak now.

Does restructuring mean abolishment?

There are very influential forces in this county who are ready to do everything to frustrate the implementation of the new constitution. Those forces have pawns and decoys in Parliament.
Earlier in the year, we saw a substantial number of MPs, including Cabinet ministers, who overwhelmingly voted for the draft constitution in Parliament later asking Kenyans to vote against it during the referendum.

Today, we are witnessing politicians who over the years have been posing as reformers taking the front seat in sabotaging the implementation of the new constitution they have been purporting to advocate for.

Those calling for the scrapping of the Provincial Administration are not offering any solutions as regards filling up the administrative and security loopholes to be created by such a move.
Provincial administrators are part of the national security system. Thus, whatever constitutional decisions we come up with, must not create a security gap that would later be exploited by hate mongers to cause chaos.

President Kibaki and the Prime Minister Raila should convince their troops to read and act from the same script.

The era of opposition for the sake of it is long gone. The new constitution should enable us to start on a clean slate as far as governance is concerned.

We however need to begin by changing our mindsets from the petty, parochial, ethnic and tribal approaches that have gripped and dragged us back for many years.

Were we to change our mindset, we shall find out that it is completely unhelpful to keep on engaging the public on useless subjects at funerals, press conferences and public rallies instead of encouraging them to tend their fields, feed their livestock, expand fishponds, take their children to school, impart religious morals into our youth, refuse to give and take bribes, invest in real estate, industries, transport, sports and education.

Our leaders must start investing in truth and honesty. As president Barack Obama once said, we must choose to live on the right side of history. Time has come for all of us to return to reason. Let each one of us play our part. Parliamentarians should stop confusing Kenyans. We should all stop living in the past. We must match forward, with our eyes on the ball - forever.

The author is the national chairman of the Kenya Football Federation

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Kenya Political Gossip - The Star

A maverick city MP caused a commotion at the main entrance of JKIA when he arrived aboard a boda boda motorbike last Friday. The MP had abandoned his sleek ML Mercedes Benz and jumped onto the bike as a traffic snarl-up on Mombasa Road, caused by an accident near Panari Hotel, would have made him miss a morning flight to Mombasa for a meeting with his business partners. But on reaching the airport entrance, the police manning the gate turned away the motorcycle rider, not noticing the passenger was a mheshimiwa. After the haggling, the MP removed the helmet which he had put on due to massive wind, gave the police a dressing down, before proceeding with his journey to the local departures. Unfortunately for him, he missed the flight and had to wait for the next one!


Campaigns in Makadara constituency ahead of September 20 by-elections has turned into high voltage politics for the moneyed if yesterday's events are anything to go by. One of the aspirants, Gideon Mbuvi Kioko, of Narc-Kenya offered to transport Buruburu residents and all commuters on Jogoo Road in the constituency free rides to and from town. Our mole tells us that the aspirant has unleashed a fleet of 15 matatus and one double-decker bus for the free transport services as one of the ways to woo voters ahead of the next week's vote.


Trouble is brewing at the National Cereals and Produce Board over staff promotions. Our mole says that despite a reputable recruitment firm being contracted at a cost of Sh14 million to interview candidates for certain jobs, senior officials have continued to give out jobs to their kin ignoring the recommendations of the firm. The private firm has already conducted all interviews and handed a list of the best suitable candidates to the board. Insiders are now wondering why the board had to spend the Sh14 million for a list that is now gathering dust in one of the board's shelves.


The National Taxpayers Association says it has identified two phantom projects in Kieni constituency in the financial year 2007/08. The projects were officially allocated Sh450,000 from the CDF kitty for construction but they do not physically exist on the ground.


A top city lawyer has fallen prey to a former MP from one of the East African countries. The foreign MP lured the lawyer into parting with Sh8 million for his upkeep claiming that he was expecting some of his donors from the Middle East and Asian countries to wire funds for one of his projects. The lawyer went ahead to surrender the money only for the former MP to disappear secretly. Attempts to get the former MP to refund the money have been fruitless and now the matter is with the Provincial Criminal Investigation Officer in Nairobi.


A well known MP from Kisii is causing waves amongst his colleagues after he seduced another man's wife and rented her a house in Kisii. The MP, who is an assistant minister, was the talk of the town over the weekend when he showed up at a funeral with the woman in tow. He did not seem bothered by the whispers that broke out from the astonished mourners who were surprised by his audacity and lack of shame.


The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture has moved fast to stop the practice of hiring or promoting people on the basis of their ethnicity. The PS has written the National Cereals and Produce Board's management instructions that they stop the practice with immediate effect to ensure that the staff reflects the country's diversity as per the national cohesion and integrity guidelines.


A goof can happen anywhere. But whoever was on duty at the Presidential Press Service yesterday must have been pretty off. The PPS despatched a photo of President Kibaki at the burial of Njenga Karume's son, Joseph, in Kiambaa at the weekend. The caption? "President Mwai Kibaki bids farewell to the outgoing Ambassador Shigeo Iwatani of Japan at his Harambee House office, Nairobi!" No apologies were made but the PPS later sent the correct photo and caption.

Posted in , | Leave a comment

Paul Muite - PCs', DCs' Role is in new Constitution - The Star

In the several decades journey for the New Constitution, intense debate on what to do with the Provincial Administration has always taken centre stage.

Amongst the reasons for that debate is the draconian use to which the Imperial Presidency under the old constitution put the Provincial Administration from the assistant chief to the chief, the DO, DC, PC, to the OP and the Presidency. The oppression of the people, denial of basic freedoms in the Bill of Rights, including social gatherings, was only possible through the Provincial Administration.

Memories are still fresh when even a visit by in-laws or the slaughter of a goat needed a permit from the chief, who was also required to ensure no criticism of the government or the president took place at any such gatherings. The Provincial Administration was relied upon by the imperial Presidency to rig elections so as to weed out government critics.

The 1988 mlolongo elections where in many cases the shorter queues won is a memorable reminder. The history and role of the Provincial Administration is thus far from positive. The root cause however was the imperial Presidency not the Provincial Administration per se.

It is ironical that this all powerful institution of the Provincial Administration was never anchored in the old constitution. The new constitution for better or for worse anchors the Provincial Administration in the constitution for the first time in the constitutional history of Kenya.

Section 17 of the Sixth Schedule (all the schedules are part and parcel of the constitution) provides: " 17. Within five years after the effective date, the national government shall restructure the system of administration commonly known as the provincial administration to accord with and respect the system of devolved government established under this constitution."

The Sixth Schedule is in turn based on Article 262 of the constitution, which provides:
"The transitional and consequential provisions set out in the Sixth Schedule shall take effect on the effective date."

On a correct interpretation of Article 262 and Section 17 of the Sixth Schedule, abolition of the Provincial Administration now would require an amendment to the constitution. The institution of the Provincial Administration is firmly anchored in the constitution of the Republic of Kenya.

What Section 17 of the Sixth Schedule requires is the restructuring of the Provincial Administration to accord with and respect the system of Devolved Government established under the new constitution. "Accord with and respect", is a powerful caveat.

Amongst the objects of devolution set out in Article 174 are:

(1) to give powers of self-governance to the people and enhance participation of the people in the exercise of the powers of the State and in making decisions affecting them;

(2) to recognise the right of communities to manage their own affairs and to further their development; and

(3) to facilitate the decentralisation of State Organs, their functions and services, from the Capital of Kenya.

Accordingly, any restructuring the effect of which is to dilute n any way these objects of devolution in letter or spirit will be unconstitutional.

Further, Section 5 of the Sixth Schedule needs to be taken into account. The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution is the one mandated in sub-section 6(a) to monitor, facilitate and oversee the development of Legislation and Administrative Procedures required to implement the constitution and (b) co-ordinate with the Attorney General and the Kenya Law Reform Commission in preparing for tabling in Parliament the Legislation required to implement the constitution.

Since the new constitution does away with Provinces and makes the 47 Counties sacrosanct, creating a "cluster" of counties may very well run counter to the objects of devolution. The restructuring will however need to accommodate the presence of the National Government at the County Levels and below.

The counties themselves are required in Article 176(2) to decentralize their functions and provision of services to the extent that it is efficient and practicable to do so.

It is in the interests of the counties and the National Government to keep track of events so that the National Government is aware of the goings-on at the County Level and vice versa.

The Challenge is to get the balance right between the two systems of government, National and County which must co-exist for the benefit of all the people of Kenya, social and economic.

The writer is a senior counsel.

Posted in , , | Leave a comment

Miguna Miguna - There is no place for PCs and DCs - The Star

Expectedly, powerful status-quo forces in government are desperately trying to subvert the new constitution under the pretext of establishing administrative structures to "coordinate and facilitate" government functions in the counties before those devolved structures are even established.

They are attempting an impossible task: the premature and illegitimate resurrection of the Provincial Administration before their official death and burial.

Ironically, coordination and supervision of the execution of all government functions is a constitutional preserve - at least for now - of the PM who has never used the Provincial Administration to execute his functions. Moreover, the "reasons" those at the OP have expressed as the "basis" for their love for the Provincial Administration are the very reasons Kenyans have overwhelmingly voted to abolish them; to stop them from being used by the imperial presidency as instruments of oppression.

Devolution is a governance system that decentralises power, resources and services from the centre to the grassroots. It will allow the people to make decisions on matters that affect their lives. The counties will elect their governments. There will be County Assemblies where laws will be made.

The national government will have no authority to coordinate and supervise local matters for the counties. To permit that would mean we transform devolution into "delegation". That will not happen.

The Provincial Administration is an ad hoc administrative department in the Office of the President. It's under the Ministry of Internal Security and Provincial Administration. It was never provided for in the old Constitution and has only been retained for five years for "restructuring," which, frankly, is just a nice way of saying "dissolution".

For more than 50 years, the colonial and neo-colonial governments used this corrupt instrument for control, exploitation and manipulation as well as manipulation and rigging of elections, suppression of dissent and spying for the imperial presidency.

Senior officials from the OP have said they "are in the process of restructuring" this colonial relic. If allowed, it would be tantamount to permitting the violation of the Constitution and the usurpation of powers of the Implementation Commission, which, has the exclusive man-date to monitor, coordinate, prepare and present legislation and other mechanisms of ensuring the letter and spirit of the Constitution is respected.

Some power mandarins have said, "we can't wait five years to restructure the 'Provincial Administration; restructuring will be completed in a maximum period of six months. The national government must coordinate its activities all over the country." That's mystifying. The implementation of the Constitution and the coordination of government functions must be done by institutions, organs and agents recognised by law. Presently coordination is the purview of the Office of the PM while most aspects of implementation are reserved for the CIC.

No one can "appoint" anyone to superintend for the President, no matter how imperial, to the yet-to-be-operationalised counties. Purporting to "cluster" counties or the disbanded districts in administrative units without legal authority is utter contempt and disregard of clear constitutional provisions.

The Constitution transforms governance by creating, entrenching and enhancing transparency, efficiency and fairness in public affairs. It also eradicates the imperial presidency. Kenyans were determined to use the new charter to promote democracy.

Their aim was not just to transform the laws; they wanted to create new institutions and leadership responsive to the public interests.

To achieve those goals, it specifies that at the level of the executive, consultations between the President and the PM must occur for all decisions, appointments and nominations. The legislature has the exclusive jurisdiction to vet those nominations. The yet-to-be-established Supreme Court has the exclusive mandate to resolve disputes and questions arising from the new Constitution.

The implementation of the constitution is supposed to occur in a consultative, fair, inclusive, and transparent manner. The Implementation Commission will monitor, facilitate and oversee the development of legislation and administrative procedures required to implement the Constitution and to work with each constitutional commission to ensure that the letter and spirit of this Constitution is respected.

On August 6, Kenyans created a constitutional democracy where ultimate power and authority vests on them. Government only exercises power and authority donated by the people. Therefore, if the executive does anything that contravenes or undermines the authority of the public, the decision or act becomes illegitimate and void.

The writer is the PM's adviser on coalition affairs. The views expressed here are his own.

Posted in , , | Leave a comment

Muthui Kariuki - VP Kalonzo is not a tribal chieftain - The Star

What a pity that Star Thursday columnist Wycliffe Muga persists in promoting the preposterous notion that the referendum on the new Constitution was a popularity contest for the various self-anointed ethnic vote bloc chieftains ("Dilemma Facing VP and Deputy PMs", September 9).

Instead of such totally misplaced criticism, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and his Ukambani "political backyard" deserve praise for demonstrating political maturity — the VP for completely eschewing the cultivation of a cult of personality (notwithstanding the fact that, placed alongside the PM and his DPMs, he is the most personable personality by far). The people of Ukambani deserve praise for having nothing to do with the herd mentality and voting their own conscience.

Praising the tribal chieftains and their mesmerised massed followers is nonsensical and ought to have no place in the post-referendum period.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga himself publicly recently acknowledged that the next President will need much more than his own tribal vote bloc, however numerous, to make it into office. So, what is this talk about Kalonzo not having the Ukambani vote sewn-up and in his coat pocket?

The Presidential election of 2012 will be dependent entirely on the strength and attraction of the various campaigns. These are dynamics that are not yet clear. For all he knows, sometime in 2013, Muga will be bemoaning the fact that Ukambani came out as one when it came to the Presidency, proving the point that the referendum is not necessarily the General Election.

It is regrettable that Muga should stoop to ascribing "foolishness" to the VP on account of the fact that Musyoka harbours Presidential ambitions.

Muga's strategy has one clear aim — rubbishing the prospects of all other leading presumed Presidential candidates and asserting, by way of subtext and rhetorical question, that the decks are clear for the PM's candidature.

The columnist is entitled to his opinions and wish-listing scenarios. What he is definitely not entitled to, however, is snake-oil salesmanship disguised as political analysis. The Raila Odinga political persona and the Luo community's loyalty to that brand are completely different from the Kalonzo Musyoka political persona and the Kamba community's independent-mindedness.

Neither combination has propelled a Presidential candidate to State House, but the 2012 campaign will provide an excellent opportunity to assess which candidate, given many other dynamics, formations and alliances than are clear today, will become the fourth President of Kenya.

Handing the Presidency to Raila on a platter 23 months ahead of what he himself has said will be the "mother of all [electoral] battles" is very paraplegic political analysis indeed.

Let the fact not be forgotten that the next Presidential elections campaign will be drastically different from the previous several campaigns.

The reconstruction of Kenya under the new Constitution will be almost two years old when the campaign really kicks in and the governance and administrative edifice will look and function very differently from the case today.

In all likelihood, the majority of Kenyans will want a Presidential candidate whose basic assumptions, personality, style, integrity and respect for the rule of law are as different from what has been the case under the old and now retired Constitution as night is from day.

All the other political personages that Muga has mentioned in his column, including Odinga, are political dynasties whose careers and those of their distinguished forbears are steeped in ethnic chieftaincy as a springboard to national preeminence. The VP has never aspired to Ukambani political kingship nor have the Wakamba ever engaged in cult-like political adoration of any one figure.

Like President Kibaki, Musyoka is a well-educated professional from a hardship background who rose to national pre-eminence through his own sheer efforts and determination, without a trust fund or a billion-shilling fortune giving him any wind assistance. He is precisely the kind of figure that the new Kenya is looking for as it seeks to sever its more backward-looking links to the past.

The VP does nor prescribe how you should vote; he does not whip his community into one point of view. This is not a person whose appeal and support can be said to be narrow. When Muga scoffs at the VP's showing at Election 2007 he omits to note that he did better than Raila on his own first stab at the Presidency in 1997.

The next President of Kenya will need to appeal to 50% + 1 of the electorate. None of the tribal chieftain candidates will make that threshold in Round One of Election 2012. But a candidate who can appeal across ethnic divisions could well find that his time has indeed come and that the primitive and atavistic voting patterns of the 2007 poll, has become a thing of the past.

In fact, that process has started, as a correct and much more realistic reading of the national referendum results (where Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya, Kamba and a majority of many others voted as one) than Muga can give readily shows.

The author is Head, VPPS,

Posted in , | Leave a comment

David Makali - Quitting the only option for Jaoko - The Star

Many of our national institutions are steeped in controversies that are hampering their performance. While some owe their failures to loopholes in their establishment legislation, others are in a mess due to poor leadership or internal squabbles. The latest to join the ignoble list is the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights.

Despite the veneer of normalcy at the commission, it has long been evident that things have never been the same since the departure of former chairman Maina Kiai. Florence Jaoko's succession of Kiai was natural and smooth. She had been the vice chairman and apparently the most qualified in the context of the gender balance which requires either gender to occupy the top two positions. But Kiai and Jaoko are worlds apart in their characters, profiles and styles.

Maina was a career human rights activist, renown for his advocacy and vocal protests. He had an international profile, having worked for Amnesty International as the Africa programme head. Enter Florence Simbiri-Jaoko, a senior magistrate straight from the conservative and much maligned judiciary. Not that Jaoko has anything in her past that would prejudice her performance as chairperson of the commission. But certain observations can be made about her tenure.

One, the profile, voice and visibility of the commission have dipped. Two, leadership wrangles have emerged from within the commission. Three, the overall performance of the commission seems to be dwindling.

There is evidence these issues are not just perceptions. Within the commission, they have been subject of discussion without comprehensive resolution, hence the eventual fallout. Jaoko therefore finds herself in the same mould as former Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission director Aaron Ringera and the Truth Commission's Bethwell Kiplagat; having to defend yourself when either the public or members of your own organisation are calling for your exit and you are insisting on staying on.

While the commissioners who are demanding her resignation have not made public their reasons, we have reason to believe the revolt is not a malicious campaign against one of their colleagues. And once questions are raised about your suitability for a position, however unfounded they may be, your defence is not in the judicial procedures for your removal but your conscience and the public court to which you are ultimately responsible.

I am inclined to believe that there are sticky issues that Jaoko cannot brush aside with the swipe of the law. It is about personal integrity and the responsibility we owe to the organisations we serve when our performance is questioned.

The fact that the sticky issues have not been resolved and are bogging the commission down means the chair-person must take responsibility for lack of leadership.

The integrity of the commission first came to light when accusations surfaced of moles within the commission leaking out sensitive information on witnesses to suspected perpetrators of post-election violence.

Before then was the enduring suspicion that some commissioners are lackeys of the intelligence system or police informers who cannot be entrusted with vital investigations of violations the commission handles.

And then there is the vexatious issue of why the vice-chairman was always articulating the position of the commission instead of the chairperson. When Hassan Omar finally resigned from being vice-chair, partly due to this rift, the commission literally became voiceless. Without a vent, the commission has literally become a captive of internal schisms. I would be shocked if Jaoko can stand up and claim all is right within the commission and she would like to continue steering it rudderless.

She has not excelled in projecting the face of the commission and one wonders why she is not outspoken on the many things that her predecessor was notorious for.

Security of tenure is one thing. But to cling to security of tenure when all the people who voted for you have changed their mind seems inconsistent with modern accountability principles.

The commissioners are entitled to a change of mind upon seeing your performance, and it seems to me that in Jaoko's case, that change has come and staying on is selfish and insensitive. The commission cannot continue with the animosity the fallout has generated.

Since she cannot dismiss the other commissioners, Jaoko needs to do the needful. If she does not have the confidence of her colleagues, she cannot have mine.

The writer is the director, The Media Institute, email

Posted in | Leave a comment