Archive for December 2010
Still on matters ICC, we are told that the same former the KNCHR officials who have been working with the politician in helping trace ICC witnesses, have remote access to the Waki Commission data base. We are told that the men have been getting statements of some of the witnesses who appeared before Waki in camera.
What were two city MPs doing in a restaurant in Upper Hill, Nairobi, on Saturday? The two controversial legislators met one of the Akasha sons in a private room in the restaurant. They seemed to be in a deep conversation and did not want anyone else to hear their discussions. So what were they scheming to do?
The thought that International Criminal Court prosecutor Moreno Ocampo could actually be having concrete evidence to prove a case against his six suspects is knocking the daylights off some of them. Corridors has learnt that a memo written by one of the suspects at the height of the post-election violence to another suspect on the same list was intercepted and is causing sleepless nights to the parties involved. We hear the two are crossing their fingers in the hope Ocampo did not come across it.
When shall provincial administrators take their last bow? This is the question senior police officers appear to be grappling with at the moment as their impatience on the anticipated changes grows. Senior officers were last week overheard questioning why PCs, DCs and DOs continue chairing security committees "yet they have no clue what it takes to maintain law and order in their very own jurisdiction." The officers want the change fast-tracked.
What is happening at the ministry of Labour? We hear seven years after the completion of the Product Design and Development Centre, which was sponsored by the UNDP, 11 people who worked on the project have never been paid. This despite the UNDP having released their payment. We hear that although the 11 want to surrender the fight, they will not want to go down without dragging the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission into the affair.
We are told one of the six suspects in the Ocampo list has resorted to heavy drinking in an attempt to drown his sorrows and block out reality. His family and friends are increasingly getting worried he could slump permanently and dangerously into depression as the International Criminal Court clock ticks.
Talking of Ocampo's list, one of the suspects is distraught and disillusioned as his family is yet to meet to plan his defence strategy. We hear the family is seeking legal advice of leading international legal minds to see how to extricate their man from the fix.
Last week, we told you of a new Nyanza MP who was left ranting and brandishing a wad of notes after a botched plan to have a threesome between him, his girlfriend and her best friend at a city hotel. We now hear that the mheshimiwa has not let go and has persisted that he is in an irreversible love with her girlfriend's best friend. He wants the girl to "forget the past" and think of the "future of the three of us."
There is discomfort between senior officials working for a government agency under the Ministry of Finance. We are told that the senior managers of the institution are planning to promote a lady from a tribe that has dominated the management of the agency in complete disregard of the law that bans tribalism. Although interviews have been conducted, those in the know tell us that the decision to give the lady from the slopes of Mount Kenya a job has already been made.
Even as ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo was striking an international blow against impunity in Kenya, a senior cabinet minister was flexing his muscles to have incitement charges against an assistant minister dropped. The minister called a top cop and instructed him to withdraw the charges against the assistant minister who was caught on tape inciting residents against the police. The top cop's acquiescence to the minister's request renders hollow the police claim at the time of the incident that they would apply the law impartially and fairly and confirms what many have feared impunity is alive and well and likely to last for a long time!
With the WikiLeaks saga unfolding, some people have become paranoid that the database of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission in particular is not safe. They say that some people who are suspected of leaking the identities and details of witnesses who appeared before the Waki and the Kenya National Com-mission on Human Rights are now able to access the IIEC data base. They are worried that the 'hackers' are up to no good as they could have manipulated the data for their own ends before or during the next elections.
One of the MPs who have been very vocal in Parliament has been receiving the cold shoulder from his colleagues who suspect him of being in the pay of the National Security Intelligence Service. The MP from Central Kenya has not yet clicked why his colleagues become jittery and change the subject whenever he joins their conversation. It will take him a long time to realise the reason for this as he believes his double-game is still his deep dark secret.
We hear that Juja MP William Kabogo is determined to auction the entire secretariat of the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to claim the Sh28 million damages claim awarded to him after his successful petition against George Thuo. Our moles tell us that Kabogo served the IIEC with his notice to auction them today if they do not pay up.
A senior employee at the Auditor General's offices at the Anniversary Towers, Nairobi, is a troubled man. He has not paid his rent for several months and has been hounded by his landlord to make good his promises to pay. The landlord, unwilling to wait any longer broke into the house and is planning to sue the top man to recover the Shl.3 million rent arrears.
Several members of the AFC football club are unhappy with the office of the Registrar of Societies. They claim some of the officials there may have been compromised by a rival faction. They cite the decision to cancel a scheduled annual general meeting at the request of that faction as an example as they claim it was done without consultation.
MPs opposed to the International Criminal Court process have now turned to taking their angst against the Chief Prosecutor's hairy face. They were overheard in Parliament casting aspersions on Luis Moreno Ocampo's beard. One of the more vocal MPs from the Rift who is known to be a close associate of William Ruto quipped: "How can a man who cannot even shave his own beard be expected to deliver justice to Kenyans?" Just last week, another MP, this time from Central Kenya, described Ocampo as a "tyrant who needs to be tamed."
A well-connected lawyer has been speculating that Ocampo's threats to separately prosecute those trying to "affect investigations" and/or "interfere with witnesses" was being directed at a fellow learned friend. He claims that his lawyer colleague had been making frequent forays into neighbouring countries where he has been seeking out potential witnesses at their safe houses to try and 'persuade' them to recant their testimony. Unfortunately for the man, the ICC has tightly secured the witnesses they have lined up to prove their case against the Ocampo Six.
Coalition principals grossly misguided about Kenyan youth
We are infuriated by the fact that President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga used Jamhuri Day celebrations to level allegations of treason against the youth of Kenya.
The principals' outburst, coming hot on the heels of Government spokesman Dr Alfred Mutua's similar outlandish claim that the youth are receiving foreign funding to destabilise the coalition government, cannot be ignored, especially by the leadership of youth. In this regard, we wish to address the President and Prime Minister as follows:
First, we would like to point out that the poignant claims eloquently expose the fears and uneasiness that the political establishment has over the emerging political consciousness among the youth. The language of the castigations reeks of the status quo's misguided view of youth as being disorganised, confused and easily manipulated.
We refuse this ill-advised definition of the youth and warn that we are indeed actively organising to empower ourselves in order to keep track of reforms especially as espoused in Agenda 4 of the same National Accord that brought President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga together in a coalition government.
Second, we are not fazed by allegations of receiving support from wherever in order to realise our agenda. This is not news, as the coalition leaders never ending foreign begging trips are common knowledge.
In any event, the youth are part of the wider civil society that likewise survives primarily on international funding for their activities. Also, since the coalition government will not put together empowerment programmes that are not designed to control us, manage us or take us hostage, a reality check demands that we work with anyone who understands our problem and genuinely wants to help.
Third, we frown upon Kibaki and Raila's attempt to plant seeds of strife and discord among youth by branding their leadership as foreign-aided coup plotters. Whilst the tag is meant to cow the emerging youth leadership, we want to boldly warn them that Agenda 4 issues, among these, youth unemployment, remain key reform and progress scorecard items for the youth; that if not comprehensively and urgently addressed by the two principals will precipitate the threatening revolution of the dissatisfied masses of youth against the cartel of political elite.
Fourth, unless Agenda 4 items are addressed, the youth and future generations will remain victims of bad governance that is characterised by corruption, impunity, poverty and tribalism. We are no longer at ease with the way things are and will not hesitate to latch onto constitutional rights to organise to overthrow the political establishment that preys on us. We want a better Kenya that is fit for all of us to realise our God given potential.
Fifth, it is true we are organising to breed a new leadership that is up to the task of bridging the differences in our society and inspire our social diversities to work together to realise prosperity and peace for all. These are the ideals the youth of our generation dream of and in the backdrop of new constitution find it civic obligation and duty.
We are organising because we are dissatisfied with the periodic tokenism such as Kazi kwa Vijana, Youth Enterprise Fund and worse still a youth ministry that has turned out to be a political circus. We are organising because we have come to the realisation that anything this political leadership never addresses the urgent grave situation of unemployment among youth.
We do not want to be used and abused as political levers by political cartels. We are fully aware of the problems the youth face and the solutions to those problems and we are sure that we are the leadership we need to get us out of this deep hole.
Sixth, the youth are actively involved in post-referendum civic education on the new constitution especially on the contents of Chapter 6. This is because in gearing up for 2012, before the campaign propaganda and empty promises peddled by power hungry politicians clouds their judgment, it is important to empower Kenyans to realise that most of the current crop of leaders cannot stand the leadership and integrity test set by this section of the constitution. Mr President and Mr Prime Minister, you must accept that Kenyan youth organising to shake off the yoke of oppression and exploitation through ballot democracy is not a crime.
Seventh, we find it well within our political rights and liberties to want to and accordingly to organise to legally depose an establishment rife with corruption, impunity and tribalism, and replace it with one for whom the people's agenda is central.
In doing so, the youth do not act only for ourselves, but millions of Kenyans who are victims of the current bad leadership such as the thousands of internally displaced persons sleeping cold and hungry in filthy camps, thousands of youths seeking solace from joblessness in crime, alcohol, drugs and prostitution, and the millions of Kenyans on self imposed curfews as a result high insecurity in our country.
Eighth, we sympathise with the coalition principals' embarrassment suffered after the honest and unflattering contents of Wikileaks, but wish to categorically protest against the Machiavellian use of youth as a political distraction shield of sorts. Casting aspersions against the youth leadership as ploy to steal the public attention from revelations of Wikileaks is in bad taste, reactionary and totally misguided and betrays how quick the principals are to sacrifice others for their own interests. Accordingly, we dismiss with contempt and term it as a gross insult, the unsolicited paternalistic advisory that had the Premier label Kenyan youth as puppets and we demand a public apology.
In conclusion, we demand that Kibaki and Raila either come up with practical programmes to get the youth out of the extreme poverty. We reiterate that we are peaceful and patriotic Kenyans engaging in constitution guaranteed civic actions to bring about another Kenya that is fit for all of us.
The writer is the Co-convenor, National Youth Forum
PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI: The former Defence Minister and longtime Kibaki confidante, Njenga Karume, let the cat out of the bag on the sole occasion when he and the then Leader of Official Oppostion, Mwai Kibaki, had a public falling out. This was when Karume, who had long been the patron of Kibaki's party of that time, the Democratic Party, shifted his allegiance to Uhuru Kenyatta, who had been anointed by President Daniel arap Moi to be his successor, in mid-2002. Karume announced that Kibaki was a singularly ungrateful man who never took any consideration of what others had done to help advance his political career. If there was any truth in that statement, then it is reasonable to assume that the predominant thought in the President's mind at present, is relief that he was not on that list, especially as the retaliatory attacks were reportedly planned in State House. Now he is free to focus his attention on securing his political legacy through his far-sighted public infrastructure programme which will most likely be remembered as his greatest contribution to propelling Kenya towards prosperity.
PM RAILA ODINGA: He is perhaps the biggest winner from the naming of the six key suspects, now said to be "bound for The Hague". In one move, the ICC process has crippled the presidential ambitions of two key figures from the team which is set to oppose him in the 2012 presidential race. It is reasonable to assume that any political leaders who now have The Hague to worry about, are not likely to be very effective in helping organise the anti-Raila forces. Staying out of jail tends to be a fulltime occupation when faced with accusations of "crimes against humanity" before an international tribunal. And while the accused are thus engaged, their regional political rivals will be busy making inroads into their core support groups. In this context, Gideon Moi's recent 'takeover' of Kanu is particularly serendipitous - the long-anticipated return of the Moi dynasty to the centre of Rift Valley politics is now more plausible, with Ruto having so much on his plate. And in Central province, presidential hopefuls Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth now have a clear road along which to pursue their ambitions, with reputed frontrunner from that region, Uhuru Kenyatta, being otherwise engaged.
VP KALONZO MUSYOKA: Up to now, it has been argued that the proposed 'KKK' political alliance which brought together Kalonzo, Uhuru and Ruto, faced an intractable problem when it came to deciding which one of them would in due course run against Raila in the 2012 presidential race. But now, with the release of Ocampo's list of suspects, the decision seems to have been made in favour of Kalonzo. On the one hand, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto will now - more than ever - be determined to keep Raila out of State House. And on the other hand, given the pace at which the ICC works, it is not likely that they will be free to engage in an intense and protracted grassroots political campaign anytime soon. The best they can do is to throw their weight behind their political ally, Kalonzo Musyoka, a man for whom the Ocampo list must come as an undisguised blessing, even though that is the last thing he would ever admit to.
Kenyans must give it up for Moreno Ocampo for poking his finger far enough where no-one else could. Though he did not dip his finger enough where the cancer is, today we know who bears greatest criminal responsibility for 2007/08 post election violence in the eyes of ICC prosecution office. They are:
1. William Ruto
2. Uhuru Kenyatta
3. Henry Kosgey
4. Hussein Ali
5. Francis Muthaura
6. Joshua Arap Sang
The culture of impunity, politically instigated violence, political chest thumping and other vices that are idolized along parliament road have received a below the belt blow. In the future political aspirants will think twice, thrice before inciting their followers to violence and innocent bloodshed. Civil servants will step down rather than take orders that border on crimes against humanity from their masters.
Thousands of criminals participated in the planning and executing of post election violence. The ICC has only gone for six and is not keen to prosecute more. The judiciary in Kenya has no will, power or political goodwill to prosecute these criminals. As it is these criminals will go scot free forever. Thousands of IDPs are still stuck in camps and there is no hurry to resettle. Thousands of Kenyans who were raped, maimed, killed and lost property will never get retribution and compensation.
and the ugly
The post election violence was about two Kenyan citizens who with stinking impunity are unfortunately above any judicial process in Kenya and sadly in the world, now that the ICC cannot dare touch these two.
The IDP camps in various parts of the country are ugly scenes and are constant reminder of political short sightedness of our political system and leadership. It is unfortunate that the government has not evolved a strategic and systematic legal frame work to address the plight of victims of political violence three years after.
For how long will Kenyan live as refugee in their own country? It is inhuman to have citizens stay in ram shackles and in hopelessness having been uprooted from their homes courtesy of greedy and tribalistic political competitors.
It is pertinent that the welfare of victims of post election violence be addressed. These citizens suffered social, economic, health and psychological loses. Some lost life, self advancement opportunities including education and wanton destruction of private property. Others were maimed. A legislation providing for resolving these issues should be enacted.
It is not enough for the government to be obsessed with a disgraced land allocation programme which has become a cash cow for corrupt government officials and disgruntled civil society opportunists.
It is naïve to think that families who were uprooted from their homelands, their relative killed by political hooligans, sibling deprived bread winners merely need a meager piece of land to remedy their elaborate misery.
As a matter of right they deserve more realistic justice and equitable compensation. Majority of the IDP know their aggressors. Indeed some of these criminals are still in illegal occupation and possession of their victims properties. It is this realization that makes it crucial that a legislation which addresses the plight of the IDPS and victims of political violence be enacted. A Bill akin to Political Violence Victims Protection and Compensation need to be put in place. Under such Bill a special court to expediently adjudicate victims concerns should be provided for.
Kenyans must redeem themselves from imagining that solutions to their historic and political injustices purely rest with foreign entities such as the ICC.As much as it is crucial that the perpetrators of 2007 post election violence be prosecuted and punished it is laughable for Kenyans to sit and meekly await substantive justice for victims from ICC
Today the ICC prosecutor has revealed the identity of some individuals he associate with perpetration of acts of violence, obviously he will not have solution to the IDP menace. The ICC has no mechanism for compensation and or substantive remedy for victims. One would have wished that the ICC look beyond the alleged six individuals and be a progressive instrument of justice committed to building capacity of domestic prosecutions while supporting efforts to end impunity taking into account stability of nations.
Listening to the ICC prosecutor talk in Nairobi on the time frame the cases will take and the fact that he is interested on the acts as opposed to the circumstance that caused the violence, one is left gasping for breath awaiting the melodrama Kenyans will be subjected to in the years to come. Indeed it will be instructive to watch and see the individuals who ICC prosecutor will be seek to indict.
Kenyans know the genesis of the 2007 post election violence and unless the real culprits are charged the theatrics thereof will be tantamount to nurturing impunity and big men syndrome.
Since establishment of the ICC eight years ago the ICC prosecutor has demonstrated real weakness of not pursuing the perpetrators in position of powers, a case in point being DRC, Uganda, and Central Africa. Rather he has concentrated on pursuing rebels and political subordinates. Equally the ICC Seem not to have expanded its scope beyond Africa to Europe save recently informal investigations in Cambodia and Afhaganistan.
The implementation of the new constitution and establishing of effective institutions should override the blind belief that ICC is the Kenyans Messiah. The ordinary Kenyan citizens, the middle class, youth and reformist interest groups must come out and zealously articulate for implementation of the constitution.
Instant disbanding of the Kiplagat led Truth and Reconciliation Commission and replacement with a more credible and acceptable body armed with resolve and patriotism to move this country forward for posterity is pertinent.
The coalition government as current constituted should direct its energy to the implementation of the new constitution and relegate the agenda of prosecution of perpetrators of post election violence.
This government is a product of the post election violence and negotiations thereafter and therefore cannot objectively handle or cooperate with ICC in such agenda. Possibly the next government will be better placed to wrestle with the issues surrounding the 2007 political violence and its aftermath. There should be no regrets if the government withholds cooperation with ICC.
This country cannot be built on vendetta, vindictiveness and ceding of its sovereignty to some colorless foreign operatives while pretending to honour some international pacts. Gallants sons and daughters of Kenyans lost lives and liberty in pursuit of self governance so that Kenya can autonomously run its affairs and confront her challenges for well good of the citizens.
This can only be possible by nurturing and build strong institutions including the judiciary as envisaged under the new constitution. Kenyans leaders must be dynamic and ably handle challenges taking into account the changing times and political circumstances to accommodate best interest of the country. Having realized a new constitutional order,the ICC idea is superfluous particularly when it risk politicization.
It is indeed questionable why some foreign envoys whose countries are not privy to the Rome Statute are dictating to Kenyans the ICC methodology of resolving the post election violence. Kenyans should not dance with the devil while chasing elusive speculative justice at expense of national stability. A realistic and speedy solution to remedy the plight of the victims of post election violence is an urgent priority worth rethinking.
George N. Kimani, Nairobi (The writer is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya)
Prime Minister Raila Odinga's allies have been working overtime to try and get the support of leaders from Central, Coast and Rift Valley provinces and persuade them to join his team ahead of the 2012. Some of those involved are wealthy and influential business people, university dons and former powerful politicians and their task is to convince their kinsmen and friends that the PM is the right horse to back in 2012.
Attorney General Amos Wako's recent statements poking holes at the evidence collected by the Justice Philip Waki report on the post-election violence and down playing the success of the cases that the ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is preparing against the suspects has raised eyebrows. The questions that are begging for answers are: Has Wako now joined the bandwagon of those out to sabotage Ocampo's work? Is that the reason why the Witness Protection Fund has not been operationalised? And what does it say about Wako's loudly voiced commitment to fighting impunity?
The successful implementation of the new alcohol law may rest on the shoulders of the provincial administration whose officers — from the district commissioner upwards — have the final say on who gets an alcohol licence. The district commissioners are however reluctant to take on this new responsibility as they feel their positions are not guaranteed under the new constitution.
A well known PNU minister is reported to be using all means to try and keep off his growing number of creditors. The man is said to have mortgaged his salary to the brim paying off bank loans and other debts. It's rumoured he is only taking home Sh50,000 out of the close to Sh1 million that MPs are paid each month. He has exhausted his goodwill with parliamentary colleagues who have become tired of his borrowing and inability to pay.
An MP who is a member of one of the prestigious parliamentary committees reportedly received Sh10 million hush money from a senior Government official. Reason? The official wants the MP to keep quiet about a huge scandal in one of the ministries. An assistant minister from Western Kenya who brokered the deal is also reported to have received a "commission". The dossier on the underhand dealings in the ministry remain under lock and key—for now.
Some MPs opposed to what they see as ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo's 'meddling" could not hold back their very colourful language when they addressed a press conference at Parliament. They threw parliamentary decorum to the wind, ranted and raved against Ocampo whom they described as a "tyrant" and "devil guy."
An ecstatic acting City Mayor George Aladwa last night hosted a dinner for close to 300 family, friends and relatives. NO. It had nothing to do with recent attempts by some of his civic colleagues to have him confirmed as mayor. Aladwa was celebrating the fact that his dear wife was among the hundreds of University of Nairobi graduates.
A polygamous MP from Nyanza who is also an assistant minister is reported to be planning to divorce one of his wives. Reason? He claims she has been cheating on him with a senior security and intelligence officer.
An MP from the Coast has become the laughing stock of his colleagues after his car stalled in Parliament for the last two weeks. Reason? He is unable to purchase a car battery. His colleagues are wondering why the mheshimiwa cannot just fork out Sh30,000 to buy a battery for his expensive car.
A prominent Mombasa businessman has been busy on the phone calling politicians and senior government officials to find out whether his name has cropped up in the ongoing investigation into drug traffickers and dealers. Those in the know say it is just a matter of time before the man is put out of his misery as the list of suspected drug dealers will soon be leaked.
The CEO of a blue chip company is said to be grooming his wife to contest a parliamentary seat at the Coast. The man has made it a habit to drive down to the Coast to inspect the construction of their mansion as well as establish her credentials at the grassroots. The woman is expected to announce her intentions early next year.
Several bars have sprouted up along Hospital Road in Upper Hill, Nairobi. The bars, which are situated in a residential area and within metres of the Kenyatta National Hospital and the doctors quarters, have been running for several months. Complaints by residents to the Nairobi City Council, the National Environment Management Authority and all the relevant authorities have received no response. Reason? The person running the bars is a well connected businesswoman whom the authorities, including the police and the city council, are
afraid to confront. She is said to enjoy protection from the powers that be
A flamboyant MP from the Coast was on Tuesday spotted along Wabera Street in Nairobi. What was strange was that the man was right in the middle of the street, appeared to be in deep thought and was mumbling to himself. For ten minutes motorists hooted and swerved to avoid hitting the MP who eventually walked away to an unknown destination.
Junior employees at the Wundanyi district headquarters are up in arms against a senior official whom they accuse of demanding a kickback before he signs their imprest request. The junior civil servants are now asking the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission to come to their rescue as their complaints to their superiors are not being acted upon.
An ODM MP was escorted from the dais during Prime Minister Raila Odinga's weekend rally at Kibera after he started making statements which were at variance and inconsistent with the PM's views. Other MPs attending the same function said they were surprised when their colleague started making disturbing utterances. He was quietly asked to cut short his foul mouthed tirade and leave the dais.
Poor Prof Alloys Orago! The executive director of the National Aids Control Council has in his tireless efforts to set a good example to Kenyans and encourage them to know their HIV status been tested nearly 40 times this year alone. "I have become a guinea pig in HIV testing!" Prof Orago was overheard saying. He is a fervent believer that if 80 per cent of Kenyans know their status, the war against HIV will be close to being won.
PNU activist Stanley Livondo has been unlike his usual robust self. The man known for his high profile political activities has been making countrywide tours and meeting with youth and women representatives. Two weeks ago, he was in Mombasa where he announced sponsorship for Coast beauty pageants. After Mombasa, he toured Lamu and Kwale where he had lunch with about 1000 Form Three students in the county. Last week he was in Imenti and is scheduled to go to the North Rift this weekend.