Archive for May 2011

Kilome CDF Principles

The Principles Boss – Hon. John Harun Mwau practises in Kilome

Some of you will call it ignorance of surrounding, others will call it insensitive but after careful consideration I call it FOCUS.

Did you know that as the rest of the country was busy burning Kilome was a bee hive of activities? Besides the newly elected member of parliament Hon John Harun Mwau engaging a company to ensure that electrification was being installed at the time, he also mobilised hundreds of youth, to join colleges at this time as he was well aware that the rest of us were too busy with battles that were not our own and would not be attending college until Koffi Annan brokered peace.

After reading an article on a certain website titled John Harun Mwau, the King Solomon you will get to know and fall in love with earlier this month, I purposed to do a bit of investigation for my own satisfaction. A friend of mine who plays Golf with Mr Anderson Matheka, Managing Director – Treadsetters, agreed to arrange a meeting for me after I mentioned to him about this article and that its content bothered.

I needed someone who could shed some light to what I thought was a PR exercise. The article seemed to speak of a totally different person in comparison to the one we hear about on conventional media. I must say it was interesting, and somewhat refreshing to sit across a table with an individual who knew Msheshimiwa not from gossip or newspaper columns but on a one on one.

Mr. Matheka, started by laying down the 1st basics principle by which Mheshimiwa (Boss) lives by in as far as his vision for Kilome is concerned. I thought it a principle you and I knew yet am not sure we have practised it. For people to make wealth they have to earn money. He told me, in his inaugural meeting as CDF Manager with The Boss, he was taken through a simple calculation. If 10,000 young adults get work outside Kilome and every month each of these sends back home Kshs 2,000, monthly, Kilome will monthly attract a wealth of Ksh 20Million. This made me sit up.

2nd principle, the reason why Boss thinks electricity is key to development in Kilome is because it will ensure that those who have the money do not export it to neighbouring constituencies and or Cities. ‘If there is a welding outfit or facility in Kilome why would I have to incur the cost of transporting steel doors and windows from say Nairobi?’ Mr Matheka asked me. ‘If there is a salon in the local market why, will my sister who lives in Kaskeu need to go to Machakos to have her hair done?’ was his second question

I was starting to enjoy myself. Anderson, as he kept on requesting me to call him, requested his PA to hold all his calls to avoid interruptions. The 3rd principle struck me and left me dump founded. It is a biblical principle based in the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28.

If you are Bible reader I am sure you recall very well that the master rewarded the guy who had the five talents with and extra five, the guy with two, with two extra and the guy with one because he did nothing with his he was called lazy and evil and in Matt 25:29 it says, For the one who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough. But the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

Anderson told me of an incident that happened just after he took over the running of the CDF Fund. Boss called him into a meeting with some expatriates who were interested in investing in an orphanage in Kilome. He too could not believe, when Boss said NO. Then he told them, instead of investing that money in an orphanage invests it in a Polytechnic or a Tertiary Training Institution. And he gave them his reasoning, how much effort will it require to help one poor person. Isn’t it better to put your effort in helping those with potential and capacity to expand and in turn they can help pull the others up?

Strange as it may sound, it amazed me to think of our banking institutions they seem to follow this principle to the letter. . . . . I had never thought of the application of this parable this way but I must say I was excited. Was convinced that Boss was where he is because he sees things differently and besides we all know if people cannot understand you they will label you anything.

By the time we were tackling the 4th Principle I knew beyond a shoulder of doubt that, what the writer had stated in the article I had read was not only reporting a true finding but the sincerity of the heart of one man who has been grossly misinterpreted and misrepresented.

Yes, 4th Principle Kilome Constituency Development Fund is run like a business. Before funds would be allocated across over 250 projects meaning each project would receive barely enough, to paint one wall in a school for example. Currently the structure is such that only about 12 to 15 projects are dealt with in a year. The funds are managed by the society. Each and every division sits in a baraza and gives in order of priority 5 projects they would want to be considered for funding. The proposals are written and forwarded to Boss who in turn after going through approves the same and send them forward for funding.

Because I doubted that article, I felt it important to give my findings. Surely, this kind of prudence is worth accolade.


This IDP beast must be dealt an effective final blow

The plight of the internally displaced PEV victims is an ugly eye sore in the Kenya political landscape. The manner in which the state has dealt with the whole issue is sickening and inept. The recent resettlement debacle at Endebess and Mau Narok should be a wakeup call.
The government should rethink of a better methodology of dealing with the IDP menace otherwise this issue just like unemployment, poverty and general national discontent among the citizens remain a time bomb awaiting explosion
The IDPS are products of selfish political competition and diet of tribalism a delicacy of a click of Kenya's privileged political elites. The thinking that the government can unilaterally buy parcels of land for the victims, hound them in Lorries and transport them to unwelcome areas is misguided and irrational.
This unfortunate policy reminds one of the infamous colonial government Native Removal policies from the white highlands to Native settlements. However the colonialists were better of as they were executing their evil mission within an unpopular frame work of their then laws.

The country's constitution allows Citizens to settle anywhere within the land, however the rights of the inhabitants in specific regions must be respected. The government must avoid engaging in divisive and suspicious policies which overtly seem to provoke local communities in the proposed resettlement areas.
Such communities and their leaders must be consulted before settling IDPs in their regions so that the social economical and political implications of the resettlement can be appreciated. Indeed such openness cultivates mutual trust among a people coexisting together.
The IDP concerns must be addressed under a clear legal frame work as opposed to an amorphous rudderless actions propagated by the Ministries of the Special Programme, Finance and Lands.

The unending blame game between the concerned ministries in regard to availability of funds or purchasable land add no value to the plight of the IDPs.An effective way of resolving the IDP menace must be evolved. The Ministry of Special Programme seems to be a den of opaque policies.
Acts of dishing out money handouts and building materials may be beneficial but cannot effectively tackle the persistent manace.In the past the main beneficiaries of this misguided mission have been dubious characters either masquerading as IDPs and or associates of some corrupt provincial administrators and NGOs.
The office of the Attorney General must formulate a bill for debate and enactment by parliament to address the historic circumstances of the IDPs.The Bill should set standards of determining who qualify to be an IDP, prescribe suitable and relevant remedies to the victims, give directions on the manner of handling assets including lands previously owned by the IDPS among other things.

Indeed there is no reason why progressive members of parliament should not take a similar initiative through a Private Members Bill. Such legislation can establish a special court mandated to invite and adjudicate IDP petitions.
The court should give directions on when and how to close all the IDP camps, prescribe penalties to thieves of the IDP resources and likeminded imposters. The court ought to be limitlessly accessible by IDPs and be without elaborate procedural and technical emphasis.
It should set a reasonable time frame of receiving petitions from those who consider themselves as IDPs.Expidient adjudication of such petitions must be cardinal policy of the court
The special court on basis of the tendered evidence should ably quantify the financial, psychological and social loss of victims and prescribe equitable remedies and compensation.

Relevant NGOs should also court the spirit of seeking a permanent solution to the IDP challenges and liberate themselves from insatiable greed for donations uselessly utilized in rhetorical boardroom seminars on IDP topics.
It is backward to keep on pestering the Government to resettle the IDP while at the same time celebrate proceeds of the menace while administering hypocritical boardroom solutions.
The political class should also stop politicizing the IDP issue for selfish benefits. The IDP issue cannot be solved through political rhetoric's and cheap popularist utterances designed to gain political mirage.
The work of legislators is to enact relevant laws capable of confronting emergent social political challenges in the society. It is not in dispute that enacted laws are the strongest tools for social economic and political change.Harambees and handouts to IDPs may only bring solace for a day.
Buying communal land for victims by the government is ridiculous and makes one smell of a corrupt to benefit certain individuals. The government is the sovereign owner of hundreds of thousands of hectares of land lying idle in various counties.
It is pertinent that the identity of vendors of the resettlement project land be unveiled and costs of logistics thereto be disclosed. The government must respect the victim's right to settle where they would want to buy lands and the quantification of the terms of compensation should be determined through evidence in a special court.
The standard form of such compensation to the IDPs should be monetary. Upon compensation an individual IDP should be free to buy land at any area of choice. Heaping people together on IDPs settlement is not stigmatizing but amount to discrimination and ethnic profiling. This beast of IDP must be strangled and be removed from the face of the country.
George N. Kimani (The writer is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya)


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