I. THE MATTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT (ICC)
On Monday the 23rd of January the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II delivered a majority decision confirming charges for four Kenyan suspects over the post-election violence matter.
We would like to urge all Kenyans that whatever the case they must maintain peace and be tolerant of one another. Things should be left to due process and we must conduct ourselves according to the law.
II. DEMOLITIONS IN EMBAKASI, SYOKIMAU, KYA’ NGOMBE, EASTLEIGH, AND OTHER PLACES
The demolitions of residences and other properties in the above mentioned places have completely lacked a humanitarian approach and as a matter of fact have violated our new Bill Rights in the Constitution.
The strength of the state lies not in using bulldozers to leave children without shelter, but rather in how innovatively and creatively it addresses problems that it encounters.
Given that the people in Syokimau had been hoodwinked into purchasing state land through dubious schemes involving the connivance of government officials, could the government not have done things differently?
That someone may be occupying a piece of land illegally is no justification for treating them in so inhumane a manner. A strong state is identified though adherence to the rule of law, absence of corrupt practices, effectiveness in service delivery, and responsiveness to citizens.
Regarding the operation in Somalia, the following are crucial:
(a) It Should Not be Used an Excuse for Human Rights Abuses: The operation has already come
in as an excuse for human rights abuses and reneging on pay rise promises by the government.
That should not be the case.
(b) Tolerance: Equally, the operation must not be used as an excuse for discriminating against other citizens. It is unacceptable that some Kenyans are cashing in to ethnic bash fellow citizens of Somali ethnicity. This must be unreservedly condemned.
(c) Clear Exit Strategy: There is need for a swift and efficient exit strategy. It is important that
objectives remain specific, measureable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. Mission creep and
a lengthy stay with no end in sight must be avoided at all costs.
IV. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CONSTITUTION
The implementation is lagging behind and it does not seem a good thing that Parliament is only
resuming its sittings on the 14th of February 2012. Elections are just round the corner and there are crucial pieces of legislation that need to be in place by the 27th of February 2012.
(a) Legislation on Land;
(b) Legislation on Removal of a County Governor;
(c) Legislation on Vacation of Office of the Member of a County Assembly;
(d) Legislation to give Effect to Chapter 11 on Devolution; and
(e) Legislation for Revenue Funds for County Governments. One hopes that there shall be no
waiting like the last time round to then pass all these legislation on the 26th of February that is the deadline date. The consequence of that is that we end up with low quality legislation.
CMD-Kenya is particularly concerned about the stalled process of the appointment of the Registrar of Political Parties at a time when parties are required to meet the conditions for re-registration by the 30th of April 2012.
Civic education needs to be intensified. A recent opinion poll that we commissioned seemed to indicate that many Kenyans are more aware of the “Mututho laws” than crucial facets of our Constitution.
V. THE UP-COMING GENERAL ELECTIONS
We must avoid the mistakes of 2007-2008. There are new laws in place that could help to do just that, but above all we much inculcate a more ethical and responsible political culture.
Familiarity must be developed with constitutional provisions on elections, the Elections Act 2011, the Political Parties Act 2011, and the Campaign Finance Bill 2011. We need to inculcate a culture of constitutionalism and rule following.
The matter of the election date needs to be conclusively resolved. The High Court decision was clear on the matter of the life of Parliament but the part about the role of the President and the Prime Minister in relation to a decision on the election date in the event of the dissolution of the Grand Coalition has raised some issues that need to be resolved.
The matter of boundaries review is ongoing and we cannot afford another aborted attempt like that of the defunct IIBRC. It will be important to control our passions over this matter. It seems like some Kenyans have allowed their feelings to get out of hand already, if reports of some of the meetings around the country are anything to go by. Reason, fairness, tolerance, and objectivity must prevail.
Violence must be avoided. It is a pity that some people have recently died in connection with party elections. Political leaders must forcefully speak out against politically related violence.
Kenyans need to register en masse as voters and also vote en masse. Political parties must engage in positive mobilization towards those ends.
VI. DIFFICULT ECONOMIC TIMES
We must not forget that these are turbulent economic times, with rising costs of basic commodities that adversely affect the most deprived of Kenyans especially.
We call for more prudent and innovative economic and financial management. The actions or inactions of the Central Bank and its Governor seemed to have created a lot of concern lately. It is crucial that we register good economic growth rates so as to sustain the creation of jobs and other opportunities especially for our youth.
The statistics for rates of unemployment, especially among the youth, are very stark. But good growth cannot be achieved with the malaise one sees in some crucial sectors like energy, with volatility in fuel prices and problems in electricity. The ministries and departments concerned are called upon to pull up their socks.
Signed by Steering Committee of the Oversight Board for and on Behalf of CMD-Kenya
Hon. Justin Muturi, Chair Njeri Kabeberi- Executive Director
Alice Wahome, Vice-Chair
Penina Mwashegwa, Secretary
Benjamin Gitoi, Treasurer
Onesmus Mbali, Deputy Chair/Chair External Programmes
Rose Mutiso, Deputy Chair/ Chair Internal Programmes
Stephen Nyarangi, Deputy Chair/ Chair F&E
Hon. Kalembe Ndile, Vice-Secretary
Lorna Nanjala, Vice –Treasurer
Jacob Haji -Member
John Wamagata- member