Archive for February 2009

Lemuel Mwangi: An Open Letter to the Government of Kenya

I would not be utterly wrong by acknowledging the government of Kenya for having managed to convince Kenyans to buddle votes in their favor. I cannot overlook the effort many citizens made, battling the morning chill, footing for hours, and most significantly filling in that ballot paper that gives the privilege you are enjoying. I know Kenyan did the best they could to have the right people take the office. But are you the right people?

In the recent ‘Kenya we want’ .conference, there were a couple of loop holes that need to be stitched up. While we want a better Kenya, which is basically made of soil and vegetation, shouldn’t we have also had a conference of the ‘KENYANS we want’? Get me right. Kenyans not Kenya. While Kenya is a part of earth, Kenyans are a part of the world and therefore, I think it would have been more appropriate if we think more of the people who will eventually facilitate the natural sector to prosper.

Supposing we had a ‘Kenyans we want’ conference, Kenyans would have realized the many people who are a costly loss to the people that any benefit. We would have realized who Kenya would rather do without. There are many such people hiding behind the curtains of uninformed Kenya. And such people to begin with include but not limited to: Mungiki and other killer gangs, government officials who have been proved to have initiated any kind of violence, those who illegally sell any public property, those who sell grains that belong to the starving Kenyans, officers who are executing innocent Kenyans and most importantly, the government men who watch ignorantly as injustice is being committed. Before we think of Kenya, let us think of who makes Kenya.

I will encourage the government to view with the eye and not smell with the ear.


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Ministry of Finance Press Release: Response to Allegations of Impending Payment of Promissory Notes

1. Our attention has been drawn to articles appearing in the media alleging that the Government plans to honour two promissory notes worth Ksh 270 million in favour of Midland Finance and Securities Ltd. We wish to take this early opportunity to put the record straight and reassure Kenyans that the Government commitment not to honour any of the controversial angloleasing-related promissory notes, remains unwavered.

2. The reports that are attributed to MARS GROUP have no factual basis and are only meant to mislead the public for reasons best known to the organization. It should be underscored that this is not new information. Indeed, the same reports have repeatedly been appearing in the press over the last two years.

3. The truth of the matter is that no expenditure to Midland Finance and Securities Ltd has been appropriated and approved by Parliament in the budget of fiscal year 2008/09. This can be verified from the Estimates of Recurrent Expenditures for Fiscal Year 2008/09, which, for the information of those that may be interested, can be obtained from the Government Printer.

4. Kenyans will recall that in December 2007, the Minister for Finance issued a Caveat Emptor that was circulated both locally and globally to all financial and non-financial institutions, warning all parties that the Promissory Notes issued for the Anglo-Leasing contracts are fraudulent and that the Kenya Government would not honour any of them. The same Caveat Emptor was also advertised in the print media for wider reach. Indeed, there are other Promissory Notes which have matured since the Caveat Emptor was issued, but the Government has remained steadfast in its pledge not to honour them.

5. The motive of MARS GROUP and other similar civil society organizations that have been campaigning1 that the Promissory Notes are irrevocable and that the Government cannot avoid paying them is suspect, given the fact that the underlying contracts are fraudulent. Patriotic Kenyans should pose the question: "On whose side is the MARS GROUP and whose interest are they championing - for the Kenyan people or the holders of the Promissory Notes? Is this their way of safeguarding public funds and fighting corruption?"

6. We wish to reiterate that the Government takes great exception to some sections of the civil society and the media, whose focus is falsehoods and misinformation in the pretext that they are exposing corruption. This negative focus should stop.

7. Finally, we want to reassure the public of our resolve to win the war against corruption. In this context, Treasury, under the leadership of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, and working together with the other arms of the Government, is determined to resolve this matter for good.

In this regard, measures are being taken by all relevant government agencies to formulate a co-ordinated strategy in order to ensure the Government obtains the best outcome in the on-going arbitrations, legal suits and any negotiations that may be undertaken.

We commit to keep briefing the public regularly of the progress on this matter.


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Nyanza Strategic Recovery Forum: Statement on Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation

Introduction and Background

Nyanza Strategic Recovery Forum - a platform initiated by representatives of the Luo Council of Elders, religious community, civil society, professionals groupings and private sector to mobilize stakeholders to participate effectively in socio-economic and political recovery of the province and the entire nation from the negative impacts of the 2007 post election crises - recently hosted stakeholders' consultative forums and radio talk show aimed at engaging the people of Nyanza in objective and independent discussions on how each agenda item of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation is being implemented.

The stakeholders also discussed the emerging socio-political issues/challenges that impact on the implementation of the National Accord.

The following issues emerged:

National Accord

One year after His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki and the Right Honorable Prime Minister Raila Amollo Odinga signed and committed themselves, members and supporters of their respective political parties and all Kenyans to the National Accord, the people of Nyanza province feel disenchanted, troubled and outraged at the dismal performance and regressive tendencies of the two Principals, the entire Coalition Government and Parliament.

The ever rising incidences of impunity and corruption in government and parliament, failure to demobilize and disarm illegal armed groups and continued use of the police force to perpetuate violation of fundamental freedoms and rights of ordinary Kenyans, including the right to life, are sparks that threaten the uneasy calm in the country.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) hosted in Nyanza province are living in extremely painful and deprived situations as they are yet to be compensated and/or resettled. It is disheartening that political leaders are quiet over this matter and are yet to make any meaningful efforts towards healing and reconciliation.

The people of Nyanza are disillusioned at the real threat to peace and pursuit of fundamental reforms that the manifested lack of cohesion and incessant conflicts in the coalition government poise. The evident breach of agreement for "real power sharing" is disheartening.

The slow and indecisive tendencies towards fundamental reforms such as constitutional, institutional, legal and land reforms is a serious indictment on the commitment and capacity of the coalition government and parliament to provide means to implement broad reforms, including those that would address the factors responsible for conflict in the country.

The people of Nyanza province, who have borne the pain and suffering of socio-economic and political exclusion and marginalization by successive governments since independence, fear that apart from sharing power, politicians are not keen to fast track reforms.

Economic Development of Nyanza

Since independence in 1963 and mainly because of marginalization, Nyanza has been a province where there is dearth of formal sector industrial activities; where labour-absorptive capacity of the traditional subsistence agriculture and fishing sectors and the modern industry falls far short of the growth of labour force; where poverty relegates many people - especially the youth - to a life of deprivation and hopelessness; and where high dependency levels stifle savings and investment - the vicious circle that condemns majority of the population to perpetual poverty.

The pledge to revive collapsed industries is yet to be realized.

The Coalition Government and the political leaders from the province must make deliberate efforts and bold moves to work with stakeholders to reverse these trends that have been made worse by the impact of the post election crisis.

The Coalition Government and Members of Parliament from the province need to work closely with the people of Nyanza to mobilize official government funds, constituency development funds, bank credit, donor funds and group savings through cooperatives and investment clubs to buy shares in the local investment ventures such as sugar factories that are being privatized and to start viable microfinance institutions.

The culture of hard work, savings, investments and entrepreneurship must be revived amongst the people of Nyanza - especially the youth. To do this, explanations must be made and lessons drawn from the massive losses incurred by masses in the Luo Thrift and Trading Company and in the purchase of the Molasses Plant.

The coalition government should invest in the necessary physical infrastructure and actively mobilize investments into the province. Government departments in Nyanza and the provincial administration must be transformed from being alien organs for marginalization of the masses into systems that are sensitive and empower the masses towards economic development.

Democracy and Governance

The people of Nyanza strongly feel that corruption and impunity in management of national public resources and devolved funds, especially CDF and LATIF, should not go unpunished. For the province to grow economically and for equitable distribution of wealth to be entrenched, democracy, transparency and accountability must be guiding principles in local politics.

The masses must be accorded a chance to choose their party affiliations and to elect their political leaders without coercion or intimidation. Internal party democracy must thrive and the right to dissent must be protected jealously. Use of political violence to intimidate opponents must not be tolerated. Politicians should also listen and accommodate views from the elders, religious community, private sector and civil society.

Invasion of Migingo Island by Ugandan Forces

Finally, the people of Nyanza province are outraged that invasion of Kenyan territorial borders and take over of the Migingo Island in Lake Victoria by Ugandan armed forces continue unchecked by the Kenya Government. Fishermen and the local communities have been forced to flee the island following the departure of Kenyan police. The incident has sent panic of insecurity across the entire Lake Victoria with serious consequences on the over Kshs. 8 billion fishing economy.

It is surprising that despite his Oath to protect the integrity of Kenyan boundaries, the President who is also the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces maintains a deafening silence on the Migingo Island issue. The Island should be immediately restored to its Kenyans inhabitants and sufficient security accorded by the Government.

Inter-Faith Procession and Prayer Event to Mark 1st Anniversary of the Signing of the National Accord

In pursuit of God's spiritual guidance for the people of Nyanza and the entire nation as we mark the 1st Anniversary of the signing of the National Accord, the Inter-Faith Network will host an inter-faith procession and prayer event on 28th February 2009.

The Procession will commence at St. Teresa's Cathedral Catholic Church, Kibuye at 9.00am and move along Jomo Kenyatta Highway up to Jomo Kenyatta Grounds where the Interf aith Prayer Event will be held.

All are welcome.

Delivered in Kisumu this 26th Day of February 2009

Rev. Fr. (Dr.) Charles Oloo K'Ochiel - Inter-Faith Network
Ker Riaga Ogallo - Luo Council of Elders
Jude Ragot, Esq. Advocate Laws Society of Kenya - Kisumu Chapter
Betty Okero CSO Network for Nyanza and Western
Prof. J. B. Okeyo VIRED
Joshua Nyamori Nyanza Youth Coalition
Rose Waringa Precious Tears Initiative

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Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports - Department of Youth Training


To maximize the full potential of the youth through participatory engagement that serves their needs and aspirations in building a better Kenya


The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was established in December, 2005 to champion the mainstreaming of youth agenda in all sectors of the economy.

One of the Ministry's core functions is to rehabilitate and refurbish the Youth Polytechnics with a view to empowering the youths with market driven technical and entrepreneurship skills.

This function is housed in the Department of Youth Training.

The Department of Youth Training is mandated to empower the youth through:
  • The provision of appropriate and quality Vocational and Technical Training in Youth Polytechnics.
  • Development of Policy guidelines for Youth Polytechnics
  • Integrate Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Technical Industrial Vocational and Entrepreneurship (TIVET) training in Youth Polytechnics.
  • Promote healthy living among the youth through life skill training in Youth Polytechnics
  • Promote Environmental Conservation Education Programmes in Youth Polytechnics.
  • Promote co-curriculum activities in the Youth Polytechnics through sports and drama.
  • To improve youth participation in decision making process
  • To develop and strengthen entrepreneurship, leadership and life skills among the youth
  • To develop and review the Training Policy
  • To equip youth with relevant skills, knowledge and attitudes for the labour market.
  • To improve transition within the education system and address needs of marginalized youth
  • To support and strengthen alternative learning systems
In order to realize the above objectives, the Department of Youth Training has embarked on several intervention measures which include;
  • Development of twelve (12) new market driven Youth Polytechnics curricular
  • Rehabilitation of physical facilities of Youth Polytechnics
  • Provision of Tools and Equipment to Youth Polytechnics
  • Provision of pre-service and in-service training programs for Youth Polytechnic instructors in areas of pedagogy
  • Provision of quality and control mechanisms in the implementation of Youth Polytechnic curricular
Since its inception two years ago, the Department has achieved the following:
  • Equipped 239 Youth Polytechnics with tools and equipment country wide
  • Undertaken 53 projects (construction of workshops, hostels and computer laboratories) in various Youth Polytechnics across the country to completion.
  • Deployed 500 qualified instructors to Youth Polytechnics countrywide
  • Inducted 160 instructors on pedagogical skills
  • Developed new curricular for 12 courses which include (Information and Communication Technology, Building Technology, Motor vehicle Technology, Fashion Design and Garment Making, Hair Dressing and Beauty Therapy , Electrical and Electronics Technology, Metal Processing Technology, Food Processing Technology, Agri-Business, Appropriate Carpentry and Joinery, Leatherwork Technology, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning)
  • Developed curricular support materials in all the courses
  • Piloted the new curricular in selected youth polytechnics
  • Developed a Guidance and Counseling manual and workbook for youth polytechnics
During the financial year 2008/09, the Ministry got a budgetary allocation for Subsidized Youth Polytechnic Tuition Scheme .

This programme aims at enhancing access in technical and vocational training and increasing enrollment in the Youth Polytechnics. The programme targets all trainees in public Youth Polytechnics

The Ministry in collaboration with Kenya Institute Of Education( KIE) has developed curricular for four (4) new technical courses; Refrigeration and Air Conditioning; Agri-Business,; Leatherwork Technology and Food Processing Technology). To address the challenges facing the youth, the Ministry has developed Guidance and Counseling programs in Youth Polytechnics.

The Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports , Hon. Prof. Hellen Sambili EGH will on 27th February 2009 launch Subsidized Youth Polytechnic Tuition Scheme , establishment of Guidance and Counseling programs and the piloting of the four new courses in Youth Polytechnics Curricular in Iten, Keiyo District, Rift Valley Province.


Kenyan Christian Friends of Israel Objection to His Excellency Ahmadinejad's Visit.

We, Kenyan Christians Friends of Israel register our strong objection to the emerging alignment of our government to governments of Iran and other non-traditional partners of Kenya of similar persuasion.

This radical shift clearly appears to be developing without a clear foreign policy or guidance outlining our direction, values and national interests of Kenya as a nation.
The latest in this trend is illustrated by the visit of Iranian President His Excellency Mahmoud Ahamedinajad.

All background information in the public domain put in consideration His Excellency Ahamedinajad could have been a visitor we could do without. President Ahamedinajad's visit introduces a severe conflict of interests with Kenya's long held traditional allies like the US and Israel.

President Ahamedinajad is on record calling for the annihilation of Israel from the map of the world. He has repeatedly stated his wish to see a world without the "Zionist State" (Israel). He has publicly denied the holocaust and sought to delegitimize the historical existence of Israel as a nation.

As a nation comprising of 80% Christians, the views and the stand of such a man should be rejected with all the contempt and hatred they evoke. Iran has just passed an apostasy law that supports the persecution of Christians. These trends should concern all of us.

Israel is the Cradle of Christianity. The past, present and future of the Faith is inherently tied to Israel and the Jewish people. This invitation therefore displays the Kenya government's insensitivity to the majority of its people.

On another note, President Ahamedinajad poses a real existential threat to Israel and the whole world by his unchecked expansion of nuclear weapons programms.

As a nation, Kenya has suffered several terrorist attacks and has reasons to be wary of such a man who is on record for openly backing terrorist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. When the US Embassy in Kenya was attacked, it was Israel that came to our help Kenya rescue the victims. Israel has also trained many Kenyans in many areas of development and security.

Based on the above, we earnestly petition our government to seriously reconsider this threatening trend. We must be careful not to alienate friends who have loved and helped us over the years. We petition our government not to sell our birthright.

Margaret Aduoi
Jacinta Makokha

On behalf of
Christian Friends of Israel (Kenya)


Lemuel Mwangi: Sight From Afar - Simple Roots, Big Tree and Dangerous Fruits

Twenty three year ago, an out-crop, planted into being by the ravage of a senior and his offspring junior, stacked its roots into the fertility of a nonpaceful but otherwise peaceful endeavor of a young and thriving state. Though fungi in the essence of reality, the tick was conscious that when a parasite is not thrown out of the life concoction sooner, its time would come when the once powerful host would not have the muscle to authorize the sulking tick out of grasp. 

Aware that a living things spend the better part of life growing up, it would be nothing less  of reality that whoever saw the sight of life first was also certain of the first position in encountering the permanent dimness at the end of the world. Without life and the capacity of holding authority long gone, the R.I.P are no more than resting in peace while those who transmit life hold on to the power sword.

It was this belief that one ‘miraculous’ child sanctioned its own birth, not in the womb, not even a woman nearby, not in a world of diversity; but rather to two human who are rightful of the trouser right from birth. By then, ‘gay’ was nothing more of name and where it mattered, it only brought into focus the return of the satanic power. And without the involvement of the ‘human multiplying biology’ issued at creation, a vigilant and binocular focus into the future of a thriving but trembling country was the simple ingredient from which the now ‘shadow and parallel’ government of Kenya originated. 

At first, it was a simple experiment, but with the continued success, the two technicians sought more and more experiments, with each bearing a higher notch of deadly intricacy than the preceding. But why one more, then another and another experiment?  Simple judgment is well capable of servicing the question mark. Another tree species is ruling the forest. Too bad. The reason has the astonishing maneuver of a ‘realistic’ ideology. History is rather more important here. 

Slightly more than two decades prior to the twenty three years back-which make a total of more than four decades from the current moment- was the time when the country first wore a piece of own rule after the colonizing intruders lost grip of the power. Not everybody fought the war, and for those who fought, some were more battling than others. Those who fought more got the first slot at the helm, not by coincidence but human naturalistic reasons. And that forms the baseline of belief that central Kenyan is the power heave that threw the colonizers away and therefore, these people ‘have more rights’ in the leadership which present the irony of democratic rule in Kenya.

Whether we want to belief it or not, one thing is palpable, something that Kenyans ought to stop ignoring. It is the opportune time for honorable citizens to confront the authenticity that Kenya is no longer run but the hypothetically senior citizens of the august house. There is a authoritarian behind the curtains who decide but leaves the decisions for others to publicize.

 Take a closer look. In the very eyes of the police and in front of administrative gun muzzles, people’s heads are ghastly detached from their bodies. I cannot help wondering whether the authorities run blind when ‘mungiki’ is in town only to regain eye sight later and massacre guiltless youths when the factual killers are long gone. These days, we have more ununiformed nongovernment officers on our roads, collecting levies in the sight of the hawk-eyed ‘Kiganjo’ graduates. Imagine this gang has been ‘banned’ by the government but can still blossom even at the very door steps of a most senior public servant. But what can the government really do when as we you are reading this; there are more than one million member of the mungiki. This is just a percentage of the Kenyan population, but the number is petrifying. 

To qualify to be a mungiki citizen, you have to know how to drink human blood, eat human genitals sausages, and most important, know how to detach a head from the body that hold it above the ground.  But what is rather astounding is that all armed forces in Kenya combined, form a fraction of the mungiki forces and they big men are busy doing nothing about it; they would rather take a nap in the benches of the same parliament we elected them, them form useless commissions after people have been massacred. 

There is no commission that gives life back. I even doubt if the government has a large armory to outdo the mungiki’s. With an estimated 70 percent of Central Kenya population being on Mungiki’s side and the remaining thirty percent being slaughtered on a daily basis, I doubt if Kenyans will have another opportunity to exercise electoral democracy. The gang map is widening day by day, and what are we doing about it?

What evidence do you have to prove that your brother is not a mungiki? What is the count in your family that makes the more than two third percent of the mungiki. And what percentage of Kenya belongs to Mungiki, assuming that other similar gangs like Taliban are not in count. Let Kenyans beware of the three or million murderers who walk in the shadow of a sleepy government.

Kenyans! Sight is not limited to the presence of eyes. It would be appropriately sensible if the government and Kenya as a whole react to this nagging and dangerous issue. If we do not dust off the issue right away, we might have a hard time trying to move the muddy mountain that is rapidly heightening. The Kenya government seems to have forgotten that ‘Wars begin where you will but do not end where you please.’ The government of Kenya has already had the will. But will it have the pleasure?

By Lemuel Mwangi - United States

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Micah Cheserem, New CMA Chairman: What a joke

Everyday, the grand coalition circus is proving that Daniel Moi is the best president Kenya ever had and probably have.

The recent circus is the appointment of Micah Cheserem as the new chairman of the board of Capital Markets Authority taking the position previously held by Professor Waruinge who resigned. Micah Cheserem is a former central bank governor under Moi regime expected to safeguard trillions of shillings invested at the Nairobi Stock Exchange and restore investor confidence.

Going by Micah Cheserem's admissions during his first press conference, the Kenyan investor is in for very interesting times.

Since 2001 when he exited from the public scene, he has been busy farming enough not to know who Stellar Kilonzo is or how she looks like, despite her sitting a few chairs from her. Micah Cheserem has no idea what the CMA board does but he will just go in.

"Prof Waruinge resigned and noone knows why. When you see a lion run out of a bush do you just jump in. But I have been asked to do it so I will just get in", Cheserem quipped.

Cheserem is now being hailed as a reformist bank governor who reined in the Goldenberg scandal. Are we admitting that under Moi we had the best monetary and fiscal policies and no new blood can do a good job as Cheserem can.

The age question and generational change issue keeps coming up as well. But that does not hold water if the new generation consists of Ababu Namwamba, Mungatana, Ruto and such ilk.

Is the Kibaki-Raila government so inept that they keep giving a thumbs up to the Moi era, which was showed the door through a hail of mud at Uhuru park? Whats wrong with these two? Is it an admission that Moi was a better ruler than Kibaki and Raila combined that they have to keep recycling his men and ideas.

To sink this concept further, Moi once said that Wanjiku is not up to the task of making a constitution and recommended that a team of experts, local and foreign, be entrusted with the process. The then opposition thought Moi was dumb. Today, the grand coalition is busy putting a team of experts to give Kenya a new constitutional dispensation. Wanjiku is forgotten.

Kibaki and Raila cannot accuse Moi of bloodshed, political intolerance and tribalism. It is worse under them. It is not uncommon to hear Kenyans muttering that even if Moi's politics was bad, at least he did not play politics with Unga (maize and maize flour), the staple food of many a Kenyans.

God save Kenya

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Minister Killed In 'Operation Bikini Succession'

Minister killed in 'Operation Bikini succession' the inside story, By a Correspondent in Nairobi, as published in "Weekly Topic" of Uganda, September 6, 1991, (Reproduced verbatim)

Through errors of omissions and commission the late Kenya's minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation Dr. Robert John Ouko caused his murder on February 12, 1990.

Ouko's problems are said to have started in 1983 when he fell out with Hezekiah Oyugi the then Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President in charge of Internal Security and Provincial Administration. Oyugi was then a Provincial Commissioner in Moi's home province of Rift Valley and was said to enjoy powers beyond even his boss, Permanent Secretary J. Mathenge whom the former later succeeded. Having been business associates in a number of commercial ventures, Ouko and Oyugi parted ways. The immediate consequence was the demotion of Ouko from the glamourous Foreign Office to an obscure Labour Ministry in October 1983. Ouko's relegation was due to advice from Oyugi, who is the only personality from Nyanza who enjoys Moi's total confidence.

In the next four-and-a-half years, Ouko was kept "on his toes". He shuffled around in every reshuffle to ministries of labour, industry and economic planning - an average of a new ministry every 18 months. Meanwhile, Oyugi and his mentor were busy looking for a replacement in Ouko's Kisumu Rural Constituency. The only man who was ready to challenge Ouko anytime and anywhere was Joab Henry Onyango Omino, a popular former civil servant and a successful businessman-cum-sports administrator. Moi and Oyugi were not ready to back Omino since the latter had the "undesired" qualities of being popular and principled. But while Ouko was unpopular on the domestic front, internationally he had as a career diplomat, cultivated a likeable image and had many useful friends. It was on these friends that his temporary political survival and also his eventual demise would hinge.

Thatcher's role

As a family friend of the Thatcher's, Ouko saw his only hope on the assistance of Margaret Thatcher, then British Prime Minister, who had unlimited sway over the Moi government. So, when the election campaigns began and he saw his political coffin being made, Ouko flew to Britain and spent a night as the guest of Dennis and Margaret Thatcher in their country home. The purpose of the visit was to prevail upon Moi to return Ouko. The "Iron Lady", having her own imperialist designs in Kenya, went beyond what Bob Ouko had asked for. Her country having propelled Moi to presidency and her, personally, having sustained him, Thatcher was once again shopping for Moi's successor, as the Kenyan dictator is said to suffer from acute leukemia and cancer of the throat. Maggie was also aware that Moi was going to fire his Vice President Mwai Kibaki. She, therefore, not only asked Moi to rig Ouko to parliament, but also to appoint him (Ouko) the Vice President.

Moi complied only partly with the directive. He indeed rigged Ouko back to parliament despite Omino's landslide victory. As for the number Two slot, the Kenyan President had his own scheme. He was paving a succession path to the presidency for his nephew and long time manager of Moi's personal estate, Nicholas Kiprono arap Biwott. Instead, Ouko was handed back the Foreign Affairs portfolio. The Number two post went into the hands of Josephat Njuguna Karanja, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi, who had recently been imposed upon the people of Mathare as their Member of Parliament. Karanja's tenure as the VP was shortlived as he was removed in very humiliating manner only twelve months later. George Kinuthia Muthengi Saitoti, an associate professor of topology and former chairman of the Department of Mathematics at the University of Nairobi was appointed to take over the vice presidency.

Maggie Thatcher and her mentor Ronald Reagan (and later Reagan's successor George Bush) were not amused by Moi's refusal to take their orders. They were also not comfortable with Moi's continued association and reward for people who massively looted public coffers of billions of dollars. Whenever Moi sent Ouko on the numerous begging missions to solicit more aid, the donors showed concern about the diversion of the aid money to foreign secret accounts in Europe. Among the leading looters were Biwott; Saitoti ( who had headed the treasury since 1983); Eric Kotut, the Governor of Central Bank of Kenya (CBK); Kipng'eno arap Ng'eny, the Managing Director of Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC); Arthur Magugu, once the Minister for Finance; Bethwel Kiplagat, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs; Benjamin Kipkorir, Chairman Kenya Commercial Bank; Sam Ongeri, Minister for Technical Training; Mark Too (Moi's son who is Deputy Chairman, Lonrho) and Hezekiah Oyugi, sarcastically known as "the Governor". As at the end of 1988, estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) showed that more than US $4 billion was held in overseas accounts by Kenyans. Other sources indicated that in the first half of the year 1988, alone, US $175 million was siphoned out of Kenya into foreign accounts. Ouko confronted Moi the facts and that was his error number one. Moi was not amused by this hard evidence. This was in October 1989. Order was immediately issued that Ouko be shadowed round-the-clock.

The Washington 'debacle'

Things came to a climax when Moi and his team including Ouko visited the US on January 1990. The main purpose of the visit was to persuade President Bush to prevail upon the Congress not to suspend aid to Kenya. The Congress and a number of donor agencies had threatened to freeze assistance to Kenya due to Kenya's well known record gross violation of human rights, diversion of aid money to individuals' foreign accounts, corruption and lack of accountability in the government. While in Washington, Moi and his delegation met three congressmen Donald Tayne, Tonny Hall, and Paul Simon in an attempt to persuade them to convince the Congress not to block a US $60 million military aid Moi was soliciting from the US. They also held talks with high-ranking officials of the World Bank and IMF. The talks, however, did not bear much fruit and only ended in Moi being given stiffer conditions to fulfill before any assistance could come forth. A meeting with the US Assistant Secretary of State in charge of African Affairs, Michael Cohen was equally fruitless. Interpreting his president's public humiliation as a failure on his (Ouko's) part as a Foreign Affairs Minister, Ouko used his experience in the world of diplomacy to try and arrange a face-saving private meeting between Moi and Bush. In such a meeting, nobody would know whatever transpired between the two Heads of State, and would believe whatever is reported. He, therefore, secured an audience with the US Secretary of State James Baker and managed to persuade the latter to prevail upon President Bush. Ouko was, thus, invited to meet Bush.

The three - Bush, Baker and Ouko - are said to have met for forty minutes before President Bush agreed to grant Moi an audience, in the presence of Baker and Ouko. The meeting took only ten minutes, according to reports. During the ten minute talks, Moi is reported to have been given a number of conditions for continued assistance, including putting someone with knowledge of economics in charge of Treasury as opposed to topologist Saitoti; democratization of Kenya's politics; release of all political prisoners and improvement of Human Rights record; making Ouko his Vice President as well as ensuring that money smuggled out of Kenya was brought back. Moi was not particularly pleased with the apparent rapport between Bush and Ouko.

After the meeting, Moi addressed a news conference, where he was in-undated with a barrage of what he considered "embarassing" questions like torture of suspects at Nyayo House, mass imprisonment on trumped-up political charges, street shooting by the police, discrimination of ethnic Somali Kenyans, persecution of the clergy and rampant corruption. Moi had no ready answers to these questions. Once again, in a bid to save his boss from public embarassment, Ouko intervened time and again to "elaborate on His Excellency's self explanatory answer" and articulately, albeit untruthfully, answered the questions. The journalists in attendance were impressed by Ouko's articulate interventions and, as is typical with American scribes, some remarked that ought to have been the president. That was Ouko's mistake number two. Moi could not hide his rage. To be upstaged twice in half a day was not something he was accustomed to. Ouko's other detractors, chiefly Biwott and Oyugi, did not waste away this opportunity.

After that Press Conference of February 2, 1990 Biwott is said to have even sarcastically addressed Ouko as "Your Excellency the President". Moi on his part emotionally declared that he did not want even to set eyes on Ouko and that he would not travel with his foreign minister in the same plane. Ouko was, thus, left in Washington. Worried by the inexplicable behaviour of his President Ouko took the next flight and arrived in Nairobi two days later, only a few minutes after Moi's arrival. He infact found Moi still being entertained at the airport and asked his escorts who had come to the airport to meet him to show him where Moi was being entertained ("Kenya Times", October 23, 1990 page 18). That was Ouko's third blunder.

Nyanza exile

The following day, February 5, 1990, Ouko went to State House, Nairobi, understandably to plead with Moi to forgive him whatever sins he (Ouko) might have committed. His worry was even more compounded by the fact that upon his arrival at Jomo Kenyatta Airport, his passport was impounded "for adjustment". Instead of forgiving him, Moi ordered his Foreign minister to go to his Nyanza home and never to appear in Nairobi unless and until called back by Moi personally. Ouko left State House a shaken and confused man and extremely worried. From State House he went to his office along Harambee Avenue via his lawyers, Oraro and Rachier Advocates. From his office, he is reported to have taken his confidential file , bid his staff "Kwaheri ya kuonana" and left. He was convinced that he was going to be relieved of his ministerial post. The same day in the evening, Ouko, his wife and two youngest children went to Moi's Woodley residence, along Kabarnet Road. He was of the illusion that on seeing his two young children, Moi the "lover of children" Moi have pity. The mission badly aborted and Moi was uncompromising in his decision to send Ouko to Nyanza. Ouko is said to have been silent all the way as he drove his family back from Woodley to his Loresho Home. On arrival at Loresho, he found his driver and one of his security escorts waiting. One of the security escorts, George Otieno, had already been withdrawn. The other two, including driver, Joseph Yogo Otieno were under instruction to leave him as soon as (Ouko) arrives at his home in Nyanza (Nyahera or Koru).

On February 6, 1990 a meeting chaired by Biwott and attended by Saitoti, Kotut, Kipng'eno arap Ng'eny, Noah Too, Frederick Koskei (Saitoti's Aide de Camp) and Bethwel Kiplagat was held at Midwest Hotel, Kericho. It was at this meeting where the decision to deal with the 'Ouko problem' was taken. Noah Too was appointed to head the project. Moi was briefed about the meeting at his Woodley house on February 8 or 9 (Our informant could not get the exact date) in the evening around 9 p.m. Another meeting was held at Nyayo House, Nairobi, 24th Floor on Saturday February 11, 1990 where specific tasks were assigned. It was at this stage that Oyugi, Julius Kobia (the PC Nyanza), John Anguka (the DC Nakuru) and Philip Kilonzo (Commissioner of Police) were indoctrinated into the conspiracy, which had been codenamed "Operation Bikini Succession" - Bikini being Biwott's initials (BIwott, KIprono, NIcholas). Ouko, meanwhile went to the official residence of Peter Lagat, the Kericho District Commisioner, who is close kin of Biwott's on February 9 to ask Lagat to plead with Biwott to save Ouko's neck. He had arrived at the Kericho DC's house at 7.25 a.m. Lagat phoned Biwott who told him to leave Ouko's matter alone.

Ouko's worries multiplied as his earlier attempts to have Oyugi plead with Moi for him had only drawn the remark: "If you have collided with Nyayo, 'shauri yako'. I give you only two days". On Saturday February 10, 1990, while officiating at a function organized by Lions Club held at Kisumu's Imperial Hotel, Ouko attempted to "apologise" publicly by narrating how His Excellency had "articulately" answered Kenya's critics. Ouko was not a keen church goer. But on Sunday February 11, 1990, he surprised his family when he went with them to AIC Koru church and even asked for special prayers after volunteering to preach. During the week, Ouko had tried to get help from people like Kibaki and Dalmas Otieno, but they were not of much help. He, therefore, decided to fall back on Oyugi - this time asking the latter to provide him with a GK vehicle for his escape. Oyugi promised to oblige - and he indeed came in a white GK mercedes ! Ouko's mistake number 4 and 5.

Closing In

By Monday February 12, 1990 Ouko was properly isolated and focused on. By the directive from Managing Director Ng'eny, telephone links with Ouko's Nyahera and Koru home had been cut. His security escort had long been withdrawn and all his movements were closely monitored. Biwott and Kobia had been spotted together in Kisumu that Monday afternoon while Noah arap Too, Frederick Koskei and other high ranking security personnel were seen at Kapkelion in a white Subaru (KTN 865), light blue Volkswagen Kombi (KQC 039) and green Audi (KQC 041). Between 3 and 4 a.m. on Tuesday February 13, a white Mercedes Benz car from the Nyanza PC's office pulled at the gate of Ouko's Koru home. The occupants introduced themselves as Security Intelligence officers who had been sent to call Ouko as the president wanted to see him urgently. Within less than 2 minutes there were more than 15 men in GSU uniform at the minister's gate and all security personnel attached to Ouko had been whisked away. They were severely warned not to "talk". The only person the abductors forgot to lock up was Ouko's housegirl, Sebina Were who was sleeping in one of rooms in the main house. She was woken up by an unusual bang as the abductors dragged Ouko away. She rushed out, only in time to see the white car moving out of the main gate.

As he was confronted, Ouko asked his captors, who had told him Moi wanted to see him, for time to change from his pyjamas. Back in his bedroom Ouko wrote down the names of his captors, who included Oyugi, Biwott, Kobia, Koskei and Noah Too. He folded the note and put it behind a wall picture.

Missing genitals

Ouko was driven straight to Nakuru with a brief stop at Kericho, at Shell Petrol Station along the Kericho-Nakuru highway just opposite Kericho Police Station. One motorist who knew Ouko saw him and went greet him. He was immediately chased away but after he had gone close enough to notice that the minister was handcuffed. This man later wrote an "anonymous" letter to Ouko's Koru address, giving a clue as to how the New Scotland Yard detectives would trace him. Ouko was reportedly killed at Nakuru with a pistol shot after intensive torture. His naked body was later dumped at Nakuru mortuary, with genitals missing. By a twist of fate, a nurse at Nakuru General Hospital, who was a family friend of the Oukos recognised the body and telephoned Christobel, Ouko's wife. Mrs. Ouko immediately began enquiring from the government about the whereabouts of her husband. Alerted by this enquiry the murderers rushed to the mortuary and removed the body. They sprayed it with highly corrosive chemicals and then flew it in a Police Airwing helicopter for dumping at Got Alila, a few kilometers from the late minister's home where they "discovered" it two days later. The dumping of the body was done on Wednesday February 14 and the spot remained guarded by GSU personnel until Friday February 16 at 12.30 p.m. when an announcement was made through public address system at the scene that Ouko's remains had been found.

When this writer visited the scene at 3.00 p.m. he found the police had cordoned the spot and people, including the press, were kept about 20 metres away from the spot. No vegetation was burnt at the spot where the body was found despite the fact that the body was burnt beyond recognition. As Commissioner Kilonzo, Oyugi and Too collected the remains on a stretcher, Oyugi personally lit fire on the spot where the body had been found. Nobody understood the significance of this act but our guess is that the Nyanza butcher wanted to burn the grass and vegetation around that spot to sell the story that Ouko had shot himself and burnt himself there. Two days later, Oyugi issued a what he termed the preliminary findings of police investigations which tended to suggest that Ouko had committed suicide. What followed were massive demonstrations demanding that the truth be told. The government, through Moi himself, promised that "no stone would be left unturned" to bring the culprits to book.

Troons fears

Moi asked the British government to send him detectives from the New Scotland Yard hoping this would lull the people as he bought time for emotions to cool down. Troon (John) the leader of the team and his two colleagues began their work conscientiously briefing the press at every stage. The government was not impressed. Within two weeks of the detectives' work, the state ordered the Scotland Yard sleuths not to issue any more press statements. Later, Troon felt he could not proceed further without interviewing Biwott. On three occasions when they had appointments with the Energy minister, Biwott simply failed to turn up. Meanwhile, through the British High Commission, Kenya was asking Mrs. Thatcher to prevail upon the New Scotland sleuths to write their report without mentioning "sensitive" personalities. Mrs. Thatcher is reported to have been reluctant to help in this, fearing the consequences should the British people know. After several attempts to interview the 'Kabarak Syndicate' failed the British detectives saw no option other than packing their bags and returning home. Troon refused to come to Nairobi to deliver his incomplete report unless he was guaranteed of his security as it was rumored both in Nairobi and London that the "Kabarak Syndicate" was planning for him an "accident" the Kenya style.

As soon as the report was delivered to Attorney General Mathew Guy Muli, the government announced that the report was not to be made public. This was a 180-degree turn from the earlier assurances that the government had nothing to hide and would make the entire report public. To appease people – or so the Nairobi regime deludes itself - Moi has appointed a Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the "mysterious disappearance and subsequent death" of minister Ouko. Another attempt at diverting people's attention from the truth behind Ouko's murder was the arrest and torture of Ouko's younger brother, Barrack Easton Mbajah, a former District Commissioner for allegedly murdering his brother.

Ouko it would therefore seem fell victim to the bloodthirsty murderers of the Nairobi regime.


William Ruto, the Newest Kenya's Demigod

Yesterday's flop of the censure motion against Ruto illuminated Ruto to a demigod status in Kenya.

He has joined the untouchables club in Kenya. Complete with the monies and idolistic cult following necessary to manouvre any political hurdle placed in his way to an iron fist chiefdom. Unless things change drastically, and I mean, changes that wipe Kenya off the map of Africa, Ruto will be the man to beat in 2012. If things go his way, as they are, William Arap Samoei Ruto will be the fourth president of Kenya. Forget his allegedly dark past and his cookie jar adventures with the public coffers since 1992 or his pending land grabbing court case, Ruto transcends all that.

Even Koffi Annan knows this and has delayed handing over to the ICC in Hague, the secret list of masterminds, of which Ruto is rumoured to be in the top ten. Noone, including Annan, Kibaki and Raila, wants to rattle Ruto at this time when he is illuminated and charged ready to fight any bull and heifer fights.

This is a man who elicits fear, pride, hatred, love, passion and makes blood gush when his name is mentioned. Irregadless of which side of the Kenya political divide you are in, you are bound to feel any of this emotions. Ruto is the current total man in Kenya making Biwott a miniature of the term total man. Raila's cultic following cannot match Ruto's and you cannot place Kibaki or Kalonzo in the same scale with Ruto. Kenya is stuck with the guy for the next 20 years.

Ruto mounted a spirited defence in parliament where Dr Bonny Khalwale had moved a censure motion against him citing the ongoing maize scandal and famine which has claimed the lives of some Kenyans. Ruto is a suave, brilliant and calculating politician whose troops disoriented any proponents of the motion. There were talks of death threats, money changing hands and night-long secret meetings. We are back to the Nyao-era or we actually never got out of it. It was clear Ruto had sealed all the loopholes to his political oblivion to the extent that Dr Khalwale was unconvincing and confused compared to his strarring performance during the Amos Kimunya censure motion.

Bonny Khalwale's debate was weak and uncoordinated and the appearance of Martha Karua made Bonny look like a hired mercenary. The sad bit is that Bonny's intention on face value were for the good of the nation, a jab at impunity and corruption, and intended to raise the bar of accountability and responsibility of public servants to the Kenyan citizenry. All this was trashed in less than four hours. Kenya ina wenyewe and Ruto has worked his way to the Kenya's shareholders register.

The events of the last two months in Kenya just shows that Kenya is heading to its fate fast and furiously. The first and second liberation were fruitless and barren. Anyone thinking that the current leadership will bring ANY change in Kenya or vision 2030 will be realised is mistaken. We will be treated to more circus and political shenanigans without substance. Kenyans will continue to die like flies for political expediency. Unemployment rates will soar. Poverty, disease and hunger will be Kenya's best friends. The gap between the rich and poor will be like the Zimbabwean inflation. There is no hope for Kenya as things deteriorate by the day. This is when we need a total man like William Ruto to take us there.


Who Killed Dr Robert Ouko?

It is 19 years since the then Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Robert Ouko's charred remains were found at the foot of Got Alila, three days after he disappeared from his Koru home in Kisumu.

The then President, Daniel Arap Moi, promised that no stones will be left unturned. Investigations by Scotland Yard pointed that senior government officials were involved in the murder mystery and resultant cover up. To date the murder still remains a mystery.

What is even worrying is that the then opposition and reformists campaigned on the premise of resolving such political murders when they get into power.

Six years after the anti-Moi crusaders took over, there are no signs that Dr Robert Ouko's murderers will be officially known and brought to book.

Where is Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and the likes of James Orengo? Dr Robert Ouko's spirit is crying for justice.

What is the difference between them and those in the Kenyatta and Moi regime who worked day and night to ensure Tom Mboya, Pio Gama Pinto, J M Kariuki and Robert Ouko murderers are protected from the long arm of the law?


Raila's Life Under Threat?

Who would want Prime Minister Raila Odinga dead at this time in Kenya? The Kenya newspapers have sneaked in the story amidst the crisis prevailing in Kenya and have been reporting this over the weekend, but no headlines yet.

Over the typical weekend political rallies this issue was revisited in Bondo, as the Odinga's commemorated the life of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. His elder brother, MP for Bondo and assistant Minister for Finance accused police commissioner Major General Hussein Ali of not beefing up his younger brother's security detail.

The source of this information is an alleged police communication intercepted by the media alerting police chiefs to beef up security and be aware of threat. Police spokesman Kiraithe has since declared the communication as fake. So is Raila's assasination plot fake?

Some terrorists out there are out to assassinate Raila Odinga in a helicopter mishap like the one that happened to Sudanese leader John Garang', Mirugi Kariuki, Bonaya Godana and Kipkalya Kones among other Kenyan MPs. For the complex reason that the terrorists want to register displeasure Kenya's cooperation with the US on the war of terror. Why Raila? Why this time when Obama is dismantling Guatenamo bay chambers?

The Nairobi Star on Monday reports that Raila's security has now been beefed up from the current 46 security officers.

The last Raila death threat claims came in the runup to the 2007 general elections. No reports were made public of what the investigations to the threats revealed.

While such death threats should be treated with the seriousness they deserve, Raila is also known to go to great lengths to seek attention and public sympathy as well as divert public attention from entangling ropes that could easily hang him.

We hope this is not another "Boy Cry Wolf" story.

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Ndung'u Wainaina: A Foreign Umpire Is What Tribunal Needs

Serious inte¬national and domestic crimes committed in Kenya against the people during the aftermath of the 2007 elections must never be allowed to escape accountability and wheels of justice.

The lack of political will to facilitate consensus and build confidence in the legal framework and constitutive instruments to establish a Special Tribunal for Kenya led to a devastating defeat of the Constitutional Amendment Bill, 2009, in Parliament.

The International Centre for Policy and Conflict is asking Dr Kofi Annan and the Panel of Eminent African Personalities to consider seeking a United Nation resolution to establish a treaty-based hybrid tribunal for Kenya.

It is critical at this juncture, for Annan and his team to robustly engage directly with the two Principals with view of negotiating an agreement to establish a treaty-based tribunal. The current one is under stranglehold and capture of extreme partisan and divisive political arrogance and interests. An independent umpire is of necessity to guide the process moving beyond where it forestalled.

The establishment of the special tribunal has been hi¬jacked, razed and poisoned by partisan politics, which have turned the whole process into a political exercise at the expense of justice.

A UN resolution would enable Dr Annan and his team to negotiate an agreement with the government to create an effective, impartial and independent tribunal consistent with the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence. Such a tribunal would command the trust and confidence of the Kenyan people.

It would be based in Kenya, but with the direct participation and supervision of the international community. A purely domestic tribunal established under an arrangement like that agreed to by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on December 16, 2008 cannot work.

It was a grave mistake to leave the responsibility of forming such a critical tribunal in the hands of the two protagonists without an independent umpire.

Kenya remains a society plagued by violence. An independent, efficient and impartial trial could help establish an understanding of the importance of due process of law to replace the current cycle of impunity and violence. It is also important for people to see that leaders are not immune from prosecution.

Many Kenyans believe that this lack of accountability is one of the most enduring legacies of impunity. Fair and credible prosecutions of the grave crimes committed by state agencies and non-state actors are crucial to entrench accountability and a sustainable peace. Establishing an independent and credible tribunal goes further than bringing justice to the perpetrators of horrendous crimes.

It has a tremendous impact on the justice system in Kenya. If Kenya's Tribunal is established transparently, it could establish incontrovertible truth and provide justice for what happened.

A substantive treaty-based hybrid tribunal for Kenya should be pursued, however, with adequate inbuilt guarantees.

It cannot be controlled by the government, or it would lose legitimacy, as is happening in the Cambodia Extraordinary Chambers. A joint trial between the government and an international legal entity would be legally sound, politically effective, administratively and financially cost-effective and still enjoy high moral standing.

If no quick action to create an effective tribunal is taken, Kenya could lose its chance to bring perpetrators to justice. The biggest threat to security in Kenya is the prevailing culture of impunity.

The periodic cycles of extreme violence that Kenya has undergone cannot be broken unless sufficient political will is demonstrated that perpetrators of gross violations of human rights will be held accountable and made to pay for their heinous acts. The willingness to engage should compel Kenyans to strengthen partnerships to combat impunity and establish justice and the rule of law, thus setting solid foundation for human rights, security and development.

Ndung'u Wainaina is the executive director of the International Centre for Policy and Conflict or

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A wake-up call to Kibaki and Raila

The first report of the consultant firm established to update Chief Mediator Kofi Annan on the progress of the coalition government is a shocker.

It indicts President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for failing to deliver on many of the issues they appended their signatures to.

The report issues a gloomy warning of the country breaking up if the two principals do not take charge of the reforms they promised to implement to ensure there is no repeat of the 2007 violence.

Kenyans have been patient and have given the two enough time to re-focus their attention to addressing the issues that affect them directly.

It is a sore point with many that some of these issues seem to have been put on a back burner as the two lurch from one crisis to another.

This management through crisis does not bode well for the country. We want them to deal
decisively with the problems of squatters, corruption, transitional justice and the new constitution.

They will have themselves to blame if the country breaks up.

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Wycliffe Muga: No Obama Magic to Boost Tourism

What would you say the new American President and the Kenyan Prime Minister have in common?

Well, quite apart from tracing their paternal lineage to the shores of Lake Victoria
— according to some, they are in fact "cousins" — I would say they are both learning that it's one thing to be an effective campaigner, and quite another to govern.

If you have been following American politics over the past few weeks since President Barack Obama's inauguration, you will know that the days when he could solve all his political problems by giving great speeches, or otherwise unleashing his legendary charisma on large crowds, are long over.

Most significantly, his attempts at "post-partisanship" — working closely with the rival Republican Party on matters of national importance — have actually proved to be a barrier to his single greatest priority of getting the US economy back on track.

And our own PM, Raila Odinga, is not having it any easier. If a motion of censure against Agriculture minister William Ruto passes, then it will appear to Ruto's supporters in the Rift Valley that the PM has deserted their man in his hour of need. And this is the sort of thing not easily forgotten when the next General Election comes around.

In the circumstances, what had seemed at one point to be a political masterstroke — the of ODM's so-called "Pentagon" — will suddenly appear to be a very short-sighted strategy indeed.

Ruto's elevation as one of the five leaders in the Pentagon raised his profile above that of other Rift Valley politicians, including some like the Industry minister Henry Kosgey, who were in Cabinet in the 1980s, when Ruto was a mere university student.

Now we have a situation in which Ruto's political fate is so closely tied up with Raila's. Ruto's fall is certain to be a devastating blow to the PM's future political ambitions.

Back to President Obama. I am amazed at the number of Kenyans who should know better, who nonetheless desperately anticipate an "Obama dividend".

What is usually said is that with a man whose father was an indigenous Kenyan now in the White House, the world in general and America in particular, will now take a beneficial interest in Kenya, and. this interest will translate into a massive upsurge in tourist arrivals.

I suspect that part of the reason for these expectations, is that when South Africa elected its first majority-rule government back in 1994, the country for the first time had visitors in the millions, and some referred to this as the "Mandela dividend".

What those who seek to draw a parallel between these two situations forget is that South African tourism did not rely solely on Mandela to get this sharp increase in tourism numbers.

Aware that apartheid, which had kept away many potential tourists, was on its last legs, South Africa invested heavily in a campaign to attract tourists.

Intensive and sustained "destination marketing" is key to increasing the number of tourists.

There is really no other way.

And this can be seen from those very enticing and colourful TV advertisements that appear on CNN over and over again, from the tourism authorities of Malaysia, India, Greece, Croatia, and so on.

Providing money for the Kenya Tourism Board to conduct such a campaign to sell Kenya as an exotic tourist destination is what will deliver results. Sitting back and waiting for a sudden flood of tourists, just because Obama got elected the US President, is not a tourism growth strategy.

And it might be important to note here that this board is one which has distinguished itself in its seriousness of intent over the recent scandal allegations of money improperly spent.

Unlike in many such scandals where the entire board of directors is often found to have been involved in shady deals, in this case it was the board itself which called in anti-corruption investigators, when evidence of wrongdoing by the management came to light.

And its not just tourism. In any of the economic sectors on which Kenya has built its hopes for prosperity, an empirical examination of the key factors that influence the outcomes we seek is far more realistic option than hoping for some Obama-inspired miracle which certainly will never happen.

Wycliffe Muga comments on topical issues.

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Jerry Okung'u: Don't We Know What We Want?

Fellow Kenyans, this is an open letter to President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga. I have decided to share it with you because the issues I am about to raise with them concern you directly.

As I sat there in that stuffy hall at Kenyatta Conference Centre, I wasn't sure if this meeting was appropriate in the middle of so many tragedies and scams, for which the public was blaming the present administration. What caught me by surprise was the lineup of key speakers at the opening ceremony.

I wondered aloud whether, once again, 2,000 poor Kenyans were gathered for lectures from the very leaders they were blaming for the mess we are in.

As we listened to Planning minister justifying the efforts that went into putting the event together; as we listened to contributions from former president Moi, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Raila and Kibaki in that order, trying to spell out what was wrong with us and how we must deal with our present predicament, I wondered aloud why I needed to listen at all to the same talks I had heard over and over again in the same venue.

Then I recalled that in 2007 during the campaigns for the last General Election, we heard well articulated ODM and PNU party manifestos at the same venue.

These manifestos spelled out the ills afflicting Kenya and prescribed a cure for them. Kenyans listened for the better part of 2007 before they went to vote.

The fact that the three main party leaders are now in a coalition is the more reason they should not again have asked us to tell them what is wrong with Kenya or what Kenya we want.

They have answers in the three manifestos, which I am made to believe were merged at some point.

More importantly, the fact that this conference was the third such gathering with the same theme since 1962 was proof enough that the event was an ill-conceived exercise at a time when Kenya was plagued with all manner of calamities.

Had the organisers been a bit more prudent; they would have first gone to the archives, dug up the resolutions passed in 1962 and 1980 to see whether or not those resolutions had been implemented. They were not.

Again, it was foolhardy to gather 2,000 Kenyans of mixed background — some highly educated while others with bare minimum of education — to share in a forum that was predominantly elitist.

On another note, was it wise to bring Moi to speak of his 24 years of mayhem during which he ground the economy to a halt? Was it necessary for him to make that cruel joke that for 24 years he was the bus driver, he knew that back there in the bus, there were pickpockets stealing from Kenyans? Why didn't he stop the bus to flush them out?

Having said that, following is a list of some of the things I know Kenyans want done to restore their country to the Kenya they want:

Kenyans want their country back.

They are tired of politics of greed and insensitivity.

They want leaders who keep promises and resign from public office if they are involved in public scams.

They want a Kenya that has two chambers of Parliament to guard against One Chamber dictatorship, public exploitation and greed.

The Cabinet should be composed of 21 competent professionals who are not MPs.

Kenyans should be free to recall non-performing MPs .

Kenyans want to see that corruption, theft of public funds, police killings and other impunities are punished for real in real time.

Kenyans want John Michuki to head a special Ministry of Roads, Transport, Internal Security and Lawlessness

They want a Kenya where private land ownership is restricted to a maximum of 100 acres.

They want a Kenya where impunity is not allowed to deplete our Central Bank and forex reserves.

They want a Kenya where justice is blind.

They want a Kenya where bank interests and fuel pump prices are controlled.

They want a Kenya where bribing voters should earn a politician a life sentence.

They want a Kenya where MPs and all constitutional office holders pay taxes.

Jerry Okungu is a media consultant who comments on topical issues.

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Grain Bulk Handling Saga

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Agriculture minister William Ruto have sharply differed over whether or not the Grain Bulk Handlers Limited should continue enjoying the monopoly of handling bulk grain at the port of Mombasa.

While Ruto wants more firms to be licensed to undertake similar activities as those of GBHL, Raila has persistently defended the status quo arguing that GBHL was still under-utilised. But Ruto maintains that competition was necessary and that the government should license as many other firms as necessary, saying currently the other handlers in the market were too small effectively giving GBHL monopolistic status.

And a fortnight ago Ruto rebuked GBHL management after the firm placed advertisements in the media defending itself against a range of accusations. The agriculture minister told the firm's management that it had no business commenting on whether or not Mombasa needs a second bulk grain handler.

The minister said the decision to license other players was the prerogative of the government. "Grain Bulk should not try and go to lengths to explain an issue that is essentially for the government to determine," Ruto was quoted saying immediately after GBHL had placed advertisements in the daily papers titled "Lies peddled against GBHL in the media".

A tender by the Kenya Ports Authority inviting bids for a second grain handler late last year was suspended at the eleventh hour through the instigation of Raila in a move that has since raised hue and cry among players interested in investing in the sector.

However, the insistence by Ruto against Raila's wishes to have a second bulk grain handler would further raise political temperatures in ODM, which of late is staring at imminent split.

Mvita MP Najib Balala in whose constituency GBHL stands was also said to be in support of a second bulk grain handler. The owners of GBHL do not see eye to eye with Balala. It is instructive to note of late Balala is not in good books of the PM. He hardly attends his functions.

There are speculations that soon rather than later Balala will make a major political move with the pontential to shake ODM to its very foundations. Other rumours also have it that Balala may be kicked out of the cabinet by Raila and replaced by Kisauni MP Hassan Ali Joho who of late seems to have mend fences with the premier.

Ruto is said to enjoy good rapport with the executive Chairman of Mombasa Maize Millers Mohammed Islam Ali who the Minister recently appointed to the board of trustees of National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB).

It is imperative to note, Mombasa Maize millers (MMM) is one of those firms monopolizing the milling industry in the country.

Mombasa Maize Millers controls 33 pc and has eight mills spread across the country. In Nairobi, it runs the former Kabansora Mills located in Industrial area. In Kisumu, the Mohammed Islam Ali group has acquired Swan Millers while in Nakuru, it has bought Grain Milling Corporation.
Back in Nairobi, MMM is also in-charge of Ex-SupaFlo Mills while in Mombasa where it has its headquarters, MMM acquired Ex-Milly, and runs its original plant.

Confirmed reports by Weekly Citizen also reveal that MMM has in its tag, ex-Bayusuf Grain Millers located in Nairobi.

Pembe Group follows with is second with 18 pc while Premier also with two mills enjoys 16 pc in the milling market.

Analysts in the industry reveal, the combined capacity of MMM, Pembe and Premier stands at 3,320 metric tonnes which adds to 67 pc.

It is emerging, other directors of MMM have been pushing Ruto to okay a second gram terminal the reason being that they are importers, millers and distributors and the only link missing to monopolise the grain trade industry is handling at the port.

The other MMM directors caught in the saga are Ahmed Bin Ali and Ali Islam Ali. They are known to entertain Ruto whenever he is in Mombasa.

Dealers in the field openly state that world prices, government taxes and local handling costs affect flour prices in the shops.

Kenya has in the recent past imported the bulk of its requirement of wheat, as land under wheat acreage is insufficient to produce the quantity required. Over the past year mere have been
significant reductions to the cost of wheat arriving at the port of Mombasa.

However, much as is the case for fuel prices, these reductions have not been reflected in changes for the consumer.

In 2007 there was a shortage of wheat on world markets, leading to scarcity and resultant price increases. The price of flour in the shops soared, reaching around Sh 120 for a 2kg bag.

In 2008, the supply side of world wheat production improved, and wheat followed the trend downward of a number of other commodities. Coupled to this, the Government intervened to reduce import duties on wheat, a move which aligned Kenyan millers more closely with their regional competitors.

Has this cost reduction benefited consumers? An analysis of relevant data indicates otherwise.

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William Ruto's Woes

Although he is making a mighty effort to portray an image of one unflapped by the avalanche of accusations roaring down his way, Agriculture minister William Ruto is deep inside feeling the steady tightening of the noose around his neck.

And with only two or three MPs showing signs they are willing to stick their necks out for him to the bitter end, it is increasingly becoming apparent that it is just a matter of time before the man finds himself on the drying line.

This because unlike the abstract affair of the Waki Report that has left Ruto running scared albeit with a room to wriggle out, the maize scam matter has what those levelling the charges against him say is tangible and damning evidence enough to make his noon look like night.

The onslaught on Ruto over the maize scandal intensified last week, causing the minister quite some low spirits and depression. Sources close to the minister have since intimated that he is now blaming his woes on political differences within ODM.

They say on Wednesday when Ikolomani MP Bonnie Khalwalwe now commonly referred to the "people's bull" due to his fight for the poor against corruption by the mighty, Ruto called a senior employee at his Amaco Insurance based at Trans National house and is said to have directed him to find out who had leaked e-mail communication between Al Champdany Industries Limited and Silas Simatwo, a senior manager at the insurance company.

The minister is also said to have called Joshua Kulei a former powerful member in the Kanu regime last week and discussed the maize scandal. Controversy surrounds who owns Milling Corporation, a company that was also allocated maize by the National Cereals and produce Board (NCPB). The firm is based in Nakuru.

It has further emerged that one of the beneficiaries of the maize scam has bought a Kenya Airways hostess Diana Chebet a sports Range Rover. Chebet who stays in Lavington was in the news recently on matters relating to Nigerian drug dealer Ken Ombino who was deported from the country.

Back to Kulei, it is imperative to note he was one of ODM financiers who channeled his money through Ruto and even backed Samuel Mwaita to defeat Gideon Moi in Baringo Central Parliamentary Seat.

That Ruto is worried is well explained when come last week he called a press conference to defend himself.

In a statement released to the press the minister claimed all maize released by the NCPB was paid for and not a single bag was sold without the authority of the board of trustees.

Ruto further claimed he was neither a director nor employee of Amaco and the company did not inquire, tender for supply any gunny bags to NCPB.

Amaco Insurance Company was formed when Ruto enjoyed State House links during the reign of former President Daniel Arap Moi. It had on its list of clients big time government institutions including the military.

Shareholders of the company include Ruto and Joubert and Borman Limited a company in which Ruto and his wife own majority of shares. Another shareholder is Silas Kibet Simatwo, a well known wheeler dealer.

The said Simatwo the man in-charge of running Amaco was out to get Kickbacks from the gunny bags deals at the Minister's behest. The amount involved in the deal ran into millions.

Weekly Citizen has obtained a copy of an e-mail from AI champdany Industries Limited who claim to be a trading house recognized by the government of India. It is addressed to M/s African Merchant Assurance Company Ltd Kenya. Attention to Silas Simatwo the Managing director.

It states, "Ref our telcom, as desired by you we now offer for 90 kg bags instead of 50kg bags requested earlier as under. We offer 2 million jute bags 112 CMs x 67.5 HD100 gms/bag plus/ minus 50gms 76x28 threads per DM. 3 blue stripes heracle sewn SOOpcs/ bale at USD 0.97 per bag...... Our offer is valid up to 31/7/2008 for your reply.

It is signed by a one N Pujara and copied to the High Commissioner of India to Kenya.

Weekly Citizen has established that it is true the said e-mail was received by the Indian High Commissioner. It is dated 26.7.2008.

Come July 30, 2008, Simatwo wrote to Pujara as follows, "Dear Mr. Pujara, our conversation refers. I am in receipt of your fax which contains your company price guide. Other Indian companies have given their prices to Cereals Board.

One of the most competitive of them is already in Nairobi for negotiations. They already have an agent in Nairobi who has approached me to front for them. I would however prefer to use my vantage position to work directly with you which is why I would prefer you urgently come over to Nairobi. This morning I had a meeting with both the minister and the Cereals Board MD. We resolved that I ask you to urgently come over so that we finalize the deal. Kindly expedite."

Questions are being asked as to why Simatwo popularly known as SS who is not a civil servant was brokering the deal.

Two, why Ruto and NCPB Managing Director Prof. Gideon Misoi held a meeting with SS lobbying AI Champdany Industries to supply gunny bags.

Documents in our possession show 10 companies were interested is the supply of gunny bags to NCPB. They were Budge Badge JT, AI Champadany Industries, Anglo India Jute Mills Ltd, Naffar Chandra Jute Mills, Ludlow Ltd, Giant Industries and Hawrah Mills Company Ltd.
To make a kill from the tender, Ruto and Prof Misoi manipulated the board not to offer the tender to the firm with the best price.

It is imperative to note Hawrah Mills Company had offered the price of US dollars 0.965 which was equivalent to Sh62.725 then. AI Champadany quoted US dollars 0.97 that is Sh63.05. The same was quoted by Murridhar Ratanial Exporters.

It is emerging, brokers with Ruto's blessings made sure companies that had oiled palms were awarded each to supply 1 million bags.

They were Howrah Mills, Murlidhar Ratanial and of course AI Champdany industries which is said to have parted with a hefty amount.

Come to maize allocations the puzzle of the missing 1 million bags is still lingering. It is worth noting, as per June last year, the strategic reserves had 2.6 million bags but Ruto is only able to account for 1.6 bags.

Documents we have raise queries on the manner in which companies were allocated maize. For example B2K Ltd based on Cannon Towers II 5floor Bandari Wing Mombasa in a letter to NCPB sales manager dated 15"1 September 2008 states. 'This is to confirm that we will pay for the 7500 bags allocated to Agrillion Solutions. We therefore request the sales order be written to Buzeki Enterprises Ltd. The cheque reference number is 102833.

It is emerging that companies, that were allocated but unable to pay transferred to others.
Ruto's personal Assistant Simeto Oscar on 5th November 2008 wrote to Prof. Gideon Misoi on Ruto's official Letterhead stating: "Ref: purchase of 1000 bags of maize by Robinson Mbugua Nene. The letter reads, "The Hon. Minister for Agriculture requests you to assist Robinson
Mbugua Nene purchase 1000 bags of maize from the National Cereals and produce Board."

Afritrack Support is one of the briefcase companies that were allocated maize. Controversy surrounds the manner in which Wasso Investment Ltd with box number 608-00517 was awarded 20,000 bags of maize.

A letter signed by Rehema G. Galgalo reads, "We wish to buy 20,000 bags of maize from
your organization. We run a milling firm in Isiolo district and due to persistent drought there
is acute food shortage in the region."

Instead of the 20,000 bags asked for, only 10,000 bags were approved. Uhuru Kenyatta is said to have pushed for the allocation.

Kapsoit Millers of Box 598 Kericho was allocated 10,000 bags as per request of one Robert Kipyegon.

Shabab Millers who claim to be based in Northern Kenya with branches in the entire region with headquarters on Uganda House, Kenyatta Avenue Nairobi requested 50,000 bags. A one Ahmed Elyass is the Managing Director.

Agrilion Solutions with no physical address giving address number 48994 Nairobi through a letter signed by Willy Bett was allocated 10,000 bags. Part of the letter Bett wrote to NCPB reads, "We subcontract the milling services to companies which we have longstanding relationship."

On 1 September 2008, Vicky Chebet Kones using her links in the political world request to purchase 5,000 bags of white maize.

Her controversial letter states, "I would like to purchase 5,000 bags of maize to be distributed to needy Kenyans in Baringo and West Pokot. If my request is accepted, I will collect the maize from the most convenient depot. Kindly assist me in any way possible."

Five thousands bags were approved with the MD NCPD approval. She sold the maize instead of distributing to needy Kenyans.

Another fake company that benefited is Kunouz (K) Ltd. Abrahim Limo the Managing Director wrote on 24th July 2008 requesting to shift point of collection from Bungoma to Kitale depot after he failed to get a buyer miller.

The letter reads," Further to your letter of allocation Ref. NCPD/SALES/19/V/503 of 8000 bags Ex-Bungoma silos. We wish to kindly request for change of allocation point to Kitale depot.

Sir, we are being compelled by our logistical reasons to request for the same. We are ready, willing and able to pay for the entire quantity at Kitale prices and if possible be 50 Kg bags instead of 90Kgs."

The request was approved. But perhaps the most controversial was the request by Western Regional Millers Company Limited. Through a one PMM Musindi the chairman, they requested for the purchase of 50,000 bags of maize.

On 28th August 2008, Saino Commercial Agencies through the director James C. Koske was allocated 20,000 bags. Koske is said to have sold the maize to Southern Sudan. Koske dealings were facilitated in Kericho.

Saino Commercial whose address is Nairobi but has no physical location claims in the request letter to be a reputable company dealing with dry foodstuffs.

A note on the request letter says "Hon. Ruto called and was approved.

Other millers caught in the saga are Mamlaka Millers Ltd based in Athi River, Summer Millers of Ruiru, Jakisa Distributors, Mrs Esther Kigo of Box 6164 Nairobi, Kilalani Millers, Nangat Trading Company of Saidi Ahmed, Ruiru Company associated with Praful Shah, one Nichorus K. Mwenda of Mem Millers and Chemco feeds (K) Ltd of Nairobi Kariobangi North with request letter signed by Gakere Mwangi the general manager.

Uasin Gishu politician Jackson Kibor through Mafuta Farm was awarded 100,000 bags raising eyebrows. It is suspected that Kibor entered into maize business deal with Ruto on 50-50 share basis. He sold on behalf of the minister to avoid conflict of interest. Oscar Sudi a close ally of Ruto is also caught in the scam.

It has also emerged that aware the issue was to boil in parliament, Ruto working together with Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba and Cherengany MP Joshua Kutuny worked on a list that Namwamba was to table in the house.

The idea was to shift the attention of Kenyans from Khalwale's list by introducing the First Lady Lucy Kibaki to the maize saga. But the acheme exploded in their faces.The move did not work well as Namwamba who had been hosted in Ruto Eldoret North Constituency found himself in trouble.

By late last week Ruto and his allies, Namwamba and Kutuny were blaming top ODM luminaries for using the maize scam to bring down Ruto due to his rising political star.

They are asking why Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his deputy Musalia Mudavadi have not come out in open to defend Ruto either in parliament or in public function.

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Mutahi Ngunyi Opinon on Political Intrigues in Kenya

Mutahi Ngunyi is a renown political commentator and advisor. He writes a popular column on the Sunday Nation titled; The Last word. Today was Mutahi Ngunyi's turn to be interviewed by jeff Koinange on K24.

On Martha Karua's Spirited Fight for a Local Tribunal

Martha Karua is extremely pedestrian or mischievous to suggest that small fish will go scot free as big fish head to the Hague. Just like the Rwanda's village Kachacha courts, post election rapists, those who torched houses and murderers can effectively be handled by the magistrate courts in Kibera and Eldoret. In fact, if they know these criminals what are they waiting for?

Kibaki Should fire Mutula Kilonzo

Mutula Kilonzo proposed that the two principals (Kibaki and Raila) should resign over the failure to marshal troops in parliament. Kibaki should have fired Mutula immediately. If it was Moi, Mutula would have been fired over the 1 o'clock news.

On the Grand Coalition so far

The Grand Coalition is a fellowship of thugs and currently is only between the two principals who will stick together no matter what.

Kenya is facing imminent collapse, the sooner this happens the better, we fight and sought each other out, so as to have a clean slate in 2012. The process of political decay which is necessary. Even in the bible, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground a plant cannot develop. For Kenya, things have to break before they can be ok. There will be a few dark patches ahead and after that there will be light.

Maize Corruption Scandal

Politicians who got maize and sold it out of the country are sub-human, probably with a tail if they were to be examined. If corruption has become a fourth factor of production (in addition to land, labour and capital), they should just legalize it. The government promised Kshs 52 maize flour is nowhere to be seen and prices has skyrocketed to kshs 150. Revolutions are about food and these politicians a precipitating one in Kenya. For example, the french revolution. The gods make blind those they wish to destroy. They may have blinded these leaders in order to destroy them.

Motion of Censure on William Ruto, the Minister for Agriculture

This is nothing but political nonsense. Even if it was to pass, Ruto will step aside, a commission will be set up, findings will not be made public and just like Kimunya, president Kibaki will reinstate him and ask what are you gonna do about it? The best censure should be from the community which tells such a minister we have nothing to do with you.

Generational Change needed in Kenya

Jeff Koinange's and Mutahi Ngunyi's generation (the 40s) has to rise to the occasion. Just like the "Rika ria 40" (the 40 ageset) which was a rebellion against the wazees of the time in the manner they were dealing with the colonialists. If this ageset failes, a demagogue may emerge, move the masses but a bit cranky upstairs, for example, like what happenedn in history of Europe that lead such leaders like Musolin and Hitler.

On Moi

Moi offered leadership, Kibaki leadership woolly and woolly to the extreme, no leadership at all. Raila has become woolly as well since been let into the inside. For example, in yesterday's vote in parliament where 93 Mps opposed Raila and Kibaki this means that these 93 Mps have no leader.

On the Hague

It is a good option. Our leaders are cowards though they look like great people. Mention Hague to them and they tremble as it affects their families for example their children are out there. They may have to be deported back if their fathers are sent to the Hague. It is a good psychological war to these leaders. In terms of speedy justice, it is a not a good option. Kenyans should however not put their faith in the Hague e.g. there has only been 4 arrests of the 12 warrants of arrests issued by ICC. The 8 remaining 4 have since died and 4 are still at large.

On Annan

Mutahi Ngunyi holds the view that Annan should go back to Kumasi or wherever he came from. It should have been better if we had a Kenyan solution. For now, however, we need international intervention. Annan should tell us on 1 march who are on the envelope so that we can relax. Then those who want to hide behind their communities can do so and those communities who want to fight for their leaders can do it/ They should be allowed to do so, so that this 'hiding behind a community' can be fixed once and for all.After all, violence may not have the same impact it had in January 2008 since the two principals are bossom buddies.

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Koffi Annan hints at ICC Kenyan trial

Chief Kenya mediator Kofi Annan has suggested that he might send a list of suspected election violence ringleaders to the International Criminal Court.

He said he would obey the "spirit, letter and intent" of a commission of inquiry into the violence.

The commission delivered a sealed list of suspects to Mr Annan and said it should be sent to the ICC if a local tribunal was not set up by 1 March.

Parliament on Thursday rejected a bill to establish the special court.

BBC News

Some 1,500 people were killed after political and ethnic rivalries caused clashes around the country following the disputed December 2007 elections.

Many MPs said they did not have faith in Kenya's justice system and that those involved in the violence should be tried at The Hague.

Mr Annan, who brokered a power-sharing deal to end the violence, said he was disappointed in the parliamentary vote.

"I believe it is also a blow to efforts aimed at ending the culture of impunity in Kenya," said the former UN secretary general.

Under parliamentary rules, the bill cannot be re-introduced to parliament until six months have elapsed.

Cross-party opposition

The BBC's Anne Mawathe in Nairobi says the government could possibly ask for more time to establish the local tribunal.

After Thursday's vote, Minister for Nairobi Metropolitan Development Mutula Kilonzo, who was part of the mediation team that crafted the power-sharing agreement, said the president and prime minister had let down the country and should resign.

President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga attended the session of parliament to lead the vote in favour of the bill.

The bill required the support of 145 MPs to be passed, but only 101 MPs voted in favour.

The opposition to the bill came from MPs who support both Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga.

But Justice Minister Martha Karua said the rejection of the bill was a "collective failure".

"We have abdicated responsibility as a National Assembly. When we say The Hague, we are saying only those who bear greatest responsibility are going to be tried. We are saying the rest should go scot-free," she said.

Widespread clashes broke out after Mr Odinga said the results of the December 2007 election had been rigged in favour of the president.

After weeks of talks led by Mr Annan, in February 2008 the rivals agreed to share power to bring an end to the violence.

In December 2008, the Electoral Commission of Kenya, which presided over the controversial poll, was disbanded by parliament following recommendations by another inquiry into the voting process.

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