Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ringera Quits what next

Now that Justice Ringera has quit, who should be the next KACC director?

Ringera quits - Kenyans react

Aaron Ringera has finally quit office bowing to public pressure.

Justice Ringera announced his decision and that of his deputy Fatuma Sichale at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon ending weeks of anticipation and anxiety at Integrity Centre, the headquarters of the Commission. Justice Ringera maintained that he still believed his re-appointment was legal and only respected pressure from Parliament, civil society and members of the public.

“The deputy Director and I have considered all the happenings and come to the conclusion that it is in the best interest of Kenya, KACC and the future of its staff as well as in own interest and families to exit,” he said in his 11 page statement.

“My learned and able Deputy and I have today tendered our resignations to the President.”

Justice Ringera said he had spent the last weeks of his time at Integrity Centre clearing all pending work and preparing the handing over. He immediately elevated the Assistant Director in charge of Operations John Mutonyi to Deputy Director and handed over the mantle to him.

The retired judge defended his tenure at the helm of the anti graft body saying: “We have discharged our mandate with honesty, integrity, courage and professionally.”

Justice Ringera said he would take two months to relax “and then plan my next course of action.”

“I am a lawyer at heart and if an opportunity arose I would be prepared to serve my country,” was his answer when asked to clarify reports that he had been promised a job in the Judiciary.

Prior to the announcement Justice Ringera had held his last staff meeting at the Commission where he assured them of their job security.

“I have taken five years to build this institution. I have lured professionals from the public sector and civil society and there is no way I could allow that to go down the drain,” he told the press conference.

President Mwai Kibaki reappointed Justice Ringera together with his two deputies, Smokin Wanjala and Fatuma Sichale for a second term storming controversy after by-passing Parliament and the advisory board as is the practice. Dr Wanjala bowed to pressure and resigned two weeks ago but Justice Ringera and Ms Sichale have stayed put.

Reports said Ringera was set to re-join the Judiciary as early as Thursday but civil Society organizations have already intimated that they will vehemently oppose such a move citing Justice Ringera's apparent ineffectiveness at KACC coupled by the stubbornness with which he stayed on as Director despite Parliament's annulment of his reappointment.
Justice Ringera defended his term saying the commission had recovered assets of an estimated value of Sh4.5 billion. “We have filled 398 recovery suits with an estimated value of Sh5 billion. In these asset recovery cases, 16 of the defendants are Members of Parliament,” he said.

He proposed that the commission be anchored in the Constitution and given prosecutorial powers. He also recommended that the Director be given a one time appointment of between eight to 10 years.

As news of the resignation filtered, KACC Advisory Board Chairman Okong'o Omogeni said they would meet on Thursday to advertise the now relinquished positions of Director and Assistant Directors. He said the advertisement for the positions should be concluded by Friday

“We shall give Kenyans an open opportunity to apply for the job. We are looking for people of integrity and have experience in administration and can deliver in facing out corruption, he said.

Mr Omogeni maintains that Ringera’s appointment was illegal and un-procedural and should have come much earlier to avoid the circus that surrounded it.

“Personally, if I was in the shoes of the judge it was not necessary to allow him to be subjected to all this criticism and reactions from the public.”

"His (Ringera's) stay had become untenable because of all the controversy it had generated," Mr Omogeni said.
A section of civil society activists welcomed the resignation of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) director Aaron Ringera and his deputy and termed it a clear indication that “power belongs to the people.”

Some of the activists had even obtained a permit to hold demonstrations in Nairobi on Thursday incase he failed to resign as anticipated.

Civil activist Okiya Omtatah of the Kenya for Justice and Peace (KEJUDE) who notified the police of their intention to stage protests said that Ringera’s move has “restored confidence in the people.”

“Personally, I am very happy because now the people will have confidence in themselves and the government. It now shows that they hold the key to power,” Mr Omtatah said.

The vocal activist whose case challenging Justice Ringera’s reappointment is still pending in court said Ringera had demonstrated to the people that “it is they who have a say in the country’s leadership.”

“The people’s voice is more powerful than any other, even the President. This is a democratic country where the law should be respected at all times,’ he added.

Mr Omtatah said Justice Ringera’s continued stay in office had caused anguish and anger amongst the public “because his reappointment was illegal.”

“It is the best thing he did to resign,” he added.

Tom Aosa of the Community-based organisations termed Ringera’s move is the “biggest achievement to Kenyans.”

“We have been calling for his resignation, now that he has resigned, as the civil society we are very happy and will continue pressing for more reforms in the country,” he said.

He said “Ringera has listened to the voice of the people and demonstrated to Kenyans that President Kibaki’s action to reappoint him was unconstitutional.”

But even as the civil activists welcomed the resignation of Ringera and his deputy Fatuma Sichale, the former Anti-Corruption chief maintained he only took the action because of public pressure.

“It is not that the appointment was illegal, I still maintain that our re-appointment was legal,” Justice Ringera said when he announced his resignation and that of his deputy.

Ringera holed up

Aaron Ringera is holed up in a closed door meeting Wednesday with staff of the anti-graft commission at Integrity House in Nairobi.

This follows intense lobbying by civil society organizations, the Law Society of Kenya, parliament and diplomatic missions for Justice Ringera's resignation after the President reappointed him and his two deputies for a second five-year term in office.

Ringera's closed door meeting comes a day before the Commission's Advisory Board meets to finalize plans to advertise the positions for the KACC Director and his two deputies.

The Advisory Board is supposed to select candidates and sent them to parliament, which vets and gives the President a name to appoint.

Meanwhile, Law Society of Kenya Vice Chairman James Mwamu says the Society intends to mobilise resources to place an advertisement for the positions in the event that he fails to resign.

IDPS get paid

A section of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP's) at the Eldoret showground camp have began moving from the camp after receiving a 35,000 shilling compensation package from the government.

However, some IDP's are still adamant that they will not leave the camp until they are allocated land by the government.

Others want the government to give them sufficient funds with which they can buy parcels of land to build their homes.

Those who chose to accept the 35,000 shillings cash said they will invest in money making ventures that will perhaps enable them to once again be self sufficient.

Elsewhere, hundreds of IDPs in Naivasha have accused the government of double standards in the ongoing resettlement programme.

The IDPs in Kikopey Gilgil have alleged foul play and called on President Kibaki to assist them move.

According to the chairperson of Ebenezer camp Ms Beatrice Nyokabi, the IDPs whave been forgotten.

Nyokabi said that rains, hunger and disease outbreak threatened to wipe out various camps in the hostile area.

"Our children have dropped from schools due to lack of fees and given a good piece of land, we can work hard and stop relying on donor food,"

The IDPs were speaking when students from Naivasha Girls secondary school donated food stuff and personal effects worth thousand of shillings.

According to the school Principal Ms Eunice Wangari, the move had been initiated by students on learning of the fate of the IDPs.

The school captain Ms Ann Ng'ang'a said that fellow students had contributed to the cause after watching on TV and reading on newspaper the IDP sufferings.
"We love you so much and we shall continue to pray that one day your life will return to normal," she said.

PM supports US on travell bans

Raila Odinga has reiterated that the US government has the right to impose travel bans on fifteen top government officials, shortly after he returned to the country after a one-week US tour and subsequent short visit to Britain.

Addressing a press conference at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Wednesday, the Premier urged leaders in the coalition government across the political divide to support the urgent implementation of reforms in Agenda four of the National Accord.

Raila said he had met many Kenyans in the Diaspora during his working tour and encouraged them to invest in Kenya. While in the US, the PM addressed several gatherings and bilateral meetings on critical challenges in Kenya.

He also held discussions with various Heads of State and Government and addressed a UN General Assembly meeting on Climate Change in New York.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ringera throws in the towel, gets 150 000 000?

Justice Aaron Ringera could throw in the towel as early as on Wednesday.

The Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Director is believed to have a date on Tuesday with President Kibaki, who reappointed him to a second five-year term, to discuss his options.

His departure would, however, cost taxpayers a cool Sh150 million — the amount he would have earned were he to serve the full term.

A clause in his contract requires that he be paid for its entire period should it be terminated for any reason other than his own volition.

Sources privy to negotiations on his exit from the anti-graft body say Justice Ringera may be headed back to the Judiciary where he would take up a job in the Court of Appeal.

"There has been lobbying to have Ringera in the Judiciary with his package from KACC, but the stumbling block has been that he would earn more than the Chief Justice Evan Gicheru," the source said.

One set of succession planners have been lobbying Deputy Director Fatuma Sichale to stay put until a fresh team is appointed to take over.

The source said important and sensitive files, which have been under investigation by both Sichale and Ringera were being held confidentially before they are handed over.

"In the event that both Ringera and Sichale refuse to stay on for a few more days to allow smooth succession and handing over, Dr John Mutonyi who is the assistant director in charge investigations and asset recovery, is expected to take over in acting capacity," we were told.

KACC was last night in a dilemma on what would happen to highly sensitive files in the event that both Ringera and Sichale quit since these are only entrusted with the director and his deputy.

The source, who is privy to the goings on, said Ringera and Sichale had packed most of their personal belongings at the weekend and the staff attached to them redeployed in a move that was read to set the stage for the exit.

It is believed the urgency of resolving this matter, which has drawn unparalled international interest, was given momentum by reports that Garsen MP Danson Mungatana was publishing a proposed Bill seeking to have KACC disbanded altogether.

Ringera, whose reappointment was made without resort to Parliament and KACC’s Advisory Board, was last evening said to be readying for a meeting with President Kibaki on Monday.

Justice Aaron Ringera

Three weeks ago Parliament declared Kibaki’s action illegal and voted to have the Gazette notice reappointing Ringera, Sichale and Dr Smokin Wanjala annulled, putting the President in an awkward situation.

Wanjala, opted to quit his position as the storm raged, to protect his professional standing. It was not clear what Sichale, with whom he was reappointed was planning to do.

Some sources privy to KACC’s internal operations claimed the man, who vowed not leave last week because he had a valid letter of reappointment from Kibaki, began clearing his personal effects at Integrity Centre on Saturday.

Last week Ringera met the board that has been hostile to his return and it emerged he would be making a "major announcement" on Wednesday.

Kibaki broke the law

This has fired up speculation he could have opted, in consultations with the President, to quit his post, but not before invoking a clause in his contract from 2003 when he was first contracted after being headhunted.

The board has insisted that the President broke the law by ignoring its mandate and vowed to advertise the three positions and make its recommendations to Parliament. The board hit a brick wall last week when Ringera reportedly told them he would not release any money to advertise for positions he said were not vacant.

It was also widely speculated Kibaki could ‘reward’ Ringera by taking him back to the Court of Appeal — where he used to serve before.

This perception Ringera and Kibaki have found a way of averting the humiliation of Parliament disbanding KACC altogether was reinforced by the embattled director’s meeting with Justice Evan Gicheru last week.

When asked what the meeting was about, the CJ said Ringera was not a member of the Judiciary and could speak for himself.

President Kibaki re-appointed Ringera as the Director of KACC in August, 31, 2009 to serve for a period of five years with effect from September 8. Also reappointed were Sichale, the Assistant Director Legal Services and Wanjala, the Assistant Director Preventive Services.

Dr Wanjala resigned a resign on September 18 as the KACC Advisory Board fine-tuned plans to advertise vacancies for the three directors. A week later Ringera in Mombasa put on a brave face, telling the journalists he "had nothing to say in the face of pressure for him to quit".

He termed the hue and cry over his re-appointment as a "big" circus. The KACC Advisory Board, led by Law Society of Kenya Chairman Okong’o Omogeni, said the embattled judge was free to re-apply for the job when advertised. Omogeni, however, said the new KACC directors would take a 35 per cent pay cut.

Two cases had been pending in court, one filed by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale challenging Ringera’s reappointment but he has since withdrawn it.

One more case filed by a civil society lobby fronted by Mr Okoiti Omtatah is still pending.

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo and Attorney General Amos Wako have insisted that Parliament’s position that the President acted beyond his powers was only an opinion and that the courts would have the final word on the matter.

Ringera succeeded John Harun Mwau as the director of Kenya Anti Corruption Authority, the precursor to KACC in March 1999.

He stayed on until December 22, 2000, when the High Court disbanded KACA. In April 2003, the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act, No 3 of 2003 saw establishment of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) as a body corporate.

Ringera stepped in as its head on the 10th September, 2004.

10 Killed

At least 10 people were killed early on Tuesday and more than 60 others wounded when a passenger bus crashed near Hola town in Tana River.

Police said six people died on the spot while the other four were pronounced dead on arrival at nearby hospital. The accident occurred at Handapya near Hola town at about 9am.

"The bus was traveling from Hola to Nairobi when the accident occurred, six people died on the spot. There are others who passed away in hospital," area divisional police chief Ngatia Iregi said.

Traffic Commandant Aggrey James Adoli said that many of wounded suffered minor injuries.

"There are only seven passengers who sustained serious injuries, the rest escaped with minor injuries and will be discharged soon," Mr Adoli said on telephone.

The Kenya Red Cross Communication Manager Titus Mung'ou said most of those wounded are men.

"There are 40 men, 19 women, and ten children admitted to hospital in Hola," Mr Mung'ou said in a statement.

He said the Kenya Red Cross personnel were assisting in transferring some of the victims to the Garissa Provincial General Hospital for specialised treatment.

Mr Adoli said the exact cause of the accident had not been established.

The accident occurred barely a fortnight after police commissioner Mathew Iteere ordered an intensive crackdown on unroadworthy vehicles and those flouting traffic regulations, which includes speeding.

Statistics at the Traffic Headquarters show that over 80 percent of accidents in Kenya are caused by speeding and negligence by drivers.

Up to 10 people are killed in road accidents in Kenya every week, according to official statistics available at the Traffic Police Headquarters.

Ringera Saga latest\\\

Ranneberger obeys Wetangula

The travel ban saga climaxed Tuesday with US ambassador Michael Ranneberger obeying summons from foreign affairs minister Moses Wetang'ula.

During the meeting, Ranneberger handed over the 15 names of the officials in question and also agreed to toe the diplomatic line in future for the sake of the friendship between the two countries.

According to Wetang'ula, a few agreements were achieved during the meeting.

Ranneberger raised a lot of eyebrows last week when he announced in a press conference that his government had issued warning letters to 15 government officials who might face a travel ban to the US for hindering the reform agenda.

The matter has ruffled a few feathers including President Mwai Kibaki's who wrote a protest letter to US president Barrack Obama.

Leaders in the country maintain the threats were uncalled for since the reform agenda is already on course.

The European Union also threw it weight behind agitators of reforms in the country the civil society however supports the travel ban saying the 15 should be named and shamed for delaying reforms.

On the prosecution of post election violence suspects, Wetang'ula said the government was committed to ending impunity but welcome the International criminal court to institute prosecutions against suspected masterminds of the violence if it finds it necessary at the moment.

The polish government donated 100,000 us dollars to assist in mitigating the famine and drought situation currently affecting the country.

Ringera latest

Weeks after his controversial reappointment, pressure continues to mount on Justice Aaron Ringera and his deputy Fatuma Sichale to follow in the footsteps of Smokin Wanjala and resign.

The Law Society of Kenya and civil society groups have stepped up pressure on Ringera to quit and are also opposed to his re-entry to the judiciary.

According to the LSK vice chairman James Mwamu Justice Ringera quit his job at the Judiciary to become the director of the

Kenya anti corruption Commission and therefore his re-admission would be illegal.

There is speculation that Ringera was considering going back to the Judiciary after he held a meeting with Chief Justice Evan Gicheru last week.

Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta has declared that the Ringera standoff could see the economy suffer with the failure to get parliament approval to withdraw the remaining half of its budgetary allocation under the appropriations bill

Elsewhere, the LSK and Civil Societies have hit out at the government, accusing it of what they term as, failure to implement the reform agenda.

The group is basing their accusation on statements by Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo that the government will not meet Wednesday's deadline by International Criminal Court, ICC, to set up a local tribunal to try suspects of post election violence.

The LSK says it supports the travel ban threats by the US government on 15 government officials, adding that the US should take a further step and freeze their assets.

The deadline that ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo had given the government to prove its commitment to the reform agenda expires on Wednesday 30 September 2009. However, justice minister Mutula Kilonzo already admitted that the government will not meet the deadline since parliament is yet to discuss the special tribunal Bill.

The civil society and LSK say this shows the government's lack of dedication in the matter.

Balala to Kibaki-We were mislead

Najib Balala has said Muslims were "misled" into not supporting President Kibaki in the last General Election.

Speaking at a luncheon hosted by Kibaki for Muslim leaders, Balala said Muslims had since realised that Kibaki meant well for them and that they would work with him.

The luncheon, at a Nairobi hotel, which was initially supposed to be held at the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, is part of President Kibaki’s administration’s plan to reach out to and endear itself to Muslims.

Balala was also said to have assured Kibaki of the support of Muslims for his government.

"Muslims have been divided before but now more than ever before we are united and we will back your government," he is reported to have said at the meeting where journalists were not allowed in.

Balala was the focal point for Muslims in ODM during the last general election and he vigorously campaigned for his party leader, Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Attempts to get Balala on telephone were unsuccesful as his phone was turned off.

During the meeting, Muslim leaders reprimanded US ambassador Michael Ranneberger "for acting as though he owns Kenya" and asked President Kibaki to summon him and demand that he stops meddling in the internal affairs of the country.

The leaders, who were hosted by President Kibaki at a Nairobi hotel to mark the end of Ramadhan and Sita, said Ranneberger needed guidance on what is permissible to comment on in the course of duty.

The meeting came only weeks after Ranneberger hosted Muslim leaders to a dinner at his Nairobi residence as part of his efforts to endear his country to Muslims in Kenya.

"We told Kibaki to summon the ambassador and tell him what his roles are in this country," one of the leaders who attended the meeting revealed. "He should be told what he can talk about and what he cannot interfere with."

Ranneberger has been caught in the crosshairs of Government functionaries since the US State Department wrote directly to some 15 politicians informing them that they would be barred from visiting the US if found to be working against reforms.

Diplomatic relationships

Kibaki has responded by writing to US President Barack Obama to express his displeasure, while Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula said the diplomat had over-stepped his mandate, and Kenya would review its relationship with the US.

Ranneberger has also been accused by some leaders of misinforming Obama, whose father was a Kenyan, of the true situation in Kenya.

The leaders also thanked Kibaki for policy announcements he made a few months ago when he reiterated that the Government would change how it deals with Muslims.

Kibaki had promised that a High Court station would be established in Garissa to ease access to justice for residents of Northern Kenya. This would be the first such station in North Eastern province.

He also promised that no Muslim girl child would ever be denied education for wearing hijab in school.

"We thanked him for the commitments he made when he received the Sharawe report," ODM nominated MP Sheikh Mohamed Dor who also attended the luncheon said.

The report was compiled by a committee established by Kibaki to look into grievances by the Muslim community and he has promised to implement all the recommendations.

The leaders also presented Kibaki with a number of other issues for which they requested his urgency intervention.

Some of the issues raised were the slow processing of passports for Muslims even though the Government has on several occasions said that action would be taken to ensure that all citizens are served in the same way.

Freedom of worship

Sheikh Dor also said that they requested him to give land titles to the Nubian community resident in Kibera, Manyatta Arabs in Kisumu and others in Lamu district who cannot show ownership for land they have lived on for years.

Leaders who spoke at the luncheon included Sheikh Dor, Defence Minister Yusuf Mohammed Haji, National Muslim Leaders Forum Vice chairman, Al Haji Murigu and the Chairman of Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Prof Abdulghafur El-Bussaidy. National Heritage and Culture Minister William ole Ntimama also spoke at the function.

Kibaki said the Government would continue upholding freedom of worship and forge stronger partnerships with religious organizations.

Kibaki applauded the Muslim community for their "commitment to the wellbeing of the country and for their contribution to national development".

"As Kenyans we have a common purpose. We must, therefore, join hands to promote peace and cooperation among ourselves in order to build a strong, stable and prosperous nation," Kibaki said.

He assured all citizens of his Government’s cooperation in their activities aimed at supporting national development.

Congratulating the Muslim community for successfully going through the Ramadhan, the President thanked them for the commitment they demonstrated to the less fortunate in society through donations during the month.

"I urge all Kenyans to emulate our Muslim brothers and sisters and similarly assist each other," the Head of State said. Several ministers, assistant ministers and religious leaders from other faiths also attended the luncheon.

Cabinet ministers and top government to continue enjoying the use of luxury cars

Cabinet ministers and top government officials will enjoy the use of luxury cars for an extra 30 days thanks to delays in shipping in low-capacity replacements.

In his budget speech in June, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta had ordered the withdrawal of all official cars with an engine capacity exceeding 1800cc as part of measure to control costs within the government in light of a contracting economy.

On Monday, Mr Kenyatta explained that the extension was made to give more time for the withdrawal and replacement of such vehicles.

“We have decided to extend the deadline for the implementation of Phase one of this policy to 30th November, 2009 so as to provide enough time to withdraw and replace the non compliant vehicles with the compliant ones,” Mr Kenyatta explained in a statement.

The vehicles are to be surrendered by senior government officials including cabinet ministers, assistant ministers, permanent secretaries and provincial commissioners. Under the austerity measures outlined by Mr Kenyatta in his budget speech, all senior government officials would henceforth be entitled to only one official vehicle whose engine capacity did not exceed 1800cc.


“We wish to inform the public that the procurement of the vehicles compliant with this new policy is well underway,” Mr Kenyatta said.

“However, due to circumstances beyond our control we are behind schedule in terms of implementing this directive, which was initially set for September 30,” he added.

So far, the government has earned Sh170 million from the sale of 488 cars surrendered by various departments.

A task force that handles austerity measures on transport says 2,000 vehicles have been surrendered by various government departments following Mr Kenyatta’s directive.

The task force, chaired by Mr Donald Kibera from the Treasury, has managed to reduce the government fleet from 8,900 to 6,900, according to the report.

In July, the government ordered 126 new low capacity vehicles for ministers, assistant ministers and permanent secretaries.
Mr Kenyatta had said the surrendered cars were to be sold to raise money for the resettlement of families displaced by post-election violence.

Mr Kenyatta and Northern Kenya Development minister Mohamed Elmi set the pace by using Volkswagen Passat models (1600cc or 1800cc) after the new rules were announced.

Recently, Mr Kenyatta told Parliament that only 24 out of 42 ministries had submitted their vehicle inventories as requested by Treasury. He hinted then that the deadline might be moved to beyond November due to complicated procurement rules.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Wetangula summons ranneberger

Moses Wetangula on Monday summoned American Ambassador Michael Ranneberger over warning letters issued to 15 Kenyans whom the US claims were undermining the reform agenda.

Mr Wetangula who termed the letters as an act of intimidation has demanded that Mr Ranneberger produces the list of those who received the warning letters in the meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning. The Minister wants the ambassador to explain to him why diplomatic protocol was disregarded in issuing the letters.

"If somebody is written to by another government and told he would be denied entry to that country if they don't follow a specific route that out rightly amounts to intimidation and denial to freedom of expression" he said of the letters issued while he away in the United States on official duty.

"I may hold a different view on the land tenure system. I may hold a different view on judicial reforms or on the rights of women. If I articulate them loudly how does that amounts to interference?" he wondered.

The summons follow an official protest letter sent to Washington by President Mwai Kibaki last Saturday over the same issue. In his letter the Head of State said the action by the US Government official was considered 'out of step with international protocols in the conduct of relations between friendly nations.'

Mr Wetangula said Washington was yet to respond to the letter from the Office of the President, but maintained Nairobi would not stand by and watch the Ambassador ignore protocol.

He warned that Kenya could use diplomatic options available to curtail Mr Ranneberger's "habitual breach of diplomatic protocol."

"The Geneva convention gives each country options in diplomatic engagements," he said.

Mr Wetangula said that the letters were in bad taste and could undermine the pace of reforms America was pushing for.

"To single out individuals particularly at a time when there was no heightened tension on issues of reforms is wrong and dangerous," he said.

On Thursday Mr Ranneberger announced that the US had dispatched warning letters to the Kenyan officials with a possible visa bans. The US government has been vocal on issues that touch on Kenya including corruption, post election violence and lately the reform agenda.

Mr Wetangula said the ambassador had informed him that the letters had been written to two ministers, four Members of Parliament, two Permanent Secretaries and other prominent Kenyans.

The American Ambassador has rubbed authorities the wrong way severally for his regular criticism of government actions and policies.

Wako tells off critics

Amos Wako has told off his critics and maintains that he is committed to reforms in Kenya.

Mr Wako said on Monday that his track record spoke for itself, insisting that his actions had not hindered reforms in any way. The AG further told journalists that he had not received a letter from American Under-Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson warning him about a possible US travel ban over stalled reforms.

There has been media speculation that the Attorney General is among 15 senior government personalities who have received the warning letters.

"I am the reformist Attorney General as any objective observer will see. If the letter from the American government comes, I will reply to it and then I will let you people know about it," he stated.

But Mr Wako was also quick to criticise the letters, saying they were out of step with normal diplomacy. President Mwai Kibaki has already dispatched a protest letter to US President Barack Obama over the issue.

"The Attorney General will always support the President all the time."

Regarding the controversial appointment of Justice Aaron Ringera as Director of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC), the AG said it was up to Parliament to decide the next step it wished to take after the KACC chief snubbed a protest vote on his new tenure.

"Parliament can do many things; it can refuse a vote on KACC, it can amend the Act or even repeal (the commission)," he stated but added: "it should be within their legislative functions."

Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale last week withdrew a case challenging the re-appointment of the anti-graft czar to the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission helm.

Dr Khalwale, who also chairs the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, had said that he was incensed by a move to use the court case as an excuse to have Justice Ringera and his deputy Fatuma Sichale remain in office.

He had further warned that if Justice Ringera didn't gracefully resign from office, legislators would lobby for Parliament to resume sittings in a bid to cut funding to the KACC.

His sentiments were echoed by Yatta Member of Parliament Charles Kilonzo who warned that if the KACC director did not quit, "there would be dire consequences."

Mr Kilonzo was reacting to reports that Justice Ringera had refused to authorise spending for advertisements by the KACC Advisory Board, seeking fresh applications for his position.


Mwai Kibaki has said the government will continue upholding freedom of worship and forge stronger partnerships with religious organisations in the interest of the common good.

President Kibaki pointed out that his government recognised the importance of freedom of worship which has enabled Kenyans to attend to spiritual matters in accordance with their religious affiliation.

The President was speaking at the Stanley Hotel in Nairobi during a luncheon he hosted in honour of the Muslim community as they marked the end of the Holy month of Ramadhan and Sita.

President Kibaki applauded the Muslim community for their commitment to the wellbeing of the country and for their contribution to national development.

The Head of State at the same time urged all Kenyans to strengthen inter-religious partnership in fostering peace and harmony in the country, the region and beyond.

"As Kenyans we have a common purpose. We must, therefore, join hands to promote peace and cooperation among ourselves in order to build a strong, stable and prosperous nation," President Kibaki said.

The President once again appealed to the public to sow the seeds of love and harmony and continue living together as one family in order to achieve justice and prosperity for the nation.

President Kibaki assured all Muslims and other faithful in Kenya of his government's cooperation in their activities aimed at supporting national development.

"I wish to assure all Muslims and other faithful in Kenya that my Government appreciates the role they play in uplifting the spiritual and general welfare of Kenyans," President Kibaki said.

"As we observe this important festivity, I urge all faithful to dedicate their energies and prayers to the wellbeing of our country," the President added.

Congratulating the Muslim community for successfully going through the Ramadhan and Sita fasting, the President thanked them for the commitment they demonstrated to the less fortunate in society through gifts, alms and donations during the month of Ramadhan.

"I urge all Kenyans to emulate our Muslim brothers and sisters and similarly assist each other," the Head of State said.

As the Muslims prepare for Hajj festivities, President Kibaki appealed to them to continue praying for the country and assisting the less fortunate members of the society.

Other speakers at the luncheon included Tourism Minister Najib Balala, Defence Minister Yussuf Mohammed Haji, National Heritage and Culture Minister William Ole Ntimama and SUPKEM National Chairman Prof. Abdulghafur El-Busaidy who talked against the interference of the country's internal affairs by foreign envoys.

The luncheon was attended by several ministers, assistant ministers and leaders from other religions among others.

Political pull and push games bad for our image - Ghai

If the report in The Standard on September 21, about attempts by Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Moses Wetang’ula to subvert President Obama’s invitation to Prime Minister Raila Odinga to lunch in New York is right, then it is shameful and malicious.

Kenyans generally feel rebuffed at Obama’s attitude to Kenya, which is painful since we claim, and he acknowledges, that he is one of us.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the US ambassador Michael Rannenberger have explained that President Obama is deeply distressed at the moral and political corruption in Kenya and wants to keep his distance from us until politicians mend their ways. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been anxious to establish contacts between the two countries at the highest level that it sent a delegation to Obama’s inauguration, despite being told by the State Department that they were not welcome. They had to watch the inauguration from a modest hotel whose inferior facilities they are unaccustomed to.

It is not surprising that our diplomats, not known for their skills, have failed so far to arrange a meeting between Obama and President Kibaki.

So, if The Standard is right, when the White House invites Raila to lunch with President Obama along with other African leaders, key leaders of our own government start the campaign to ‘disinvite’ the PM. But even then Raila still met Obama, not just for lunch, but also dinner, and discussed Kenya.

Raila was representing Kenya at the UN General Assembly, and is, for most of us, the country’s Prime Minister. You might think that Foreign Affairs Minister Wetang’ula would be preening at this, what could pass as his ministry’s success. Not only were our distinguished trio taken by surprise, but they are reported to be extremely upset. They seem to have ‘clarified’ to Washington that Raila was neither a head of State nor of government, and not eligible for the invitation. It did not matter he was representing President Kibaki.

It is well known that at meetings of Heads of State, representatives of absent heads are welcome. Raila is more articulate than Kibaki and would make a good case for closer Kenya-US relations.

The agenda at the lunch was of great economic and social importance to African States, and we should be pleased the Prime Minister represented Kenya. But that does not seem to concern Wetang’ula and his two allies, each of whom wants to be president and ‘serve’ Kenyans.

2005 meeting

Reading that Kalonzo might have been involved in the "disinvitation" campaign, I was reminded of a meeting I had with him and Raila in 2005, in Addis Ababa. I was in Ethiopia at the invitation of the Speaker of the House of Federation to meet the newly elected members and discuss ways they could best discharge their limited but important tasks. I had stopped in Nairobi on my way to Addis and Raila had mentioned he also had a meeting in Addis Ababa about the same time, and perhaps we could meet for a chat. On my last day, as I was packing my suitcase, the reception at the Hilton called me and said that Raila was waiting for me. I was surprised to see Kalonzo with him.

Over tea, they explained they were on a ‘bonding’ trip, to show Kenyans they were united in their struggle to remove Kibaki at the 2007 General Election. We discussed Kenya politics, and the fortunes of ODM. They were convinced they could topple Kibaki. I then asked each of them what he would do if the other were nominated ODM candidate. I reminded them that former President Moi had lasted so long because the opposition was divided. I thought the losing candidate for the ODM candidacy should say, "Raila tosha" or "Kalonzo tosha".

Both assured me there was no question that ODM members would have the last word, and they would accept their verdict, and would fight the campaign together. We know what happened to those pledges.

Incidentally, both feared that Kibaki would appoint his cronies to fill vacancies that were due in the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya and wanted to know what they could do to prevent that.

What were international standards on the subject? I told them that Kibaki could in fact bring in his cronies, as the IPPG agreement that appointments would be made on nomination of parties in proportion to their representation was never legislated. It depended entirely on trust, and good faith on the part of Kibaki — we know now that these were in short supply.

International standards

Subsequently I sent them a note on international standards and practice, comparing them to the Kenyan law, but heard no more from them. It seems they did little about attempting to change the law. We know what Kibaki did, and its horrendous consequences are obvious. Subsequently one of my two visitors in Addis defended the packed Electoral Commission despite the fraud and the violence. Kalonzo is suave and courteous, and I used to think that despite having served Kanu so loyally in the terrible years of its regime, he had a basic commitment to democracy and decency. Now that I watch his casuistry, justifying Kibaki’s reappointment of Ringera against all reasonable interpretation of the law, I am depressed about the morality of our leading politicians, their constant subordination of the national welfare to their personal interests, and the lack of principles.

What message does this send to ‘our son’ Obama? But all that matters is who becomes the next president, and inherits the corrupt and corrupting state.

By Yash Ghai

Former CKRC chairman.

Step Aside

The 15 personalities named in the US travel ban list should step aside.

Assistant minister for Lands Gonzi Rai, asked those mentioned to stop personalising the issue and resign from their positions.

"The Americans are our development partners and if we start personalising issues, we will not benefit in any way," he said.

Rai, who is also the Kinango MP, said Kenyans should not be left to suffer just because some people were opposed to reforms.

"Kenya is bigger than an individual and for us to correct the bad image, there should be understanding between leaders," said Rai.

Rai was speaking in Samburu when he witnessed the handing over of a water dam by the Lions Club of Mombasa Pwani. The dam, constructed at a cost of Sh1m, will benefit local residents in the drought-prone area.

New Envoys

Mwai Kibaki on Monday received credentials from six diplomats accredited to the country by various countries around the world.

The new envoys are from the Republics of Uganda, Philippines, Germany, Serbia, Sweden and Austria.

The first to present her credentials was Angelina Chogo Wapakabulo, High Commissioner-Designate of the Republic of Uganda. The President noted that Kenya and Uganda enjoyed longstanding and cordial relations dating back to pre-colonial times.

The High Commissioner affirmed that she was committed to strengthening the existing ties in the spirit of the East African Community.

Ambassador-Designate Domingo D. Lucenario of the Republic of Philippines pledged to further cement the existing bilateral ties between the two countries.

Mr Lucenario noted that the two countries have enjoyed cordial bilateral ties for a period of over 30 years and promised to explore new ways of expanding the relations with regard to economic, political and cultural opportunities which are of benefit to citizens of both nations.

Also to present her credentials was Margit Hellwig-Boette, Ambassador-Designate of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Others who presented their credentials were Zdravko Bisic (the Republic of Serbia), Ann Dismorr (Sweden) and Christian Hasenbiehler (Austria).

President Kibaki encouraged the newly posted envoys to sample the friendliness and generosity of Kenyans as well as to visit various internationally renowned tourist-attraction sites in the country.

The President affirmed that the country was firmly on the pathway to prosperity as evidenced by the successful construction and rehabilitation of vital infrastructure network across the country.

The Head of State noted that Kenya was strategically placed as gateway to not only the East African region and the Great Lakes region but also the Horn of Africa.

He called on the diplomats to strive to expand and promote the existing bilateral ties between Kenya and their countries to the highest spheres possible.

Kalonzo signs oil deal

Kenya and Venezuela have signed an agreement setting the stage for cooperation in oil exploitation and supply.
The agreement also calls for an exchange of technical expertise on energy matters including exploitation of renewable sources of energy.

The agreement which has been pending for the last two years was initiated by Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi and was signed Sunday between Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Venezuelan Vice President and Minister for Energy and Petroleum Mr. Raphael Ramirez during the ongoing meeting of heads of state from Africa and South American countries in Venezuela.

Ramirez said due to the distance between Venezuela and Kenya Venezuela was considering supplying affordable oil to Kenya from its partners closer to East Africa.

Mr. Musyoka said the signing of the agreement affords Kenya the opportunity to access critical expertise in its quest to strike oil of its own as well as the possibility of getting access to cheaper oil supply.

"Its our intention to engage the countries of South America for the benefit of the people of Kenya," he said.

The VP also held bilateral discussion will President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet who said her country would be holding a regional conference on agri-business in East Africa in late October.

"We want to partner with Kenya to promote trade between South America and Africa," she said.

In his meeting with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika the Vice President commended the government of Algeria for its budgetary support of the Africa Union.

"The African Union is as strong as it is today, largely due to the financial support extended by your country," he said.

President Bouteflika lauded the strong ties existing between his country and Kenya adding that Algeria would explore the possibility of increasing imports from Kenya so as to boost trade between the two countries.

The VP also met Argentinian President Kristina Kirchner who pledged to support Kenya in her anti-piracy efforts especially by training personnel in marine protection.

He has also held meetings with his Malawi counterpart Joyce Banda, Vice President of Sudan Ali Osman Taha, President of African Union Jean Ping and the Nigerian Vice President.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Karua to Kibaki - "Beggars are not choosers"

Martha Karua has taken issue with the protest letter from President Mwai Kibaki to Barack Obama of the US expressing displeasure and concern about travel restrictions by the US government on 15 prominent individuals.

While expressing support for the action, Ms Karua said that it should serve as a wake up call to the government on the need to fast track reforms.

“Beggars are not choosers. If you are extending your hand to be helped by your neighbour or your friend, you cannot afford to be irritated when he is passing by your home and hears screams and is asking you to please look after one another,” the Gichugu MP stated.

She further stressed the need for the government to heed the advice from the international community to carry out reforms in its key sectors of operation.

“I would like to tell the government and leaders to behave responsibly towards citizens and you will not hear anybody telling you anything,” she said.

“If you do not, you will invite comments not only from our neighbours and friends, but also from your citizens.”

Her sentiments were echoed by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights which said that the travel bans by the US government should not be taken negatively.

Vice Chairman Hassan Omar Hassan pointed out that it merely echoed the concerns of Kenyans. He urged leaders to use the action to bring the needed change for the benefit of patriotic individuals.

“All stakeholders are interested to see progress made in this country and I think the pressure towards reforms and governance issue is not necessarily an interest of the United States on its own but is also something that has had the Kenyan people generate the demand for those reforms,” Mr Hassan said.

He further termed the response by President Mwai Kibaki to the travel restrictions as uncalled for.

“It is wrong for the person at the highest level of the Presidency to try to plead innocence not on the basis of a person but on the basis of technicalities,” he observed.

President Mwai Kibaki on Saturday wrote a protest letter to US President Barack Obama expressing displeasure and concern about letters written to 15 prominent Kenyans.

In a statement President Kibaki said that letters written to some Ministers, MPs and Permanent Secretaries was out of step with the international protocol in the conduct of relations between friendly nations.

“His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki has written to President Barack Obama of the United States expressing displeasure and concern about letters written by a US Government official to some Ministers, some Members of Parliament and some Civil servants in their personal capacity on matters of Kenya’s public policy,” read a statement from PPS.

“The action by the US Government official is considered out of step with international protocols in the conduct of relations between friendly nations.”

Last week US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger announced that they have dispatched threatening letters to the Kenyan officials with possible visa bans.

This was the first time the President had taken action on communications or threats issued by foreign envoys attached to the country.

The US government has been vocal on issues that touch on Kenyan public including corruption, post election violence and lately the reform agenda.

According to American ambassador Michael Ranneberger, the US will more closely scrutinise any proposals for Kenya in international financial institutions.
He also hinted that the travel bans, if and when enforced, "would likely extend to members of families."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ringera - Only courts can decide

His sentiments come barely 2 days after several parties including Ikolomani Member of Parliament Bonny Khalwale withdrew their cases against Ringera and his deputies to allow for him to step down, an issue Wako says he is party to but is yet to be informed.

Speaking during a funds drive attended by deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta and several ministers at Alliance Boys High School, Wako said parliament may have decided to annul Ringera's appointment but only the courts can arbitrate and resolve the matter conclusively.

Three days ago Ringera said only the courts can declare the President's move illegal and annul the reappointment.

And in defiance, Justice Ringera also indicated that the commission will not pay for an advertisement inviting applications for his post and those of his two deputies, one of which Dr Smokin Wanjala has already resigned while the other, Fatuma Sichale remains in the office.

Members of Parliament are lobbying for an early recall of parliament to facilitate the obliteration of the KACC's budget or abolish the body altogether.

Kiraitu and Moi working together-"Don't go home to herd goats and watch on TV how a government is run”

Kiraitu Murungi Saturday agreed with retired president Daniel Moi's assertion that the presidential system with an executive president was best suited for the country.

Speaking at Nkuene girls secondary school during a fund raising for the construction of the school hall, both leaders said any other system of government may lead the country to anarchy.

Murungi said weakening of the institution of the president was likely to make the country ungovernable adding that "too much democracy as being witnessed now is dangerous".

He said the country needed a president with executive powers with the Prime Minister acting as his assistant.

Murungi urged Moi to continue with his peace initiative campaigns to unite the country and restore trust among the communities living in the Rift Valley.

He said as a result of politics of hatred, many people have lost their lives and property.

"When you were in power, many were opposed you and referred to you as a dictator they have now realized some of the things you upheld were for the good of the country as a whole," Murungi told Moi.

On his part Moi said Kenya risks going the Somalia way should the power of the president be clipped as agitated for by those who favour the parliamentary system.

He said he he would remain in KANU and urged Kenyans to register with the party which he said had the best manifesto guiding elections.

Moi returned to Meru to a tumultuous welcome almost seven years after his preferred successor suffered a huge political defeat in the region in the 2002 presidential elections.

Kiraitu Murungi is the man who had blatantly told the retired president to “go home to herd his goats and watch on TV how a government is run” soon after President Kibaki assumed power in 2003. The former president held a two-and-a-half hour breakfast meeting at Nkuene Girls’ high school with the top officials of the influential Njuri Ncheke council of elders.

At the funds drive in aid of the school which is located near Kiraitu’s home, Moi gave a personal donation of Sh1 million and helped raise Sh3.9 million.

Mr Murungi said the retired president was crucial in restoring peace among communities living in the Rift Valley.

The minister said some people could be wondering why he had invited the retired president to the region, adding that ‘‘there are no permanent enemies in politics’’. “History is history. It’s about things that have passed and there’s nothing we can do about it. We need to forge ahead,” the minister said.

“The line between democracy and anarchy is blurred and if we are not careful, this ‘too much democracy’ is dangerous,” the minister said. He paid tribute to Mr Moi particularly for his peace building efforts in the Rift Valley and urged him to continue the mission.

On his part, Mr Moi said it took time for some developed countries like Britain to become democratic. And for the first time in many years, both Mr Moi and Mr Murungi were on agreement that the country did not need two centres of power under a new constitutional dispensation.

“We must have a strong president who is accountable whatever happens in the running of the government. Having two centres of power will lead to a blame game,” said Mr Moi. He said some people were unhappy with his active participation in politics but he will continue addressing issues that are close to Kenyans.

Mr Moi said his prediction in 1991 that embracing multi-parties would cause tribalism had come to pass. Like a prophet rejected by his people, the then President Daniel arap Moi made a statement that still rings in the ears of many Kenyans.

“Wengine wanasema (There are others who are saying that) Moi must go. Time will come when you will say Moi must come back.” It was in response to the “Moi Must Go!” campaign slogan that pervaded public rallies ahead of the 2002 General Election that swept his party Kanu from power.

But seven years after he relinquished power, and going by what the supposedly retired president has been up to, many are wondering whether the “prophetic” words have indeed not come to fulfilment. Following his humiliating exit from power, Mr Moi led a brief quiet life at his Kabarak home.

However, Mr Moi shot back to the limelight when campaigns for a constitutional referendum started in 2005. And three weeks ago, Mr Moi was unshaken from his political pedestal. During a function that the Keiyo community had organised for him as a gratitude celebration for his 24-year reign, Mr Moi said politics was part of life.

Raila winds up trip - Off to UK

Prime Minister Raila Odinga Saturday wound up his tour of the US after a week of a series of meetings that culminated with his speech at the UN General Assembly.

In his meetings with various leaders Odinga sought to make environmental conservation in Kenya a global issue, show the world that Kenya was functional and the need to stop seeing the country through the glasses of 2008 chaos and to draw attention to the need to upgrade the UNEP headquarters and retain it in Nairobi.

Odinga backed by environment minister John Michuki presented a strong case for the world to support Kenya's efforts to save the Mau and its other water towers.

And their efforts bore fruits at a high level meeting on climate change where the President of the World Bank acknowledged that Kenya is today the best example of a country where conservation of the environment has been embraced at the highest level of government.

The two leaders gained the support of the world bank with the president pledging to support Kenya's efforts if it puts up a formal request.

Former US President Bill Clinton also committed to help increase Kenya's forest cover from 1.7 per cent to 10 per cent in a decade.

The PM also lobbied vigorously especially among Asian states for the elevation of UNEP and its retention in Nairobi.

Before meeting the Clintons, the PM, Michuki and Moses Wetangula met with a delegation from Bangladesh including the country's PM to lobby for the elevation of UNEP.

Odinga also met with US President barrack Obama where the two are said to have held discussions about reforms in Kenya.

The two are also said to have discussed the Mau issue, the controversy surrounding the re-appointment of Justice Aaron Ringera as head of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission and the police reforms.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly, Odinga called for the strengthening and democratisation of the UN to include permanent, veto-bearing seats for Africa.

"The world can no longer continue to marginalize a continent which is home to nearly a billion people. This is wrong in principle but even more it is wrong in practice. We cannot find sustainable solutions to our challenges when such a large part of humanity is given so little voice and role in that quest for peace," he said.

Noting that climate change was currently the most pressing challenge, the PM called for the upgrading of UNEP in Nairobi so that it can become the central environmental institution and enable it to provide comprehensive support to all member states and organizations struggling to adjust to the new shift to a dynamic green economy.

Due to vagaries of the climate change 100 million people may fall below the poverty line this year said Odinga.

Giving Kenya as an example of challenges posed by climate change, Odinga cited the melting of the ice caps of Mt. Kenya Mt. Kilimanjaro, the destruction of forests forests, the drying up of rivers, the intensifying cycles of drought and then the floods, the spread of Malaria to highland regions as temperature rise.

To find solutions for these challenges, Odinga said the world must agree on concrete actions in the scheduled Copenhagen summit on climate.

He said Kenya was already playing its part in environmental conservation by restoring the Mau and other water catchment areas which will see over seven billion shillings planted.

Other measures include seeking alternative sources of power including solar, wind and geothermal.

Odinga also appealed for assistance in dealing with the famine that has affected over 10 million people in the country.

The prevailing conflict in neighboring Somalia Odinga said was posing a serious threat to the region's stability.

Odinga noted that Kenya's efforts to deal with the influx of refugees and illegal arms from the country were being thwarted by lack of resources and appealed to the international community to assist the country in dealing with the threat.

He said Kenya supported IGAD's and the African Union's recommendation to the UN Security Council to impose a no fly zone and a blockade of airport and seaports held by insurgents to prevent arm inflows.

Odinga will travel to the UK from New York and is expected back to the country next week.

At the UN, Raila said...

It gives me great pleasure Mr. President, to congratulate you on the singular honour of your having been chosen for the Presidency of this 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I would like to assure you of my delegation’s fullest support as you undertake your momentous responsibility to unite member states in pursuing the common goal of a more humane, secure, united and prosperous world.

There was a time recently when this elusive goal finally appeared within reach, but multiple new challenges have coalesced to render the goal even more distant.

It is therefore most encouraging, Mr President, that the world is turning to the United Nations to find a common, global path to resolving the most intractable difficulties facing humanity. There is a clear recognition emerging that together we can all rise; separately, we can only sink.

There was a time when the powerful disdained this institution’s ability to be a unifying player. This is now changing, and in this regard I would like to commend the President of the United States, who holds a very special place in the hearts of Africans, Kenyans in particular, for having so eloquently on Wednesday indicated the centrality of the UN in charting common solutions.

In order to better equip the United Nations for meeting these challenges, Mr. President, we must continue to press for reform in the Organization. The Security Council in particular must be enlarged and made more democratic and representative of current day reality. Part of the enlargement must include permanent, veto-bearing seats for Africa.

The world can no longer continue to marginalize a continent which is home to nearly a billion people. This is wrong in principle but even more it is wrong in practice. We cannot find sustainable solutions to our challenges when such a large part of humanity is given so little voice and role in that quest for peace.

The world is now acutely aware that the quest for peace begins with ensuring the survival of the planet. I would therefore like to thank Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for having convened the high level meeting on climate change, which has put this issue squarely onto the world’s centre stage. There is no issue that clearly unites the population of the entire world as climate change does.

Regrettably, the far-sighted decision at the 2005 United Nations World Summit to explore the possibility of a more coherent institutional framework for International Environmental Governance (IED) has not borne any fruit. This is particularly unacceptable now when climate change is indeed the most pressing challenge of our times.

We therefore call for the upgrading of UNEP in Nairobi so that it can become the central environmental institution handling the numerous conventions.

We have noted with regret the emergence of multiple centres dealing with environmental issues. This dissipates their impact and sometimes even leads to contradictory actions. The UN Office in Nairobi should now be elevated to the same level UN offices in Geneva and Vienna to enable it to provide comprehensive support to all member states and organizations struggling to adjust to a new paradigm of a sustainable and dynamic green economy.

Without that, the lives of billions will be imperiled. Already, as the Secretary General pointed out on Wednesday, another 100 million people may fall below the poverty line this year from climate change setbacks. Markets may be bouncing back but incomes and jobs are not. These developments do not augur well for the future.

I regret to say that my own country is emblematic of the woes unleashed by years of rampant excesses in the global and local mismanagement of our environment. The melting of the famed ice caps of Mt. Kenya and nearby Mt. Kilimanjaro, the destruction of vast swathes of our once beautiful forests, the drying of fast-flowing rivers, the intensifying cycles of drought and then the floods, the spread of Malaria to highland regions as temperature rise — these are all consequences of human action within and outside our borders. And so the solution also must also entail action on both fronts.

The greater challenge for us, I am afraid, is the external one. We, like the rest of Africa, produce only a tiny proportion of the emissions that are rapidly warming the planet and wreaking havoc in our capacity to produce adequate amounts of food and energy and husband sustainable water supplies. Our economies are in disarray. We are victims of the richer world’s acts and omissions, and so we do need large amounts of money in assistance and private sector investment to reverse the course of events. The world must agree on concrete actions in Copenhagen.

But we in Kenya are not interested in playing the blame game or waiting for international action to materialize. We have already begun to take very tough political decisions to reverse the ravages. Our immediate goal is to fully restore our largest water tower, the famed Mau, as well as the other four towers, and are embarking on a huge reforestation drive to plant seven billion trees which will recreate the carbon-taming "sinks" that once made us self sufficient in food and energy.

We are also undertaking a crash programme designed to rapidly shift energy production to green technologies using assets that we are naturally rich in – wind and sun, but most important of all, geothermal energy, which could more than double our current energy production within four years.

For all of this, we are mobilizing local resources but we will need significant assistance and investment to succeed in our goal of self-sufficiency the green way. The rich nations have recognized that they have a self interest in promoting such green commitments in developing countries, but the mechanisms in place to support these need to be refined and made more effective in quickly releasing resources.

We therefore support British Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s proposal for a $100 billion facility, and at the same time, urge the $20 billion pledged for enhanced food production by the G8 be speedily mobilized and disbursed.

Where we need assistance most immediately is for feeding the 10 million Kenyans who are now living in hunger and could face starvation shortly. Just last week, we declared this as a national disaster that would need 500 million dollars to rectify, out of which 250 million dollars would be mobilized from our own resources and the other 250 million dollars we are urgently appealing for from our donor partners.

Tens of thousands of livestock have died. This devastation is a result primarily of climate change. We have had droughts before but they now recur much more frequently and with greater severity. One drought year is difficult enough, but the rains have now failed us for four consecutive seasons. I appeal to our well wishers, which are many, to assist us in this dire emergency.

To mitigate suffering, we have done a massive mobilization, including of the military, in providing relief, and drilling boreholes and transporting water to areas in acute need.

I am very proud to say that despite the terrible post-election violence and the subsequent multiple reverses which made reconciliation and reconstruction so much harder, our people have shown an extraordinary maturity and resilience in rising to their unprecedented challenges. We were able to overcome the election bitterness with an Accord we signed with the help of the African Union and the Kofi Annan mediation, supported by the United Nations and Secretary General Ban ki-moon, who personally visited Kenya at the height of the crisis. Thank you Mr Secretary General.

Let me now turn to the one area where peace does not prevail and which is a source of immense concern to the entire international community – Somalia.

As its immediate neighbor, and with a large population of Kenyan Somalis, no country has done more to assist Somalia in overcoming its divisions and conflicts.

No one is keener therefore than we are to help defeat the forces of extremism in Somalia, which have so much sway because of the help of external elements. The continuing inflow of refugees, small arms and light weapons is the major source of insecurity in our country.

The latest setback from this insecurity is disruption through piracy of international trade in one of the busiest sea routes in the world. Despite the risk it exposes us to, Kenya has offered facilities for detention and prosecution of suspected pirates, as part of our international obligation to promote peace. We have also offered to host a United Nations-organized conference in Kenya on how to coordinate and more effectively deal with the scourge of piracy.

In return, we ask the international community to recognize our many sacrifices and assist us in dealing with our major refugee and security burdens.

IGAD and the African Union has recommended to the UN Security Council to impose a no fly zone and a blockade of airport and seaports held by insurgents to prevent arm inflows. Kenya fully supports this position. It is now incumbent upon the United Nations Security Council to take decisive action to forestall further anarchy in Somalia.

To succeed in the quest for Somali peace, we must recognize that the present focus primarily on the use of force has not seen any curbing of extremism. Indeed, the security and humanitarian crises are worse than ever before.

We must therefore take a more comprehensive approach in tackling the extremists, which includes encouraging the Transitional Federal Government to more aggressively pursue its commitment to a much more inclusive political process to bring into the government ALL forces which eschew violence.

Such outreach to all moderates can only succeed with much greater international support. It is regrettable that many pledges made at the Brussels meeting have yet to be honoured. I call upon all those who have not honoured their pledges to do so immediately.

Mr. President,

Turning back to the global economic crisis, it is now recognized that one of its principal causes is the weakness of the international financial system. We should strengthen and promote effective multilateralism with the United Nations at the center. We need to reform the international financial governance institutions so that they can prevent crises and develop more effective and equitable responses to them.

Mr. President,

The ideals and principles of the United Nations are more than ever today the surest hope for a more prosperous and equitable world. Multilateralism in this globalized age is the only sure way to ensure that peace, development and unity prevail at a time when the world is riven with so many divisions.

We need a genuine partnership among all nations and peoples so that everyone feels he or she is a critical stakeholder in national and international decision making.

Within democratic nations, each person’s vote is equal to the others, regardless of their power or wealth. That is the principle that must finally be applied to the workings of the entire international system.


Kibaki to obama-"You can't bwogo me, I am unbwogable"

Kibaki has written to Obama to express "displeasure" with his administration over letters sent to 15 top Kenyan officials.

"The action by the US Government official is considered out of step with international protocols in the conduct of relations between friendly nations," said a terse statement from Kibaki's office.

The President’s move comes just a day after Raila Odinga said that the US had the right to take action on individuals it deems to be blocking reforms.

Mr Odinga who was delivering a speech at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in the US said Washington could take action "if they’re convinced the people they’re banning from coming to the United States are engaged in forms of impunity."

He said he was at the forefront of championing reforms adding that we was opposed to all forms of impunity.

"I have been a victim of impunity in the past," Mr Odinga said, noting that he had been detained three times for a total of nine years.

The conflicting messages form the highest levels of government could yet open fresh wounds in the fragile coalition government, formed to end months of violence after a disputed presidential elections.

President Kibaki's move is bound to reignite a new war of words between ODM and PNU stalwarts that characterised the 17-month old coalition.

On Thursday, US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger said that letters had been sent to the individuals warning them against blocking reforms.

The letters, signed by the US Africa top diplomat Johnnie Carson, warned Kenya risked losing Washington's support adding that it will not be "business as usual" if the country continued to delay the implementation of key reforms.

The list includes:

Francis Muthaura
Uhuru Kenyatta
William Ruto
Franklin Bett
Mutula Kilonzo
John Michuki
George Saitoti
George Thuo
Jakoyo Midiwo

The letters said that reforms must proceed with a greater sense of urgency adding that doing so is "crucial to the future democratic stability of Kenya."

The US has restated its desire to see Kenya implement changes agreed under Agenda Four of the National Accord that led to the formation of the Grand Coalition Government in 2008.

The reforms were part of peace negotiations brokered by former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan to save the country from the brink after violence broke out in the aftermath of a disputed presidential election.

The opposition Orange Democratic Movement claimed that the 2007 presidential poll was rigged and its leader Raila Odinga denied victory. The incumbent, President Kibaki of the Party of National Unity was declared the victor by the Electoral Commission of Kenya.

The violence, which broke out following the ECK's announcement, left at least 1,300 dead and a further 350,000 displaced from their homes.

The Annan- led negotiations saw a return to peace and the formation of a power sharing government, where Mr Odinga was named Prime Minister and members of his party appointed to the cabinet.

Ida to keep an eye on Sarah Obama

As Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s high-profile visit to the United States draws to a close,glimpses of his moments with the leader of the world’s only superpower are revealed.

Exhorting the PM to urgently push for comprehensive reforms to stave off a repeat of the 2008 chaos, US President Barack Obama showed his deep concern for the people of Kenya, the land of his forefathers.

And the links between the Obamas and Kenya was amplified when the US First Family inquired after their Kenyan relatives, with Michelle Obama seeking to know how Mama Sarah Obama was faring.

She asked Mrs Ida Odinga, the PM’s wife, to keep an eye on Mama Sarah, Barack Obama’s grandmother.

The meeting presented Nairobi with its first big opportunity yet — to engage directly with Obama and the United States on the myriad national challenges.

During the twin meetings on Wednesday — at a luncheon and later at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art — in New York, the two leaders talked about reform in Kenya, with Obama saying he wishes Kenya well and would like to see the country succeed.

Obama asked Raila to push harder for faster reforms, saying he feared time was running out for some critical reforms. The PM told Obama that the Grand Coalition Government was doing its best to ensure the reforms were in place before the 2012 General Election.

They spoke about the raging debate on the Mau Forest Complex, the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission and police reforms. Raila rekindled memories of the airlift to the US, through which Obama’s father, Barack Hussein Obama Senior, secured a scholarship that saw him meet the future US President’s mother.

It all started at a luncheon hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Obama and Raila shook hands warmly, talked about Kenya briefly, and parted ways with the US President saying: "We need to talk."

The two leaders later engaged in deep consultations about Kenya, only moments before Washington issued instructions warning of imminent individual sanctions against 15 top Government officials over reforms and impunity.

In a statement, the PM’s spokesman Denis Onyango, said: "Raila appealed for a renewal of the ties and the spirit of the period of the Kennedy Administration, expressing hope that President Obama would lift Kenya from where the Kennedy ties left it."

Just like the Kennedy days

A day after meeting Obama, the PM headed to Obama’s Alma Mater, Harvard University, where he paid glowing tribute to the late President JF Kennedy.

He also headed to Boston where he delivered a lecture on ‘Democratisation and Democratic Transfer of Power in Africa’.

He also met the Obama Administration’s Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, and Deputy Assistant Secretary Karl E Wycoff.

The PM used the meetings to assure that the Coalition Government was committed to pursuing reforms, and also to draw attention to the challenges of saving the country’s endangered water towers.

Today, the PM heads to the United Nations headquarters for his final engagement where he will address the UN General Assembly. He will use the forum to draw attention to the dangers a collapsing Somalia poses to the region, and Kenya in particular.

Raila says Somalia could become Africa’s Afghanistan if the world does not act to save it now.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kibaki on IDPs

President Mwai Kibaki has ordered the resettlement of all genuine Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within two weeks.

The President directed that the ministries of Finance, Special Programmes, Lands, Internal Security and Agriculture should work together and move with speed in ensuring that land is availed for the resettlement exercise.

“We should move with speed to resettle the IDPs who are still in camps. This matter has dragged on for too long. We must deal with it and ensure that we do not have persons still living in camps,” the Head of State emphasised.

The President added: “We also need to help those who are going back to their land to resettle and undertake their farming. I also appeal to all communities to live peacefully and co-exist harmoniously.”

President Kibaki was speaking today at his Harambee House office where he chaired a meeting of the committee overseeing resettlement of IDPs.

During the meeting, it was resolved that all IDP camps should be closed down within two weeks once the IDPs are resettled on the land purchased by the Government. It was also agreed that the Ministry of Finance should avail adequate funds for the purchase of land for the resettlement programme while the Ministry of Land identifies arable land for the same purpose.

In this regard, the Ministry of Internal Security was directed to ensure that no new camps crop up after the genuine IDPs are resettled by the Government.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Special Programmes was ordered to continue with the exercise of paying Sh25,000 to the integrated IDPs who are accommodated by other families.

The committee also agreed that the purchase of land by the Government for the purpose of resettling the IDPs should be conducted in a transparent manner to ensure that Government gets value for its money while the IDPs are resettled on arable land.

The meeting was attended by Special Programmes Minister Dr Naomi Shaban, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti and Lands Minister James Orengo and Head of Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Muthaura among others.

Obama and Raila

US President Barack Obama met Prime Minister Raila Odinga in New York and discussed the need for urgent reforms in Kenya.

Their talks came only hours before the US ambassador in Kenya warned that it would bar at least 15 top government officials including ministers and MPs from setting foot in the country.

Contrary to reports in some Kenya media that had indicated that the PM would not meet Obama, Mr Raila met Mr Obama twice on Wednesday, first at a luncheon for heads of State and later at a dinner.

The PM’s spokesman Dennis Onyango said Obama reached out to Raila at the luncheon where they spoke briefly.

In the brief exchange of pleasantries, Obama asked Raila to ensure they exchanged notes later in the day, according to Mr Onyango.

Raila, who was in New York to represent President Kibaki at the 64th United Nations General Assembly, was accorded more time by the world’s most powerful leader at the dinner where they held discussions regarding the Kenyan situation.

It was a rare moment for Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who met United States President Barack Obama twice in New York.
"Obama is very passionate about what is happening in Kenya and is interested in supporting the reform process," Onyango said by telephone from New York.

"It was a tense moment. The security was tight and our crew of photography was not allowed in with cameras. We had to rely on the State Department to secure a few pictures before they referred us to a website where we retrieved the images," Onyango said.

Earlier in the week, the Daily Nation published reports on how Raila was dropped from a heads of State luncheon that was to be hosted by Obama.

Politicians close to Raila interpreted the diplomatic tiff to be arising from their PNU rivals, who were trying to block him from meeting Obama.

Last night, Onyango confirmed that the two meetings with Obama were fruitful and in the discussions, the US President — whose father was Kenyan — pledged support for the country if the Grand Coalition remained committed to implementing reforms under Agenda Four.

Raila, accompanied by his wife Ida, met and posed for pictures with Michelle after the dinner hosted by Obama.

On Monday, The Standard exclusively published a story on how Raila had secured the rare appointment with world’s most powerful leader, after the Daily alleged that the PM would not come face to face with Obama.

On Wednesday, the same Daily Nation published another report discounting the possibility that Obama and Raila would meet face to face.

The Daily Nation published caricatures of the Prime Minister allegedly blocked from accessing the White House.

Onyango yesterday described the media reports as aimed at throwing the credibility of the PM into disrepute.

"The truth will always be known. At last the meetings have helped clarify issues. The US is seeking to see reforms implemented in the country to save it from a repeat of the kind of chaos witnessed after the last General Election," said Onyango.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Reforms - 15 Top Officials black listed

The United States is threatening to impose travel ban on 15 top officials of the government if they continue being a stumbling block to the reform agenda.

U.S Ambassador Michael Ranneberger said letters have been sent to the individuals warning them against blocking reforms.

Ranneberger however said in the spirit of what he termed as private diplomacy, the names will not be released

The 15 unnamed individuals including cabinet ministers, members of parliament and prominent people were picked out after a careful assessment, and found to be a stumbling block to the reform agenda in Kenya.

This is not the first time the US has imposed or threatened Kenyans with travel sanctions. And the last time it happened, it sparked a wave of speculation, and sent prominent people panicking.

In recent months the U.S has criticized Kenya for failing to carry out reforms.

A cross section of leaders have also harshly criticised US pressure for reform.

Ranneberger now warns that Kenya risks losing Washington support .

The U.S. envoy said Washington will also insist that Kenya takes bold and decisive action against eradicating corruption, fully implement political and judicial reforms and the establishment of a permanent electoral commission.

"There is no reason why these reforms cannot be accelerated. Kenya has a moment in history now. The window of opportunity is now," he said.

The U.S. envoy said names of key individuals who received the letters were not based on evidence but noted that the individuals stood in the way for reforms.

He said Washington will take steps it deemed appropriate to hold accountable those who do not support the form agenda or support violence.

"The U.S. will more closely scrutinize all proposed projects, loans and other programs of assistance to Kenya that are brought before international financial institutions," he warned.

In pressing for implementation of the reform agenda, Ranneberger said Washington was supporting only what the vast majority of Kenyans want, expect, and deserve from their political leaders such as peaceful, fundamental change that will end the culture of impunity and a society governed by the rule of law and accountability all of which he said, amount to the changes needed to ensure there is never again a repeat of the unprecedented crisis Kenya suffered last year.

But while the U.S will continue to scrutinize proposals to the financial institutions, Ranneberger said its support will not wane.

He added that the US would "more closely scrutinise any proposals for Kenya in international financial institutions".

Currently upto 3 billion dollars worth of resources flow into Kenya.

Khalwale withdraws

Bonny Khalwale has withdrawn a case challenging the reappointment of Kenya Anti Corruption Commission (KACC) Director Aaron Ringera.

Dr Khalwale, who also chairs the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, told journalists that the he was incensed by the move to use the court case as an excuse to have Justice Ringera and his deputy Fatuma Sichale remain in office.

“The Executive should not bring disgrace to the other arms of government by hoping he(Ringera) can get a conflicting decision from the courts,” he stated.

“A proper decision has been made which has been overtaken by events. It is thus not necessary for me to pursue this case in court,” he further said.

He warned that if Justice Ringera didn’t gracefully resign from office, legislators would lobby for Parliament to resume sittings in a bid to cut off funding to KACC.

“The approach of the Appropriations Bill is the mild one but we can hit harder by altogether disbanding the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission,” Dr Khalwale pointed out.

“We do not want to go that far but if it becomes evident that the current KACC is going to remain in place only to be used in sectarian interests, then we would rather not have one.”

His sentiments were echoed by Yatta Member of Parliament Charles Kilonzo who further warned that if the KACC director won’t quit, there would be dire consequences.

“We need to remind Ringera that he is a creation of Parliament,” said Mr Kilonzo.

Mr Kilonzo was reacting to reports that Mr Ringera had refused to authorize spending for advertising from the KACC Advisory Board declaring his seat vacant.

“Obviously, there is no question about it, we intend to act within the law to ensure that Ringera understands that this country is not controlled by one person.”

Earlier this month, High Court judge Mbogholi Msagha had disqualified himself from hearing a case against the reappointment of Justice Aaron Ringera as the KACC director.

The judge said he could not handle the case because it would be the third time his path was crossing with that of Justice Ringera.

Justice Msagha was among the 23 judges recommended for sacking by a team headed by Justice Ringera in 2003, but he was cleared by a tribunal. The case then went to another judge who also shunned it before landing with Justice Muga Apondi.

Hearing the case, Justice Apondi certified it as urgent. In the case, the Ikolomani MP had asked the court to order Justice Ringera out of office until the case is heard.

Through his lawyer Julie Soweto, Dr Khalwale had said that the reappointments of the director of KACC and his deputies were irregular and were done without the approval of the National Assembly.

Justice Apondi did not issue the injunction, saying that all sides must be heard first. The MP is also suing the KACC Advisory Board for failing to perform its major tasks.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kshs. 25 000 000 000 Stolen

Police in Kenya are on the hunt for some Sh25 million which was stolen when robbers allegedly drugged an armed Administration Police officer on escort duty at Yaya Centre in Nairobi, driving off a security van loaded with cash he was guarding.

The officer was in the company of three others who had escorted the G4S security van to Yaya Centre to replenish Automated Teller Machines (ATM) when he was reportedly left outside to guard the van as three G4S staff and two police officers went into the mall.

“He was left seated in the vehicle guarding the money as the rest of the officers and security company crew loaded money into ATMs in the shopping mall. But when they came back to collect more money for the remaining ATMs they found the van missing. That is when the search began,” Fredrick Ochieng, deputy divisional Police chief at Kilimani police station said.

“Two hours later, we received a report that the van had been spotted parked outside an apartment on Chania Avenue, about one kilometer away. Residents in the area reported to us that they became worried because the van had stayed there for a long time and they saw a policeman sleeping inside holding onto his gun,” he added.

Earlier, police officers had been mobilized to intercept a van that had been reportedly spotted in Eastleigh, more than ten kilometers away but it later turned to be a hoax.

“We quickly rushed to Chania Avenue, just behind Yaya Centre where the van was parked and discovered that the officer was lying inside asleep as he held onto his gun,” Mr Ochieng’ said.

But disarming him was not an easy task as he held a powerful MP5 rifle which his colleagues said was loaded with 25 rounds of ammunition.

Nearly ten officers who arrived at the scene surrounded the van, cocked their guns and ordered him out before three of them slowly approached him and grabbed the gun. He did not make a move, and police concluded he had been drugged.

“It appears he was drugged but we are not able to establish what was used. We are taking him to the Forces Memorial Hospital but he is still a prime suspect in this robbery,” another police officer said as they searched the van.

The van was found to be empty Mr Ochieng’ told reporters up to Sh25 million was missing from it.

Surprisingly, all the keys meant to open the van and its ignition keys were left with the driver at Yaya Centre, deepening the mystery further and pointing to a possible collusion of the staff.

About six hours after the robbery, Special Crime Prevention Police Unit Chief Richard Katola said “We have recovered about Sh1 million and this is part of the stolen money.”

“We have also arrested a suspect who was found with some Sh800,000 in Shauri Moyo. The rest of the money was found in Industrial Area and the search is still on,” he added.

G4S Security Company Communications Manager Daniel Okoth said the incident would not affect operations of ATMs which are replenished by the security company.

“We would like to assure customers and the general public that ATM services, which G4S offers countrywide, will not be disrupted by this unfortunate incident,” he said in an emailed statement to Capital News.

And even as G4S sought to assure the public on the safety of their money, investigators were puzzled to learn that the incident was well planned and executed and kicked off immediately the van was parked outside the Yaya Centre as soon as the crew and two APs went with the money in the shopping mall.

The CCTV footage at the Yaya Centre shows how the van arrived with an escort car in tow. The crew is seen offloading some of the cash and escorting it to one of the ATMs, leaving an Administration Policeman seated on the front seat of the van.

The two vehicles are seen alighting and following the others to the shopping mall, something fellow security officers termed unusual.

And as soon as they vanished, a man dressed in a white shirt and a dark trouser is seen walking to the van where he swiftly opened the driver’s seat and started the car which is immediately followed by a white saloon car.

Images from CCTV cameras at the exit gate captured the vehicles as they stopped briefly and guards are seen talking to the occupants before the gates were opened and the two vehicles are seen exiting the mall.

Here pertinent questions arise:

-Where did the man seen driving the security van get the ignition keys, yet the van’s original keys were found with the driver who was left at the Yaya Centre?
-Did the man driving the security van produce a parking ticket for the automated barrier at the gate to open?
-Why did the Administration Policeman sit in the car yet he was supposed to be standing outside guarding the van from any possible attack or robbery?
-Why did all the crew escort the cash to the ATMs in the shopping mall, leaving only one policeman outside?
-Why did the crew leave one of the doors of the van open as seen in the CCTV images?
-How did the strangers gain access to money in the van yet reports indicate the van’s doors are only opened using sophisticated security codes?

These were among the many questions investigators were grappling with as they sought to establish the truth behind the robbery.

“With all these gaps, it can be conclude that it is an inside job that was planned and executed by insiders. Some outsiders were involved but only collaborated with the people entrusted with the money,” Head of Flying Squad Unit Julius Sunkuli said.

The incident occurred barely three weeks after President Mwai Kibaki fired Maj Gen (rtd) Mohammed Hussein Ali and replaced him with Mathew Iteere who formerly commanded the General Service Unit (GSU), a paramilitary wing of the Kenya Police.

Mr Iteere in his maiden speech announced he would fight crime ruthlessly, particularly organised crime.

Atschwenje new GSU Commandant

Police headquarters Tuesday made several changes in its top hierarchy.

William Saiya Atschwenje has been appointed the new GSU Commandant filing the void left by new police commissioner Mathew Iteere.

Abdul Maka Mzee, formerly the Chief Firearm Licensing Officer becomes the new North Eastern Province police boss with Levin Kyule Mwandi replacing him.

Antony Kibuchi is the new Nairobi area PPO replacing John Njagi who has been transferred to Nyanza.

Moses Ombati will deputize Kibuchi.

Michael Remi Ngugi is the new Anti Stock Theft Unit Commandant and will be deputized by Solomon Makau.

The new appointments which take effect immediately come less than a month after the appointment of Mathew Iteere as the new police commissioner.