Saturday, July 31, 2010

Kibaki, PM confident of 'Yes' win

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga held a joint rally in Kisumu for the first time in a month exuding confidence that nothing will stand in the way of the proposed Constitution.

The President showered praises on Mr Odinga – in whose political backyard the rally was hosted - for putting up a brave fight for the Yes camp even in his illness.

Mr Odinga declared that a tsunami that would sweep aside those opposed to the proposed law, a political euphemism to predict victory for the Yes camp.

The principals rallied the voters to turn up large in large numbers to give the proposed laws a landslide victory.

The President insisted that he was looking forward to celebrating the birth of a new constitution on August 5, a day after the vote.

"We shall go out and cast our votes and wait to celebrate on the 5th of August. The tallying process has been improved and Kenyans will get results on time,” said the President during the rally at Moi Stadium Saturday.

Mr Kibaki renewed his attack on former President Moi saying that he should not be a stumbling block to reforms in the country.

He insisted that he had time to give Kenyans a new constitution but failed.

“We have no time to talk about an individual who failed to give us a new constitution after along time,” he said.

He asked the proponents of the proposed Constitution to continue educating those who are opposed to it so that they can understand it even after the referendum.

Mr Odinga was jovial even as he joked about his ailment. A month ago, the PM underwent head surgery at the Nairobi Hospital to relive pressure from outside his brain.

“Somebody had called me to Heaven, but when God heard that I was on the way going, He summoned Paul and asked him who had called Raila. Paul said that it was a wrong number. Then God asked me to to come back and serve my people as I had a lot of work to do and I am back,” Mr Odinga said.

Mr Odinga said that Kenyans can forgive Mr Moi for what he did to them but will never forget and he should leave voters alone to pass the new laws.

His speech was interrupted at several points with chants from frenzied supporters.

The PM lauded President Kibaki for spearheading the Yes campaign when he recuperating.

“The game had to continue and Kibaki had to come from the defence to the forward so that he can lead the Yes campaign. He was the Iniesta of Spain who scored the sole goal during the World Cup against Netherlands,” said the PM who is fond of using football analogies in his political speeches.

The Kisumu rally saw leaders Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi share the same platform with ten other cabinet ministers and a host of MPs in what underlined the government’s commitment to push for victory at the plebiscite.

Lands minister James Orengo said the dawn of a a new constitution was imminent since many Kenyans had resolved to give the country a new lease of life.

“After 50 years of struggling to liberate Kenyans, this baby called a new constitution will be born even if the father will be away,” said Mr Orengo amid cheers from the crowd.

Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang’, and Public Works minister Chris Obure thanked President Kibaki for remaining steadfast in the absence of Prime Minister Raila Odinga by leading from the front to give Kenyans a new constitution.

Mr Obure said Nyanza Province, which has lagged behind in development due to “deliberate marginalisation” by the former regimes is see development through a devolved system of government.

Industrialisation minister Henry Kosgey declared that a new constitution is unstoppable and urged Kenyans to turn up in large numbers to cast their votes.

Cabinet ministers Najib Balala, Dalmas Otieno, Joe Nyagah and Uhuru Kenyatta said they had every reason to be happy because the dawn of a new era was in the offing.

Veteran politician Martin Shikuku said constitution making had cost lives and left others disabled.

The two principals had earlier electrified the Kisumu streets as they drove from the airport through Obote road and Oginga Odinga streets and acknowledged wild cheers from the members of the public.

Moi Stadium was already teeming with activity as early as 7 am, with youths dancing and chanting pro-constitution songs.

Reported by Stella Cherono, Ouma Wanzala and Otieno Owida

Ruto calls for peaceful referendum vote

Higher Education minister William Ruto has called for a peaceful referendum process and said that he is confident Kenyans will reject the proposed Constitution.

He dismissed as "rumours" fears that there will be violence after the August 4 vote in various parts of the country.

"We are telling those spreading rumours and falsehoods about tension and issues of violence that Rift Valley and Kenya will vote at this referendum in peace," he said during a No campaign rally at 64 Stadium, Eldoret Saturday.

There have been reports of tension and anxiety in different parts of Kenya, especially those prone to violence following the now familiar pattern of intimidation and the distribution of leaflets threatening eviction.

A recent survey, conducted by Peace and Development Network Trust (PeaceNet Kenya) on behalf of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, identified 29 hotspots in different parts of the country.

They are: Mathare and Kibera in Nairobi, Nakuru, Eldoret, Naivasha, Molo, Kuresoi, Kericho, Rongai, Bomet, Bureti, Sotik, Trans Nzoia, Burnt Forest, Londiani and Uasin Gishu in the Rift Valley.

Other areas include: Mt Elgon, Lugari and Kakamega in Western Province, Borabu, Kuria, Mombasa, Muranga, Isiolo, Kisumu, Nyambene, Garissa and Wajir.

Conflict is likely to revolve around land, opposing views on the proposed Constitution and militias in those areas.

Internal Security minister George Saitoti has issued a stern warning against those threatening Kenyans.

“The government has a duty to protect all Kenyans. Security agencies will act decisively against those threatening Kenyans.”

Mr Ruto said that the fact that the No camp was campaigning against the proposed Constitution should not be misconstrued to mean that they were frustrating the efforts of Kenyans from getting a new constitutional dispensation.

"We want a new constitution and we agree with Yes that there a few flaws in the document. But we differ with them when they say we pass and then amend," he told the crowd.

"The constitution is not a newspaper that if it has bad things another one will be written tomorrow."

The Eldoret North MP said the No camp will remain unmoved and will stay the course to the end.

"We will remain steadfast until we win," Mr Ruto declared.

He took issue with the Yes camp for engaging Church leaders, whom he said have stated that the proposed Constitution is a bad document, in a fight.

"Engaging in a contest and disagreement between the spiritual and political leadership is the beginning of troubles in the country," he said.

Mr Ruto said that the No camp was firmly opposed to abortion and would not condone the "shedding of innocent blood of the unborn".

He told the No supporters that the issue of land was not a simple thing saying that during the tussle for the controversial Migingo Island between Kenya and Uganda, Parliament adjourned its sittings to discuss the issue as a matter of national importance.

"There was a lot of hue and cry because of nusu acre ya mawe (half an acre of rock)," he said in reference to the island that both countries had laid claim to.

"We will not entertain reckless clauses in the chapter on land because it is a recipe of bad things in the country."

He accused the Yes camp of calling them anti-reformists for opposing the proposed Constitution yet they were on the same side during the 2005 referendum.

"In 2005, when we said No they called us reformers, now that we are also saying No we have been tagged anti-reformers," he said.

Mr Ruto put the Yes proponents on notice saying that No will carry the day on the August 4 vote since "God" is on their side.

"I am telling our Friends in Yes that though they have government machinery and the goodwill of the international community, we have the people of Kenya and God.

We will prevail by the will of God."

Other leaders who addressed the No campaign rally included: Information minister Samuel Poghisio, Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, Joshua Kutuny (Cherengany), Charles Keter (Belgut), former Nambale MP Chris Okemo among others.

New Kenyan poll puts No in the lead

Written By:Collins Anampiu , Posted: Sat, Jul 31, 2010

Barely a day after two opinion polls put the Yes camp on a comfortable lead in the run-up to the August 4 referendum, a new opinion poll by a hitherto unknown company calling itself East Africa Dataline has put the No team in the lead for the first time since the commencement of the referendum campaigns.

According to a survey released by the company Saturday, 53% of those polled reject the proposed constitution while 47% would say Yes in the referendum.

The survey that sampled 5400 respondents across the country comes barely a day after Strategic Research and TNS Research International polled 66% and 68% respectively for the Yes camp with the No trailing by 20% and 25%.

According to Konoin MP Julius Kones who is firmly in the No camp, the survey was based on the 2007 voting patterns across the 8 provinces.

The poll indicates that Rift Valley province has the highest number of those opposed to the proposed constitution with 79% followed by Eastern province with 66%.

Nyanza province leads with 73% of those supporting the proposed law followed by Western province at 64%.

However the poll seems to be markedly inconsistent with previous polls conducted by various research companies which have constantly shown the Yes team leading by a steady margin.

President extols reformists

KISUMU, Kenya, Jul 31 - President Mwai Kibaki has paid glowing tribute to Kenyans who have been spearheading the reform agenda in the country.

The President expressed confidence that the unity of purpose demonstrated by reformist will continue even after passing the new constitution to hasten development.

The President, who was addressing Nyanza leaders at the Kisumu Yatch Club, said the teamwork displayed in the quest for the new Constitution will bear fruits after next Wednesday’s national referendum.

“Kenyans have waited for over 20 years to get a new Constitution and time was now ripe to conclude the process and turn to other priority nation building activities,” President Kibaki said.

The President welcomed back Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who was in the meeting, to join the “Yes” team in the remaining days of campaigning for the new Constitution.

On education, President Kibaki expressed satisfaction that the Free Education Programme had opened doors for many children to acquire education and assured the public that once passed, the Proposed Constitution will entrench the rights of Kenyans to education.

He, at the same time, called on Kenyans to rededicate themselves to the peace and support the Government in its development endeavours.

With regard to regional integration, the President said more countries had shown interest in joining the East African community, pointing out that currently the EAC has five members which are Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga thanked President Kibaki for tirelessly leading the “Yes” campaign team during his absence.

Mr Raila said he had no doubt that Kenyans would this time around pass the Proposed Constitution.

The Prime Minister echoed President Kibaki’s optimism that Kenyans will deliver the next liberation.

Others speakers at the meeting included Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, several cabinet ministers from Nyanza and Kisumu Town East and West MPs Shakeel Shabbir and Olago Aluoch.

The leaders appreciated the sound economic policies put in place by President Kibaki’s Government to revive the economy and dilapidated infrastructure in the country.

The Ministers also thanked the President for energetically leading the “Yes” campaign team.

In attendance were 12 Cabinet ministers, several assistant minister, 14 Nyanza MPs and professionals from the region.

We will win, says Kenyan No Minister

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 - Higher Education Minister William Ruto on Saturday hosted a major 'No' campaign rally in his Eldoret backyard where he exuded confidence that his brigade was poised to win next week's referendum.

The rally at the historic 64 stadium was attended by a mammoth crowd and addressed by close to 20 politicians and church leaders. The leaders called for the rejection of the Proposed Constitution due to contentious issues.

They singled out land, abortion, inclusion of Kadhis courts and the adoption of international conventions as reasons for their opposition to the proposed law.

"A constitution is not a newspaper which if you make a mistake today you will print another tomorrow," said Mr Ruto adding "we are not going to entertain reckless clauses on the chapter of land because it is going to set this country for the worst."

Mr Ruto rubbished accusations from leaders in the 'Yes' camp that the 'No' camp is made up of self seeking politicians.

"How come today because we have not agreed with them they have now called us non-reformers and in 2005 when we were in the same camp they called us reformers?" posed the de facto leader of the No camp.

Bishop Mark Kariuki representing the Church leaders said the Christians could not endorse a document that legalises abortion and entrenches religious injustices by including Kadhis courts.

"When we were starting our campaign they said we are a small group but now our support is all over the country," said Bishop Kariuki.

The 'No' Chief agent David Koech called on the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to ensure that Wednesday's vote is free and fair.

"Let them ensure that the results to be sent via SMS are the accurate ones," said Mr Koech.

The well attended rally was the last in the area as the campaigns come to a close this Monday.

"I was the first one to oppose this draft in Parliament and I have been consistent. My boss the Prime Minister fired me but it is okay," said Belgut MP Charles Keter.

Suspended Roads assistant Minister Wilfred Machage urged President Kibaki to be in the forefront in uniting the country despite the outcome of the vote.

"I told President Mwai Kibaki to stay above these referendum politics since he is the leader of us all whether in the 'No' or 'Yes' campaign but he refused. I still believe he has time to do that," said Dr Machage.

At the same time, Retired president Daniel arap Moi pitched tent in Samburu as he intensified his 'No' campaign.

Church leaders on their part have planned two rallies in Githurai and Jamhuri Park on Sunday.

Lawyers educate Kenyans on draft law

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31- A civil society group is now calling for the empowerment and sustenance of all the interim Agenda 4 commissions saying they will play a vital role in ensuring Kenya enforces the new constitution if passed.

The International Ford Foundation Programme Alumni, Kenya (IFP, Kenya) on Saturday said the implementation of the contents of the proposed constitution would be determined by the general support from the entire Kenyan fraternity and the caretaker committees that would be in charge.

Chairperson Agnes Zani said that honouring the transitional clauses as proposed by the document would also facilitate the execution of its contents.

"We always talk about the government should do this or that but the government is us. Kenya is and will be what we want it to be if we go out of our way to make it what it should be. It's not just about the Constitution and reforms. Kenyans have to play a part. You can defeat a process if you don't work hard enough to pull together," she said.

She further argued that civic education would still be required after the August 4 referendum vote as it would help Kenyans understand the various mechanisms and systems required to implement the new law.

"We need to have very clear terms of reference so that there are ways of putting stop gaps. For example the new law proposes that we will be able to recall any non-performing Member of Parliament. But what is the process? How are we going to do that? What are the indicators and how will we tell this MP is not performing," she argued.

Dr Zani also commended works done by the Agenda 4 commissions so far, saying they were an indication that Kenya could transform itself and reach greater heights.

"For many developing countries creating institutions that work is the main thing. We compare ourselves with the Asian tigers who about 40 years ago were more or less where Kenya is. But over time, they have made a big difference because they put the right institutions into place," she said.

Meanwhile the Law Society of Kenya also called on both religious and state institutions to join forces and help in implementing the constitution.

Speaking during a roadshow around the city of Nairobi targeting residents in informal areas, civic education convener Lucy Kambuni said Kenyans would have to own the proposed new law for its effective implementation.

"There is going to be a lot of work even after we pass it. We are going to have over 70 pieces of legislations that are going to be enacted and we will all have to play a very active role in ensuring that the legislation that comes out of Parliament is in accordance with the constitution," she explained.

Ms Kambuni who called on Kenyans to maintain peace throughout the constitutional review process also said that the LSK had issued over 5,000 copies of the constitution to the dwellers of the populous settlements.

"We want to celebrate this document let it not be divisive for Kenyans. These are just differences of opinion and we will have to come together and sit and discuss the contents," she said.

Twenty five lawyers took part in the two-day road show to clarify issues arising from the contentious clauses. It covered Kawangware, Dagoretti, Kangemi, Kibera, Gachie, Jogoo Road, Outering, slums in South C and B, Buruburu and their environs.

Complaint against The Standard newspaper and Runji wa Mbeu

Miguna Miguna
To: kibunja@
Cc: Tanui Kipkoech, David Ohito

Dear Dr. Kibunja,

Further to a text message I sent to 0723926666, which is a number I was provided with for filing text complaints, I am writing to formally complain against the two identified persons for publishing threatening statements against me personally as well as against Kenyans in general.

On Thursday July 29th, 2010, the Standard published, at page 15, an article titled "Why won't Miguna let sleeping volcanoes lie?". The author was purportedly Runji wa Mbeu. I have no personal knowledge of the author. However, the night before the publication, I received a text message warning me that the article would be appearing the next day and that former President Moi had personally ordered its publication.

Read in its entirety and in proper context, the article meant and was intended to threaten me, personally, of physical harm from supporters of Moi from the Rift Valley who are ex-service men. It also warned Kenyans in general, not to interfere with Moi otherwise, his many well-trained supporters might cause insurrection or civil war.

Although the article pretends to be responding to an article or articles I purportedly published "elsewhere;" it did not identify the article or articles it was responding to, when or where they were published. It did not quote any section or portion of the article or articles it was responding to. However, the gist of the article, was to warn me to stop writing on Moi and other "offensive" issues.

It states in part: "These officers and men, upon qualification, take a oath not to use their military skills to hurt their country. This oath is binding as long as the rule of law prevails. When this is subverted, there is nothing to stop them from destroying the agents of anarchy and malice."

In the article, the author implies that I am such "agent of anarchy or malice" that should be destroyed.

Two weeks before this article was published, I received a telephone call from a senior media personality. He advised me that the former President Moi was very angry with my articles and that he had sent Zipporah Kitony to tell me to stop attacking him. One week and a half ago, Mrs. Kittony's son who is the chair of The Star newspaper where my column runs met me at The Yaya Centre and repeated the same message to me.

In view of the foregoing, I believe that the threats contained in the article are real. I believe that the Standard newspaper ought to have known that the article contained overt threats to my person. Yet they never warned me nor asked me to write a response that should have been published side-by-side with the offending publication. But more importantly, journaistic integrity demands that the article, if was genuinely in response to any of my articles that I published in the Star, ought to have been published there. It was unethical and a blatant breach of journalistic principles and ethics for the Standard to have pubished the offending article when they knew that it was not responding to anything I had published in the Standard.

Yesterday, Thursday July 29th, at about 12:30pm, I submitted a response to the offending article to the Standard daily Managing Director, Mr. Tanui and another senior editor, Mr. David Ohito. I expressly stated that I needed the rebuttal to be published in exercise of my right of reply. At about 5pm the same day, Mr. Ohito sent me a text stating that the Standard would not be publishing my rebuttal. Mr. Tanui refused to confirm whether or not he would publish the rebuttal. Clearly, by this decision, the Standard once more violated another journalistic principle: that of fairness.

Should something happen to me, I wish to state here that former President Moi, the Standard newspaper and Mr. Mbeu, if he exists, must be held responsible.

I am therefore requesting an investigation of the Standard newspaper and Mr. Mbeu for the reasons outlined above.

I intend to forward a comprehensive complaint when I return to the office as I am writing this quickly from the field.

Yours very truly,

Miguna Miguna

Prime Minister's Advisor, Coalition Affairs
Permanent Secretary
PO Box 74434-00200

Tel: +254-20-2252299

Kibaki, PM in Kisumu for 'Yes' rally

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are in Kisumu, western Kenya, to drum up support for the proposed Constitution.

The coalition leaders are expected to address a Yes campaign rally at Moi Stadium, which was already teeming with activity as early as 7 am, as youths danced and chanted pro-constitution songs.

Not even the scorching sun could dampen their spirit.

The President arrived at Kisumu Airport and proceeded to the VIP lounge to await the arrival of the PM, his host.

They then made an entry into the town through Obote road, to Oginga Odinga street before making an entry into the stadium.

Those who were on hand to receive the two leaders were: Deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi, ministers Kiraitu Murungi, James Orengo,Fred Gumo, Anyang Nyong’o and Dalmas Otieno.

MPs present included: Musa Sirma, Pollyns Ochieng, Shakeel Shabir, Nicholas Gumbo, Edick Anyanga, Martin Ogindo, Oyugi Magwanga ,Olago Aluoch.

The PM, who has been away from the referendum campaigns for the past one month during which he underwent surgery, made his first public appearance away from his home Friday when he joined other fans to cheer on Kenya athletes at the ongoing Senior Africa Athletics Championships.

The principals will hold another Yes rally at Uhuru Park on Sunday.

Higher Education minister William Ruto will lead a No rally in Eldoret.

Kenyans will vote to either approve or reject the proposed Constitution at a referendum on August 4.

Kenya, South Africa tops medal chart in Africa Athletics Championships

17:14, July 31, 2010
On the third day of the Africa Athletics Championship here on Friday, host Kenya and South Africa remained even at the top of the medal standings with five gold apiece.

Kenya is keeping a firm grip on its middle and long distance races while South Africa continues to reign in the field events and sharing the spoils with giants Nigeria in the sprints.

On Friday, the Beijing Olympic Games 1,500m champion Nancy Jebet Lagat secured a sweet victory for the home fans to steer Kenya to the top as she picked up the host country's tenth medal.

At the close of the championship on Friday, Kenya had five golds, two silvers and three bronzes, the same as as South Africa, while Nigeria is third with seven medals, three gold, one silver and three bronze.

Senegal is fourth (1-3-1), Egypt fifth(1-2-1) while Cote d' Ivoire is sixth with one gold, one silver and one bronze, the same as Algeria.

Kenya was able to secure a rear medal in the high jump as Cherotich Koech, 21, clinched the bronze though another Kenyan Catherine Kagwiria did not start.

Ts'oalei Selloane of Lesotho won her country gold after she cleared 1.75m while Setchelles Lissa Labiche took silver having jumped 1.70m.

Elizna Naude of South Africa won gold in the women discus throw as she cleared 56.74 ahead of Kazai Suzanne Kragbe of Cote d' Ivoire 55.53 with Egypt's Sarah Hasseib Dardiri claiming the bronze in 46.51.

Kenya's national champion Caroline Cherotich was only good enough to claim fourth with a throw of 38.75 meters ahead of compatriots Cecilia Kiplagat whose throw went as far as 38.23 meters while Pascaline Kipsang was sixth with 35.87m.

In Long jump, it was Nigeria that reigned supreme as Blessing Okagbare chalked up the gold clearing 6.62 meters ahead of compatriot Comfort Onyali who could go as far as 6.42 meters to leave Morocco's Jamaa to take the bronze in 6.30m.

Mali's Yah Koita could only clear 6.11 to take the fourth slot while Cameroon's Sandrine Mbumi jump of 6.05 meters was enough to see her finish fifth.

Source: Xinhua

Red and Yes teams intensify campaigns

Written By:Rosalia Opondo , Posted: Sat, Jul 31, 2010

This being the last weekend before Kenyans go to the historic referendum vote on the proposed constitution the two camps on either side of the divide are combing the country in a last gasp effort to woo supporters.

On Saturday the Yes team takes its campaigns to Kisumu after rallies in Kiambu and Mwingi.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected back on the campaign trail after weeks of recuperating following a head surgery.

The team has various politicians drumming up support for the proposed campaigns in several parts of the country.

On Friday roads minister Franklin Bett accompanied by a host of MPs were urging residents of Bomet district to endorse the proposed law as it will guarantee good governance.

In western province the locals were told to turn up in large numbers to take chance of this constitutional moment that should not be wasted and ignore propagada being peddled by the Reds.

The Reds were in Eastern province where they maintained their opposition to the draft and aked the US to keep off Kenyan affairs.

Campaigns on the proposed constitution close on Monday.

Assets of ex ferries boss frozen

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 31 - Former Kenya Ferry Services managing director John Ria’s multi-million property and over 10 bank accounts have now been frozen by the courts following an application by the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.

The order issued on Friday by the High Court in Mombasa will remain in force for the next six months.

The KACC wants to investigate whether the property was acquired illegally.

“We suspect they are proceeds of corruption or have otherwise been acquired illegally and as a result of corrupt conduct,” court documents state.

The property includes five vehicles, 12 plots at the Coast and 14 accounts with several banks.

Under the order, Mr Ria cannot sell, lease, charge, mortgage, develop, subdivide or engage in any dealing with the property or accounts.

The order is copied to six banks, several associate companies and listed business partners who are named as respondents.

Mr Ria was sent on compulsory leave over a year ago to pave way for investigations into alleged misuse of funds at the KFS. The parastatal was riddled with claims of financial impropriety and inefficiency with ferry services interrupted frequently. The KFS has perennially been rocked by commuter complaints about frequent breakdowns and delays due to lack of servicing.

Isaac Kamau was appointed acting managing director before Musa Hassan was appointed the new manager.

Previous reports indicate that several issues have been raised in the past touching on procurement at the firm.

Although two new ferries were to be bought from a German firm, Schiff Bau, since 2004, controversy has dogged the tendering process, delaying the purchase. Their arrival was postponed severally but arrived last month.

They are expected to beef up the current fleet of Mv Harambee, Mv Pwani, Mv Kilindini, Mv Nyayo, Mv Mvita and Mv Mtongwe II. Ferry services at Likoni Mombasa are the only link to the South Coast.

It serves local residents going to work and those heading to Tanzania and beyond through the Lunga Lunga border.

Bull's-Eye: Clash of the 'titans'

Failing doesn't make you a failure, that's the gospel according to Daniel Toroitich arap Moi. Because he is still in the land of the living, he is doing what living politicians do, rubbing those who consigned him into retirement the wrong way. Moi wants to score but there are those who think he is offside and as Emmanuel Juma reports on Bull's-Eye, it's turning out to be an ill tempered game.

Yes Campaigns

In a show of confidence ahead of the referendum poll, vice president Kalonzo Musyoka now says a post referendum constitution committee should be formed to look into amendments that anti-draft crusaders want in the document. In the meantime he says the no side should concede defeat. Kalonzo was in Kangema where the yes team received Limuru mp Peter Mwathi to their team after his defection from the no camp. Here's is Hussein Mohamed with a look at the green brigade's forays in other parts of the country in their efforts to sell the proposed new constitution.

No campaigns

Opponents of the proposed constitution intensified their campaigns in different parts of the country. Higher education minister William Ruto led the no team in Ukambani insisting that there are still options to amend the proposed laws and a void a divisive referendum. Meanwhile retired President Daniel Moi was in Lodwar where he urged the locals to vote against the proposed constitution faulting the bill of rights and devolution chapters. Chris Thairu reports.

Kibaki in Kapkatet

In Kapkatet the president Kibaki urged the Kalenjin community not to be misled by politicians driven by personal interests and asked the side that will lose in the forthcoming referendum to accept defeat as the process will be free and fair. Alex Chamwada covered the event and filed the following report

AAC 800, 3000 and 1,500 Gold

Kenyan athletes scooped a total of 7 medals, 3 of them gold in the ongoing Africa athletics championships at the Nyayo National stadium, to remain top of the medal standings. The 1st gold medal was won by David Rudisha in the men's 800 meters. 20 minutes later Richard Kipkemboi Matelong scooped the 2nd one in the men's 3000 meters steeplechase before Nancy Jebet won the third in the women's 1,500 meters. Kenya now has a total of 5 gold medals.

Referendum Countdown: Understanding the Constitution

There are four days to go before Kenyans will be required to vote on the referendum for the proposed new constitution. In our referendum countdown Olivia Okech sought out to get the views of some voters on whether they are familiar with the contents of the document and what their expectations are for the august 4th referendum poll.

Utumizi mbaya wa mamlaka serikalini

Yes heads to Suswa

Earlier on Friday, president Kibaki pushed on with his punishing schedule, addressing rallies at two symbolic grounds, Suswa and Kapkatet. His coalition partner Raila Odinga quietly slipped Kisumu earlier in the evening in readiness for a rally with the president on Saturday. In Nairobi, the government announced that august 4th would be a public holiday to ensure maximum participation in the referendum. And at the holy family basilica Christian clergy mainly allied to the No camp held special prayers for a peaceful vote. NTV's Peninah Karibe reports from Suswa.

Three Kenyans charged in Kampala over bombings

In Kampala, three kenyans have been charged with the bombing earlier in July in which 76 people were killed. The prosecution accuses the three, Hussein Hassan Agad, Adan Abdow and Idris Maganda of being behind the terrorist attacks. NTV's Ann Natukunda reports on the case against the three men that could become the faces of terror in Uganda.

The glory is gone!

The fall of another giant in the corridors of justice. Earlier on Friday, bishop Margaret Wanjiru lost her Starehe seat in an election petition filed by a former MP Maina Kamanda. The court nullified Wanjiru's election saying the whole exercise was marred by irregularities. However the judge declined to declare Kamanda the winner of the seat. And as NTV's Jane Kiyo reports, Wanjiru becomes the 7th MP to lose her seat through a court petition.

Wanjiru Loses Starehe Seat

Housing Assistant Minister, Margaret Wanjiru has lost her Starehe parliamentary seat. The election court sitting at Milimani nullified Wanjiru�s 2007 election following a successful petition by former MP, Maina Kamanda. High court judge, Kihara Kariuki, however, rejected Kamanda�s application to be declared outright winner of the election. Wanjiru, who ran on an ODM ticket, becomes the latest Member of Parliament to be sent packing by the election court, in yet another indication that the massive irregularities in the 2007 general election were not limited to the disputed presidential race.

Kibaki In Suswa

President Kibaki has cautioned against violence after the referendum and told those who attempt to cause trouble that they will be in for it. The president also declared August 4th a public holiday through an announcement made by government spokesman Alfred Mutua. Meanwhile Limuru MP Peter Mwathi defected to the yes camp in Kangema today saying he would now support the draft constitution.

Kipkemboi's hopes hit dead end

By Vitalis Kimutai

Chelsea, the only child of former US President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham, walks down the aisle today.

And as she does so, hopes of a Kenyan man – who once sought her hand in marriage – of meeting and marrying her, are confirmed a pipe dream.

All his wishes – to meet Chelsea, marry her and his recent expression of willingness to travel to the US for her wedding with her teenage friend, if invited –have all been reduced to a dream. He has never met her neither was he invited to the wedding today.

Chelsea is marrying Marc Mezvinsky, an investment banker, in what has been dubbed the social event of the season. He is son of a former Congressman Edward Mezvisnky and congresswoman Marjorie Margolies-Merzvinsky.

However, for Godwin Kipkemboi Chepkurgor, the wedding marks the end of his 10-year-old dream to marry Chelsea.

Chelsea Clinton and her fiance' Marc Mezvinski met as schoolchildren but began dating five years ago.

"I have simply lost her. It is a bitter pill for me, but I am not bitter. I wish her happiness with her chosen life partner," Chepkurgor said in an interview early this week.

He, however, says: "I feel jealous that another man has snatched her before I could get hold of her. I can assure him he has got a beautiful and intelligent woman for a wife."

And why does he think he lost the opportunity to make history as the first African to marry from the US first family?

"Perhaps, I was not patient enough. She already knows I’m married with two children. But if I had met her, perhaps things would be different,"

Chepkurgor says.

In 2000, Chepkurgor then a Fourth Year student at Moi University, sent security agents in a spin when he sent a letter to the White House, addressed to Clinton, seeking his daughter’s hand in marriage.

In the letter, Chepkurgor named former President Moi, former Maendeleo ya Wanawake Organisation chairperson, Zipporah Kittony, Eldoret East MP Margaret Kamar (then principal of Moi University’s Chepkoilel campus), as his referees.

He also named two of his college mates, John Tanui of Huawei Technologies and Joseph Siror of Kenya Revenue Authority, as referees.

Family and professional life

After waiting for a reply from the Clintons for seven years in vain, Chepkurgor, a former nominated councillor in Nakuru, moved on and married a former college mate Grace. She is a high school teacher and together they have two children.

Chepkurgor said he did his best in seeking Chelsea’s hand in marriage to an extent of putting her parents in the picture of his intentions. But he said with the new development, he was resting his case to focus more on his family and professional life.

"I would not like to meddle in her love life. I will keep praying for her and, someday, I hope I will share a table with both of them," he said. Asked in a previous interview why he chose to engage Chelsea’s parents directly in issues he should have tackled with her, Chepkurgor said that was the African way.

"In a typical African setting, such issues are dealt with by the parents, elders and prospective suitor," he explained.

During a tour of Kenya this year, Mrs Clinton was amused when she was asked what she thought of the offer of 40 head of cows and 20 goats from a Kenyan seeking to marry her only child.

Fareed Zakaria of CNN, who with KTN’s Beatrice Marshall moderated a public forum with Clinton at University of Nairobi, asked the unexpected question.

She said it would be up to Chelsea to decide on the matter as she was a mature and independent person but promised to pass on the message.

In January, he had renewed his interest to meet Chelsea after she went public with her wedding plans this summer. In a 2,290-word letter dispatched through the US Ambassador Michael Rannerberger, the man expressed his undying love for Chelsea.

"Sir, I am not sure if it is right that I should write through your office this very private and personal issue (sic). Pardon my naivety. I do not know any other way," read the letter in part.

"My love is simple and true. It is chronic. It is persistent and phenomenal. It increases in measure like the global warming. I feel it in my heart and speak it with my lips. My word is my testimony and my heart is my witness," added the document.

Chepkurgor says he would have organised a grand wedding in line with African culture and would have invited retired South African Bishop Desmond Tutu to preside over it.

He said in previous interviews that his wife was understanding and did not mind his meddling with Chelsea.

Strategic Research: 'Yes' gains followers as 'No' remains static

The latest and last opinion poll by Strategic Research shows the 'Yes' camp would win by 66 per cent of the votes cast were the referendum to be held today.

The opinion poll released yesterday showed that 20 per cent of the voters support the ‘No’ camp with nine per cent still undecided on whom to vote for.

Yesterday, Strategic Research Director Caesar Handa said the ‘Yes’ camp had made gains in the last few weeks.

An opinion poll released by the company two weeks ago showed 62 per cent of Kenyans would vote ‘Yes’ if the vote were held then.

The poll indicated that 20 per cent of registered voters would choose ‘No’, while 18 per cent were undecided.

Gained four points

But yesterday, Handa said the ‘Yes’ camp had gained four points while the support for ‘No’ had remained static.

Nyanza Province led with the highest support for the Proposed Constitution at 86 per cent followed by Central, North Eastern, Coast and Western at 75, 71, 69 and 69 per cent respectively.

The ‘Yes’ camp enjoys the least support in Eastern and Rift Valley Provinces at 52 and 51 per cent respectively.

Support in rift valley

The opinion poll showed the ‘No’ camp enjoys the most support in Rift Valley and Eastern provinces at 34 and 33 per cent respectively.

Handa said 84 per cent of those interviewed said they would participate in the referendum with six per cent abstaining.

On regional voting, Nyanza led with the largest turn out of expected voters at 88 per cent followed by Coast, Nyanza, Central, Western, Rift Valley, Eastern and North Eastern at 88, 87, 86, 83, 81, 83 and 73 per cent respectively.

Most respondents said they would vote since the country needs change and a new constitution, while those opposed to the new laws said the draft had many mistakes.

27 per cent say 'No' ministers to be sacked

Twenty-seven per cent of Kenyans who will vote in the August 4 referendum support the sacking of ministers opposed to the Proposed Constitution, the latest poll has shown.

The respondents said the ministers should be replaced by those who support the Government if ‘Yes’ wins.

However, 66 per cent of those interviewed said ministers should be allowed to continue serving in the Cabinet irrespective of which side wins.

The survey released yesterday by Strategic Research Director Caesar Handa showed only four per cent of those interviewed felt that ministers in the ‘No’ camp should be given more responsibilities if they win.

Yesterday, Handa said the media was still rated tops in its conduct during the campaign period with a mean of 7.3 followed by the Prime Minister and President Kibaki at 7.1 and 7.0

Referendum Campaigns: Rally Drama

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka got a rude shock in his Eastern Province backyard when he was booed and literally chased from a 'No' rally, as the referendum campaigns hit a feverpitch.

The country was literally painted Green and Red, as the opposing camps made the final push for votes ahead of the historic vote on the Proposed
safe under the Proposed Constitution.

"Not even an inch of your land will be taken away, so you have no reason to fear. The land will belong to you before and after the referendum," Kibaki said.

The ‘No’ side did not leave anything to chance, too, as various teams visited several parts of the country to reach out to as many voters as they could.

Former President Moi campaigned in the historic Lodwar town where founding President Kenyatta and his five compatriots who fought for the country’s independence were jailed.

Kanu Vice-Chairman Gideon Moi, Secretary General, Nick Salat, former Nominated MP, Mark Too, and former State House Comptroller, Abraham Kiptanui, accompanied the former President in the campaigns culminating in a rally in Lodwar.

"It is a very dangerous trend we want to set for the country and it is not good for both the current and future generations. We should all reject the document at the referendum," Moi said.

And the rest of the ‘No’ team led by Higher Education Minister William Ruto, made another day-long foray into Eastern Province where they addressed 10 rallies.

But the biggest campaign spectacle is expected to be on show in two western Kenya towns of Kisumu and Eldoret today, when President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga address a rally at the lakeside town as Ruto’s team go to Eldoret.

Eldoret was a hive of activity yesterday, as the ‘No’ rally organisers mounted giant speakers on trailers covered with red banners, asking people to attend the rally today.

"We are inviting you to the ‘No’ rally at 64 Stadium at 10am. ‘No’ team leaders, led by Ruto, will address the people of the North Rift," blared the speakers.

Raila was expected in Kisumu last evening for a night at his rural Bondo home before making the much-awaited return to the campaign trail at the highly-anticipated rally at Moi Stadium, Kisumu.

The Prime Minister, who has been recovering after being taken ill, yesterday attended the 17th African Safaricom African Senior Athletics Championships at Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi.

Cabinet ministers from the region led by Dalmas Otieno were in Kisumu last evening, waiting for Raila who was not expected to make any public appearance until today.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta campaigned for the Proposed Constitution in Chuka and Nkubu towns in Nithi and Imenti South constituencies. He was with Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi, Assistant Ministers Kareke Mbiuki, Kilemi Mwiria, and Cecily Mbarire who reminded residents how they had benefited under President Kibaki. Anxiety gripped Kisumu as news spread that Raila, who has been out of public limelight in the last one month, was to arrive in the town last evening.

The PM was expected to team up with President Kibaki for a grand gathering reminiscent of the one held during the National Rainbow Coalition wave in the final sprint to 2002 General Election.

Reports from Kisumu say security had been bolstered, ahead of the rally tomorrow.

Another group led by Information Minister Samuel Poghisio was in Kitale and Kapenguria for rallies in West Pokot.

In the larger Meru, MPs Mithika Linturi (Igembe South) and Silas Muriuki (Igembe North) toured Mikindani, Chuka, Meru Town, and Ntonyiri in a final lap.

In Western, Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and the regional ‘No’ team covered Lugari, Chimoi, Malava, Kimilili constituencies, and sections of Trans Nzoia District.

Kibaki and the Prime Minister are expected to lead the climax of the ‘Yes’ rallies at a prayer meeting at Uhuru Park on Sunday.

On Monday, the final day allowed for campaigning by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), President Kibaki will go to another historic ground – Kirigiti in Kiambu.

Why Kibaki cannot hold a candle to Moi’s democratic credentials

Were it not for his restraint and love for children, Mr Daniel arap Moi would have challenged his successor to debate him on prime time TV over who is the better President.

The ongoing public spat between the two leaders would have ended instantly before the cameras, mortally wounding President Kibaki’s reputation forever and pulverising his tattered legacy.

Mr Moi would have used the opportunity not only to lay out his reform credentials, but also to publicly humiliate the President for his numerous failings.

As President, Mr Moi staved off a national crisis by agreeing to minimum reforms in 1997. Through the Inter-Parties Parliamentary Group deal, the country was pulled back from revolution by allowing public meetings without having to seek permits, giving political parties a voice in picking electoral commission officials and agreeing to a roadmap for constitution review.

Mr Moi then lured Prof Yash Pal Ghai from overseas to lead constitution-making. His subsequent refusal to give Prof Ghai’s Constitution of Kenya Review Commission audience in no way detracted from his great personal contribution. Of course, he was wise enough to avoid giving a time frame for completing the review. He was only being neutral and presidential.

Before that, Mr Moi had responded to the public clamour for plural politics by advising Kanu to repeal the constitutional provision for single-party rule.

Let the record reflect that Mr Kibaki, then Vice-President with his eyes on the presidency, had single-handedly proposed the constitutional amendment that turned Kenya into a one-party dictatorship, rushed it through debate, and presented Mr Moi with a fait accompli. As President, Mr Moi had little choice but to assent to it.

Other than the constitutional reforms carried out under Mr Moi, what can Mr Kibaki say he has done with the constitution? Nothing, except waste money on referenda!

Were it not for foreigners bullying him into tinkering with the very constitution he had sworn to protect in 2008, he would have served his time without a single amendment.

Mr Moi, on the other hand, reformed the constitution to take away the security of tenure of judges — then he put it back. There were numerous other reforms he surmounted great difficulties to deliver.

Despite Mr Moi lending his successor generous help in the 2007 elections, he could not even create a million vote margin between him and his challenger, forcing him to be sworn in at night. The violence that followed those elections made Mr Moi wish he was in charge.

As President, he always had the capacity to predict violent events and control them. When clashes broke out in 1992 and again in 1997, he knew exactly how they would begin and end. When time came for the killing to stop, he ordered so, and it was done.

How does a President who is serious about democracy allow so many of his trusted lieutenants to fall by the wayside in an election? You pick the people you want to work with, or you end up with humourless characters in the Cabinet. Tell them to sing like parrots, and they start speechifying. How is it that everyone can talk at the same time? Kimya, Professor!

The desire to surround himself with NGO-types has been Mr Kibaki’s greatest undoing. Take the little matter of corruption. In terms of scale and audacity, nothing in recent history matches the gold and diamonds export compensation puzzle that was the Goldenberg affair.

By the time the matter was being unearthed, it was 10 years after the fact. Look at the kind of competence that went into Anglo Leasing, a project set up under Mr Moi’s tenure and passed on. Two years on, with no money transferred and there was already a scandal.

Obviously, Mr Kibaki did not take enough lessons from his boss when he was Vice-President. The matter of illegally armed groups like Mungiki is illustrative.

As President, when Mungiki slaughtered people in Kariobangi, Mr Moi did not strike them with a hammer. He personally invited them to State House, served them tea and lent them army Land Rovers for the 2002 campaigns. What did President Kibaki do? Start shooting them left, right and centre. Next thing we know, a UN Special Rapporteur is in town, and ministers are wanted in The Hague!

When Mr Moi detained people for national security, even the UN could not challenge that. Nowadays, every time someone is killed, a team of foreigners rush to Kenya to investigate. If it is not Philip Alston, it is Luis Moreno-Ocampo. Kenyans did not know these fellows.

Mr Moi must pity his successor when he looks at his puny achievements. Where Mr Moi has numerous schools, roads, bridges, stadia and children bearing his name, his successor’s face is on one miserable Sh40 coin. And he calls himself Mr Economy!

Raila rejoins campaign

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is back on the campaign trail and will on Saturday day attend a ‘Yes’ rally in Kisumu alongside President Kibaki.

The PM, who has been away from the referendum campaigns for the past one month during which he underwent surgery, appeared in the public away from his home for the first time on Friday when he joined more than 20,000 fans at the Nyayo Stadium to cheer on Kenyans to more gold medals in the Senior Africa Athletics Championship.

Mr Odinga later flew out to Kisumu where he and President Kibaki will lead a campaign meeting in support of the Proposed Constitution just four days to a national referendum set for August 4.

His spokesman Dennis Onyango said the PM will return to Nairobi to attend the final “Yes” rally in Nairobi on Sunday, which will be at Uhuru Park.

“He is back to make his contribution to the ‘Yes’ rallies,” he said.

His return comes as campaigns for and against the constitution reach fever pitch with tens of public meetings planned across the country.

On Saturday, the defacto leader of the “No” campaign, Mr William Ruto, will lead a big rally in Eldoret. The last major “No” rally will be held Sunday at Jamhuri Park in Nairobi.

Mr Odinga’s last ‘Yes’ rally was in Kakamega in June, and a few days later he was admitted at the Nairobi Hospital and underwent head surgery which kept him out of the campaigns. Even though he was discharged from hospital on July 4, he was under strict doctors’ instructions to take off time to rest.

No mobile network

However, the premier received streams of delegations at his Karen home until Wednesday last week when he left for Oldonyo Laro, a remote wildlife conservancy in Narok South near Loita Hills.

There are no motorable roads and has no mobile phone network. He was there for two days.

On Friday, athletics fans at the Nyayo Stadium cheered as he joined them to watch the ongoing African athletic championships and soon he himself was celebrating a clean sweep of medals by David Rudisha, Alfred Kirwa and Jackson Kivuva in the 800 metre men’s final.

Later in the afternoon, Mr Odinga flew to Kisumu to prepare for the first major “Yes” rally in the region where he enjoys fanatical following.

He spent time at the airport meeting local politicians before flying onward to his rural Bondo home where he was expected to spend the night.

Mr Odinga makes a comeback to the campaign trail that has seen President Kibaki engage in a whirlwind of rallies in the country that was never even witnessed during the 2005 referendum or the last general elections.

For the last two days, the President has addressed rallies in Webuye, Kakamega, Kapkatet and Suswa.

The PM’s absence from rallies also saw Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta engage a higher gear in their campaigns in Ukambani and Central Kenya to push for the “Yes” vote.

The “No” side led by Higher Education minister William Ruto has also in intensified its campaigns. On Fri day, Mr Ruto addressed 10 rallies in Ukambani.

Mr Odinga now returns as both sides in the referendum race are heading for the tape in a referendum which will be decided by Kenyans on Wednesday. He is expected to add to the gains of the “Yes” momentum in the few remaining rallies scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. There will be no campaigns on Tuesday.

In Kisumu, streets were teeming with supporters waving some of the posters the PM used in the 2007 election campaigns as they chanted their support for the constitution.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Kenyans charged over Uganda blasts

KAMPALA, Uganda, Jul 30 - A Ugandan court on Friday charged three Kenyans with 76 counts of murder, the first such cases opened against suspects in the July 11 suicide attacks in Kampala.

Hussein Hassan Agad, Mohamed Adan Abdow and Idris Magondu were charged before a Kampala magistrates court, but did not enter a plea.

They face 61 counts of murder for those killed while watching the World Cup final at the Kyadondo Rugby Club in the east of the Ugandan capital and 15 counts for those killed at an Ethiopian restaurant.

Chief Magistrate Deo Sejjemba said the accused were not allowed to enter a plea because the court does not have jurisdiction over the crime of terrorism.

The three will reappear at the magistrates court on August 27, but will not be permitted to plead to the charges until Uganda's Directorate of Public Prosecutions decides the case is ready to move to the High Court.

The three men were remanded to prison.

The charge sheet identified Agad as "a preacher of Islam," while Magondu was identified as an employee of a trading company in Nairobi.

Asked by AFP on his way out of the court room if he was involved in the attacks, Magondu smiled and said "no."

These are the first individuals charged in relation to the twin blasts that have been claimed by Somalia's Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab Islamists.

Police have previously said there is "very strong evidence" that the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers.

National police spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba told AFP earlier on Friday that several Pakistani citizens are still being held for questioning in connection with the blasts, but they have not been charged with any crimes.

At least one of the Pakistani individuals was identified in email obtained by police as the Kampala-based coordinator for the Shebab.

Somalia's Al Qaeda-inspired Shebab insurgents claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were to punish Uganda for sending troops for the African Union mission in the Horn of Africa country.

President paints Kericho green

KAPKATET, Kenya, Jul 30 - President Mwai Kibaki has dismissed as baseless rumours peddled by politicians in the No camp that Kenyans will lose their land if the proposed Constitution is passed.

President Kibaki said contrary to the claims, the proposed Constitution guaranteed the rights of land ownership among other private properties.

In this regard, the President urged politicians in the No camp to tell Kenyans the truth about the contents of the proposed Constitution instead of spreading lies on the few clauses they see as contentious.

Addressing a Yes campaign rally at Kapkatet stadium in Buret District, the Head of State said genuine leadership involved telling the truth but those discrediting the Proposed Constitution were only isolating their followers from the majority of Kenyans who cherish the truth and have resolved to support passage of the Proposed Constitution next week.

Saying he had so far addressed 30 campaign rallies across the country, President Kibaki expressed satisfaction with Kenyans’ overwhelming support for the proposed new Constitution.

The President noted that the proposed supreme law guaranteed good governance and equitable distribution of resources through devolved power to the grassroots.

“I have no doubt that the proposed Constitution which is good for the country and supported by majority of Kenyans will voted for overwhelmingly during the referendum,” the Head of State said.

President Kibaki reaffirmed that the proposed Constitution would cater for the interests of all Kenyans without discrimination.

He said after over 20 years of elusive search for a new Constitution, a new constitutional dispensation will this time round be realised by Kenyans whom, he said, were eagerly waiting for the referendum day to endorse the new law.

During the rally attended by eleven Cabinet ministers, the Head of State reiterated his call to Kenyans who have not read the proposed Constitution to do so in order to make an informed decision during next week referendum.

President Kibaki called on both the proponents and opponents of the proposed Constitution to rise above partisan interests in view of the fact that the constitution being debated would secure the future of the nation.

Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi dismissed as unfortunate claims by politicians in the No camp that the proposed Constitution was drafted by foreigners.

The proposed supreme law was prepared by Kenyans and will win international recognition once passed, Mr Mudavadi said.

Roads Minister Franklin Bett urged wananchi in Rift Valley to accommodate divergent views regarding the proposed Constitution and maintain peace during and after next week’s referendum.

Mr Bett affirmed that the rights of life and property must be respected so that communities in the province continued to live harmoniously even after the referendum.

He said the outcome of the referendum should not divide Kenyans but unite them to reap the benefits accruing from the new supreme law.

Cabinet Ministers Sally Koskey, Chris Obure, Otieno Kajwang, Amos Kimunya, Dalmas Otieno, Charity Ngilu, Henry Koskey and James Orengo enumerated the many benefits that would be derived from the proposed Constitution.

The leaders advised opponents of the proposed Constitution to re-consider their position and support the supreme law by avoiding being to be carried away by cheap politics.

Earlier, the President held a consultative meeting with grassroots leaders from the eight Kipsigis districts at Buret District Commissioner ’s residence.

The meeting was attended by among others Buret MP Franklin Bett, Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, Amos Kimunya and legislators and professionals from the Kipsigis community.

It rains gold

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – Three gold medals in an hour propelled Kenya to the top of the medal standings in an afternoon of high drama at the Nyayo National Stadium on Friday.

David Rudisha, Richard Mateelong and Nancy Jebet Langat led the charge clinching gold while Alfred Kirwa grabbed silver and there was bronze for Jackson Kivuva.

Rudisha started the gold rush leading Kenya to a 1-2-3 finish in the men’s 800 metres. The reigning African champion had the crowd on its feet as he effortlessly clocked 1:42.84 smashing the previous championships record which had set in Addus ababa two years ago.

“Yesterday (Thursday) I was feeling great and I knew I was going to run a fast time because I ran at a relaxed pace and today the pace was even so I’m really happy,” said Rudisha.

Former world champion Kirwa came in second in 1:44.85 while Kivuva improved on a fifth place showing in Addis two years ago with bronze in a time of 1:45.47.

The race was quickly followed by Kenya’s blue riband race -the men’s 3,000 metres steeplechase and capacity crowd was not disappointed as Mateelong successfully retained the African crown. The Police instructor from Kiganjo took charge with two laps to go powering home in 8:26.13.

“I am very happy to retain my title. At first the pressure was on because we were running at home but I thank God we made it,” said Mateelong.

Reigning world champion Ezekiel Kemboi grabbed silver with Ethiopia’s Gary Roba spoiling the party by snatching bronze in 8:27.15.

2004 African champion and reigning Olympic champion Nancy Jebet Langat regained the continental crown in style winning in 4:10.43 rounding off a fantastic afternoon.

Church leaders pray for No

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – The leaders of the main Christian denominations in Kenya held a joint prayer service in Nairobi on Friday, during which they maintained their unison in opposing the proposed Constitution.

Cardinal John Njue of the Catholic Church, Anglican Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala, and National Council of Churches of Kenya General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja led the prayers at the Holy Family Basilica.

In a common message by the more than ten speakers, the leaders said they could not endorse a document they claimed would legalise abortion on demand and create religious inequality in the country by the inclusion of Kadhis Courts.

“It is true this Constitution has many good things but the good has been mixed with evil sections that affect the moral life and rights of this country in fundamental ways,” said Canon Karanja who read a joint communiqué.

The leaders held prayers for each of the various contentious issues, quoting bible scriptures.

“There are no two ways; either we are Christians or we are not. You cannot tell me to approve something that goes against the commandments of God that say ‘do not kill’,” Cardinal Njue said in reference to the clause on abortion.

The leaders who exuded confidence that the No vote would carry the day next Wednesday called on all Kenyans to come out in large numbers and exercise their democratic right to vote.

“To those that are undecided and have been called watermelons, we pray that you may reflect on where Kenya has come from and you may find divine wisdom and reject the proposed Constitution,” said Bishop David Oginde of the Nairobi Pentecostal Church.

Other speakers included Bishop Mark Kariuki of Deliverance Church, Bishop Gerry Kibarabara of the Gospel Assemblies of God, and Redeemed Gospel Church’s Bishop Wilfred Lai among others.

“A time is coming when the church will stand and point on one person to be President,” said Bishop Kariuki.

Archbishop \Wabukhala: “It is time the Church stands together and influences kingdom principles in our society.”

While the NCCK and the Kenya Christian Constitution Forum has been engaging from one side, the Anglican Church and the Catholics have carried out their own campaigns through their church networks. Televangelists have on their part conducted various crusades across the country.

Implementing new law should be priority

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 - The Kenyan chapter of the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) said on Friday that it would be impractical to start amendments immediately should the proposed Constitution sail through at next Wednesday’s referendum.

Chairperson Naomi Wagereka said the implementation of the proposed new law should be top on agenda if the Yes vote carried the day.

“We cannot, after a referendum, start amending the Constitution because that means going out there and trying to get a million votes. That means we will forever be on an election mood,” Ms Wagereka said.

She said that Kenyans have huge expectations and this should also be managed because change would not be realised immediately.

“It will take about five years for the full implementation of the proposed law if it passes and so there is need for patience,” the FIDA Chairperson said.

She urged those who strongly feel that some clauses in the proposed new law need to be amended to give the country time to heal first and then amendments would be done later.

Ms Wagereka said Kenyans should not allow themselves to be divided over the constitutional debate but instead realise that it was meant for the good of the nation.

“At the end of the day we need to sit down as a country and interrogate why some of us did not vote for the Constitution and those are the things we will be looking at going forward,” she said.

East Africa Centre for Law and Justice Executive Director Joy Mdivo said a new Constitution should not just be seen as one for governance issues only but also the social issues that affect everyday lives.

“A No vote is a chance for us to look at things afresh. In 2005 we had a referendum and we shot down that proposed Constitution for various reasons. Since that time to now, the number of people opposing the Constitution has diminished because issues were addressed to people’s satisfaction meaning consensus is possible,” Ms Mdivo said.

“If we have a Constitution that is very difficult to change -which is a very good thing -then it is important that we have a Constitution that is widely accepted because of legitimacy,” she said.

She said it was regrettable that some of the issues that were now considered as contentious had nothing to do with why the country was in search of a new Constitution.

“There were issues that had nothing to do with why we were looking for change that were tampered and interfered with,” she said.

“For example when you sit down and look at the proposed cConstitution there are things to do with abortion, things that quite frankly have got nothing to do with why we needed a Constitution in the first place so how did we end up with these things being called contentious?” she posed.

Referendum Projections


Please post your comments.


By Miguna Miguna

At 3am on November 14, 1987, I was abducted from my room at the University of Nairobi by four gun-wielding Special Branch thugs working for former President Daniel arap Moi. I was blind folded and taken to a police station at the outskirts of Nairobi where I was tortured. Eight hours later, I was blind-folded again, thrown onto the floor of a moving unmarked van and driven to Nyayo House Torture Chambers. For the next fourteen days, I was detained incommunicado, starved, beaten, thrown in freezing water naked and interrogated for hours on end by Moi’s security agents. Moi publicly accused me and other detained student leaders of conspiring with foreigners to overthrow his government. All the allegations were false and Moi knew that.

When I was eventually taken to court at night and given a discharge for crimes I neither knew nor committed; the Students’ Organization of Nairobi University, which I served as Finance Secretary, had been banned; the university closed; students brutalized; and I found out, through the newspaper headline the next day that I had already been expelled from the University.

What had I done to deserve all that inhumane treatment?

Prior to my illegal abduction, detention and torture by Moi’s security agents – alongside four other student leaders – the one party dictatorship by Moi had imposed what was essentially a “police state.” During that time, all political, social and cultural organizations which did not conform to government decrees were proscribed. There was no freedom of association, expression, press or conscience. Academic freedom was a chimera; students, lecturers, writers and journalists were not allowed to freely research and publish in their areas of interest or expertise. Many had been falsely charged with treason and sedition for merely undertaking research for term papers. Thousands of patriotic Kenyans, who had enough courage to question, challenge or oppose such repression ended up dead, in exile or in Moi’s torture chambers. When Moi sent his agents to kidnap me in the middle of the night, he had already detained, without trial, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Maina wa Kinyati, Mukaru Ng’ang’a, Kamau Kuria, Raila Odinga and many others.

So, when I joined the struggle for multi-party democracy, respect for human rights and the rule of law, I already knew that it was not going to be a picnic. Gory stories of torture, brutality, bestiality and gross violations of human rights by the Moi regime was well known and widely published. Although the Kenyan media was heavily censored, a few cases occasionally got reported. I was therefore not completely surprised by Moi’s heavy-handedness in response to our modest attempts, as students, at propelling the wheels of positive change. I eventually went into exile, continued the struggle for liberation and have lived to tell the many tales of Moi’s brutal legacy.

A few weeks ago, I received two warnings from Moi, telling me to “ease off” him. According to his emissaries, I had been unfairly “attacking” him in the media and he was wondering why. It has been made clear to me that Moi is very upset with me.

In view of this, Runji wa Mbeu’s piece, “Why won’t Miguna let sleeping volcanoes lie?” (The Standard, Thursday, July 29, 2010, page 15), was not particularly unexpected. It is an overt threat; not a response to any of my articles. Having read Mbeu’s odius article thrice, I don’t see any coherent rebuttal of any of may articles. All I see are blatant threats; line after line. Nowhere in the twenty-paragraph article does Mbeu - if that is his true name and not a nom de plume adopted by a known coward – refer to anything I have written. In fact, it is impossible to decipher which of my articles so offended Moi that he had to threaten me through Mbeu. Nowhere in my previous articles have I ever attacked Moi personally. All my articles are based on facts and I challenge Moi and his orphans to refute them with facts, not threats.

Mbeu writes glowingly about Moi’s past. He states that “[A]fter the death of Kenyatta, Moi was elected unopposed as the new President, a role he played for24 years, four months and eight days.” The problem with political surrogates or surreptitious hatchet men like Mbeu is that they delude themselves that they are too smart or deceptive to be detected. But their arguments are flimsy; they are constructed on logical and factual sand. Moi was never legitimately “elected” by Kenyans to replace Kenyatta; he was secretly “chosen” by Kenyatta’s kitchen cabinet. By then, Kanu had metamorphosed into a “private members’ club” controlled by lords of corruption, repression and ethnic chauvinism. Moi’s 24-year reign of terror was characterized by extensive human rights abuses and economic crimes. There is nothing about Moi’s decades in politics and power worth gloating about.

It is true that thousands of Kalenjins have served in Kenya’s security forces over the years. However, I am not sure whether the Rift Valley is “saturated with ex-soldiers including the World War veterans” ready to be called into action “in defense of Moi” as Mbeu claims. To assert, like Mbeu does, that all Kalenjins support Moi, and that all militarily-trained Kalenjins are prepared to die for him is a fallacy only fools could fall for. But more fundamentally, that statement was a threat to me and other Kenyans. We are being warned to refrain from criticizing Moi, lest the ex-security agents cause us harm. Why am I being threatened for exercising my right of free expression like Moi believes he is doing?

All my articles deal with and rely on facts. Although the Standard has published many articles purportedly dealing with me and those articles I have published; none has challenged their factual and logical basis. I have never ever stated that anyone could obtain power through violence. What I have said, and reiterate, is that Moi should enjoy his retirement peacefully. He must not think that merely because he has not been called to account for his transgressions, we have either forgotten or forgiven him. Moreover, I have advised Moi to conduct himself with decorum and as a former president, to observe modern political practice of not criticizing his successor since that could cause instability. Why is Moi using a surrogate to warn me of his ability to cause chaos? Is Moi prepared for the consequences of his “volcanic” eruption that Mbeu warns me of?

Mbeu’s is a classic case of ‘not how to respond to newspaper commentators’. His article was incoherent, unfocused, illogical and baseless. Rather than deal with the issues in the articles he purports to be responding to; he has converted himself into a vile agent of decaying dictators. The issue, if I must remind him, was not about the potential “dangers” (if at all) posed by Kalenjin ex-servicemen. It was about Moi, his legacy of repression and lack of decorum.

Finally, I am aware that Moi and his orphans have the means and the motive to harm me. This rebuttal is intended as a public notice that if anything happens to me, Moi and his orphans should be held responsible.

The Story of Your Enslavement

We can only be kept in the cages we do not see. A brief history of human enslavement - up to and including your own. From Freedomain Radio, the largest and most popular philosophy conversation in the world.

'No' Has It Sealed

Nairobi — The support of the 'Yes' team by ministers Henry Kosgey, Sally Kosgei and Franklin Bett has put their future political lives in limbo.

Considering what happened in the 2005 referendum, those who supported the document then like former Agriculture minister Kipruto Kirwa ended up losing their seats in the 2007 General Election.

While recognising that their constituents were against them for supporting the document, Dr Kosgei of Aldai constituency, at a 'Yes' rally on Sunday in Nandi Hills, urged them to stand with other Kenyans and support the draft saying they should not thrive on lies.

"My development record speaks for itself and you should not be deceived by leaders who are visionless. I am confident that I will come back in the next elections," she said.

Though Mr Kosgey (Tinderet) did not talk on the issue, the Industrialisation minister, who was popular in the run up of the 2007 General Election for being on the opposing side during the 2005 referendum, faced hostility and poor turn out in Marakwet District after the crowd walked out on him for urging them to support the document.

Mr Kosgey said: "Let us not isolate ourselves as Kalenjins when majority of Kenyans are headed for a new constitution. The draft is not harmful at all as you may have been cheated by the opponents," Mr Kosgey said before he was forced to cut short the rally.

Mr Kosgey, who was accompanied by his Roads counterpart Franklin Bett of (Bureti), did not visit Iten as planned after receiving reports that they would be booed by the crowd.

But a political analyst from Rift Valley Kipkorir Birgen said Mr Kosgey had been tested before by political heavy weights and not lost his seat." He has a good political record in Tindiret, which cannot be matched by any of the Rift Valley MPs campaigning for the 'No' team and cannot be easily defeated," he said.

Mr Birgen said that for Dr Kosgei, she had international and local connections and her constituency had experienced rapid development, which could easily enable her to make a come-back in 2012. Her connections might make her win back her seat in 2012, he said.

Battle of the giants

The battle for the new constitution in Western Province has once again rekindled the supremacy war between Mr Musalia Mudavadi and Mr Cyrus Jirongo.

The two students of retired President Moi’s Kanu school of politics have been trying to elbow out each other in what seems to be a never ending duel.

In 2002, Mr Mudavadi, now a Deputy Prime Minister belatedly quit Narc to join Mr Jirongo in backing Mr Uhuru Kenyatta for the presidency.

Withdrew support

Came 2007 and Mr Jirongo withdrew his support for the ODM candidate Raila Odinga after complaining that the party had dished out all positions if it took over the government.

A third player, Mr Chris Okemo, has joined the fray in the battle against the DPM. After the 2007 elections, Mr Okemo had hoped that he would be appointed to the Cabinet by virtue of being the most senior politician from the larger Busia region.

The choice of Dr Paul Otuoma did not go well with him and, he perhaps saw it as a ploy to tame him in the region by propping up Mr Mudavadi as the all powerful leader.

Although Mr Jirongo has mounted high profile campaigns in the province for ‘No’, Mr Okemo has not come out clearly. This has kept his political rival in Nambale constituency, Mr Sakwa Bunyasi, guessing.

Mr Mudavadi seems to have secured a major victory, galvanising the Western Province vote and for the first time rallying support for a cause even among the Bukusu of the province.

In all elections, except in the 2002 General Election, the Bukusu seem to go in a different direction from the rest of the province.

In the last General Election for example, while ODM conquered most of the Luhya areas, the sub tribe gave parliamentary tickets to MPs like Moses Wetang’ula, Bifwoli Wakoli and Eseli Simiyu, largely because of the Ford Kenya factor.

But this time, all the leading Bukusu politicians — Foreign Affairs minister Wetang’ula, Ford-K chairman Musikari Kombo and Eugene Wamalwa — are rallying support for the proposed law.

Mr Mudavadi has an overwhelming support for voters around Kakamega, Vihiga and Busia regions. But Mr Jirongo, the Lugari MP, is banking on some discontent over the creation of counties to win votes in the region.

There have been complaints that Western Province, given its large population, deserved more than the four counties it got.

The script for the post-Kibaki politics in Western Province could as well be penned by the unity in the referendum or the fallout after, with most of the MPs, save for Mr Jirongo and Mr Okemo, supporting the document.

PM back after sick off

Posted Friday, July 30 2010 at 13:40

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to make a comeback on the campaign trail Saturday at a Yes rally in Kisumu.

A statement from his office said that "he will join President Kibaki and other Yes leaders for the Green Rally in Kisumu".

The campaign rally will mark the first since the PM was hospitalised about a month ago.

He was admitted to Nairobi Hospital where he underwent head surgery after his doctors diagnosed him with subdural haematoma.

The operation was meant to relieve pressure that had built outside his brain.

Mr Odinga was discharged from hospitals and his doctors recommended that he takes time off from his hectic schedule. He has since been recuperating at his Nairobi home.

However, Mr Odinga has been hosting delegations at his home and he has urged his visitors to back the proposed Constitution.

The PM's last campaign rally was at the Masinde Muliro Gardens in Kakamega last June

Referendum Poll: 'Yes' maintains lead

Posted Friday, July 30 2010 at 13:44

The Yes camp, which is pushing for the adoption of the Proposed Constitution at the referendum, has maintained a steady lead in the latest opinion poll released Friday.

The Strategic Research survey shows that 66 per cent of Kenyans will vote in favour of the document while 20 per cent will reject it.

With only five days to the August 4 vote, nine per cent said they were undecided and a further five per cent said they will not vote.

August 4 a public holiday

Written By:George Kithuka , Posted: Fri, Jul 30, 2010

President Mwai Kibaki Friday declared August 4, the referendum date, a public holiday to allow Kenyans to fully take part at the referendum on the draft law.

Government spokesman Alfred Mutua said President Kibaki has also directed all public servants be released on Tuesday at 3pm local time from their work stations to enable them travel to participate in the voting exercise.

Addressing a press conference, Mutua also urged employers in the private sector to release their workers in good time.

Mutua maintained that the government had beefed up security in all parts of the country during and after referendum and urged Kenyans to turn up in large numbers to exercise their democratic right by casting their votes.

Kenya campaigns hit homestretch

Both the Greens and Reds are engaged in a flurry of rallies in the final leg of the referendum campaigns ahead of the August 4 referendum.

President Mwai Kibaki is in Rift Valley, the stronghold of Higher Education Minister William Ruto. The Head of State was scheduled to address a series of rallies to woo voters to support the new law.

Kibaki addressed the first rally Friday morning at Kapkatet before heading to Suswa grounds in Narok.

Elsewhere, the ‘reds' led by Ruto are in Lower Eastern where they are holding a series of No rallies as the referendum campaigns hit the homestretch.

Mr Ruto and Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo will hold ten No rallies in Ukambani aimed at rallying Kenyans to reject the proposed constitution during the August 4 referendum.

They are expected to conduct campaigns against the document in Mutito, Mutomo, Nzombe in Kitui West, Ngomeni in Mwingi, Kathiani, Mbooni, Wote and Ithiwa.

Church leaders are also holding the national prayer day for the referendum at Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi.

The church has declared its opposition to the proposed law citing contentious issues including the inclusion of the Kadhis' courts and the abortion clauses.

Minister loses MP's seat

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – Housing Assistant Minister Bishop Margaret Wanjiru has lost her Starehe constituency seat through an order of the High Court.

The MP now becomes the seventh legislator to lose their parliamentary seat through an election petition after their challengers succeeded in the High Court.

Justice Kihara Kariuki ruled on Friday that Bishop Wanjiru was not validly elected in the exercise that was marred by violence and other election malpractises.

Former area MP Maina Kamanda filed the petition against Bishop Wanjiru who had floored him by 895 votes in the flawed 2007 General Election.

Six other MPs underwent a similar fate when the High Court nullified their election.

Mr Kamanda’s petition is a unique one since he had wanted to be declared a winner and his name substituted with that of Bishop Wanjiru. Mr Kamanda had emerged the winner with 49,306 votes while Bishop Wanjiru got 34,871, a difference of 14,435.

Mr Kamanda who disputed Bishop Wanjiru’s election filed the petition in February 2008 and urged the court to declare him the elected MP for Starehe.

He relied on Section 27(2) of the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act. The section allows the Speaker to make changes should the court so declare.

However, Justice Kariuki declined to declare Mr Kamanda as the MP, saying the 2007 poll contained too many irregularities and as such only a by-election would be sufficient to settle the leadership dispute.

Referendum Countdown 6days To Go

Yes Campaigns

Kibunjia on Moi -- Kibaki Exchange

Starehe Petition

From the Courts

Grand Road Show

Kibaki Pan Paper Re-opening

Nokia Software Developers

Africa Athletics Day 3 Preview

Referendum Countdown 6days To Go

Ruto goes vote hunting in Uhuru turf