Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Break For Churchill Live As Season Two Comes To A Close

Thursday, 30 June 2011 11:12

One of the country's highest rated shows, Churchill Live will air its last episode for Season Two tonight before going on a break. The show, which airs on NTV, was on air for 43 weeks and everybody agrees that they need to take a break to review and restructure the show. Churchill's die hard fans, fret not, the crew is already thinking about season three!
However, they don't know when they will be back as that depends on NTV. The final show has Kenya's Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka as the guest. Big Brother Africa's evicted housemate Nic Wang'ondu as well as rapper Nonini also make appearances.
The show's last live recording was chaotic backstage when Makadara MP Gidion "Sonko" Mbuvi turned up at the Carnivore restaurant demanding to be interviewed but his hasty request was turned down. A month ago he made a last minute cancellation on a scheduled appearance.
He proceeded to get drunk at the bar as his bodyguards had an altercation with a photographer.



ODM leaders at a press conference in this file photo.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has learnt through the media that the High Court sitting in Nairobi issued an order yesterday prohibiting it from conducting grassroots party elections that were planned this week.
Media reports suggest that at least two of the applicants that sought this court order are members of the ODM. It is regrettable that ODM members with ample opportunity to address whatever issues they might have through the normal Party channels and structures as provided for by the Political Parties Act and the Party Constitution chose to initiate legal action at the last minute without notice to the Party.
It is equally unfortunate that the order preventing our long over-due grassroots elections was issued ex parte without giving the Party an opportunity to be heard. We have noticed this worrying trend whereby the courts have entertained last minute applications without due regard to the cost or convenience to those adversely affected.
Indeed, the realization of a new constitution and its full and expeditious implementation has been one of ODM’s unyielding commitments to the reform agenda.
The ODM members all over the country have patiently been waiting for Party elections, which have been postponed a number of times due to unavoidable circumstances. The Party and its members have spent huge amounts of money, time and energy preparing for those elections. We know that our members will be disappointed, even angry about this latest one.
Unfortunately – and even though we are ready and eager to hold our grassroots elections – the ODM respects the courts, adheres strictly to the rule of law and constitutionalism, and therefore cannot ignore the court order.
Moreover, we believe that it is time the issue over who can or cannot hold political party positions is resolved by a competent court once and for all.
For the reasons outlined above, the ODM wishes to announce that it shall suspend the scheduled grassroots elections until the case is fully determined in compliance with the court order. The Returning Officers are requested to immediately surrender all election documents and materials to the ODM National Elections Board.
We appeal further to the judiciary to expedite the proceedings in this matter so that we can conduct our Party elections as soon as possible.
We apologize to all our Party members for the inconvenience caused by this unforeseen circumstance and appeal to them to bear with us.
Declared at Orange House this 30th day of June, 2011

ODM suspends grassroots elections

Written By:Sylvster Ruto,    Posted: Thu, Jun 30, 2011

The party grassroots elections were scheduled to commence on Friday 1st July 2011
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has accused the judiciary stopping party elections at the last minute without considering the cost involved in planning.
Addressing the press at Orange house Thursday, deputy party leader Mr. Musalia Mudavadi called on the judiciary to desist from making last minute rulings saying it makes it difficult to launch an appeal.
However, Mudavadi said that the party will adhere to the court ruling.
"Unfortunately - and even though we are ready and eager to hold our grassroots elections - the ODM respects the courts, adheres strictly to the rule of law and constitutionalism, and therefore cannot ignore the court order" said the DPM.
Mr. Mudavadi who is also the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government appealed to the court to expedite the proceedings of the case barring ODM elections for the party to move forward with its plans.
The party grassroots elections were scheduled to commence on Friday 1st July 2011 but high court judge Jeane Gacheche issued temporary injunction halting the polls until the case is heard and determined.
Two ODM members moved to court to stop the election seeking an interpretation of the constitution on political party leadership.  
Mudavadi regretted that "that ODM members with ample opportunity to address whatever issues they might have through the normal Party channels and structures as provided for by the Political Parties Act and the Party Constitution chose to initiate legal action at the last minute without notice to the Party".
Mr. Mudavadi at the same said the interpretation of the Constitution is not in the purview of the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution, the Attorney General or the Registrar of Political Parties saying it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court.
"The mandate of the CIC is to look at the laws that are enacted by Parliament in respect to the implementation of the Constitution and not its interpretation" said Mr. Mudavadi.
Party Secretary General Prof. Anyang' Nyong'o said the interpretation of the Constitution must be fair. "Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers are two different things" said the Medical Services Minister.
Present at the Press Conference were Cabinet Ministers James Orengo, Mohammed Elmi and Amerson Kingi and Assistant Minister Manyala Keya. National Elections Board Chairman Eng. Philip Okundi and Secretary to the Board Dr. Joseph Misoi, party officials and members from across the country among others.
Meanwhile, the National Elections Board of the ODM has officially announced the suspension of the grassroots elections scheduled to start on Friday due to the Court Order prohibiting the party from carrying on with the exercise.
A statement signed by the Board Chairman Eng. Philip Okundi and his Secretary Dr. Joseph Misoi said in part that " the Board calls upon all the Returning Officers to immediately surrender all election documents, application forms and finances to the National Elections Board Headquarters at Orange House in Nairobi.

Kalonzo pays over Sh4m tax as Uhuru speaks on MPs' tax row

Written By:VPPS/KBC,    Posted: Thu, Jun 30, 2011

VP Kalonzo Musyoka presents his cheque to Mr. Michael Waweru the Commissioner General Kenya Revenue Authority.
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka has joined the list of tax-abiding Members of Parliament when he presented his cheque for Ksh. 4,423,000 to the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA),   the amount required from him by KRA as taxation from his salaries arrears.
Mr. Musyoka said he was pleased to fulfill his obligation as a citizen of Kenya in accordance with the requirements of the new constitution.
"I am now fully tax-compliant and happy", he added.
The Vice Presidents made the remarks at KRA headquarters Thursday, Nairobi when he presented the four cheques to the Commissioner-General, Mr. Michael Waweru.
At the same time, Mr. Musyoka urged Kenyans to pay taxes, saying taxes constitute the revenue that the government requires to provide public services and develop the physical infrastructure in order to realize Vision 2030 goals and improve the conditions of living of Kenyans.
He thanked the media for highlighting those evading paying tax and urged them to pressurize all Kenyans to be tax compliant as part of the implementation of  the new Constitution.
Mr. Waweru said that many legislators have already paid their taxes, noting that it was a statutory duty to pay tax.
"All Kenyans must abide by the law", he added.
The Commissioner-General added that the Judiciary will start paying their tax from July first.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta has hit out at leaders whom he accuses of politicising the constitutional requirement for all Kenyans including MPs to pay taxes.
In a statement Thursday, Kenyatta said the new Constitution had caught the lawmakers' mid-stream.
"It is also clear that our new constitution has caught us mid-stream and we have to go through a transitional process. This applies as much to Members of Parliament as it does to the rest of Kenyans. It is morally wrong for those who have the ability to comply to make a public spectacle and paint negatively other Members of Parliament who may be willing to comply but are unable to immediately do so in a lumpsum payment. (Tax arrears are estimated at 2Million)."
The deputy Prime Minister said the payment of taxes was a constitutional, moral and developmental issue that goes beyond any individual's personal position and urged Kenyans not to politicise the issue.
"Tax Compliance is a constitutional, moral and developmental issue that goes beyond any one individual's personal position, notwithstanding the fact that some may want to make a public declaration of their paying. Millions of Kenyans from all walks of life quietly pay their taxes regularly and are compliant as it is an obligation for all Kenyans to do so. There is nothing special about any one category of Kenyans fulfilling their civic duties under the law."
Kenyatta said the constitution is also very clear on the taxation requirements that have been placed on all citizens including himself.
"The consequences of non-compliance are equally well stipulated within our laws. Ultimately, if there are Kenyans who haven't fulfilled these obligations, it will come to light. However, in as much as this debate is healthy for the country, it should not be conducted on the basis of who has or hasn't paid but rather on the principle of the matter itself."
Other leaders who have so far cleared their arrears include Assistant Minister Margaret Wanjiru and MPs Gideon Mbuvi (Makadara) and Mutava Musyimi (Gachoka).
They joined Peter Kenneth (Gatanga) and Kangundo's Johnson Muthama who have been remitting their taxes since 2008.

EU envoys want 2012 election date announced

Written By:Carol Gakii/Wangari Kanyongo,    Posted: Thu, Jun 30, 2011

Head of EU mission Lodewijic Briet said the IEBC bill is vital.
The European Union envoys in Nairobi have expressed concern over the delay in passing or assenting to election related bills.
The envoys say there is little time left before the country goes to the General elections hence the need to accelerate all electoral legislations.
Head of EU mission Lodewijic Briet cited political parties, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission-_IEBC and elections laws as crucial to a smooth election in August next year.
Speaking in Nairobi Thursday, Briet said the IEBC bill is vital in setting records clear on the controversy surrounding the dates for next year's general election and demarcation of constituency boundaries.
"In view of 2012, the political Parties Bill and other related electoral bills are of utmost urgency. Similarly, Bills on security sector reforms (e.g. National Police Service, Independent Oversight Authority) should be fast tracked due to their significant impact on elections. Laws on devolution are also urgent in view of the need to prepare structures and systems for elections in good time."
He further said there is need to fast track bills on the security sector adding that security agents play a vital role during elections.
"Already prior to the adoption of the new constitution, the EU has provided financial and technical assistance to governance reforms, to public sector reforms as well as for the successful conducts of the 2010 Referendum on the Constitution and various by-election. Our financial support has been aligned to the National Accord of 28 February 2008 and since 27 August 2010 to the principles of the new Constitution."
"However, the adoption of the Constitution was expected to accelerate the pace of these reforms, which would have allowed for an increased mobilization of resources by the international community. This expectation has only partially materialised."
The EU heads of mission's call comes amidst warning by the Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC), of a constitutional crisis next year if the Independent electoral and boundaries commission bill is not assented to urgently. CIC has accused the Attorney general Amos Wako of being an impediment to reforms.
The office of the Attorney General has been under siege this past week after the CIC accused Wako of delaying to forward the Independent electoral and boundaries commission and salaries and remuneration bills to the president for assent.
Wako has since defended himself by blaming the clerk of the national assembly for not handing over the corrected drafts but his explanation is not enough.
The EU is urging the two principals to step to forestall a constitutional crisis.
" The EU has great faith in the ability of Kenya to implement the reform agenda and to put into practice the principls of the new constitution, which include non-discrimination and gender equality. This is why we have supported the process throughout and we stand ready to further assist Kenya in fostering reforms process. However, both the executive and legislative will ahve to dedicate all their time and energies to drafting and passing all those pieces of legislation that are critical for next year elections to take place fairly and peacefully."
Meanwhile, CIC chairman Charles Nyachae maintains that Attorney General Amos Wako is to blame for the delay in submitting to the president the IEBC bill.
Nyachae says Wako should stop passing the buck and assume full responsibility.

Clear air over poll date, EU demands



EU envoys with CIC chairman Charles Nyachae/CapitalFM News
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 - The European Union has called for the immediate announcement of the date for next year's general election to eliminate uncertainty.

Delegation Head Lodewijk Briet on Thursday said the EU also wanted electoral bills and security sector reforms fast-tracked, citing the significant impact of the governance reforms on the 2012 poll.

"There is little time left until the new general election. It would help all of us in the preparatory process that the date can be met. In view of 2012, the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Bill and other related electoral bills such as the Political Parties Bill are of utmost urgency. Laws on devolution are also urgent in view of the need to prepare structures and systems for elections in good time," he said.

There is contention over whether the poll should be held in August in line with the new Constitution, or whether the current Parliament will continue its term until December 2012.

Mr Briet further added that the EU expected an acceleration of the pace of reforms, to allow an increased mobilization of resources by the international community.

"There is no doubt that a number of positive developments have taken place. For instance on justice reform, the open vetting of the new Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice has been a very exciting process.  However a lot remains to be done," he said.

Also speaking at the media briefing, Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC) Chairman Charles Nyachae remained confident that the execution of deadlines would be met.

"As far as the Constitutional time frames are concerned those laws are to be in place by the 26th of August and the laws will be in place. These time frames are tight. We don't have too much room to manoeuvre even for purposes for complying with those timelines," he said.

Mr Nyachae however acknowledged that there was still a lot more work to be done in preparation for the elections next year especially concerning the enactment of the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission law.

"The law envisages that the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission will be in place by the 26th of August this year, but the law does not address how long it will take once we have the law in place to put the Commission in place. We need that Commission in place so that it can address the issue of the constituency boundaries, and preparation of the election next year," he said.

Mr Nyachae also added that the involvement of key players like Attorney General in implementing the Constitution is crucial in ensuring the plan stays on course.

"I don't think it is right for any of us who have constitutional obligations as far as to implementation process is concerned, to engage in passing the buck where the responsibility is very clear. The Clerk to the National Assembly does not have a responsibility to present the Bills to the President for assent... that lies squarely with the Attorney General," he said.

Mr Nyachae blamed the Attorney General for failing to submit the IEBC bill to the president in a timely manner.

On Wednesday, the Amos Wako shifted blame for failure to send the IEBC to the President for assent on the Clerk of the National Assembly, but Parliament hit back, saying the AG's office was responsible for the impediment.

"My office prepared the draft Bill for assent and returned it for final verification and approval by the Clerk on the 21st June, 2011.  This was particularly crucial as the Bill had been extensively amended before passage," Mr Wako had said.

Capital News spoke to the clerk, Patrick Gichohi, who confirmed that he returned to the country on Tuesday morning from official duty in Europe together with the Speaker Kenneth Marende.

Mr Gichohi explained that there was a contentious clause in the Bill which needed to be rectified before the Bill was sent to the President for assent.

He said that the legal departments in the two institutions were in consultations "as late as yesterday" (Tuesday) to sort out the issue.

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CJ one-on-one interview

Mutunga: I will be a hands on CJ



Chief Justice Willy Mutunga/File
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 - Newly appointed Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga says he will be a hands-on judge as he intends to spend most of his time presiding over cases.

In an interview with Capital News on Wednesday evening, Dr Mutunga he said he expected administrative duties of the Judiciary to be delegated once a Chief Registrar is appointed.

“I would like to spend more time deciding cases. I am quite certain when the Chief Registrar is in place and the administrative duties are undertaken by others I will spend more time deciding cases; I see that as my major responsibility,” he said.

Dr Mutunga is the President of the seven-member Supreme Court.  Other judges who will sit on the court are Deputy CJ Nancy Baraza, Justices Philip Tunoi, Jackton Ojwang, Mohammed Ibrahim Dr Smokin Wanjala and Njoki Ndung'u.

Dr Mutunga says the court will require five judges to form a quorum to hear cases.

The new CJ is promising Kenyans the Judiciary will be transformed from the closed-shop it has been perceived to be.

“The Judiciary has been a kind of cocoon but the public has forced it to come out of this cocoon.  I expect judges and magistrates to be the faces of the Judiciary. They should go to schools, churches and other public forums to explain what we do. If we draw back to cocoons then we will have missed out on this opportunity of massive education,” he said.

True to his words, Dr Mutunga has opened up to the public and media in unprecedented fashion, contrary to previous office holders.

Dr Mutunga made news at the weekend when he joined a growing list of high profile individuals who have joined social media networks when he signed up to Twitter.  By Thursday, the CJ had garnered 7,116 followers.  The Chief Justice is also active on Facebook.

To get this interview, I was in touch with the Chief Justice through phone text messages which he replied to promptly.

When we arrived at this office, there was another team of journalists already being ushered in to interview him.

Dr Mutunga said he was ready and open to work with the media, the civil society and other stakeholders stressing the critical role of members of the public who he believes will play a major role in reforming the Judiciary.

He said the war on corruption which has been a malady that has been ailing the Judiciary for many years will require commitment and collaboration from all corners.

Dr Mutunga urged Kenyans to play their role in changing the Judiciary by checking and pushing for reforms.

He said he expected the public to be at the forefront in bringing out issues impeding justice and also to join its efforts in addressing corruption.

According to Dr Mutunga, for the Judiciary to successfully root out corruption, fixing its independence to insulate it from social, commercial and even state influence will be vital in addressing corruption.

He believes leaving its doors open for public scrutiny will also be one of the major interventions.

He promises to create an interactive Judiciary that will open avenues of communication, ideas and opinions to quench the country’s deep thirst for a trusted reliable justice system.

“We are busy but we should not turn Kenyans from raising issues. I am looking forward to a relationship with the media and Kenyans where we can have discussions,” he said.

He says the Judiciary is planning to develop a comprehensive communication strategy that will allow the public to voice its views and concerns. The strategy will also facilitate open days for the interested public members to interact and acquaint themselves with the court system and how it works.

He says that is one of the plans he has in his keen interest of winning the public confidence and building a positive image of the Judiciary, which he believes will have to be won by competent delivery of justice that will be impartial.

Dr Mutunga points at understaffing in the Judiciary as a major headache that requires to be addressed urgently to deal with the work load and promote efficiency.

He says as a major intervention the Judiciary intends to recruit 26 judges by mid August with the hope of having 120 judges in the High Court.

The CJ who is aspiring to leave a legacy of a strong foundation of transformative Judiciary in his five-year tenure is also re-assuring Kenyans that judges will pay taxes as stipulated in the Constitution.

According to the Constitution judges are classified as special tax payers which Dr Mutunga explains: “Special taxpayers means that judges cannot be taxed to their disadvantage.”

This means that judges cannot be compelled to take home less than what they do currently.

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KASS presenter collapses, dies



NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 30 - A radio presenter working with KASS FM collapsed and died outside his house in Nairobi's California estate on Wednesday night, a few hours after presenting his favourite show.
Philip Rotich Kosgei, 47 popularly known to his fans as Tamo is reported to have died at about midnight.

"I relieved him in the studio.  He was my best friend and colleague at work," said colleague Kipyego arap Tanui, who is also a neighbour to the deceased at California estate.

"I arrived home to find a blackout in our estate.  Kosgei told me he was within the area at the shopping centre and I knew he would be home later. After a while, I was told by neighbours that he had been found dead near his house," Mr Tanui told Capital News on telephone.

"Blood was oozing from the mouth and no one knows what exactly happened. The post-mortem will reveal the cause of his death," he added.

Mr Kosgei joined the station in 2006 as a comedian and has been presenting three popular shows including Heshimu Ukuta which airs on week days between 3pm to 6pm.

"Even yesterday [Wednesday] he was in the studio presenting his show and I am the one who relieved him," Mr Tanui said.

Mr Kosgei who was known to his friends as Tamo also hosted Twolyot, a family programme which airs on Tuesdays 10pm-midnight and Tigityotab Bambaniat a programme to hook up couples on Thursdays 10pm -midnight.

"The fellow was too humorous, and he was fine when I saw him at work yesterday (Wednesday). But now he has left us," another colleague added.

Mr Kosgei leaves behind a widow Margaret and three children.

Capital News sends condolences to his family, friends and colleagues at KASS FM.

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Why the elite in Kenya need publicists

BlogOpinion Leaders   |BlogJune 30, 2011  |Facebook


It is just about the time when prospective Kenyan presidential candidates begin to set up PR, communications and campaign secretariats. This brings something of a seasonal employment boom to the media sector.

I have personally tasted this boom in the past, when I worked as a key consultant for a presidential candidate who gave a very good account of himself in the 2002 General Election.

In 2005-2007, I oversaw a political intelligence coaching company that has produced 18 MPs, including some of the most brilliant in the tenth Parliament.

A publicist is, by definition, a communications careerist and, or professional whose primary task it is to secure positive coverage in the media for individuals, groups, corporate or other entities, including governments.

But the Kenyan power elite have this irritating and completely self-defeating habit of turning publicists on and off like electricity or tap water. Is it any wonder that some of the wealthiest, most influential and even most powerful Kenyans are suffering a PR profile and image crisis that was until a few years ago the preserve of Nigerian nationals.

Yet, today, the Nigerian banking sector enjoys an international good and sound reputation that was unimaginable as recently as the end of the 1990s - in fact, it has gone multinational, with branches as far afield as Kenya and Britain and not a whiff of scandal.

This is remarkable for a country whose nationals had not only become buzz-words for conman-ship but whose national airline was banned from flying into the United States because its crew had been caught too many times smuggling drugs.

Nigeria undertook a huge re-branding and reputation management campaign in tandem with an anti-graft drive that actually involved the repatriation of a number of stolen billions of naira early this century and it has paid handsome dividends for the country's perception indices.

Today Kenya is the largest consumer of some Nigerian products, with leading TV stations showing Nollywood movies daily. Of late, Nigerian movie stars have found a haven in Kenya. Structured and sustained country branding does not get any more aggressive than Nigeria is doing at the moment.

In mature democracies, members of the corporate and political power elite retain teams of lawyers and publicists 24/7 throughout all four seasons of the year.

The plight of the immediate former International Monetary Fund CEO Dominique Strauss-Kahn is a case in point. DSK, as he is popularly known in his native France, now faces charges that include attempted rape in a hotel suite in New York.

The first thing DSK did in his own defence was to gather around him two teams simultaneously - a team of top lawyers and a team of top publicists.

Well-heeled Kenyans who find themselves in trouble would do well to emulate him. But what do we see instead? The minute a super rich Kenyan is in PR trouble, the first and only set of experts he or she rushes to are lawyers. Publicists are rarely, if ever, consulted.

Kenyan VIPs with PR problems proceed as if they were not in need of expert advice and a media strategy. Navigating the treacherous waters of adverse publicity is every bit as complex as trying to chart the Constitution and the letter and spirit of the law without lawyers' expert guidance, perhaps even more so in some cases.

Publicists are communications professionals whose primary responsibility is to ensure their clients receive positive coverage in the media. Most publicists work for a public relations agency and have multiple clients in various industries and sectors in their countries and around the world.

A publicist advises a client, whether individual or institutional, on image and reputation management, particularly as projected through the media. A publicist's role and responsibilities do not begin and end with General Election cycles.

A good publicist will teach an individual high-profile client everything, from advantageous photo opportunities to strategic interviews and how to pitch your side of the story to journalists so that it is given the most prominent positive coverage.

A publicist will professionally draft press statements and releases for a besieged Kenyan VIP that will make sense in both local and international media, instead of those horrible untutored and unschooled reflexive responses full of see-through lies about vast international conspiracies against the VIP, his tribe and everything he or she owns.

A good publicist or PR firm will build and maintain a symbiotic relationship with the media, both local and international, on behalf of the client, with media houses and key individual journalists.

And, in this digital age of blogging and other social media networking, a professional publicist will network with the online community and on behalf of a client and generate the much-needed positive buzz and alternative perspectives 24/7 - and we are talking about a national, regional and global dimension.

A publicist can do much more, including organising intelligent, well-researched articles and features that actually throw light on such esoteric subjects as off-shore banking and the American national drug habit, the single worst mass addiction in human history.

An expert publicist, like a very good lawyer, can actually demonstrate reasonable doubt about the most high profile accusations against the most high-profile VIPs. Both courts of law and the court of public opinion are ruled by the reasonable doubt paradigm.

One of the world's most iconic advertising taglines belongs to the American Express Company, sometimes known as AmEx, the world's oldest credit card firm. The tagline simply says, "Don't Leave Home Without It". This is the same advice I would give Kenya's increasingly besieged political and economic power elite: Don't Leave Home Without a Publicist.

The writer is the Information Secretary of the Republic of Kenya email:emutua

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