Monday, June 30, 2014

#NationalSecurityKE: Questions arise over interior CS's handling of inte...

Let's Face It, Kenya Is A Coalition Of Tribes

Monday, June 30, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU
I had the opportunity of participating in KTN’s ‘Bottomline’ Tv conversation this last weekend. The topic of discussion was ‘Tribalism’. The forum, which took a cumulative 7 hours over two days, was held in Eldoret. Participants included religious leaders, politicians, elders from various communities, young people, women leaders and social media bloggers. Kenyan victims from the 2007 post election violence were also present. Having had the privilege of spending a considerable amount of time on a search for reasons why tribalism is such a curse in Kenya, it was quite interesting listening to the various issues raised. However as the show went on I became even more convinced that only until we mainstream such conversations, will we solve the tribalism challenge in Kenya. This is because Kenya's tribalism is as a result of private inter-ethnic political conversations, implemented on an ignorant public.
It started in the 1960, 1962 and 1963 Lancaster House Conferences where leaders representing different Kenyan communities discussed what role, responsibility and position each respective community and its leaders would play in the new Kenya. The Lancaster House Conferences were Kenya’s first and most candid inter-ethnic conversations. The institutionalization of the ‘Majimbo’ Constitution was an attempt to implement in public, what had been agreed on in private. The subsequent amendments and eventual collapse of that constitution indicates that this particular effort did not end.
The second major inter-ethnic conversation happened in the 1990s, as Kenyans fought to return the country to a multi-party state. Representatives of various communities huddled in private boardrooms locally and abroad as various communities presenting their issues as political agendas. The formation of the original FORD was an attempt to house all these issues under one political vehicle, and provide an inclusive solution. However it excluded the Kalenjins, whose leaders ensured FORD’s eventual collapse into ineffectual off-shoots. Again, another private inter-ethnic conversation failed to deliver, when brought to the public.
The third major inter-ethnic conversation was in 2002. This one took place within the framework of the Rainbow Coalition and had many similarities to the Lancaster Conferences, including the fact that nearly every Kenyan community, and the sincerity of its discussions. It succeeded, for a while. Then, again like the Lancaster Conference agreements, it collapsed shortly after the leaders got into power and started trying to implement what they had agreed in private, in public; another failure.
Another attempt was made in 2007. This particular inter-ethnic conversation excluded the Kikuyu community. The result was one of Kenya’s bloodiest moments since independence; an epic failure.
In 2013 the fifth major inter-ethnic conversation took place. This time all communities participated, but they ended up holding parallel conversations, at cross purposes. The result was GEMA and Kalenjin communities with pastoralist communities in the periphery; on one side. The Luo, Luhya, Kamba and Coastal communities, on the other. Kenya has not recovered from this division more than a year since the last general elections. This particular structure of inter-ethnic conversations must also be the worst attempt ever made, to-date. CORD’s calls for ‘National Dialogue’ are in reality, calls for another (private) inter-ethnic political conversation.
So what does all this mean?
That Kenya was formed as a Coalition of Tribes. That the reason why tribalism is such a challenge in Kenya 50 years later is because the leaders of the various members of this coalition never seem to agree on how to implement in public, what they agree on in private. That tribalism as currently practiced in Kenya will only end when these private agreements, are publicly agreed upon and implemented. That it might also be time for Kenyans to admit that their tribal representatives; because that is what the people we call national politicians still are; have failed us.
What did Jomo Kenyatta & Jaramogi; Jomo Kenyatta & Moi; Kibaki & Raila; Raila & Ruto; Uhuru & Ruto, agree privately? How does it affect us publicly? Might it be time to exercise direct sovereignty over our affairs and demand these discussions move out of private boardrooms into public spaces?
Might it also be time to (temporarily) stop attempting to manage public inter-ethnic conversations using ‘hate-speech’ laws. If we allow Moses Kuria, Robert Alai, Johnson Muthama, Kalonzo Musyoka, Jakoyo Midiwo, Mishi Khamis, Mary Wambui, Moses Wetangula, etc; to candidly raise the issues they feel disenfranchise us, and their respective communities, will we understand what needs to be done to move Kenya forward, faster? If everyone with a public space is allowed to use it to raise social issues as they see them, without fear of being called tribalist, will we know what to correct more effectively?
Jeff Koinange says the day we stop talking is the day we start talking. However can Kenya really hold a national conversation on insecurity, corruption, land, employment, IDPs, leadership, etc; before we completely exhaust our tribal conversations on the same?

Ngunjiri Wambugu is the Director of Change Associates; a Strategic Political Communications Consultancy
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Uhuru Has Broken The Law Over Judges List

Monday, June 30, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY YASH PAL GHAI
  Last Friday President Kenyatta “approved” the appointment of 11 judges out of the 25 nominated by the Judicial Service Commission. It is said that he is studying the remaining list of name before he decides on whether to approve them, but no indication of what he is pondering over. He has also not so far appointed any of the three nominees to the Judicial Service Commission who are elected or nominated by different constituencies (presumably he is still studying that list). These nominations were submitted between  last December and early this year. With due respect, the President does not know Kenya’s Constitution under which he was elected and now governs the country. The rules for the appointment of judges and JSC members are set out in the Constitution and are very clear.
Except for the appointment of the Chief Justice and the Deputy, the President has absolutely no discretion over judges. The JSC makes “recommendations” and the President appoints. The list does not go to Parliament, as many other types of appointments. The reason for this rule was to enhance the independence of the judiciary, given its subordination by previous presidents. Those who gave their proposals to the CKRC were unanimous in asking for appointment of judges by the JSC, by itself, to ensure competence and independence. The same goes for the members of the JSC. The President is required to respect, uphold and safeguard the Constitution. He has set out deliberately to break the Constitution—not for the first time.
Both the JSC and the Law Society have requested the President to make the appointments in view of judiciary’s heavy work load. They have also been concerned to ensure the proper functioning of the independent JSC critical to the proper operation of the judicial system. The President has sat on it the lists for nearly over half a year (in the case of the JSC, the law says nominees must be appointed within  three days). Assuming that no president under the new Constitution would breach its provisions, the CoE (trusting presidents more than CKRC) gave the president complete immunity from personal criminal and civil liability. So what do Kenyans do if the president deliberately breaches the Constitution as in this case?
Well, they can in the most servile language (some Kenyans are very good at that) remind His Excellency of the pending nominations, acknowledging at the same time that he is busy with more important state affairs (what the LSK nearly did). What if this does not succeed? You can always try the Attorney-General.
The AG is the legal adviser to the government and it is his duty to remind busy presidents of minor affairs like the judiciary which might require a few minutes of his attention. The AG is as much bound by the Constitution, nay even more, than us mere citizens. It is also his duty to “promote, protect and uphold the rule of law and defend the public interest”. It is on the basis of this provision that Githu Muigai introduced the Office of the Attorney General Bill (assuming a whole of powers not given in the Constitution)—and got it passed.
So what has Githu been doing (apart from the ICC and Anglo-Leasing)? To be fair to him, he probably did tell Uhuru he should appoint, but sensing Uhuru’s view on the matter, he quickly changed his opinion. No one can tell the President what he should do, especially if he has no stomach for it.
If Githu does not or cannot help, how about impeachment? The president can be impeached for one of three reasons: (a) gross violation of the Constitution or any other law; (b) committing a crime under national or international law; or (c) gross misconduct. For those who believe that the President has broken the Constitution, the ground for impeachment is obvious. But then start the difficulties.
Impeachment can only be initiated by a member of the National Assembly, where a vote of two-thirds of all its members is necessary to move the matter forward, sending it to the Senate. The Senate will set up a committee which may dismiss the charges, otherwise it would be voted on by the entire Senate, again by two-thirds of all its members. This is no easy matter—and can be extremely lucrative to members of both houses. Readers will remember that veteran parliamentarian, Martha Karua who once said that on significant votes, more money changes hands in Bunge than ever in the history of Sotheby’s auctions, even when a Picasso or Marilyn Monroe’s dress was on sale. The issue will inevitably be politicised—and for the time being Uhuru can easily block it at the first step.
So what should we do? As Kenyans do, make some noise, hold a press conference, and move on?
Yash Pal Ghai is a retired academic.
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Koigi likens Raila rallies to guerilla warfare tactics

Monday, June 30, 2014 - 00:00 -- BY GILBERT KOECH
Former Subukia MP Koigi wa Wamwere
Former Subukia MP Koigi wa Wamwere
CORD leader and former prime minster Raila Odinga is using public rallies to engage Government in political guerrilla warfare,former Subukia MP Koigi Wa Wamwere has said.
Koigi said Uhuru won top most trophy during the last general elections while Odinga won in the opposition,both of which are necessary for democracy
“Both trophies are necessary for democracy and their recipients use them to advance political fortunes legitimately. In this war of public rallies, Raila like Uhuru is using diverse tactics to advance his political cause,” Koigi said in his official face book page yesterday.
Koigi said Raila with his public rallies is fighting political guerrilla warfare against Uhuru’s political army saying when Uhuru retreats, Raila advances and when Uhuru advances Raila retreats.
He said Raila harasses and attacks during the rallies at the same time rescuing his leadership profile from decline since he lost presidential elections.
Koigi said the cord leader is using the political rallies to raise the profile of Cord opposition higher than it has in Parliament or the Senate.
“Raila is using rallies to re-establish himself as the ODM party supremo, for the unfinished business of party elections, where he will put who he wants where in the party hierarchy. In this political war, neither Uhuru nor Raila should resort to military means. The means should remain strictly political and peaceful,” he added.
CORD leaders have been holding public rallies across the country calling for national dialogue with President Kenyatta.
Top brass of cord on Saturday during the burial of former Chief of General Staff Jackson Mulinge in Kathiani, Machakos County shared a public platform for the first time with the president since he began the demand one month ago.
Mr Odinga said the president should not reject the calls for dialogue.
“We need to work together and are all in one nation,” he said.
His co-principals, former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka,Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, also supported calls for dialogue.
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Why Lamu Governor Issa Timamy was freed on bail

Hillary Clinton $225,000 speaker fee: Is that a lot for a potential president?

A Hillary Clinton speech in Las Vegas will cost the University of Nevada $225,000. That fee leaves Mitt Romney in the dust, and as voters shift their views of the presumed presidential candidate, it has focused more attention on her finances.

Christian Science Monitor
There's nothing particularly unusual about Hillary Rodham Clinton's $225,000 fee for her upcoming speech at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. In March, the University of California at Los Angeles paid $300,000 for a similar event with Mrs. Clinton, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The difference is that some students – facing a 17 percent tuition hike over the next four years – have asked her to give the money back, and that is it now increasingly open season on Clinton.
Of course, speaking fees for former politicians is hardly stop-the-presses stuff, though Clinton appears to be doing rather well for herself. During his presidential run in 2012, Newt Gingrich was criticized for charging speaking fees of $60,000. The same year, Mitt Romney characterized his $374,000 in speaking fees from February 2010 to February 2011 as "not very much," which, of course, it isn't compared with Clinton's haul this year.
Then again, that's probably not the company Clinton would like to keep. While she has never quite managed her husband's populist touch (then again, who has?), she'd rather not be lumped in with a man whose popular image conjured up the world "plutocrat."
But that's what happened earlier this month when she said that her family was "dead broke" when it left the White House. More recently, she doubled down in trying to distinguish her family from the "truly well off" by noting that the Clintons pay taxes at a regular rate (about 31 percent). This second comment seemed targeted directly at Mr. Romney, who was pilloried in 2012 for paying (legally) only at a 15 percent rate.
Clinton's statements might have been correct, yet the Clintons' lifestyle – supported in part by those speaker's fees – has hardly resembled anything even approaching middle class, leaving the impression that she was out of touch with voters. Acknowledging this, Clinton said last week that her comments were "inartful."
Would UNLV students have raised the issues of speaker's fees had Clinton's checkbook not become headline news? Perhaps. College students have been particularly vocal about commencement speakers this year, and UNLV students might have caught that rebellious spirit in any case. (For the record, Clinton is speaking at the UNLV Foundation Annual Dinner, which is described as a "prominent philanthropic event," and the fee will go her family's charity, the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Foundation.)
But the story certainly fits the recent narrative about Clinton's finances, and it is something thatRepublicans think might stick. 
With polls showing that Clinton is the leader of any presumed 2016 presidential candidate – Democrat or Republican – Republicans have not been shy in trying to find chinks in her armor. Many have hammered her over her role as secretary of State during the Benghazi attack, in which the ambassador to Libya and three others were killed. Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky tried for a while to raise her name in connection with her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky.
All of these things might have had a cumulative effect. In 2012, during her time as secretary of State, Clinton enjoyed favorable ratings of 70 percent. A Bloomberg poll released this month has her ratings down to 52 percent.
Is that really the result of Republican attacks? Perhaps. Or maybe voters are just casting a more critical eye on Clinton as she moves more clearly into campaign mode – beginning a book tour and upping her public appearances.
"The numbers are a case study in what campaigning can do to a public figure's persona. People in the political spotlight – but without the electoral baggage – usually catch a break from the public," writes Jamie Fuller of "The Fix" blog on The Washington Post. "But as soon as voters sense a whiff of political ambition in those they hold in high esteem, approval often begins to break along more partisan lines."
Ms. Fuller notes that the same pattern played out when Clinton ran for Senate. The upshot is not that Clinton's presumed presidential campaign is in trouble. It is that, as Americans sense her seemingly inevitable announcement coming, they are shifting the way they view her.

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