Thursday, May 31, 2012

KIbaki, the Minister for Justice and Parliament violate Kenyan laws

Field Marshal Dedan Kimaathi. Kenya's freedom is hard won!
Today, Thursday 31st May 2012, President Kibaki of Kenya was praying with all the 'important' people of Kenya in a posh hotel. This is what is called National Prayer Day. It is not held in a church but in a Korean owned hotel in the city.  It is reported that he told Kenyans to behave well. He told them that if they behave well, God will bless them all. He told them that Kenya will then remain one country. During the prayers, other speakers said similar things. The event is organised by MPs. The Parliament Speaker had elegant things to say about equality. In the feast, for that is what it was, there were some heads of media houses in Kenya. They too had gone to pray. The American ambassador in Kenya hit the headlines with his wife because he prayed in Kiswahili. So diplomats were praying as well. It was a sumptous breakfast at the Breakfast Prayers in one of the most luxurious hotels in the world- Safari P.  I have a quick statement to make. There is no need for praying especially out loudly and in high regalia when on the other hand you are breaking the law of the land and not following the constitution. The people of Kenya can be united under the constitution if it is followed because it is the law of the land. Kenya's freedom is hard won. The truth is the Constitution of Kenya which was won with a long and determined focus of thousands of Kenyan reformers and which  we gave unto ourselves on 27th of August must keep the nation united. The rule of law is not a choice. We are all equal under the law. But we are not and we are not free? The truth also is that the majority of the people of Kenya are in the shackles of poverty. Kenyan people are desperately trying to move as one. They are held back by political machinations. We need leadership. 

At the National Prayers, the burden of making Kenya went back to the individual.It is they who can shun negative ethnicity, the people. But this only grows when appointments in Kenya are skewed in favour of some ethnic groups, when they are unitlaterally done and when they are done in contravention of the Constitution. I think we should not bring God into this in this manner. We should just do what should be done and then hope to make it acceptable as sacrifice as at by the rivers of Babylon. "Let the works of our hands and the meditation..." President Kibaki talked about democracy having matured. There were no boos but only toasts. The spirit of nationalism was again turned only to the individual as happens in bad economics and poor religion. As well as that corruption and diseases were also framed as individual struggles.. Kibaki then asked Kenyans to accept and defend the unitary state of Kenya especially now that Mombasa is speaking about cessation (ill advised but rooted somewhere) and then came his crunch.. that this is because we are preparing the coming to ground of the 47 counties. This is where the crux of the matter is.

 Two weeks ago, President Kibaki appointed 47 County heads without following the Kenyan constitution. The Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee has said that President Kibaki violated the law by unilaterally appointing 47 county commissioners. In a report tabled in Parliament, this Commission pointed out that President Kibaki violated Article 232 of the Constitution of Kenya. The law sets "Fair competition and merit as basis for appointments and promotions." Besides, there should be public participation  through a policy paper or legislation. The president has broken the law.

This is not only ridiculous as he is the president in a government of national coalition but also dangerous because this is exactly what he did in the year 2007 with regard to the Electoral Commission of the time. The aim was to influence the General Election even then. That happened. Kenya was at the brink of civil war. Crimes against humanity were committed. Four individuals are indicted by the International Criminal Court. Among them is Uhuru Kenyatta whom Kibaki would like to see as the next President of Kenya. How did the president further contravene the constitution? He did not only do so by unilaterally appointing who will be in charge of 47 counties in the country. He also violated Chapter Four, The Bill of Rights, Article 27 on Equality and Freedom from Discrimination which states that: "... the State shall take the legislative and other measures to implement the principle that not more than two thirds of the members of elective or appointive bodies shall be of the same gender".  He appointed men. Does Kibaki have the interests of Kenya at heart? County leaders are as influential as the Provincial and District Commissioners as well as Chiefs were in Kenyan politics in the past. We know how that system was abused by the powerful.  Counties are part of a structure of the devolution of power to the people.  Does anybody listen when we say that 52 % of Kenya's population is made up women and that nothing will work out in leadership especially at devolution level if women are left out? Well?

The Centre for Rights Eduaction Awareness CREAW has one to court on this matter. The Court has declined to stop these appointments.

But President Kibaki is also not facilating the following of international law. Kenya is a signatory to the Rome statute, something which Kibaki regrets. Frantic efforts have been made also to make the African Union help move a case before the International Criminal Court in which some Kenyan politicians, a civil servant and a radio journalist are indicted.. Some months back, Gadaffi had promised to help Kibaki win this battle, but that was before the Arab Spring. 

The Constitution of Kenya states that "Any convention or treaty signed by Kenya shall form part of the laws of Kenya". This makes the International Criminal Court a part of Kenya's judicial system. The effort to show this court as alien and to move it to Africa has been Kibaki's idea of justice. This ICC is the court Kenyans took recourse to because the local system failed us in our greatest hour of need. It is remarkable that Kibaki thinks this is something we should not have done. He once wanted us to renegade the Rome Statute. That failed. He does not know that in any case even countries that are not signatories can still have cases heard by the ICC if the citizens of such a nation are determined to take them to the ICC . 

Now then Kibaki has not stopped to see Kenya as Kenya without himself and his friends in politics. He insists on moving this case in which the ICC has indicted four men among them Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura, his close friends to Arusha, Tanzania. He wants to move the case to the East African Court of Justice. Here he believes justice will be served in a different way. He went to a meeting with presidents Kagame of Rwanda, Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania to move them to do this. I was surprised to see him make do this in the name of a few people whose political careers he believes he should save regardless of the fact that the ICC has indicted them. This means that those who died in violence 1 133 of them, people who were maimed and women and men who were raped, all the collective trauma we cannot describe here which we went through does not matter much. The destruction was immense. We know how the 600 000 who were displaced stayed in camps and part of them resettled over a longer period than it should have taken, whilst many of them remained unsettled. The main reason on Kibaki's mind is that Uhuru Kenyatta should not be in a court process now because he wants to vie for the presidency of Kenya. There could be fear too of what the case may come up with and what that will mean to him in relation to the crimes against humanity committed in Kenya in his tenure. After all, the ICC insists it has evidence that meetings with Mungiki militias were held in State House.

A month ago, President Kibaki appointed moved Mutula Kilonzo from the ministry of justice because he has been consistently in support of the International Criminal Court. Mutula Kilonzo is a lawyer. Now Eugene Wamalwa also a lawyer has been appointed the new Justice Minister and Mutula Kilonzo is in education. Again it is clear. Eugene Wamalwa belongs to the group of 7 who work with Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto who is also before the criminal court. What is shocking is that Eugene Wamalwa, the minister of justice, is breaking the Kenyan law by not following Chapter 6 of the constitution which lays out matters of integrity for those who would be leaders in Kenya. I wonder how this minister of justice has responded to an article in the media that charged that the Kenyan Chief Justice, Dr. Willy Mutunga is threatened and fears for his life. I wonder how Kibaki responded to that. As for future presidency Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto William fail that test. They have to wait until their names are cleared by the International Criminal Court. Uhuru can wait. No one has to be in politics or in a specific position. But he and Kibaki and Moi act as if they are under oath that Uhuru Kenyatta must become the next president of Kenya. Are we superstitious or what? Justice must be respected. Our constitution too. The country needs this. But again Uhuru Kenyatta is determined to run for the presidency despite the fact his hours before the court will weaken grassroots presence. He and William Ruto. They keep talking from a  moral high ground. In the meantime the ICC has convicted Charles Taylor to 50 years in jail for crimes against humanity. He is the first ex president to receive such a sentence for his involvement in deaths. 

Uhuru Kenyatta has the backing of all the MPs of Central Kenya and many others. In fact, most of the  people who speak his language are supporting him too. Only two weeks ago did he launch The National Alliance Party. President Moi is the one who first supported Uhuru Kenyatta for the presidency in 2002 and that was against Kibaki who won largely because Raila Odinga supported him. Calls for Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto to drop their political engagement continue coming in The Kenyan Parliament should take this head on. 

But Parliament is a legislative which is faced with dissolution itself unless it works hard to implement laws on time.

Because of the breaking of law, the disregard for the rule of law, Kenya is facing a complex situation politically. It is a less stable nation since the post poll violence of 2207. Some young men from different ethnic groups have set up organsiations to try and seek for justice in terms of economic advancement. Kenya is a weaker country since she invaded Somalia to fight Al Shabaab supported by Al Queda.  Kenya is bleeding. Security means a lot to a country dependant on agriculture and tourism. Because of corruption, a large group of alcohol drinking and unmotivated populace, many fatal accidents have happened. One only needs to read media reports. Youth are disoriented and easily to be found for hire by politicians. This is not the Kenya we expected in 2012. The president should uphold the law of the country and fill the land with hope.  It is too late for him, perhaps.

What is most intriguing is why Kibaki has to openly support a candidate from his ethnic group for the presidency. This way he has trapped almost all of the Central province voters again. He knows that this kind of politics sways the country dangerously. He saw that in 2007, but now it does not matter. Moi too said he supports Uhuru Kenyatta at the funeral of Njenga Karume, an MP who also worked closely with Uhuru Kenyatta but who knew how to speak to the 'other' side, meaning Raila Odinga. Once again Raila Odinga is getting demonised.  This negative ethnicity environment is what will lead to the breaking of Kenya. This is the wisdom that I hope God gave to Kibaki after his prayers.The problems in Kenya have more to do with the lack of leadership than with the people. Kenyatta, the father of Uhuru was the first president of Kenya. He said in a Kikuyu proverb that "the kingship would never cross River Chania". This meant he was not even ready for leadership from Nyeri let alone Kabarak where Moi comes from. What does this saying really mean? It means that a certain rich group of families try never to let the office of the president go to the hands of 'outsiders'. This group is distinguished by its wealth. Uhuru Kenyatta is the 17th richest man in Afrika, according to Forbes magazine. It is not entirely distinguished by one tribe, genetic borders can be crossed with a few special rich families. Kenya is very tribally divided just now. Most Kenyans are getting fundamentally Christian. The rift between the rich and the poor in Kenya is the fundamental problem. There are far too many people who die, die and die in the slums and elsewhere- They are dead Lazarus.  It is a few, the clique of the rich politicians, who  pray and eat in the style that reminds us of Divas. Devolved power to the counties was envisaged as part of the solution to this problem.

If we survive these divisions it will only because of the people. It will not be because as America says today, she will make sure we have peaceful elections. The International community were there and not too far from what led Kenya to burn in 2007/2008. Furthermore, our relationship with Somalia seems to be influenced by some foreign policy for Kenya did nto have the budget to invade Somalia a country Kenya has worked with for peace over many years. If Kenya makes it over tribal tensions it will not be because president Kibaki has led well. A good leader does not appoint county leaders unitlaterally when there is such a high level of mistrust and discontent. Kibaki's government has not shared  resources and opportunities with all ethnic groups. The marginalised are hardly ever mentioned. This is why he does not need to ask God to hold the country together. He first needs to make sure that everyone in the country feels that they are not closed out of prosperity through opportunities because of their ethnic background. Today, June 1st, Kenya celebrates Internal Self Government granted in 1963 before independence in December of the same year. Young Kenyans on fb are very critical of what is going on in Kenya. Some of them wrote that there was nothing to celebrate on the 1st of June 2012, Madaraka Day, in Kenya. We could at least have celebrated the constitution but Kibaki hardly refers to it anymore. Let the ordinary person have the courage to keep focused on justice and to keep saying that we are not doing well at all.

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