Monday, February 18, 2013

Kenya: Abuse of Constitution 2010, ethnic killings, hate speech, rigging, political polygamy, machetes and a General Election

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The 2010 Constitution of Kenya is the only foundation that this nation can stand on to achieve justice and peace. But if one is listening to Kenya keenly of late, if one is interested in this nation and is reading recent reports on the up coming election, there are some things that sound quite disturbing.  It is horrifying to read about machetes selling out in a supermarket in Nakuru. Voting time and machetes means violence. To read of machetes in 2013, to hear of people dying in Tana and now in Kuria District for quite sometime sends shivers down the backs of those who know how easy it is to unleash violence and how difficult it is to hold anyone to account. To get justice for deaths, rapes of hundreds of women. This is where we were in December 2007 minutes after the announcement of Kibaki as the winner of the election of 2007. The result is that some poor people are still languishing in camps. They are the Internally Displaced People of Kenya.  They lost their homes, their land as well as faith and hope in living within certain areas of their country. The courts were rejected in 2007 and seen as incapable of poll disputes. We do to want this to ever happen again. It is a terrible thing that the Kenyan law was not able to resolve the poll dispute but was quite capable of swearing in people into new office. Kofi Annan (UN) and other leaders helped us to come up with a plan which included the completion of the 2010 Constitution. It is this constitution we are already abusing and led by the highest powers in the land. We are in danger of passing it on as a document we can mutilate for our own good just because it came into force during out time. We have to be reminded that both the Constitution and Kenya are for posterity!

Women lose when the constitution is desecrated

There is a saddening confirmation of the fact that Kenya may not after all believe in her own constitution. To begin with, President Kibaki who prides himself as the one who nurtured the birth of this constitution has broken the law regularly and been taken to court sometimes with no effect. What is wrong with that is after Kenyans have said they have given unto themselves a new constitution to help govern them, the breaking of the law by the president, who is outgoing in the next two weeks, cements the impunity which the land has been fighting for so long. Impunity has been enjoyed by the politically powerful, the rich and the connected all the time. The ordinary person, Wanjiku, as she is called in Kenya, is always the one who pays the price. You could be saying the same of your country but Kenya promised to adhere to certain rules and set for herself high goals after seeing how easy it is to come to genocide in 2007 after a General Election.

President Kibaki at one time appointed 47 heads of Counties, first by doing so unilaterally and secondly without taking into consideration the constitution that says that no public body or committee shall be constituted by more than two-thirds of any either gender. He had appointed only one gender. The patriarchal one. Today I read that he has not finished his business in setting up a Land Commission. Land is one of the main issues that led to the violence that hit us in 2007. Why is Kenya playing poker with the devil? I would we played any other team, but not this, that in Kenya always explodes beyond  the power of legion!  The Commission for Implementation of the Constitution, led by C. Nyachae and Peter Wanyande, Commissioners, accuse Mr Kibaki of "ignoring court orders and failing to list members of the National Land Commission, by 11 Feb 2013.

I thought that the current president Mwai Kibaki would spend his last days writing and signing things on time... and like Saint John writing and speaking words that urge Kenyans to love one another and to obey the law. 

Instead I have seen the President and his family spending time disowning a woman whom they seem to know quite well.  When Kibaki was running for presidential elections in 2002, Mary Wambui was very powerful in his campaigns. The media, all of the media in Kenya, called her Narc Activist. She was splashed every where with colour and splendour. She was given an escort to boot and had bodyguards looking after her until things went wrong. The late Njenga Karume told us that they had taken dowry for Kibaki to marry Mary Wambui and that as far as he was concerned, it was strange that she was denied without the elders being told. Was this another breakage of traditional and modern law? Now it turns out that the media is filled with information on how the Kibaki family have tried to see to it that Mary Wambui does not become their next MP by taking away her recognition in public and her almost her votes in a nomination. I do not know Mary Wambui more than other Kenyans do.

We all know that she has been queried for many things and I declare I do not know or support her workings but that like all other people, except the Kibaki family, once she got nominated and showed interest in politics, we are bound to wait for the results of the voters. We cannot take the law into our hands and stop her from campaigning. If someone wants to sue her for something else that is different. If she has wronged the Kibaki´s they should come out clear and go to court. By trying to sideline her, they have made her the underdog and the people of Othaya have vowed to vote her into Parliament. Now then, what is it that the family of Kibaki so fear her for? Now if there is something they know, once again it has been left to Wanjiku even if it is detrimental to her. Strange indeed.

But not stranger than that people are buying machetes to protect themselves or to kill in the next election. I do hope this is unconfirmed because the elections are quite inflamed. They have everything in them including an element of fundamentalism I was faced with just the other day. For even with change in the Catholic church in the sense of the resignation of Benedict the XVI, people seem bent to twist things their way. A person I know very well and who belongs to groups that are swayed by sycophancy at the spiritual level have been made to believe that Uhuru Kenyatta is the chosen one of Mary and Mother of Christ. Now this is a very worrying symptom. Why religion in the mix?

Uhuru Kenyatta who probably has the support of the current president since the Central Province votes for its own MEN, is indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Full stop. That is where the conversation between the Mary follower and I ended. We can part there no matter what the heavens say, until a court which is also ours as within the 2010 Constitution rules otherwise. I have been a contender in Kenya and the people do tend to go back to Moses when elections come, the holy seas of Galilea, the holy See and even the prophets Jeremiah, Hoseah and all the others. Including John the Baptist and his type of baptism. Have you not seen politicians getting baptism of immersion before cameras? You cannot convince any of them in a debate that certain authority does not come or may not come from above. Authority that allows for the killing of others? That allows for unfairness?  I get very concerned that we are so quick too with ethnic hatred. What is driving Kenya to such high levels of incomprehension, to the place where I noted we are in 2007 when all reason seemed to be vanishing right before our eyes? Shall we the ordinary people, Wanjiku, refuse to be used for violence?

Why has Chapter 6 on Integrity, 2010 Constitution been inapplicable to the quest for the presidency by presidential candidates who are indicted by the International Criminal Court? Do we have or do we not have a Constitution that clearly says what type of persons can lead Kenya?

And one strong contender for the presidency, Raila Odinga (CORD) says that the election has been already rigged against him. Some journalists have written on that. I just do not like the way that it matches what happened in 2007. For even then, Raila said a similar move to name the Commissioners of the Electoral Commission then, was rigging and no one listened to that. Today he is saying that the Intelligence and the Military have been set up against him and that the two are divided by politics. God help us all. This is playing poker with the one and only, playing poker with the devil. .. again. All institutions of this level will stand up and say: No! We cannot be used! Well. I just wish so much that all these institutions were not headed by people from Central Province. The degree of tribalism which we were at in 2007 up to now, leaves all of us tarnished. I remember an Administration police, the ones who Waki recommended they be disbanded but stayed telling me that before they went out to 'work' in the violence of 2007 and during their 'work' they feared most their own colleagues if they were from a different ethnic group. The madness had penetrated all the ranks. All people can continue lauding Kibaki`s leadership but please let me record my opinion. It remains as in Honestly Kibaki, a letter I wrote sometime back. I feel let down. There cannot be any reason or excuse for having members of the same ethnic group which is the president´s leading in all these institutions. Children are pointing out that this is wrong.

There have been voices of reason of course in Kenyan political aspirants for top office, but they are in the fourth places without the Fourth Estate. I think some of them failed to come out as strong contenders because they underestimated what it takes to be connected to the whole of Kenya. To lead in presidential presence, not even campaign, one has to be like the ones sees noticed most now, visible and audible in all medias almost every day. One has to use a lot of time and money. You cannot step out of your public service office and expect immediate election, you will only be laying ground for a future election. Those who are noticeable now have been at it for years. And they have poured a lot of money into flights, ads and ... were often talking about being unfairly indicted. Some, like Uhuru, own media houses where it matters, a fact that in itself can point to the man as the only candidate in an area. In the rest of the media, they buy so much space and time that the editorial is easily compromised by the advertising department.

And new media? Social media has changed something but not everything at what I call the koroboi level. Koroboi in Kiswahili is a little lamp made of a simple empty tin of say coffee, or cocoa and a wick. It is used with as little paraffin as possible to light up the hut before going to sleep. Added to the inconstant flames of the cooking fire between three stones, there is light that bothers rather than helps the eyes. We have to remember there is a crowd of easily manipulable people still at this level.

In political polygamy women do badly. They are the losers. I never saw those words used together before but what Kenyan leaders are calling alliances are just quick polygamous set ups to win their way to State House. Some people will be divorced or just left on the side and neglected... actually polygamy hardly divorces, it just leaves you there to rot. Sometimes it cheats you that there is a marriage. Some people are saying that is just what has happened between Raila Odinga and his second in command. Raila Odinga knows about these polygamous unions as old politics, in which someone is courted and then thrown into trouble. At the same time, women vying for political seats and those who were in the 10th Parliament have been hit hard by many issues. In a House dominated by men there can be no balance. We saw them run quickly home to base, to the ethnic group if they had ventured further. Will it be safer at home? Could they not have been the ones who say enough is enough when it comes to tribal voting or is that too much of a burden on them? But then again they are the political majority, who will put Kenya in order if they follow the rules of political party manipulation?

The women who were in the 10th Parliament are difficult to trace of late. It appears that they have been struck and scattered. Sometimes, the hard awakening hits. Political party organising that is not according to the law again hurls women into the vortex and when men too are thrown against every ethical thing where do the children go? The things people have complained about the women: Ditching their parties to get into more popular ones, dining with the powerful, not supporting their own and the list is endless are all horrible signs of how hard the situation of women is in the country. More than ever, Kenya need the 2010 Constitution afire and working.

In the meantime, the court of appeal ruled to hold in abeyance the two thirds gender rule for now and to implement it later. So the 2010 Constitution is still not alive completely. And when this happened, there were a few whimpers. The women were too engaged in trying to be elected again. They are going through the same mud that we know well. Bishop Wanjiru could not run for Nairobi Governor. She said she had a degree, a requirement, but it turned out to be one that was not accredited to Kenya education. She goes on leading her church in the city of Nairobi. She will vie on another ticket. People have changed parties to get the positions and bought some political parties and people too. This is Kenya before the elections, what will Kenya be after the elections? The country is gripped with election fever and euphoria and that is hard to tell but the 4th draws closer.

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