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Courts Must Protect Vote Integrity

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In Courts Must Protect Vote Integrity, I make the case voters will do their part in making sure Uhuru and Company are sent packing come August 8 but the Court must be vigilant in making sure there’s no election theft this time around. And now the oped:

US President Donald Trump shocked the world when he won in one of the most bizzare presidential elections in America. He lost the popular vote by almost 2.9 million but was declared the winner by virtue of having won the majority of the Electoral College votes.

The drafters of the US Constitution created the Electoral College system to guard against “cabal, corruption, intrigue, and faction,” which, to some, degree it has.

The proof of the ingenuity of the system is in the fact that only in four instances in the country’s more than 230-year history has the President been elected not having won the popular vote. They also created a checks and balances system such that no single branch of government among the three could overwhelm the others and ride roughshod over the country’s affairs.

President Trump is finding this out first-hand as the courts promptly tossed out his hurriedly issued and unconstitutional executive order banning Muslims from certain countries from entering the US (he claims the ban was not against Muslims but the courts took the view, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it’s probably a duck, except in this case, the court said, it was a duck).

Our Constitution is not 230 years old. It’s only only on its seventh year, if you put aside what we had before as not really a constitution, but a manifesto for an efficient dictatorship.
Be that as it may, the drafters of our Constitution did borrow a page from the American Constitution and established our own system of checks and balances. Built underneath that system is, at least on paper, an independent judiciary.

We all recall the fanfare ushering in the new Constitution in 2010 as if we had finally arrived as a country. Unfortunately, that spirit of oneness and purpose was short-lived as we found out in 2013 that the ugly old was with us in the form of rigged elections and a compliant judiciary that turned a blind eye on the glaring evidence of rigging presented before it.

Correction; a compliant Supreme Court which turned a blind eye on the glaring evidence of rigging presented to it only for its then Chief Justice and President, Dr Willy Mutunga, to seal the Court’s fate as the most inconsequential court in as far as the preservation of vote integrity goes, and making laughable the notion of an independent judiciary.

But all is not lost. Mutunga has since left the Bench with hardly any legacy to speak of other than the foregoing and he has been replaced by David Maraga.

With the addition of Lady Justice Philomena Mwilu and Justice Isaac Lenaola as Deputy Chief Justice and Supreme Court judge respectively, one can say we have had a reset of the court, taking us back to just after August 2010, when we prematurely celebrated the liberation of our judiciary from the chokehold she had suffered all those years since Independence in the hands of the President.
It’s a fact that other than in 2002, there has never been an election in Kenya where there was no rigging or outright theft at the presidential level.

Indeed, in all of those elections, we had an impotent judiciary doing the bidding of the riggers but, with this reset, the men and women serving in our highest court of the land may yet again be called upon to rise to the occasion and deliver justice for the country and it’s our collective prayer they will not fail us as their predecessors did.
In other words, as the courts in the US told Trump he can’t tramp on people’s rights at will, so, too, should ours tell President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee administration loud and clear if they’re to be worth the honour bestowed upon each of them and collectively.
Only then shall we be a free nation and every indication is this is already in the making, namely, saying enough is enough.

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Politics

 

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Why Voters Should Send Uhuru Packing

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In my Star oped this week Why Voters Should Send Uhuru Packing, I offer some of the reasons why Uhuru will be a one-term president.

Excerpts:

But it wasn’t long after they were sworn in before UhuRuto obviated what many already knew: Their priority number one was to use state resources to thwart and ultimately succeed in walking away from the ICC without convictions, as they eventually did.

So much that for the first two years of the Uhuru presidency, all the focus was on leaving the ICC, when they were not busy filling every possible position in government with their tribesmen and women. They reserved the best positions for their cronies and hangers-on, who in turn made sure they successfully engaged in massive corruption.

And that’s a shame, reason and fact number one that this is a failed government.

To be sure, some of us — and to the chagrin of those with whom we have been in the opposition trenches — rooted for the duo’s success for, after all, we only have one President and one administration at a time and we have, as a country, needs that must be met.

Instead of capitalising on that goodwill and delivering on their promises for the sake of our country, President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto squandered it all and, even worse, allowed their cronies to engage in even more corruption, worse than this country has ever endured, which is reason and fact number two why this is a failed government.

There’s not enough time or space here to analyse all the failures of the Jubilee government based strictly on the promises made in their manifesto. They have failed to deliver on those promises, let alone even try, while pretending to launch “new” projects when in reality, they were put in the pipeline by none other than the person who gives them the most shivers.

Suffice it to say, however, that Jubilee has failed to deliver on promises ranging from providing transformational leadership, when they’ve given us worse, to making Kenya safe when, as one blogger put it, “The police have all the weapons and vehicles they need to arrive at a place where it is easy to trample on the rights of the common citizens but not to protect themselves from sporadic al Shabaab attacks and bandits in places such as Suguta Valley and Kapedo.”

From empowering the youth, where the massive looting at NYS tells you all you need to know, to providing food security where, as this same blogger puts it, “people are still dying of hunger in 21st Century Kenya and of all places in Tiaty constituency, where Jubilee reaped 51, 000 votes out of a possible 22,000.”
From a healthy Kenya, in which the doctors’ strike tells you all you need to know to, last but not least, tribalism, which is now worse than ever before.

These are just but a few facts and reasons why the Jubilee government has failed, and which the majority of the voters going to the polls must have in mind in sweeping them out of office come August 8.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Politics, Uncategorized

 

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NASA Tsunami Will Sweep Jubilee Away

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In my Oped this week Nasa Will Sweep Jubilee Away, I opine as follows:

History is replete with examples of events that start as national events only to morph into an event which ends up shaping world history in one way or another most recent examples being the fall of Berlin, the 911 terrorist attacks in the US, Brexit and more recently, the election of one Donald Trump in the United States.

The latter two events have something in common beyond the underlying racism and xenophobia in both that’s playing out in Kenya as we head into the general election and that is buyer’s remorse.

There’s anecdotal evidence many voters in the UK who voted for Brexit regretted their vote soon after the results were out albeit not by significant numbers owing to the fact this is still an issue the UK is deeply divided.

Ditto in the US where there’s already grumbling among many who voted for Trump now saying they regret doing so which is going to get worse when others realize what many of us knew all along and that is, Trump promised the impossible he cannot deliver but will try and deliver on policies that will make many who voted for him worse off than they are today.

As in the Brexit and the US elections, there’s buyer’s remorse in Kenya as well among those who voted for Jubilee in general and Uhuru in particular and this is true even among diehard Jubilee adherents; question is, will these disillusioned among Jubilee come out to vote against Uhuru come August 8 or will they stay home instead in classic voter apathy.

One thing we do know for sure, however, is despite Jubilee’s total failure as a government and especially despite its pathetic record on corruption while practicing and exacerbating tribalism and division, there will be millions marching to the polls come November 8 and casting their vote for this failed administration for reasons that have nothing to do with presidential qualification, leadership or good governance.

That’s the tragedy of our people who, like the Trumpians in the US who voted en masse for the race baiter simply what he was saying was music to their ears his flaws notwithstanding, so too will many throng the polls to vote to reelect Uhuru despite having totally failed to deliver on even half of what the Jubilee government promised when hunting for votes ahead of 2013.

The hope is such voters will be fewer and far apart in 2017 and let’s have a repeat of 2002 when there was widespread and total rejection of Uhuru the first time he was presented to the country as a viable presidential candidate only to receive a resounding “NO” from every corner of the country.

The signs of yet another political tsunami is forming in Kenya are there for all to see, except those in deep denial who are desperately albeit comically characterizing the gathering storms as anything but for what it is: a forming political force that will sweep Jubilee out of power.

The irony of all of this is, just as we have buyer’s remorse among voters even in Jubilee strongholds, so, too, do we have buyer’s remorse between and among some key players in the gathering storm.

More specifically, when the storm comes and goes having swept Jubilee out of power, it would be looked back and concluded with pure irony that the political tsunami of 2017 was possible because Kalonzo and Mudavadi had buyer’s remorse with Kibaki and Jubilee, respectively.

Mudavadi having returned to the fold, and Kalonzo having done so previously, namely, back in Raila camp, all is forgiven and now there’s an even greater prize to be had and that is the opportunity to be part of a new government that will finally achieve peace, unity and prosperity of the kind we have not seen in our beloved country since independence and before.

An achievement not possible with Jubilee because you can’t do the same thing and expect different results; Uhuru finds his way back to State House after August, count on same or worse we’re suffering in every respect.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Jubilee Learns Votes Count When Not Stolen

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In A Lesson for Jubilee In Vote Counting, I point out in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s defeat in his efforts to have Ambassador Amina Mohamed’s elected as Chairperson of the African Union, Jubilee has learned votes count when not stolen or rigged.

Excerpts:

President Donald Trump of the United States has been in office only a few days and thus far he has not disappointed in what many expect of his presidency; total unpredictability and winging of heavy presidential decisions such that the outcome is as wacky and head-scratching as any can be.

Not wanting to have any part of it, Sally Yates, Acting Attorney General and a holdover from the Obama administration, refused to defend President Trump’s controversial order banning entry or reentry of travelers from a number of predominantly Muslim countries.

Trump promptly sacked her and hired a new acting AG who promptly pledged his allegiance to Trump and promised to enforce and defend whatever Trump feels like inflicting on the United States and the rest of the world for that matter.

The latter is plausible but it cannot be the case one can shamelessly defend the indefensible, especially when that which they defend is clearly proscribed under the Constitution and other international laws, norms and practices.

Yet, that’s what this new US AG must do until he’s replaced with his more permanent replacement who awaits confirmation and one who by his prior statements and actions, will be thrilled to defend his master and the new administration’s policies in courts which, going by what’s happened thus far, that’s all he will be doing and nothing else, given the lawsuits already filed to challenge Trump’s actions and the endless ones to follow.

There’s a parallel between this development involving the two acting AGs in the United States and what has happened in our own Ambassador Amina Mohamed.

There’s no question the one and only binding force that brought now President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto together back in 2012, was their facing ICC charges and, more specifically, their mutual interest in being elected so they can use the state machinery to altogether avoid their trials or otherwise to simply thwart the ICC Prosecutors as they successfully did.

It was with that in mind that Uhuru appointed Amina Mohamed, an accomplished lawyer and diplomat even by then.

Up until the ICC cases were dismissed against Uhuru and less so Ruto’s case, Amina spent most of her waking time trying to find ways to get rid of this monkey on the duo’s backs.

Indeed, one can say this was Ambassador Amina’s sole task but, to be fair, one can say she did manage to squeeze in a few other tasks here and there until these cases were dismissed but even in these other work, at the core was a common purpose of getting rid of the cases.

When that task was accomplished, President Uhuru saw it fit to put forth Amina’s name for consideration as AU Chairperson.

For strictly utilitarian reasons, this was a good move but one which begs the philosophical question was Amina’s work for the benefit of the country such that she deserved being rewarded by African leaders as AU’s next Chairperson or for the benefit of two individuals who found themselves hauled before the ICC to answer some very serious charges?

Quite surprisingly, African leaders concluded it was the latter and therefore refused to give the plum job she sought and now Jubilee has tasted the second loss except this time the loss is sustained as it will be come August on account of the power of un-interfered with and unrigged vote.

On the other hand, if, like Yates, Amina had refused to work to dismiss the ICC cases on principle that it was contrary to her role as AG, Uhuru, like Trump, would have fired her promptly but, like Yates, she would be well regarded in history for having stood for the right thing when it came to remaining obedient to the calling of our Constitution.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2017 in Politics

 

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Say No To Political Assassinations

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In Say No To Political Assassinations, I make note of the re-emergence of this vile tool of political cowards to silence their critics and opponents in Kenya and make the obvious plea for all of us to be united in our condemnation of the vice and make that message loud and clear so it may sink in the minds of the wicked contemplating or actively pursuing their murderous plans against anyone be that a household name or your average citizen speaking their mind as guaranteed in the Constitution.

Excerpt:

We also know that politics is exercised on a wide range of social levels, from clans and tribes of traditional societies, through modern local governments, companies and institutions up to sovereign states, to the international level.

Indeed, even in our own individual families, politics is alive and well to the extent it’s about power and influence; those who have it be it in the family or society at large occasionally wield it responsibly but often irresponsibly, selfishly and recklessly, if not ruthlessly.

So much so such that as between and among politicians, simple disagreement or questioning of one’s conduct becomes lightening rod to vanquish those with whom they disagree or those who question them not just because they disagree or can’t be questioned, but because they see those challenging them as their mortal enemies standing in the way of what they want and that therefore the solution is to eliminate them.

That’s why we have had fist fights in Parliaments, political arrests and the ultimate price for challenging those with power, namely, political assassination.

In our beloved Kenya, we have had a fair share of all of these, especially political assassinations that peaked in the late 70s and early 80s. Kibaki may have left us no legacy one can speak of other than denying Raila even his nusu mkate (half-loaf) but one can say we never really had political assassinations to speak of during his presidency and that’s a testament to his own style of politics and discipline among his inner circle who are often the architects of these political assassinations.

The same cannot be said about the Uhuru administration not even a full five-year term we already have a claim of at least one person having been assassinated and from there we have a few or many more, depending on one’s level of comfort with conspiratorial theories and whisperings.

When a Recce officer publicly lets the world know he’s trigger happy to kill a Member of Parliament or more, one cannot possibly dismiss that as empty threat; rather, combined with the fact no action was taken against this officer, one must and has to conclude resorting to violence to punish those with whom one disagrees is not a thing of the past, but is a vice alive and well decades after we thought it was behind us.

That’s scary and if President Uhuru wishes to be on the right side of history on this subject, he should forthwith have this officer ordered to withdraw his incendiary and wanton display of willingness to resort to violence to silence a person merely because he didn’t like what the person said or did.

Similarly, the president should see to it that his security chiefs do not arbitrarily withdraw security details for politicians simply because those politicians are not towing the Jubilee line or simply because they’re vocal in their opposition to his government; their refusal to tow the Jubilee line or being vocal in their opposition to the Jubilee government is their Constitutionally protected right of which no one can take away, and that includes the president and his security chiefs.

That’s the new Kenya we want, namely, one where people are free to express themselves or associate with whomever they wish without fear of retribution from the state.

That’s second only to our other want and that’s having the will of the people expressed at the polls without fear, intimidation or vote rigging.

We can and must have room for both and Uhuru has a big say in both.

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2017 in Politics

 

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We Need A Transition Government In Kenya

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In We Need Transition Government In Kenya, I make the case the only way to send Uhuru packing is for the opposition to unite as we did in 2002 which I say is possibly only if greed and ego don’t come into play.

Excepts:

There’s a reason Obama was reelected in 2012 despite all that he had going against him, including the widespread hostility toward Obamacare that those against it see as a wealth transfer from the haves to the have nots.

This reason is simply once elected in 2008 as the country’s first African American president, President Obama rolled up his sleeves and went to work in delivering an ambitious agenda to reverse the economic mess the country was plunged into by his predecessor George W Bush.

Americans going to the polls in 2012 rewarded Obama for these efforts which he has since built upon to become ranked as one of the country’s top transformative presidents.

The same cannot be said about our own President Uhuru Kenyatta.

There’s isn’t a single thing one can point to that Uhuru has done to transform Kenya such that he can make a case he deserves a second term.

Not one.

On the other hand, if the opposition were to be united and front a single candidate—and the only logical one who can beat Uhuru is Raila, then 2017 will mark the first time in our country’s history when we have a transformative leader as there’s no question if Uhuru were to be defeated, the dynamics of that defeat will be such that Kenyans will demand a new direction for the country that can only be delivered by someone those who waddle in looting and corruption fear the most and that’s none other than Raila.

In 2013, Raila supporters could be heard in bars and social gatherings making the case let’s elect Raila if only to serve one term as a transition president, meaning, to server one term in which to set in motion fundamental reforms in government that would be completed by his successor and others to follow Awambo having taken the country to another level of much desired economic prosperity and welfare.

If there was such a time having such a deal and sticking to it, it is now for without those hungry for power being assured their turn would be sooner, it’s doubtful they’ll be willing to be Raila cheerleaders–an outcome the country cannot afford.

Not with this much hunger for change in the air.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2017 in Politics

 

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Jubilee Election Law Evidence of Rigging

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In Jubilee Election Law Evidence of Rigging, I make the case the recent shameless ramming through of new election laws was illadvised and backward.

Exerpts:

Japan sits in one of the most earthquake prone regions in the world so after many decades of research, the country now also has the most advanced earthquake early warning system that already prevented widespread injury and saved thousands of lives.

In other words, when the Japanese realized Mother Nature is never going to give them a break from these disastrous earthquakes, they did not throw up their hands in exasperation and say there was nothing they could do; rather, they went to work devising not just early warning technologies but also better building codes to deal with the menace.

Earthquakes are to Japan what rigging is to Kenya so, like the Japanese, the opposition must study the warning signs of rigging and devise ways to counter it as effectively as the Japanese have done to earthquakes.

Jubilee MPs just shamelessly rammed through amendments to the Election Law that are designed to give their party legally sanctioned opportunities to rig.

So, the better response has to be first and foremost the opposition coming together and then formulating a strategy to defeat Jubilee much as was the case in 2002 when the opposition united to defeat Uhuru then who was considered Moi’s project to extend his presidency.

There’s a simple formula for this to be done; reward Raila for his life-long quest to make Kenya a better country by making him the flagbearer for the opposition much as the person he toshad was in 2002 but edge an agreement in stone that his will be a negotiated one term presidency and hand over the mantle to his successor in 2022 who will be nominated by ballot in the new coalition primary election or whoever can convince the other leaders in opposition to endorse him or her.

If that is done, no amount of rigging will keep Jubilee in power beyond 2017.

Saying no amount of rigging will keep Jubilee in power beyond 2017 recognizes in that assessment the presumption that the newly minted Chief Justice David Maraga and a majority of his colleagues like Justice Lenaola who have always demonstrated their soundness in judgment based on fact and law, not emotions or inappropriate influence, will do the right thing and refuse to validate rigged elections where there’s glaring evidence of same presented.

The shameless ramming through of these undemocratic and backward amendments is Exhibit A of that evidence.

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2016 in Law, Politics

 

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