Citizens in Kenya Speak, But No National Leader Listens

The repeat election has just opened my eyes. I wasn’t seeing correctly until now. Everything seemed bleak and silent but now the silence is so loud. After concerted efforts of politicians in central Kenya to have citizens vote. Only 6.5M, about 34% of the registered voters, turned out to exercise their right.

Transport was free for residents of Murang’a County to go and vote. They only needed to prove that they are resident of the county. The government further put gazette notice for a holiday a day before repeat election to enable citizens to travel and cast their votes.

Kenyans appeared to be happy with the holiday, stayed at home, prepared for the worst on the Election Day and watched TV.

On the other hand, the opposition asked its supporters to stay at home and boycott the election. There are those who hid to the call and stayed home.

Regrettably, there are those who took the instructions further to stop any form of election in the counties. They barricaded roads, lit fires and paralysed transportation of election materials. Efforts by the police to restore normalcy resulted in a fierce exchange between the police and the residents of some areas.

Those who decided not to participate in the repeat election are a significant number of the registered voters. The results of October 26th election will be announced by the Chairman that the people of Kenya overwhelmingly voted for the re-election of the president despite 34% voter turnout.

A section of our society will refuse to listen to this, including the president and Mr Raila Odinga.

In abstract terms, about 66% of Kenyans decided not to participate. As we delve ourselves into legitimacy and legality of the election, it is paramount that we listen to the voice of those who chose not to speak through their vote.

I would definitely tell you that 66% of the voters who did not turnout are not entirely those who support the opposition.

There is a significant percentage of Kenyan voters who are neutral and would otherwise have made a choice at the booth and those who are Jubilee Supporters that chose to stay away.

They are tired of the political games that politicians have subjected this country to.

Uhuru might have garnered more votes in the annulled August 8th elections, not because he was the best, but because many felt Raila wasn’t the best candidate for them. They were actually voting out Raila.

Now that Raila pulled out of the race, the same section of the voters felt there was no one to vote for, and they stayed at home and watched the drama unfold.

What I read from the process is a country that is tired of dishonesty and hypocrisy of politicians and their games. I see a group of Kenyans who know that none of the leaders in either political divide will help this country.  Even those areas that Mr Kenyatta enjoys most support, turnout was not up to par compared to August annulled the election.

Kenya is becoming of age, and the moment we start realising that Kenyan voter is changing the way they perceive politicians. Even the president himself.

President Kenyatta Disappoints me at times

I have a lot of respect for the Constitution. Including the offices and the institutions that derive their authority from the Constitution like the presidency. Whether I voted for the president or not, he becomes my president and party politics go aside.

We are taught from the elementary civic education, whether you are a lawyer or not, that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land. There is no defence to the ignorance of the law Any other law that contravenes the Constitution of Kenya is null and void.

The president of the republic of Kenya made utterances that, in my opinion, went overboard regarding the standard that he is supposed to maintain as a symbol of national unity. The idea that if Raila Odinga becomes president, they will impeach him within two or three months in office belittles Kenyatta.

Impeachment of a president arises from three reasons as prescribed in article 145. The first is on the ground of gross violations of a provision of the Constitution or any other law, secondly, where there are substantial grounds for believing that the president has committed a crime under national or international law and lastly gross misconduct.

President uttered the removal from office a Raila presidency with three months on the grounds of numbers he has in the national assembly and their ability to amend the constitution to actualise their greed for power.

Besides the numbers the president refers to, Jubilee party will need a valid reason, not a witch hunt to remove a sitting president elected by the majority of Kenyan citizen.

As much much Jubilee legislators feel that they have the numbers to oust Mr Odinga if he is elected on October 17th, all members of the national assembly should stand firm beyond the confines of their party politics and put this country first.

The Presidency and those who occupy the office unites a nation. Where either Uhuru Kenyatta or Raila Odinga become president, they should focus on uniting the country given that Kenyan politics highly polarise the country. Either of the two front runners to the presidency becomes president of Kenya which has little to do with Jubilee or NASA.

How A Tropical Storm Harvey in Kenya Would Be

If the tropical storm Harvey hit Kenya today the destruction will be insurmountable. Thousands of children will drown as their parents and police watch, leave alone destruction of the poorly constructed residential neighbourhood. Opportunists (lovely name looters) full of dissipated behaviour will likely take advantage and break into businesses not even aware of the disaster that looms.

The thought of a tropical storm, not a hurricane, gives me goosebumps. The president will likely give a state of the nation address and show remorse for the dissolute families that would be displaced. Perhaps few millions of shillings will be set aside to at least feed the affected for a day. Or two. It is disheartening that in Africa, there is less regard for life. In 2007, after the disputed elections in Kenya, over a thousand people died. Thousand others were displaced and lost their livelihoods.

The good thing is the events vividly remain in the hearts of many Kenyans. No one wants to walk that lane again. Despite the turn of events in 2007, fewer people lost their lives ten years later. But the numbers significantly reduced which is commendable. However, an election outcome shouldn’t trigger property destruction and loss of life.

Research shows that disasters in Kenya are triggered by the hydrometeorological and environmental process such as those experienced in Budalangi and Ahero. Kenya as a nation is known to be reactive rather than being proactive in disaster preparedness. The leadership care about the voters during electioneering periods otherwise they careless.

Citizens, on the other hand, are a lot more careless than their leaders. Even the good just pass the opportunity to make a change in political leadership.

Its worth noting that responsibility to tackle disasters begins with individuals efforts with the surroundings that they live. Right from managing the homestead to electing to right leadership to the responsibility of the national and county governments. Is Kenya prepared ehen disaster knocks?

Kenya Political Space is Ready for Disruption

The call by the president elect Uhuru Kenyatta to allow Salaries and Remuneration Commission to slash Kenyan MPs is welcome. With both hands. However, the newly elected legislators are ganging up to petition against the move by the commission.

Luckily, the president desire to slash government budget led the president to fully back the SRC while vowing to cripple any move by the MPs, who are yet to be sworn in, to protest against the move.

The most familiar name on twitter is in Kenya is Gladys Wanga. The newly elected MP from Homabay has been vocal about the pay that the incoming legislators will have to bear.

Gathoni wa Muchomba has rescinded on her decision against the Sarah Serem led commission and apologised to her constituents and vowed to abide by what the commission will set as their pay. This follows reports that her move had angered Kiambu residents whom she is supposed to represent in Parliament.

Famed investigative journalist Mohammed Ali ran on an independent ticket with limited resource and still clinched Nyali parliamentary seat. However, Boniface Mwangi was floored and conceded defeat after the cash backed Musician Charles Njagua won Starehe seat.

The political space in Kenya has been a reserve for deep-pocketed lawyers and filthy rich business people. The trend seems to change with more Kenyans joining in to challenge political party backed candidates.

The government is aware of the threat posed by the civil society. After the elections in 2017, the government cracked the whip on two popular civil rights organizations in Kenya; The Africa Centre for Open governance and the Kenya National Human Rights Commission. The two organizations were momentarily deregistered crippling its activities in the country.

Some say the actions of the governments were buoyed by the reality that the civil rights groups have the capacity to challenge the IEBC’s decision. There had been questions being raised on the conduct security organs in Kenya in aftermath of the elections.

It is worth noting that Kenya’s went back to work a week that followed the election in spite of the calls from the opposition leader, Raila Odinga, for Kenyans to boycott work.

It is clear that no political statements will make Kenyans stall the economy by not working. Kenyans returned to work arm twisting Odinga to resort to the courts to file a petition against the IEBC decision to announce President Kenyatta as the winner of the 2017 elections.

As the country struggles to come back to normal after an expensive election, it is worth noting that despite being a young democracy, Kenya held successful elections. There is a need for Kenyans to be more realistic of what is expected of the elected leaders.

Kenya is likely to see an increasing number of candidates who present themselves for political office whether or not they have money to fund their campaigns.



NASA should Just Prepare for 2022, 2017 is done

After a tedious, expensive and disputed election that wasted the entire week, Kenya expected a less rough week. The supporters of Jubilee party were expected to celebrate peacefully while the opposition and losers, NASA, mourn while expressing their dissatisfaction. It was anticipated that NASA fans wouldn’t be happy with the news of Uhuru Kenyatta becoming president elect. Demonstrations in Kenya are never known to be peaceful.

Kenya Police mercilessly shot dead Kenyans who were not satisfied with the results of the elections. The number of casualties is not readily known due to different figures of various entities. However, there were two notable fatalities of children one who succumbed to gunshot wounds and another in Nyanza died after police raided the home.

The acting Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi said in a statement that the police did not shoot anyone who was peacefully demonstrating.  The parent of murdered girl in Nairobi’s Kibera area says the girl died of police gunshot wounds.

The freedom of the press was again at risk after a KTN reporter was put behind bars allegedly for wearing protective clothing without a permit.

There have been outright gross violations of human rights in Mathare, Kibera and part of Nyanza in greater western Kenya Region. Unlike the developed nations, there is no arm of the government that department in Kenya’s judicial system that checks lawlessness in the police force.

The Independent Police Oversight Authority is toothless. The best they can do is go to morning TV shows to tell Kenyans that no one has lodged formal complaints or there is insufficient evidence to take actions against rogue police officers

Barely a week after Kenyans went to the ballot and less than five days since the IEBC announced Uhuru Kenyatta as the president elect, police raided the only institutions that check it. The Kenya National Human Rights Commission (KNHRC) and African Centre for Open Governance (AFRICOG) play a vital role that citizens may not have the capacity to undertake.

The government must realise that these NGO’s have to exist in the first. De registering them hurts human rights and the role that they NGO’s play.

The Kenya’s government does not want to be checked. The NGO coordination board boss shows no regard for institutions that watch the government.  Non-governmental organisations that engaged in unlawful activities must be punished. However, these should be based on just allegations but rather be based on factual and concrete evidence that can pass the test in a court of law.

At this juncture, there is a retrogressive growth in Kenya’s democracy in that we take one step ahead for peaceful elections and the two steps back because of the behaviour of security organs.

The national super alliance announced its intention to contest the presidential election in the Supreme Court. This is a welcome move that is likely to boost public confidence in institutions of justice. In a statement to the media, the NASA flag bearer called the results computer generated and went ahead to say it does not reflect the desire of Kenyans.

Whether it’s true or not, taking the matter to the highest arbitrator on land is the right move for the national super alliance. However, with the behaviour of the national police lately, NASA may need to have a proper strategy for the next elections.

Major Events leading up to Kenya Elections 2017

The world is aware that Kenyans will be heading for the ballot on August 8th, 2017. Kenya Elections 2017 has been searched a thousand times given the heated rivalry between the incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and the opposition stalwart Raila Odinga who is running on his Orange Democratic Party ticket backed by National Super Alliance.

Raila Odinga had taken to court to stop the printing of presidential ballots claiming that there was a plot to rig the election. The court ruled in their favour, a decision that was reversed after IEBC appealed the case.

President Uhuru Kenyatta boycotted presidential debate 2017. This decision by the president left the former prime minister Raila Odinga on his own to sell himself to Kenyans.

The deputy president appeared on the media to claim that they were being blackmailed into debates. Despite the indication that Uhuru would not attend the debate, the presidential debate organising committee went ahead to advertised the debate.

Deputy president also missed the running mates debates. The running coalition passed the opportunity of live coverage with more than 9milion Kenyans watching the debate.

The major events in the 2017 elections also include the military involvement in the 2017 Kenya election which the opposition party opposed. The revelations came in the wake of the claim that Jubilee had plans to rig the elections. The cabinet secretary has played down NASA claims and branded the document presented as fake and fabricated to instil fear in the minds of Kenyans

Kenyans took to social media to condemn printing of extra 1milion presidential ballot papers. Dr Akuro Aukot, running on a less popular third-way alliance called on the IEBC to destroy additional ballots saying it was a recipe for disaster. All social media requests fell on deaf ears.

The murder of ICT director Chris Musando less than ten days to the election raised concerns about the credibility of the elections. The authorities are yet to unravel the mystery on who killed him and why? Many questions are being asked including who stands to benefit from the death of the man in charge of the security of the IEBC voting system.

Kenyans should be allowed to choose Their President from any Polling station countrywide.

Nairobi governor asked his support to adopt a bus station in a bid to stop people from relocating to their rural homes. Kenyans fear that the 2017 elections may be mired in chaos and violence.

The death of Acting ICT Director Christopher Musanda further complicates governor Kidero’s call from Adopt a bus station initiative. The government couldn’t guarantee a senior IEBC official his security how then can a normal citizen not take measure to safeguard their families?

Many voters will not vote in the forthcoming elections because they will be miles away from their designated polling stations.

Kenya is likely to see a low voter town out due to the relocation of populations to areas where they will not be allowed to vote. Nairobi County has close to 3 million voters, most of whom are from rural areas where they are relocating with their families at the moment.

Presidential candidates are the same in all constituencies.

Scaring voters and spreading of fake new is a way that opponents use to scare off voters from participating in the electoral process. Thousands of voters will take their families to locations where they cannot exercise their constitutional right.

Kenya isn’t stable enough to tie individuals to the polling station as citizen move from one town to another more often than not. At the moment, a registered voter who lives in Nairobi and registered in Mombasa will have to travel back to Mombasa to vote which is in most cases unlikely.

Involvement of The Military in Kenya’s 2017 Election May be Hazardious

Analysts are already eulogising trumps presidency. At this rate, no one is scared of the United States, and polls suggest the lowest approval ratings for President Donald Trump.

Kenya is going through an election in 2017, and there are thousands of lessons for the Kenyan voters. Electing leaders shouldn’t be guided by hatred of a candidate rather love for another candidate. People should vote for Uhuru Kenyatta because they hate Raila Odinga but rather vote because they believe in the vision and promises of the Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila Amollo Odinga called a press conference to express his displeasure with purported military interference with the forth coming election. He said, “we have received credible evidence that the army is training a task force to interfere with the August 8th Elections.” Member of the media also attended the press conference and streamed live on facebook through Raila’s Facebook account.

The NASA flag bearer and ODM party leader further reiterated that it is not the role of the military in handle internal security. It is the work of the national police he lamented. He also said that they would boycott the election of the military continues with its plan to interfere with the elections. He says there are planning of jamming connectivity to ensure that the election is rigged. These are utterances may have severe consequences and her neighbours.

What if the allegation is right? Is boycotting the election a solution? The ballot papers are already printed and ready and in what way does NASA plan to boycott the election? The unsubstantiated claim from the opposition which was relayed raw without presentation of evidence raises the serious questions on the preparedness of Kenya towards this election.

If I read the mood correctly, it is possible that boycotting means something else. It means calling for people not to turn out for voting or maybe something worse. Worse in the sense that parts of the country voters might be afraid of voting.

The military must desist from any activity relating to elections and concentrate on its pivotal role in keeping our borders non-porous. They should deal with the enemy that has repeatedly breached the border to distort social order which results in serious injuries and death to the extreme. The military must be professional in their discharge of duties, and there should never be a single element to doubt their neutrality from this election. The military should be trusted beyond reasonable as we head towards this volatile times.

NASA must concentrate on its campaign and try to win voters instead of scaring the country with the claim that might bring back the wounds of disputed 2007 elections. There is no turning back. The ballot papers are already printed and on the 8th Kenyans will be lining up to choose their leaders. If NASA plans to boycott the election, they shouldn’t stand on television to call for their supporters not to vote.

The media needs to be more vigilant than ever. The type of content delivered to Kenyans must be screened to weed out propaganda and rumours. Corresponding evidence should accompany every allegation.

Jubilee, on the other hand, should be as clean as it says it is. They shouldn’t be thought to behind any plot to rig or interfere with the elections.

IEBC being an independent body, in collaboration with the courts should take these allegations with utmost urgency. The peace and stability of Kenya of paramount importance, not just to Kenya, but to the entire world who see Kenya strategically located for business and travel. We cannot afford to lose our country to chaos once again. I choose PEACE.