News from the Motherland

And I am not talking about Russia.

2 weeks or so ago, we had elections. Several things have since happened and continue to happen. The first good news is we elected a functional illiterate as the governor for Nairobi. Clap for us. In another county, the governor-elect had to resign in the last government because he failed as a cabinet secretary. But you see, here, we love failures. We can’t do better. In yet, another county, their new governor was dismissed from the cabinet following accusations of theft of public funds in the tune of billions of shillings. You can see the trend, can’t you? We reward thieves, illiterates and failures with public office. So if you are anyone of the following, come, it is possible you will win before any honest citizen. We had exemplary candidates for MP [member of parliament], MCA[Member of County Assembly] but do you know what we did, elected thieves, illiterates and failures.

There is a petition at Supreme Court contesting the declaration of the presidential results. In 2013, I wrote about this court. It didn’t inspire confidence then, it doesn’t do so now. The justices, in a fit of drunkenness with power, warned us not discuss the matter before them. How wrong they are. We cannot live the question to the judges. We have a duty, a moral duty, to have a national dialogue on the conduct of the elections. And this right is protected in the freedom of expression and opinion. We can have an opinion and express it. They should concentrate on the evidence before them and let us the hell alone. Only now, they are on notice. This quote

This fatalism, however, will not stop me from speaking the truth that supports my cause. My appearance before this Court may be a pure farce in order to give a semblance of legality to arbitrary decisions, but I am determined to wrench apart with a firm hand the infamous veil that hides so much shamelessness. It is curious: the very men who have brought me here to be judged and condemned have never heeded a single decision of this Court.

from History will absolve me, by Fidel, best captures the prevailing mood for a large section of the population. We know the court is a farce. That its ruling is most likely to be an insult to our collective intelligence, but, we still go ahead with it. The electoral body blatantly disregarded court rulings on the conduct of elections. The executive has made it a habit to be always in contempt of court. The court is in contravention of the constitution on its composition.

I am certain the justices or their minions don’t read my blog, but they should take heed of this warning

Since this trial may, as you said, be the most important trial since we achieved our national sovereignty, what I say here will perhaps be lost in the silence which the dictatorship has tried to impose on me, but posterity will often turn its eyes to what you do here. Remember that today you are judging an accused man, but that you yourselves will be judged not once, but many times, as often as these days are submitted to scrutiny in the future. What I say here will be then repeated many times, not because it comes from my lips, but because the problem of justice is eternal and the people have a deep sense of justice above and beyond the hairsplitting of jurisprudence. The people wield simple but implacable logic, in conflict with all that is absurd and contradictory.

While an individual is not on trial, the court, while being the arbitrator on the dispute, is itself on trial. Anyone who can’t see that, is for shortness of my vocabulary, is an idiot. The independence of the court is on trial. The ability of the court to set a precedent in law that can be applied elsewhere not just in Africa, but in the entire commonwealth.

Related to matters elections, John Kerry, former secretary of state put his foot in his mouth when he made pronouncements on our election. Kenyans from all walks of life have advised him to help in the investigation at home in trying to determine if the Russians were involved in the US elections. Our matters are too complex for him.

On the constitutionality of the state organs, a number of us are petitioning the courts to rule that the state is in contravention of the supreme law.

Section 81 (b) on representation of the people is categorical that

not more than two thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender

And article 3 (2) is also categorical that

Any attempt to establish a government otherwise than in compliance with this constitution is unlawful

We pay an attorney general whose work, as stated in article 156 is the legal adviser to the government. What advise is he giving the government if he can’t point out such illegalities?

The constitution establishes the office of the judiciary. Their work, among others include interpreting the law. Since these judges and magistrates are first and foremost citizens, they should be at the forefront of defending the constitution. It is, in my view, dereliction of duty, for them to sit pretty, getting fat on the money we pay them waiting for some citizen to go to court to seek determination on these illegalities, when these are apparent. I argue that they are irresponsible citizens and should all be sent home for failing to uphold and defend the constitution which they took an oath to do.

And lastly, there is a more interesting debate going on too. There is a petition, by some communities, to secede. Those who want to secede refer to themselves as the Peoples Republic of Kenya and want secession from the Central Republic of Kenya. Whether it gathers enough signatures or not, it has brought to the forefront a big debate on statehood. On what it means to be Kenyan and why anyone would want to be in Kenya.

Judges, stand up. Be counted. Don’t sleep on the job.

Watch this space.

An open letter to Raila Odinga

Dear Sir,

I hope this finds you well.

I know you are a busy man and therefore I will make this letter short. I will start by congratulating you on your nomination to vie for the presidency of this country and wish you the best in the election that is a few days away.

I am writing to express my disappointment with you, first in the five years that you have been prime minister and then on the conduct of ODM nominations especially with regard to those MPs who for lack of a better term I would call sycophants and family members. I admit that everyone has a right to contest any elective post whether they are your relations or not, but as one person who keeps telling us you stand for change, then you must through your minions obey the will of the people. They have said expressly they don’t want to work with your brother, sister and in-laws, don’t force them on the people. Speak up and walk the talk, give the people their wish and you will get to where you want to go or we will vote for your competition in spite and send you home to retire.

Mr. Prime Minister, you have said you want to see the end to nepotism and tribalism in this country but your conduct speaks a different language. I know your defenders would say that in the presidency of JFK in the US his brother was the Attorney General, nobody refuses that but look at it this way, you appointed your sister ambassador to the US, your brother was the Assistant finance minister and I don’t know what other members of your family have been appointed to state positions, don’t you think it makes you a hypocrite to criticize others or when your minions criticize others when you do the same thing. We need better leadership.

All of us have been made to believe you have fought for constitutionalism in Kenya. I think this is true but I want to submit here that when you had the power to do so, you failed to be a beacon of hope. You instead felt comfortable with appeasing your sycophants. I know politics is a game of numbers, but what do you think it would be your status among the general populace had you reduced your end of the cabinet to be within the new constitutional requirements? You would not have acted contra the constitution but would have been a beacon of hope of what we would expect in your government if you should win the election, as it is, there is nothing you inspire in me.

There is the big matter of corruption, I don’t know how you have performed in this sector. You were the supervisor of government ministries, unfortunately the reports from Transparency International show that corruption is still rife in government. The question is do you know and have chosen to be complacent or you don’t know and are inefficient?

On matters national security and asking us to be patriotic. There have been senseless killings in Taita Taveta and Garissa, you have a motorcade paid for by our money, it is unfortunate that you haven’t found the time to visit this families and grieve with them and yet you expect their votes! Are you hungry for power for power’s sake or is there something different we are to expect?

Five years ago at the end of the election that you maintained that your vote had been stolen I thought you would have learnt a few lessons. If your party cannot hold fair and credible elections what are we to expect of your presidency?

Lastly this is a bit of a personal matter. I have spent several days with this question and hope that someday I will get an answer from you. Of all the MPigs and good citizens we have in this country, is Kalonzo Musyoka the best choice of a running mate you could choose? This is a fellow you have been at loggerheads with for the five years of this coalition unless this has been for show. I know we are meant to forgive those who wrong us, I need to know what has changed in watermelon Kalonzo, when did he become a reformer, a proactive leader and what he now stands for? I feel really disappointed to say the least.

I hope to hear from you or one of your minions before the election date before I cast my vote.

Yours sincerely

Concerned voter.

 

Letter to President Kibaki

Dear Sir,

I hope this letter finds you well.

Mr. President, your ten year term is coming to a close and there are those who think that you have been a good president. They see the economy has grown from less than 1% to 7%. They say you have built roads, that in your administration dependency on donor funding has reduced that we now finance 60% of the budget. This is all good I suppose but I have a problem and please hear me out.

When we voted for you in 2002, you made a promise that corruption will be a thing of the past. You promised to unite us, you promised to defend the constitution, you promised to reward merit. How did you perform? I want to tell you your performance has been worse than poor. When your Secretary for Ethics, John Githongo, resigned from his job citing lack of support I knew then you only hoodwinked us to believe you really want to deal with corruption. I realize when you took the reigns of power, your predecessor had plundered everything and given out large tracts of land[ The Ndungu report alleges there were pieces of land given on his authority] so your cronies had to find new ways to steal. And here they learnt very first. In a short time, we had ghost projects and ghost suppliers and contracts running to billions of shillings, education funds disappearing, maize funds disappearing, kazi kwa vijana funds disappearing, what did you do? You paid lip service, in fact you hardly ever uttered a word and when you did you reinstated the very people suspected of abuse of office to their plum jobs so they could continue with bleeding us dry.

On the rule of law, after we voted overwhelmingly for the new constitution, your first act was to act against it by making appointments contrary to the document you swore to defend. The only thing that stopped you in your tracks was public outcry and the courts or else you would have your way. To this extent you have failed sir. In your cabinet there are people who have been accused of crimes against humanity, you allow them to traverse the country stirring hate and you sit comfortably on your pedestal calling us mavi ya kuku and tumbafu-we your employers- where is the law on integrity and ethics? Please tell me that you didn’t know there are such clauses then I may excuse you, but until then sir, I consider you a failure.

Sir, we elected you to lead and in so doing you should have gone above what we expected of you. In this respect had you reduced the size of your government after the enactment of the new law, I would have said you are successful president, but you sir have failed -failed terribly-

It is during your presidency sir that we have had the worst election violence in our recorded history. You seem not to notice there are good citizens, men, women and children- whose only fault was speaking the wrong language- that are still called IDPs. This is one thing that to me appears not to have even crossed your mind while you sleep in State House paid for by our taxes.

Those who sing your praises say you have done infrastructure, that they can see roads and Kisumu Airport. Well I see these things too but I don’t think you had a choice on this matter and besides what did you want to do? The reason we provide you with free housing and security is so that you find time to ensure that we have roads. Now let us look at these roads critically. The main road that has been done is Thika Road, in your estimation is this the best you could have done? If I was in your shoes and wanted to claim infrastructure as a success, I would have opened up North Eastern Province, that is where to build a road. Again I submit you have failed as a president.

On legislative duties, being the person who signs bills into law, how have you performed. I will tell you sir, you have failed. You have signed into law bills that are against the spirit of the constitution. You in cohorts with the MPs have made a joke of the constitution. You sign laws that allow them to jump ship anytime they want whereas the constitution attempted to bring party discipline – I know am being ambitious expecting any better- you have never shown any interest in developing parties. Mr. President, you have failed. You have an opportunity to redeem yourself. Parliament has been dissolved and the MPs can’t run riot anymore, decline to assent to the bill awarding you and the MPigs[allow me to call them that] obscene amounts of money while many of us have no food to eat and sleep in the cold we no longer can tell a warm and cold night from each other!

Mr. President, you receive security briefings every single day. What are these gentlemen doing if whole villages can be torched in broad daylight. We pay tax so the police, army and intelligence officers can be paid and so you can sleep in peace. We can’t have people being killed in hundreds and not a word from the Commander in Chief. You declare a day of mourning when your buddy dies, everything stops, you run to church to ask god to keep them safe and when your employers are killed senselessly, you say nothing! Please why did we employ you? To insult us, or to have control among other things on the instruments of violence to ensure the security of us all.

I know you are busy planning for a golf session so I will end my letter here and ask you to please do just one thing to redeem your image. Your presidency is a failed presidency! You have performed less than we expected, you haven’t inspired me any bit in any way unless you mean by insults.

Thank you and be well.

Onyango M.

Your employer