No Justice for Gpo, Oscar & Godwin. One Year Ago, Human Rights Defenders Were Gunned Down in Cold Blood.


The First GPO Oulu, Oscar Kingara and Godwin Ogato Memorial Ceremony On Friday 5th March 2010

” Justice be our shield and defender. May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty” Kenya National Anthem

On 5th March 2009, two human rights crusaders, Mr. George Paul Oulu and Oscar Kingara of the Oscar Foundation and one innocent University of Nairobi student, Mr. Godwin Ogato were shot dead in mysterious circumstances along State House Avenue. To date, no information from the numerous investigations into their deaths has been provided to their families, friends and members of the Public.

In remembrance of this day, the 1st GPO Oulu, Kingara and Ogato Memorial Ceremony is set to be marked on Friday, 5th March 2010.

The Ceremony on the 5th of March will be marked by a Tree Planting Exercise in honour of the three at the Freedom Corner from 11:00 to 11:45. This will then be followed by a sombre march to the site of their shooting, along State House Avenue for a brief ceremony and lighting of candles in their memory. The memorial will then move to Kisumu Rural, the home area of GPO for a final laying of a wreath of flowers on GPO Oulu’s grave at Holo and Kombewa.

This will be a sombre ceremony, recognizing the tireless efforts of Comrade GPO Oulu and Oscar Kingara in their efforts to liberate Kenya.

Hon. Paul Muite, Hon. Gitobu Imanyara, Mr. Mwalimu Mati, Mr. Cyprian Nyamwamu among a host of other human rights crusaders are expected to grace the event, in addition to friends and families of the three fallen heroes and Kenyans of goodwill.

As our efforts to obtain a permit from the Kenya Police to hold a peaceful memorial ceremony for the fallen comrades have remained fruitless, we intend to deliver, yet another notification letter to the PPO Nairobi Province tomorrow at 10.00 AM.

Signed and issued by the Organizing Committee

GPO Oulu and Oscar Kingara, Godwin Ogata Memorial

GPO OULU REMEMBERED.

GPO a former student leader and social justice activist and Paul Kingara a human rights defender were killed in a hail of bullets a year ago near The University of Nairobi hostels. It is a paradox and great shame that the cowards had to kill GPO near his alma mater where in so many years he fought battles to build a strong student union that responded to nation building and re-creating a nation where all Kenyans lived in dignity. That GPO Oulu suffered in his student leaders to correct rot in SONU-the student union can not be gainsaid that he had to die at the hallowed grounds of an intellectual reservoir pained all who had hope in. That GPO Oulu had to die a cold death, that the people who felled them feared to face them and argue their case is reason enough that Kenya is not there yet. That GPO died fighting for the Kenyan people’s right cannot be forgotten. He raised his voice for the voiceless and the unreached.

GPO Oulu was not a coward, he had no apologies to make to those who promoted bigotry, tribalism, self-aggrandizement, corruption and personal glory. GPO the leader led from the front and sacrificed any little comfort for the student fraternity. That is how all people from his Kikuyu campus to Parklands campus and main campus came to know him, a man fearless and steadfast that even when he was the only one fighting for the rights of the students he would not cower. To GPO that he came from a humble background and that he had a huge responsibility at home did not stop him fro standing for humanity. He did care that a better Kenya would bet a better home for everyone.

This month has we remember GPO Oulu, we also remember the student leaders of yester years on whose blood we stand. To all student leaders in our institutions of higher learning your calling is greater than your tribe and parochial politics. The gift the youth of this country can give GPO Oulu and the rest who have gone before us is to stand and risk for a better Kenya. GPO Oulu’s calling is for a Kenya that is united where all communities work in diversity to build a nation that takes care of all without prejudice and discrimination. A nation where rule of law, good governance and democracy are the pillars for socio-economic and political development. Where Kenyans access basic needs without feeling like they are getting favours, where opportunities for all is the credo of service to the nation.

Today we raise our voices and cry for truth and justice to be served to the fallen heroes. That the murders have not been resolved to date is a shame to all institutions of this nation. This shows the rot and failure in government, the impunity that the Kenyan people suffer everyday.

To those who believed in GPO Oulu, to those who want a better Kenya, we should all demand that action is taken. That we know who killed the two. Every Kenyan’ Human rights defender’s fear today is who will be next? Will we get cowed? Will this go on?

Douglas Arege,

Kisii

Proposed Constitution of Kenya – Why Omission of the Public Defender? Access to Justice for All Kenyans is a Fundamental Human Right. Statement by Kituo Cha Sheria

 

 

PROPOSED CONSTITUTION OF KENYA – WHY OMISSION OF THE PUBLIC DEFENDER?

Access to Justice for All Kenyans is a fundamental human right. For the poor Kenyans only the office of the public defender can help them access justice when they need to.

kituo Cha Sheria

28TH FEBRUARY 2010

Kituo Cha Sheria, the oldest legal aid and human rights organization established in 1973 is shocked to realize that the Public Defender’s office has been removed from the Proposed Draft Constitution released by the Committee of Experts on 23rd February 2010. This removal comes after a recent article of the costing for provision of legal aid services having been done by the Ministry of Finance.

 

The Public Defender’s office has been prominently included and well protected in all Draft Constitutions since the review process begun, from CKRC, to Bomas, to Naivasha, to Kilifi, to Wako the 2005 Referendum Constitution, to the Harmonized Draft. And there are good reasons for the inclusion and protection of the Public Defender’s Office in the Constitution especially in the wake of a Strong presidential system as provided for in the Proposed Constitution.

 

The office of the Public Defender should be established as part of a set with the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The Post Election Violence of 2007 – 2008 brought to the fore the need for the country to return to the path of the Rule of Law. The straight and narrow path of the Rule of Law is the only way to guarantee lasting and durable peace. For this reason it is not time to joke with institutions that would help the country return to the path of the rule of law and because of space or finance issues delete some as has happened to the Office of the Public Defender.

 

We very well know the many issues the country has with accountability. We know many cases of Kenyans who have died in public hospitals and queues waiting to be attended. We know how money meant for the poor is diverted. We know the ‘mta do’ attitude of our public officials “Mtafanya nini?’ So we don’t bring water to your side of town, what shall you do? We don’t stock necessary medicine for common treatable diseases, what shall you do? We do not use Free Primary Funds as we should, ‘mtafanya nini?’ We know families that have accused the police of extra-judicial killings and received no justice. We know how helpless we feel. It is time to end all this and usher in an era of accountability by public servants. An era of public servants taking care of the public, because there would be created the office of the public defender to offer legal aid to Kenyans who cannot afford so they pursue fulfilment of their rights and access justice for wrongs committed to them.

The Proposed Draft Constitution thankfully expands the rights and gives Kenyans a comprehensive Bill of Rights but pray of what benefit will the Constitution be to poor Kenyans who cannot vindicate their rights because they cannot afford to hire lawyers or go to court. The office of the Public Defender is absolutely essential to go hand in hand with an expanded Bill of Rights.

 

The office of the Public Defender should be established requiring similar qualifications as those of a judge to guarantee independence and impartiality. The Public Defender shall provide legal advice and representation to persons who are unable to afford legal service. This is not a luxury office but one that we need given our history of lack of accountability and lack of adherence to the rule of law. The cost of legal aid is no reason for omission of the office. The cost of poor service by public authorities is much higher and a cost we know all too well. Other countries are bearing the cost; Canada, Ghana and South Africa have Public Defenders and Legal Aid schemes. Many States in America have a public defender’s office. The Government has moved ahead by piloting the National Legal Aid Programme (NALEAP). This initiative should be given impetus through creation of the Public Defender in the Constitution to serve all Kenyans especially the poor and the vulnerable.

 

The office of the Public Defender was provided for in Article 204 of the Bomas Draft Constitution released on 15th March of 2004 on realization of the importance of such an institution. Unlike other jurisdictions we have never had an Attorney General who works to protect the people. The Attorney General in Kenya works for the Government and defends and protects Government authorities. The people need a public defender to work for the interest of the public, to protect and defend the public and ensure that Kenyans get the services they deserve for the public officials.

 

Access to justice for all Kenyans is a fundamental human right as provided for in Article 48 of the Proposed Constitution and other International Conventions. This right can only have full meaning if it is coupled with creation of the Office of the Public Defender to give legal aid and representation to majority of poor Kenyans who cannot afford otherwise 46% of Kenyans who live below the poverty line of less than one dollar a day will not be able to access justice as has been happening since independence. Our jails, prisons and remand houses are full of poor Kenyans who cannot afford the cost of defending themselves. These would also be served by the office of the public defender.

 

We must cut a clean break from the past with the new Constitution; the only way to do these is to increase checks and balances in the Presidential system. Ability of all Kenyans to access justice is important thus need for the Public Defender’s Office. Kituo cha Sheria asks and prays that public spirited Members of Parliament reinstate the Office of the Public Defender in the Proposed Constitution during debate in Parliament. The Public Defender’s Office was Article 195 of the Harmonized Draft Constitution. Please God, One MP speak for the poor Kenyans access to justice.

Signed:

Priscilla Nyokabi – Executive Director –

nyokabi@kituochasheria.or.ke

 

Human Rights Violations of the Samburu People by the Government of Kenya: a Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council Submitted on November 1, 2009 by Cultural Survival.

Observations on the State of Indigenous Human Rights in Light of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

Kenya

Prepared for

United Nations Human Rights Council: Universal Periodic Review

November 1, 2009

Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival

Cultural Survival is an international indigenous rights organization with a global indigenous leadership and consultative status with ECOSOC. Cultural Survival, which is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, monitors the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights in countries throughout the world and publishes its findings in its magazine, the Cultural Survival Quarterly and on its website: www.culturalsurvival.org

Executive Summary

Kenya has had a deplorable record of honoring the rights of its Indigenous citizens, both during colonization and after. For most of 2009 the government’s treatment of its Indigenous populations has been especially egregious, with massive and well-organized attacks on Samburu villages by combined police and military forces and the use of government-funded mercenaries from Somalia. The government used helicopters, bombs, apparent chemical weapons, and ground forces on unarmed villagers, and they confiscated the people’s only food source, their cattle, prompting a famine that killed hundreds more people. The mercenaries hired by the government have kidnapped and murdered children, beheaded sleeping adults, and seized even more cattle. All of this violence and intimidation appears to be motivated by government oil leases recently awarded to Chinese companies to drill on Samburu land in violation of their rights.

Kenya’s record with regard to its indigenous peoples—mostly consisting of pastoralists and hunter-gatherers—has reflected its colonial past, with laws and structures favoring agricultural peoples and commercial interests. In addition to passive discrimination, the government has at various times egregiously violated Indigenous Peoples’ human rights.

The most recent example concerns the Samburu people, pastoralists living in the northern part of the country. Cattle provide the Samburu with 90 percent of their food and represent virtually all of their economy, serving as currency.

On February 21, 2009, Borana tribal members and Oromo raiders from Somalia (the Borana are related to the Somali Oromo peoples) stole 300 cows from a Samburu community in the eastern part of Samburu District. They also kidnapped two children. The Samburu moran (warriors) went in pursuit of their cattle and the children, and when they could not be recovered, impounded 200 Borana cattle in retaliation, to use as a negotiating tool. They then contacted the police and the Borana tribe to notify them that they would release the cattle when their stolen children and cattle were returned, and demanded police help to look for these children. There was no response. The Samburu reported the incident immediately to their Member of Parliament, Raphael Letimelo, who made a statement on a local news station pleading to have the children returned immediately. The police, however, made no investigation or attempt to find them.

On February 22, a police officer and two Samburu security officers from the nearby village of Archer’s Post used the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy vehicle to search for the cattle and the missing children. (The conservancies, which are run by the Samburu, provide the region’s only security patrols for poaching, but also are used to investigate cattle rustling or other disturbances). The vehicle was ambushed by Borana bandits and the Borana shot the two conservancy officers. The Borana notified a Nairobi official that the Samburu had confiscated 200 cows, but did not report why.

Fourteen hours later, the Kenya Government deployed a Special Security Force to Samburu. They did not pursue the Borana or Somali who initiated the first raid or search for the missing children. Instead, they deployed thousands of police from the Regular Police Force, District Administrative Police Force, and General Service Unit, and troops from the Kenyan Army in a well-orchestrated surprise attack on the villages of Kalama and Lerata villages and communities, including Lerata and Kalama, where they opened fire on innocent villagers in bomas (homesteads with enclosures for cattle), schools, clinics, and water holes, and on children herding goats and cattle. The attack included helicopters that strafed unarmed villagers, at least seven bombs dropped on villagers, and aerial discharge of some kind of caustic liquid that severely burned several children.

“At first, the community thought the police were here to help us find our lost children and we ran out to greet them,” stated Sammy Lepurdati. “When they initially started shooting, everyone tried to convince them they were making a mistake, but instead the police kept circling the bomas and fired deliberately at innocent people. It was a nightmare. People were screaming, running in every direction. Those who survived fled to the bush and nearby mountains.”

Ground forces then moved in, beating people with clubs. Police beat over 30 women, children, and elderly people with clubs, according to one witness, who asked to remain anonymous. “My mother was walking to the bore hole with my four-year-old sister and ten-month-old brother who was wrapped on her back, to water our goats and calves,” the 15 year-old reported. “She turned around to take my sister’s hand when police approached her, told her to give over the calves and goats to him and, when she pleaded with him that it was our only source of food, he began beating her with his club. When the baby started crying, he pushed my mother to the ground and began hitting her over and over again on her back until the baby stopped crying. My sister screamed and then he began beating her, too.” All three sustained life-threatening injuries according to the rural dispensary’s nurse practitioner, Edward Letalama.

The police then used their helicopters to round up the Samburus’ cattle. Forty trucks arrived to transport the cattle; others were herded by foot and helicopter to Archer’s post and impounded. They were later sold in Nairobi. The profits were kept by the police officers who had confiscated them. More than 2,000 cattle were confiscated in the initial attacks.

The two children, 7 and 8, were found, dead and hanging from a tree with their throats cut and their bodies skinned.

In the two days after the initial attacks, as the assault spread to other villages, the police refused to conduct a proper investigation, take statements from witnesses, negotiate a cease-fire, or come to any agreements with local officers, who included Member of Parliament Raphael Letimelo, 16 regional councilors, two local councilors, and County Council officers. All local wildlife conservancy communication and anti-poaching equipment was seized from Namunyak, Westgate, Sera Lipi, and Kalama Wildlife Conservancies, all in the same region. Altogether in these attacks more than 6,000 head of cattle were confiscated, removed, and sold, with a value of more than US $5 million.

The MP Raphael Letimelo was twice told in front of witnesses that he would be shot and executed immediately if he continued to speak against the attacks. He then returned to Nairobi to seek assistance from the president’s office. President Kibaki closed his telephone, refused to discuss the situation, or to allow an appointment to be arranged with MP Letimelo, and when Letimelo tried to see the President without an appointment, he was twice told that the president had left through a side door. Letimelo also spoke with the Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Human Rights Watch, the US Embassy, and many others, with little result.

Government officials claimed that the operation was in response to the Samburu cattle raid, a claim that would seem unlikely given the scale and organization of the response, as well as its timing. Military documents provided by an army lieutenant indicate instead that the attacks had been planned months ahead of time and that the aim was to drive the Samburu off their land and end their way of life. The helicopters were requisitioned weeks in advance.

On March 7, two human rights workers, Oscar Kamau Kingara and John Paul Oulu, who had recently returned from an investigation into the attacks, were executed in Nairobi hours before they were to make public announcements about the Samburu situation.

On March 11, in response to a request for a hearing by MP Letimelo, a Nairobi court ordered a ceasefire. The police remained in the area honoring the ceasefire only insofar as they used clubs to beat people instead of using firearms. They also looted local businesses and raped village women.

On June 6, Borana and Somali bandits approached Samburu herdsmen from the village of Kipsing and tried to take their cattle. When the Samburu resisted, the bandits contacted the police in Isiolo to assist them. The Somali, Borana, and police then attacked the village. In the fighting that ensued, the Samburu moran shot and killed 5 raiders, 6 police, and seriously wounded 19 other police. Following this incident, Raphael Letimelo said he received threats from government officials of possible mass executions and removal of Indigenous Peoples from their traditional homelands throughout the Samburu District. Neither of those things happened, however.

On June 15, 400 Kenyan National Police were permanently stationed in Archer’s Post and began Operation Walk and Shoot, in which they harassed community members and randomly shot into the community from a distance.

Through the month of July there were a series of attacks by Borana and Somali bandits on Samburu and Turkana villages. (The bandits said they were attacking the Turkana because they supported the Samburu.) The attacks included beheadings, shooting people in their sleep, and, on July 13, the kidnapping of two more children, 8 and 9, who were again found hanging from a tree with their throats cut and their bodies skinned. The extreme nature of these attacks (and the repetition of the murdered children) suggests that they were intended to provoke the Samburu into an equally extreme response that could, in turn, be used to justify an extreme government response.

The Samburu did not respond in kind, but instead sent a petition for redress to the Internal Security Minister. They received no response.

On August 15, three hundred uniformed troops attacked Samburu communities, killing two and injuring several others and confiscating more cattle. It is not clear whether these were Kenyan military, police, or others. On August 20 mercenary troops from Somalia and the Oromo Liberation Front entered Kenya to attack Samburu communities and those of any other pastoralist groups that supported the Samburu. Through the month of September there were multiple attacks by these forces, against both Samburu and the related Pokot pastoralists, who also supported the Samburu.

On September 5, hired forces attacked the village of Losesia, killing two Samburu, injuring several others, and confiscating almost 4,000 head of cattle and 2,600 goats. On September 15, OLF forces killed 30 Pokot and injured 16 more near the village of Naibor. The Member of Parliament for the Isiolo District said that he had funded the OLF, and Prime Minister Odinga, referring to the ongoing attacks by Borana and Somalis, admitted that the government had been supplying arms to Borana and Somalis along the border who were then killing Samburu.

The confiscation of cattle has robbed Samburu of their food source, and famine has set in, exacerbated by the drought. Hundreds of Samburu have died of starvation as a result. The government has taken no steps to alleviate the famine, nor has it offered the Samburu restitution. On the contrary, it seems bent on increasing the assault on Samburu communities.

On October 12, the Kenyan government announced that it had awarded a $26 million lease to a Chinese firm to drill for oil in the center of Samburu territory, suggesting a motivation for the all the aggression against the Samburu. It is the first of eighteen contracts the government is negotiating with Chinese firms for oil.

All of these acts violate provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

NOTE:  We are currently receiving reports of further air and land attacks on the Samburu by hundreds of Kenyan police troops during the week of November 16.

More news at this link

http://www.culturalsurvival.org/news/kenya/background-information-human-rights-violations-samburu-people-kenya

We Support Barrack Obama: Do Not Give Raila Odinga the Prime Minister of Kenya the Time of Day. the Message Must Be Clear, Its Good Governance and Account to the People of Kenya Now.




We support Barrack Obama: Do not give Raila Odinga the Prime Minister of Kenya the time of day. The message must be clear, its good governance and account to the people of Kenya now.

The message that Raila Odinga has no chance of meeting US President Barrack Obama is a clear message to the Grand Coalition Government of Kenya. That the United States of America is committed to good governance and accountability vis-à-vis Kenya. It is also a strong message to the long suffering people of Kenya that they deserve better from their government, and that they are not alone in the struggle for democratic freedom and accountability. It is a timely message because, almost 2 years have passed since the creation of the Grand Coalition Government in Kenya. During that time there have been no serous efforts towards reform and national reconciliation after a disastrous election and now grand corruption in Kenya is at an all time high.

Nothing epitomises the failure of the government’s will to fight corruption as the botched “re-appointment” of the directorate of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, which was almost unanimously rejected by Parliament for being un-procedural and illegal. During the debate on the illegal appointments of the Director and assistant directors of the Kenya Anti corruption commission the Prime Minister has maintained a studious silence, despite attaining his current position by campaigning as an anti-corruption campaigner in his 2007 presidential bid which was by all accounts frustrated by electoral fraud for the benefit of the current Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki.

After attaining his Prime Ministerial position Odinga has not been keen to attack the corruption of the Kenyan elite as he used to. In fact, the Prime Minister has been so complacent that during his tenure he has remained silent even as Kenyans have been committed to pay for a bogus fertiliser factory which he rightly claimed on 5th November 2007 was an illegal charge by the President, Mwai Kibaki on the consolidated fund to finance Kibaki’s re election bid. Today Prime Minister Odinga has, as head of government, said nothing as payments are made for this phantom project to Austrian and Belgian banks for the same bogus loan, and yet Kenyans have no fertiliser factory even while Kenyan farmers suffer a serious fertiliser deficit which is affecting what little food production the country contemplates during this drought period.

Our problem with Prime Minister Raila Odinga, is not personal. Kenya has serious problems and requires serious people to solve them. News that the Prime Minister is staying at the Waldorf Astoria during the United Nations General Assembly with his entourage is distressing to Kenyans who know how badly off their country is, and how the Government is wasting what little it has.

The Grand Coalition Government in Kenya is the product of a negotiated agreement, and also the largest government in Kenya’s history – now standing at 43 Ministers and 50 Assistant Ministers out of a National Assembly of 222 members. Kenyans initially believed that this bloated government was the price of peace but now are not so sure. The cause of this arrangement was the negotiation after the botched election of 2007. The eminent Judge Johan Krieglier who enquired into the electoral debacle told Kenyans in his report that Kenyans will never know who won the 2007 election because it was so flawed and was rigged by both the PNU and the ODM, which fronted Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga as their respective presidential candidates. By-elections since 2007 have demonstrated how little things have changed since then with bribery and coercion characterising electoral processes including in elections for parliamentary seats held as recently as August 2009.

So, since early 2008, Kenya has been ruled by an unelected government. This government is in place because a botched election resulted in the death of over 1133 Kenyans and the displacement of over half-a-million other citizens, and because to save the country from total collapse Kenyans accepted a political settlement between the two leading candidates in that election Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. The political settlement is known as the National Accord and comprises four agenda items which include political power sharing and developmental agendas while dealing with the past and causes of conflict in Kenya including a history of grand corruption and abuse of power by the leadership.

What did Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki promise the people of Kenya in the Agreement they signed on 28th February 2008 and what do the people of Kenya have when the two principals decide not to honour their side of the bargain?

This National Accord government has only one mandate – to deliver the National Accord agreement of February 28th 2008, which now forms part of the Constitution of Kenya. But is there any delivery of the National Accord? Are there any resources to deliver the National Accord? Is there any political will to deliver the National accord?

The answer is No to all the above. In fact there has been impunity like we have never known in Kenya. And this impunity is imposed on Kenyans by an unelected Government which using force is currently restricting civil and political liberties of Kenyans including the right to freedom of expression and to peaceful protest – particularly by deployment of the police force against citizens and by intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders and democratic activists.

Many Kenyans expected that that this unelected government would respect civil and political liberties more so because its lack of electoral mandate implies that it does not rule by consent but by a negotiated mandate. Many Kenyans expected that the National Accord would keep to the timelines set within it and in its implementation matrix. This government’s mandate has timelines and is not a free for all situation. In fact for millions of Kenyans it is a matter of life and death how this government performs. It was expected that the parties would stick to the timelines and that the international community would insist on fidelity to the Accord. It was not expected that 480 children a day would die every day from preventable diseases while the government was servicing corrupt debts.

This is why we support US President Barrack Obama as he gives our Prime Minister the cold shoulder. He is right in doing so. He sends a clear message to the Grand Coalition Government: we were there, we witnessed and helped negotiate the agreement to save Kenya. You, the Grand Coalition have failed your people and do not have the support of the International Community when Kenyans live as so-called IDP’s in so-called camps. You do not have our support where post election violence victims have no justice. You do not have our support where Kenyans still do not enjoy their fundamental rights under Chapter 5 of the Constitution of Kenya. You do not have our support where Agenda 4 of the National Accord has been ignored and unplanned for even as government spends all tax revenue on recurrent expenditure and borrows for uncertain projects and purposes. You do not have our support where political and constitutional reforms so far are cosmetic and have no real significance. You do not have our support where extra judicial killings and insecurity are still day to day activities. You do not have our support where today abductions by police for ransom are a reality. You do not have our support where corruption by senior government officials is accepted as a way of life within Government and you do not have our support where corrupt and criminal elites are shielded from punishment by officially sanctioned impunity.

Just, this last week, a question was raised in Parliament on the expenditure by the Government of Kenya on hosting the AGOA Conference. Shockingly, the Minister in Charge responded as follows according to the Parliamentary Hansard at page 3-4 of Tuesday 15th September 2009:

“The AGOA expenses were as follows:-

Hire of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre Kshs 58,998,082

(KICC) rooms, facilities, equipment and catering services

Event organization, (we contracted a private company) Kshs 2,088,000

Exhibition expenses by EPC Kshs 2,500,000

Printing, advertising, information supplies and services Kshs 5,894,829

Hospitality supplies and services Kshs 7,018,499

Oils and lubricants Kshs 2,400,000

Other operating expenses Kshs 1,106,000

Communication supplies and services Kshs 650,500

TOTAL Kshs 80,655,910”

Every Kenyan who has had the opportunity to study the National budget would raise eye brows at this response because this amounts to almost a quarter of the revenue of the Kenyatta International Conference Centre in any given financial year. This building is a government facility and its income includes rents and hiring of facilities The cost of hiring the largest plenary hall is Ksh 200,000 per day. To spend 58 Million Kenya Shillings the government would have had to hire the Main Plenary for 290 days – almost 10 months. Who has stolen this money was probably what Gitobu Imanyara MP had in mind on the same day when he said:

Mr. Imanyara: Mr. Speaker, Sir, given that that Conference was held on behalf of the Government of the USA and there were so many senior Government officials from the USA; and given that the American Government gave a lot of money to the Government to host this Conference, could the Assistant Minister agree with me that, in act, the entire cost of the AGOA Conference was borne by the American Government and the figures that he is giving here are nothing but an attempt to divert public funds to sources that were not meant for?”

We think that the American Government needs to be aware that the Government’s AGOA forum accounts are in doubt, and there could be a plot to steal this money from tax payers. All this under the nose of the head of Government Raila Odinga and head of State Mwai Kibaki.

What we would now like to know is how many people have accompanied Raila Odinga to the United States and how much is this going to cost us? There are 10 million starving Kenyans, no water in Kenya because the same people in Government are unable to move and punish Daniel Arap Moi for example who owns over 900 hectares of forest land in our water towers on which he has a tea farm. Instead a motion was moved and passed in Parliament last week to compensate such people as corrupt former President Moi and in fact Raila Odinga has led the launched a campaign in the United States to urge western donors to facilitate the compensation of people who may be illegal land grabbers.

Food has became inaccessible to millions of Kenyans, who so impoverished by bad economic policies such as Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing. Kenyans continue to pay 24% of the National Budget to debt – a lot of which is bogus. Today the newly created Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission will receive 100 million Kenya Shillings when Government will spend over 4 Billion Kenya Shillings on hospitality expenses. No one has been jailed for grand corruption and the President Mwai Kibaki continues to break the law with impunity.

So, Barrack Obama is right, not to waste American Tax money feeding Raila Odinga and his troop – or any other Kenyan officials. We support you and salute you, Sir! Asante sana, send them back here to us – the poor suffering Kenyan people.

The International Community Must Immediately Isolate Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and Their Grand Coalition Government. the Partnership for Change Rejects the Cabinet Statement of July 30, 2009 As Yet Another Attempt to Entrench Impunity in Kenya.

The International Community must immediately isolate Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and their Grand Coalition Government. We Reject the Cabinet Statement of July 30, 2009 as yet another attempt to entrench Impunity in Kenya.

On 30 July 2009 The President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga held a press briefing after a 4 hour Cabinet Meeting and released the following Statement:

Cabinet today discussed exhaustively the various options available to deal with crimes committed during post-election violence. The options are:

i) The Special Tribunal,

ii) Referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC) under Article 14 of the Rome Statute,

iii) Withdrawal from the Rome Statute under Article 127 and repeal of the International Crimes Act, 2008

iv) The High Court under Section 8 of the International Crimes Act, 2008

v) Establish a Special High Court Division

Cabinet discussed these options extensively in terms of merits and demerits. The Cabinet took all the circumstances into account, including providing the enabling environment for the ongoing reform agenda.
Cabinet resolved it will not stand for impunity in the pursuit of justice, and the country should pursue national healing and reconciliation. Therefore, the Cabinet:

i) Reaffirmed its commitment to rule of law, and in particular in its commitment to the International Criminal Court and will co-operate and fulfill its obligations to the Court;

ii) Will undertake accelerated and far-reaching reforms in the Judiciary, Police, and investigative arms of Government to enable them investigate, prosecute and try perpetrators of post-election violence locally;

iii) Deal with other forms of impunity including extra-judicial killings, corruption, and unlawful acquisition of public land and other assets;

iv) Propose amendments to the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Act to make the TJRC more representative and effective.

Cabinet is confident that with proper healing and reconciliation, Kenya will not face the events of last year’s post-election violence.

The Cabinet is taking Kenyans for a ride with this statement.  The Grand Coalition Government’s proposal fails to meet the minimum standard set by the Waki Commission of Enquiry on the Post Election Violence with respect to establishing an independent, impartial and effective judicial method to conduct trials of the organizers, perpetrators and financiers of the post election violence which caused the death of 1,133 Kenyans in 60 days and the displacement of over half-a-million others.  In fact it reveals the desire by the Grand Coalition Government to retract its adoption of the Waki Report surreptitiously; to grant the guilty impunity and to deny victims their inalienable rights to truth and justice.

The Waki Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence was a serious Commission and its report is widely praised for showing Kenya a way out of trouble.  In a matter of months, the Waki Commission of Enquiry on the Post Election took 4,773 pages of recorded sworn testimony from 156 witnesses and 144 other witnesses who submitted depositions and recorded statements.  It registered 9 volumes of exhibits running into more than 3,500 pages including official reports of previous investigations and new investigative material.  On the basis of findings on this evidence the Waki Commission made strong recommendations about how to deal with impunity and state institutional failure by the Attorney General, the courts and the Police. 

Yesterday’s Cabinet statement claimed a desire to “undertake accelerated and far-reaching reforms in the Judiciary, Police, and investigative arms of Government to enable them investigate, prosecute and try perpetrators of post-election violence locally.”   How long will this tired line be spun?  Reforms which should have been done to the institutions discussed in the Cabinet statement ought to have commenced in November 2008 and by now the Cabinet should have given several interim updates and reports on progress towards implementing reforms that were detailed by the Waki Report. 

An entire chapter of the Waki report made recommendations on the State Security Agencies recommendations which since October 2008 have not been implemented by the Grand Coalition Government.  Another chapter of the Waki Report discussed impunity and the failure by the Judiciary and the Attorney General to tackle past gross violations of human rights including political violence about which nothing had been done by either institution going back as far as the 1990s. 

To demonstrate what impunity in Kenya is the Waki Report quotes the First Principle of the Amended Set of Principals for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights Through Action to Combat Impunity which states that “impunity is the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account – whether in criminal, civil, administrative or disciplinary proceedings – since they are not subject to any inquiry that might lead to their being accused, arrested, tried and, if found guilty, sentenced to appropriate penalties, and to make reparations to their victims.

Impunity arises from failure by States to meet their obligations to investigate violations; to take appropriate measures in respect of the perpetrators, particularly in the area of justice, by ensuring that those suspected of criminal responsibility are prosecuted, tried and duly punished; to provide victims with effective remedies and to ensure that they receive reparation for the injuries suffered; to ensure the inalienable right to know the truth about violations; and to take other necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of violations.”

As of the date it was submitted to President Kibaki by Justice Waki, Kenya was a state in which impunity was guaranteed for certain connected individuals and Partnership for Change does not believe that anything has really changed since.  As of October 2008, the Waki Commission reported that though the Kenya Police maintained that it had made arrests of suspected offenders in 13,000 incidents and had mounted 1,337 prosecution cases, the Registrar of the High Court was “unable to confirm the progress in the hearing and adjudication of those cases.”   If Cabinet were serious about ending impunity it would have made public a status report on these and subsequent prosecutions – if any. 

It was because of the institutional failure of the investigative, prosecutorial and adjudication arms of the Kenyan state that Justice Waki and his  fellow commissioners Gavin McFayden and Pascale Kambale innovated a solution for the problem of high-level and political impunity in Kenya by recommending that there should immediately be established a Special Tribunal for Kenya – and if this was frustrated there should be a reference to the International Criminal Court of the persons who required further investigation and  prosecution. 

The Special Tribunal was meant to be a court of international standards sitting in Kenya to try persons bearing the greatest responsibility serious crimes committed after the 2007 election, and particularly crimes against humanity.  The Special Tribunal was intended to apply both Kenyan law and the International Crimes Act.   Further to the Special Tribunal for Kenya, the Waki Commission recommended that the Witness Protection Act be implemented so as to protect witnesses before the Special Tribunal.  To date no more than 50 million shillings has been allocated for Witness Protection by the Treasury and the Attorney General.  Justice Waki’s Report also recommended the passage into law of the Freedom of Information Bill to ”enable state and non-state actors to have full access to information which may lead to arrest, detention and prosecution of persons responsible for gross violations.”  The Commission recommended that all persons holding public office and public servants charged with criminal offences related to post election violence should stand suspended pending adjudication; and that persons convicted for post election violence should stand lustrated and barred from ever holding public office or contesting any electoral position.  How many of these recommendations has the Cabinet deliberated or acted on?

Now that the Grand Coalition Government has failed to implement the Waki recommendation we believe that the international Community must isolate Kenya’s Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga and their Grand Coalition Government, because left on their own they appear to have no interest other than shielding alleged perpetrators named by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and “stopping accountability against persons bearing greatest responsibility for crimes, particularly crimes against humanity, relating to the 2007 General Elections in Kenya.” 

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights investigation of the post election period found that the infrastructure of violence was financed and sustained mainly by local politicians and business people to support costs such as transport of attackers, weapons and other logistics. The violence was largely instigated by politicians throughout the campaign period and during the violence itself via the use of incitement to hatred.  The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights has published a list of 219 alleged perpetrators of the post election violence, some of whom hold public offices and remain with responsibility within echelons of Government. 

We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don’t, and that is exactly what America will do.”                US President Barrack Obama, Accra Ghana 11th July 2009

How can the International Community find it prudent to continue to do business with a government that is not implementing the National Accord? Has the International Community abandoned the Kenyan people?

Kenyans want to support all efforts local and international that deal with ending impunity. But Kenyans do not want their efforts frustrated. It is important that the international community does its part in reigning in powerful suspects who are holding the nation at ransom.  The methods of pressure that worked during the height of the post election violence period require fresh consideration for application today.  Personal, financial and immigration sanctions immediately spring to mind.

Further Reasons why the Cabinet Statement should be rejected

On 28th February 2008, Mr. Mwai Kibaki of the PNU and Mr. Raila Odinga of the ODM signed an agreement known as the National Accord.  This agreement was signed because after the botched election of December 2007 and post election violence that followed, Kenya was on the brink of a precipice.

No one in Kenya knows who won the Election of December 2007 and therefore Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga cannot claim a legitimate mandate based on votes to rule Kenya. Kenyans gave their consent, for establishment, by constitutional amendment, of a Grand Coalition Government with the sole mandate of implementation of the National Accord.

The National Accord was intended to facilitate an effective government to develop the country and conduct essential statutory and administrative reform of key institutions, even while reconciling Kenyans, tackling mass poverty and unemployment, addressing historical grievances, ending impunity and punishing crimes committed during the two month period of post-election-violence that caused the murder of 1,133 Kenyans and the displacement of over half a million citizens

The National Accord was meant to heal and reform Kenya to prevent the eruption of violence from happening again in Kenya.

Since that date 17 months ago, the Grand Coalition Government has dragged its feet on the implementation of the National Accord and has failed to provide money in the National budget for its implementation. The cabinet has failed to establish the tribunal to try the perpetrators. The Executive and Parliament have failed to provide money to ensure that the Special Tribunal is established and the National Accord is implemented. The Partnership for Change considers the Grand Coalition Government to be ruling ultra vires the constitution of which the National Accord is an integral part.

The Grand Coalition Government is an unelected Government:

Kenya is a multi party democracy. Our Constitution requires that a government must be elected. We however amended our Constitution temporarily to allow an UNELECTED government to govern in order to deliver the implantation of the National Accord. The Implementation of the National accord had timelines which the unelected Grand Coalition Government has failed to deliver as is its duty to Kenyans to do so as expected in the National Accord. Kenyans have the right to demand for the full implementation of the National Accord. Failure to implement the National Accord constitutes grounds for a fresh election. The Grand Coalition Government has failed to deliver the National Accord reforms and has not even bothered to provide resources for its implementation. It is now, necessary and urgent for the survival of our country that the Grand Coalition Government immediately resigns in the Public interest to allow Kenyans to elect leaders through a Democratic dispensation through the ballot.

The Cabinet took all the circumstances into account, including providing the enabling environment for the ongoing reform agenda.

The Grand Coalition Government cannot and is not capable of providing the enabling environment for the reform Agenda. Reforms require capable reformists; Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have no reform credentials and have demonstrated none during the 17 months that the National Accord has been in place.

The Partnership for Change is of the considered view that over the last 17 months the citizens of Kenya have exhausted the mechanisms available to us under the national Accord Agreement to cause the Grand Coalition Government to implement the National Accord. This government acting together with Parliament has no vision, no morals and no desire or intent to uphold the constitution of the Republic of Kenya. In fact they are collectively acting ultra vires the constitution. There is no moral reason why Kenyans are still obliged to support this ineffective, rights violating Grand Coalition Government

Cabinet resolved it will not stand for impunity in the pursuit of justice, and the country should pursue national healing and reconciliation.

The Cabinet stands for Impunity. It has demonstrated that its stands for Impunity on countless occasions looking the other way when, the political elite commit economic crimes and crimes against humanity. It has hammered the nail in the coffin by rejecting the special tribunal. The Cabinet, Members of Parliament and the two principals are aware that under the Rome Statute Article 27: Irrelevance of official capacity,the Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence

The Cabinet, Members of Parliament and the two principals all know that there is no Impunity in International Law.

Therefore, the Cabinet reaffirmed its commitment to rule of law, and in particular in its commitment to the International Criminal Court and will co-operate and fulfill its obligations to the Court;

The Grand Coalition Government is sweeping gross crimes committed against Kenyans under the carpet and is misrepresenting its ability to try criminals. The post election violence will definitely forms the basis of an investigation by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity committed in Kenya. These crimes were financed and organized by senior politicians and businessmen. We are grateful to the Government’s own body, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) for releasing the names of those who need further investigation. These names were provided to the KNHCR by Kenyan citizens – eye witnesses – conspirators – and victims. The release of these names for us as Kenyan Citizens is crucial because now we know those, who are probably behind the chaos in our country. We know that they are dangerous and will remain so until they are cleared in a transparent judicial process. Kenyans will not hero worship warlords nor will they get away with Impunity.

Despite the clamour for justice, the tribunal to try these perpetrators will now not been set up. Cabinet is pretending that it is committed to the International Criminal Court and will co-operate and fulfill its obligations to the Court. Cabinet ignores the woeful understaffing and resourcing of the Kenyan judicial system.  The National Budget provides for only 20 commissioners of Assize this financial year, yet the entire country has no more than 58 high court judges, and only 287 magistrates.  The backlog of cases according to the latest data from the Ministry of Planning is over 800 thousand cases, and according to the Waki report itself there are only 64 State Counsel to prosecute cases countrywide.  All other prosecutions are conducted by Police officers.

Further to this, there are over 45,000 Kenyan Citizens that are incarcerated daily in remand awaiting justice. A further 130,000 Kenyans are in prisons that have a 16,000 capacity. Kenya has not built any additional prisons since Independence. Hundreds of the thousands of Kenyans are still waiting for Justice. How can we expect Justice from this local pathetic situation?

The Kenyan judicial system cannot, without massive injection of resources and restructuring which could take years, try the post election violence cases that all Kenyans wish for.  Worse a bogus jurisprudence has been created in Kenya since 1964 which claims that the President is above the law and most Kenyan lawyers and Judges hold this position as sacred.  Impunity is built into the Kenyan criminal justice system for the President and those whom he wishes to protect or fears politically as such the Grand Coalition Government is resisting the use of Article 27 and 28 of the Rome Statute.

Therefore, the Cabinet will undertake accelerated and far-reaching reforms in the Judiciary, Police, and investigative arms of Government to enable them investigate, prosecute and try perpetrators of post-election violence locally;

Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga under the Rome Statute, bear responsibility of commanders and other superiors. Mr. Kibaki appointed the Commissioner of Police, Major General Hussein Ali now implicated by Justice Waki, Professor Alston and by the KNCHR as one of those bearing the greatest responsibility for the post-election violence. Yet Mr. Kibaki retains the Commissioner of Police as he continues to violate the Human Rights of Kenyans. The truth is that if there were seriousness on the part of Kibaki and Odinga, Major General Ali would have been sacked and would be currently facing prosecution for his role in the Post election Violence as Kenya has not suspended the Constitution, which prohibits murder of its citizens by the State. How can these two Principals now, and without shame say that they will undertake accelerated and far-reaching reforms in the Judiciary, Police, and investigative arms of Government to enable them investigate, prosecute and try perpetrators of post-election violence locally, without applying International Law?

Therefore, the Cabinet will deal with other forms of impunity including extra-judicial killings, corruption, and unlawful acquisition of public land and other assets

The Grand Coalition Government established after the National Accord is the largest and most expensive cabinet in Kenya’s history.  The economic situation required the Government of Kenya to immediately demonstrate austerity measures, including the reduction of the number of ministries to a reasonable number.  At Independence there were 13 ministries today there are 43.  Kenyans are poor and cannot afford to continue to maintain a bloated Cabinet of 93 Ministers and Assistant Ministers. Many of the 43 Ministries in the Grand Coalition Government have no developmental added value and are mere sinecure positions for The President and Prime Minister to fill. The Budget brought to Parliament is unworkable and heavy on wasteful recurrent expenditure for these ministers. Further, the majority of the cabinet is adversely mentioned in Government and Parliamentary reports as being corrupt. Some have even been barred from holding Public office

The two Principals are unable to reshuffle their Government to reduce the number of ministers, and to remove the corrupt ones from the cabinet. Most of those who acquired land illegally are public officials and politicians and documented by the Ndungu report. Those accused of financing and organizing post election Violence are politicians, government officials and businessmen. Those accused of Grand corruption are politicians, government officials and businessmen. Many sit in Cabinet. Those accused of Extra Judicial Killings are appoint by the President and supervised by the Prime Minister.

Therefore, the Cabinet will propose amendments to the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Act to make the TJRC more representative and effective.

Truth Commission gets only 100 million shillings this year. To fulfill its mandate the TJRC would require billions of shillings for investigative services, witness protection, public hearings and extensive legal support and documentation. It was never the intention of this Government for the Truth Justice and Reconciliation commission to be effective and all purported changes to the Act are a further attempt to hoodwink the Public. Further Kenyans have lost faith in the credibility of our institutions. But at all costs we must keep the political elite out!

Cabinet is confident that with proper healing and reconciliation, Kenya will not face the events of last year’s post-election violence.

Cabinet is right on this one. That with proper healing and reconciliation, Kenya will not face the events of last year’s post-election violence, but, healing and reconciliation will be done by Kenyans themselves. We will heal because it is in our enlightened self interest to do so. The Post Election Violence was caused by Politicians and Businessmen with political interests. Cabinet does not care to bring Justice for the victims. The statement by cabinet must be rejectedby all Kenyans.

Signed 31st July 2009 at Nairobi by the Partnership for Change

The Partnership for Change Message for Madaraka Day – 46 Years Later It’s Not Yet Uhuru but Change is Coming.

THE PARTNERSHIP FOR CHANGE MESSAGE FOR MADARAKA DAY – 46 YEARS LATER IT’S NOT YET UHURU BUT CHANGE IS COMING.

Nairobi 1st June 2009

Summary: Madaraka was meant to;
- give Kenyans sovereignty over their political affairs and their resources
- give Kenyans a Bill of Rights to be enforced by an independent judiciary
- create a democratic, prosperous & just Nation where the rule of law prevails

46 years ago today, a handover took place at a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya, between the British colonial government and an elected government headed by the leader of the Kenya African National Union, Jomo Kenyatta, as Prime Minister of Kenya. That day June 1st 1963 has since then been commemorated annually by Kenyans as Madaraka (Internal Self Government) Day. It is the day that Kenyans knew their independence would shortly come.

Six months later on December 12th 1963 (Jamuhuri or Republic Day), Kenya attained independent dominion status within the British Commonwealth under a constitution that was negotiated and agreed at three multi-party Constitutional Conferences held in London and Nairobi between 1961 and 1963. At the stroke of midnight all eligible persons in the country became citizens of Kenya by birthright – in the case of those born after midnight – by naturalisation or by application.

Jomo Kenyatta remained Prime Minister until December 12th 1964 when further constitutional changes declared that Kenya would henceforth be a Republic with Jomo Kenyatta as the first President of Kenya. Kenyatta was president for 15 years. The Prime Ministership was abolished, and there have only been two more Kenyan Presidents since then – in 46 years – Daniel Arap Moi who was President between 1978 and 2002 (24 years); and Mwai Kibaki who is serving his 7th year as President.

Since that first Madaraka Day, Kenyans have been trying to secure the benefits of internal self-governance, democracy and prosperity for the people of Kenya. Sadly, 46 years later, Kenyans are still suffering from the ills of a colonial like state which instead of healing, feeding, and educating and securing the people; oppresses steals and even kills often and with impunity.

Kenyans know that freedom is not free, and that they have to unite as they did before Independence for freedom. Several times in our history we have been reunited in the push for true Uhuru. Immediately after the first Madaraka Day the struggle to preserve the vision of land and freedom was led by the Kenya People’s Union against KANU, and throughout the 1960s and 1970s by patriots like Pio Gama Pinto, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki and the students and dons of Kenya’s universities. This was defeated by brute force and assassinations. In the 1980s the resistance to section 2A of the Constitution involved agitation for the end of the one party KANU dictatorship of Daniel Arap Moi. Most recently, there was the rejection of KANU in 2002, and the election of the National Rainbow Coalition which was Kenya’s first pre-election pact coalition government, and which developed an Economic Recovery and Constitutional Reform strategy and plan which was frustrated by selfish political manoeuvre. Today Kenyans are striving to overcome the political, economic and governance crisis which emerged after the botched presidential election of December 27th 2007, and this struggle is assuming a dimension of generational leadership change in the form of a “citizen’s in charge” movement.

Throughout the darkest days, Kenyans have always known that they are Kenyans and that as such they have rights which are given to them by their Constitution. They have consistently since Independence resisted against a leadership that sought to oppress them as the colonial state did. They have however suffered greatly in this resistance. Many Kenyans have been detained without trial, subjected to rigged trials, exiled, tortured and even been killed and tortured in the past 46 years.

On 12th December 2008, citizens through the Partnership for Change declared that they were going to take charge of democratising and freeing their country for themselves. The Partnership for Change has since November 2008 been implementing a six-point agenda of advocacy and public education on the National Accord, Fundamental Human Rights, the National budget and Debt, Citizens’ Responsibility and Ending Impunity. These agenda items are covered in the National Accord of February 28th 2008, which established the Grand Coalition Government led by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

WHAT IS THE CONTENT OF OUR NATIONAL ACCORD?

Agenda One of the National Accord:
- restoration of civil and political liberties
- cessation of violence against and between citizens

Agenda Two of the National Accord:
- resolving the post election humanitarian crisis
- reconciliation and national healing

Agenda Three of the National Accord:
- overcoming the political crisis

Agenda Four of the National Accord:
- overcoming long term issues and providing solutions to mass poverty and unemployment, land reform, regional imbalances, and equity
- addressing national cohesion and reconciliation, transparency and accountability, constitutional reform, institutional reform of Parliament, the Judiciary and the Internal Security Apparatus including the police

The Grand Coalition Government has failed to keep the timelines and to deliver the National Accord. We believe that implementing the National Accord and the agenda of the Partnership for Change will ensure the delivery of the vision of Madaraka Day and Uhuru. We have committed ourselves to use all our constitutional freedoms to advocate and educate Kenyans on our agenda for the prosperity and freedom of all citizens. In this, as people and citizens of Kenya, we shall act without waiting for the political leadership who have failed us before time and time again.

Recognizing that Madaraka Day 1963 made us citizens with inalienable rights, the Partnership for Change shall over the next 6 months up to December 12th 2009 mount a nation-wide campaign to restore the Madaraka Day vision of democratic accountability and urge Kenyans to resist dictatorial impunity. If we succeed, at a minimum the fundamental rights of every Kenyan will be respected and protected by the state and its agencies on pain of prosecution for any one regardless of status, who violates the rights of a Kenyan citizen. Our rights are not negotiable.

The Partnership for Change holds the position that the National Accord and not Vision 2030 is the country’s Blue Print for national development and ultimately salvation. On this 46th Madaraka Day, we restate that the full implementation of the National Accord is non-negotiable and the Grand Coalition Government so long as it remains incapable, or refuses, to implement the National Accord has no moral authority to remain in place, bearing in mind it is created by a political pact and not by a democratic election result. To stimulate peaceful and democratic change in Kenya, we shall support people’s struggle and initiatives for a better Kenya in the following ways:

1. We shall work to raise awareness of public resources management discipline in order to identify and secure financial and other resources for the achievement of Agenda 4 of the National Accord. In this regard we are campaigning to rationalise the budget and to achieve at least 60% of the budget is secured for development spending; and are also advocating for a comprehensive external debt relief agreement for Kenya.

2. We shall work and campaign as citizens, educating others and asserting our fundamental freedoms as detailed in Chapter V of the Constitution (Bill of Rights) and in particular calling for the unequivocal and full implementation of the full implementation of the Report of the Waki Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence and the Alston Report to the 11th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Summary and Extra Judicial Killings to end impunity in Kenya and to ensure that for the first time in Kenya’s history since Independence all public institutions and public officials are held accountable, and work to promote and defend human rights.

3. We shall work with grassroots Kenyans to educate Kenyans, organise forums that are driven by the citizens themselves- on how to full participate and consult with each other to participate in decision making, public finance, to protect and preserve democracy, ensure honest and effective representation in Parliament and the local governance structures and indeed all governance structures.

4. We shall advocate for the need for impartial application of the rule of law. Kenyans are born equal, regardless of the political opinion, ethnic origin or social status.

5. We shall develop plans and policies for institutional responses to deal with impunity including enhancing public monitoring and record keeping of the government operations related to public finance management and the as regards the fundamental human rights

6. We shall support the call by the people of Kenya for their immediate democratic re-enfranchisement and their right to an elected government.

WE SHALL ACT FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS AND GROUNDS:
We shall do this because the Grand Coalition Government must be pushed to deliver on its duty to Kenyans as expected in the National Accord. We shall do this because it is our right to demand for the full implementation of the National Accord. Failure to implement the National Accord constitutes grounds for a fresh election, and the Grand Coalition Government has failed in the following respects:

Failure to keep Timelines:
- It has failed to keep the timelines to deliver the promise of the National Accord. Constitutional Review within 12 months has been overlooked hence the stalled institutional reforms in the judiciary, in parliament and the representation of the people, dealing with regional imbalances and the public finance systems;
- It has failed to establish the Special Tribunal for Kenya to punish the persons bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes against humanity committed in Kenya during the Post Election Violence period (December 2007 to February 2008) during which 1,133 Kenyan were murdered and hundreds of thousands were displaced.
- It has failed in 15 months to settle the internally displaced victims of the post election violence leaving hundreds of thousands of Kenyans exposed to untold suffering daily, indefinitely.

Failure to Protect Kenyans and End Extra Judicial Killings
- It has failed to demobilise militias, and dismantle organised crime syndicates and gangs, which continue to murder, extort and maim with impunity.
- Extrajudicial killings by the Kenya Police continue and no one is being punished for this illegality which has lead to the deaths of hundreds of Kenyan young men and women. Torture of persons in official custody remains a practice within the police and other disciplined forces, and torturers have impunity. Police reforms are still pending and on June 2, 2009 the UN special Rapporteur on Enforced disappearances shall present a damning report on Kenya. Shockingly during the Madaraka day celebrations, neither the President nor the Prime Minister had anything to say on this – in prominent attendance at the celebration was the Police Commissioner who has several times been indicted by independent and official reports. The Attorney general who has been described by the UN Special Rapporteur as the embodiment of impunity remains in office after 19 years, and presumably for life.

Failure to Secure Protection of Law and Access to Justice
- There have been no efforts to improve access to justice for the majority of the population. Whereas over the past 15 months the Grand Coalition Government increased the administrative districts to over 209; it has failed to provide the people with courts and today there are only 58 High Court Judges, and 287 Magistrates for a population of 38 million citizens. The backlog of cases according to the Ministry of Justice stands at over 800,000! 46 years after independence, Kenyans are denied justice as a majority face criminal charges without any legal aid or assistance by qualified lawyers.
- Prisons were built to hold 16,000 inmates at a time. Today they hold over 64,000 convicts and every day about 45,000 Kenyan citizens are held by the police in cells under inhumane and degrading conditions.

Failure to Address Long Term Issues
- The Grand Coalition Government has failed to tackle poverty and inequality. It has failed to deliver on its promise to generate 740,000 new jobs each year from 2008 to keep up with youth unemployment which is now a national security threat. Training colleges have been shut down for lack of funds while the Grand Coalition Government continues to increase recurrent expenditure on hospitality and conspicuous consumption.
- The Grand Coalition Government has failed to consolidate national cohesion. It has failed to criminalise hate speech by law and in fact it has allowed politicians and public officers to verbally abuse and scandalize those who point out its faults. The Kiambaa victims’ mass funeral which was avoided by the national and local leadership of the Orange Democratic Movement, and shoddily managed by State House shows how far the nation is from national healing.
- The Grand Coalition Government has failed to institute the much desired and needed land reform and is engaged in a sham discussion to shield its members’ vested interest in the status quo where formally public lands remain in private hands illegally; a fact extensively documented by among others the Ndung’u Land commission report of 2004.
- The Grand Coalition Government is incapable of fighting corruption and has indeed institutionalized impunity for gross economic crimes by shielding perpetrators from persecution and by incorporating perpetrators of corruption in its highest political and public offices. Today, more than half of the cabinet ministers of the GCG are implicated in Grand corruption charges and are yet to be cleared. A corrupt government can not deliver Agenda 4 of the National Accord.

Failure to control Public Debt:
- The Grand Coalition Government has committed 24% of national Budget to debt redemption and is increasing our domestic debt from Kshs. 670.8 billion to Kshs. 827.4 billion and since 1963 Kenya has borrowed over Kshs. 1 trillion with little to show for it. It is now imperative that we have full accountability and transparency in our debt. The Partnership for Change shall demand that Kenyans are told whom we owe and for what purpose we owe. We shall campaign that we as a country should undertake no further debts until the government of Kenya accounts to the people through Parliament. A quick look at our statement of external debt reveals huge borrowings and repayment to the tune of over a trillion shillings for development infrastructure that has never been built. Most of the loans did not have proper parliamentary authority and went to private hands leaving Kenyan tax payer to pay for value un-received. Disturbingly, the Grand Coalition Government has made it its policy to borrow to fund its recurrent expenditure.
- The Partnership for Change takes exception with the Bretton Woods institutions which choose to ignore the public evidence that the Kenyan Government is neither transparent nor accountable in public finance management and that there are odious debts on our books. Even though the Partnership for Change alerted the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund as to the presence of odious debt our books, and the history of pathetic management of public resources by Treasury, the International Monetary Fund’s immediate response to this call was to lend the Government of Kenya twice the amount it wished to borrow.

The Partnership for Change shall play Its role in offering information, organising the people and providing the tools for holding public officials and state institutions accountable so that by December 12, 2009, Kenyan citizens shall have made a breakthrough.

Partnership for Change
Nairobi 1st June 2009

Prime Minister Rt Hon Raila Odinga’s Statement on the Murder of Oscar Foundation Executive Director:

MARCH 6, 2009.

Over the years, dating back to the pre-independence days and after, civil society activists have contributed tremendously to the liberation of Kenya, whether that liberation was from the colonial rule or the dark terror of one party state that was to engulf this country years later.

In fact, when politics got confined to those who supported the status quo and the academia was silenced through reprisals and detention in the 1970s all the way to the 1980s, civil society activists became the last standing soldiers in the battle to create a Kenya where human rights; including freedom of speech and freedom of association are respected.

Today, Kenyans owe the freedom they have to the activists who risked their lives and stood up to demand freedom of speech, movement and association at a time those supportive of the status quo wanted everyone to be silent.

It is in recognition of this historical role, and my belief in the sanctity of life, the freedom of thought and freedom of expression that I wish to condemn unreservedly the cold-blooded murder of the Oscar Foundation Executive Director Mr Kamau King’ara and the Foundation’s Programmes Co-coordinator Mr Paul Oulu, last evening.

This act of heartlessness and lawlessness, murder most foul, came only hours after Dr Alfred Mutua, in the name of the government, accused the Oscar Foundation of fundraising abroad to support Mungiki activities locally.

I wish to state to the people of Kenya that Dr Mutua does not speak for the Grand Coalition Government.
The Grand Coalition Government was founded on the principle of consultation. Whatever goes out as a government position must have been discussed by the parties and agreed on before it is announced.
There is no such agreement that the Oscar Foundation was raising money for Mungiki. It gets even more bizarre when that announcement is followed by murder.

I extend great sympathies to the families and friends of these murdered officials and all the civil society fraternity. Life is sacred and whatever the crime one has committed, no one deserves to die unless a credible court process decides so.

Since police are suspects in these killings, it is necessary to have and independent agency to carry out investigations into this murder.

We therefore want to appeal to friends of Kenya locally and abroad to help in unraveling this murder and help bring perpetrators to justice. Kenya has too many of unaccounted for murders that we are still struggling to unravel.

We do not want to add to that growing list. This murder comes only days after the UN rappoteur unearthed disturbing incidents of extra-judicial killing in the country.

It is worrying and I fear that we are flirting with lawlessness in the name of keeping law and order. In the process, we are hurtling towards failure as a state.

I appeal to the UN, the US and EU and all other friends of Kenya to help unravel this murder. In the meantime, I appeal to Kenyans, all Kenyans to remain calm as we seek to unravel this.

Rt. Hon Raila A. Odinga.
Prime Minister.