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.


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 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

What Next After the Jamhuri Day Fiasco: – Communique from the Partnership for Change 15th December 2008


On December 12, 2008, the government of Kenya marked the 45th anniversary of the Independence of Kenya with a deliberate and calculated attack on the fundamental rights and freedom of the Kenyan people. Thousands of Kenyans across the country were arrested and brutalised by the Kenya Police for wearing black t-shirts. Many were detained in holding cells in stadiums, in police trucks and at police stations across the country. By the end of the day all were released save for several members of the Partnership for Change who were held for three days in violation of their fundamental rights.

Further, the Partnership for Change strongly condemns the arrest of journalists this morning. It is a shame that journalists who were acting in their normal professional duties were arrested and charged on court. Despite the fact that the retrogressive bill has not been signed into law, the government is already cracking down on the media. The recent use of force by the state security forces against innocent Kenyans must be punished. We demand the immediate resignation of the following people for their role in the illegal crackdown against the people and the media:
• The Minister for Internal Security, Prof George Saitoti
• The Commissioner of Police, Major General Hussein Ali
• The Minister of Information, Mr. Samuel Poghisio
Kenyan politicians are not likely to resign, we are aware. We are, therefore, additionally asking the Prime Minister who is responsible for supervising the various ministries to recommend to the President that the two Ministers be immediately removed from our cabinet.

About the Partnership for Change:
The Partnership for Change is an initiative of the Mars Group Kenya and the Kenya Network of Grassroots Organisations (KENGO) that seeks to bring to new impetus the change agenda in Kenya by using non-violent methods of public advocacy which we believe are authorised by the Constitution of Kenya. Founded on principles of inclusiveness and participation, membership to the Partnership for Change includes well-established civil society organisations and dedicated individuals who believe that it is possible to move to democratic accountability using non-violent means. The illegal arrests and detention without charges of peaceful Kenyans who have reasonable demands of the government and a reform agenda is an affront to all Kenyans and portends a slide to dictatorial impunity that must be strongly resisted.

At stake are the fundamental rights of all Kenyans as guaranteed by Chapter 5 of the Constitution and the National Accord. We note with concern that the 10th Parliament has failed in its duty to legislate in accordance to the Constitution of Kenya and has instead converted itself into a tool of dictatorship which is used for the selfish gains of the political elite. The entire 10th Parliament stands indicted for its failure to safeguard the rights of Kenyans and even worse, for its deliberate actions to curtail, deny and derogate the rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution.

Examples of blatant abuse authority and neglect of duty by the 10th Parliament include the recent tendency of MPs to legislate through informal sittings dubbed “Kamukunji” which are not provided for by any law and are therefore illegal, lack legitimacy and are not transparent. Unlike with the proceedings of Parliament, no records are kept at these Kamukunji sittings. Both the President and the Prime Minister have been reported to be attending these illegal meetings that are used by MPs to blackmail the two principals and undermine the wishes of the public.

As a result, retrogressive laws meant to serve narrow ends of the political elite are now being introduced. Both the Finance Bill, 2008 and the Communications Act Amendment Bill, 2008 which have drawn the wrath of the public were made in the illegal Kamukunjis and only taken to Parliament for polling rather than for debate. This attack on our representative democracy must be stopped. Kenyans will resist and defy any laws that limit the freedom of the press or allow MPs to shield themselves from civic duty, including taxation.

At stake is our prosperity as a nation as we continue to wallow in abject poverty caused by misappropriation of public resources, illegitimate national debt and corruption for the benefit of a few and at the expense of millions.

We have understood the statement of government in arresting and detaining innocent Kenyans on Jamhuri Day. The government’s message is “be silent”. Our response is “NOT NOW, NOT EVER” Our country needs us and we need each other. We will not allow temporary setbacks to stop us or intimidate us. Kenyans will be free. Our media will be free. Our rights will be respected. Arrests are not a solution to the government’s problems. There are simply not enough police cells to lock up the population for wearing t-shirts!

The Partnership for Change now calls on the government to deal with the myriad of problems it faces squarely. Shooting the messenger, whether the Kenyan press or the Kenyan people will not resolve anything. Serious problems require serious solutions and serious people to address them. We, the people, are serious- the government MUST act in accordance to our will.

Update on the Jamhuri day arrests:

JAYNE MATI and MWALIMU MATI were held at the Lang’ata Police Station for three days and were released without any charges. The police only released the two after several non-violent protests including sustained day and night vigils at the Lang’ata and Garissa Police Stations, road blocks and other venues including the Uhuru Park, Ufungamano, Jeevanjee Gardens among others.

Four partners for change who were being held at the Garissa Police Station -KHALIF ABDI, ABDINASIR SALAT, YUSUF ABDI and ADEN KOSAR- were arraigned in court this morning where they pleaded not guilty to charges of causing a disturbance and were released on a Kshs. 5,000 cash bail. Their case will be heard in January, 2009. Legal representation and cash bail were provided and the four are now free on bond.

Demand for the Full implementation of the National Accord:

The Partnership for Change calls for and will continue to call for the immediate implementation of the National Accord of February 28, 2008 as is, without negotiations, failing which the Kenyan people wish to have their right to an election to replace this dictatorial parliament and government. We demand the FULL implementation of Agendas 1 up to 4 of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process without equivocation.

Implementation of the National Accord is not limited to tribunals and commissions of inquiry. Implementation requires root and branch institutional reforms and this starts with personnel change. Besides the overhaul of personnel at the Electoral Commission of Kenya, we demand the sacking of the Commissioner of Police who is personally responsible for the continuing violation of the fundamental rights of Kenyans to life, liberty and the secure protection of the law. The Police Commissioner bears the greatest responsibility as the head of a force that has gunned down over 1,000 Kenyans over the last 24 months (CIPEV and KNCHR) and for which he shows no remorse. We demand that the President, who is the appointing authority, removes Major General Hussein Ali from his current position as the Commissioner of Police.

Evidenced by the fact that he has been promoted from the rank of Brigadier to Major General during his tenure as the Commissioner of Police, Major General Ali is still an active member of the military. The Partnership for Change will hold Major General Ali personally accountable for the violations of the rights of Kenyans and will pursue legal remedies for ourselves and on behalf of the people using all enabling local and international laws.

Urgently recall Kofi Annan and reconvene the Panel of Eminent Persons of the African Union charged with the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation Process.
If the Grand Coalition Government is not able to implement the National Accord, and it is becoming apparent that the government has neither the good will nor the influence to deliver, and considering that Kenya is now in a renewed crisis and that the two principals, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga are either unable or unwilling to deal with the emerging social, economic and political crisis in the country there is need to urgently bring back the Kofi Annan team as the situation is getting more grave.

Demands to the President and the Prime Minister:

1. Implement the National Accord in its entirety and uphold the Constitution of Kenya as you swore to do, or resign and call an early election. Stop bargaining with our rights at illegal gatherings. It is an abuse of executive authority to conspire with Members of Parliament against the people in illegal kamukunjis. Laws in Kenya should be made in Parliament or not at all. If the President and the Prime Minister are unable to govern using the Constitutionally established channels, they should have the courage to declare that openly and to dissolve parliament and call an early election.

2. Do not assent to the offensive finance and media bills. We demand that the President refuses his assent to the Communications Amendment Bill, 2008 and to the Finance Bill 2008. At a time when we have no opposition, the media has a very important role of informing the public and also of oversight. Freedom of our press is not negotiable; we have a right to a free press and to information. None of our fundamental rights are negotiable.

All Kenyans must pay taxes. We demand that MPs and other holders of constitutional office who are exempt from paying taxes be compelled to pay taxes. The people of Kenya demand that the President exercises his executive authority and returns the finance bill to the National Assembly.

3. Zero rate for taxes all food, fuel and electricity to reduce the cost of living for Kenyans. We demand immediate relief for the poor. Food must be zero-rated for tax so that Kenyans can eat. This cannot wait for 10 days or until next week. Financial discipline and austerity measures by government can easily raise any revenue deficit. A casual look at our recurrent budget reveals 200 billion shillings of waste and mismanagement.

4. Either declare a state of emergency or stop infringing on the rights of the people. Unless there is an on-going state of emergency, the paramilitary officers posted at the Uhuru Park in Nairobi should be removed immediately. Restricting citizens’ access to public parks is unwarranted. We understand that it is calculated to stop the people from enjoying their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression, movement, assembly and association. These rights are inalienable. They are not negotiable.

The government must be clear that Kenyans are alive to their responsibility and have decided to respond to impunity and resist dictatorship as we work to restore democratic accountability in our beloved country.

Our message to our politicians and government institutions is that the Kenyan citizen is now in charge and will hold you to account. Our non-violent actions in demand for change will continue in earnest.

The Partnership for Change
Date: December 15, 2008