The Fight for Freedom, Democracy and Human Rights is the Necessary Qualification for Kenyan Citizenship

By Cyprian Orina Nyamwamu

Today, March 24, 2009 is Impunity Day in Kenya – the Human Rights Defenders Day.

It was the 24th day of March in 1996, when Daniel arap Moi’s State assassinated our dear Karimi Nduthu.

Karimi Nduthu had just finalized an investigative report into the state sponsored ethnic clashes of 1992 and 1993 which targeted targeting ethnic populations of the Gikuyu, Kisii, Luo and Luyha in Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western and Coast Provinces. During these two years Kenya witnessed the deaths of over 1,000 Kenyans and the uprooting of nearly half a million Kenyans from their homes- this Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) phenomenon is not new after all! The victims were mainly from ethnic communities were considered sympathizers of the opposition FORD Kenya, FORD Asili and the Democratic Party and therefore were considered Madoa doa (ugly spot or blemishes) in Daniel arap Moi’s so called KANU strong holds of Rift valley and Coast Provinces.

Politics
In the run-up to the multi-party general elections of 1992, KANU was convinced that Western and Nyanza Provinces had already fallen to FORD- Kenya and FORD- Asili waves, whereas Central and Nairobi had gone to FORD-Asili, FORD- Kenya and Democratic Party waves and KANU was fast running out of Provinces.

Divide and Rule
It is thought that KANU wanted to secure Eastern, North Eastern Province, Coast and Rift valley provinces and then divide Nyanza’s people – the Luo and Kisii to see if the Kisii with the Kuria could vote for Moi and possibly allow Moi the 25% he required. KANU was sure it would get 25% in Western Kenya. The violence of 1992 -1993 and 1997-1998 totally destroyed the economy. Tourism and agriculture were affected and the character of the Kenyan Republic was totally disfigured. Citizenship and Rights, Democracy and Dignity all were trumped on the altar of political careers.

Investigations but No Punishment
The Kenya Human Rights Commission later published a report titled “Burning the vote” that detailed the political economy of ethnic clashes and how it benefited the corrupt and criminal KANU state. The report was ignored by the Government. A subsequent Commission of Inquiry by Justice Akiwumi and a Parliamentary Investigation headed by Kennedy Kiliku, MP, which detailed the names of the persons bearing the greatest responsibility for the murder and dislocation were also never implemented. This impunity for high ranking officials of Daniel Arap Moi’s government remains in place to this day – 13 years after Karimi Nduthu was murdered. It looks as if the intention is to ensure that those named in the Waki Commission of Enquiry Report of October 15th 2008 as bearing the greatest responsibility for organizing, financing and perpetrating the massive crimes committed as post election violence in 2007 and 2008, are also being shielded from punishment. They are enjoying state supported impunity. The murders of thousands of Kenyans under the policy of extra judicial killings and those who killed GPO Oulu and Oscar Kingara are similarly enjoying state supported impunity as it becomes clear that the Kenya Police will never investigate itself or prosecute its own, even as all international investigative offers of assistance are summarily rejected, and even United Nations Rapporteurs are abused and their statements binned. State supported impunity is the policy of the Government of Kenya.

Slaves to the Monster
Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka cautioned Kenyans to go slow on the Waki report saying that the Waki report had the potential to ruin people’s political careers. How sad that a Christian Brother believes that human beings are not as important as political careers. Kalonzo Musyoka was a long serving and hawkish Minister in Daniel Arap Moi’s government during the ethnic clashes and knows very well what happened. But, Kenyans do not like to learn from the past; We do not like the Truth; we want to go back to sleep when the cobra is still between our blankets! We have become a nation of zombies and brainwashed masses. We have been dismembered and have become slaves to the monster which is killing us viciously. We suffer from Stokholm syndrome which makes us sympathetic to our captors and fearful, or even hateful, towards those who tell us we are enslaved. This is why Karimi died and why many since have been killed as the Kenyan people look the other way.

IN MEMORY OF KARIM NDUTHU I WOULD LIKE TO STATE AS FOLLOWS:

Why Karimi Died and the Release of Political Prisoners
Karimi Nduthu had freshly been released from Jail where he had been for 5 years (some one should correct me for any inaccuracies because I was in lower primary when this was happening). He had been in Kamiti but mainly in Naivasha Maximum Prison allegedly for being a member of the Mwakenya Movement. The Movement that pressurized the Moi State to release Karimi and his 50 other colleagues was Release of Political Prisoners (RPP) Pressure Group that had been founded in London by among others the likes of the Late Dr. Wanjiku Kihoro and her Husband Wanyiri Kihoro, Ngugu Wa Thiongo among many others as the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners.

Back at home the mothers and families of the Political Prisoners organized themselves and descended on All Saints Cathedral and Freedom Corner where they pressurized for the release of the sons. Moi broke up with monumental violence and brutal force the mothers’ protests that had lasted many weeks on end. The relentless mothers and sisters of the struggle never gave up until their children were released. All except Apiny Adhiambo were released in 1992. As the RPP had already been formed in 1991, almost all joined the pressure group to push for constitutional reforms and the restoration of democracy.

4Cs
RPP working closely with the KHRC, ICJ, LSK, NCCK and Other Bishops and Muslim Prelates which later gave Birth to 4Cs and NCEC. Karimi was an active participant in these initiatives. NCEC was formally launched at Limuru exactly one year after Karimi had been buried. Mureu Kariuki was elected Secretary General of RPP to succeed Karimi. Together with Muthoni Kamau (as Chair of RPP) and Tirop Kitur (as Coordinator) they led the RPP forward, courageously and with clarity. I was elected Secretary General of RPP in 2000 to succeed Mureu and continued to participate in the intellectual development of the organization. RPP was the most visible actor in the NCA-NCEC during these times until donors began to pull the rag from under the feet of the progressive and radical organization. In 2002 NCEC was denied funding for conducting civic education “because it was considered to be a highly political national organization that we think is not capable of delivering civic education”. This position was adopted even with the knowledge that the Gurus of civic education like Prof. Kivutha Kibwana, Rev. Njoya, Dr. Mutunga and Kepta Ombati were the leaders of NCEC. Nevertheless the NCEC survives and continues to educate Kenyans on the need for, and means of achieving, a new constitutional order in Kenya in which the protection and preservation of the rights and freedoms of the individual are the first duty of the State and all its institutions, rather than the current order which makes Kings of the institutions and the citizens employed by Kenyans to serve them.

Hijacked Constitutional reforms
It is very saddening to see that these days, constitutional reforms have been reduced to a mere academic discussion on what are the contentious issues and what are not. The struggle for democracy and freedom is something that is a life and death issue. It is not a domain subject of conservatives and turncoats like the ones currently directly the direction and nature of constitutional reforms. Freedom and democracy are values that some Kenyan heroes and sheroes have given everything- including their lives to secure and the struggle still rages on. Constitutional review has been bastardized and hijacked by the most conservative forces, political entrepreneurs and the harlots of the status quo and it has been reduced into a mere game for the ruling elite to satisfy their egos with!

Ideologically clear Leaders
Karimi was pursuing his Engineering Degree at the University of Nairobi when he was arrested. He was a leader, a conscious thinker, and organizer and worked together with his comrades Tirop Kitur, Kangethe Mungai, Mwandawiro Mghanga, Onyango Oloo, Gupta Ng’anga Thiong’o, Njeri Kabeberi, Oduor Ongw’wen, Wafula Buke, and Paddy Onyango among many others. These men and women worked with other courageous and gallant soldiers of Kenya’s liberation such as Wangari Maathai, Moseti Anyona, Njeru Kathangu, Koigi Wa Wamwere, James Orengo, Raila Odinga, Willy Mutunga, Prof. Mazrui, Micere Mugo, Prof. Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Prof. Maina Kinyatti, Prof. Edward Oyugi most of whom, at the University taught these emerging, promising young ideologically clear Leaders of our struggle and nation; Leaders who loved life more than anything else- leaders who wanted a just, equitable and prosperous Kenya where democracy meant that every Kenyan had a right to a life of dignity and peaceful co-existence. These leaders had revolutionary chaplains like Rev. Timothy Njoya, Manasses Kuria, Alexander Muge and many Muslim Imams and Sheikhs to look up to! And they had a revolutionary in Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere to run to at the southern border of our mother land. Nyerere proved decisive in the struggles for democratization in Kenya and Africa. Like him, all these young and courageous leaders were Pan Africanists who never recognized ethnic and other parochial dichotomies but were inspired by the Philosophy of Utu, Ubuntu, Solidarity to do good and uphold life; not profits.

Objects of the Market
The touch stone of the youth movements, the women movements, the workers movements, the students movements, the peasant movements and middle class movements these days is the crave for profits and material wealth. Even poor university students are these days seen lining up to help the government auction Safaricom. We no longer know who we are and we have become objects of the market.

“Not yet Uhuru!”- Kenya was not yet free!

Karimi Nduthu knew that an engineering degree in a society where he was merely going to be a new generation of a colonial subject- a native without rights and without constitutional guarantees; in a surrogate economy presided over by Moi, Kenyatta and Kibaki on behalf of the neo-colonial and imperialist powers was worthless; it was akin to giving a prisoner clean linen to continue living in prison. Karimi wanted to be free but more importantly he wanted Kenya to become truly independent. To merely graduate from slavery to a new form of slavery was not enticing to Karimi- he was not for vanity but prosperity in justice and peace. Karimi was in solidarity with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga in his declaration “Not yet Uhuru!”- Kenya was not yet free!

I knew Karimi when I was a first year student at Kenya Polytechnic in 1995. I met Karimi only three times before he was bludgeoned to death by the state assassins. The CID came up with a Kiraithe-Mutua-Ali-like theory- that Karimi had been killed due to a love affair gone sour. When you see some of us scoffing at the instant and pre-meditated theories that come from Kiraithe and his boss do not think that we are merely acting emotional. It is because we can see through the propaganda. We know how these thugs do their thing! Karimi was working with several International Human Rights organizations in conducting thorough and damning research. They wanted to silence Karimi from telling the Truth about who organized and killed thousands of Kenyans across the country in the name of ethnic cleansing. Did they really silence Karimi? I doubt that they did.

The Month was March.
Karimi was investigating and had a report on Killings by state agents.

He was killed brutally and the state wanted to deface him. They wanted to kill his character after assassinating him. The Kenyan state not only kills Human rights defenders, it also works to kill them in their death. The state wants to delegitimize the Human Rights Movement, because it is the only defense that stands between the evil ruling class and their ambition of consuming all little material things the people have and hope for. This imperialist, criminal state, like the vampire feeds on blood and souls of the people. They work to kill human beings through famine, poverty, unemployment, clashes, assassinations, privatization, laying off workers, stealing pension funds and auctioning of the nation to foreigners.

Mambo ni Yale Yale!
That is why Oscar Kingara and GPO Oulu’s assassination is not going to be explained away just like that. We know that when Pio Gama Pinto was headed to Parliament to release a report on Jomo Kenyatta’s corruption, he was assassinated; JM Kariuki was assassinated for speaking of the necessary revolution, Karimi Nduthu, Fr. John Anthony Kaiser, Oscar and GPO; Dedan Kimathi before them, Muthoni Nyanjiru in 1922 at the central police station when she mobilized our people to demand the release of Harry Thuku; the list goes on. Mambo ni yale Yale! Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose!

Only the label keeps changing; from slavery, to imperialism, to colonialism, to neo-colonialism and now globalization; but something fundamental has not changed- the character of the states that engender these evil systems is the same; these are states that are established to destroy lives in the interests of profit, greed and primitive accumulation;

Freedom and dignity for all
So Karimi died and was buried in Githima, Molo. His parents’ home has been torched in every bout of ethnic clashes when a President had to rig an election to keep himself in power. But we promised Karimi that his death was never to be in vain. And it shall never be in vain. We promised the Moi state that for every Karimi they assassinated, 1,000 Karimis would rise! And for every GPO and Oscar Kingara they assassinate there shall be 10,000 GPOs to carry on with the work of our heroes. From 1920 until we liberate our country we shall never stop at nothing but freedom and dignity for all.

From Dedan Kimathi, from Waiyaki Wa Hinga, Arap Samoei, Me Katilili Wa Menza to GPO and Kamau Kingara Oscar; the people shall arise; they shall learn and expose these criminals in suits and overthrow their rule. The people shall get their land back from the home guards led by Kibaki, Uhuru, Moi and their clique. This is a Promise!

If they call poor unemployed Kikuyu young men Mungiki so that they can kill them and keep the land they grabbed from the grandfathers of the displaced Kenyans, that shall be for a short while but the people shall know the propaganda and reject- revolt against the Kenyattas and Mois of this world.

Stand up and Live – Be alive
You, the young Kenyan professionals and activists; Stand up and be alive. Do not be corpses who died at 18 years and are waiting to be buried at 70years! Why can’t we be like Dedan Kimathi Waciuri- who declared that “it is better to die standing on my feet than to live on my knees?”

My generation of Kenyans is people who make me want to cry; they can’t see that we are leading a worse life than that of our parents and that our children will lead a worse life than the one we are leading today. We have betrayed the nation and we shall be cursed by our ancestors who died for our freedom and nation; we are going to perish because we have joined the government in using taxes- the sweat of our mothers and fathers- to kill young Kenyans because they are poor and unemployed. We are the ones who are guilty-not the home guards in power. The home guards in power are cowards who can not – unlike Nyerere- entertain a debate; they can not debate; they can only kill those who have a different view; those who stand on the side of the masses; and our generation has gone along with this murderous regime-condemning the Partnership for Change and NCCK for calling for elections.

I wonder why then we have eyes yet we are blind; and the physically blind can actually see more clearly than all of us together.

We have ears but we can not hear the cry of Kenyans who are killed by the state through commission and omission and the command from God our creator when he says “For I your God will hold your right hand; I am the Lord who says to you, Fear not; I will help you!” Isaiah 41:13. We never hear any of what is being told to us. Like Mugabe we can not any longer understand the meaning stewardship. We are killing the people who have been entrusted to us by stealing the medicines of their children and the maize for their porridge. The UNICEF says and not a single Government officer or newspaper editor weeps that over 480 children die in Kenya every day because their parents are too poor to access medicine to cure treatable disease. Polio is back. Tuberculosis is back. Cholera is back. 20 children die every hour of every day because their parents are too poor and the government is not giving them medicine. It’s hard to cry these days.

We have mouths but we can not speak for the masses who educated us. As their markets, and land, and hotels, schools and now universities are being privatized- being stolen, we are indifferent. It is not our business we say.

We have brains for pleasure and gratification not to think for our greatness as a country

We are religious yet we can not sacrifice for this nation; we do the rituals but can not live the calling of Islam or Christianity which is this: “Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed; rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked” Psalms 82: 3-4

We have money that we had better lose at the Nairobi Stock Exchange and in the Pyramid schemes than to fund the development of our neighbours through cooperative societies and movements. We think we are better off with our millions than to share with those wretched Kikuyu or Kamba or Giriama neighbour. We are so wrong.

Moral death and moral bankruptcy
We are amoral we have no conscience. We have entered into moral death and moral bankruptcy with gusto and as the Americans descend into the pit we are overtaking them as we go down; yet they have been to the top and built a civilization that we worship uncritically. We act like children of a lesser god. Not children of GOD.

We have become the haters of our risk takers- the Human rights activists and lovers of our killers. There is more love for Michuki in Kenya than Mwalimu Mati or Tirop (some are asking who the hell that is). We call our risk takers- our human rights defenders masqueraders out to capture donor money; but we are out in the jua kali to be the statistics in the next Kibaki, or Odinga; Karua or Kenyatta; Daniel or Gideon Moi rally;

We do not see the Grand coalition as the enemy of progress but see the poor youths (“so not like us”) us as the enemy that must be exterminated.

We hate those who say the truth and rush to prostrate before the known economic saboteurs and criminals who have killed your mothers and relatives seven times over!

Men and women of little faith we are!

We are happier listening to 7 minutes of Akinyi and Wanjala on TV than to the report on how the state is killing our fellow citizens in Samburu, in Mandera, in Sabaot, in Kisii, in Moyale; we have become a failed state.

We have privatized university education and secured that money to buy phony cargo ships at Kshs. 4.4 billion by labeling them navy ships, and import second hand Russian tanks rather than drilling rigs for the military to build dykes and dams and boreholes! We allow the President to have 149 cars and the fire stations around urban areas to have no vehicles.

Day of Human Rights defenders – Day of Impunity is a Day to be Happy
But I remain happy, that on March 24; the day of Human Rights defenders; the day Karimi Nduthu was assassinated; the month that GPO and Oscar Kamau Kingara were assassinated together with Godwin Ogato Gisairo; I can declare that this is the hour to strike- not to retreat; for the belly and bowels of the beast have decomposed and we must now open the bowels; the darkest hour is near dawn it was said; and that dawn is now at hand;

Five steps to break with the past
I suggest 5 steps towards moving Kenya from a failed, corrupt and dictatorial state to a democratic just and developmental state; Five steps to break with the past and begin the process of building a new democratic and developmental state and republic

1. PASS AN INTERIM CONSTITUTION IMMEDIATELY TO OFFER THE BASIS OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE.

1.1 What:
a new constitution outlined as principles to govern the country for three years. This is an interim constitution the South African way. The CKRC draft of 2002 should form a basis of the Interim constitution.

1.2 Why
an interim constitution: because the current government is not a legitimate authority and has hijacked the process and made it a parliamentary process instead of referring a Kenya people’s process for a democratic and popular.

1.3 Who
should be involved in making and passing of the interim constitution: the Interim constitution should be negotiated by a multi-sectoral forum using the current Experts committee approved by parliament. It should be passed in Parliament as an interim constitution by amending section three of the constitution to donate limited constituent powers to Parliament.

1.4 When:
the said interim constitution is made immediately by convening the Multi-sectoral forum in April 2009 and the interim constitution be passed in parliament in May 2009.

1.5 How:
the committee of experts to be mandated to outline the principles of the new constitution of Kenya that shall be passed by the Multi-sectoral forum and then presented to the National Assembly as the interim constitution for adoption as the interim constitution of Kenya

1.6 Rationale:
the current Raila-Kibaki led Grand coalition wants to hijack the right of Kenyans to make the constitution the people want. They want to make a constitution that will not solve our governance crisis. The ruling class wants to get a constitution that will not create a new order as regards exercise of power, separation of powers, independence of constitutional institutions, land reforms etc. they want to use the constitution as a succession tool to accommodate many more ethnic warlords and secure votes. This must be rejected. The people must restore their constituent power to themselves-WE THE PEOPLE!

2. A COMPETENT ELECTORAL BODY (IIEC) IS ESTABLISHED WITH UNITED NATIONS (UN) BACKING AT THE CONSTITUENCY LEVEL TO FACILITATE THE CONDUCT OF CREDIBLE, ACCOUNTABLE, FAIR AND TRANSPARENT ELECTION IMMEDIATELY.

3. BAR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN NAMED IN ALL THE REPORTS FROM AKIWUMI, GOLDENBERG, ANGLO LEASING, NDUNG’U LAND REPORT, PAC AND PIC REPORTS, WAKI & KRIEGLER

4. CONDUCT A FRESH ELECTION TO ELECT A CLEAR GOVERNMENT THAT WILL BE:

4.1 Clean
government devoid of individuals who have pillaged the nation since independence

4.2 Lean
enough TO ENSURE that taxation burden is reduced; the national budget is transformed to a 40% recurrent expenditure and 60% development budget policy. This is the only public services can be restored to the people.

4.3 Effective

government that shall deliver reforms, reconstruction and reconciliation as per the schedule under the National Accord.

4.4 Accountable
to the people where impunity and corruption is at zero tolerance

4.5 Responsive
to the plight, needs and aspirations of the people of Kenya and their national values

5. THE NEW GOVERNMENT TO CARRY OUT THE FOLLOWING

5.1 Settle
all IDCs – internally displaced Citizens

5.2 Offer
security and defense to all Kenyans by cutting down on crime while observing the rule of law and by ensuring that Kenya’s territorial integrity is assured.

5.3 Restore
human rights and freedoms to all Kenyans

5.4 Implement
the Waki report in full

5.5 Implement
the Kriegler report in full

5.6 Establish
the TJRC and address all past injustices

5.7 Establish
and run a CLEAR government

Agenda number 4

5.8 Renew
all institutions of governance to the highest internationally established standards of governance

5.9 Transform

Kenya’s education system to make national values and aspirations the touch stone of the education content and management

5.10

Complete constitutional reforms by negotiating an enduring democratic constitution based on the Interim constitution.

5.11

Deal with the food crises in Kenya in far reaching manner

5.12

Fix unemployment

5.13

Fix regional inequality and poverty

5.14
Fix the land problem in Kenya

5.15
Deliver national healing and cohesion

5.16

Deliver disaster preparedness and capacity to secure the rights of Kenyans under hostile conditions.

5.17

Prepare and facilitate the conduct of a fresh election after five years

This is what the Human Rights day of March 2009 should resolve to undertake on behalf of the people Kenya. As Frantz Fanon as said and I paraphrase; Our generation Must identify its mission and decide to fulfill it or betray it. This is our historical mission- to save the nation from being destroyed by the evil forces of greed, tribalism and ineptness.

If we did this;

Muthoni Nyanjiru will never die

Me Katilili Wa Menza will never die

Moraa
will never die

Koitalel Samoie will never die

Musambwa will never die

Dedan Kimathi Wa Ciuri will never die

Pio Gama Pinto
will never die

JM Kariuki
will Never die

Tito Adungosi will never die

Karimi Nduthu will never die

Fr. John Antony Kaiser will never die

Wanjiku Kihoro will never die

Oscar Kamau Kingara will never die

GPO Oulu will never die!

The people who have died in the hands of state terrorism and neglect shall all arise; a new heaven on earth shall blossom. We will become the greatest nation on earth.

Our march to victory; the people’s march to victory is unstoppable

We shall over come! Amen

Ndugu Cyprian Orina Nyamwamu

(These are my personal views not those of the NCA/NCEC, Partnership for Change or RPP Trust all of which I am a member of)

White Ribbon Campaign:no Taxes for Mps, No Taxes for Ordinary Kenyans. a Call for a Tax Boycott by the Partnership for Change.




KENYANS MUST NOW WITHDRAW THEIR AUTHORITY TO BE TAXED! KENYANS WILL NOT PAY FOR WASTE AND CORRUPTION. THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION BY THE PARTNERSHIP FOR CHANGE.

 

On Thursday 12th June 2008, then Minister of Finance, Amos Kimunya presented the Government of Kenya’s budgetary proposals on taxation to Parliament when he published the Estimates of Expenditure (the National Budget) for the year ending 30th June 2009.  In the documents he tabled in Parliament on that day, Mr. Kimunya stated how much money Kenyans are expected as taxpayers to pay to the Government for the services rendered to them; how and on what items and services the Government intended to tax Kenyans; and crucially on what budget items the Government intended to spend the tax money collected during the year.  The National Budget was broken down into two main categories – recurrent expenditure and development expenditure.  The total National Budget for which the Minister asked for Parliamentary approval was Kshs 759,814,501,933.

The Minister asked Parliament to approve his proposal to spend a total of Kshs 563,589,315,235 on recurrent expenditure and a total of Kshs 196,225,186,698  on Development Expenditure.

This Proposal otherwise known as the Estimates of Expenditure by the Government of Kenya for the year 2008/2009 consists of 55 Votes. A Vote  represents a Ministry of the Government of Kenya and/or direct charges on the Consolidated Fund such as Public Debt and Pensions.  Votes ideally should be related to separate Government Functions. Unfortunately in Kenya functions have been split to create ministries for political reward and this has had the effect of bloating the Government.  The more ministries we have the more Votes the Government needs to provide money for.

This proposal was the first budget brought to Parliament by the Grand Coalition Government which was created after the signing of the National Accord on 28th February 2008.  The National Accord contemplated a budget that would be designed to target some of the long-term issues which caused conflict in Kenya, including mass youth unemployment, rural and urban poverty, poor infrastructure and widespread insecurity in Kenya.

However the proposal presented to Parliament did not address such issues, and looked very much like all budgets that have been presented before.  It was heavily tilted in favour of spending more on the Government than on the public.  In fact, the proposal says that out of every 100 shillings of tax money that the Government of Kenya will collect in the year 85 shillings will be spent on Recurrent Expenditure and only 15 shillings will be spent on Development Expenditure.  Recurrent expenditure refers to the day to day running costs of Government.  The development costs are those related to the supply of services by Government including infrastructure, health, education and public goods such as security. 

 

The recurrent expenditure as proposed by the Minister for Finance was as follows:
 All costs are Administrative, running and operating Costs (Ksh).

Current Grants to Government Agencies and Other Levels of Government
Budget support to Parastatals and State corporations who do not contribute a single cent to the national Budget

117,626,603,950

 

Basic Salaries – Permanent Employees
Government employs only 480,765 people. 80% of these people are teachers, Nurses, policemen, prison warders, administration Police, fire-fighters etc and earn less than kshs 15,000 which is then taxed. They also have to pay VAT. The President does not pay VAT.

94,223,122,903

 

Personal Allowance Paid as Part of Salary
Government employs only 480,765 people. 80% of these people are teachers, Nurses, policemen, prison warders, administration Police, fire-fighters etc and earn less than kshs 15,000 which is then taxed. They also have to pay VAT. The President does not pay VAT.

59,596,433,825

 

Routine Maintenance – Other Assets
We spend 14 Billion every year on Routine Maintenance of equipment

14,077,074,580

 

Subsidies to Non-Financial Public Enterprises
This is money for administrative costs for Free Secondary education

11,260,000,000

 

Specialized Materials and Supplies
Government allegedly spends 10.2Billion on uniforms and other ‘specialised supplies’.

10,175,347,552

 

Other Operating Expenses
The Government spends 6.7Billion on contracted services which are unexplained in the budget

6,720,100,456

 

Basic Wages -Temporary Employees
The Government spends 6.7Billion hiring temporary employees. The budget does not say how many or what for

6,666,975,302

 

Domestic Travel and Subsistence and Other Transport Costs
The Government will spend 5.4 Billion this year on travelling and accommodation

5,351,114,316

 

Rentals of Produced Assets
The Government will spend just under 4Billion shillings on Rent. What does the Government rent and for whom? Parliament should have asked for a register of rented assets, and utility bills to prove occupation

3,995,124,960

 

Acquisition of Strategic Stocks
The Government will spend only 3.4Billion to buy food for millions of starving Kenyans

3,400,000,000

 

Fuel Oil and Lubricants
The Government will spend 3.4 Billion on petrol for its cars.

3,377,150,268

 

Purchase of Vehicles and Other Transport Equipment
The Government will spend 3.1Billion on the purchase of new vehicles mostly luxurious guzzlers.

3,107,997,901

 

Emergency Relief and Refugee Assistance
2.8 Billion for emergency relief. Government has made an appeal for 3.5 Billion for relief food? Why? There is at least 2.8 Billion here and further expenditure elsewhere in the budget

2,794,900,000

 

Office and General Supplies and Services
The Government will spend 2.7Billion for purchase of General office supplies

2,686,130,546

 

Utilities Supplies & Services
The Government will spend 2.6 Billion on Electricity and Water

2,601,666,498

 

Foreign Travel and Subsistence and other Transportation Costs
The Government will spend 2.6 Billion on foreign travel even though the Ministry of Foreign affairs gets 7.4 Billion shillings to run foreign Missions abroad

2,596,211,024

 

Hospitality Supplies and Services
The Government will spend 2.5Billion on entertainment budgets.

2,514,397,509

 

Purchase of Specialized Plant Equipment and Machinery
The Government will buy unspecified specialized equipment worth 2.4 Billion

2,448,175,225

 

Training Expenses
Government spends 2.3 Billion on transport and training costs. Government does not train the population.

2,302,297,952

 

Communication, Supplies & Services
The Government will spend 2.2Billion on Courier and postal Services. The Government owns the Postal Corporation of Kenya.

2,233,342,027

 

Budget Reserves
An allocation of 2 billion shillings to the Finance Ministry for Budget reserves

2,000,000,000

 

Routine Maintenance – Vehicles and Other Transport Equipment
The Government will spend 1.8 Billion shillings on the cost of Motor Vehicle maintenance.

1,794,182,168

 

Printing, Advertising and Information Supplies & Services
The Government will spend 1.8Billion for Printing and Advertising costs

1,776,915,978

 

Purchase of Office Furniture and General Equipment
The Government will spend 1.7Billion shillings on Purchase of Office Furniture

1,763,920,273

 

Scholarships and Other Educational Benefits
The ministry of Foreign affairs has the largest allocation for scholarships in the budget at over 500 million shillings this year

1,691,192,325

 

Membership Fees and Dues and Subscriptions to International Organizations
Even though the consolidated fund provides 55 million shillings for this expenditure, the Government will spend a further 1.6 Billion for subscriptions to International Organizations.

1,548,088,501

 

Domestic Loans to Individuals and Households
This provision is allocated to one ministry – Higher Education for domestic loans to Individuals

1,367,902,862

 

Capital Grants to Government Agencies and Other Levels of Government
The Government will give a Capital Grant of 770 million shillings to the Ministry of Housing and 400 million shillings to Parliament (National Assembly).

1,170,000,000

 

Civil Contingency Reserves
A Blanket 1 Billion shillings allocation to the Ministry of Finance. When has there been activation of the Civil Conteningency Fund? Have you ever heard of it?

1,000,000,000

 

Personal Allowances Paid as Reimbursements
Extra allowances paid as part of salary. Why are salaries being paid as reimbursements?

961,227,063

 

Other Current Transfers, Grants and Subsidies
This allocation is for 7 ministries and the Judiciary

944,779,600

 

Insurance Costs
The government has made this provision for insurance. What does the Government Insure?

837,397,700

 

Government Pension and Retirement Benefits
Even though the Government provides 26.1 Billion shillings for pensions in the consolidated fund services, here it provides a further 765 million shillings for pensions.

765,207,476

 

Employer Contributions to Compulsory National Social Security Schemes
This is PAYE. It would appear that only 8 Ministries contribute to the NSSF scheme and only 687 Million shillings is contributed.

686,752,206

 

Refurbishment of Buildings
Parliament gets 390 million shillings to refurbish buildings. State House gets 30 million shillings. Foreign Affairs gets 38 million shillings, leaving 219 million for 22 other ministries. Could it be that the other 18 ministries do not own buildings – or are they in perfect shape?

642,112,812

 

Subsidies to Non-Financial Private Enterprises
This allocation of 465 million shillings is for free polytechnic training for the youth. There are 21 million youth in Kenya, and over 4 million leave secondary school each year. The figure allocated is equivalent to the budget for weapons and bullets of the Chief Armourer of the Administration Police Force.

465,000,000

 

Overhaul of Vehicles and other Transport Equipment
An allocation for overhaul of the expensively maintained vehicles that cost Kenyans a fortune

327,124,222

 

Principal Repayments on Guaranteed Domestic Debts taken over by Government
A strange entry for the ministry of finance for the Department of Government Investments and Public Enterprises – may refer to the National Bank of Kenya whose debts were taken over without Parliamentary authority this year

246,000,000

 

Rehabilitation of Civil Works
An allocation of 231 Million shillings goes to the Ministry of Water and only 140 thousand shillings goes to the Ministry of Agriculture

231,140,000

 

Research, Feasibility Studies, Project Preparation and Design, Project Supervision
Only 11 ministries are allocated expenditure in this category. Most Government projects are undertaken without feasibility studies or research. For example there are reports that the Thika Highway project is being implemented in the complete absence of a masterplan for entry into Nairobi

214,954,392

 

Personal Allowances Provided in Kind
A total Mystery. What is a payment provided in Kind?

206,351,140

 

Membership Fees and Dues and Subscriptions To International Organizations
Even though the consolidated fund provides 55 million for this expenditure, the Government will spend a further 1.6 Billion for subscriptions to International Organizations and yet another expenditure of 169 Million?

169,200,000

 

Purchase of Household Furniture and Institutional Equipment
Yes. The hungry tax payers pay almost 138 million shillings for household furniture!

137,940,987

 

Employer Contributions to Compulsory Health Insurance Schemes
132 Million shillings of this money is for the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK)

133,561,465

 

Other Capital Grants and Transfers
Guess who gets this? Parliament receives 99 Million shillings of this money

101,328,875

 

Construction of Buildings
82 Million Shillings for Parliament and 18.6 million for the disgraced Electoral Commission of Kenya

100,696,000

 

Construction and Civil Works
Parliament gets the largest share with 39 Million shillings; Ministry of Water gets 34.5 Million shillings; Ministry of Agriculture gets 1.7 Million shillings; leaving 2 ministries Livestock and Heritage with 600 thousand and 500 thousand shillings respectively.

76,424,520

 

Rehabilitation and Renovation of Plant, Machinery and Equipment
Even though there is another provision for maintenance and overhaul the government still provides more money for what it calls rehabilitation

56,270,548

 

Purchase of Buildings
50 Million shillings for Parliament and One Thousand shillings (1,000/-) for the Controller and Auditor General

50,001,000

 

Purchase of Certified Seeds, Breeding Stock and Live animals
Five Ministries benefit from this allocation. Not a single cent to the Ministry of Fisheries for fish stock breeding.

15,712,371

 

Exchange Rates Losses
Ministry of Foreign affairs has 10 Million shillings of this cash. Whatever for?

11,207,100

 

Overhaul and Refurbishment of Construction and Civil Works
Here the Government provides Ministry of Transport with 7 Million shillings, Ministry of Water 2.5 Million shillings, Ministry of Livestock 430 thousand shillings and Ministry of Agriculture with 273 thousand shillings

10,258,500

 

Employer Social Benefits
Guess who gets this? Parliament! Every single cent .

10,000,000

 

Reimbursements and Refunds
Education, Finance and office of the Prime Ministers are the beneficiaries of this unexplained expenditure

2,000,000

 

Acquisition of Land
What land will the Government buy for 500 thousand shillings?

500,000

 

Advances to Government Employees
An allocation for the Nairobi Metropolitan Development Ministry

50,000

 

Public Debt
Here you will find corrupt debts Ken Ren Fertilizer factory and Anglo Leasing Repayments worth about 7 billion shillings. They are treated as direct charges on the Consolidated Fund and are paid out before any other expenditure by the Government of Kenya. Amazingly Parliament did not spot or object to these payments!

146,527,616,570

 

Pensions and Gratuities
A provision for Pensions, mostly bogus. There are many public officials collecting multiple pensions. Pensions are a direct charge on the Consolidated Fund

26,158,474,279

 

Salaries and Allowances
Salaries for Constitutional Officers are a direct charge on the Consolidated Fund

880,127,989

 

Subscriptions to International Organizations
This expenditure has twice been provided for elsewhere in the budget and here is inserted as a direct charge on the Consolidated Fund

55,000,000

 

Miscellaneous
Any Kenyan can hazard a guess on what miscellaneous means

1,020,649,241

 

 

The Minister of Finance and the Government of Kenya are required under the Constitution of Kenya to obtain the approval of Parliament for the National Budget and for the taxation proposals which accompany it in the Finance Bill.  Parliament has the right to question why certain expenditure is proposed and can ask the Minister to amend his budgetary proposal.  This year, Parliament did not debate the whole budget.  Only 9 out of 55 Votes were actually discussed and the budget was passed by a process called the guillotine – a process by the way which is not legal anywhere but Kenya.  In other words without debate our representatives in Parliament authorized waste, extravagance and corrupt costs which cannot be justified and allowed Government to take 85% of the National Budget for itself, leaving nothing for Kenyans and especially poor Kenyans.

 

Members of Parliament have let Kenyans down and have refused to enact a law to tax them as Kenyans demanded. They have abused their power to pass laws and have engaged in breach of trust and self-dealing with a public power.  Every individual Member of the 10th  Parliament was expected to have good working knowledge of public finance, its processes and procedures and was expected to be able to know when the system was not working and what should be done to remedy the situation when the system failed – as it has. After the National Accord of February 28th 2008, the Grand Coalition Government of Kenya, which is the Executive branch, was meant to create the right atmosphere for work and production and economic recovery. They were expected to ensure that the resources of this country were harnessed for the benefit of the neediest and not for themselves exclusively. Parliament was meant to represent their constituents and ensure that there was No Taxation without Representation. Instead they have allowed taxation on Kenyans while deleting taxation proposals which affected them They have given no reasonable explanation for why they did what they did and have arrogantly stated their defiance of public opinion.

Parliament passed this crazy budget! Unscrutinized. They gave away our money to Anglo Leasing Crooks, To the Ken Ren Fertilizer factory Crooks and allowed over 200 Billion shillings of tax money to be allocated in wasteful expenditure.

 

Now they have betrayed their constituents and the country’s tens of millions of taxpayers look to the President to exercise his powers under the Constitution of Kenya to refuse his Assent to the Finance Bill until it is amended to tax MPs and give the poorest Kenyans immediate tax relief.

It is now time to act!.

WHITE RIBBON CAMPAIGN:
No Taxes for MPs,
No Taxes for Ordinary Kenyans

 

According to the 2008-2009 budget,
 -     Ordinary Kenyans contribute 71% of money spent by government daily mostly from VAT and consumption tax.

 -    74% of taxes collected are used to pay for big salaries, flashy cars, fuel, allowances and luxury trips mostly for politicians and a few top civil servants.

 -     More than 70% of civil servants are paid less than matatu drivers. The top 10% in civil service who are political appointees consume more than 50% of salaries and allowances. Very unfair!

-       Only 26% of taxes are used for roads, hospitals, schools, etc

 -     Most of the important things used by ordinary Kenyans including medicine are paid for by donors who contribute 41% of development funding.

-     Each year the government of Kenya borrows money which ordinary citizens have to repay through tax. The borrowed money is used on corruption schemes and projects that never benefit Kenyans.

Starving Kenyans are paying for the luxuries of a few politicians…

The 2008-2009 budget was passed by MPs without discussion. It reflects a bad and wasteful government that has stopped caring for the people despite the many hardships we continue to endure.

The cost of living is so high that 80% of Kenyans cannot afford one meal a day. Most Kenyans are casual workers who earning 100 shillings per day yet maize flour alone costs over 100 shillings. The   price of cooking oil, kerosene, electricity and transport is three times what it was last year.

Instead of helping ease the burden for Kenyans, the government will spend 7 billion shillings to buy and fuel big cars. Less than 1 billion shillings will be used for relief food for starving Kenyans. The Cabinet Office with only 237 employees will get four billion shillings but the Ministry for Cooperative Development which serves millions of Kenyans will only get 1 billion shillings.

 Each month 102 million shillings will be spent on household and press services for Kibaki, Raila and Kalonzo, which is more than the funding for roads nationwide. Kalonzo will get 100 million shillings for travel this year while people are starving in Ukambani.  Raila’s household funding is more than the money allocated for slum-upgrading.

The government has allocated 3.4 billion shillings for the import of maize so that the prices come down. Unfortunately, the maize is given to well-connected business people who sell it at the high prices, meaning that our taxes are corruptly used to make a few very rich while we continue to struggle. Right now there is a shortage of maize flour. How can that be, if the government has imported 3.4 billion shillings worth of maize?!

Politicians don’t care that 1.5 millions Kenyans are starving. Thousands of poor people are dying of hunger. Millions are struggling to survive under great difficulty. To fundraise for campaigns, both Kibaki and Raila collected billions from their friends. We remember when Kibaki’s friends each paid 1 million for lunch. Raila’s friends abroad were also paying millions to dine with him. If both Kibaki and Raila cared about our dying children they would raise funds for food. But even if they don’t care, we can afford to feed the hungry from our taxes  if the government stops wasting our taxes on buying and fueling big cars.

If MPs and judges pay taxes, there will be more money for food and medicine for all. If the maize purchased is not sold corruptly, the cost of maize flour will be Kshs. 30 only. If we stop spending billions on corrupt deals, we can remove taxes on all fuel. A litre of petrol will cost only Kshs. 45, kerosene will cost Kshs. 25 per litre. Electricity prices will fall by 65% and factories will not have to close down. Unemployment will reduce. 

Over 71% of the money the government is wasting comes from ordinary Kenyans through VAT and income tax. The government has removed all taxes for goods and services used by the President.  Is this fair?

 

Join the Partnership for Change in demanding equal treatment for all Kenyans. 

If Kenya’s Political Class won’t pay their taxes, NO KENYAN SHOULD PAY ANY TAXES ON FOOD, MEDICINE, FUEL OR ELECTRICITY.

On Jamhuri Day, December 12, 2008 we shall demand:

1. That  tax relief is given to the poor. All taxes on food, electricity be removed to reduce prices by between 30 and 60% and give relief for millions.

2. That all Kenyans be treated equally. Either all Kenyans, including judges and MPs are required to pay income taxes or NO KENYAN SHOULD PAY INCOME TAX. It is unfair to allow the rich and the powerful to evade tax while misusing the contributions of the poor. Even the poor have the right to withold their tax.

3. That the government stops paying for corruption including Anglo-Leasing and Ken Ren Fertiliser factory immediately. That the money committed to redemption of such “debts” be reallocated to development purposes, and the origin of such debts must be investigated to identify the culprits.

4. That the government spends at least 60% of the budget on development that will benefit all Kenyans instead of spending 85% of our budget on salaries, luxury, travel, allowances, flashy cars and fuel for a few politicians.

5. That the government stops borrowing money to pay for luxuries and corruption. The international community should assist the Kenyan people to clean their external debt register of bogus debts.
TAX BOYCOTT

 If the government fails to do that, we ask that all patriotic Kenyans join us in refusing to pay taxes to a cruel and wasteful government that does not care about us. We must withhold our taxes. We pay the most taxes (over 70%) through VAT and we can stop or reduce our payments to the Government.

KULIPA USHURU BILA MASHARTI NI KUWEZESHA WIZI, ULAFI, UFISADI NA UMANGIMEZA!!!

Ordinary Kenyans must not continue to give money to a government that does not spend the money wisely. We have enough problems to take care of with no support from the government.

 

What you can do:
 - Withhold your income and other taxes until changes are made.

 - Avoid buying products from shops that have ETRs and avoid buying items that have a bar-code so that you can avoid paying VAT.

 - Reduce or avoid consumption of pretaxed products such as beer, sodas and cigarettes .

 - Reduce or avoid purchase of luxury goods until changes are made in solidarity with the poor.

 - Buy products from local kiosks that do not charge VAT.

- Attend the official Jamhuri Day celebrations and join other Kenyans in demanding for tax relief. Wear a white ribbon or black T-shirt to show support.

 - Participate in prayers, demonstrations, processions and other non violent actions.

 - Give this message to other Kenyans.

- Communicate your discontent to politicians.

Join the Partnership for Change. Visit our websites for more information:

Watch Enough is Enough – A Call to Action by the Partnership for Change Part 1-4

 

        www.marsgroupkenya.org

            www.kengonetwork.org

BE PART OF REAL POSITIVE CHANGE IN KENYA. TAKE CONTROL, TAKE ACTION, DEMAND CHANGE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Enough is Enough: Kenya’s Survival Depends on Kenyans!! a Call to Action by the Partnership for Change

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: OUR SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON YOU!!


2008 is a year many of us will not forget quickly.
It is a year that began with shocking violence; when Kenyans attacked other Kenyans. Kofi Annan came to Kenya and a deal was made between Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki to share power. Our constitution was changed quickly by Parliament to accommodate the National Accord which created the office of the Prime Minister along with several commissions of inquiry.

We have had many commissions before. We are weary of non-performing commissions. Many Kenyans think commissions are a waste of public funds that could go to better use. Others think commissions are a way for friends of politicians to get well-paid jobs and for lawyers to earn astronomical sums of money at the expense of the public. Many are cynical – after all, except for those reports that recommend the increase of salaries for the high and mighty like the Cockar Commission on Members of Parliaments’ Salaries, findings of Commissions are never implemented.

Considering the great loss of life, limb and property, Kenyans expect the commissions created by the National Accord to be different. We expect their recommendations to be implemented. Too many people lost their lives – at least 1,133 according to the Waki Report. Too many Kenyans were displaced, impoverished by arson, murder and the chaos we endured. Those displaced are counted in the hundreds of thousands. So, no politicians should play politics this time round. The cost of the botched election and the post-election violence was too much. National reconciliation is necessary and the Waki Report is our best and possibly last chance to make peace with each other and face the truth squarely – there are killers amongst us and they are enjoying impunity because of their high positions and connections in society. These people must be identified and placed before the law for judgement – now. If we squander the chance, the future will be more violent, history will judge us harshly.

The Independent Review Commission (Kriegler) was created to help us understand what went so wrong with our elections that we ended up slaughtering each other. It recommended that we need a total overhaul of our electoral laws, that the Electoral Commission of Kenya needs to be changed, and made a judicial finding that the elections in 2007 were so flawed that neither Kibaki nor Raila can claim a mandate based on a free and fair victory. To avoid mayhem in future elections, we need to act now and implement the Kriegler Commission’s recommendations.

Yet, our politicians have made garbage out of the Kriegler report. Both the PNU and the ODM, the principal antagonists, thump their chests and claim victory. In doing so, such politicians ignore the core essence of the Kriegler report; that our electoral laws are so flawed that we will fight and continue fighting every time there are elections. The truth is that the current electoral laws cannot deliver a free and fair election. Judge Kriegler may have his shortcomings in diplomacy but he is right; Kenya’s electoral laws need an immediate overhaul.

The Commission of Inquiry into the Post Election Violence (Waki) had the duty of finding out what and who was responsible for the post elections violence. The commission made a report and gave a list of those implicated as the organizers and financiers of the violence to the two principals; the President and the Prime Minister; and also to Kofi Annan, the Chair of the Panel of Eminent African Persons who brokered the National Accord which stopped the violence on February 28th 2008. Within days of the reports publication on October 15th 2008, Members of Parliament started holding rallies and night meetings to condemn the findings and recommendations in the Waki Report.

Do our dead children, raped mothers and burnt homes matter that little to the politicians in PNU and ODM? Thousands of families lost all their worldly belongings when they were uprooted from their homes. Kenyans of all ethnic origins were evicted from their homes. There are Kenyans of all ethnic origins in so called internally displaced persons’ camps surviving on the charity of the few well-wishers who have resources to spare. Does no politician care about our well being?

Politicians are rubbishing the Waki report. It is, in their opinion, hearsay and rumours. They insist that those amongst them who are possibly listed as perpetrators and financiers of post election violence are being treated unfairly, in breach of the constitutional right to be heard. They are right, our laws require a hearing before condemnation, but who heard the thousands that were killed? When the police shot dead the youth, who heard them? When the Kiambaa church was burnt, who heard the victims who died in the conflagration that started because of political incitement? When 11 members of Mr Ndege’s family were burnt alive in Naivasha, who heard them? When demonstrators were shot and gunned down like hunted animals in the slums of Kisumu, Nairobi, Naivasha, Nakuru, Mombasa and Eldoret, who heard them? Yes, it is important that every person accused of committing crimes be given a fair trial. That does not, however, mean that we look the other way when the reports point fingers at our blood-soaked political class (and more worrying business leaders).

There are other commissions that were formed by the National Accord.
The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) that politicians are quick to mention was included. So was the National Ethnic and Race Relations Commission (NERC). The TJRC is supposed to address historical injustices from 1963 to 2007. The NERC is intended to address tribal issues so that we can avoid violent encounters between tribes in the future. What hope do these have of ever being formed or of working if we trash the Kriegler and Waki commission reports?

We must remind the political class that it was our children that were killed, our wives, daughters and mothers that were raped, our homes that were burnt. We will forgive, but forgiveness is ours. No one, not even the President can forgive on our behalf. We remind the politicians also that our sons and husbands have gone missing. Until their safe return to our homes there shall be no amnesty for anyone. The same razor that shaved our youth shall shave our politicians. We remind the President and the Prime Minister that they broke ranks with their party MPs to make the deal we call the National Accord. We expect them to break ranks with their party MPs if that is what it takes to bring to book the accused. Both President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga were asking for an opportunity to lead Kenyans. We are asking them to show leadership at this time and to join the people of Kenya who are demanding that justice not only be done, but be seen to be done in our country.

As if Kenyans have not suffered enough at their hands, the Kenya Police and the military are increasingly reported to be abusing the human rights of innocent citizens in Mandera, Mt. Elgon, during the Post-Election period, against the Mungiki in 2007…We have no objections to reasonable measures taken to restore peace and security. We, however, object to insecurity, violence and abuse of human rights- regardless of who is causing it- and demand that claims of such abuses by state agents, whether police or military, be investigated and stern action taken against identified perpetrators. We demand that the ongoing military operation in Mandera that has put innocent Kenyans in concentration camps where beatings and other forms of torture are reported be halted with immediate effect, and action taken against any officers guilty of torturing Kenyans.

We demand that Members of the 10th Parliament respect all the provisions of the National Accord that gives the Grand Coalition Government its legality. Selective application of the provisions of the National Accord is not acceptable. The National Accord is the Law. It is a part of our Constitution. It must be implemented in full. The recommendations of the Independent Review Commission (Kriegler) and those of the Commission of Inquiry on Post Election Violence (Waki) must be fully implemented. Those implicated in the post election violence must be dealt with decisively, without fear or favour.

We demand that the Government cut its spending for the benefit of the poorest of the poor. For example, the Kshs 1.229 billion allocated to household and press services of the three top families would be better spent on buying relief food for the millions of Kenyans who cannot afford to buy food.

Reduction of the Recurrent Expenditure of Government and an increase in spending on the alleviation of the suffering of the poorest of the poor is an urgent national priority otherwise there will be reason to call the Grand Coalition a Grand Collusion against Kenyans.

The Grand Collusion: Things you should know: Since January 2008, the cost of food and basic items has quadrupled. The cost of maize floor- the staple food for most Kenyans- has now reached the Kshs. 100 mark. Kerosene which serves as fuel for poor Kenyans has more than doubled in cost. The cost of electricity has tripled. Soap, sugar, cooking oil, fresh produce have all risen beyond the capacity of the ordinary Kenyan household. Parents have to choose between sharing pitifully small and poorly cooked meals with their starving children. Millions of adult Kenyans are now surviving on only one small meal per day.

Feeding the President, Prime Minister and Vice-President:
The Grand Collusion Government takes every opportunity to remind us that the rising cost of living is a global problem. Granted, there is a problem with the rising cost of food and energy worldwide. But it is also true that in the 2008-2009 budget, the starving masses of Kenyans will pay a whopping Kshs. 1.229 billions for the household and press publicity needs of the families of the top three leaders- Kibaki, Raila, and Kalonzo. Those three leaders together with their wives and children and press crew will consume from the national budget approximately 16 million USD. This is unfair and intolerable because the amount of public funds spent on the three top households is greater than is allocated for building roads (Kshs 1.2 billion). It is greater than the amount of money allocated to the Youth Enterprise Fund & Empowerment Centres (Kshs 750 million).

State House household and publicity costs alone will consume more money
(Kshs. 888 million) than the amount allocated to Cooperative Development and Marketing (Kshs 882 million). The Vice President’s household gobbles up more money (Kshs. 231 million) than what is allocated to Northern Kenyan and Arid Lands where Kenyans, including those in Ukambani Vice President Kalonzo’s backyard who continue to starve to death (Kshs. 228 million). Together the Prime Minister and the Vice President will get more money for their households and publicity (Kshs. 342 million) than the budget of the Ministry of Nairobi Metropolitan Development which is expected to uplift the standards of living for millions of Nairobi residents, especially the poor slum-dwellers(Kshs. 260 million).

Put bluntly, Mwai & Lucy Kibaki, Raila & Ida Odinga, Kalonzo and Pauline Musyoka – 6 people- will consume more money (Kshs 1.229 billion) than the amount of money allocated for building the Business Process Outsourcing Park which is expected to employ 10,000 Kenyans (Kshs. 900 million). 6 people have been allocated more money for food and media than a facility that will employ 10,000 Kenyans! How can this be right?

The rising cost of living is a local problem: The Grand Coalition Government is spending money that could provide food for 340,000 Kenyans on only 6 people. That’s a very local problem! It involves poor mathematics, lack of morals, gluttony, selfishness, poor planning and abuse of office and public trust. There is nothing global about the difficulties we are facing. Our problem is local. We have allowede a situation where every month Kshs 100 million is spent on 6 people and their households – that;s right Kshs 34 million per day for household services and media for 6 people! Finding Kshs. 34 million per day to feed 6 people is not a global problem. Kshs. 34 million, even at the expensive cost of Kshs. 100, is enough to give a packet of maize flour to 340,000 families every day of a 365 day year. This is what a moral Government would do.

Factories are closing down because of the increased cost of electricity. “The government cannot assist, it is “a global problem”. The cost of fuel now stands at Kshs. 100 per litre. Ironically, the government keeps urging struggling Kenyans to take action against multi-national oil companies to demand a price reduction. The government conveniently forgets to tell Kenyans that for every Kshs. 100 spent on fuel, the government collects Kshs. 47 through different taxes. There is nothing global about the Kenya Revenue Authority collecting Kshs. 47 out of 100 from poor Kenyans, and giving it to the Government, less the KRA’s “commission (about 4% of tax), which spends this money on the privileged few who work for it rather than on development for the neediest! All that would be needed would be for the government to zero-rate fuel- even if just Kerosene which is used for cooking- to offer noticeable relief. At the current world prices Kerosene, when zero-rated, would cost less than Kshs. 25 per litre, while petrol would only cost Kshs. 45 per litre.

There are many reports of Kenyans starving in
Northern Kenya, in Eastern, Rift Valley, Coast and Central provinces. The government cannot assist, it is “a global problem”. Poor pastoralists in Northern Kenya are watching their children and animals die because they cannot access water and pasture. Starvation results in tension between neighboring communities which have been reduced to a state of nature in which the strongest survive by forcibly taking control of viable pasture land and water resources. Instead of dealing with the root causes of resource conflicts, by providing the people with relief, the Grand Coalition Government is responding with unwarranted high-handedness and brutalizing its own citizens.

Thus we read credible media reports of entire villages being subjected to torture by security forces. Shocking reports of human rights abuses are in the public domain, compiled at public expense by respected bodies such as the Government’s own Kenya National Commission on Human Rights. Grassroot networks report also that people in these “security operation” areas are being rounded up in the wee hours of the morning and indiscriminately beaten and maimed by security forces. How is it tolerable that Jock Scott type operations are happening in Kenya in the year 2008, and particulalry in view of Agenda One of the National Accord?

The Kshs. 1.229 billion we are spending on the households and vanity of a few is enough to drill more than 2,450 boreholes in arid areas at a cost Kshs. 500,000 per borehole. If the military were mobilised to drill the boreholes instead of beating starving Kenyans, the amount may be enough to offer a permanent solution to the water and pasture problems that cause fights to erupt in the arid areas. Better off Kenyans, who do not live in the arid lands, have remained silent on these matters – but for how much longer will we be silent? Perhaps they will speak when their turn for abuse comes?


While insisting that it understands the difficulties facing Kenyans
the government has allowed local authorities across Kenya to double the cost of vehicle parking fees in major towns. Effectively that translates to an increase in the cost of travel for all commuting Kenyans since the government offers no parking for public transport vehicles. An increase in daily parking fees will affect the poorest commuters most as travel fares increase. You will walk to work or to look for work. Announcing the increase Mudavadi, a Deputy Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition Government who no doubt has the best possible official transportation, said that the increase was made necessary by a need to raise local authority revenues and the fact that, in his opinion, Kenyans have a lot of money. Most local authorities have formed the habit of stealing all cash revenues and this is documented by the Ministry of Local Government. So how can it be government policy to ignore local authority corruption in allowing them to “hit” the commuters for more cash for their bottomless pit of councillors’ allowances and perks? Deputy Prime Minister Mudavadi needs to do some soul searching on this one, and consider the macro-economic effect of his casual statements of alleged facts.

There is grand corruption in the Grand Collusion Government – just read the papers. Public assets are being disposed off with wanton negligence, and sometimes in contempt of Parliament, and in breach of Kenyan privatization and disposal of public assets laws. Hotels worth billions are being sold for a song. Our railway services were given to a company which has never given a single cent to the Treasury. Why we ever required to partner with this failing investor is a mystery. Today, Kenya Railways generates paper profits, but when it ran the only railway we have (Mombasa to Kisumu with a few branch lines into central Kenya and rift valley) iot was a cash cow for politically correct looters who stole its workers’ pensions, sold its tracks for scrap, and grabbed its physical assets including prime land in urban areas. Since Independence 45 years ago the Railway Corporation sucked up billions of public funds and yet it never invested in adding a single inch of railway track – yet during the same period the Kenyan Government has borrowed and repaid international creditors over Kshs 11.5 billion! Transport empires were built as the railway ceased to transport human and other cargo. The losses reported at Kenya Railways were political. Politicians created the impression of losses so that they could pillage without sanction. Grand corruption meant that Kenya Railways which was generating billions each year was given away for free. Pensioners of the railway service have now been left fighting for pensions with poorer Kenyans who live in squalid Kenya Railways stables without decent water and sewer service. Meanwhile, the Grand Coalition Government promises action that is never taken.

In January 2008, the ODM leadership convinced thousands of Kenyans and the international community that the judicial system was so flawed that they could not file a petition to challenge the results of the presidential elections at the High Court in Kenya. On their instigation poor Kenyans took to mass action organizing sustained protests. Others took to violence against ordinary Kenyans for a myriad of reasons (both inducements and incitements). When asked to request the violent protestors to cease hostilities, the Prime Minister replied on several occasions that he could not ask Kenyans to stop the violent protests; they were only exercising their democratic rights – after all, the courts in Kenya couldn’t be trusted to settle the dispute.

We are concerned that 75 ODM Members of Parliament have resolved to unanimously reject the results of the Waki Commission which include a recommendation that those (politicians) suspected of masterminding the wanton carnage and destruction of property early this year be tried by a tribunal to be created in Kenya for that purpose or, failing that, to be tried at the International Criminal Court at the Hague. Reports were that the decision by the ODM MPs was unanimous which would suggest that, contrary to reports in the media to the contrary, the Prime Minister is included among the ODM politicians who seem to have found new confidence in the judicial system. If the judicial system in Kenya was too flawed for the ODM to file election petitions how, pray tell, is such a flawed system expected to offer justice in cases where the rich, powerful and mighty are accused of crimes against humanity? Have the ODM’s general membership even been consulted on this policy of disobedience to the National Accord?

In an attempt to catch up with the ODM brotherhood, PNU politicians hurriedly met to discuss the Waki report. They, too, found it wanting. Some in their ranks are rumoured to be included in the list of the financiers and organisers of the violence. Urgent action was needed to protect their own. A few months ago, gangs of PNU politicians ran helter skelter around the country insisting that the youths that were arrested for taking part in the violence should not be pardoned. During this year’s labour day speech, the President said that those asking for amnesty for the youth must be insane. When the PNU golden boys are on the chopping block, the President suddenly wants Kenyans to be more forgiving. Hogwash.

What can you do to change the tide?

Send/give this message to as many people as possible.

Demand the full implementation of the National Accord including the Kriegler and Waki commission reports

Participate in non-violent actions (prayers, processions, demonstrations,wear a white ribbon etc)

Communicate your discontent to your MP, political party, the President and the Prime Minister.

Read more to understand what the politicians are doing, and teach others.

The Partnership for Change is an initiative of the Kenya Network of Grassroots Organizations (KENGO) and the Mars Group Kenya.

Visit our websites for more information:

www.kengonetwork.org

www.marsgroupkenya.org

KENGO: a consortium of recognized active and registered development groups comprising of self-help groups, welfare groups, community based organizations, clubs, churches, trade unions, NGOs and social movements based and operating in Kenya. With more than 2,000 member organizations, KENGO is established in 7 provinces in Kenya, and in the places where the poorest of the poor are.

Mars Group Kenya: a leadership, governance, accountability and media watchdog organization. It is an Internet based organization that monitors and tracks all public institutions and offices. With over 1.6 terabytes of information on its websites, Mars Group Kenya documents and disseminates information for evidence-based-bottom-up-advocacy and support to civil society. It has over 7,700 registered subscribers who include individuals in government, the private sector, civil society, media, academia and the international community.

Ambassador Muthaura Has No Parliamentary Authority or Powers to Give Pauline Musyoka Ksh 400,000 Per Month (4.8 Million Per Year) for Her Charities. Kenya’s Controller and Auditor General Must Exercise Her Constitutional Powers to Disallow the Muthaura Gift and Put an End to Political Patronage.

Ambassador Muthaura has no Parliamentary Authority or powers to give Pauline Musyoka Ksh 400,000 per month (4.8 million per year) for her charities. Kenya’s Controller and Auditor General must exercise her constitutional powers to disallow the Muthaura gift and put an end to political patronage.

Illegal Charity: at public expense

A debate rages on in the Kenyan press with split opinion about whether Pauline Musyoka, wife of Kenya’s Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, should have kept the Ksh 400,000 a month she was “offered” by the Head of the Public Service, Ambassador Muthaura as compensation for “wise counsel and guidance which contribute to the public good in the course of nation building activities, besides playing hostess during national and other official public engagements.”

Mrs. Musyoka has said she will after all accept the offer but give it away to several charities, unlike Mrs. Ida Odinga who sensibly refused a similar offer last week.

It’s not really about the amount of money involved.  The problem Mrs. Musyoka will have, going forward, is that Ambassador Muthaura’s “offer” is, ipso facto, illegal and unconstitutional regardless of her charitable intentions. This illegality will remain unless and until a supplementary revised national budget is approved by Parliament. It is doubtful that Parliament would approve such expenditure if it was asked. This exposes her to surcharge and other embarrassment if the Controller and Auditor General reports adversely.

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Patronage system:

Ambassador Muthaura’s gift unwittingly exposes a secret and longstanding practice in Government of discretionary and arbitrary spending on the personal comfort of the families of high-ranking officials. Under Kenyan law, Mrs. Musyoka is not actually entitled to public funds as the Vice President’s wife per se. To complicate matters further, apparently Mrs. Musyoka already has a job at the Central Bank of Kenya.

Mrs. Musyoka is certainly not the only current beneficiary of such relational largesse. What is different this time around is purely a question of bad timing. If Kenyan taxpayers were not already so overburdened by the economic hardships resulting from the political crisis following the 2007 elections, the debate might have been far more muted as was the case last year when Ambassador Muthaura announced a pre-election gift of Ksh 500,000 per month to President Kibaki’s wife, Lucy Kibaki.

However, and unfortunately for Ambassador Muthaura, the implicit corruption in such glaring bureaucratic manipulations of public spending choices is clear. Over time, Kenya has developed a patronage system which transfers money from ordinary taxpayers to high income individuals ostensibly so that they can act as intermediaries in assisting the poor. The patronage gravy train culture is well engrained amongst Kenyan officialdom. The logic of spousal allowances of the type offered to Mrs. Musyoka is after all really no different from the argument Kenyan parliamentarians advanced last year when they voted themselves “severance pay” from public coffers. The worry is that the political patronage system has run wild – whether it can be stopped before the bank is completely bust is the only question yet to be answered.

Legal Position: Ambassador Muthaura is subject to the Law

No matter the justification (charitable purposes included) Kenyan law requires all Government of Kenya expenditure to be authorized by Parliament and to be specified in the National Budget. Mrs. Musyoka’s charity is not so authorized or specified – and certainly is not exempt from existing legal strictures. Ambassador Muthaura presumably knows all this but for whatever reason has decided to quietly ride out the storm rather then correct a most obvious error of judgement of public opinion.

Legally, Ambassador Muthaura is skating on thin ice. It would not be going too far to say that in fact Ambassador Muthaura’s actions are illegal, unconstitutional and punishable by Kenyan laws. The Constitution is clear – Ambassador Muthaura the highest ranked civil servant is under a duty to ensure that he does not assume powers which are reserved to Parliament by rewriting the National Budget to insert unapproved expenditure into Government operations. If Parliament last June had wanted to give Mrs. Musyoka an allowance it would surely have done so. As far as the Government Financial Management Act of 2004 goes, Mr. Muthaura may find himself personally liable for any losses occasioned by his recent gift-giving.

Scrutiny of the entire 1517 pages of 2008/2009 Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure of the Government of Kenya for the Year ending 20th June 2009, and specifically the details of personal emoluments and other allowances, will not reveal any budget line item for allowances to the Vice President’s wife for any purpose. When the budget was tabled on June 12th 2008, the Minister of Finance did not ask Parliament for authority to withdraw from the Consolidated Fund an allowance for the spouse of the Vice President. If no parliamentary approval was sought, and no parliamentary approval was given, then many argue that it surely follows the pay offer by Mr. Muthaura is extra budgetary and illegal.

The Acting Minister of Finance, John Michuki, says he is unaware of how these payments are to be made. Given that Section 6(1) of the Government Financial Management Act 2004 says “no expenditure involving a charge on the Consolidated Fund shall be incurred without the general or specific Authority of the treasury” on what authority or with whose permission is Ambassador Muthaura directing these payments should be made? Few will argue that Kenyans are not entitled to an answer to this question; after all it is their tax money which is being used.

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Whether he likes it or not Ambassador Muthaura is subject to Kenyan law. He is an accounting officer and therefore responsible to the Treasury to ensure that no expenditure is made unless it is “lawful, authorized, effective, efficient, economical and transparent.” So says Section 18 of the Government Financial Management Act.

Under the law, Ambassador Muthaura bears personal responsibility (or liability) for public funds misallocated under his charge. Section 33 of the Government Financial Management Act says that Government officers (which applies to Ambassador Muthaura) are “personally liable to the Government for any losses or damages occasioned” by their handling of public money.

Unless some assurance has been given that no consequences shall ensue, Ambassador Muthaura should pause and reconsider his decisions. The fact is that for what he has done, each year public officers are named and shamed by the Controller and Auditor General’s reports on the accounts of Government. Every year, some offending officers are surcharged for losses, disciplined and occasionally prosecuted. However, no-one of his rank has fallen foul of the law, yet.

Advice for Kalonzo Musyoka:

For the Vice President this affair has its own perils. The Vice President is a man of the law who recently campaigned for the Presidency as ‘Mr. Clean’. It is bad political judgement on his part not to understand that the way this affair is going, he looks like the real beneficiary of the Muthaura offer.

The wags would say to him: ‘Yes, indeed Pauline will give away the money to charity, but whose political career benefits out of her charitable work? What happened to your charitable foundation?  And what about your wife’s much commented on job at the Central Bank of Kenya?’

Friends might say more to him: ‘You are already extremely well taken care off – remember many don’t even want you to live in the new Karen mansion that is being built for you at great public expense. You don’t want to look as if you are taking advantage of your position in this time of economic hardship – the charity should be done by the Government not you.’

A reading of the National Budget (as contained in the 2008/2009 Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure of the Government of Kenya for the Year ending 20th June 2009) reveals the extent of the taxpayers’ investment in the personal comfort of the Vice-President and his household. Objective persons might conclude that it appears that the Kalonzo Musyoka household is more than adequately provided for by the taxpayers of Kenya – perhaps even more than generously.

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What does the Vice President get?

The total cost of the Vice-President’s household and the press service which follows him at home and abroad is Ksh 230.7 million this year alone. The VP’s house allowance is Ksh 2.4 million (Ksh 200,000 per month). You will find this expenditure at page 234 of the 2008/2009 Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure of the Government of Kenya for the Year ending 20th June 2009. Look for Vote R05 Office of the Vice President and Ministry of Home Affairs, under vote head No. 240 – Vice President Press unit and Household Services.

The Vice President’s household has an annual budget of Ksh 4.3 million for hospitality – about Ksh 358,000 per month. Just over Ksh 30 million is budgeted for rent under the VP’s Household budget line. The household can consume Ksh 14 million per year on fuel and stay within budget, while also spending Ksh 11 million on routine maintenance of vehicles, and a further Ksh 6.5 million on maintenance of other assets in the households. This year, over Ksh 75 million has been allocated to the VP’s household for domestic and foreign travel. Last year the Vice President’s official household comprised of 57 staff and there were 12 cars.

Clearly, the elevated political status of the Kalonzo Musyoka family is already well taken care of. Taking any more from poor Kenyans appears churlish and inconsiderate.

To those responsible for correcting the situation:

When all is said and done, certain institutions should have stepped in to speak and act for Kenyans, but they haven’t. The Controller and Auditor General being just one of them. Perhaps the Controller and Auditor General might exercise her constitutional powers under section 100 of the Constitution to disallow the Muthaura gift, and put an end to the patronage he is dispensing.

Certainly, Parliament must put its foot down and stop Ambassador Muthaura from running amok with public funds. They should remind him that it is illegal to do what he has done, and punish him if he is recalcitrant. Parliament should also urgently review the proposed expenditure on the households and personal comfort (e.g. limousines) of the top national leadership. Where waste can be trimmed the savings should be directed to development expenditure for the real benefit of the public.  Billions can be saved.

One also expects Kenya’s voluble civil society to join the debate pro bono publico, but sadly only the much oppressed Bunge La Mwananchi stands out in keeping the flame of accountability alive on this issue. Better funded and organized groups are silent on this important but seemingly sensitive issue. We have in mind for example the recently formed National Taxpayers’ Association which needs to urgently start speaking out on the misuse of public funds for political patronage in Kenya.

Mwalimu Mati

Mars Group Kenya

The Relevant Law:

The Constitution of the Republic of Kenya

Section 99. Consolidated Fund and other funds of the Government of Kenya.

(1) Subject to subsection (2), all revenues or other moneys raised or received for the purposes of the Government of Kenya shall be paid into and form a Consolidated Fund from which no moneys shall be withdrawn except as may be authorized by this Constitution or by an Act of Parliament (including an Appropriation Act) or by a vote on account passed by the National Assembly under section 101.

(2) Provision may be made by or under an Act of Parliament for any revenues or other moneys received for the purposes of the Government of Kenya to be paid into some public fund (other than the Consolidated Fund) established for a specific purpose, or to be retained by the authority that received them for the purpose of defraying the expenses of that authority, but no moneys shall be withdrawn from any such public fund unless the issue of those moneys has been authorized by or under a law.

(3) Where any moneys are charged by this Constitution or any Act of Parliament upon the Consolidated Fund or any other public fund of the Government of Kenya, they shall be paid out of that fund by the Government of Kenya to the person or authority to whom payment is due.

(4) Parliament may prescribe the manner in which withdrawals may be made from the Consolidated Fund or any other fund of the Government of Kenya.

Section 100. Authorization of expenditure from Consolidated Fund by appropriation.

(1) The Minister for the time being responsible for finance shall cause to be prepared and laid before the National Assembly in each financial year estimates of the revenues and expenditure of the Government of Kenya for the next following financial year.

(2) When the estimates of expenditure (other than expenditure charged upon the Consolidated Fund by this Constitution or by any Act of Parliament) have been approved by the National Assembly, a Bill, to be known as an Appropriation Bill, shall be introduced into the Assembly, providing for the issue from the Consolidated Fund of the sums necessary to meet that expenditure and the appropriation of those sums, under separate votes for the several services required, to the purposes specified therein.

Section 101. Authorization of expenditure in advance of appropriation.

If the Appropriation Act for a financial year has not come into operation, or is not likely to come into operation, by the beginning of that financial year, the National Assembly may, by a vote on account, authorize the withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund of moneys (not exceeding in total one-half of the sums included in the estimates of expenditure for that year that have been laid before the Assembly) for the purpose of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the Government of Kenya during that year until such time as the Appropriation Act comes into operation, but any moneys so withdrawn shall be included, under separate votes for the several services in respect of which they were withdrawn, in the Appropriation Act.

Section 104. Remuneration of certain officers.

(1) There shall be paid to the holders of the offices to which this section applies such salary and such allowances as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament. [FN: 13 of 1977, s. 4]

(2) The salaries and any allowances payable to the holders of the offices to which this section applies shall be charged upon the Consolidated Fund.

Section 105. Controller and Auditor-General.

(1) There shall be a Controller and Auditor-General whose office shall be an office in the public service.

(2) It shall be the duty of the Controller and Auditor-General—

(a) to satisfy himself that any proposed withdrawal from the Consolidated Fund is authorized by law, and, if so satisfied, to approve the withdrawal;

(b) to satisfy himself that all moneys that have been appropriated by Parliament and disbursed have been applied to the purposes to which they were so appropriated and that the expenditure conforms to the authority that governs it;

(5) In the exercise of his functions under subsections (2), (3) and (4), the Controller and Auditor-General shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Prime Minister Raila Odinga Will Spend Kenya Shillings 1.2 Billion (100 Million Shillings Per Month) on Their Households and Press Units This Financial Year.

What the “Top Three” get for their households and press units:

Household services & press unit (kshs)

President

888.5 million

Vice President

230.7 million

Prime Minister

110.6 million

Total

1.229 billion

Compare this with the entire recurrent budget of some selected Ministries/ Projects

Ministry/ PROJECT

Total Recurrent Budget for Ministry (ksh)

Roads

1.2 billion

Cooperative Development and Marketing

882 million

Northern Kenya & Arid Lands

228 million

Lands

1.4 billion

Nairobi Metropolitan Development

260 million

Business Process Outsourcing Park (Nairobi) – to employ 10,000 Kenyans

900 million

Youth Enterprise Fund & Youth Empowerment Centres

750 million

Free Tuition in Accredited Technical Training and Vocational Colleges countrywide

465 million

Source: 2008/2009 Estimates of Recurrent Expenditure of the Government of Kenya

Considering the economic condition of Kenyans, and the country’s substantial development finance needs, can we afford to pump so much into the personal comfort of so few? Relative to other budgetary provisions, the household budgets cannot be defended much longer. The amount of public funds spent on the households of the top three public officers in Kenya is truly staggering.

Thankfully, the press reports that Ida Odinga, the Prime Minister’s popular wife, has rejected the extra-budgetary and unauthorized Ksh 400,000 per month offered as compensation for “wise counsel and guidance which contribute to the public good in the course of nation building activities, besides playing hostess during national and other official public engagements.”

The irregular, and illegal, offer Mrs. Odinga turned down has apparently also been made by the Head of the Public Service Ambassador Francis Muthaura to Pauline Musyoka, wife of the Vice President. In our view Mrs. Ida Odinga was quite right to refuse the extra money offered to her by the Head of the Civil Service. Mrs. Musyoka would do us proud if she followed suit. Nevertheless, this episode suggests that this is an appropriate time for a very serious discussion about the amount of money consumed by the top three households in Kenya. Whether or not Ambassador Muthaura is entitled to rewrite the National Budget passed by Parliament – ex post facto and by circular – is a matter for another day.

Money for Nothing?

To their credit Kenyans, tired of being taken for granted, objected to Ambassador Muthaura’s extra-budgetary largesse. Both Ambassador Muthaura’s offers attracted considerable media coverage and public attention. This is as it should be. Worldwide, such payments from State coffers to pay relations of political and state officers are unpopular and controversial. For example every year, in the United Kingdom, a vigorous debate ensues about who among Her Majesty the Queen’s relatives should be dropped from the Civil List as recipients of granted public funds. The Civil List is the annual grant of money by the UK Parliament to the Monarch and other members of the Royal Family. Specific sums are allocated to named members. In 1981 the Queen undertook to refund to the Exchequer the sum granted to three of her cousins. In 1993, following some pressure form public and parliamentary opinion, she limited the payments from the list further so that only Her Majesty, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Late Queen Mother were eligible. In the same year it was also announced that the Queen would pay income tax on her personal income. Today, the cost of sustaining the civil list in the UK amounts to about UK Sterling 12.7 million (Ksh 1.6 billion). Whether Kenya, a much poorer country and one in which we have no monarchic tradition should allow public funds to be used for the maintenance of the families of public officers who are already amongst the highest paid in the world is a decision Kenyans must choose to make.

Living Large:

Unfortunately, the culture in public circles of living large at the expense of the larger public is well engrained. Ambassador Muthaura’s offer should be seen through the lens of a tradition of rewarding undeserving people from public funds in an arbitrary and discriminatory fashion. Tax money is collected and used not for the benefit of the public but for the personal comfort of the few – the higher up the totem pole, the more money needlessly spent in an opaque fashion. The Beijing Olympics “delegation” – 100 people – Ksh 100 million spent – being another recent example.

Regardless, few Kenyans are aware that the taxpayer is committed annually to pay far more for the households of the top three public officials than the Ksh 400,000 spousal allowances which are the current focus of debate.

Did you know for example that there are only three entries in the entire National Budget for “Household Services and Catering Services? These are for the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya. There are also only three entries in the entire National Budget for “Press Units” – also for the same three high public officers. The amounts provided for under these entries are alarmingly huge. Whether or not such expenditures can be justifiable is very debatable as the public outrage over the “Spouses’ Allowances” demonstrates.

So, what does the National Budget 2008 say Kenyans are also paying for?

The Presidential Household and Press

The total cost of the President’s household and the press service is Ksh 888.5 million this year. The National Budget says that the cost of maintaining the official residences of President Kibaki (6 State Lodges and State House Nairobi) is Ksh 823 million for this year. The President’s Press Unit (comprising 37 staff) is Ksh 65 million this year. The President has 388 staff employed in all the State residences and the use of 149 cars.

The Vice-Presidential Household and Press

The total cost of the Vice-President’s household and the press service is Ksh 230.7 million this year. The Vice-President’s household and press unit will cost the Kenyan taxpayer Ksh 185.3 million. The amount provided does not include the VP’s house allowance of Ksh 2.4 million (Ksh 200,000 per month). The Vice President’s household has an annual budget of Ksh 4.3 million for hospitality – about Ksh 358,000 per month. Just over Ksh 30 million is budgeted for rent under the VP’s Household budget line. The household can consume Ksh 14 million per year on fuel and stay within budget, while also spending Ksh 11 million on routine maintenance of vehicles, and a further Ksh 6.5 ,million on maintenance of other assets in the households. Over Ksh 75 million has been allocated to the VP’s household for domestic and foreign travel. Last year the Vice President’s official household comprised of 57 staff and there were 12 cars.

The Prime Minister’s Household and Press

The total cost of the Prime Minister’s household and the press service is Ksh 110.6 million this year. The Prime Minister’s household and catering budget Ksh 36.9 million annually. This includes Ksh 5 million for utilities-water and electricity, Ksh 1.2 million for advertising, Ksh 26.5 million for hospitality and Ksh 2.2 million for purchase of household furniture this year. Next year the Finance Minister projects the purchase of household furniture to increase to Ksh 5.5 million. Additionally, the Prime Minister has a house allowance of 4.8 million this financial year (about Ksh 400,000 per month). The Prime Minister also has a dedicated press unit whose budget is Ksh 68.9 million per annum.

What Else Can Be Refused or Cut?

Following the national political crisis which started in December 2007 and the economic hardship caused to the large masses of Kenyans the responsible thing for Government to do is to adopt austerity measures to ensure that no money is wasted, and that all national financial resources are conserved for use in alleviating the plight of tens of millions who live below the poverty line, and the rest of Kenyans who are suffering high food costs and living with 20% inflation. One way of tightening the Government’s belt is to sieve through the budget for waste and extravagance.

Analysis of this year’s budget points to numerous budget lines where Members of Parliament can cut government expenditure: among these are the provisions in the national budget for foreign travel; fuel, utilities such as electricity and water; purchase and maintenance of motor vehicles; rent by the Government of premises; hospitality expenses; and taxation waivers and privileges of elected officials. Such waste is making the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals more difficult if not impossible.

Once they return from their vacation, Members of Parliament must be seen to act and not just bicker by debating the budget. Now that Mama Odinga has shown us the way, are there any takers for proposed reduction of the household budgets of the “Top Three”?

Mwalimu Mati

Mars Group Kenya

Armenian Affairs Redux

For much of the first half of 2006, a colourful pair of Armenian brothers, Artur Magaryan and Artur Sargasyan (variously described as possibly also being Russian or Czech nationals) amazed and shocked Kenyans with their macho antics and apparent connections to the highest office in the land.

They entered the national consciousness because of a weird dawn press conference at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport called by a Nairobi lawyer, Fred Ngatia. Ostensibly on his client’s arrival from Dubai, Ngatia told the press that the two Armenians would respond to allegations; such as those of opposition Members of Parliament, Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, claiming the Armenians were assassins contracted to do harm to opposition politicians.

If its intention was to convince the press, and Kenyans, that the Armenians were credible international businessmen, unfairly maligned for political purposes by the opposition, then Ngatia’s March 13, 2006 press conference was remarkably devoid of any prospect of success.

For example, as it turns out, the passenger manifest (faxed by Ngatia to the press) for the Armenians’ supposed carrier Kenya Airways 311 from Dubai on March 13, was a crude forgery. The East African Standard quotes an airline official as saying: “Neither the name nor the passport number of the said man appears in our manifest for flight number KQ311 from Dubai.” As if that were not bad enough, questions were immediately raised by the alert press as to the use of the official Government of Kenya VIP Visitors Lounge, by Mr. Ngatia for his clients, which had obviously been gained with the irregular cooperation of top security, State House and airport officials. The penny dropped when neither the Armenians nor their lawyer were able to show the press flight boarding passes as evidence of their trip. Opinion crystallised once Ngatia made the bizarre claim that he was under instructions from the Government of Armenia to call the press out to the Airport in the middle of the night to meet his clients. The press duly reported the incredulous denial of the Government of Armenia.

Thereafter, Artur Magaryan and his brother Artur Sargasyan, threw lavish parties, drew guns, flashed cash and dropped the names of the crème de la crème, amidst claims that they were mercenaries, hit-men, drug dealers and arms traffickers. Most shocking, Artur Magaryan was rumoured to be enamoured of the President’s reputed daughter Winnie Wangui Mwai; herself a controversial figure and the subject of no less than 3 official government public communications since January 2004 stating that she is not the President’s relative. On the first occasion in January 2004, an unsigned press release from State House pointedly delimited the President’s family; a second addressed the press on the membership of the presidential family; while a third recounted Ms. Mwai’s names as they appear in her national identity card.

The brothers’ public antics infuriated a hostile Kenyan public, but always bubbled over until June 2006 when they finally broke the bounds of tolerance. A public outcry ensued following an incident at the customs hall of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, during which the Artur brothers, in the company of a visiting group of burly Armenians, assaulted Customs officers using guns in full view of the Police, petrified travellers, and at least one cabinet minister waiting in queue to enter Kenya. By the next evening, Kenyan television ran a live broadcast of their deportation, on first class government tickets to Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

A couple of days later on June 16, President Kibaki instituted a formal inquiry into their activities headed by a former Commissioner of Police, Shadrack Kiruki and suspended several public officers from duty for their various roles in the airport fracas. They were:

  • Joseph Kamau, the Director of the Kenya Police Criminal Investigation Department alleged to have illegally provided the Armenian group with police rank status as Assistant Commissioners of Police
  • Naomi Sidi, the Deputy Managing Director of the Kenya Airports Authority alleged to have illegally provided the Armenians with Airport Access-All-Areas’ identification documents
  • Winnie Wangui Mwai, an Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Water, who allegedly exploited her State House connections to interfere with the arrest and subsequent deportation of the Armenians
  • Edward Kiptoo Mutai, Security Warden at the Kenya Airports Authority
  • Paul Latoya, a protocol officer with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Stephen Kipruto Tumbo, Senior Superintendent of Police, OCPD Nairobi Division
  • Chief Inspector Josephat Gikonyo- OCS JKIA Police Station
  • Inspector Daniel Maithya – CIVCRIME JKIA Police Station
  • Sgt. Evelyn Owon – JKIA Police Station
  • Cpl. James Kimihu- JKIA Police Station
  • James Gitonga, Immigration officer I

After weeks of public hearings, it was clear there had been an appalling system failure at the Companies Registry, Immigration Department and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. For example, Kenyans heard testimony from witnesses who calmly stated that there were no recordings of the incident at the airport because the closed circuit television security cameras in the customs and baggage international arrivals hall did not work.

President Kibaki received the Inquiry Report in late August 2006. It has never been made public, as promised. Nevertheless, various media have described its contents and findings:

  • It uncovers a pattern of fraud and corruption in the customs, immigration and police services, and also within the Kenyan political elite.
  • It restates the findings of an Interpol investigation which concludes that it is impossible to verify the true identities of inter alia Artur Sargasyan and Artur Magaryan, because they are in possession of travel documents reported stolen in Russia and Europe; further their company (Brother Link International Company Limited) registration documents in Kenya appear to be forgeries or at best obtained in contravention of the law
  • Its most explosive recommendation is for the prosecution for tax evasion and corporate fraud of Winnie Wangui Mwai. It also recommends her immediate dismissal from her civil service job in the Ministry of Water.
  • It accuses the Armenians of drug smuggling and money laundering and calls for their immediate arrest should they return to Kenya. Specifically, it states that it believes that Sargasyan was involved in organized crime and drug smuggling and was seeking an outlet for his illegal business in Kenya.. [1]
  • The Kiruki Commission does not attribute political responsibility for the Kibaki government’s apparent tolerance of the activities of the Armenian brothers. Nor does it report a finding on whether or not it was proper for the Minister for Internal Security to direct the Armenians’ deportation instead of prosecuting them for criminal offences.
  • It also fails to connect the Armenians with a series of cocaine shipments, worth close to 7 billion shillings, routed through Mombasa and other Kenyan ports.

In the fallout from the Armenian affair, the Director of the Kenya Police Criminal Investigation Department was suspended and subsequently retired. Also leaving the public service were the Deputy Managing Director of the Kenya Airports Authority, while it was announced that Winnie Wangui Mwai was relieved of her position at the Ministry of Water.

The Armenians now reside in Dubai, U.A.E. apparently evading international arrest warrants and the combined clutches of Interpol and the Kenya Police. Artur Magaryan claims to be writing his memoirs of his time in Kenya, which he claims will reveal bribe-taking and bribe-giving within the high echelons of Kenya’s political elite. No one has been prosecuted for any of the criminal acts identified by the Kiruki Commission. [2]

Regardless, of official statements to the contrary, Winnie Wangui Mwai has told the media that she remains in the public service. At a personal level she also confirms her intended marriage to Artur Magaryan, the more colourful of the two Armenian brothers. Considering her purported ilk, any such marriage to Artur Magaryan will be a politically significant event.


 


[1] See Brothers in Armenia, Africa Confidential Volume 47 No. 21

[2] At the time of writing a joint parliamentary committee chaired by Paul Muite and Ramadhan Kajembe was yet to table its report.