Kenya’s Grand Coalition Government Has Failed to Implement the National Accord Agreement and Its Reform Package. Kofi Annan Must Not Be Fooled by the Government Spokesman, Dr. Alfred Mutua; Kenyans Rate the Reform Performance As (f):- Grand Failure!

Kenya’s Grand Coalition Government has failed to implement the National Accord Agreement and its reform package. Kofi Annan must not be fooled by the Government Spokesman, Dr. Alfred Mutua; Kenyans rate the reform performance as (F):- GRAND FAILURE!


Full page Kenyan tax paid adverts placed by the Government spokesman Dr. Alfred Mutua entitled “THE TRUTH ABOUT AGENDA 4 REFORMS. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY!” appear in the National Dailies today Sunday October 4th 2009.

Kenya’s Government spokesman Alfred Mutua should stop using Kenyan tax money to hoodwink the public on the National Accord Reforms. Indeed, Dr Mutua should be made aware that it is an offence to use public money to mislead the public. Were we in charge, we would order that Dr. Mutua be surcharged for the cost of the adverts. Parliament should go further and strip the Government spokesman of his advertising budget until he pays back the tax payer for this waste of public funds.


In the advert, Dr. Mutua tells Kenyans that the truth about the reforms will shock us and that we are being lied to by the agents of doom. Dr. Mutua goes ahead to rate the Government performance as 90% and gives it an (A) grade. We might be agents of doom according to Dr. Mutua, but there is no way on earth that Kenyans will allow the Grand Coalition Government to keep up what can only be described as “rubbish”

Dr. Mutua should be aware by now, that the National Accord is a matter of life and death for millions of Kenyans and that the grand failure by the Grand Coalition Government to deliver the National Accord is a reality. On February 21, 2009, the Partnership for Change wrote to H.E Kofi Annan explaining that the Grand Coalition Government had failed to keep its part of the National Accord Agreement and that we wanted to vote again. This call was supported by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) but ignored by H.E Kofi Annan who is in Kenya this week to assess the performance of the Grand Coalition Government on the Implementation of the National Accord. Unless he is blind to the obvious, Kofi Annan will find the position is exactly as it was in February. Grand failure by the Grand Coalition Government.

People of conscience can’t afford to remain silent on the flagrant abuse of power by so many of the members of the Grand Coalition Government. We must exercise our democratic options to protest abuse of trust by the Government of Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. We must not fear to say the truth that Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga do not possess the credentials to deliver on corruption and the National Accord.

The Truth that Alfred Mutua will never mention

We remind the Principals of why they are where they are: “Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga our country went through a near death experience because of a botched election in which you were the main actors.” On 28th February 2008, Mr. Mwai Kibaki of the PNU and Mr. Raila Odinga of the ODM signed an agreement known as the National Accord. This agreement was signed because after the botched election of December 2007 and post election violence that followed, Kenya was on the brink of a precipice. No one in Kenya knows who won the Election of December 2007 and therefore Mr. Kibaki and Mr. Odinga cannot claim a legitimate mandate based on votes to rule Kenya. Kenyans gave their consent, for establishment, by constitutional amendment, of a Grand Coalition Government with the sole mandate of implementation of the National Accord. The hybrid form of Government (the so called Grand Coalition) was accepted because we feared for our lives, and we repeat here what we have said for the last 20 months: – that we have not taken leave of our senses and neither have we abandoned our rights. Among these rights is the FULL implementation of the National Accord. The reforms will be implemented, whether by the Grand Coalition Government or not. Kenya will have the reforms of the National Accord because Kenyans are determined to reform our country.

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

Since that date 20 months ago, the Grand Coalition Government has dragged its feet on the implementation of the National Accord and has failed to provide money in the National budget for its implementation. The cabinet has failed to establish the tribunal to try the perpetrators. The Executive and Parliament have failed to provide money to ensure that the Special Tribunal is established and the National Accord is implemented. The Partnership for Change considers the Grand Coalition Government to be ruling ultra vires the constitution of which the National Accord is an integral part. The Grand Coalition Government cannot and is not capable of providing the enabling environment for the reform Agenda. Reforms require capable reformists; Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have no reform credentials and have demonstrated none during the 20 months that the National Accord has been in place


Violation of the Human Rights of Citizens – Agenda 1 of the National Accord

On 30 July 2009 The President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga held a press briefing after a 4 hour Cabinet Meeting and released a Statement to Kenyans stating that Cabinet had discussed exhaustively the various options available to deal with crimes committed during post-election violence.

The Grand Coalition Government’s Statement failed to meet the minimum standard set by the Waki Commission of Enquiry on the Post Election Violence with respect to establishing an independent, impartial and effective judicial method to conduct trials of the organizers, perpetrators and financiers of the post election violence. In fact the Cabinet Statement revealed the desire by the Grand Coalition Government to retract its adoption of the Waki Report surreptitiously; to grant the guilty impunity and to deny victims their inalienable rights to truth and justice. As of the date it was submitted to President Kibaki by Justice Waki, Kenya was a state in which impunity was guaranteed for certain connected individuals and Partnership for Change does not believe that anything has really changed since. “Impunity is the impossibility, de jure or de facto, of bringing the perpetrators of violations to account”

The Government’s own Kenya National Commission on Human Rights investigation of the post election period found that the infrastructure of violence was financed and sustained mainly by local politicians and business people to support costs such as transport of attackers, weapons and other logistics. Some of these individuals remain in the Grand Coalition Government today. Some sit in Cabinet.


Mwai Kibaki, Raila Odinga
appear to have no interest other than shielding alleged perpetrators named by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and “stopping accountability against persons bearing greatest responsibility for crimes, particularly crimes against humanity, relating to the 2007 General Elections in Kenya.” Does Dr Mutua still score 90% (A) on the special tribunal? Dr Mutua claims the Special Tribunal is not part of the National Accord Reforms.

The Jamhuri Day Fiasco

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

Today, Kenyans are still unable to demonstrate to protest against the Government. What do we then make of Agenda 1 of the National Accord? Does Dr. Mutua still give the Grand Coalition Government a 90% (A) grade?

Agenda 1 was to restore civil and political liberties to the people, to disarm militia, to stop intra citizen violence, and to end official repression – what Kenyans are saying to the Grand Coalition Government is that this has not happened.

Kenyans will need to see concrete action taken to ensure that militia and gang activity is curtailed and law and order re established. In the Mathira massacre we also saw that the police was condoning the establishment of vigilante armed groups which it appears have also turned rogue. It is incidents such as these where law enforcers turn a blind eye to criminal activity which give the country the image of an insecure country and which affects our economy. Indeed all we see these days is that the police have become the criminals- kidnapping citizens for ransom, executing heists worth millions and even defiling young children, seemingly with impunity.


But having said all that this the grand coalition government has not addressed the issues raised by the UN special rapporteur on extra judicial killings Dr. Philip Alston, and has not embarked on any serious investigation of the murders of two prominent human rights defenders Oscar Kingara and GPO Oulu, or indeed hundreds of other suspicious deaths and disappearances related to police activity some of which occurred after the establishment of the Grand Coalition Government.


There can be no hope of economic recovery if Kenya allows the fixing of the opinion expressed by Prof. Alston that the police are a law unto themselves killing with abandon. The grand coalition government has failed to satisfy Kenyans that it has a plan to end official impunity and to restore the rule of law.


AGENDA 2 of the National Accord – Immediately resettle the IDPs and to provide humanitarian assistance to Kenyans in immediate need

Agenda 2 was to immediately resettle the IDPs and to provide humanitarian assistance to Kenyans in immediate need – out there they are saying IDPs are still in the camps. Even though the president says 90% have been resettled – citizens are asking in what circumstances have they been resettled – on the fringes of national parks? At points have they been resettled where there are no common services, water or sewage?

The two Principals Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga rejected the lean and clean cabinet wishes of the Kenyan people and now we have to pay the price of their folly. Almost two years without development, even as the IDPS remain in camps, ten million Kenyans face starvation daily, and the Ministry of Special Programmes admits it doesn’t have the resources to resettle the IDPs.The National Accord Grand Coalition Government has turned from the price for peace to the cause of economic ruin, which is staring us in the face. It has the deserved reputation as being person for person the most corrupt government we have ever had and the main reason why we will neither implement the National Accord Agendas 1, 2 and 4 nor have a hope of achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It has consumed the resources for these noble goals for the personal comfort of its members, and now surely it must go. Kenyans suffer daily as we watch our Government consume what little we have in waste and corruption.


The government needs to explain to Kenyans why it has been unable to plan for substantive resources for its resettlement programme. Is it because as Kenyans suspect the government is corrupt and untrustworthy. And if we are honest this perception is very much grounded in how politicians have conducted business as a grand coalition – maize – triton – Anglo leasing – Ken Ren in the budget – you name it we have seen it. There actually is enough money, if the Government cared to resettle all the IDP’s. The timeline for this exercise was immediately after the signing of the National Accord. It is laughable that Kibaki thinks Kenyans are impressed at his half baked attempt to now resettle the IDP’s giving them coins to start their lives while his finance Minister is on a car buying spree? Does Alfred Mutua still score a 90% (A) for this Agenda?

AGENDA 4 of the National Accord– long term issues

The Grand Coalition Government established after the National Accord is the largest and most expensive cabinet in Kenya’s history. The economic situation required the Government of Kenya to immediately demonstrate austerity measures, including the reduction of the number of ministries to a reasonable number. At Independence there were 13 ministries today there are 43. Kenyans are poor and cannot afford to continue to maintain a bloated Cabinet of 93 Ministers and Assistant Ministers. Many of the 43 Ministries in the Grand Coalition Government have no developmental added value and are mere sinecure positions for The President and Prime Minister to fill.


The National Budgets for the years 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 did not provide resources for Agenda 4 Reforms of the National Accord. There is no money for reforms, there will be no reforms. The Budget 2009/2010 brought to Parliament is unworkable and heavy on wasteful recurrent expenditure for these ministers. Further, the majority of the cabinet is adversely mentioned in Government and Parliamentary reports as being corrupt. Some have even been barred from holding Public office. The two Principals are unable to reshuffle their Government to reduce the number of ministers, and to remove the corrupt ones from the cabinet. Most of those who acquired land illegally are public officials and politicians and documented by the Ndungu report. Those accused of financing and organizing post election Violence are politicians, government officials and businessmen. Those accused of Grand corruption are politicians, government officials and businessmen. Many sit in Cabinet. Those accused of Extra Judicial Killings are appointed by the President and supervised by the Prime Minister.


Agenda 4 reforms can be found in the Implementation Matrix of the Long term issues. Here the Government has demonstrated that the Grand Coalition Government is unable, and incapable of dealing with Agenda 4. The Agenda 4 issues require resources for which the Government has made no provisions for. The truth is that there will be no Agenda 4 reforms as there is no money for it. A government that fails at the very minimum to plan, cannot now be given the responsibility of Implementing. We need as Kenyans to be candid and accept our fate. The Grand Coalition Government has reached its sell by date.


The following agreements and decisions constitute the National Accord:
• 01-Feb-2008 – Agreed Statement on Measures to Address Humanitarian Crisis
• 01-Feb-2008 – Annotated Agenda for the Kenya Dialogue and Reconciliation
• 04-Feb-2008 – Agreed Statement on Security Measures
• 14-Feb-2008 – Agreed Statement on How to Resolve Political Crisis
• 28-Feb-2008 – The National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008
• 28-Feb-2008 – Agreement on the Principles of Partnership of the Coalition Government
• 04-Mar-2008 – Long-Term Issues and Solutions: Constitutional Review
• 04-Mar-2008 – Commission of Post-election Violence
• 04-Mar-2008 – Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission
• 04-Mar-2008 – Independent Review Committee
• 30-Jul-2008 – Statement of Principles on Long-term issues and solutions from 23 May updated with implementation matrix

Mars Group Kenya

For the Partnership for Change

Ambassador Ranneberger, United States Ambassador to Kenya Took Online Questions on Wednesday 12th August 2009. This is an Extract of the Webchat.

 

Ambassador Ranneberger, United States Ambassador to Kenya took online questions on Wednesday 12th August 2009.  This is an extract of the webchat.

 

Question: Apart from AGOA what is your Government doing to improve trade between Kenya and the US?

Ambassador Ranneberger: AGOA is the main focus of our efforts to expand trade.  Trade has expanded from $55 million 6 years ago to over $250 million.  One key issue is that to expand trade there must also be greater foreign investment from the U.S. and other countries.  The reason Kenya has not benefitted from more investment is due to the problem of corruption and lack of political reform.  Economic development and implementation of the reform agenda are closely linked. That is one reason why we are insisting on implementation of the reform agenda.

  Question: Hi, Kenya has had Many Challanges, and US being a partner, what we suffer from is lack of Leadership. Is there a programme through the USA embassy that can train the youth on leadership?

Ambassador Ranneberger: I agree that Kenya suffers from lack of dynamic leadership.  That is why we are working so much to encourage youth to exert leadership to push for implementation of reforms.  I have been holding town hall meetings with youth throughout Kenya.  We in fact already have extensive programs to help encourage and train young people to be leaders.  I am greatly encouraged by the emergence of genuine grassroots youth leaders across the country.  Youth must play a key role in pushing for reforms. Secretary Clinton made this clear when she was in Kenya. 

Question : do you think that Obama having Kenyan roots will in one way or another influence the political and economic  orientations of Kenya

Ambassador Ranneberger: President Obama cares deeply about Kenya.  That is why he is urging the Kenyan government and people to implement the reform agenda.  In the speech he gave at the U. of Nairobi in 2006 he urged young people to be active in pushing for change.  His direct involvement in supporting change in Kenya emphasizes the importance the U.S. attaches to this and makes clear to Kenyan leaders that they must act.  When Secretary Clinton was here she made clear that President Obama is following the situation in Kenya very closely.

Question: I had a question with regards to getting contact information for Al Gore? We are currently looking at doing a documentary about the deforestaton of the Mau forest and would like to get in touch with him. Thank you.

Ambassador Ranneberger: Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is author of the best-selling Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, a treatise on the environmental problems which threaten the Earth’s survival. He is a visiting professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, one of the most prestigious schools of journalism in the United States and could be contacted through the university. His contact information is:  Columbia University School of Journalism, 1303 North Filmore Street, Arlington, VA 22201.

Question: in Kenya when one attains 18 yrs old, he or she is required to have an ID card . do these exist in America?

Ambassador Ranneberger: The de facto official identification card for adults in all states is the driver’s license. The minimum age you can obtain a ‘regular’ driving licence varies from 14 in some states such as South Dakota to 17 in Minnesota and New Jersey. However, in the majority of states it’s 16.

Question: Good after noon all. My names are Bernard Mulwa from Nairobi. I am a freelance journalist and I want to take this opportunity to ask the Ambassador Mr Ranneberger one question in regard to the way the Kenya Governmet is conducting its affairs. Its sad to note that there are so many areas that are left unatteded to What are you doing about this and finally please can you explain why are you and your Government is not taking serious maasures to send the perpetrators of the post election to the Hague and not the lacal tribunal. We don’t want to hear any more of this nonsense from these leaders I am just tired of seeing them making noise every day. Take a serious action and put them behind bars or ells a repeat to what happened in 2008 will reoccur

Ambassador Ranneberger: We are greatly disappointed that the leaders of the coalition government are not implementing reforms quickly enough, and that they are not showing leadership on some other key issues.  As President Obama and Secretary Clinton have said, we want to help Kenyans move forward, but we cannot do so unless Kenya’s leaders and the Kenyan people demonstrate the will to do so.  We are insisting that the perpetrators of post-election violence be held accountable.  It is better if Kenyans take responsibility to do this by establishing a truly independent Special Tribunal in Kenya.

Ambassador Ranneberger: This would be an important step in fighting against the culture of impunity.  If the Kenyan government fails to do this, however, we will support action by the International Criminal Court.  The ICC already has the list of suspects from Kofi Annan will act if Kenyans do not.

Question: Thanks I had put my question – but let me put it again. I work for a US based organisation in Somalia Peace Program. USA has just doubled its military aid to Somalia. How will USA ensure that this does not fall into the hands of Shabaab if (God forbid) TFG collapses.

Ambassador Ranneberger: On Somalia, we are supporting the legitimate government of President Sheikh Sharif.  We are providing funding and other support.  We have a mechanism in place to ensure that these funds and all of support is accountable and does not fall into the hands of the Shabaab.

Question: Ambassador what was the low point of your tenure in Kenya and what was the high point? 

Ambassador Ranneberger: Hard to identify a low point.  I am greatly enjoying my time in Kenya.  The Kenyan people are very friendly and intelligent and it has been a pleasure to deal with them, even during difficult times.  I was inspired that, doing the crisis last year, the Kenyan people eventually came together to support a practical political solution.  We and Kofi Annan helped, but Kenyans did it.  That was certainly a high point.  The visits of Secretaries Rice and then Clinton were other high points. 

Question: I like your style of work and the high profiled visits that your countrymen and women are making to Kenya

Ambassador Ranneberger: But perhaps the best moments I have had in Kenya have been during my numerous trips throughout the country to hold town hall meetings with young people.  The fact that young people are increasingly assertive in pushing for fundamental change gives me great hope for the future of Kenya.

Question: how are the US ambassaders appointed. is on their political allegiance to the ruling party or is the office open for anybody with the required credentials. still onthe same, if they work as civil servants; do they have age limit?

Ambassador Ranneberger: Most U.S. Ambassadors, like me, are career officials.  We are appointed by the President based on our performance records.  The age limit for all U.S. civil servants to retire is 65.

Question: Please explain a bit about the Greencard as used in USA.

Ambassador Ranneberger: “Green card” is the nickname (because of the color) of the United States Permanent Resident Card, an identification document issued by the United States of America affording non-citizens of that country some of the rights its citizens enjoy, sometimes with the prospect of naturalization.  The United States Government issues 55,000 permanent resident cards (Green Cards) every year through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, also commonly known as the Green Card Lottery. Applicants are selected randomly by a computer-generated drawing. If selected, the main applicant, spouse, and all unmarried children under 21 years of age will have a chance to apply for permanent resident status in the United States.

Ambassador Ranneberger: More information may be found at:  www.uscis.gov/greencard

Ambassador Ranneberger: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1318.html

Ambassador Ranneberger: www.dvlottery.state.gov/

Question: Mr Ambassador, do you have an action plan on pressing our government to embrace reforms?

Question: how can genuine students obtain visas to study; what are the main requirements apart from an I-20?

CO.NX Moderator (Tim): If you are interested in studying or working in the U.S. visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html. For Kenya-specific visa questions please visit the website for the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/visas.html.

Ambassador Ranneberger: We will continue to press the government to carry out the reforms.  Our plan is straightforward:  encourage and support the Kenyan people to exert pressure on the government to implement the reforms.  This is because the reform process must be domestic-driven.  We are in close touch with civil society, the private sector, religious groups, and the media.  We want to complement these Kenyan efforts by also exerting pressure.  We continue to suppor the involvement of Kofi Annan as well.  Kenya is a democracy, and pressure coming from the Kenyan people, with our support, will bring about fundamental change.

Question: What is the US governments stand on the TJRC what has been recently formed by the Kenya government?

Ambassador Ranneberger: We agree that having a TJRC can be useful in helping to promote national reconciliation.  However, the TJRC should not be used to investigate and try perpetrators of post-election violence.  That would not be credible.  A local independent Special Tribunal is needed for that purpose.

Question : Is their a section in the embassy that helps US companies based in Kenya do business in the region given how corruption is rampant? Also can the embassy provide leads?

Ambassador Ranneberger: We have a Commercial Section that helps both Kenyan and American countries. I’ll ask the moderator to please post a link.

Question: we are young people interested in bringing change in this country are willing to support the youth by all means

Question: USA is not a signatory to the Statute of the ICJ. Dont you think that this fact kind of makes it difficult for the USA to ask the ICJ to preside over human rights abuses and impunity? Further, USA is always talking about democracy and human rights. How can it do so if it will not be enjoined in the enfircement of human rights especially when this relates to its armed forces.

Ambassador Ranneberger: The United States is not a perfect democracy.  Democracy is always a work in progress.  One of our strengths, however, is that we respect the rule of law and have strong institutions.  For example, as a result of decades of struggle, we have made progress on civil rights.  We exposed abuses of the armed forces in Iraq and other places, and we have held the perpetrators accountable.  We do not seek to preach or to impose our system of government.  However, we do support universal human rights.  This is why we insist that the perpetrators of post-election violence be held accountable. 
Ambassador Ranneberger: Most importantly, in doing this we are only reflecting what the Kenyan people want to see.  Although we are not a signatory to the ICC, we do support having the ICC take action if the Kenyan government fails to do so.

Question: Hi your Excellency, Kenyans are feeling Cooked by the Govt. There is the looming food crisis, energy crisis including power rationing, water crisis, leadership crisis, political crisis, crisis crisis and more crisis. Where do you the country steering to? Don’t you think Kenya is on a brink of becoming a failed state?

Ambassador Ranneberger: I believe that Kenya has a great future if/if Kenya’s leaders demonstrate true leadership by taking the bold decisions necessary to deal with all the issues you mention.  Kenyans are smart people and will support their leaders if they do so.  Fundamental change and implementation of the reform agenda are essential to avoid in 2012 a repeat or worse of the crisis during 2008.  The Kenyan people have a responsibility — as Secretary Clinton said — to push for change and reforms.  We stand by the side of the Kenyan people. 

Question: Is it possible Mr Ambassador to pressurise the Kenyan government to open its border with somalia? Already 8 Pakistani were murdered in Puntland yesterday night.

Ambassador Ranneberger: Regarding the two questions on Somalia.  We are urging the Kenyan government to open its border so that legitimate Somali refugees can enter Kenya.  We are also working with the Kenyan authorities to ensure that this is done in a way which protects Kenya’s security.  We are working hard to encourage the international community to support the legitimate government of President Sheikh Sharif.  This is the best way to eventually restore peace and normalcy.  In the meantime, we are the largest provider of humanitarian assistance to the Somali people.

Question:  In Accra, Ghana the US President Barrack Obama speaking directly to Africans pledged the Support of the United States to responsible individuals and Institutions and to isolate those who are not responsible. How is your Embassy in Nairobi going to Partner with the Citizens who are alive to their responsibilities and working hard to bring about Democratic Change, Transparency, Accountability and ending Impunity in Kenya? How can they access such support?

Ambassador Ranneberger: We are working hard to support the Kenyan people to bring about change.  We are supporting civil society groups and grassroots youth organizations, for example.  We are helping with capacity-building.  Perhaps most importantly, we are speaking out to make clear our support for Kenyans’ efforts to push for change.  We have made clear that we will not do business as usual with those officials who do not support reform or who support violence.  You will see that we will take specific steps against such individuals as necessary.  Kenyans can seek support by sending requests to our Embassy, and then we will be in touch.

Question:  Why is it so hard to obtain a student visa to the U.S even if one is genuine?

Ambassador Ranneberger: It is not hard to get a student visa.  In fact, more than 8,000 Kenyans are studying in the U.S., more than from any other country in Sub-Sahara Africa!

Question: Bw Ambassador., Americans are very patriotic. How can we instil this sense of nationalism in our country which I believe would reduce the rampant corruption across all classes. How did America do it?

Ambassador Ranneberger: Americans have a strong sense of national identify going back hundreds of years.  Our inclusive democratic institutions and open economic system encourage participation.  Despite that, we have struggled to fully appreciate the importance of diversity.  The civil rights struggle is a good example:  African-Americans struggled to gain full rights in our country; eventually as a result of our strong institutions and open system, they made great progress.  Fully appreciating that harnassing diversity is key to strength has been one of the keys to American patriotism.

CO.NX Moderator (Tim): We will be holding a post-AGOA event with the ADF (U.S. Africa Development Foundation) in the next 2 weeks. We will post details on the CO.NX Facebook site as soon as we get it. http://co-nx.state.gov

Ambassador Ranneberger: Kenyans must struggle to understanding that their country will only achieve true greatness if they harness their diversity and learn to live together in peace to advance the good of all.  That is key to building a stronger sense of national identity and patriotism, and stronger democratic institutions.  If you ask an American who she/he is, they will respond (1) first I am an American (2) second, I am from such and such a state; (3) only third or even fourth would they say I am Italian-American or from some other group!  I have great confidence that Kenyans will move in this direction, but

Ambassador Ranneberger: this will take time.  It took hundreds of years for us to get to the point where President Obama could be elected.  In the meantime, it is key that Kenyans carry out reforms (constitutional and other) so that competition among groups can be managed and so that the good of everyone can be protected.  Finally, education is key to building a sense of national identity and patriotism.  Kenya needs more effective civic education in primary and secondary schools.

Question:  Good afternoon.In your opinion, do you think TJRC is going to be of any significance or will it be just another scheme to get people rich for nothing like the Goldenberg commission?

Ambassador Ranneberger: I think that the TJRC can be useful in promoting national reconciliation.  However, in order to do so it will need strong support from the Kenyan government and the Kenyan people.  Separately, there must be more effective action against corruption and impunity.  The TJRC is only one element of a broader reform process.

Question:  Is there a way in which the US can support Kenyan media practitioners in the diaspora to be on the forefront of the democratisation process in the country and lastly, politics aside, can President Obama visit Kenya and meet Kenyans who were over joyed by his election?

Ambassador Ranneberger: I think you raise a very important point about the diaspora.  Young Kenyans need to reach out to the Kenyan diaspora to play a greater role in promoting change and reform in Kenya.   When President Obama went to Ghana and not to Kenya a cartoon in one of the newspapers showed a picture of the President’s aircraft flying over Kenya, with President Kibaki and PM Odinga starring up at it.  There was a note floating down to them that read:  get your act together; signed Barack Obama.  That’s the message!

Ambassador Ranneberger: I look forward to continuing these web chats as a means of communicating directly with the Kenyan people.  I would welcome any ideas which people may have regarding how to expand such communication. 

CO.NX Moderator (Tim): Thanks to everyone who sent in questions and participated today. Ambassador Ranneberger received over 200 questions so he couldn’t get to them all in his one hour. Please post your questions in this forum and he will see them. Once again thanks to you all.

CO.NX Moderator (Mark): Thank you everyone. Please write to us at conx@state.gov for information on upcoming webchats.

There is No Obligation to Support Kenya’s Unity Government

There is no obligation to support Kenya’s Unity Government

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

The time has come therefore to introduce an initiative by the people of Kenya to deal with this very serious problem. There is an urgent need for a new dispensation as our last resort to save Kenya from becoming a failed state. We should as the people of Kenya now evaluate our support and consent for the Grand Coalition Government by putting the question by way of causing a referendum which shall ask the following questions to the people Kenya directly.

  • Should Grand Coalition Government continue to govern?
  • Has the Grand Coalition Government outlived its usefulness,
  • Has the Grand Coalition Government become a national disaster?

If the answer to this question at the referendum is YES by more than 50+1 margin, then a fresh election should be conducted immediately.

There is no other way of moving this country forward. This route is absolutely important because the other options provided by the National Accord are in the control of the rulership which is insulating itself from accountability and contains a large number of suspected perpertrators and finaciers of the post election violence which murdered 1,133 Kenyans and displaced well over half a million citizens leaving them homeless and impoverished .

It is now clear that the Grand Coalition Government shall not deliver a new constitution. It shall not have one of the parties pulling out and the president is not going to dissolve Parliament. Only a people driven mechanism can save the nation from plunging into disaster by carrying out the referendum.

The Warning Shot… Mr Kibaki and Mr. Odinga must know by now that history is on the move.

On 28th February 2008, Mr Mwai Kibaki of the PNU and Mr Raila Odinga of the ODM signed an agreement known as the National Accord.

This agreement was signed because after the botched election of December 2007 and post election violence that followed, Kenya was on the brink of a precipice..

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

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

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

Since that date 17 months ago, the Grand Coalition Government has dragged its feet on the implementation of the National Accord and has failed to provide money in the National budget for its implementation. The cabinet on numerous occasions has failed to agree on the mode of trial of perpetrators of the crimes against humanity committed in Kenya in the post election period. Parliament has failed to establish the tribunal to try the perpetrators 17 months later. The Executive and Parliament have failed to provide money to ensure that the Special Tribunal is established and the National Accord is implemented. The Partnership for Change considers the Grand Coalition Government  to be ruling ultra Vires the constitution of which the National Accord is an intergral part.

Grand Coalition Government sweeping gross crimes under the carpet

The Grand Coalition Government is also sweeping gross crimes committed against Kenyans under the carpet and is misrepresenting its ability to try criminals.The post election violence will definately forms the basis of an investigation by the International  Criminal Court for crimes against humanity committed in Kenya. These crimes were financed and organized by senior politicians and businessmen. We are grateful to the Government’s own body, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) for releasing the names of those who need further investigation. These names were provided to the KNHCR by Kenyan citizens – eye witnesses – conspirators – and victims. The release of these names for us as Kenyan Citizens is crucial because now we know those, who are probably behind the chaos in our country. We know that they are dangerous and will remain so until they are cleared in a transparent judicial process. Kenyans will not hero worship warlords.

Despite the clamour for justice, the tribunal to try these perpetrators has not been set up. Efforts to do so are being frustratrated by politicians, the cabinet and by Parliament. The proposed tribunal has been starved of funds deliberately and there is no serious money in the budget for the tribunal or for witness protection. Those who advocate for local tribunals ignore  the woeful understaffing and resourcing of the Kenyan judicial system.  The National Budget provides for only 20 Judges of Assize this financial year, yet the entire country has no more than 58 superior court judges, and only 287 magistrates.  The backlog of cases according to the latest data from the Ministry of Planning is over 800 thousand cases.

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

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

Members of Parliament and the two principals are aware that under the Rome Statute Article 27: Irrelevance of official capacity,the Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence

Members of Parliament and the two principals are frustrating the process because the two principals are being blackmailed by former supporters who argue that they know there is no Impunity in International Law.

Mr Kibaki and Mr Odinga under the Rome Statute, bear responsibility of commanders and other superiors. Mr Kibaki appointed the Commissioner of Police, Major General Hussein Ali now implicated by Justice Waki,.

Professor Alston and by the KNCHR as one of those bearing the greatest responsibility for the post-election violence.Yet Mr Kibaki, retains the Commissioner of Police as he continues to violate the Human Rights of Kenyans. The truth is that if there were seriousness on the part of Kibaki and Odinga, Major General Ali would have been sacked and would be currently facing prosecution for his role in the Post election Violence as Kenya has not suspended the Constitution, which prohibits murder of its citizens by the State. Infact our Constitution prohibits murder.

Should this government therefore be allowed to misrule on their own terms? Or on the terms of the National Accord as is the Law and the Constitution of Kenya?

And to the International community: How do you find it prudent to continue to do business with a government that is not implementing the National Accord? Is it that we the Kenyan citizens are on our own?

Kenyans want to support all efforts local and international that deal with ending impunity. But Kenyans do not want their efforts frustrated.

The Truth is that we as Citizens of Kenya can withhold our consent

To concentrate their minds Kenyans must focus action at the two principals Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga who bear the greatest responsibility for what happens in Kenya.

  • Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have failed to remove the Commissioner of Police Major General Ali severly indicted by investigations into gross human rights violations since 2006
  • Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have failed to remove the Attorney General Amos Wako whose role in refusing to prosecute is extensively discussed in the Waki Commission of Inquiry Report, and who was called ‘the embodiment of impunity’ by the United nations special rappateur on extra judicial executions.
  • Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have failed to uphold the Constitution of Kenya, and specifically the Bill of Rights which protects the citizens they serve.
  • Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga have failed to provide resources in the 2008-2009 budget and now in the 2009-2010 budget for the implementation of the National Accord.

The Budget 2009/2010 is not a National Accord Budget. You can search the budget online at government.marsgroupkenya.org for any of the National Accord implementation matrix items. There you will find that the Grand Coalition Government has allocated pitiful amounts for the National Accord.  For example the Truth Commission gets less than 110 million shillings this year. To fulfill its mandate the TJRC would require billions of shillings for investigative services, witness protection, public hearings and extensive legal support and documentation. To add insult to injury, the Budget will now be guillotined on the 31st of August 2009. A new standing order has purportedly taken away our rights to have a vote by vote scrutiny of the Budget until October. It is sad that Parliament thinks it can hoodwink the Public into paying for waste, living large and corruption. The Truth is that we as Citizens of Kenya can withhold our consent.

Signed this 21st day of July 2009 at Nairobi by the Partnership For Change.

Article 27

Irrelevance of official capacity

1. This Statute shall apply equally to all persons without any distinction based on official capacity. In particular, official capacity as a Head of State or Government, a member of a Government or parliament, an elected representative or a government official shall in no case exempt a person from criminal responsibility under this Statute, nor shall it, in and of itself, constitute a ground for reduction of sentence.

2. Immunities or special procedural rules which may attach to the official capacity of a person, whether under national or international law, shall not bar the Court from exercising its jurisdiction over such a person.

Article 28

Responsibility of commanders and other superiors

In addition to other grounds of criminal responsibility under this Statute for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court:

(a) A military commander or person effectively acting as a military commander shall be criminally responsible for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court committed by forces under his or her effective command and control, or effective authority and control as the case may be, as a result of his or her failure to exercise control properly over such forces, where:

(i) That military commander or person either knew or, owing to the circumstances at the time, should have known that the forces were committing or about to commit such crimes; and

(ii) That military commander or person failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

(b) With respect to superior and subordinate relationships not described in paragraph (a),

a superior shall be criminally responsible for crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court committed by subordinates under his or her effective authority and control, as a result of his or her failure to exercise control properly over such subordinates, where:

(i) The superior either knew, or consciously disregarded information which clearly indicated, that the subordinates were committing or about to commit such crimes;

(ii) The crimes concerned activities that were within the effective responsibility and control of the superior; and

(iii) The superior failed to take all necessary and reasonable measures within his or her power to prevent or repress their commission or to submit the matter to the competent authorities for investigation and prosecution.

A New Moment of Great Promise – Remarks by Us President Obama to the Ghana Parliament – July 11th 2009

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary
______________________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release July 11, 2009

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
TO THE GHANAIAN PARLIAMENT
Accra International Conference Center
Accra, Ghana

12:40 P.M. GMT

THE PRESIDENT: (Trumpet plays.) I like this. Thank you. Thank you. I think Congress needs one of those horns. (Laughter.) That sounds pretty good. Sounds like Louis Armstrong back there. (Laughter.)

Good afternoon, everybody. It is a great honor for me to be in Accra and to speak to the representatives of the people of Ghana. (Applause.) I am deeply grateful for the welcome that I’ve received, as are Michelle and Malia and Sasha Obama. Ghana’s history is rich, the ties between our two countries are strong, and I am proud that this is my first visit to sub-Saharan Africa as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

I want to thank Madam Speaker and all the members of the House of Representatives for hosting us today. I want to thank President Mills for his outstanding leadership. To the former Presidents — Jerry Rawlings, former President Kufuor — Vice President, Chief Justice — thanks to all of you for your extraordinary hospitality and the wonderful institutions that you’ve built here in Ghana.

I’m speaking to you at the end of a long trip. I began in Russia for a summit between two great powers. I traveled to Italy for a meeting of the world’s leading economies. And I’ve come here to Ghana for a simple reason: The 21st century will be shaped by what happens not just in Rome or Moscow or Washington, but by what happens in Accra, as well. (Applause.)

This is the simple truth of a time when the boundaries between people are overwhelmed by our connections. Your prosperity can expand America’s prosperity. Your health and security can contribute to the world’s health and security. And the strength of your democracy can help advance human rights for people everywhere.

So I do not see the countries and peoples of Africa as a world apart; I see Africa as a fundamental part of our interconnected world — (applause) — as partners with America on behalf of the future we want for all of our children. That partnership must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect. And that is what I want to speak with you about today.

We must start from the simple premise that Africa’s future is up to Africans.

I say this knowing full well the tragic past that has sometimes haunted this part of the world. After all, I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family’s — (applause) — my family’s own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.

Some you know my grandfather was a cook for the British in Kenya, and though he was a respected elder in his village, his employers called him “boy” for much of his life. He was on the periphery of Kenya’s liberation struggles, but he was still imprisoned briefly during repressive times. In his life, colonialism wasn’t simply the creation of unnatural borders or unfair terms of trade — it was something experienced personally, day after day, year after year.

My father grew up herding goats in a tiny village, an impossible distance away from the American universities where he would come to get an education. He came of age at a moment of extraordinary promise for Africa. The struggles of his own father’s generation were giving birth to new nations, beginning right here in Ghana. (Applause.) Africans were educating and asserting themselves in new ways, and history was on the move.

But despite the progress that has been made — and there has been considerable progress in many parts of Africa — we also know that much of that promise has yet to be fulfilled. Countries like Kenya had a per capita economy larger than South Korea’s when I was born. They have badly been outpaced. Disease and conflict have ravaged parts of the African continent.

In many places, the hope of my father’s generation gave way to cynicism, even despair. Now, it’s easy to point fingers and to pin the blame of these problems on others. Yes, a colonial map that made little sense helped to breed conflict. The West has often approached Africa as a patron or a source of resources rather than a partner. But the West is not responsible for the destruction of the Zimbabwean economy over the last decade, or wars in which children are enlisted as combatants. In my father’s life, it was partly tribalism and patronage and nepotism in an independent Kenya that for a long stretch derailed his career, and we know that this kind of corruption is still a daily fact of life for far too many.

Now, we know that’s also not the whole story. Here in Ghana, you show us a face of Africa that is too often overlooked by a world that sees only tragedy or a need for charity. The people of Ghana have worked hard to put democracy on a firmer footing, with repeated peaceful transfers of power even in the wake of closely contested elections. (Applause.) And by the way, can I say that for that the minority deserves as much credit as the majority. (Applause.) And with improved governance and an emerging civil society, Ghana’s economy has shown impressive rates of growth. (Applause.)

This progress may lack the drama of 20th century liberation struggles, but make no mistake: It will ultimately be more significant. For just as it is important to emerge from the control of other nations, it is even more important to build one’s own nation.

So I believe that this moment is just as promising for Ghana and for Africa as the moment when my father came of age and new nations were being born. This is a new moment of great promise. Only this time, we’ve learned that it will not be giants like Nkrumah and Kenyatta who will determine Africa’s future. Instead, it will be you — the men and women in Ghana’s parliament — (applause) — the people you represent. It will be the young people brimming with talent and energy and hope who can claim the future that so many in previous generations never realized.

Now, to realize that promise, we must first recognize the fundamental truth that you have given life to in Ghana: Development depends on good governance. (Applause.) That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That’s the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.

As for America and the West, our commitment must be measured by more than just the dollars we spend. I’ve pledged substantial increases in our foreign assistance, which is in Africa’s interests and America’s interests. But the true sign of success is not whether we are a source of perpetual aid that helps people scrape by — it’s whether we are partners in building the capacity for transformational change. (Applause.)

This mutual responsibility must be the foundation of our partnership. And today, I’ll focus on four areas that are critical to the future of Africa and the entire developing world: democracy, opportunity, health, and the peaceful resolution of conflict.

First, we must support strong and sustainable democratic governments. (Applause.)

As I said in Cairo, each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: Governments that respect the will of their own people, that govern by consent and not coercion, are more prosperous, they are more stable, and more successful than governments that do not.

This is about more than just holding elections. It’s also about what happens between elections. (Applause.) Repression can take many forms, and too many nations, even those that have elections, are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves — (applause) — or if police — if police can be bought off by drug traffickers. (Applause.) No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top — (applause) — or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. (Applause.) That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there. And now is the time for that style of governance to end. (Applause.)

In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success — strong parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges — (applause); an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. (Applause.) Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people’s everyday lives.

Now, time and again, Ghanaians have chosen constitutional rule over autocracy, and shown a democratic spirit that allows the energy of your people to break through. (Applause.) We see that in leaders who accept defeat graciously — the fact that President Mills’ opponents were standing beside him last night to greet me when I came off the plane spoke volumes about Ghana — (applause); victors who resist calls to wield power against the opposition in unfair ways. We see that spirit in courageous journalists like Anas Aremeyaw Anas, who risked his life to report the truth. We see it in police like Patience Quaye, who helped prosecute the first human trafficker in Ghana. (Applause.) We see it in the young people who are speaking up against patronage, and participating in the political process.

Across Africa, we’ve seen countless examples of people taking control of their destiny, and making change from the bottom up. We saw it in Kenya, where civil society and business came together to help stop post-election violence. We saw it in South Africa, where over three-quarters of the country voted in the recent election — the fourth since the end of Apartheid. We saw it in Zimbabwe, where the Election Support Network braved brutal repression to stand up for the principle that a person’s vote is their sacred right.

Now, make no mistake: History is on the side of these brave Africans, not with those who use coups or change constitutions to stay in power. (Applause.) Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. (Applause.)

Now, America will not seek to impose any system of government on any other nation. The essential truth of democracy is that each nation determines its own destiny. But what America will do is increase assistance for responsible individuals and responsible institutions, with a focus on supporting good governance — on parliaments, which check abuses of power and ensure that opposition voices are heard — (applause); on the rule of law, which ensures the equal administration of justice; on civic participation, so that young people get involved; and on concrete solutions to corruption like forensic accounting and automating services — (applause) — strengthening hotlines, protecting whistle-blowers to advance transparency and accountability.

And we provide this support. I have directed my administration to give greater attention to corruption in our human rights reports. People everywhere should have the right to start a business or get an education without paying a bribe. (Applause.) We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don’t, and that is exactly what America will do.

Now, this leads directly to our second area of partnership: supporting development that provides opportunity for more people.

With better governance, I have no doubt that Africa holds the promise of a broader base of prosperity. Witness the extraordinary success of Africans in my country, America. They’re doing very well. So they’ve got the talent, they’ve got the entrepreneurial spirit. The question is, how do we make sure that they’re succeeding here in their home countries? The continent is rich in natural resources. And from cell phone entrepreneurs to small farmers, Africans have shown the capacity and commitment to create their own opportunities. But old habits must also be broken. Dependence on commodities — or a single export — has a tendency to concentrate wealth in the hands of the few, and leaves people too vulnerable to downturns.

So in Ghana, for instance, oil brings great opportunities, and you have been very responsible in preparing for new revenue. But as so many Ghanaians know, oil cannot simply become the new cocoa. From South Korea to Singapore, history shows that countries thrive when they invest in their people and in their infrastructure — (applause); when they promote multiple export industries, develop a skilled workforce, and create space for small and medium-sized businesses that create jobs.

As Africans reach for this promise, America will be more responsible in extending our hand. By cutting costs that go to Western consultants and administration, we want to put more resources in the hands of those who need it, while training people to do more for themselves. (Applause.) That’s why our $3.5 billion food security initiative is focused on new methods and technologies for farmers — not simply sending American producers or goods to Africa. Aid is not an end in itself. The purpose of foreign assistance must be creating the conditions where it’s no longer needed. I want to see Ghanaians not only self-sufficient in food, I want to see you exporting food to other countries and earning money. You can do that. (Applause.)

Now, America can also do more to promote trade and investment. Wealthy nations must open our doors to goods and services from Africa in a meaningful way. That will be a commitment of my administration. And where there is good governance, we can broaden prosperity through public-private partnerships that invest in better roads and electricity; capacity-building that trains people to grow a business; financial services that reach not just the cities but also the poor and rural areas. This is also in our own interests — for if people are lifted out of poverty and wealth is created in Africa, guess what? New markets will open up for our own goods. So it’s good for both.

One area that holds out both undeniable peril and extraordinary promise is energy. Africa gives off less greenhouse gas than any other part of the world, but it is the most threatened by climate change. A warming planet will spread disease, shrink water resources, and deplete crops, creating conditions that produce more famine and more conflict. All of us — particularly the developed world — have a responsibility to slow these trends — through mitigation, and by changing the way that we use energy. But we can also work with Africans to turn this crisis into opportunity.

Together, we can partner on behalf of our planet and prosperity, and help countries increase access to power while skipping — leapfrogging the dirtier phase of development. Think about it: Across Africa, there is bountiful wind and solar power; geothermal energy and biofuels. From the Rift Valley to the North African deserts; from the Western coasts to South Africa’s crops — Africa’s boundless natural gifts can generate its own power, while exporting profitable, clean energy abroad.

These steps are about more than growth numbers on a balance sheet. They’re about whether a young person with an education can get a job that supports a family; a farmer can transfer their goods to market; an entrepreneur with a good idea can start a business. It’s about the dignity of work; it’s about the opportunity that must exist for Africans in the 21st century.

Just as governance is vital to opportunity, it’s also critical to the third area I want to talk about: strengthening public health.

In recent years, enormous progress has been made in parts of Africa. Far more people are living productively with HIV/AIDS, and getting the drugs they need. I just saw a wonderful clinic and hospital that is focused particularly on maternal health. But too many still die from diseases that shouldn’t kill them. When children are being killed because of a mosquito bite, and mothers are dying in childbirth, then we know that more progress must be made.

Yet because of incentives — often provided by donor nations — many African doctors and nurses go overseas, or work for programs that focus on a single disease. And this creates gaps in primary care and basic prevention. Meanwhile, individual Africans also have to make responsible choices that prevent the spread of disease, while promoting public health in their communities and countries.

So across Africa, we see examples of people tackling these problems. In Nigeria, an Interfaith effort of Christians and Muslims has set an example of cooperation to confront malaria. Here in Ghana and across Africa, we see innovative ideas for filling gaps in care — for instance, through E-Health initiatives that allow doctors in big cities to support those in small towns.

America will support these efforts through a comprehensive, global health strategy, because in the 21st century, we are called to act by our conscience but also by our common interest, because when a child dies of a preventable disease in Accra, that diminishes us everywhere. And when disease goes unchecked in any corner of the world, we know that it can spread across oceans and continents.

And that’s why my administration has committed $63 billion to meet these challenges — $63 billion. (Applause.) Building on the strong efforts of President Bush, we will carry forward the fight against HIV/AIDS. We will pursue the goal of ending deaths from malaria and tuberculosis, and we will work to eradicate polio. (Applause.) We will fight — we will fight neglected tropical disease. And we won’t confront illnesses in isolation — we will invest in public health systems that promote wellness and focus on the health of mothers and children. (Applause.)

Now, as we partner on behalf of a healthier future, we must also stop the destruction that comes not from illness, but from human beings — and so the final area that I will address is conflict.

Let me be clear: Africa is not the crude caricature of a continent at perpetual war. But if we are honest, for far too many Africans, conflict is a part of life, as constant as the sun. There are wars over land and wars over resources. And it is still far too easy for those without conscience to manipulate whole communities into fighting among faiths and tribes.

These conflicts are a millstone around Africa’s neck. Now, we all have many identities — of tribe and ethnicity; of religion and nationality. But defining oneself in opposition to someone who belongs to a different tribe, or who worships a different prophet, has no place in the 21st century. (Applause.) Africa’s diversity should be a source of strength, not a cause for division. We are all God’s children. We all share common aspirations — to live in peace and security; to access education and opportunity; to love our families and our communities and our faith. That is our common humanity.

That is why we must stand up to inhumanity in our midst. It is never justified — never justifiable to target innocents in the name of ideology. (Applause.) It is the death sentence of a society to force children to kill in wars. It is the ultimate mark of criminality and cowardice to condemn women to relentless and systemic rape. We must bear witness to the value of every child in Darfur and the dignity of every woman in the Congo. No faith or culture should condone the outrages against them. And all of us must strive for the peace and security necessary for progress.

Africans are standing up for this future. Here, too, in Ghana we are seeing you help point the way forward. Ghanaians should take pride in your contributions to peacekeeping from Congo to Liberia to Lebanon — (applause) — and your efforts to resist the scourge of the drug trade. (Applause.) We welcome the steps that are being taken by organizations like the African Union and ECOWAS to better resolve conflicts, to keep the peace, and support those in need. And we encourage the vision of a strong, regional security architecture that can bring effective, transnational forces to bear when needed.

America has a responsibility to work with you as a partner to advance this vision, not just with words, but with support that strengthens African capacity. When there’s a genocide in Darfur or terrorists in Somalia, these are not simply African problems — they are global security challenges, and they demand a global response.

And that’s why we stand ready to partner through diplomacy and technical assistance and logistical support, and we will stand behind efforts to hold war criminals accountable. And let me be clear: Our Africa Command is focused not on establishing a foothold in the continent, but on confronting these common challenges to advance the security of America, Africa, and the world. (Applause.)

In Moscow, I spoke of the need for an international system where the universal rights of human beings are respected, and violations of those rights are opposed. And that must include a commitment to support those who resolve conflicts peacefully, to sanction and stop those who don’t, and to help those who have suffered. But ultimately, it will be vibrant democracies like Botswana and Ghana which roll back the causes of conflict and advance the frontiers of peace and prosperity.

As I said earlier, Africa’s future is up to Africans.
The people of Africa are ready to claim that future. And in my country, African Americans — including so many recent immigrants — have thrived in every sector of society. We’ve done so despite a difficult past, and we’ve drawn strength from our African heritage. With strong institutions and a strong will, I know that Africans can live their dreams in Nairobi and Lagos, Kigali, Kinshasa, Harare, and right here in Accra. (Applause.)

You know, 52 years ago, the eyes of the world were on Ghana. And a young preacher named Martin Luther King traveled here, to Accra, to watch the Union Jack come down and the Ghanaian flag go up. This was before the march on Washington or the success of the civil rights movement in my country. Dr. King was asked how he felt while watching the birth of a nation. And he said: “It renews my conviction in the ultimate triumph of justice.”

Now that triumph must be won once more, and it must be won by you. (Applause.) And I am particularly speaking to the young people all across Africa and right here in Ghana. In places like Ghana, young people make up over half of the population.

And here is what you must know: The world will be what you make of it. You have the power to hold your leaders accountable, and to build institutions that serve the people. You can serve in your communities, and harness your energy and education to create new wealth and build new connections to the world. You can conquer disease, and end conflicts, and make change from the bottom up. You can do that. Yes you can — (applause) — because in this moment, history is on the move.

But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future. And it won’t be easy. It will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks. But I can promise you this: America will be with you every step of the way — as a partner, as a friend. (Applause.) Opportunity won’t come from any other place, though. It must come from the decisions that all of you make, the things that you do, the hope that you hold in your heart.

Ghana, freedom is your inheritance. Now, it is your responsibility to build upon freedom’s foundation. And if you do, we will look back years from now to places like Accra and say this was the time when the promise was realized; this was the moment when prosperity was forged, when pain was overcome, and a new era of progress began. This can be the time when we witness the triumph of justice once more. Yes we can. Thank you very much. God bless you. Thank you. (Applause.)

END 1:10 P.M. GMT

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

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

Nairobi 1st June 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IS THE CONTENT OF OUR NATIONAL ACCORD?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Partnership for Change
Nairobi 1st June 2009