Category Archives: Kenyan Election Crisis: Negotiations

Kenya: ICC; The Vagueness of The Hague

That team is out to depict the Kenyan pm as the greatest hindrance to peace in this country. They are using every available sub-human, human and superhuman resource available towards this end. They want to depict him as the super president of this country.

I doubt if any ordinary president is capable of swaying the opinions at the ICC. It would be unlikely that even Obama would sway decisions at the ICC.

All of us know that the local tribunal was the ideal, noble Kenyan idea but a section of the so called Ocampo six ensured the idea failed through the slogan “don’t be vague, ask for Hague”. So they called for Hague and Ocampo reluctantly brought the Hague. The Hague, so vague that it has ceased to be a William Ruto idea (he can be quoted saying, “Don’t be Vague, ask for Hague”) to Raila idea.

Just where are we heading?
Chally Nyotumba


From: Mugo Muchiri

Los Angeles, CA

December 16, 2010


Q: Now that the cat’s out of the bag and Kenyans finally know the names of the six people whom ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo deems as bearing the highest responsibility for the 2007 post-election violence, what do you make of this development?

Mugo: Well to have gotten to this point as a country is simply amazing. For me it’s still unbelievable and I think I require a few more days, maybe weeks, to fully digest this whole thing.

Q: Do you think this is a positive development for the nation?

Mugo: Unquestionably so. The history of Kenya is one of a nation so full of promise but whose potential has time and again been stymied by a political class that’s essentially thrived on feeding themselves and their interests while demonstrating an almost absolute disregard for the common man. So many people – over 1300 Kenyans – lost their lives purposelessly. Over one half millions lost their homes and are living under conditions that only endangered species like the rhinos would envy. Yet on no less than three occasions, Parliament defeated efforts at establishing a local tribunal to try the perpetrators in Kenya. They kicked the can, perhaps armed with the confidence that ICC justice is always marked ‘return to sender’ until 2090. Well 2090 is here.

Q: Are you implying that Ocampo’s efforts will stop politicians and other powerful people from exploiting ordinary Kenyans?

Mugo: What I’m suggesting is that we have a system that has just taken a hit, maybe not fatal but certainly a significant blow. For the first time really, people at the top of the country are really shaken. They are seeing that ‘Untouchables’ are running scared. Uhuru Kenyatta is from one of the most powerful families in Kenya; Muthaura is at the apex of Kenya’s once vaunted civil service and a very close friend and confidant of President Mwai Kibaki; Ruto is essentially the voice of the Kalenjin people; Kosgei has never been felled by any scandal – and they are many that have been reported and are in the public domain – but has managed to maintain incredible power even under what Kenyans initially believed were two diametrically opposed administrations (Moi and Kibaki). So what do you think these examples demonstrate to the political class?

Q: Well, what do you think they demonstrate?

Mugo: Game’s over, that’s the stark lesson here. Even the President or Prime Minister cannot protect you no matter how much support, by way of votes, you may have brought them.

Q: You mentioned presidential or prime ministerial protection being powerless. How did that happen? Are we seeing the end of the Big Man syndrome in Kenya and Africa in general?

Mugo: That’s a great question. For starters, I don’t wholly believe Ocampo when he says that all he did was follow the evidence. I don’t think this is the whole story. I am convinced that if an evidence trail were to be followed, then it would have led directly to the President and the Prime Minister. I’m talking about an investigation in the mold of Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward’s efforts… remember the Watergate scandal that brought down Richard Nixon.

Q: On what strength do you base that thought?

Mugo: For example, it’s widely suspected that there were meetings at State House Nairobi with Mungiki members, amongst others, to plan for retaliatory attacks against ODM supporters in Naivasha and other PNU strongholds. The question then becomes, ‘Can meetings take place at State House without the Big Man’s knowledge?’ Maybe so. But my hunch is it’s improbable. Similarly, there was a lot of information about secret ODM strategy meetings prior to the 2007 election. Here, mass action was supposedly discussed and how to unleash it in the event the elections were deemed to have been rigged in their disfavor.

Q: But I don’t see anything wrong per se with mobilizing the masses to exert political pressure. I mean labor unions do that all the time, often with great success.

Mugo: That’s true, but here’s the caveat: When has mass action in a poor country not been followed by looting, destruction of property, maiming and even killing? Is it utopian to assume mass action by poor folks can be effected a la Gandhi? So the question then becomes: Did the planners of mass action really want to inflict destruction and untold suffering? Did they want to make the nation ungovernable and in the process up their bargaining position to achieve their political ends? Did they knowingly plan for destruction but couched such intentions under the guise of civil non-violent disobedience? And if so, is it reasonable to assume that they kept this a secret from their leader? Again I think it’s improbable. A strong prosecutor will tell.

Q: So you’re saying that the two Big Guys have direct responsibility for all the mayhem?

Mugo: I’m not in a position to definitively say that, but I strongly suspect they do. And I think Ocampo has the indicting evidence. He just won’t spill all the beans.

Q: Why do you think he would be hesistant to go after the ultimate causers? Isn’t that what justice is all about especially given that over 1300 died and half a million were dislodged from their homes?

Mugo: You know these things, yaani high stakes politics, is something many of us don’t understand. Especially because they’re done under the veil of secrecy. However I do have a hunch.

Q: Well what does your crystal ball tell you?

Mugo: In the larger context, what would the benefit of hauling two leaders – albeit very powerful individuals – to the Hague be? Has Liberia been substantially freed from the clutches of corruption with Charles Taylor being in the docks at the ICC? I think certain key people in the United States and the European Union knew that what’s at stake here is a system, a system that’s rotten to the core………. and that it’s that system that needs to be seriously and meaningfully reformed.

Q: OK, but where are you going with this?

Mugo: It’s called leveraging culpability. In other words, grant conditional immunity from prosecution, but make it plainly clear that such immunity collapses in the event certain parameters or benchmarks aren’t met.

Q: Like what?

Mugo: For one, the passing and promulgation of a new Constitution. I joke that somehow Massachusetts mysteriously relocated to Kenya and all stops were to be pulled to prevent a Scott Brown from taking Senator Kennedy’s ever-safe democratic seat. Think of the high-level administration officials that came to Kenya……. Johnny Carson, then Hillary Clinton, finally Joe Biden………… I mean this was America in full-throttle campaign mode over Kenya’s impending constitution vote.

Q: You’re right, it was quite a show of interest, wasn’t it? Remember Vice President Biden with his specially fortified SUVs and security detail?

Mugo: Yeah, and of course his central theme was that you’d get a whole lot more American business investment under the new Constitution, etc.

Q: You mentioned other parameters, what d’you think they were?

Mugo: The other benchmarks – and this is really critical to our discussion here – were a complete collaboration with the ICC and its Chief Prosecutor (including making public pronouncements and a Cabinet resolution to that effect) and a promise not to impede Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC) in its work (you’ve seen a significant infusion of American capital hereafter).

Q: You seem to distrust the notion a Kibaki-Raila alliance could have been the vehicle for fundamental change including delivering the new Constitution. Why, especially given that both campaigned for it so fervently?

Mugo: You’re spot on. Impending doom of a shared kind…….fewer things concentrate the mind more. Again this is just a hunch but my sense is that when it became clear that they might be held directly liable if certain things weren’t accomplished, then you see a remarkable chemistry develop between the two men. This has really never happened since Kibaki’s swearing-in in 2002. Theirs has always been a tumultous relationship where interpersonal battles were often done through proxies (esp Muthaura, Orengo and Anyang Nyong’o).

Second, everyone knows that despite having enormous power to do so, Kibaki’s fight against high-level corruption has been feeble. The same is true for Raila. It’s easy to see why. Both men are super wealthy and been in government almost all their lives. Kenyans can read between the lines. How can you remove the splinter in another’s eye when……….well, you get the story.

Q: Well we’re running out of time, what are your last thoughts regarding the future of Kenya?

Mugo: I’ve moved from being cautiously optimistic to being above-averagely optimistic. When all is said and done, I think President Obama’s incumbency will have accomplished for Kenyans what the collective presidencies of the three Kenyan Heads of State couldn’t : free Kenyans from the clutches of a political class that within a span of 47 years succeeded in transforming a nation that was economically at par with Singapore, Malaysia and S. Korea to the hallowed company of Afganistan, Somalia, Bangladesh and Haiti – the 14 most corrupt nations of the planet.

Now credible efforts will be made so that the 270 billion shillings that the country is currently losing through corruption, per Treasury PS Kinyua can be directed towards useful life-supporting activities like education for our children; sustainable agriculture and employment for our youth; infrastructure development; at least 10% forest cover. Kenya will be the bright star in the family of Nations.

Q: Is there a reason you’re not fabulously optimistic?

Mugo: Yes. Two words: INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. As long as we have pressure from America and the European Union, then so long will the Kenyan people have the upper hand. Power will continue to shift away from the political class to newly empowered institutions and more in the direction the people. The greatest strenght of any nation is in its collective consciousness. May Kenya rise to integrated national consciousness which will strengthen the conscience of the Kenyan people so that actions are more in accord with natural law and always upholding of human dignity.

Kenya: ICC names top government officials responsible for 2007 Kenyan election violence

ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo has named the six suspects most responsible for the 2007 post general election violence.
They are:
Uhuru Kenyatta
William Ruto
Francis Muthaura
Joshua Arap Sang
Henry Koskey
Mohammed Hussein Ali


If what has appeared in the Daily Nation 7th December 2010 page 12 purporting to be reporting on Wikileaks relayed by M. Gaitho is true then Ambassador Michael Ranneberger has wasted his time in Kenya, let alone Africa. His understanding of the African people is indeed pedestrian.

Ambassador Michael Ranneberger wants to be the President of Kenya! Well, why not? Let him try.

The man must indeed believe that Kenyans are idiots after 1500 innocent youth were mowed/gunned down by state police immediately he declared his and the US recognition of the Kibaki win following the December 2007 presidential elections theft. He said inter alia, ”Kibaki has won let ”them” do what they like. There will be shooting for a day or two then things will settle down”.

May be Ambassador Michael Ranneberger thinks that Kenyans not only have a short memory but also must be lacking in intelligence and therefore could not have understood him and The International Republicans Institute shamelessly derailing Raila Amolo Odinga by denying him the obvious win in December 2010. Mr Michael Ranneberger “osoko kich kombe” (he has disturbed the bee hive and in so doing has lost honest Kenyans completely.

He should be ashamed to talk about Raila Amolo Odinga so derogatorily. If he wants to be Kenya’s president let him follow the law and openly campaign against other Kenyans. Nobody is going to block him from doing so since he has so easily bought some land in Kenya and soon will be a naturalized citizen. It is only in Kenya, the only country in the world where foreigners buy land, that the likes of Ambassador Michael Ranneberger can so easily acquire land and citizenship through what could easily be a close cousin to corruption.

The souls of nearly 1500 people who died in the post elections violence, thanks to Ambassador Michael Ranneberger support for Mwai Kibaki, are crying for justice not only from God Almighty but also from The Hague.

This rogue Ambassador could do us a favour by quietly leaving the country or else we shall soon be holding demonstrations against his arrogant impunity and spite for Kenyans.

In Kenya and the rest of Africa, we welcome visitors not because we are stupid but because we are God-fearing people and our culture makes us do so.

Mr Ambassador, all the Kenyan communities did not make you their elder because they are stupid, but because they thought you too are a part of the continent- definitely not an island. They did so because of the common humanity in them and hopefully in you too!

Thank you Mr Ambassador. Kenyans would rather starve or die without you. Please do us a favour Mr Ambassador by returning to your country.

Does this great Ambassador really know how much land the coast people, the Kalenjin and the Maasai have lost because of GEMA IMPUNITY?



By: Dickens Wasonga in Kisumu.

Kenyans countrywide yesterday ignored calls by the government to register as voters ahead of the planned national referendum on the proposed constitution.

Even as president Mwai Kibaki headed to his Othaya constituency to register as voter number one, many voter registration centers remained empty in most parts of the country the better part of yesterday.

The exercise, which kicked off in a low key, is the first to be carried out by the Interim Independent Electrol Commission (IIEC) and is set to take 45 days, during which a new voter register will be developed.

According to the commission’s chairman, Mr. Ammed Hassan Isaac, about 10 million Kenyans are targetted to register in the one and a half months exercise, which will see voters who registered previously surrender back their voters cards to the commission.

The exercise is also expected to help the electoral body to clean up the voters register which was used in the past elections, where it was alleged dead voters took part in polls.

The commission however will have to intensify its campaigns to convince the people, who are reluctant to register, if they wish to realise its targetted figure.

Many Kenyans interviwed were categorical that they have little faith in the country’s electoral process, given how the now disbanded ECK bungled the country’s last general election, whose presidential results were disputed vehemently.

Most Kenyans are still agitating for comprehensive reforms, which they believe would eliminate a repeat of the violence which rocked the nation after the 2007 polls, which left over 1000 people dead and another 300,000 internally displaced.

“Why do I need to register as a voter while those in leadership do not honour the verdict of the voters”, said a Kisumu resident.

Most political leaders, particularly members of parliament, skipped the day one of the exercise, as they were locked up in horse trading amongst their political parties at the Nairobi’s Kenya Institute of Administration, where they are trying to build consensus over the proposed constitution.


What if Raila & Kibaki are in Ocampo’s sealed Envelope?


Few who actually read my notes know my motto: To lay matters bare, there has to be an unusual way of looking at issues, don’t you think?

And in the same spirit I ask.
Hypothecially, what if Raila & Kibaki are among the prominent Kenyans whose names were given to the ICC Judges today?

I ask you, Ocampo indicted Slobodan Miloševi?, Radovan Karadži?, Félicien Kabuga, Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, a sitting president among others, what will he not do to our principals?
Raila and Kibaki

I ask you again, when the crocodile eat their own eggs, what will they not do to the flesh of a frog?

It follows therefore that we must think out of the box. That we must ask ourselves the ‘what if’ questions and come up with viable answers to our complicated hypothetical.

My hypothesis is that if the principals are in the Ocampo’s sealed envelope to the Judges, Raila would step down, but Kibaki wouldn’t. Because of this, the ICC may not reach and arrest others who also bear the greatest responsibility. How could he, when the duly sworn will claim that Kenya is a sovereign state?

On the other hand, my 10th great grandfather Ragem’s thesis is that anyone mentioned adversely should step aside, face the ICC squarely and if proven innocent, can rejoin active politics again.

However, the reality is that this situation is about Kenya. And Kenya being a land of Nguachi, whose Capital is Nairobbery, the City in the sun, and of plaster and stone. It is God’s country ‘ya kitu kidogo’ of ‘Eeee ndonege matubo bau!’

Kenya is still a country where we believe there is no way a wife can abuse a husband, or that rape cannot occur in a marriage, and when it occurs outside marriage, it was someones’ fault, or that the principals are above the law. That because whatever happened, happened, or that because the arm of the law is not long enough, Ocampo should leave us alone. After all we are in the middle of creating a new constitution and a new voters register, and his actions will interfere with our noble work.

People, I ask again, have you thought really hard about what will happen to our political landscape when Ocampo’s list is made public? The worst to imagine is that Kalonzo Musyoka could become caretaker president, considering he was # 3 in those elections and is also the VP! The best to imagine is that we could go to early elections and vote for Hebron Mosomi or Mark Mutunga, or George Luchiri Wajackoyah or Omondi Bunde, even though we still do not havew a voters register or new constitution!

Really, because we have this impunity syndrome, I do not see clearly what impact Ocampo’s action will have on our political landscape. My thinking is that it is just a front for US and other interested Nations, through UN to ensure that we complete Agenda IV to avoid the occurrence of another dark period in our Nation’s history.

However, in the very unlikely event all mentioned adversely including the principals agree step down, I, and not my 10th great grandfather Ragem, urge you to consider a vote for Omondi Bunde. He is a fisherman who has never hurt a fly or stole a pence.

Joram Ragem
wuod Ndinya, wuod Onam, wuod Amolo, wuod Owuoth, wuod Oganyo, wuod Mumbe, wuod Odongo, wuod Olwande, wuod Adhaya, wuod Ojuodhi, wuod Ragem! (Are you my relative?)

Kenya: PM Raila is on borrowed time

From: Bill
ODM and affiliates as of Jan 2008 had 113 MPs. However:
Less Magara = 112.
Less 26 RV MPs loyal to Ruto = 86.
Less MPs with changed loyalties – Balala(Mvita), Baya(Ganze), Jirongo(Lugari) plus NEP MPs Duale, Chacha Guyo, Ali Mohammed and Mahmoud Mohammed = 7.
Total Hemorrhage = 34 MPs.
Balance of loyal MPs = 79.

PNU/ODM-K and affiliates had 108 MPs as of Jan 2008.
Less MPs with changed/dubious loyalties – Karua, Mungatana, Kabando, Kiunjuri, Wavinya, Mbarire, Imanyara, Kenneth, Mbau, Kiuna, Muturi, Musila, Kiema Kilonzo = 13.
Total Hemorrhage = 13.
Balance loyal MPs = 95.

For ODM:
79 + 13 PNU MPs who may oppose censure = 92.

For PNU:
95 + 34 ODM MPs who may support censure = 129.

MPs required to pass censure motion of no confidence = 113.

Clearly, Raila is on borrowed time.

Kenya: President Kibaki has betrayed the trust of Kenyans

President Kibaki has betrayed the trust of Kenyans

President Kibaki cannot be trusted to fight corruption, and therefore Kenyans are right to conclude that he is not a reformer but only retaining the status quo.

The current imbroglio between him and the Prime Minister over the handling of corruption suspects in the government is an indication of a divided government which cannot be trusted to bring about the change Kenyans are desperately yearning for.

By revoking the suspension by the PM, of Ministers accused on corruption, Kibaki is condoning a vice that has dwarfed the success of our nation; creating unnecessary tension in the Country, which has put the coalition government in a quandary.

The Prime Minister portrayed true leadership, and a spirit for reforms; a platform under which he campaigned in 2007.

Even though he may have overstepped his boundaries, Kenyans expected the President to respect his decision in the spirit of cohesiveness and unity of the Country.

Kibaki himself is not perfect, for he has on several occasions violated the constitution, besides trashing the MOU of 2002.

He acts like he is serving the interest of a few corrupt Kenyans, and often disregarding the prime Minister; an equal partner in the coalition government. What baffles many of us is why he often takes a stand which does not reflect the feelings of the majority.

His lacklustre performance on reforms is because of trying to salvage political careers of individuals suspected on corrupt deals; a tragedy for national success.

We are seeing the worst betrayal from a leadership we thought was diverse to bring positive changes to the Country. We are at limbo on the capacity of our leaders to tackle the problems facing the country.

One section of the government is for reforms and eradication of corruption, while the other wants to shield the vice for selfish ends.

Kenyans who are now more informed expected President Kibaki to be pro-active on reforms, since his second term in office is littered with a questionable victory that led to bloodshed, tribal leanings, hate, and mistrust.

The president, and his PNU side of the coalition, should stop crying wolf, just because the Prime Minister killed the snake using a wrong stick. Majority of Kenyans are happy that he killed the snake, despite using the wrong stick.

The demonstrations in support of honourables William Ruto, led by the Eldoret mayor, and that by a section of Abagusii leaders, on Sam Ongeri early this week, for their abortive suspension from the Cabinet, is a portrayal of egocentricity, lack of leadership and political cronyism.

When a mayor takes to the streets to demonstrate because a fellow tribesman has been suspended from a ministerial docket, reflects a nation still manacled on politics of self interest and ethnicity.

Honourable Ruto’s supporters must remember that when Moi ruled Kenya for 24 years, the community never used to demonstrate against those who gave Moi headache, especially the clamour for multiparty politics.

The idol worship by the Kalenjin Community on Ruto does not help him at all, but keeps dimming his political star each day.

Tribes must act with sobriety when their leaders are implicated on vices that dent the nation. I come from Gusii but since I believe in a corrupt free society, I can’t defend Professor Sam Ongeri, just because he is a fellow tribesman.

Supporters of the Ministers must remember that the two are mere suspects. They have not been proved guilty, and their exit from the dockets was to pave the way for investigations.

Therefore, it will be salutary as per Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi’s suggestion, for Dr. Koffi Annani to intervene and save the coalition government from collapse, especially now that the Country is gearing for a new constitutional.

Let us not be fatigued to seek outside assistance to our domestic challenges. It has worked in the past and will still work to put our Country in a better footing.

It helped in the inception of political pluralism in 1991, helped to quell the post election violence, which created a power sharing deal between Kibaki and Raila. It may end up helping the slow reform process in the Country as well as the implementation of Agenda four of the national accord and fighting corruption.

Finally, it’s imperative that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga sort out their differences to unite the Country. The current standoff will jeopardize the fragile peace that has been attained in the Country, after the post election violence.

Joseph Lister Nyaringo

New Jersey, USA


Dear all,

As they say, when a hen is caught by an hyena, you do not only blame the hyena. You must also blame the hen. I cannot deny that Kibaki is a very very bad man. Kibaki kicked Raila out of NARC after Raila fought tooth and nail for him to be the president of Kenya. I am pretty sure Kibaki could not have come close to presidency without Raila.

As the Italian Mafia say, Raila made Kibaki. Indeed if Raila did not endorse Kibaki, Uhuru could be having his second term. Yes Kibaki is a bad man, he stole the last general election. He installed himself as the president at night, even when the law said that is impossible. He then decided to almost whack Raila. How bad can one be for us to declare him so or too bad.

But, ladies and gentlemen, this is not the end of the story. If Kibaki is that bad, then he must be bad to someone. From the time Kibaki joined politics to date, he has never been vehemently against one as much he has been against Raila. Although he quit Moi government when he was aware he was going to be replaced, he did not openly display the level of displeasure against anyone as he has done against the only person who probably saved his life and his career.

If I was Raila I could have called the old man for a drink and asked him, “Sir, Why do you hate me so much?”. But this is politics. As they say “nothing is personal”. “I had to do what my people want, if not I could have lost my life” may be that is the answer Kibaki always gives Raila every time.

“One who still drinks and merry at the house of a wife who is sleeping with his enemy is digging his own grave”, that is Barack’s saying.

I have a very good reason for the above statement gentlemen and ladies. A chicken that has escaped a Hyena’s grip should know how far they can hunt for even human feces or cow dung for that matter. After the last general election, with all the lives lost, with all the crisis, with all the bitterness, with all the headaches, Raila still did not listen to the people who insisted that he should only sign a comprehensive agreement with a real 50/50 power sharing.

Our forceful suggestion was that, if Kibaki takes justice and constitution and finance ministry, Raila had to take defence ministry and internal security. It did not matter how long the negotiations took. People were keenly waiting on Raila’s decision. However, all these advise and strategy fell into deaf years. Raila still felt that he could trust Kibaki. He went ahead and signed a half baked coalition law. A law that only favored him and left the ODMer’s out. One by one, soldiers fell by the way side. Raila even proceeded to strongly pursue a stronger coalition with Kibaki’s base, while dismantling his. When these arguments came up, the sycophants brandished the strategists as traitors and said “go PM, go go go go PM is your birthday, we gona party like it is ……”.

Here we are now. The PM has only powers to suspend and not to fire and even that is suspect. Kibaki called it a bluff and there no damn thing the PM can do but to cry for Annan to come back.

Well the process to dismantle the PM began. The Mungiki issue came. While Kibaki refused to meet Mungiki, the very people who met him in the state house after he stole the election and actually burned people alive on his behalf, Raila said, ” Mungiki are Kenyans and if Kenyans have problems then I must meet them”. Well the meeting failed because of the noise Raila supporters made and still make. I am glad this meeting failed, but do not forget, Raila sent a book to Maina Njenga. The book was on how to control masses.

Then followed the issue of postelection violence, Raila wanted all his supporters to be jailed, hanged or taken to the Hague hoping that he will remain in the coalition with Kibaki. And I was left to wonder, if they pick one of your supporters, especially Ruto, would it not be possible for Ruto to give evidence against Raila. Why does Raila think that he is so clean about this. Are there phone calls, communications, meetings that Ruto could use. I still believe that Ruto would not go down alone on this.

Kibaki knows about this and he cannot wait for Raila to tie a rope around his own neck. Indeed he hoped this rope could hang Raila faster, but it seems it was taking too long, so when the Mau issue came up, he saw another opportunity. And to everyone’s surprise, Raila again swallowed the bait, under the pretext that he is a man of the people and would kick poor people out of their homes, put them in the streets and still hope to be loved by everyone. Kibaki waited until the day of tree planting and told Raila to carry his own cross. Do not forget, Kibaki himself directed Raila to take charge of the Mau issue. Why did he back off in the last minute and fail to go for tree planting. Raila was told, this was a wrong move, but again he listened to sycophants. He believed that Kenyans really cared about being a populist.

Then came the Ruto issue. If there was any man who is not from Raila’s tribe that could have taken a bullet for Raila in Kenyan, then I must say that that man is Ruto. Ruto left his “father” (there is quite a resemblance, check it again) Moi to support Raila and yet every chance Raila got, he hammered Ruto and all Ruto’s interests. He hated Ruto with a passion, to an extent that he decided to eventually fire him, when Ruto only gave 1000 bags of maize to a disabled man, while Raila’s aid had ten times this.

Well Ruto did a mistake. He corrupted himself. However, I have rarely seen a man handing over his child to the police for stealing one dollar. He has not killed anyeone for God’s sake. There must be room for warning, especially when it comes to Ruto and the votes that Ruto can bring to the PM in the next election.

Yes corruption is so bad. I detest corruption, but if you want to start a war, you must check if you have enough soldiers and enough weapons. At the time the PM chose to fire Ruto and Ongeri, he knew quite well that the accord does not give him any powers beyond the one he invoked. He should have known that even though he is in the executive branch of the government, he does not have powers over the police, the army, the provincial administration and even the justice department. All he has is the coalition amendment.

Essentially Raila has no powers to do anything but squeak. Which means when he has created problems then he has to go and cry to those who have the power of the money and the gun and that is the USA and the west. Raila does not have this power within the precinct of Kenya. Moreover, Raila could have waited only 2 MORE YEARS TO HAVE ALL THE POWERS HE NEEDS TO FIGHT EVERYTHING HE BELIEVES IN. WHY IS RAILA IN SO MUCH OF A HURRY. HOW DOES ALL THIS BENEFIT HIM, HIS BASE OR ANYONE IN KENYA. WAS IT SO IMPOSSIBLE TO KEEP RUTO AND BALALA FOR JUST 2 YEARS.

Knowing this, was it wise for Raila to create this crisis? Did Raila dig his own hole this time? I say yes yes yes. Raila nolonger have the votes to pass anything in parliament. Like Ababu Namwamba said, very few people are willing to go to the streets because of Raila or this issue. The reason is that many do not see this as a genuine course of action. Some see it as genuine, but doubt if the timing is right. How can one decide to suspend a goal keeper from an opponent team, and expect the captain of the other team to keep mum.

In this matter, especially in Africa, the law may be overlooked, especially if you do not have the powers to defend it. Raila himself would protest if Kibaki fired Orengo or Otieno Kajwang. Here I think the PM became a hen looking to be eaten by an hyena. He made himself very vulnerable and very soon he may suffer a vote of no confidence as a payment for his mistake.

Corruption is bad and I hate it, but for Raila to admit that he did not need to consult Kibaki to fire Ongeri borders on activism and disqualifies Raila as a strategic thinker. Did Raila do this as a revenge or did he think it is the right thing to do? Did he ever think of what will follow? Did he think PNU would be very happy about this? Did Raila ever know that he nolonger has the majority in parliament? These are just some questions that crisscross my mind, and upto to today and I have no solid answer. All I can say is that Raila still thinks he is an activist. He still thinks that he has to please the public, even if it is a wrong time to say something in public.

Now Mr. PM, there is a crisis due to what you have done. What are you going to do to resolve this? Calling Annan will not help this time.

I have a solution for you. Pre-empt. Quit the coalition and lets have an election. If you win, you can fire anybody, anytime you want. As for now, know that you are nolonger an activist, have advisers and consult first extensively, talk to non-sycophants, ask for independent opinions, then make a decision that is not going to make us kill each other again. Make a decision only when you have a backup solution. And please, let Annan retire in peace.

Yours Sincerely

Dr. Barack Abonyo


From: Mugo Muchiri

Los Angeles, CA

Let Prime Minister Raila Odinga be amply congratulated for his courage in suspending Agriculture Minister William Ruto and his Education counterpart Prof. Samuel Ongeri. The PriceWaterhouseCooper’s (PWC) report on the maize importation fiasco fingers Ruto, while the Auditor-General’s report faults Ongeri’s laxity in the face of a pervasive robber culture at the Ministry of Education.

At the same time, I find myself EXTRAORDINARILY ASHAMED of President Mwai Kibaki. His countermanding of his co-principal smacks of impudence and callousness to the Kenyan people and must be seen as a red flag waved at the forces out to combat high level graft.

There was a time when Kibaki was good for Kenya. Without much fanfare, he raised the stature of the country in the eyes of the world. The FPS initiative, the enhanced efficacy of the KRA which saw Kenya finance 90-95% of its recurrent budget, the free anti-retrovirals, the paying on time of farmers, all these marked the beginnings of a wananchi-centered policy agenda. People responded overwhelmingly. Emboldened by a zero tolerance declaration, wananchi frog-marched corrupt cops to police stations to report them to their bosses.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT KIBAKI? The answer is simple: RE-ELECTION. Kibaki proved no exception to the coinage‘power corrupts’. The sprinkling of water on the fire that had started burning away at corruption (surgery in judiciary) worked itself into a downpour when Kibaki roped in former President Moi . Of course the latter’s support was to come at a price. Zero tolerance became zero action…….except in endless commissions meant to vent public anger.

What Kibaki doesn’t know is that Raila’s action of suspending Ruto and Ongeri is actually a blessing in disguise to all Mbuta who have screwed Kenya left, right and center and now sit on their bill-gatesian wealth with impunity. It is better to be ushered out gently.

There is a huge simmering rage in Kenya right now. Especially concentrated among the youth, this malaise is fueled in large part by rampant joblessness, a hopelessness about a better tomorrow and the predictability of the current leadership’s insouciance. THIS IS AN OPEN SECRET.

For the high minded guardians of the Gate, those who prefer to split hairs in legalese, remember that a ticking bomb doesn’t understand parochial arguments of constitutionality,much less the delineations of the National Accord & Reconciliation Act. It just goes off!

TRULY, TRULY, TRULY it’s a sad day in Kenya when a president is seen to rush to the defence of culprits who have been fingered by an independent report and cite as the overarching principle the need to adhere to constitutional boundaries. In the interest of evenness, one wonders which black hole this yearning to be guided by the Constitution disappeared into several years ago when his Internal Security minister (and by implication he) blatantly violated press freedoms by raiding the Standard offices inorder “to protect the First family’s name”.





Barrister, Solicitor & Advocate of the High Court
Prime Minister’s Advisor on Coalition Affairs &
Joint Secretary to the Permanent Committee on the Management of Grand Coalition Affairs
Issued at Nairobi on February 16, 2010

Kenya’s everlasting Attorney-General, Amos Wako, is better known for his contagious smiles than for ground-breaking legal interpretations or decisive action against graft.

Kenya’s chief legal officer and prosecutor appear vast in the rigmaroles of political survival than in the intricate webs corruption has constructed within our public institutions.

On matters of political intrigue and expert legal mimicry, Mr. Wako is perhaps the most dexterous among all my professional colleagues. He can read the political wind like a magician. And his lips assume the artificial vigour of an excellent puppeteer when his political masters call.

I am not saying these things because I dislike Mr. Wako; few Kenyans suffer from such afflictions. Mr. Amos Wako is not just a friend of mine; he is my senior colleague. As a gentleman of the old school, I hold him in high esteem.

Before I sat down to prepare this statement in response to what Mr. Wako said yesterday with respect to the meaning of the National Accord and Reconciliation Act (2008) vis-à-vis the conflicting orders issued by the Two Principals in the Grand Coalition Government, I shuddered. I shuddered because among the permanent bureaucratic faces in the Grand Coalition Government, Amos Wako is closest to me.

However, Mr. Wako’s latest attempt at interpreting the National Accord and Reconciliation Act (2008) has compelled me to respond.

I understand that both Mr. Wako and the Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo were part of the drafting team that prepared the National Accord. If this is true, Kenyans must hold them directly accountable for all the loop-holes and deficiencies that they now claim are in that document.

The question Kenyans must ask Wako is this: where was he all this time? Why has he come out now to attempt an interpretation?

If Wako wanted a credible interpretation that most Kenyans would trust, he ought to have had that done by a non-partisan professional; preferably a non-Kenyan. Because he has not done that, Kenyans are entitled to read politics all over Mr. Wako’s political interpretation.

Firstly, Wako asserts that the President’s purported quashing of the Prime Minister’s three-month suspension of both William Ruto and Sam Ongeri from the Cabinet in order to allow for credible and independent investigations into corruption allegations against their respective ministries, senior officers and themselves personally amounts to a constitutional crisis.
Mr. Wako’s latest statement is the most embarrassing and scandalous utterance ever made by an Attorney-General in the Commonwealth. He should tell Kenyans clearly the nature of the Constitutional crisis and its genesis.

Without a doubt, we are facing a political crisis; a crisis caused by President Mwai Kibaki’s refusal to respect, honour and abide by all the terms of the National Accord, which was entrenched in the Constitution and therefore the supreme law of the land.

In the preamble to the National Accord, both the President and the Prime Minister stated that “given the disputed elections and the divisions in the Parliament and the country, neither side is able to govern without the other. There needs to be real power sharing to move the country forward.”

In that statement and commitment, both Principals recognized that they did not individually have a mandate of the Kenyan people to govern alone. They undertook, legally, constitutional and politically, to share real power so that the country could move forward.

Secondly, both Principals stated that the “coalition must be a partnership with commitment on both sides to govern together and push a reform agenda for the benefit of all Kenyans.”

Although Mr. Wako would like the country to believe that the President has more power and constitutional authority than the Prime Minister, the National Accord, which the President signed, clearly contradicts that belief. The National Accord is categorical that both the Prime Minister and the President are equals. That their relationship within the grand coalition is a “partnership” based on a joint “commitment” to “govern together.”

Section 3(2) of the National Accord explicitly provides that the Prime Minister is “the parliamentary leader of the political party that has the largest number of members in the National Assembly; or a coalition of political parties in the event that the leader of the political party that has the largest number of members of the National Assembly does not command the majority in the National Assembly.”

In other words, the Prime Minister is a senior partner in this Government by virtue of being the leader of the largest political party in parliament.

Thirdly, with respect to the constitutional authority of the Prime Minister, section 4(1) provides that he “shall have authority to coordinate and supervise the execution of the functions and affairs of the Government of Kenya including those of Ministries.”

Strict legal interpretation of this section inevitably leads to the conclusion that the Prime Minister’s authority to supervise and coordinate the execution of all the functions of Government, including that of Ministries entails the power to conceptualize policies, allocate responsibilities, set standards, discipline, commend and do any such things that would facilitate the execution of all Government functions.

Months before the Prime Minister suspended the two Cabinet Ministers; the Government had ordered investigations and audit of allegations of graft at both ministries. And just over a week ago, the Prime Minister publicly announced, at a workshop of senior government officials that he officiated with the President, that had consulted with the President and recommended that both the Minister for Basic Education and his Permanent Secretary step aside in order to allow investigations over the alleged misappropriation of billions of shillings of the Free Primary School Education funds. These are public funds!

Kenyans noted that the President neither commented on the Prime Minister’s statement at the function nor refuted the Prime Minister’s assertion that they had consulted.

That was because the President was aware that section 4(1) of the National Accord gives the Prime Minister exclusive mandate and authority to discipline Government officers, including Cabinet Ministers that he coordinates and supervises.
A lawyer of Mr. Wako’s repute must surely know that without the power to discipline, supervision would be meaningless. He must also be aware that there is no constitutional provision guaranteeing the power of supervision, and by extension, discipline, to the President. If such a provision exists, some of us would be interested to know where it is.

Mr. Wako knows that section 4(1) of the National Accord does not contain the word “consult.”

Fourthly, section 4(5) of the National Accord provides that “the removal of any Minister nominated by a parliamentary party of the coalition shall be made only after prior consultation and concurrence in writing with the leader of that party.”

In plain language, the section means that the President cannot dismiss an ODM Minister without first obtaining written concurrence from the Prime Minister. Similarly, the Prime Minister cannot dismiss a PNU Minister without obtaining written concurrence of the President. However, both the Prime Minister and the President can legally dismiss the Ministers they appointed on their respective sides of the coalition without seeking or obtaining written concurrence of each other. Consultation and concurrence is only necessary if either principal want to dismiss or have dismissed a cabinet minister and senior public servant from his partner’s party.

In other words, legally and constitutionally, the President and the Prime Minister are equals in all respects. The announcement by Kibaki of the PM’s nominees for appointments is perfunctory.

Fifthly, regarding the formation of the Grand Coalition Government, section 4(2) of the National Accord states that “the persons to be appointed as Ministers and Assistant Ministers from the political parties that are partners in the coalition other than the President’s party, shall be nominated by the parliamentary leader of the party in the coalition.”

Once again, the National Accord is very clear that “the parliamentary leader of the political party” in the coalition is the person with authority to appoint Cabinet Ministers and Assistant Ministers.

Finally, section 4(3) provides that: “The composition of the coalition government shall at all times reflect the relative parliamentary strength of the respective parties and shall at all times take into account the principle of portfolio balance.”
In other words, the Constitution and the National Accord explicitly provides that the number of Cabinet and senior government positions by the two coalition partners must reflect their relative strength in parliament. It means that legally, the Prime Minister and ODM are entitled to more positions in Government than President Kibaki and PNU.

However, despite the foregoing explicit provisions, both the Prime Minister and ODM have, over the last two years, patiently waited for both President Kibaki and PNU to recognize, respect and uphold both the letter and spirit of the law.
It is now apparent that the Chief Government Legal Officer who is constitutionally mandated to assist in correctly interpreting and applying the law has not just failed to read and understand the law; but precisely because of that fundamental failure, he cannot properly advice the Government and guide the people of Kenya.

Under the circumstances, I urge my senior friend and colleague, Amos Wako, to publicly acknowledge that he has failed in his onerous duty and provide an opportunity for another worthy Kenyan professional to render his or her services to the motherland!

In conclusion, let me say that the ongoing altercation within Government is very unfortunate because it masks the primary reason for the Prime Minister’s reason: fighting corruption and impunity in Kenya. But it has been imposed on the Prime Minister and ODM by the President’s and PNU’s failure to honour the National Accord.

Fortunately for Kenyans, the Prime Minister has an illustrious history of fighting for social justice, respect for the rule of law and an end to corruption and impunity. That fight must continue.


We’ve built Kenya in many years, yesterday we allowed it to destroy.

I am still in shock about what is happening in Kenya. I am sitting here and remember how after the 2007 elections, the PEV disabled me through depression. I could not work, I could not watch TV. I could not eat. I could not make love to my wife or spend time with the children. I lost interest in everything. I was useless. And to quench the urge to find out whether Kenya would overcome the political crisis, I got addicted to the Internet. Since then, the truth is that I have never been the same again. Though the progress made the reasoning by the progressives and moderate minded politicians has since cured me of my depression and addiction. Or have they.

What happened yesterday was catastrophic. I was left remembering the words of one decorated GSU soldire whose words stood high over the burning and smoking tire fire, over the souls of the lost brothers and sisters after we sent them prematurely to Jehanam, Ahera, Mbinguni, Heaven, Hell or Purgatory. He said, “Wajameni, hii Kenya yetu tumeinjenga kwa mda murefu, munataka tuiharibu in one nday?”

I was looking forward to returning to Nairobi in 2 or 3 months to campaign for the passing of the new constitution. Now it appears I will be coming there as soon as Thursday.

To Raila, I do not want to say “I told you so!” Yet I just wonder how you miscalculated this one. I mean, the trend was as obvious and as predictable as a rainbow is a promise after rain. Kibaki cheated you on MoU, He stole the 2007 elections, He refused to honor the National Accord. Then as my nemesis Dr Abonyo and friend Mutahi Ngunyi warned over and over with a loudspeaker herein the Internet, Kibaki hoodwinked you regarding the Mau issue as he orchestrated a hatred and bout between you and the very people who denied him victory in 2007, as he lured you with trying the PEV suspects at The Hague. Oh my goodness, despite all the obvious signs, you failed to see how Kibaki was donning a sheep-skin and feeding you grass to fatten you, and then adding firewood to your fire-fight with Ruto, while sharpening the knife to slaughter you when you would be ready to be eaten? For in the eyes your opponent, it was not Ruto who denied him victory, it has always been you and none other.

In pursuing corruption, attempting to save the environment, seeking to bequeath unto our descendants a better constitution, and risking your political career and your supporters’ peace, you have just been handed what I consider the opposite of a Nobel Prize. Ridicule and humiliation. Well, here is the good news. Though you have a bloody nose, and may have lost your balance yourself, you are down now, but not out for the count. At least not yet.

Before elections, the people were with you. Your opponents rigged the elections and the people stood with you until the National Accord was crafted. While you managed to get it embedded in the constitution, your opponents refused to honor it even after you graciously agreed to give up the right to the full loaf of bread you rightly won. The people stuck with you. Now you face rebellion within your ranks, your opponents have removed the camouflage and shown you their brutal Brutus dagger, albeit before they actually plunge it on your chest.

Yes, the people are still with you, Agwambo. Though this may be your last chance, my 10th great grandfather Ragem says thus: “The curse of Jaramogi is not genetic, therfeore it shall not befall you.”

So fight Raila, fight harder for Kenyans. Be strong and the wiser. Do not compromise your Pan Africansim. You promised you were prepared to pay the price rather that compromise your values. Unfortunately for many a brave person like you and those who seek to do right, the ending has often been sorrowful. But we thank God for your good health and the freedoms you have brought and will fight to safeguard them for you, for ourselves and our children.

To Kibaki & Moi, not I, but my 10th great grandfather Ragem says thus: Though your silence and aloofness is your best weapon, your vindictiveness is your curse. Clinging to power begets only violence, and your the kitchen cabinet that misadvises you is reminded that, the fly that likes the copse follows it to the grave.

And because I am basically Ruto’s age mate, I have the right to address him directly. I say: Well done. I like your guts. Since 2007, I am not a tribalist anymore and would vote for you in 2012. You have power you know, and power corrupts absolutely. Your power has corrupted all and sundry like radioactive material does to the environment. Anan will try, but he will not touch you. Ocampo & Hague will not touch you. You have outwitted Raila already and he has successfully turned you from a villain to a hero. He has made you who you are. In fact I see you saying that you killed because you were ordered by Raila in order to wiggle out of Hague in case you are in the envelope. With this resume’ what difficulty will cooperation with KKK pose? If I petition to give you an honorary PhD, or Oslo for a Nobel Prize, it will be for successfully wallowing in the miasma of power, politics & corruption.

To Kenyans, Not I but my 10th great grandfather say thus: It all depends on who blinks last, only then will the opponent’s laugh last the longest and sing the lyrics of fait accompli.

Joram Ragem
wuod Ndinya, wuod Onam, wuod Amolo, wuod Owuoth, wuod Oganyo, wuod Mumbe, wuod Odongo, wuod Olwande, wuod Adhaya, wuod Ojuodhi, wuod Ragem! (Are you my relative?)

Kenya: National Accord Has Serious Loopholes

From: Christine Baraza

There are two serious problems with the National Accord that was signed in 2008 between Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki. The first problem is that the National Accord has serious loopholes and gaps that if not fixed will continue causing trouble for the Grand Coalition. It says that executive power shall be shared on a 50-50 basis without defining what 50-50 basis means in real implementation of the power-sharing.

Secondly, it gives Raila the role of supervising and coordinating Government Ministries. There is no way you can supervise and co-ordinate people without having the power to disciplining them. It can’t just work. People whom you supervise must know that you do have the powers to discipline them in order to follow your orders or else you can’t supervise them.
Thirdly, the Accord lacks clarity on many issues in it. For example, what’s portfolio balance?.. It says that they shall be portfolio balance at all times in government appointments. Does this include the civil service/ ODM says YES,..while PNU says No..These are mere individual interpretations.

When the Accord was made part of the Constitution, there was no serious study of the Constitution so that the constitution conformed to the Accord. This brought the problem of who should be the leader of government business. The Accord says that the PM and the President are EQUAL PARTNERS..What does that mean in terms of Governance?

There is also the problem of what happens when one partner pulls out? It says the coalition comes to an end..What does that mean? Does it mean the remaining partner continues in the government or the country goes for an election? Pnu Interprets this to mean that if ODM pulls out, they remain in government. This doesn’t make sense because the Grand Coalition was formed because it wasn’t possible to determine with certainty who won the 2007 General elections, so PNU cannot remain and run the government. They have no mandate-the mandate of the Kenya government today stems from the National Accord. The Accord was not specific and tended to assume that the Principals were both committed to it. This wasn’t the case. It is clear that KIBAKI was forced into signing the Accord by the circumstances that were obtaining at that time, and therefore PNU seems to have no goodwill at all in respecting the spirit of the Accord.

The only feasible way forward, which many Politicians do not want, is to go back to the drawing board and renegotiate the accord. It will really help move this country forward than steeping the country in bickering all through the years.

Campaign starts to heat up in South Mugirango, as Magara to face it off with 12 other aspirants


Reports Leo Odera Omolo From Rongo Town

The forthcoming by-election in South Mugirango constituency is going to be the toughest campaign ever seen in the Gusii region in the recent years.

Already twelve {12} high profile individual aspirants have declared their interest in the seat formerly held by the ODM national treasurer, Omingo Magara. Magara’s election in the 2007 as the area MP was nullified by the High Court Judge, Justice Masinga sitting in Kisii law court, on the ground of irregularities.

Magara himself is leading the pack of twelve aspirants, and the rumor making the rounds on the ground paints negative colors, that his chances of clinching the seat are rather deem. This is because of the widely common knowledge that he burned his bridges with the ODM leadership, particularly the party leader, Raila Odinga.

The Orange party is still very popular with the Gusii electorate, and appear to be a hard nut to crack in this constituency by another party. But this will however depend on the strength of the individuals contesting on the party’s ticket after the preliminaries.

Although the Independent Interim Electoral Commission has yet to set the official campaign date rolling, the aspirants were already on the ground at the weekend. They attended funerals and gatherings in marketplaces, schools sports meetings, and other gatherings, ahead of the official campaign time.

The indications on the ground are that the ODM ticket is expected to attract more spirants than any other party.
Reports from the ground say Omingo Magara might not be an easy push over, but still a power to reckon with, if only he gets the blessing of his party leadership. Whether the top brass of ODM are willing to forgive and forget remains to be seen.

But the entry of the former area MP, David Kombo, and Ombasa Apepo, who appear to have done their home work properly, each hoping to clinch the ODM nomination, further complicates things for Magara.

Not to be left out of the equation either is the only woman candidate in the race, Rosemary Obara. She is the chairperson of the Gusii Water and Sanitation Company. If she wins the nomination phase, and go ahead to win the parliamentary contest, she will go down in the history books as the first woman to win a parliamentary seat among the Abagusii people.

The other woman who at one time had became so powerful politically in the region, and contested a parliamentary seat previously, was Mrs Catherine Nyamato, the former nominated MP who contested Mugirango West. Therefore Obara’s candidature could complicate the race for all the male aspirants, as the populous female votes are likely to sway her way.

The teachers fraternity will also be well represented by the KNUT Gucha South branch treasurer, Mr Zebedeo Nyaboga, as well as the retired former High School Principal, Mr. Ibrahim Otoi, who has also declared that he would be in the race for the same seat. Both of them enjoy good rapport with the teachers in the region, and are banking on cashing out on that popularity.

So if it isn’t a history of economic development initiatives that will tilt the decision of the voters, the educational achievement of a contestant will most likely do the trick. For besides teachers, there is also a doctor, and a lawyer. Dr. Ezekiel Okemwa, who is said to be having a good following on the ground, is maximizing on his profession to turn the tables on the other aspirants. Not to be outdone, a Kisii lawyer, Mr David Mugunde, is also counting on his local connections to get him overboard. A Mr. Mauti Sagwe is also in the race.

Yet the man to watch very carefully is Manson Nyamweya, the man who had petitioned the court and ensured Magara’s election was nullified. He is a staunch member of the Nyachae’s Ford People party. He has confirmed that he will contest the by-election on the same party’s ticket.

Nyamweya is a strong candidate and did fairly well during the 2007 general elections. He was mostly betrayed by the fact that the Ford People party de facto leade,r Simeon Nyachae, failed to appear on the ground to conduct the campaign for his party’s candidate. Had Nyachae appeared in any of Nyamweya’s public campaign rallies, things could have changed for the better for this particular candidate. But despite Nyachae’s absence and non-appearance in South Mugirango, his party candidate lost in a respectable position, a clear indication that Nyachae’s party is still a power to reckon with in Gusii politics.

During last Saturday’s burial of Mr. James Ochwando at Nyamarambe, seven aspirants appeared together and launched their campaign. Some were cheered up, while other were jeered and heckled. This is a clear indication that the forthcoming by-elections could breed violence and lawlessness in the area, due to the presence at the campaign rallies of the many drunken political goons.

While the seven launched their campaigns at a funeral near Nyamarambe, their rivals, Apepo and Mayonga, organized for behind the scenes strategic campaign meetings in various hotels within Kisii Municipality, about twenty kilometers away.

All the leading parties like PONU, ODM-Kenya, Ford People, Ford-Kenya, PNU and KANU are expected to sponsor a candidate for this by-election.

One issue which is likely to dominate the campaign is the poor and lackluster performance of Omingo Magara during the last eight years, when he represented the constituency.

The former MP has the worst record on development matters of any MP from the area. And his opponents are expected to hammer on this, as well as on his migratorykind of politics, which showed him to be close to Nyachae at one time, then moving on to Raila Odinga, and now being among the rebel ODM MPs, giving “Agwambo” sleepless nights, in William Ruto’s bandwagon.

As we were going to the press, two other aspirants declared their interests in the seat. They are Mr. Rashid Muyonga, Master Ondora.


The fragile Coalition government of Kenya is being run by the international bullies behind the scenes, using paid hit men like Kofi Annan and Moreno Ocampo

The fragile Coalition government of Kenya is being run by the international bullies behind the scenes, using paid hit men like Kofi Annan and Moreno Ocampo

From:  Akech

My fellow country men/women;
(By the way, I do not have PhD, so be kind to my rumbling below)

While most of you are taking shots at each other over the squabble between Raila and Ruto, the fragile Coalition government of Kenya is being run by the international bullies behind the scenes using paid hit men like Kofi Annan and Moreno Ocampo.

Annan and Ocampo are paid consultants representing the interests of NATO (United States, Great Britain, and Europe) in their war against terrorism. The US has invested a lot of capital in Mwai Kibaki since that State Dinner hosted by George W. Bush at Whitehouse in his honor in 2003. Because of this relationship with Mwai Kibaki, PNU is the US, Great Britain and European Union favored ruling party in Kenya.

The Mau saga and The Hague stick were merely ploys introduced to dismantle and put ODM out of commission. It would be a miracle if the Pentagon members can manage to sort out their differences and realize that those poor Kenyans who flocked their rallies were counting on them to bring real changes in Kenya! Apparently, it does not look like the big egos will allow them to do that. I wonder whether these people are not just concerned about themselves, immediate families and their close fiends.

What is more worrisome is that there are parallels between the implosion within ODM right now and what was happening in Rwanda a few months before the 1994 genocide.

(1)US has been a staunch supporter of Paul Kagame and his Rwanda Patriotic Front since its creation by Tutsi exiles in Uganda. The leaders in the RPF army were trained and equipped by US and its European allies.

(2)A year or two prior to Rwanda genocide of 1994, there were a series of power sharing negotiations between the government of Rwanda, under President Juvenal Habyarimana and the then leader of Rwanda Patriotic Front, Paul Kagame, held in Arusha, Tanzania.

(3)During these negotiations, the Rwandan government was pressured and threatened with international sanctions by the US and his European allies to grant power sharing concessions to RPF. Habyarimana granted so many concessions to RPF that made it difficult for the president to justify to his hard line supporters that he was not handing over ruling powers to a minority ethnic group, the Tutsis, under leader Paul Kagame.

During the colonial rule and shortly after independence from the Belgians, the Tutsi minority had supreme powers over the Hutus (85%) and other tribes.

(4)The last straw came just a day before the beginning of the genocide. The hardliners in Habyarimana party were unable to standby and watch what they saw as a military coup by Paul Kagame and his Tutsis minority, through continuous pressure from US and it allies. That day, the plane carrying the Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana (Hutu), and Burundi President Cyprien Nitanyamira (Hutu), who were retuning from reconciliation meetings in Arusha, Tanzania, was brought down by a surface-to-air missile just, before its landing at Kigali Airport. The Rwanda genocide began a couple of hours later that night , April (6-7) 1994

(5)To date, the person or people responsible for the downing of the plane have never been identified. Yet there are international investigators in Rift Valley trying to talk to the locals to unearth who exactly incited the 2007 elections riot that killed 1,000 Kenyans.

Yet, US, France, Great Britain and the European Union have never seen it fit to employ their superior investigative methods to unearth who assassinated the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi on the eve of Rwanda genocide. They have left that single episode to speculations:- Could it have been the Hutu hardliners who were afraid of impending takeover of government by advancing Tutsis RPF, or was it Paul Kagame and it RPF, who wanted to take the power from the Hutus? The environment created was such that either side could have been responsible

(1)ODM has been vilified by international press since the beginning of 2007 Kenyan election campaigns.

(2)To make the Coalition Government work, Raila and ODM have made many concessions to accommodate PNU and have been, deliberately, assigned tasks which put this political party members at odds with each other, as well as their supporting Kenyan voters, who are now left dangling in the air. Yet, through Kofi Annan, more pressure is being exerted by the international powers and directed primarily at the Prime Minister and his team. The pressure has definitely taken its toll!

(3)Raila has become the axe man in implementing policies which only help put him in conflicts with his base supporters in Kenya, particularly, Rift Valley.

(4)The current implosion within ODM has created an atmosphere in which anyone outside ODM party members can harm either Ruto or Raila or both. Should something like this happen, some ODM supporters will be blamed for a nightmare like that!

While ODM attention is directed towards the squabbles within Kenya, a barrage of NEW laws and rules of engagement in the newly re-created East African Community (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi), with dire consequences to Kenya and Kenyans are taking shape. The continuous disagreements between PNU and ODM in Kenya make it difficult for anybody to determine who is representing ODM’s views or or the views of those who gave them support at these EAC negotiations!

One thing is clear; the well known proxy warriors in East Africa and Lake Victoria regions, Paul Kagame and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, are now the alpha dogs in the EAC. These are the same well trained, battle hardened Ugandan and Rwandan proxies who have been wreaking havoc in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where over a million Congolese have been killed, and a million others rotting in refugee camps!

This is the resources looting war the world is not interested talking about. Things are just getting worse with resource lootings in the Congo. New East African Community members are getting into the mineral act:

The borders between these five EAC countries are becoming porous. One does not need a passport to go in and out of each territory! During the 2008 political turmoil in Kenya, it was rumored that Ugandan forces were seen in Western Kenya and Kisumu District, and there has been Migingo Island issue in Lake Victoria. Next time around, it will be the Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi army chaps who will be wreaking havoc in Western and Nyanza Provinces, and they will not need a permission to come in. This is already taking shape, while majority of Kenyans’ attention is focused elsewhere!

Kofi Annan and Moreno Ocampo have not yet seen it fit to pay one visit to Laurent Nkunda, Paul Kagame’s right hand man, who is responsible for killing and damaging millions Congolese on behalf of multinational corporations. Nkunda is now living in Rwanda, negotiating the terms for his unconditional release.

What exactly did William Ruto do that has made Annan and Ocampo be hot on his trail? Is he worse than Kagame and Nkunda? I am not trying to minimize the deaths of 1,000 and displacement of 35,000 Kenyans during the 2007-2008 election turmoil. I am merely directing your attentions to what some members of EAC are doing in DRC, and what they may be capable of doing in Kenya should things fall apart!



November 30, 2009.
 It is our humble submission from the onset to state that the Mau issue is not a Hon.  Raila Odinga issue but one which revolves around National Interests.
At most it is also very clear that the issue which has enormous environmental proportions was passed and ratified in the Cabinet where the Honorable Minister for Agriculture alongside Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
We therefore condemn in the strongest possible terms the heinous plot by some Rift valley members of Parliament to sponsor a motion of no confidence on the Prime Minister. What is clear is that the Mau eviction exercise was duly passed in the cabinet and in parliament.
It is also not in dispute that Hon Raila is not the Minister for Forestry and that if there is a mishandling of the entire exercise, the concerns should be directed to the Minster in charge, together with the officers on the ground.
Notice should also be given to the fact that Hon Ruto and Kenyatta and their henchmen, are now using the Mau saga to besmirch the character of the Prime Minister, in a thinly veiled attempt aimed at gaining some form of political mileage, but they should know that Kenyans ate watching them keenly.
The plot here is to shift the focus of Kenyans away from the ongoing debate on the harmonized Draft constitution, with ulterior motive. It is our humble prayer that the government should look for alternative sites for those who have been removed from Mau, and have genuine documents. As church leaders, we don’t want war and confrontation over the potentially explosive issue since it will polarize various ethnic communities in those regions.
Therefore, we are taking this early opportunity in telling Hon Ruto and Kenyatta to leave the Hon Prime Minister alone. We also appeal to the leaders of the Grand Coalition Government to work in harmony, in the spirit of the National Accord and Reconciliation, signed before chief mediator Koffi Annan.

We again reiterate that the Church fraternity in Kenya is still perplexed By Hon John Michuki’s rules over noise pollution. Our stand is that the rules are repugnant and an affront to our faith and do not promote freedom of worship that is entrenched in the constitution of the Republic of Kenya.
We submit that the rules should be suspended forthwith, since it negates the very principles that are enshrined in the constitution. Notice should be taken that it is very difficult to reach young people, without the aide of public address systems, and that is noise. John the Baptist and our savior Jesus Christ made noise to draw the attention of the people.
Finally The Jews questioned because children were making noise, and he replied and said ‘If these children stopped making noise, the stone will make noise’
All prophets made noise e.g. Jonah, Samuel, Jeremiah, David e.t.c. We need the noise in order to target the modern youths. During the time of prophets and even John the Baptist, they preached outside with noise. We totally disagree with the Minister to return us to dark days.
Soviet Union and Eastern Germany banned Churches from preaching outside, and plunged their Countries into poverty far worse, Compared to America and Britain.  
May God bless Kenya.
1.      Bishop Dr. Washington Ogonyo Ngede.     Chairman.
2.      Arch Bishop Julius Otieno                           Vice Chairman.
3.      Bishop Jasper Ogello wadegu.
4.      Bishop Hesbon Njera.
5.      Bishop Eliakim Mbata.
6.      Bishop Allan Ojwang Iro
7.      Bishop George Obul
8.      Bishop Richard Odongo
9.      Bishop John Ongonga.

Raila, Ruto and the Mau saga

29th November 2009
Raila, Ruto and the Mau saga

The Mau Saga is taking a life of its own and two things stand out very clear;

The Government Resolve is wanting. I have put resolve with a capital ‘R’ because, the Government is not Raila Odinga alone.

The line ministries that are supposed to be leading from the frontline are those of Environment and Mineral Resources, and Forestry and Wildlife Services. We are seeing very lukewarm support from the Ministry of Environment and Mineral Resources yet we all know how aggressive the Minister is. He is one man who moves with some passion on what the government has made decisions on. From the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife Services, the Minister is coming in a manner that raises his capacity.

Secondly, we are all witnessing the aggressive approach being mounted by Hon William Ruto and Team Ruto. Their arrogance in dismissing government policy is again aimed at one person; Raila Odinga. And this again begs the question; is Raila Odinga the government?

In the two scenarios, one would want to ask, where does the CEO fall? Is the CEO complicit to Michuki’s low key approach this time around? Is the CEO complicit to lack of capacity from Dr Noah Wekesa? Is the CEO complicit to the bravery with which Ruto and Team Ruto is attacking the person of Raila Odinga? Is the CEO part of this scheme in the unfolding Mau Saga? Has the CEO found in Ruto an able and capable person who can be used to fight Raila?

I was waiting to look at how our political commentators would tackle this issue this weekend, and sadly, they have all gone conventional and refused to address the hard facts. The Mau Saga fundraising offered us some good insights into what is going on and I want to join the Rt Hon Prime Minister in saying that these people are shedding crocodile tears over Mau. They have no interest with Mau, nor do they feel for those people who are leaving Mau. They have all hatred for one; Raila Amolo Odinga. And to them, it is pay back time, ably supported by the CEO.

The Mau Saga has just given these people the platform through which they can attack Raila using the names of the people. They do not have any feelings for the people, for they created Mau, so how can they have feelings?

It is worth noting that in that gathering at the Panafric Hotel, we had leaders who are filthy wealthy; yet, they cannot honestly justify how they became such wealthy. Hon William Ruto is not known to have worked for a decent pay at any place since he came from the University. He worked for 6 months as an untrained teacher, then joined Hon Cyrus Jirongo and others to form the infamous Youth for Kanu 92.

Kenyans know how this outfit ruined our economy.

Then Ruto emerged from it as one wealthy boy who had the capacity to vie for the Eldoret North parliamentary seat. The rest has been history; one scandal after the other and he grows rich by the day. Now, he is man enough to dare all Kenyans on the emotive Mau issue, using the victims as pawn in his power game designs.

But all said and done, can Ruto have the kind of courage he is showing if there in no hidden hand in his design? I doubt it. Can Ruto take on the Prime Minister in such a crude fashion if he is not covered? I again doubt it?

Time has come for Kenyans to look deeper into this problem. Why is the CEO enjoying as the Rt Hon Prime Minister is being hit below the belt? How come the CEO has never come out in open support of the Prime Minister at these trying moments? Is the CEO part of this design to once and for all finish Raila? And will they succeed this time around?

The answer to these questions came immediately after the Panafric Mau Harambee meet. Jimmy Kibaki visited Rift Valley and told his audience that the Ruto schemes have the blessings of the CEO. We knew he was going to deny that, but the good thing is that it had come out. He has since denied what he was caught on camera saying.

The second picture that complicates matters for the CEO is Michuki’s lukewarm support for the Mau evictions despite being an environmental issue directly affecting his ministry. We all know Michuki and how forthright he is normally. He would in his holy righteousness tell us what they discuss with the CEO. His silence and none action is telling us just that.

The third sign was Hon Kiraitu’s body language and mannerisms at the Panafric Mau Harambee. Some things need no further readings.

The last sign is the silence emanating from the CEO himself. The Prime Minister is being bashed for implementing Government decision and he keeps quiet. It speaks volumes.

I was once at home and one of my uncles asked me about the CEO. I said I do not know anything about him, he is so silent. My uncle told me, the man is so silent by the day, but at night, he talks throughout.

I believe him now. They talk about Raila Odinga throughout the night. And Kenyans are watching.

Oto Octavian

A Study on Political Violence in Kenya

Political violence in Kenya

A study of causes, responses, and a framework for discussing preventive action

Thomas Obel Hansen

ISS Paper 205, November 2009


This paper focuses on political violence in Kenya. The rationale
of the paper is to understand how such violence can best be
prevented. To do this, we must first understand the history of
political violence in Kenya and what factors in society contribute to
a tendency of utilising violence as a means of obtaining political

The present study is informed by a number of interviews with
representatives of Kenyan civil society organisations which are
involved in human security.1 Moreover, it relies on an appraisal of
studies and reports available on political violence in Kenya. In its
discussions, the paper draws on transitional justice discourses.

The paper is structured as follows: Firstly, a definition of
political violence is provided for. Secondly, the paper analyses how
political violence has historically played out in Kenya. Thirdly, the
paper identifies a variety of causes of political violence in Kenya.
Fourthly, the paper turns to an appraisal of which responses can be
deployed to prevent the recurrence (or persistence) of political
violence. It does so by discussing initiatives that have already been
implemented or which may be due to implementation. The paper thus
presents an account of political violence in Kenya and the responses
undertaken, while at the same time engaging more theoretically with
the question of how to prevent political violence.

Conceptualising Political Violence

Political violence is a so-called ‘essentially contested
concept’, and the premise that a universal understanding ought

to be utilised is not endorsed by all.2 This section attempts to clarify how the notion can be utilised to the Kenyan context.

Where all forms of violence are said to relate to power, political
violence has been defined as ‘the commission of violent acts
motivated by a desire, conscious or unconscious, to obtain or
maintain political power’.3 It is therefore the pursuit
of political objectives (and not the end result of gaining or not
gaining political power) that is at the core of the notion.4 Defining
political violence is typically contingent on a typology that
separates the politically motivated from economically and socially
motivated forms of violence. In this sense, political violence takes
place in the collective sphere where acts of violence are typically
committed by a multitude of individuals from one group against
individuals from another group, primarily because the targeted
individual happens to belong to this group. Political violence
typically takes the form of murder, assaults, sexual abuse such as
rape, forced pregnancy or sterilisation. Economic violence, on the
other hand, is characterised by an individual (or a multitude of
individuals) illegally pursuing financial enrichment by means of
violence (or threats of violence), and typically manifests as street
crimes such as robbery, drug related crimes or kidnapping. Social
violence is said to pursue the empowerment of one individual over
another, for example through domestic violence.5

Many observers, however, recognise that political violence should
not analytically be disintegrated from economic and social violence
because all forms of violence interrelate.6 In Kenya, many of those
consulted by the author understood political violence as violence
that takes place in relation to ‘political competition’,
but as a notion with strong economic and social underpinnings that
may be the determinant for the prevalence of political violence.

It is worth keeping in mind that the term political violence is
used for a broad variety of situations, ranging from terrorist
attacks, armed revolution, violent demonstrations or attacks by
citizens aimed at less than the overthrow of their government to
humanitarian intervention and intra-state wars.7 Political violence,
therefore, is not confined to non-state actors’ use of violent
means to further a political agenda but can also relate to the
state’s exercise of force, both against its own citizens and
against other states and their citizens. It is important to keep in
mind that mass-scale violence is sometimes portrayed as essentially
apolitical while in reality being predominantly political. For
example, some observers have characterised the Rwandan Genocide as a
‘crime of hate’, implying that it was brought about by
irrational ethnic hatred,8 when in fact the Genocide served (or was
thought to serve) primarily a political agenda.9 At the same time the
Rwandan Genocide highlights how the incentive to carry out violence
that is essentially political can be enhanced by ambitions to settle
private scores or obtain material benefit, thereby exemplifying the
difficulties in operating with a clear distinction between political,
economic and social violence.10

The understanding that political violence relates to acts of
violence that are carried out primarily as a means of achieving
political influence or power and usually entails a ‘group-component’
is foundational for the present paper. It is, however, also accepted
that political violence is a relative concept that depends on the
context to which it is applied.

Political Violence in Kenya: A Brief Outline

Political violence has played out in different manners throughout
Kenya’s history. When in 1888 the British East Africa Company
(BEAC) obtained concessionary rights to the Kenyan coast from the
Sultan of Zanzibar, Waiyaki Wa Henya, a Kikuyu chief was abducted and
killed by the British after having burned down the fort of a BEAC
official. Likewise, Kenyans’ opposition to the building of the
Uganda Railway, prompted the British to use violent means such as

As a reaction to settlers’ dominance over economic resources
and political exclusion, in 1921, Kenya’s first African
political protest movement, the Young Kikuyu Association (later the
Kenya African Union) was born. Both the colonialists and indigenous
Kenyans used violence in their pursuit of political objectives, most
clearly evident from the 1952-1960 Mau Mau rebellion and its
repression.11 As many of the Kenyans consulted by the author pointed
out, it is important to keep in mind that British colonialism in
Kenya was founded upon a strategy where effective rule of the colony
relied on building alliances with certain ethnic groups and
escalating tensions between these and other ethnic groups. Therefore,
besides its immediate connection with political violence, colonialism
through ‘divide and rule’ policies has brought about or
escalated inter-community conflict, the effects of which may still
have importance for the prevalence of political violence. Likewise,
the construction of a colonial state is said to have sustained
effects on inequality, land ownership, and regional differences. As
discussed later on, these factors are relevant to take into account
when examining political violence in present day Kenya.12

Also after the coming of independence in 1963, Kenya’s
political history was marked by violent uprising and repression.
Following the Kenya African National Union (KANU) victory in the 1963
elections, Kenya became a de facto one-party state, with its
leader and President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, for example banning
attempts of creating an opposition party associated with the Luo
ethnic group. For some, this lead to the perception that Kenyatta, an
ethnic Kikuyu himself, was promoting Kikuyu interests over national

According to many observers, when Daniel Moi took office in 1978
following the death of Kenyatta, he pursued policies that benefitted
(parts of) his own ethnic group, the Kalenjin, while excluding
individuals from other ethnic groups from gaining public office or
access to state resources. To facilitate this, repression of the
political opposition was common practice. Repression included
excessive use of force, torture, indefinite detention, and other
measures. In 1982, following a coup attempt, the Moi regime amended
the Constitution and subsequently Kenya officially became a one-party
state. Police and security forces dispersed demonstrations against
this move forcefully. Only after intense donor-pressure did Moi allow
multi-party elections to be held in 1992.14 The election campaign,
the election itself and its immediate aftermath were characterised by
threats, harassments and the occurrence of violent clashes between
supporters for different parties, claiming the lives of around 1,500
Kenyans and displacing more than 300 000.15 Where Moi had warned that
the return to multi-party politics would result in tribal clashes,
some observers note that ‘far from being the spontaneous result
of a return to political pluralism, there is clear evidence that the
government was involved in provoking this ethnic violence for
political purposes and has taken no adequate steps to prevent it from
spiralling out of control’.16 Moi maintained power with the
1992 elections, and despite increased openness in the political
system, commentators note that the Moi regime continued to repress
the political opposition.17

Like the 1992 elections, the 1997 elections were associated with
violence. Six months prior to the elections, KANU party activists
allegedly backed armed gangs who attacked ‘non-native ethnic
groups’ in the Coast Province, causing the death of more than
100 and leading to the displacement of more than 100 000.18 Also
after the elections, politically motivated violence between ethnic
groups took place. According to Amnesty International, more than 120
Kenyans lost their lives in the Rift Valley when KANU supporters
clashed with armed youths belonging to the Kikuyu ethnic group.19
Amnesty International notes how political violence predominantly
occurred in those areas where the Kikuyu-dominated opposition party,
the Democratic Party, had won over the Kalenjin-dominated KANU.20
Human rights organisations indicate that the violence in the Rift
Valley, like the pre-election violence in the Coast Province, was
endorsed and supported by political leaders, and responses from
security forces to halter the violence were non-existent or too
reluctant or delayed to have any meaningful effect.21 In 2002, after
Moi had held two terms and therefore was not allowed to run for
president again, Uhuru Kenyatta (Jomo Kenyatta’s son) was
appointed as KANU’s candidate. Dissatisfied with Moi’s
choice, a number of KANU members formed a faction, the Rainbow
Coalition with Raila Odinga as its leader, which later formed a
coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). The 13-party
coalition, the National Alliance Party of Kenya, joined fronts with
the LDP under the name of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC),
headed by Mwai Kibaki as its presidential candidate and with Raila
Odinga as its prime minister candidate. Although the election
campaign (and its aftermath) was characterised by a significant
decrease in political violence compared to its two predecessors,
political rallies did on some occasions lead to violence.22

As the Guardian’s Madeleine Bunting notes, observers of the
violence following the 2007 elections have often referred to the
violence as in contrast to an otherwise politically stable and
peaceful country. It is, however, worth keeping in mind that most
significant political activities and changes in leadership throughout
Kenya’s history as an independent state have been followed, and
to some extent formed, by violence, usually framed along ethnic

Yet, the most recent post-election violence, because of its
relationship to the contested election results and because of its
speed and scale, seemingly came as a surprise and shock for many
Kenyans and the outside world. The violence had erupted even before
Kibaki was declared winner of the elections, but increased in scale
after the announcement.24 Estimates of casualties vary, but most
observers cite the Waki Report’s number of 1,133.25 Moreover,
around half a million Kenyans were forced into exile by the
violence,26 of which a significant number remains in internal
displacement camps.27

It was in the Rift Valley – in particular around Eldoret –
that violence first erupted, seemingly taking the form of
ethnic-based clashes between Odinga’s supporters, especially
from the Kalenjin ethnic group, and supporters of Kibaki, mostly from
the Kikuyu ethnic group. According to some observers, certain local
politicians incited the violence.28 Its carrying out was often brutal
and simply directed against individuals according to their ethnic
affiliation.29 Partly in response to the violence in and around
Eldoret, Kikuyus formed so-called ‘self-defence forces’.
These militias along with a criminal organisation formed in the
1980s, the Mungiki, carried out organised and large-scale violence in
other parts of the country, including Naivasha, Nakuru, and Nairobi
slums.30 The violence was in most cases followed by looting and
sometimes perpetrators were supposedly rewarded with money for taking
part in the violence.31 The level of the state agencies’
responsibility for the occurrence of the election violence remains a
disputed subject. The Waki Report notes that whereas the police in
some areas of the country remained passive, either because they were
unable or unwilling to stop the violence, in other areas, police
shootings seemingly resulted in many of the casualties.32 In some
cases, such as in the slums of Kisumu, Human Rights Watch interviews
with police officers suggest that an unofficial ‘shoot-to-kill’
policy was applied, apparently resulting in unarmed civilians being
shot dead if assumed to be rioters.33

Political violence in Kenya, although often at its extremes during
election periods, also exists as an ‘everyday phenomenon’.
Assassinations of political leaders, prominent businessmen, civil
society leaders, and other figures that possess significant influence
on the allocation of resources or political developments in the
country are far from exceptional. In early May 2009, Kenya’s
Daily Nation reported how assassins with political motives had killed
26 high-profile Kenyans over the course of only two months.34 Most of
those Kenyans consulted by the author view such form of political
violence as related to the violence surrounding election processes
because it is many of the same factors that allow for their

Whether violent crimes committed by criminal groups, such as the
Mungiki sect, should be categorised as organised economical or
political when they do not occur in connection with election
processes depend on the perspective taken. When the Mungiki sect was
established in the 1980s, it had religious undertones and pursued a
political agenda of ‘defending the culture and traditions of
the Kikuyu tribe’.35 At that point, the sect is said to have
aimed at protecting Kikuyu interests in the context of then president
Moi’s affiliation with the Kalenjin ethnic group. The Mungiki
sect continues to be associated with the Kikuyu ethnic group.
However, the agenda of the sect and its reasons for utilising
violence are now primarily economical. The Mungiki applies
‘mafia-like’ methods to control the Kenyan public
transport sector and bribes local business owners.36

Yet, Mungiki’s actions remain associated with Kenyan
politics in several ways. Firstly, Mungiki criminal activities
associate with politics not only in the sense that violence is often
directed towards ‘political opponents’ of the sect,37 but
also in the sense that both local vigilante groups and state security
agencies have engaged in a low-scale armed struggle with the sect,
leading to accusations of government-ordered extra-judicial
killings.38 Secondly, it was common perception among those Kenyans
consulted by the author that Mungiki continues to enjoy (moral and
financial) support from a number of parliamentarians. Thirdly –
and closely related to the above – according to observers of
political violence in Kenya, intimidation and violence by the Mungiki
sect and a number of other violent gangs have been employed as
political tools, both during election campaigns and beyond.39 Perhaps
ironically, as one scholar observes, it may well be that ‘the
informal repression or quasi-legitimisation of sectarian violence for
political ends by the state, has transformed a “moral ethnic”
movement into a “political tribal” one’.40 Finally,
the Mungiki sect exercises control as a ‘state within the
state’ in certain parts of Kenya and uses violence to maintain
such control.41

In many ways, violent crime employed by the Mungiki sect thus
identifies as political. While violent crimes employed by organised
gangs such as the Mungiki sect and vigilante group retaliation
receive intensive cover in Kenyan newspapers,42 to the extent that
violence committed by such groups does not relate directly to the
election process, systematic documentation of its scope and nature
remains sparse.

As should be clear from the above, both ‘ethnic violence’
and organised economic crime can be intimately associated with
political violence. Political violence that unfolds along ethnic
lines can serve as a ‘tool in the toolbox’ for political
leaders who want to achieve influence.43 Like other instances of mass
violence in the region, ethnic violence in Kenya connects to
political manipulation of identity. Likewise, organised economic
crime is closely associated with political violence, in particular
because agents of political violence are often involved in economic

In order to establish a framework for understanding how political
violence in Kenya may be countered it is useful first to dwell by the
causes of political violence. The following section aims at
identifying a variety of underlying factors that may be determinant
for a political culture that, at times, sanctions the use of violence
to reach political objectives.

Political Violence in Kenya: Identifying the Causes

Identifying causes of political violence is a problematic task.
Firstly, any attempt to ‘explain’ a phenomenon such as
political violence can be subjected to the objection that attempting
to establish causal connections to certain economic, social, or
political realities is simply the wrong way of approaching political
violence. Viewing political violence as an outcome of particular
societal features easily gives way to the perception that the
emergence of political violence is unavoidable.44 Nonetheless, the
reversed position is also problematic. Mass violence is not simply
irrational and unexplainable, and it remains a fact that political
violence seems to occur persistently in some countries and not –
or to a much smaller extent – in others.45 In any case, some
scepticism is justified whenever studies pursue the ‘explanation’
or ‘identification of causes’ of a phenomenon such as
political violence.

In the following, an overview is presented of conditions that may
be consenting to political violence in Kenya.

Strong executive powers, gaining political office as a
‘struggle for survival’, and manipulation of ethnicity

As implied in the above outline of political violence in Kenya,
support and resistance to political leaders of the country have often
followed ethnic lines. When forming government, some political
leaders have rewarded and ensured advantages to individuals from
supportive ethnic groups, while marginalising or excluding
individuals belonging to ethnic groups associated with political
opponents. The Waki Report, for example, notes how ‘Moi
rewarded his supporters, particularly the Kalenjin, through
appointments to political offices and with jobs in the public service
and the military’.46 The Waki Report also notes how during the
1980s and 1990s ‘land grabbing and the allocation of public
land as political patronage were part of the gross corruption of this
period’.47 In this way land allocation was often turned into a
reward to ‘politically correct individuals’.48
Consequently, political power has been perceived as vital for
obtaining access to public goods, and the distinction between
individuals benefitting or marginalised from such access is viewed in
ethnic terms.49 Added to this, political leaders may have had a
personal interest in obtaining power because large-scale corruption
has become institutionalised.50 In a sense, gaining political office
has been seen as ‘a struggle for survival’: if power is
obtained, the perception is that access to sparse resources is
ensured, and if not; marginalisation and exclusion is reckoned to

This crisis of governance, where many leaders work not for the
country as such but for themselves and their political supporters, is
sometimes said to follow from a system where power has been
centralised in the hands of few since independence.51 Noting that
Kenya’s constitution, despite continuous talks of a fundamental
amendment, is still based on its colonial-era form where the
president is awarded with extensive powers, Human Rights Watch
suggests that the risks of a ‘winner-takes-all calculus’
increases.52 The Waki Report, in a similar vein, notes: ‘power
has been personalised around the presidency and this has been
increased by changes in the Constitution under each President since
independence. Laws are routinely passed to increase executive
authority, and those laws seen as being in the way are often changed
or even ignored’.53 This is said to result in the perception
that ‘given the power of the president and the political class
everything flows not from laws but from the president’s power
and personal decisions. This also has led the public to believe a
person from their own tribe must be in power, both to secure for them
benefits and as a defensive strategy to keep other ethnic groups,
should these take over power, from taking jobs, land and
entitlements. All of this has led to acquisition of presidential
power being seen both by politicians and the public as a zero sum
game, in which losing is seen as hugely costly and is
not accepted’.54

Yet, as many of the Kenyans consulted by the author pointed out,
the perception that ethnic groups, as such, benefit from ‘one
of their own’ gaining presidency is highly miscalculated
because only a very limited number of individuals actually benefit
from these arrangements.

Rule of law problems and the institutionalisation of
political violence

Strong executive powers are also said to circumvent transparency
and checks and balances, thereby decreasing the likelihood that the
executive, or political supporters of the incumbent regime, are held
accountable for political violence. The Waki Report notes that
‘checks and balances normally associated with democracies are
very weak in Kenya and are deliberately so. Individuals in various
parts of government whether in the civil service, the judiciary, and
even in Parliament, understand that, irrespective of the laws, the
executive arm of government determines what happens’.55 The
argument often goes that beyond dubious or extra-legal acquisition of
public goods, the executive may have interest in maintaining
structures that diminish the rule of law, thus facilitating
government action (or inaction) that may include political

Impunity in Kenya can be observed as playing out in three
different, but yet related, ways.

Firstly, responsible agents of large-scale violence that correlate
with a political agenda are seldom thoroughly investigated, arrested,
or prosecuted. Commenting on political violence surrounding the 1992
election, Africa Watch notes how ‘Kalenjin warriors’, who
backed then president Moi, were allowed to attack villagers from
other ethnic groups with no or only little attempts of the police to
intervene. Not only did the police according to Africa Watch refuse
to take statements from victims of the violence, in some cases they
also stood by passively while attacks were ongoing.57 ‘Kalenjin
warriors’ who were actually prosecuted often received lenient
sentences or were acquitted because the executive interfered in the
work of the judiciary.58 Inaction from authorities again prevailed
when political violence erupted after the 1997 elections. Some have
suggests that the police had received orders from the political
leadership not to intervene.59 Despite judicial inquiries into these
outbreaks of political violence that named several persons as
involved and recommended prosecutions, it has been suggested that
neither the Moi-administration nor its successor, the
Kibaki-administration, had interest in prosecutions commencing.60 In
a similar vein, violence committed prior to the 2007 elections did
seldom result in perpetrators being held accountable. The EU
monitoring commission notes: ‘in most cases, abuses did not
receive an appropriate response from the police and the judiciary and
there was therefore impunity towards perpetrators’.61 When the
most recent election violence erupted in December 2007, perpetrators
had good reason to assume that also this time politically motivated
violence would go unpunished.62 So far, they have not been mistaken:
the Waki Report concludes that out of more than 1,000 homicides
related to the election violence, only 19 were prosecuted.63

Secondly, impunity has played out as a matter of state agencies’
excessive and sometimes extra-legal use of violence, with other
authorities ignoring or for other reasons failing to address
responsible agents. For example, when the police responded to the
violence following the 2007 elections, they did so in a partial
manner where extensive use of force was deployed in areas dominated
by Odinga-supporters.64 The Waki Report assumes that more than one
third of the total casualties during the election violence results
from police shootings.65 The report also concludes that in many
instances the use of lethal force by the police targeted individuals
who were seemingly posing no immediate threat. In Kisumu, for
example, the Waki Report found that 30 out of 50 casualties of police
shootings had been shot from behind.66 The Waki Report also concludes
that some police officers were involved in criminal acts such as
sexual violence and looting.67 Despite allegations that Kenyan police
officers have violated the criminal code, according to the Waki
Report, the Kenyan police force has not initiated any comprehensive
internal investigations into the behaviour of police officers during
the election violence,68 and, apparently no police officers have yet
been prosecuted for extra-legal use of force related to the election

Thirdly, impunity has prevailed historically in Kenya in the sense
that political figures that have called for or sponsored violence
have seldom faced criminal accountability. The Waki Report notes how
recommendations of the commission established to investigate the
ethnic/ political violence in the 1990s (the Akiwumi Commission) to
further investigate certain political leaders was halted by lack of
commitment in government circles and by a legal sector structured in
such a way that prosecutions of high-profile political figures were
unlikely to commence.70

The rule of law has thus tended to be put aside in contexts of
political competition.71 This is likely to have led to the
presumption for next generation perpetrators that committing acts of
violence in a context that relates to political competition will
remain not accounted for.72 Representatives of Kenyan civil society
consulted by the author all pointed to impunity and lack of
commitment to the rule of law as imperative to take into account if
attempting to understand the prevalence of political violence in

Continuous political violence in Kenya may also have had a
reinforcing effect in other ways. Political violence in the 1990s
resulted in many of the persecuted Kikuyu’s leaving their homes
in the Rift Valley and settling in Nairobi. Some joined the Mungiki
sect which – as pointed to above – has been an important
agent of political violence.73 Such institutionalisation of political
violence may have had the side-effect that violent behaviour has
become normalised. According to some, non-political violent crimes,
especially in larger urban areas, in part results from violent gangs
being called upon by political leaders in the struggle for political
influence.74 In this way, political violence is closely related to
other forms of violence.

Socioeconomic causes: poverty, unequal distribution of
resources and land issues

The sidelining of the rule of law in contexts of competing for
political power, the impunity for both instigators and on-the-ground
perpetrators and a political tradition that has, in many cases,
implied that forming a government is deemed essential for obtaining
access to resources cannot stand alone as explanations of political
violence. Socioeconomic factors such as widespread poverty, unequal
distribution of resources, high unemployment rates and land disputes
have often been pointed to as ‘root causes’ of political
violence in Kenya.75

There seems to be a sense among some observers that agents of
political violence in Kenya are fundamentally dissatisfied with
social and economic conditions of life. Kenya has an estimated two
million unemployed youth. Joining a gang may for some be seen as a
‘way of life’ that can increase possibilities.76 When
these gangs engage in political violence, members are sometimes
promised payment for their activities, and also less organised
perpetrators can benefit from looting. Some commentators on the
recent election violence argue that poverty and opportunism had a
significant impact on villagers’ and shantytown dwellers’
willingness to engage in political violence.77 For many of the
perpetrators, political agendas may thus be less relevant than
prospects of enrichment.

Participation in political violence is said to be furthered by a
widespread sense of dissatisfaction in the distribution of wealth.
Distribution of wealth is extremely unequal in Kenya. According to a
2004 report, Kenya is the 10th most unequal country in the world, and
the richest 10 percent of the population controls 42 percent of the
country’s wealth, while the poorest 10 percent own less than 1
percent. Access to resources varies highly from region to region.78
With these lenses, political violence is a way of demonstrating
dissatisfaction with the cruel conditions of life that stand in
contrast to the elite’s comfortable way of life which is
perceived by the poor to result from political connections and

In particular, questions related to land distribution and
ownership are central in explaining political violence in Kenya.
Despite several attempts of reforms, land grievances dating back to
the colonial era continue to constitute a major obstacle to peaceful
cohabitation in Kenya. The problem can be summarised as follows: when
Kenya became independent in 1963, the most fertile areas that had
been occupied by white settlers were handed over to the new
government instead of the people who had lived there before. Besides
selling pieces of this land on market terms, Kenyan governments have
continuously allocated these areas to shifting supporters for
patronage purposes. Moreover, because colonial laws were never
fundamentally changed, there are no provisions for collective land
rights, thus complicating ownership for communities that have
traditionally been pastoralists.80

At least two dimensions are relevant when considering land
distribution and ownership as a cause of political violence. First,
many families can barely make a living from the small piece of land
they own. As pointed out by one of the Kenyans consulted by the
author, ‘land is a national cake, and everybody should have at
least a small piece. But where some have plenty, most have little’.81
Shortage and unequal distribution of land can lead to dissatisfaction
with governance and violence may be a means of expressing
frustrations.82 Second, long-lasting problems of land ownership and
distribution have created tensions between communities. In the Rift
Valley, some Kikuyus have allegedly acquired land through connections
to the political elite.83 According to the Waki Report, Kenyans who
belong to the Kalenjin ethnic group tend to view the most recent
election violence as a result of land injustices.84

Political violence in Kenya has tended to concentrate in the Rift
Valley, often with the Kikuyu ethnic group on the one side and the
Kalenjin ethnic group on the other.85 Disputes over land ownership
are historically related to colonial and post-independent regimes’
unfair taking and allocation of land (and the colonialists’
forceful resettlement of individuals from certain ethnic groups).
Such disputes remain an unsolved problem that political leaders can
escalate by making reference to ethnicity. By doing so, the problem
acquires potential for inter-community conflict, as has indeed been a
characteristic of political violence throughout Kenya’s

In drawing on transitional justice discourses, the paper now turns
to an appraisal of how political violence in Kenya can be countered.
The analysis should be seen as a contribution to ongoing discussions
on what actions are required to prevent the recurrence of political
violence in Kenya. The analysis takes into account key developments
in Kenya following the outburst of violence following the 2007

Responding to Political Violence: Action Taken and a Framework
for Engagement

Transitional justice as a framework for analysing
preventive measures to political violence in Kenya

The idea that to avoid the recurrence of political violence and
other forms of mass atrocity, societies must confront these legacies
through legal and quasi-legal measures has only in recent decades
obtained a central place in discourses on conflict prevention, human
rights, and democratisation. Prior to the Latin American transitions
in the 1980s, human rights activists tended to rely on a methodology
that emphasised the exposure of political violence. In the early
1990s, activists and scholars alike increasingly began to advocate
for the need to retrospectively confront perpetrators of
state-sponsored violence.87 It is along this activism that the
so-called ‘transitional justice’ scholarship has been
formed. The scholarship, at this point dominated by international
lawyers, engaged with the question: ‘how should nascent
democracies address the human rights violations that plagued their
societies’ recent past?’88 A dichotomy between punishment
and amnesty provided the initial foundation for answering the
question. Parts of the scholarship, however, soon started to advocate
that ‘dealing with the past’ could entail other responses
than putting to trial perpetrators of state-sponsored violence, or
doing nothing.

With the proliferation of truth commissions in the 1990s, many
academics started to suggest that trial and punishment are
insufficient in addressing the root causes of conflict. For these
observers, truth commissions are seen as a response enabling enhanced
roles of victims and possibly paving the way to healing,
reconciliation and peace, in a way that criminal justice cannot
facilitate.89 Others, however, suggest that compared to criminal
trials, truth commissions constitute a ‘second-best option’.90

Besides criminal trials and truth commissions, reparations to
victims of past violations; vetting processes intended to rid state
institutions from known human rights perpetrators; and – but
more marginally – legal and institutional reform, are often
considered within an analytical framework of transitional justice.91

The term ‘transitional justice’ was initially reserved
for justice that deals with gross human rights violations in times of
fundamental (liberal) regime change. Contemporary transitional
justice discourses have expanded to cover questions of how societies
should deal with past civil war and other forms of large-scale
intra-state violence, also in cases where a fundamental political
transition is absent. The assumption is that many of the challenges
of doing justice which face these societies are not that different
from cases of fundamental and liberalising political transition.92
From that also follows that the field now embraces dealing with
large-scale violence committed by state actors as well as non-state
actors. The use of transitional justice discourses in connection with
attempts to deal with atrocities in northern Uganda is illustrative
of this trend.93 The importance of dealing with past violations is
said to flow from a variety of normative claims, such as
reconciliation, victims’ healing, and the consolidation of the
rule of law. Most of these objectives are related (or ought to be
related) to preventing the recurrence of large-scale

Although it is problematic to argue that a profound political
transformation has taken place in Kenya, transitional justice
discourses offer useful tools for appreciating how Kenya can tackle
political violence.

The paper now turns to an outline of what actions have been
undertaken; is underway; or may prospectively be embarked upon in
Kenya to deal with legacies of political violence and prevent its

Trial and punishment

Most of the debates on how to address political violence in Kenya
have focused on prosecuting and punishing responsible agents for the
violence surrounding the 2007 elections. Executive Director of Human
Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth notes that for Kenya to overcome the
legacies of political violence, it has ‘only two choices:
justice or impunity’.95 Roth argues that pursuing criminal
justice for the most recent election violence is crucial for ending a
culture of impunity.96

Likewise, the parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
Reconciliation (the parties) and a variety of Kenyan observers have
noted the importance of using criminal justice to prevent political
violence from recurring. The parties recognised that their final goal
is the achievement of ‘sustainable peace, stability and justice
in Kenya through the rule of law and respect for human rights’.97
They agreed that reaching this goal required the parties to conduct
further discussions on how to ensure ‘the impartial, effective
and expeditious investigation of gross and systematic violations of
human rights and that those found guilty are brought to justice’.98
The need to prosecute perpetrators of the 2007 election violence was
further recognised in a public statement of the parties on February
14 2008: to solve the political crisis surrounding the election
violence, the parties agreed that reconciliation and healing was
imperative, and reaching this end was said to require the
‘identification and prosecution of perpetrators of violence’.99
Likewise, the Waki Commission set up by the parties highlighted the
role of impunity as a cause of the election violence and recommended
the establishment of ‘special tribunals’ with specific
jurisdiction over the election violence and a judicial staff made up
of both Kenyans and foreigners. The Waki Report requested the parties
to reach an agreement on the establishment of such tribunals and put
forward a bill in Parliament. The request was made under threat that
failure to comply within a timeframe of 60 days after the Waki Report
was made public, would result in a list of names with high-profile
Kenyans, which the Waki Commission suspected to be responsible for
the violence, would be handed over to the prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court (ICC).100 Yet, a bill on the
establishment of special tribunals put forward in Parliament on
February 12 2009 was voted down. The bill was criticised by some
observers for failing to ensure the proposed tribunals’
independence from the executive and for being drafted with
insufficient input from Kenyan civil society.101

At the time of writing, debates continued on how, where and
whether efforts to prosecute those responsible for the most recent
election violence should commence, but the Kenyan government appeared
to be under pressure from various sides to domestically deal with the
question. Kofi Annan, the chief mediator of the Kenyan National
Dialogue and Reconciliation has handed over the list of alleged
high-profile perpetrators to ICC prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.
Ocampo is attempting to push the Kenyans to take actions, but there
is profound disagreement among Kenyan decision-makers and it is far
from certain that steps to prosecute domestically will be taken.102

It is useful at this point to dwell by the implications of
prosecuting perpetrators of the post-election violence
internationally or nationally.

The establishment of the ICC has often been praised by legal
scholars. Cees Flinterman, for example, noted on the existence of the
ICC: ‘it is hoped [this] will end forever the culture of
impunity, thereby deterring the commission of gross human rights
violations in the future’.103 Should criminal prosecutions
related to the Kenyan elections violence commence before the Hague
tribunal, the advantage, compared to domestic prosecutions, is
usually perceived as deriving from the independence of the ICC from
national authorities, thereby increasing the likelihood that
high-profile Kenyans will be convicted if evidence confirms their

On the other hand, pursuing accountability before international
tribunals is often said to have significant flaws. First, it is clear
that prosecuting before the ICC is likely to include only a very
limited number of perpetrators and possible convictions are likely to
occur only after several years. It is worth keeping in mind that
since its establishment in 2002, despite investigations into
atrocities in the DRC, Northern Uganda, Darfur, and the Central
African Republic, at the time of writing, only one case has reached
its trial hearings (prosecutor vs. Thomas Lubanga Dyilo). In other
cases, however, arrest warrants have been issued and some cases are
in their pre-trial stage. Investigations against Lord’s
Resistance Army in Uganda have resulted in the ICC issuing altogether
five arrest warrants (but proceedings against one have been
terminated due to his decease). Besides the case against Dyilo, two
cases related to crimes committed in the DRC have reached their
pre-trial stage with the accused in custody. One case against a
citizen of the Central African Republic is at its pre-trial
stage.Finally, the UN Security Council referral of crimes in Darfur
to the ICC has led the court to issue arrest warrants against four
Sudanese citizens, including President Bashir. One of the Sudanese
accused has appeared voluntarily before the pre-trial chamber and the
rest remain at large.105 As follows from this outline, it is
extremely improbable that ICC investigations into the recent election
violence in Kenya would lead to arrest warrants being issued against
more than a couple of instigators. Should these Kenyans happen to be
incumbent ministers, members of parliament, or high-profile civil
servants, their actual handing over to The Hague to stand trial are
far from guaranteed. Moreover, any possible conviction of Kenyans
responsible for the election violence in The Hague is likely to occur
only after several years. Besides these pragmatic concerns,
international tribunals are often criticised for externalising
justice because those affected by mass violence, including victims,
have little influence on (and perhaps understanding of) the
proceedings; because trials take place far away from the communities
affected, thus making them inaccessible to the general public; and
because those notions of justice that international tribunals enforce
are not necessarily corresponding with notions of justice in the
communities affected by violence.106

Finally, and perhaps most important for the question of local vs.
international prosecutions for the Kenyan election violence, one must
realise that the key argument for pursuing criminal accountability
for the violence surrounding the 2007 elections usually rests on the
assumption that it requires punishment of perpetrators to ‘eradicate
impunity’.107 In the current debate on political violence in
Kenya, eradicating impunity is generally supposed to be a necessary
step to prevent the future occurrence of political violence, because
only so will prospective perpetrators be deterred from engaging in
political violence and only so can the rule of law be reinforced. The
Waki Report notes: ‘the eradication of impunity will […]
not only blow off the cover for persons who break the law of the land
but also deter others who may contemplate similar deeds in
future’.108 Logically, any deterrent effect must depend on how
prospective perpetrators perceive the chances of being held
accountable.109 If prosecutions in The Hague lead to the conviction
of one, two, or maybe three perpetrators of political violence, the
chances of being ‘caught and convicted’ for future
political violence – perhaps except for those holding the
highest offices – will be perceived small since the signal sent
is that the Kenyan state is unable or unwilling to deal with the
question domestically and will not prosecute political violence; at
worst a few leaders are prosecuted internationally. Moreover, putting
to trial perpetrators of political violence is sometimes said to
reinforce the rule of law symbolically by bringing about ‘collective
appreciation of the rule of law’.110 The symbolic effect on the
rule of law would be much greater if ‘Kenyans prosecute
Kenyans’, and in numbers far exceeding what the ICC would
enable. Nevertheless, reinforcing the rule of law by domestically
prosecuting perpetrators of the recent election violence is dependent
on the process’ legitimacy in the eyes of the general public,
and to the extent the set-up of special tribunals fails to secure
independence from the executive (or others’ interference) and
fails to bring to account also members of the political elite, the
process is likely to be judged as flawed and holds little potential
for strengthening the rule of law.111

Despite commentators’ enthusiasm for commencing processes of
criminal justice, there are, however, good reasons to question the
assumption that trying perpetrators of the most recent election
violence will automatically lead to the prevention of future
political violence in Kenya. The key argument for trial and
punishment in the Kenyan context stipulates that only by punishing
perpetrators of past violations can we avoid future violations. This
utilitarian justification for punishment finds support beyond the
Kenyan context.112 However, some commentators have pointed out that
there is not necessarily a correlation between failing to punish
perpetrators of past violations (for example by granting them
amnesties) and the recurrence of large-scale violations, as such.
Post-Franco Spain and post-civil war Mozambique are often quoted as

On the other hand, it seems clear that in a country such as Kenya
where political violence has been sparked off not by one major single
event where the rule of law was extra-ordinarily put aside, but
instead reveals as a phenomenon that has played out with impunity
continuously since independence, putting to trial (a significant
proportion of) those allegedly responsible for more recent acts of
political violence may have a symbolic effect on the rule of law. In
this way, criminal accountability for recent acts of political
violence may help bring about profound change in political culture.

The question of whether and how criminal accountability as a
preventive measure ought to be utilised as a response to the latest
outbreak of large-scale election violence in Kenya should be debated,
but not from an ideological viewpoint where criminal justice is seen
as the solution to all problems. Instead, the question should be
assessed from a viewpoint where possible benefits of prosecuting
alleged perpetrators are discussed in conjunction with potential
flaws of the process’ set-up and with an assessment of other
actions that can be taken to ‘combat impunity’.

Should Kenya fail to prosecute domestically perpetrators of the
post-election violence in the near future, it is important to keep in
mind that ICC action does not preclude a domestic process at a later

Legal and institutional reform

Predominantly focusing on trial and punishment as the response
that can end impunity and establish or reinforce the rule of law, may
lead to neglect for other structural changes that are profound for
altering those conditions that allow disrespect for the rule of law.
It is obviously not a question of either/or: holding accountable
perpetrators of the recent election violence can and should go hand
in hand with a reform process that aims at transforming institutions
into more accountable, transparent, efficient and rights-oriented
entities. But, framing the transitional justice debate primarily as
an issue of ‘backward-looking’ punishment can lead to
disregard for the importance of changing those structures that are
generally believed to enable political violence.

A possible failure to see criminal justice unfold in Kenya risks
bringing about the impression that transitional justice, as such, has
failed. Whether or not prosecutions commence domestically, the debate
ought not to be disrupted from engaging further with questions of how
political violence can be prevented, for example through ‘deep’
legal and institutional change.

Most of the Kenyans consulted by the author suggested that legal
and institutional reforms are most central means in changing those
conditions that make possible political violence. The challenge is
that certain structures in Kenyan governance render difficult
accountability for political violence. The parties to the Kenyan
National Dialogue and Reconciliation recognised that addressing
underlying causes of political violence (the so-called ‘long-term
issues and solutions’ as entailed in ‘agenda item 4’)
is essential and depends on the undertaking of constitutional, legal
and institutional reform.114 Since then, the parties have confirmed
the importance and their commitment to profound legal and
institutional changes. The parties’ statement of 14 February
2008 concludes that a broad reform agenda is necessary to address the
root causes of the political crisis that had enabled political
violence to erupt following the 2007 elections. According to the
parties, this reform agenda includes for example ‘comprehensive
constitutional reforms’; ‘comprehensive electoral
reform’; ‘parliamentary reform’; ‘police
reform’ and ‘legal and judicial reforms’.115

Reflecting this acknowledgement, on 4 March 2008, the parties
issued a statement that acknowledges the importance of a
constitutional review process based on inclusiveness, and recalled
the need for its urgent undertaking by stating it should be completed
within 12 months.116 The July 2008 Implementation Matrix laid down
the overall framework according to which state institutions should be
reformed and put forward deadlines for their undertaking. Besides
reconfirming the commitment to concluding the constitutional reform
process within 12 months, it was noted that reforms of the judiciary
should strengthen its independence and commitment to human rights.
Moreover, a review process related to police reform was to be
finalised within six months; the constitutional review to establish
an independent police commission within 12 months; and recruitment
and training of police officers to bring the police-to-population
ratio to UN standards by 2012. Finally, a number of legislative
reforms targeting the civil service were envisioned to take place
following the coming into force of a new constitution, and the Kenyan
Parliament was to be subjected to reforms that aim at increasing its
oversight with the executive. This review process was stipulated to
take place within six months.117

Because most profound reforms are preconditioned on a new
constitution, many of these commitments to institutional change are,
however, yet to be implemented. To facilitate the constitutional
reform, parliament passed the Constitution of Kenya Review
(amendment) Act 2008 which established a committee of experts on
constitution review to prepare a draft constitution and present it
to parliament.118

Controversy has surrounded the committee’s commencement. On
23 May 2009, for example, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported that
the committee was complaining that it had not yet seen disbursement
of funds to make the committee fully operational.119 Moreover, some
commentators have questioned whether parliament, based on its current
composition, can agree on putting to referendum a constitution that
complies with the ‘deep’ reforms first envisioned by the

Constitutional reform is deemed important by a large majority of
Kenyans. According to a January 2009 survey, 90 per cent strongly
agree or agree that ‘the coalition government must give Kenya a
new constitution’.121

Reforming the Kenyan police is by many observers deemed among the
most crucial aspects of the reform process. Such reforms are said to
hold potential for significantly strengthening respect for the rule
of law.122 In May 2009, a task force was established to facilitate
this reform but there seemed to be lack of clarity on exactly what
the task force should address and how ‘deep’ its
proposals for police reform should be.123

A key challenge facing the prospects for legal and institutional
change is that, unlike measures that pursue accountability for
perpetrators of past political violence, such reforms relate less
directly to ‘confronting the past’ and their
implementation is typically a long-term and technical process. This
may make a reform process seem less urgent than criminal trials. At
the same time, while putting to trial perpetrators of gross human
rights violations is supported by requirements in international law,
requirements to undertake legal and institutional reform have a much
looser legal foundation, if any.124 What is more, some stakeholders
have little interest in ‘deep’ structural change taking
place. Strong executive powers, for example, can be seen as enabling
a system where those who gain power can benefit excessively from
holding office, therefore potentially leaving incumbent cabinet
members and top-level civil servants with little interest in
strengthening the independence of the judiciary and in other ways
reforming the set-up of state institutions.

Kenyans consulted by the author generally held that many
politicians are part of an elite group that benefit from state
structures as they are, and will therefore pursue a status quo
– or at best a limited and superficial reform agenda. Compared
to criminal justice it is not only more difficult for civil society
to push for legal and institutional reform because the legal language
of state obligations is difficult to evoke, but stakeholders in the
reform process may also perceive profound reform as offering few
short-term benefits and prefer to deal with the past in a lighter and
less structural way.

Yet, because of the centrality of the institutional set-up of
state institutions in allowing political violence, engagement with
preventing political violence in Kenya ought to place legal and
institutional reform at the very core. Doing so requires that we
scrutinise how the reform process unfolds. It also requires that
political leaders remain under pressure to put into effect their
commitments to profound reform. Because ‘deep’ reform is
not an overnight undertaking but a long and complicated process, it
also requires some amount of patience. Sticking to deadlines can be
less important than pursuing a compromise that is broadly accepted
and at the same time engages substantially with the issues at stake.
In any case, the active involvement of Kenyan civil society is
imperative for the reform process to gain legitimacy and for
effectively scrutinising that political leaders use its context not
as a means of gaining personal or group advantages or as a
smoke-screen for maintaining compromised structures and institutions
under the cover of ‘reform’. The reform process must
ensure that state institutions are profoundly transformed; an
undertaking that will eventually benefit Kenyans, as such. It is, as
always, important that democracy realises through engagement and
works in a transparent way – and not as an exclusive top-down
and oblique process. It is also important, however, that the
compromises of democracy do not end up functioning as an excuse for
diminishing the agenda of ‘deep’ reform.

For these reforms to effectively change structures that enable
political violence, transitional justice discourses can provide
valuable input. It is increasingly acknowledged that a legalistic
top-down approach to transitional justice is insufficient and entails
a number of risks.125 While constitution-making is obviously about
law and inevitably will involve some degree of ‘top-down’
decision-making, scholars such as Kirsten McConnachie and John
Morrison have argued that ‘if constitution-making is to
maximise its transformative potential in the reconstitution of
societies, it must seek a more dynamic task than merely a
re-shuffling of elites as the traditional institutions of formal
government are re-populated’. It is argued that ‘transformation
must occur at an ethical level where the level of conduct is being
considered’, and constitution-making should be seen only as a
first stage in creating some of the conditions in which […]
negotiation and re-negotiation of how we wish to govern ourselves is
carried out’.126 Besides the importance of a participatory
process that aims at substantial societal change, perhaps the most
important lesson for the Kenyan reform process lies in asking the
question whether a technical approach to legal and institutional
change will actually transform the way institutions function and
relate to one and another, and to Kenyan citizens. Constitutional and
legal change sometimes looks good on paper, but yet creates little
on-ground change. According to some of the Kenyans consulted by the
author this is already a problem. One civil society representative
noted that ‘Kenya already has good laws; what we need is their
implementation and the government’s respect for the rule of
law’.127 From one perspective this is exactly the problem that
a constitutional review can solve, for example by strengthening the
independence of the judiciary and facilitating that state
institutions work in a transparent way.

However, this is not enough. As also recognised by the parties to
the Kenyan National Dialogue and Reconciliation, it is vital for
strengthening the rule of law that state officials are sufficiently
trained and that recruitment is based on qualifications.128 For
example, it makes little sense to reform the police by establishing
legal provisions for increased accountability and internal oversight
mechanisms if police officers are not trained to implement these

Some transitional justice scholars have suggested that to reform
state institutions and prevent the recurrence of human rights
violations, it is necessary to rid these institutions of known human
rights perpetrators. The argument goes that only if high-level
officials who have accepted and perhaps endorsed an institutional
culture where it is common practice that its agents violate the law
and well-known on-the-ground perpetrators are vetted can these
institutions undergo the needed change and again be perceived as
legitimate in the eyes of citizens.129 Heated debates about vetting
leaders of certain state institutions in Kenya have already unfolded.
The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary
executions, Philip Alston, recommends that both the Police
Commissioner and the Attorney General resign. The Kenyan government
responded that the Rapporteur is exceeding his mandate by making such
recommendations,130 but has later transferred the Police Commissioner
to another post.131 For state institutions that have a reputation for
failing to respond effectively and in a rights-oriented manner to
political violence, or are themselves a part of the problem, the
starting point must be that agents who are proved responsible for
violating the criminal code are punished according to the law, and
that those who are not will maintain their post unless they for other
reasons disqualify. Vetting should not be applied as a measure of
punishment but as a tool that may strengthen state institutions’
respect for the rule of law, integrity, and legitimacy in the eyes of
the general public. Because vetting state officials for the
individual in question in many ways resemble a court conviction, any
process that aims at removing rough elements known or assumed to have
been involved in serious human rights violations must provide
individuals with guarantees against arbitrary or collective
dismissal. A possible vetting process in Kenya should therefore not
be based on removing entities simply because they are alleged to have
been involved in political violence or because they are seen as
constituting an obstacle to reform,132 but ought to be based on due
process guarantees, in particular the presumption of innocence.133 In
any case, it should be up to Kenyan stakeholders to initiate a
possible vetting process, and foreign involvement must be careful not
to advocate for importing off-the-shelf models. Nonetheless, vetting
state institutions can be imperative for bringing about legitimacy
for compromised and disregarded institutions.

Victim redress and confronting socioeconomic causes of
political violence

Transitional justice discourses often emphasise the need to
redress victims in the aftermath of gross human rights violations.
Questions related to reparation for victims have historically been
central to the scholarship.134 International standards recognise
victims’ rights to reparation and stipulate how reparation can
take a variety of forms including, but not limited to, financial
compensation for harm suffered, restitution and different forms of
rehabilitation.135 Recent accounts tend to extend victims’
rights and often formulate transitional justice processes such as
criminal trials as a right of victims to see perpetrators brought to
account.136 For some commentators, remedying victims of mass violence
is not only a question of doing justice for the victims, but is also
seen as serving purposes of reconciliation and peace.137 Reparations,
even if mainly justified as a means of restoring victims’
dignity, can therefore potentially also play a role in preventing the
recurrence of political violence.

Questions related to victims’ redress have received little
attention in debates about addressing political violence in Kenya.
The Commission of Inquiry on Post-Election Violence was established
to ‘prevent any repetition of similar deeds and, in general, to
eradicate impunity and promote national reconciliation in Kenya’
and was mandated to ‘recommend measures of a legal, political
or administrative nature, as appropriate, including measures with
regard to bringing to justice those persons responsible for criminal
acts’.138 Yet, its recommendations focus primarily on how to
bring these perpetrators to justice and on how a variety of legal and
institutional reforms should be undertaken. However, the detailed
Human Rights Watch report on the 2007 election violence entails
recommendations for the international community to provide support
for initiatives aimed at ‘compensation for historical and
current human rights violations’, and for the Kenyan government
to ensure the establishment of ‘a process of compensation for
those who have lost their homes and property’ in connection
with the election violence.139

The parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and Reconciliation in
their February 2008 agreement stated that ‘discussions will be
conducted to identify and agree on the modalities of implementation’
of measures aiming at ‘ensuring that the assistance to the
affected communities and individuals is delivered more
effectively’.140 Efforts to redress victims of political
violence in Kenya have mainly concentrated on facilitating the return
of IDPs following the most recent election violence. A Humanitarian
Fund for Mitigation of Effects and Resettlement of Victims of Post
2007 Election Violence has been set up. The fund aims at
reconstructing houses and replacing household effects for those
people who suffered material damages during the violence.141
Compensating individual victims of political violence, including
victims of sexual violence have not been prioritised to the same

Difficult questions of reparation often arise in the aftermath of
large-scale political violence: should the focus be on compensating
individual persons who have been victims of rights-violations or
should a collective approach be taken where victims are defined in
group terms and obtain increased access to certain resources, such as
health care and education; what rights-violations should result in
compensation (only violations of civil and political rights or also
violations of economic, social and cultural rights); how far back
should we go in defining who is a victim; who should pay for
compensation schemes; and many more difficult questions arise.143

From a preventive perspective, it is important that Kenya
addresses questions of how victims of political violence can be
redressed. The question must be approached not only in terms of the
most recent election violence but also as a wider problem where
groups that have historically been exposed to political violence or
marginalised receive reparations. The development of such policies
requires much more than the adoption of a backward-looking approach
where victims of the recent election violence are compensated. It
requires also a future-oriented approach where the key objective is
to ensure that individuals and groups who have historically been
subjected to injustices become less marginalised, for example by
increasing access to education, health care, and land. Reconciliation
between communities can be important for preventing future political
violence because it potentially leaves both individuals and groups
with a sense that they can overcome tensions of the past and move

The parties’ agreement to set up a ‘Truth, Justice and
Reconciliation Commission’ may prove important for these
objectives.145 The commission is mandated to inquire into historical
injustices, including political violence, community displacement and
grand corruption, and it is envisioned that it can ‘promote
peace, justice, national unity, healing, and reconciliation among the
people of Kenya.146 The commission is intended to provide a platform
for victims to be heard and restore their dignity; make
recommendations on how to redress victims of these injustices; and
more generally make recommendations for the prevention of political
violence and other violations.147 The commission is also mandated to
grant amnesties to perpetrators who make full disclosure of human
rights violations and economic crimes committed.148

The process that has led to the establishment of the commission
has been criticised for failing to consult sufficiently with civil
society, and the law itself has been described as flawed, for example
because it allows for amnesties, because it fails to secure
independence from other state institutions, because it lacks
provisions for implementation the commission’s

It has often been a problem that recommendations of truth
commissions are not sufficiently implemented. In South Africa, for
example, commentators regret that many of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations have not been
attended to.150

The Kenyan commission has potential to contribute to the reform
agenda discussed above as well as to other forms of preventive
actions. For this to happen, it is important that the commission’s
work is followed closely and debated in public. It is also important
that its recommendations are discussed openly and leaders take their
implementation seriously.

Beyond the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, a number
of important initiatives have been discussed which may further an
agenda of attending to socioeconomic causes of conflict. Agenda Item
4, as decided upon by the parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
Reconciliation, recognises the need for ‘tackling poverty and
inequity, as well as combating regional development imbalances’;
the need for addressing ‘unemployment, particularly among the
youth’; and the need for undertaking land reforms’.151
According to the parties’ Implementation Matrix, fundamental
land reforms are to be facilitated by the Constitutional review
process and a number of other mechanisms to be implemented to deal
legally and administratively with problems related to land allocation
and ownership.152 The same document envisions that action be taken to
address poverty, inequality, regional imbalances and unemployment.
Among many other activities, the Implementation Matrix stipulates
that action must be taken to ‘ensure equity and balance are
attained in development across all regions in job creation, poverty
reduction, improved income distribution and gender equity’;
‘increase availability of affordable and accessible credit,
savings programmes and appropriate technologies to create an enabling
environment for poor communities to take part in wealth creation’;
and ‘generate an average of 740 000 new jobs each year from

While transitional justice as an analytical framework has
historically tended to neglect dealing with the past by addressing
socioeconomic causes of conflict, the importance of such means is
increasingly being realised in the scholarship.154 The fact that the
Kenyan framework for preventing the recurrence of political violence
outlines a detailed agenda and set of action needed to reverse
socioeconomic factors that are recognised as contributing to conflict
in many ways stand out in comparison to attempts in other countries
of dealing with past injustices.

Accepting that prevention depends on more than eradicating a
culture of impunity and reforming state institutions by paving the
way for confronting problems of poverty, unemployment and land
distribution is an important first step in addressing holistically
the root causes of political violence in Kenya. However, influential
stakeholders in Kenya may have personal interest in some of the
reforms not taking place. For example it has been noted that draft
land reform legislation is being lobbied against by large landowners
and certain members of cabinet.155 For the reforms to foster
substantial change it is obviously not enough that they are included
in a broader process that aims to prevent political violence and
conflict on paper. Both politicians and civil society must
continuously push for their actual implementation and ensure that
other pending questions of transitional justice do not lead to the
neglect of these important structural changes. The commitment
announced by the parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
Reconciliation to a reform agenda that includes altering
socioeconomic causes of conflict is vital but should be translated
into concrete and far-reaching initiatives and action. Again,
structural changes in society are not an overnight-undertaking.
Patience and long-term commitment is required from all involved


With the adoption of a broad reform agenda by the parties to the
Kenyan National Dialogue and Reconciliation following the most recent
election violence, a window of opportunity has been created where
legacies of political violence in Kenya can be countered. This
commitment to confront past injustices and bring about substantial
change is imperative. After all, without leaders’
acknowledgement that certain features in society such as impunity,
the set-up of state institutions, and socioeconomic factors have
allowed for political violence, profound change is unlikely to occur.
Yet, the process of dealing with political violence in Kenya seems
threatened by a lack of sincere commitment among vital stakeholders.

Despite the existence of a civil society in Kenya that reminds the
political leadership of its pledges for reform and scrutinises action
taken – and the international community following closely the
developments – there are risks that important parts of the
reform process will end up neglected. To avoid these risks
materialising, political leaders must take responsibility, even if in
the short-term it might seem easier to move on without addressing
what is needed: ‘deep’, structural changes that can
strengthen the rule of law, and at the same time address
socioeconomic issues such as poverty, inequality, and land
distribution. Civil society must be allowed, and willing, to
participate and engage substantially in the further shaping and
implementation of the process. If not, risks are not only that the
undertakings will lack legitimacy but also that it becomes oblique,
superficial, and unsuccessful in reaching the objective of preventing
political violence. Although the present debate about preventing
political violence in Kenya tends to take its starting point in
addressing the recent election violence, it is clear that by
undertaking the reforms envisaged, many of the causes of political
violence could be confronted effectively.


  1. The interviews were carried out confidentially and the
    identity of those organisations consulted will remain on file with
    the author only.
  2. F N Aolín, Political violence and gender during times
    of transition, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 15(3),
    2006, 829–849.
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    . New York: St
    Martin Press, 2001, 36.
  4. D A Hibbs Jr, Mass political violence: a cross-national
    causal analysis
    , New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1973.
  5. Moser and Clark, Victims, perpetrators, or actors?
    36. On its ‘group’ or ‘mass’ character, see
    generally Hibbs Jr, Mass political violence.
  6. C D L Rios, Understanding political violence,
    accessed 12 May 2009, 30–32.
  7. C A J Coady, Morality and political violence,
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 3.
  8. J E Alvarez, Crimes of state/crimes of hate: lessons from
    , The Yale Journal of International Law 24,1999, 365–483.
  9. M Mamdani, When victims become killers, Kampala:
    Fountain Publishers.
  10. L Waldorf, Mass justice for mass atrocity: rethinking local
    justice as transitional justice, Temple Law Review
    79(1), 2006, 1–88, 30–32.
  11. B Berman and J Lonsdale, Unhappy valley: conflict in
    Kenya and Africa
    , London: James Curry Publishers, 1992.
  12. J Overton, The colonial state and spatial differentiation:
    Kenya, 1895–1920, Journal of Historical Geography
    13(3),1987, 267–282.
  13. Africa Watch, Divide and rule: state-sponsored ethnic
    violence in Kenya, New York: Human Rights Watch, 1993,,
    accessed 15 May, 2009, 6–8. See also Commission of Inquiry
    into Post-Election Violence, Report of the Commission of Inquiry
    into Post-Election Violence
    ‘Waki Report’, Nairobi,
    2008, 24.
  14. Africa Watch, Divide and rule, 8-10. See also Waki Report,
  15. Human Rights Watch, Playing with fire: weapons proliferation,
    political violence, and human rights in Kenya, New York: Human
    Rights Watch, 2002,,
    accessed 15 May 2009, 20–21.
  16. Africa Watch, Divide and rule, 1. See also Kenyan National
    Assembly, Parliamentary Select Committee to Investigate Ethnic
    Clashes in Western and Other Parts of Kenya, Report of the
    Parliamentary Select Committee to Investigate Ethnic Clashes in
    Western and Other Parts of Kenya
    , Nairobi, 1992.
  17. Africa Watch, Divide and rule, 12–16.
  18. Human Rights Watch, Playing with fire, 24–59.
  19. Amnesty International, Kenya: political violence spirals,
    London: Amnesty International, 1998,,
    accessed 1 May 2009, 1.
  20. Amnesty International, Kenya: political violence spirals, 4.
  21. Amnesty International, Kenya: political violence spirals,
  22. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 6.
  23. M Bunting, The violence in Kenya may be awful, but it is not
    senseless ’savagery’, The Guardian, 14 January
    accessed 3 May 2009.
  24. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 23, 35.
  25. Waki report, 383.
  26. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 2.
  27. As of April 2009, the number of displaced households in the
    Rift Valley was estimated at more than 14,000. See Kenyan Ministry
    of Special Programmes, Status of satellite camps in Rift Valley as
    at 1st April, 2009,,
    accessed 10 June 2009.
  28. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 35–39.
  29. Kenya Human Rights Commission, Violating the vote: a report
    of the 2007 general elections, Nairobi, 15 September 2008,,
    accessed 10 June 2009, for example at 8.
  30. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 43–48.
  31. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 48.
  32. See generally Waki Report, 417–420.
  33. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 24–31. See also
    Waki Report, 383.
  34. D Wabala and F Mukinda, Trail of death as gunmen run wild,
    Daily Nation, 8 May 2009, 1 and 4.
  35. E Totolo, Kenya: the Mungiki mess, ISN Security Watch,
    17 November 2008,,
    accessed 20 May 2009. On Mungiki’s association with
    ‘indigenous beliefs’ and the sects political agenda in
    earlier years, see G N Wamue, Revisiting our indigenous shrines
    through Mungiki, African Affairs, 100, 2001, 453–467.
  36. E Totolo, Kenya: the Mungiki mess; Waki report, for example
    at 27.
  37. See generally D M Anderson, Vigilantes, violence and the
    politics of public order in Kenya, African Affairs, 101,
    2001. 531–555.
  38. UN Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur
    on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Philip Alston
    advance unedited version
    , UN Doc. A/HRC/11/2/Add.6, May 26,
    2009, for example para. 8 and 10. See the Kenyan Government’s
    response to the accusations (denying the existence of ‘death
    squats’ and political support for extra-judicial killings) in
    Government of Kenya, Response to the report of the Special
    Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary or summary executions,
    professor Philip Alston, on his mission to Kenya from 16-25
    February, 2009, 22 May 2009,,
    accessed 10 June 2009.
  39. D Anderson, How violence infected Kenya’s democracy,
    The Independent, 30 January 2008,,
    accessed 21 May 2009. See also Waki report, for example at 27–28.
  40. P M Kagwanja, Facing Mount Kenya or facing Mekka? The
    Mungiki, ethnic violence and the politics of the Moi succession in
    Kenya, 1987–2002, African Affairs 102, 2003, 25–49,
    quote from abstract at 25.
  41. For example by collecting taxes and providing security for
    those who pay. See for example Mungiki: the growing crisis, Daily
    , 15 June 2009, 1 and 6.
  42. See for example the Standard’s cover of Mungiki attacks
    on villagers in late April in: Slaughter of the innocent, The
    , 22 April 2009, 1, 4–5; and Daily Nation’s
    cover of the same event in Killings: Mungiki massacre, Daily
    , 22 April 2009, 1–2.
  43. Human Rights Watch, Playing with fire, 20.
  44. Bunting comes close to perceiving the post-election violence
    as ‘economically rational’, and thus as a ‘natural
    result’ of certain socio-economic features of the Kenyan
    society and a political culture that endorses violence. See M
    Bunting, The violence in Kenya may be awful.
  45. For a discussion of these issues, see for example M Mamdani,
    When victims become killers, preface.
  46. Waki Report, 25.
  47. Waki Report, 31.
  48. Ibid citing Republic of Kenya, Report of the Commission of
    Inquiry into the Illegal/ Irregular Allocation of Pubic Land: The
    Ndungu Report, Nairobi: Government Printer, June 2004, 14.
  49. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 12–15.
  50. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 11–12.
  51. Ibid.
  52. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 15–17.
  53. Waki Report, 28.
  54. Waki Report, 28.
  55. Ibid.
  56. Waki Report, for example at 26.
  57. Africa Watch, Divide and rule, 61–67.
  58. Africa Watch, Divide and rule, 67–71.
  59. Amnesty International, Kenya: political violence spirals,
  60. The Akiwumi Report was completed in 1999, but only made
    public in 2002 before Kibaki’s taking office. Human Rights
    Watch notes how ‘the report’s findings were completely
    ignored by the incoming administration’. See Human Rights
    Watch, Ballots to bullets, 18–19.
  61. EU Election Observer Mission: Kenya, General Elections,
    Preliminary statement, 27 December 2007,,
    accessed 22 May 2009.
  62. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 17-20. See also Waki
    , 26–27.
  63. Waki Report, 420.
  64. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 17-20; Waki
    , 59–60.
  65. The Waki Report estimates that 405 of the 1133 victims were
    killed by gunshots and while the commission ‘acknowledges the
    possibility that some of those killed and wounded by gunshots may
    have been the victims of people other than the Police’ it
    concluded that ‘no evidence to this effect was received’.
    See Waki Report, 385
  66. Waki Report, 387.
  67. Waki report, 396-398, 421.
  68. Waki report, 404.
  69. Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,
    summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Philip Alston (advance unedited
    , para. 68–73. According to the Kenyan
    Government, however, since 2000, 81 police officers have been
    prosecuted for murder or manslaughter. It is unclear how many –
    if any – of these are held to relate to the election violence.
    See Government of Kenya, Response to the report of the Special
    Rapporteur on extrajudicial, arbitrary or summary executions,
    professor Philip Alston, on his mission to Kenya from 16–25
    February, 2009, 1.
  70. Waki report, 446–460, concluding at 456 that in ‘our
    view is that the lackadaisical manner in which the government dealt
    with the Akiwumi Report only goes to illustrate that the state was
    not particularly interested in resolving once and for all the issue
    of ethnic violence’.
  71. As Kenya Human Rights Commission states: impunity has been ‘a
    recurrent problem during election periods, when Kenya seems to
    suspend laws or provide “collective impunity” for
    breaches of the same’. See Kenya Human Rights Commission,
    Violating the vote: a report of the 2007 general elections, Nairobi,

    15 September 2008,,
    accessed 10 June 2009, 11.
  72. Such correlation between impunity and political violence is a
    general assumption in scholarly writings on transitional justice.
    See for example J E Mendez, In defense of transitional justice, in J
    A McAdams (ed), Transitional justice and the rule of law in new
    , Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1997,
  73. Author’s interview with representatives of civil
    society organisation, Nairobi, 28 May 2009. Notes on file with
    author. See also Waki Report, 27–28.
  74. Author’s interview with representatives of civil
    society organisation, Nairobi, 21 May 2009. Notes on file with
  75. See for example A Suich, Beyond tribalism: Kenya’s
    violence is not just about ethnicity. Age and poverty are factors
    too, Newsweek, 3 January 2008,,
    accessed 20 May 2009.
  76. Waki Report, 33–35.
  77. Author’s interview with representatives of civil
    society organisation, Nairobi, 21 May 2009. Notes on file with
  78. See generally Society for International Development, Pulling
    apart: facts and figures on inequality in Kenya, Nairobi: Society
    for International Development, 2004,,
    accessed 14 May 2009.
  79. Author’s interview with representatives of civil
    society organisation, Nairobi, 19 May 2009, notes on file with
  80. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 17–20; Waki
    Report, 12-15. See also Republic of Kenya, Report of the
    Commission of Inquiry into the Illegal/ Irregular Allocation of
    Pubic Land;
    The Ndungu Report, Nairobi: Government Printer,
    June 2004; Kenya Land Alliance, The national land policy in Kenya:
    addressing historical injustices, Issues paper No.2/2004,,accessed
    May 12, 2009.
  81. Author’s interview with representatives of civil
    society organisation, Nairobi, 21 May 2009, notes on file with
  82. Author’s interview with representatives of civil
    society organisation, Nairobi, 21 May 2009, notes on file with
  83. See for example Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets,
  84. Waki Report, 32.
  85. See for example Africa Watch, Divide and rule, 22–24.
  86. See for example A Suich, Beyond tribalism: Kenya’s
    violence is not just about ethnicity.
  87. See for example A Neier, Rethinking truth, justice, and guilt
    after Bosnia and Rwanda, in C Hesse and R Post (eds), Human
    rights in political transitions: Gettysburg to Bosnia
    , New
    York: Zone Books, 1999, 39–52.
  88. Feher, Michael, Terms of reconciliation”, in Hesse,
    Carla and Post, Robert, Human Rights in Political Transitions:
    Gettysburg to Bosnia
    , New York: Zone Books, 1999, 325-338.
  89. For a comprehensive overview of truth commissions and for a
    discussion of their merits and challenges, see generally P B Hayner,
    Unspeakable truths: facing the challenge of truth commissions
    New York: Routledge, 2002.
  90. C S Nino, Radical Evil on Trial, New Haven and
    London: Yale University Press, 1996, 146.
  91. For a discussion of these ‘transitional justice
    mechanisms’, see for example M Minow, Between vengeance
    and forgiveness: facing history after genocide and mass violence,

    Boston: Beacon Press, 1998; or R G Teitel, Transitional justice,
    Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  92. For the argument that transitional justice discourses can
    inform both responses to past repression in periods of transition
    from authoritarianism to democracy and responses to past widespread
    violence in so-called ‘conflicted democracies’, see
    generally F N Aolaín and C Campell, The paradox of transition
    in conflicted democracies, Human Rights Quarterly 27
    (2005), 172–213.
  93. See for example J O Latigo, Northern Uganda: tradition-based
    practices in the Acholi region”, in L Huyse and M Salter
    (eds), Traditional justice and reconciliation after violent
    conflict: learning from African experiences,
    International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance,
    2008, 85–122.
  94. On the normative claims of transitional justice see for
    example Clark’s discussion in P Clark, Establishing a
    conceptual framework: six key transitional justice themes, in P
    Clark and Z D Kaufman (eds), After genocide: transitional
    justice, post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation in Rwanda
    and beyond
    , London: Hurst, 2008, 191-205. On the rule of law
    assumption and liberalisation, see more specifically Teitel,
    Transitional justice. On the preventive rationale, see for
    example UN Secretary-General, The rule of law and transitional
    justice in conflict and post-conflict societies: report of the
    , UN Doc. S/2004/616, 2004, for example para.
  95. K Roth, Justice or impunity: what will Kenya
    choose, 3 April 2009,,
    accessed 12 June 2009.
  96. Ibid.
  97. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Public statement, Nairobi, 1 February
    accessed 29 May 2009, preamble.
  98. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation: annotated agenda and timetable, Nairobi, 1 February
    accessed 1 February 2009, agenda 2.
  99. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Agenda item 3: how to solve the
    political crisis, Nairobi, 14 February 2008,,
    accessed 10 June, 2009,para. 3
  100. Waki report,
  101. Human Rights Watch, Kenya: swiftly enact special
    tribunal: International Criminal Courts should be a last resort for
    justice, 25 March 2009,,
    accessed 12 May 2009.
  102. E Thomasson, Ocampo: I will work with local
    Sunday Nation,
    31 October 2009. See also P Opiyo and B Gikandi, Raila: we want
    local tribunal,
    The Standard,
    15 June, 1 and 5.
  103. C Flinterman, The International Criminal Court:
    obstacle or contribution to an effective system of human rights
    protection, in R Thakur and P Malcontent (eds),
    sovereign impunity to international accountability: the search for
    justice in a world of states
    , Tokyo: United
    Nations University Press, 2004, 266.
  104. This for example was the general opinion among
    those Kenyans consulted by the author.
  105. See the International Criminal Court, Situations
    and cases,,
    accessed on 10 June 10 2009.
  106. For a profound critique of international
    tribunals and international criminal justice, see generally Drumbl,
    Atrocity, punishment, and international law.
  107. Waki report, 472.
  108. Waki report, 444.
  109. M J Aukerman, Extraordinary evil, ordinary
    crime: a framework for understanding transitional justice”,
    Harvard Human Rights Journal 15
    (2002), 39–97.
  110. Nino, Radical Evil on
    , 146–147.
  111. At least this was common perception among those
    Kenyans consulted by the author.
  112. See for example D F Orentlicher, Settling
    accounts: the duty to prosecute human rights violations of a prior
    The Yale Law Journal
    100 (1991), 2537–2615.
  113. H Cobban, Amnesty after
    atrocity: healing nations after genocide and war crimes
    Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2007. For a comprehensive empirical
    study of amnesties in political transitions, see L Mallinder,
    Amnesty, human rights and political
    transitions: bridging the peace and justice divide
    Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2008.
  114. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation: annotated agenda and timetable, agenda 4.
  115. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Agenda item 3: how to solve the
    political crisis, para. 3.
  116. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Longer-terms issues and their solutions:
    constitutional review , Nairobi, 4 March 2008,,
    accessed 1 February 2009, agenda 4.
  117. On all of these components of institutional
    reform, see Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; Statement of principles on long-term issues and
    solutions, Nairobi, 30 July 2008,,
    accessed 5 June 2009.
  118. Constitution of Kenya Review Act, 2008 Act
    (Act no. 9 of 2008), article 23.
  119. O Mathengep, No funds yet for review team,
    Daily Nation, 23
    May 2009,,
    accessed 15 June 2009.
  120. J Kwayera, Reforms far from being realised, The
    1 June 2009,,
    accessed 15 June 2009.
  121. The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation
    Monitoring Project, National baseline survey, January 2009, 27.
  122. See for example M Machuka, US urges Kenya to
    reform police; judiciary,
    The Standard,
    15 June 2009,,
    accessed 15 June 2009. The same view was put forward by many of the
    Kenyans consulted by the author.
  123. Editorial, Speak in one voice on Kenya police
    Daily Nation,
    13 May 2009,,
    accessed June 15 2009.
  124. A duty to prosecute perpetrators of
    international crimes and other gross human rights violations is
    generally said to flow both from treaty law such as the
    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and, for some
    crimes, from customary international law. See Orentlicher, Settling
    accounts: the duty to prosecute human rights violations of a prior
    regime. Exactly how and when such duty requires states to punish
    perpetrators of political violence that amount to gross human rights
    violations is still a matter of dispute. For a recent account of the
    question see L Mallinder, Can amnesties and international justice be
    The International Journal of
    Transitional Justice
    1 (2007), 208–230.
    Legal and institutional reform, on the other hand, is seldom debated
    as an obligation of international law.
  125. See for example K McEvoy, Letting go of
    legalism: developing a ‘thicker’ version of transitional
    justice, in K McEvoy and L McGregor (eds),
    justice from below: grassroots activism and the struggle for change,
    Human rights law in perspective (vol. 14): transitional justice from
    below: grassroots activism and the struggle for change
    Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing, 2008, 15–45.
  126. K McConnachie and J Morrison,
    Constitution-making, transition and the reconstitution of society,
    in K McEvoy and L McGregor (eds),
    justice from below: grassroots activism and the struggle for change,
    Human rights law in perspective (vol. 14): transitional justice from
    below: grassroots activism and the struggle for change
    Oxford and Portland: Hart Publishing, 2008, 97.
  127. Author’s interview with representatives
    of civil society organisation, Nairobi, 21 May 2009 (notes on file
    with author).
  128. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; Statement of principles on long-term issues and
  129. A Mayer-Rieckh, On preventing abuse: vetting
    and other transitional reforms, in A Mayer-Rieckh and P de Grieff
    Justice as prevention: vetting public
    employees in transitional societies
    , New
    York: Social Science Research Council, 2007, 482–520.
  130. Report of the Special Rapporteur on
    extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Philip Alston
    (advance unedited version)
    , para. 85 (a)
    and 93. On the government of Kenya’s response, see for example
    B Namunane and A Shiundup, Death squads: Kenya plots to oust Alston,

    Daily Nation
    , 7 June 2009,,
    accessed 16 June 2009.
  131. C Rwenji, Former police boss takes over at the
    Daily Nation,
    14 September 2009,,
    accessed 15 September 2009.
  132. Report of the Special Rapporteur on
    extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mr. Philip Alston
    (advance unedited version)
    , para. 19.
  133. See also F Andreu-Guzmán, Due process
    and vetting, in A Mayer-Rieckh and P de Grieff (eds),

    Justice as prevention: vetting public employees in transitional
    , New York: Social Science
    Research Council, 2007, 448–481.
  134. See for example Minow, Between
    vengeance and forgiveness
    , 91–117.
  135. UN General Assembly,
    Basic principles and guidelines on the right to a remedy and
    reparation for victims of gross violations of international human
    rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law,

    UN Doc. A/RES/60/147, 2006, principle 15–23.
  136. M C Bassiouni, International recognition of
    victims’ rights,
    Human Rights Law
    6 (2006), 203–279; R
    Aldana-Pindell, An emerging universality of justiciable victims’
    rights in the criminal process to curtail impunity for
    state-sponsored crimes,
    Human Rights
    26 (2004), 605–686.
  137. Teitel, Transitional
    , 127
  138. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement,
    establishing a commission of inquiry on post-election violence
    Nairobi, 4 March 2008, 1.
  139. Human Rights Watch, Ballots to bullets, 10.
  140. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation: annotated agenda and timetable, agenda 2.
  141. Kenyan Government, Kibaki: Launch of public
    fundraising towards the resettlement of internally displaced
    persons, 12 May 2008,,
    accessed 16 June 2009.
  142. CARE, Kenya: Women and girls victims of
    post-election violence still seeking justice one year later,
    Nairobi, 23 February 2009,,
    accessed 16 June 2009.
  143. See generally J Elster, Closing
    the Books: Transitional Justice in Historical Perspective
    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  144. V C Charles, Reconciliation, in V C Charles and
    E Doxtader (eds),
    Pieces of the puzzle:
    keywords on reconciliation and transitional justice
    Cape Town: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, 2004, 3-9; and
    M R Amstutz, Restorative justice, political forgiveness, and the
    possibility of political reconciliation”, in D Philpott (ed),
    The politics of past evil: religion,
    reconciliation, and the dilemmas of transitional justice
    Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2006, 151–188.
  145. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation,
    Nairobi, 4 March, 2008,,
    accessed 29 May 2009.
  146. The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Bill,
    accessed 9 May 2009, article 5 (a).
  147. The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Bill,
    2008, article 5 (l), (p), and (r) (respectively).
  148. The Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Bill,
    2008, article 5 (m).
  149. N Wainaina, The truth, justice and
    reconciliation commission: a flawed law,
    29 January 2009,,
    accessed 16 June 2009.
  150. See generally the essays entailed in C
    Villa-Vicencio and F du Toit,
    Truth and
    reconciliation in South Africa: 10 years on,

    Cape Town: Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, 2006.
  151. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; the Government of Kenya/Party of National Unity and the
    Orange Democratic Movement, Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation: annotated agenda and timetable, agenda 4.
  152. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; Statement of principles on long-term issues and
    solutions, 4–5.
  153. Parties to the Kenyan National Dialogue and
    Reconciliation on the resolution of the political crisis and its
    root causes; Statement of principles on long-term issues and
    solutions, 5–6.
  154. For example Z Miller, Effects of invisibility:
    in search of the economic in transitional justice,

    International Journal of Transitional Justice

    2 (2008), 266–291.
  155. The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation
    Monitoring Project, Agenda item 4: long-standing issues and
    solutions, 19; M Mutiga, Kenya: how powerful forces have blocked
    land reforms,
    The Zimbabwean,
    24 May 2009,,
    accessed 16 June 2009.


Following the 2007 elections, Kenya suffered
political violence. More than 1 000 Kenyans lost their lives and
many were displaced. While often portrayed as standing in contrast to
an otherwise politically stable country, the fact remains that
large-scale political violence has occurred on several other
occasions. This paper looks into the legacies of political violence
in Kenya, and points to some of its main causes. By drawing on
transitional justice discourses, the paper discusses the action taken
by the parties to the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation and
other stakeholders. In analysing these measures, it is argued that
for Kenya to prevent the recurrence of political violence, priority
must be given to profoundly reforming institutions and ensuring that
accountability measures are set up.


Thomas Obel Hansen is a PhD researcher with Aarhus
University Law School. His research focuses on the field of
transitional justice, and is based on fieldwork in Rwanda. He has
conducted research stays with African civil society organisations,
including a stay with ISS’ Nairobi office in February-June
2009. He has published and lectured on human rights, transitional
justice, and international criminal law.


This publication was made possible through funding
provided by the Governments of Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway
and Sweden.

Surely Why Was There No Luo At The new KANU Event.

What has happened? What is Raila going to do?
I am going to call a spade a spade. I support the Prime Minister in all he is doing. I will campaign and vote for him come 2010, 2011 or 2012.
There are a significant number of people who are not happy with Raila for taking on Mau. These people voted for Raila for president though he ended up being PM. They asked Kibaki to relinquish 50% of power and share it as per the accord. They have criticised Kibaki for being a less active, reactive president and for staying quiet when issues are afflicting Kenyan citizen. They defended Raila when it was insinuated that Raila is a dictator, that he is ruthless, that he would revenge against his former enemies if and when he would get power.
Now Raila is doing his job as PM very well. Instead of giving him an A for effort, and A for results, they are asking why he is leading from the front. They are asking why this had to be Raila’s job, yet they wanted him to lead from the front in the first place. They are asking why Raila is hell bent on ending historical injustices, corruption and impunity. All they want to see is Raila helping his own people and not necessarily solving the bigger Kenyan issues.
They are saying, Raila has been PM of Kenya for almost 2 years and Obama the leader of the free world for almost 1 year. Both have 3 years (God willing) to finish their first term. Are their supporters contended with the way things are playing out for 2012? Are we putting all our eggs in one basket? By the election of the two, we hoped to bring Kenyans and the whole world on level footing, but will that be the end?
How come I did not see any of these so called politicians in the Mau Fundraising popularly know as the New KANU launch? Look, we are able to ask politicians from other places to join us to pull together and they do, we need to nature some young Luo politicians from our side to begin joining the opposition and be contended with that? Women, where are you? Why must you always be lead? Whay is there no prominent female Luo politician in the opposition?
Earlier, I predicted that Raila will be the first Ceremonial President of Kenya and that the first executive Prime Minister will come from Central Province. I have received a lot of skepticism and inquiries as to who this person is.
I asked my 10th great grandfather Ragem, who this person is. He gave me clues and described this person in deeds, character and coded messages. Now I am done deciphering this and I am happy to announce the arrival of the first female Kenyan Executive Prime Minister, Rt Hon Martha Karua, from Gichugu.

Joram Ragem
wuod Ndinya, wuod Onam, wuod Amolo, wuod Owuoth, wuod Oganyo, wuod Mumbe, wuod Odongo, wuod Olwande, wuod Adhaya, wuod Ojuodhi, wuod Ragem! (Are you my relative?)

Kenya On the Brink; Harmonized Constitution Draft a Basket case of Failure and Governance Quandary!

Kenya On the Brink; Harmonized Constitution Draft a Basket case of Failure and Governance Quandary!

David ochwangi

Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 11:12 PM

Wise men say, “Only fools rush in where angels dare tread”; we have been down this road several times before.  We need to tread with caution on this draft and avoid the same pitfalls that we have been misled to sign on to like lost sheep jumping off a cliff time and time again as recent as 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2008. As important as it is that we get a new constitution as some want to, it is equally imperative that we get it RIGHT timelines notwithstanding! This so called “Harmonized Draft Constitution” compounds the problems in Kenya, not solve them.  Just two weeks ago, almost immediately after recess and when parliament should have been debating the people’s business e.g. the Imanyara Bill to set up a local tribunal to punish PEV perpetrators, Ministers and their Assistants instead went on an expensive retreat in Mombasa on the taxpayers’ tab to “BOND”! And show unity of purpose in supporting this fatally flawed so called the “Harmonized Draft Constitution”. These are the same people who unanimously and without aforethought voted for this confused embarrassing so called coalition government, a permanent stalemate and paralysis; a bloated cabinet paid for on the backs of the poorest of the poor while the nation starves and IDPs still languish in camps; stalled delivery of services to Kenyans; the same bunch that refuses to pay taxes on their hefty salaries; the same bunch that approved one quarter Billion Shillings to renovate the PRIVATE residence of the PM which will NOT benefit tax payers one iota and continues to fund other excessive luxuries of the President, vice president, speaker, on and on and on;  so can we really trust parliament to do any better now beyond what they are good at,  self preservation?  The only unmistakable variable missing from the” BONDING” session was, as usual, “WE THE PEOPLE.  This was nothing more than yet another “Boardroom Gentlemen’s meeting to come up with an agreement or MOU” to guarantee perpetual hold on power.

If there was ever a time this country needed men and women of substance to stand up for Kenya’s very survival, it is now! Just as we have fought so hard and still continue to end impunity in Kenya, this is another fight we cannot ignore and allow a few conceited self righteous individuals write our country’s next chapter; we must be on the driver seat this time around, period. Left to their devices, this bunch will most certainly plunge the country into the abyss, remember the international community has had to babysit Kenya’s leadership for two years straight now!  We have been on this journey long enough and been bamboozled many a time to know things are terribly amiss. As the rubber hits the asphalt and the once unknown unravels; as the witch’s brew has fermented long enough and is now being served, we must remain vigilant, one more time. The country would be taking a step backward to primitivism if we sit idly and just watch and Just as before, we’ll be left with an even bigger mess to clean up for way too long after these henchmen exit the scene. For decades now the same faces have been at the driver’s seat in Kenya’s government and the evidence of piles upon piles of ROT speaks for itself; enough is enough!

Constitutional review:

I am livid that this is what the “EXPERTS” came up with, seriously! Not so much for its verbosity, redundancy and contradictions but because this is a reactionary half baked document based on fear of what might happen if one side doesn’t get what it wants instead of reason and principle; the so called “experts” have acknowledged as much. This document rewards further the 2007 PEV inciters and is not objective at all. It effectively makes permanent TWO centers of government by splitting hairs about the definitions of the so called “State” and “Government”! It is a clear attempt by the politicians to carve out yet another piece of the pie for themselves so they remain relevant for years to come; there is no such a thing as “State” and “Government” separation. The government runs the state, it is the practice world over, and we have had the arrangement for 46 years now, what happened, a sudden epiphany to the “experts”?  A constitution is supposed to be a purposeful document for posterity; a NEUTRAL legal document emphasizing rule of law and based on principle not a temporary fix of past or current flare-ups; that only defers cries for new constitutions when new flares surface down the road. This document is based on fear, intimidation and appeasement. It does not even adequately address incitement to violence by leaders dissatisfied with election outcomes such as stiff penalties and barring them permanently from ever holding public or elective office as a deterrent to violence and encourage rule of law. This draft further dramatically expands government and bureaucracy at astronomical costs, adding layers upon layers of red tape on an already rotten system, creates more unnecessary turf wars, increase deficiencies in service delivery instead of efficiency. What is an expert?

Expert; Definition

An expert is someone widely recognized as a reliable source of technique or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by their peers or the public in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study.(WIKIPEDIA)

Please convince me that the so called “Harmonized” Draft is the work of “EXPERTS”.

What a sham and waste of national resources? ABSOLUTE NONSENSE; Most of what is contained in the draft  either already exists  in the current constitution or in the last Waki Draft which was defeated in the 2005 referendum; Was tax payer money spent on this? I mean seriously, were these “EXPERTS” paid for this? If you thought the current confusion and ineptitude in governance in Kenya is bad, God forbid this incredibly flawed so called “Harmonized Constitutional Draft” ever sees light of day in Kenya! Who “harmonized” this thing? When?  It is an assured train wreck; the “experts” are proposing to replace all the gains we have made in our democracy with a return to a dictatorial oligarchy which we have made every effort to erase since independence, an absolute nightmare which will see many innocent lives lost unnecessarily. They are proposing to not only make permanent the current flawed arrangement which has extremely burdened taxpayers and also paralyzed government service delivery but also expand it. WHY on God’s green earth would Kenya want to extend this confusion one additional day? WHY?! It is a blatant attempt by these folks to divvy up the electoral spoils through radical and exponential expansion of government and to ratify the 2002 MEMORANDUM of UNDERSTANDING (MOU) at the expense of all of us. Who will pay for all this expansion? This bunch is just taking us for one major FINAL ride of their self preservation. This piece of draft is fatally flawed and to think we spent Millions of Shillings of tax payer funds to produce it is just appalling! Twice now, with career politicians devoid of true issues affecting the common man; they are attempting to short circuit the coexistence of Kenyans!  I knew, like many of us did, that the “experts” may not necessarily have all the answers but we didn’t expect it to be this BAD!

The Executive:

First off, and to the “experts” credit for properly recognizing this, the Presidency is the ONLY true symbol of our national unity and cohesion. It is the ONLY office with necessarily the most stringent prerequisites for the bearer to meet before being elected; and for a good reason. That the man or woman who holds the office must satisfy majority of Kenyans of his/her ability, credentials and fitness to lead before he/she is given the people’s mandate to govern; that his/her mandate comes DIRECTLY from the people, not a few who may be (as history has shown time and time again in Kenya) rigged into parliament and then corrupted and/or coerced to elect an Executive PM.  This is a non-negotiable basic democratic principle. If anybody, particularly the Prime Minister wants to wield National Executive Authority, he must get the people’s mandate to do so; our constitution must be of, for and by the people-not parliament. The president who is popularly elected represents the wishes of the majority and how they wish to be governed at any given time. Consequently, the people’s mandate must also be manifested in the president’s authority and power to dispense their wishes or in any other office of National nature for that matter; the PM’s office in this case provided he/she is elected directly by the governed. Parliament is the last place in Kenya to vest any kind of executive authority for crying out loud. Not just because it is a separate co-equal branch of government whose role is to legislate and not enforce laws but also because the Kenyan Parliament’s own record over the decades particularly in the last two years has been abysmal!   Further, the idea of splitting hairs between the so called “State” and “Government” is absolute NONSENSE! There is no such thing as State and Government world over. The state is the form upon which the government operates; they are one and the same. The government governs the state and this attempt to formalize the semantics through creating different centers of power to appease the current establishment is simply BAD policy. This thing will create a total mess for no valid reason whatsoever.

The majority in Kenya is in the MILLIONS, not a hundred or so in parliament whom the “experts” propose to shift the people’s power to and it is for this reason that the people’s wishes and choice of the national leader be properly reflected in the power of the presidency; our wishes, our votes and our mandate are of true value not of nominal or ceremonial value! The “experts” must not be allowed to punish the voters by devaluing our votes simply because of past abuses of holders of the presidency. Our votes and voices must be strengthened NOT weakened; remedies to fix past abuses should be directed at fixing the abusive loopholes, not at “we the people” as this draft proposal seeks to do. DEVALUING our votes is not the answer to past abuses of the presidency! It is tough enough already as it is that not all votes count equally in Kenya i.e. it is a fact that Kalenjin votes count as twice as Kikuyu votes for example, courtesy of electoral abuses engineered by president Moi; let the “experts” fix that first!

The proposal being championed by ODM calls for the party with majority MPs in parliament to “elect” an executive Prime Minister while we the people simply elect a “ceremonial” president, in other words our votes’ value only amount to a “figurehead”. If this asinine proposal was adopted, in a nation with tens of political parties, we could end up with an executive PM “elected” by a mere 40 MPs depending on party representation in Parliament but wielding national powers not given by the people. If you take into account the current coalition where ODM’s claim to winning the presidency was based on regional elections primarily of the Rift Valley, Nyanza and Western, the country’s power center could end up being concentrated on these three provinces!  We are being robbed blind of our authority in broad daylight; as we watch; people, this MUST NOT STAND. Replacing the people’s control of their government with a handful of corruptible power hungry so called “majority” in parliament, especially in a parliament with no true majority representation and where voter buying and corruption is the order of the day is idiotic. The whole idea of democracy is “Balance” through representation and in Kenya that would of course be the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary; all separate and co-equal.

The Executive enforces Laws passed by the Legislature through the Judiciary; it is very unambiguous. That is what we have had for a while now albeit imperfect. The “experts”, should have focused on strengthening each of these institutions and creating more balance and equality of the three branches of government instead of drastically weakening the only one which we the people have a direct say in and strengthening the one we have NO say in! I think that in itself is backward and very very unhelpful in advancing Kenya’s progress. We can only move forward if we allow true separation of the branches.  The very idea of usurping power of the majority of Kenyans through the back door and handing it over to a dictatorial clique of a few so called “majority” MPs is not only laughable but also treasonable. This is the same bunch of nutcases who leech on the rest of us with hefty salaries they refuse to pay taxes on while IDPs are going hungry daily; the same guys who allotted themselves the biggest pays anywhere on earth,  even higher than those of the United States Congress, the same bunch who refuse to form a tribunal to try Post election violence suspects, the same geniuses who blindly almost to the man/woman signed on to the so called “Grand Coalition” without any safeguards whatsoever and plunged the country into a state of perpetual confusion and campaigns;  the same corrupt MPs who were bought in “selecting” a speaker through intimidation; the same bunch who whole heartedly endorsed a bloated useless overlapping cabinet which is costing us Billions of Shillings in incremental costs to the poor citizens! Guys, make no mistake about this, if this is the so called “REFORM” that has eluded us for so long, if this is what Kenyans have been waiting for all these years; we must all stand and be counted; Wacha ikae, the answer is HELL NO!

The Draft proposes a PM with executive authority who heads the government and the cabinet chosen from among his peers in Parliament based on party majority: Plenty of problems with this arrangement;

· The cabinet is an executive branch of government charged with enforcing laws; in a true democracy such as the US (which incidentally it appears is what the “experts” are attempting to incorporate as well as the European models). It cannot be comingled with the legislative branch i.e. Parliament. It is a very clear conflict of interest; if the same Parliament which passes laws is also the same one enforcing them, who has oversight over its functions? Isn’t that the whole idea of the new constitution, to fix excesses of any Branch of Government? What is the value to “we the people” of shifting excess powers away from a popularly elected President to an unelected Prime Minister? I mean what value is that to anyone? Do we trust Parliament to police itself, especially KENYA’s parliament? The answer is NO! Even if we would, this proposal is wrought with glaring loopholes subject to massive abuses and manipulation.

· If the proposal intends to retain the presidency with true power, then by default that is Executive Authority; where is the demarcation line? Whom do “we the people” call on when things go wrong? We have no recourse, we cannot recall the PM because we did NOT elect him/her and his/her cronies can retain him in office for personal reasons while the country goes up in flames; it is not a mere possibility but a very probable outcome. WE NEED  direct RECOURSE to recall our government

· The draft also punishes the electorate needlessly by calling for a national election of ALL MPs in the event Parliament or the President fails to appoint a PM in 60 days. Elections are an expensive time and resource consuming exercise which we would rather invest on nation building. If the President and Parliament fails to choose a PM, that is their problem which shouldn’t be passed on to us but more importantly, it is yet another reason why the PM MUST BE ELECTED DIRECTLY BY THE PEOPLE in the first place if we must have a PM so we are NOT subjected to the endless theatrics! Enough already.

· The draft bars the elected president from holding a political party office while it explicitly exempts the PM from this requirement; WHY? How is it that a president popularly elected by the majority of Kenyans on a party platform is stripped of his/her party leadership position and effectively the ability to push the party agenda that got him/her elected in the first place while an UNELECTED PM with executive powers is permitted to hang on to his/her party leadership position and push the party’ s agenda on all of us despite the fact that we are denied the opportunity to vote for the PM! What rationale are the “experts” employing?

· Why is an unelected PM chosen by a few in the legislature exercising executive authority? It currently takes at least 50% +1 in parliament to elect a speaker who runs the legislature; the “experts” have lowered this threshold even further by letting a simple majority party in parliament choose a PM with national executive authority, and you don’t find any problem with that, really? In a county like Kenya with tens of political parties, a simple majority of 50 can choose a PM and lead into political stalemates! Further, the PM should mind parliament since he is an MP, there are three co-equal branches of government, why are we trying to marry them and create unnecessary conflicts of interest? The president is the Chief Executive of the country and he runs his/her branch through the help of the cabinet, cut out the NONESENSE about comingling branches of government and usurping the people’s mandate, come on people.

· Under the proposed draft, the roles would dramatically reverse without recourse to the detriment of all of us where the so called “head of government” (PM) would have the least support among Kenyans yet wielding the most power while the President with the most support among Kenyans would have the least powers; this is irreconcilable in any democracy. Does that make sense to anyone? Here is the scenario they are proposing:

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