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Friday, April 30, 2010

INFRASTRUCTURE

Prime Minister Raila Odinga Friday appealed to East African Community governments to invest heavily in infrastructure development to facilitate trade and growth.

At the same time, the PM painted a positive picture for the region, saying all the states are taking positive steps to address issues that have hindered economic progress.

Raila was speaking when he addressed the Third East African Community Investment Conference in Kampala, Uganda.

The PM said strengthening infrastructure remains a top priority and Kenya has been allocating nearly one quarter of total budgetary expenditures for this purpose.

He said Kenya is equally investing in energy and has secured commitments s to raise its capacity from 1000 MW last year to 3000 MW by 2013.

He called on regional states to collectively exploit the rich energy sources in the region.

The PM said Eastern Africa has a geothermal potential equivalent to 25,000 MW, enormous hydro power potentials exist in Uganda, DRC, and Ethiopia, Tanzania has large gas reserves while Uganda will soon be joining the league of oil producers.

"All this shows us that if we pool our efforts and resources, we can be richer and more economically stable as a region," Mr Odinga said.

"We should therefore adopt a regional approach in meeting power needs. We should invest in regional inter-connectivity. This will allow us to secure an appropriate energy mix and to assure energy security," he added.

Mr Odinga said there is significant investment in infrastructure development which should pay dividends to the region once completed.

He said much of the rehabilitation and extension of Northern Corridor has been completed, and the construction for the remainder is beginning.

The construction to bitumen standards of the Great North Corridor, is also ongoing, the PM said, adding that there is also good progress in the construction of the Central and Southern Corridor that links the Port of Dar-es-Salaam to Zambia in the south-west via the TAZARA railway line.

The PM decried the prevalence of Non -Tariff Barriers saying crossing the Kenya - Uganda border at Malaba can often take 4 to 6 days, with numerous police road blocks offering avenues for corruption.

He said this may explain why despite the formation of East Africa Economic Community, the share of intra-EAC trade in total trade of the Summit is being attended by presidents Jakaya Kikwete, Yoweri Museveni, Bernard Makuza, Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda and Dr. Yves Sahinguvu, First Vice President of the Republic of Burundi, among others.

WATHIKA OUT

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 - Dick Wathika has became the fifth lawmaker to lose a parliamentary seat after the High Court nullified the 2007 Makadara election.

Justice Kalpana Rawal ruled in favour of petitioner Reuben Ndolo saying the poll was marred by massive irregularities.

“There were irregularities which led to the unfair declaration of the winner. Forms 16A and 17A were not signed, and this means the Returning Officer abdicated his duty,” the judge said.

She added: “The entire process was not transparent and could therefore, not have been relied to provide fair results.”

In her ruling - which took slightly more than two hours to deliver - the judge largely blamed Electoral Commission of Kenya officials for having failed to lead a fair electoral process.

Mr Ndolo who appeared composed in the packed courtroom throughout the morning, later told his supporters: "I am very happy to have seen justice delivered in this ruling.”

“I thank God for all this... the people of Makadara were denied their rightful leader, all along I have always known I won the election. I was denied my victory by the ECK, but today all the truth has been laid out,” Mr Ndolo told jubilant supporters outside the Nairobi Law Courts amid tight security by anti-riot police.

Mr Ndolo later led his supporters in celebrating his victory within city streets before heading to Makadara where he addressed more supporters with stopovers on Jogoo Road.

Mr Wathika who was also accompanied by his followers vowed to immediately challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal.

“I have already instructed my lawyers to challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal, and I am not scared by a by-election at all,” Mr Wathika declared.

Mr Wathika is a first time MP and a staunch Party of National Unity member. An accountant by training, he served as Nairobi Mayor for two terms between 2004 and 2007.

He joins former Transport Minister Chirau Mwakwere, ex assistant minister Omingo Magara and government Chief Whip George Thuo who are out in the cold and are waiting to defend their seats in by-elections.

Former assistant Minister Joel Onyancha who was the first to lose a poll petition, subsequently lost the ensuing by-election.

Housing Assistant Minister Margaret Wanjiru’s fate also hangs in the balance after former Starehe MP Maina Kamanda defeated her in a vote recount in an ongoing case. The court is yet to give its verdict on the petition.

CSR

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 30 - The Safaricom Foundation has launched the second phase of a Corporate Social Responsibility programme which seeks to encourage its employees to offer their expertise in developing Kenyan communities.

In the programme, workers will be allowed a three-month fully paid leave to allow them work on a community project of their choice.

The Foundation’s chairman Les Baillie said that the initiative will enable employees use their knowledge, skills and expertise in positively changing the society.

“We don’t want to just give money and hope that it does some good. We need to also use some of our staff so the initiative is going to give 28 of them the ability to take three months off work fully paid but go to work with some of our partners,” he said. “This will enable the experience and the skills that our staff has to be utilised.”

He said that the foundation was looking at drawing in other corporate organisations to share in the initiative.

“We believe that our staff needs to be involved in the Safaricom Foundation projects and we have extended the programme this year so instead of 12 of our staff working with our partners, we are increasing it to 28,” he explained.

“This year we also want to involve the media since we want them also to be involved.”

Apart from providing a unique capacity building and exposure opportunity for the volunteers, the initiative will enable them to work to extend and improve services, and in some cases will give the organisation the boost they need to move forward.

The initiative is currently running on a one year period seconding three teams of four Safaricom employees each volunteering with three local organisations.

Mr Baillie said the volunteers would share a host of skills including human resource, Information Technology, resource mobilisation, systems strengthening and marketing.

He said that by the end of the year, a significant change will have been realised among partners based on the need identified.

He stated that a simple yet effective monitoring and evaluation system will be used to capture the change across the entire placement period and to detail changes at the partner level, the volunteer level and the Safaricom level.

Lauding the initiative, Safaricom Limited Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said that the programme will strengthen the existing partnership with the company’s project partners and local communities in a sustainable manner.

“With this world of difference initiative, we are moving away from the typical CSR approach. We will be giving those who participate an opportunity to go for a longer time,” he said.

“They will get a once in a lifetime chance to contribute their knowledge, skills and expertise in positively changing the society,” he said.

He Joseph said that the motivation behind the initiative was to promote community work and enhance knowledge and skills in community based programmes among Safaricom staff.

LANDSLIDE KILLS

MARAKWET, Kenya, Apr 30 - At least ten people were killed in a landslide on Friday morning in Marakwet District following a heavy downpour in the area.

Kenya Red Cross Public Relations Officer Titus Mong'ou told Capital News that the ten bodies were pulled out of the landslide in Kitony, Kaben and Tot divisions in Marakwet East.

Mr Mong'ou said the villagers were doing their best to dig into the mud to retrieve those buried.

Following the disaster, Kenya Red Cross officials have flown to the area to provide emergency response kits.

"Kenya Red Cross Secretary General Abbas Gullet is now leaving in a chopper with emergency response kits. Villagers are doing all they can to dig into the mud," Mr Mong'ou asserted.

Meanwhile, massive floods have also been reported in Moyale.

Similar landslides have been witnessed in Rachuonyo and Muranga districts after heavy downpours.

Nandi South is also another district affected by landslides this year. About 2,000 families were evacuated in Tinderet area.

Uganda's Buduba District encountered a massive one that left over 100 dead and 300 others missing.

Landslides and flooding remain serious natural disasters normally experienced during heavy rains.

KIBAKI IN CHINA

SHANGHAI, China, Apr 30 - President Mwai Kibaki has arrived in Shanghai, to start his five-day State visit to the People’s Republic of China.

The Plane carrying the President and his entourage landed at Pudong International Airport shortly before six o’clock Kenyan time on Thursday.

On arrival, the Head of State was received by senior Chinese Government officials and Kenyans resident in Shanghai led by the Kenyan ambassador to China Julius Sunkuli.

While in Shanghai, President Kibaki will attend the World Expo 2010, where Kenya is showcasing itself as the central entry point for investors in the East and Central Africa region.

During his State Visit, President Kibaki is scheduled to hold bilateral talks with his host Hu Jintao, President of the People’s Republic of China.

China is currently one of Kenya’s leading development partners especially in the area of infrastructure development.

President Kibaki has given priority to infrastructure development which has triggered economic growth and massive job creation across the country.

President Kibaki is among only four African Heads of State invited for the official opening ceremony. Others are Malawi, Congo Brazzaville and Mali.

The Head of State is accompanied by Cabinet ministers Uhuru Kenyatta, Moses Wetangula, Amos Kimunya, Fred Gumo, John Munyes, Several Assistant ministers and other senior government officials.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

REJECT IT

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Kenyans, Reject This Draft


Press Statement


1. Preamble
Since the arrival of Christian Missionaries in Kenya in the late 19th century, the church in Kenya has consistently worked for the welfare of Kenyans. At every stage in the life and development of our nation, the church has sought and promoted what was good for the indigenous Kenyans. The growth and spread of the church which continues to date attests to this.

It is therefore with a heavy heart that we, the Christian church leaders, share the following message with the people of Kenya.

2. Collapse of the Consultations with the Government and Rejection of the Draft Constitution
During the review process that began in earnest in 2009, the views of the Christian church in Kenya have consistently been ignored by the organs of review. The draft constitution that is currently awaiting publication therefore faces a blanket rejection by Christians at the referendum.

Having participated in three meetings with the government, we note with sadness that the greatest hindrance to a resolution of the contentious issues is not legal technicalities but rather the lack of political will. We indeed are now convinced that the government’s call for consultations was meant for purposes other than resolving the cardinal issues in the draft. We therefore formally inform Kenyans that the church will not continue engaging in the talks and will instead focus her energies on educating the people of Kenya on the meaning and implications of the cardinal issues and campaigning for the rejection of the draft.

We here remind all Kenyans that the cardinal issues we are referring to are:
i. The right to life of the unborn children is not protected
ii. The Bill of Rights is adulterated to exempt persons professing Muslim faith
iii. Kadhi’s Courts are entrenched in the constitution
iv. The principle of separation of state and religion has been removed
v. The principle of equal treatment of all religions by state has been removed
vi. The right to preach and convert from one religion to another is not guaranteed
vii. The right to determine employment on the basis of one’s religion has been compromised
viii. The people of Kenya will be forced to apply international conventions without approval by Parliament

3. Kenyans Heed Warning
We wish to remind Kenyans of the story recorded in the book of Acts 27: 9 – 12, 41:


Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Fast. So Paul warned them, “Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.” But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and the owner of the ship. Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there… But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf. The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping.


In the same way, Christian church leaders have warned time and again that the current constitution review process will result in institutionalization of injustice and eventual disintegration of the society. However, this voice has been ignored thus highly exposing the country and its people for generations to come.

We here warn again that the draft constitution currently awaiting publication by the Attorney General will not establish justice as the key foundation of our nation. History teaches us that any society that is based on injustice is bound to be unstable, riddled with conflict and eventually degenerates into civil strife. We advice all Kenyans to vote against this draft constitution at the referendum since the cabinet has closed the door that would have costed nobody anything.

Further, we appeal to the people of Kenya, the media and the political leadership to allow all Kenyans to freely express their views on the draft constitution. The threats and demeaning media coverage made against people opposed to the draft is unjust and should cease forthwith.

4. Constitution Review Process
Whereas there are some among us who are accusing the church of being anti reform, we hereby recapture a history of our engagement in the constitution review process:

The current push for review of the Constitution of Kenya can be traced back to 1986 when the church vehemently spoke against the queue voting system. We in the church pointed out that the system would be unjust, a fact that was proved in the 1988 General Elections that to date remain the hallmark of everything elections should not be. From then henceforth, church leaders spoke out openly calling for reforms that would grant Kenyans wholesome justice and democratic space.

Kenyans will recall that the church backed and indeed provided a safe space for the political reformers who pushed for repeal of Section 2A in 1990/1991 leading to a restoration of multi party politics in the country.

After the 1992 General Elections, the church continued to push for a new constitution, recognizing that the mere repeal of Section 2A was not enough to restore justice and democracy in the country. And so while the church adopted the position that the 1997 elections should not be held without comprehensive reforms, political actors negotiated amongst themselves and adopted the Inter Parliamentary Parties Group (IPPG) agreement. This however was a mere Memorandum of Understanding and so failed to ensure justice for Kenyans.

The Ufungamano Initiative was formed by church leaders in 1999 as it emerged that despite the IPPG agreements, the government was not committed to institutionalizing a people-led constitution review process. It was in good faith that Ufungamano Initiative coalesced with the government-instituted Constitution of Kenya Review Commission. When the process moved to Bomas, church leaders warned that the process was flawed and would not give Kenyans an acceptable constitution. The draft developed there was rejected by Kenyans at the referendum in 2005.

In the current phase of the review, the church has been at the forefront warning that the exclusion of Kenyans from the process would lead to a rejection of its product by the people.

5. Conclusion
The constitution review process was meant to facilitate the adoption of a constitution that would facilitate better lives for Kenyans. However, politicians drafted a law that locked out other Kenyans from the review process. We call upon all Kenyans to reject the draft at the referendum.

May God have mercy on our beloved nation.

MOTHER OF ALL BATTLES

The ongoing consensus talks on the draft constitution between the government and Churches finally collapsed following the Cabinet's decision to rule out any amendments.

The Church and the State are now bracing themselves for grueling campaigns that may see the proposed draft constitution approved or rejected at the referendum. One senior Church minister said the campaigns would be the "mother of all battles," pitting the two institutions over the draft constitution. "The dice is now cast and all sides are ready for the grueling battle. If the government thinks it has the people's support, let's wait and meet at the referendum," said the clergyman.

The religious leaders maintained the draft constitution had failed to address concerns raised by the Church, particularly on the contentious issues of abortion and Kadhi's courts and as a result, they would rally their followers to reject it. The Churches’ declaration officially sounded a death knell to the consensus talks between the Church and State in an attempt to seek common ground on the two divisive issues. The eight-member team comprising representatives from the two sides met for the fourth time yesterday at Harambee House but failed to reach a deal. Both sides stuck to their respective positions with the Church maintaining the draft be amended before the referendum while the State insisted that the constitution review process was irreversible and any amendments will only be made after the document is passed at the referendum.

Bishop Philip Sulumeti of Kakamega Catholic Diocese told reporters that the Church would not compromise on the issues of right to life, freedom of religion and equality in regard to Kadhi's courts and would therefore campaign for the rejection of the draft. However, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo said the demands by the Church were impossible to be met since it would require the support of two-thirds majority of MPs to amend the Review Act. Mutula who ruled out any amendments to the draft until after the referendum said the Church representatives at the meeting refused to accept the government’s offer to have the constitution amended after its passage in the plebiscite. The minister did not rule out further talks with the Church, saying he would seek to facilitate another meeting with the two grand coalition principals once the President jets back from his trip to China to try to reach consensus.

Earlier, at a separate press conference, Church leaders rubbished the consensus-building talks saying they would amount to nothing as the opportunity to hammer a deal on the main issues of contention had been lost, which would have facilitated a non-contested referendum. "We advise all Kenyans to vote against this draft constitution at the referendum since the Cabinet has closed the door that would have cost nobody anything," the leaders drawn from the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Anglican Church, Methodist, Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Evangelical Alliance of Kenya and Kenya Assemblies of God among others said. They differed with the Cabinet's declaration that the review process had reached a stage where no amendments could be made on the draft until after the referendum.

During Tuesday's Cabinet meeting, President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga ruled out any further talks with the Church over the two issues maintaining that the Constitution Review Act has no room for such. The Cabinet, however, agreed to continue consulting the Church leaders with a proposal that the contentious issues raised by them, abortion and Kadhi's courts, be solved through an Act of parliament. But addressing the press at Ufungamano House, the Church leaders dismissed this option saying they would instead direct their energies on educating Kenyans on the implications of the cardinal issues and campaign for the draft's rejection. "Having participated in three meetings with the government, we note with sadness that the greatest hindrance to a resolution of the contentious issue is not legal technicalities but rather lack of political will," said Rev Dr Willy Mutiso of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya.

"The draft constitution that is currently awaiting publication therefore faces a blanket rejection by Christians at the referendum," NCCK General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja said. Karanja said the Cabinet's position that there was no room for amendments on the draft was a lie insisting that Parliament had the capacity to do so. The clerics argue the principle of separation of state and religion and that of equal treatment of all religions has been removed from the constitution as well as the right to determine employment on the basis of one's religion, which they said, has been compromised.

HIV positive man kills himself

Property of an unknown value was reduced to ashes after a fire razed down over 400 houses at KCC village in Naivasha.

The fire was started by a middle aged man who allegedly committed suicide by setting himself ablaze after he discovered he was HIV positive.

The man who was burnt beyond recognition doused himself with petrol before setting himself on fire.

Confirming the incident, Naivasha Officer Commanding Police Division, Mr. Ernest Oponyo, said close to 500 one-roomed timber houses were destroyed by the Wednesday 11.00pm fire.

No one was injured in the inferno. The provincial administration and the Red Cross visited the scene Thursday morning to console the victims and ascertain their immediate basic needs.

The Red Cross personnel also distributed some food stuffs, blankets and utensils to the affected families.

Majority of the affected were flower farm workers who could not hold back tears and wailed after realizing that they had lost all their personal effects.

According to neighbors, the deceased who was a carpenter in the area had allegedly fallen out with his girlfriend whom he had threatened to kill.

According to a victim Ms Teresia Moraa, the deceased had gone to hospital where he learnt of his HIV status.

Moraa who lost all her household belongings told how the middle aged man set himself ablaze at around 11pm saying that he could not live with the disease.

The mother of six said that the fire from the wooden house spread fast and caught many of the residents by surprise as they were fast asleep.

The families are now appealing for more help from well-wishers, adding all their belongings were razed down in the inferno.

KAJWANG WRONG

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 - Police on Thursday paraded the man arrested last week on suspicion that he was Triton oil scandal suspect Yagnesh Devani to prove to the public that he was not the wanted fugitive.

The parade was held at the CID headquarters, a day after Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang' contradicted Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere about the real identity of the suspect.

Mr Iteere and CID Director Karanja Gatiba told reporters they set the suspect free on Wednesday after they established beyond reasonable doubt, that he was a nephew of the runaway businessman but recalled him a day later to demonstrate they were right and not Mr Kajwang’.

“He is not Devani, we cannot have released a man we have been looking for,” Mr Iteere said and referred journalists to the CID headquarters to see the suspect who spent five days in police custody.

Mr Devani’s nephew was arrested last Friday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) but samples of fingerprints taken from him did not match those of the Triton oil scandal architect.

“My name is Kalpesh Devani, I had just come from India where I’d gone on a tourist Visa in October 2007. Upon arrival at the airport, I was told that I was the Devani who was involved in Triton Petroleum but I was not the one and they released me,” he said.

“Mr Yagnesh Devani is my uncle, but I have not been in touch with him for a long time now,” he said.

Mr Kalpesh told journalists he had been detained briefly at New Delhi by Interpol who mistook him for the wanted Mr Devani when he went to extend his Visa.

“I think it is because of Interpol in Delhi… they kept me for two three hours, and then they released me and they said I can fly to Kenya. They mistook me for Mr Yagnesh Devani, but I sorted myself out and they released me,” he said.

Police in Nairobi said they were tipped off by the Interpol to re-confirm if the man on the flight to Kenya was Mr Devani and that is when they lay in wait for him at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

The investigating officer in the case Kamlus Odhiambo said it was Immigration Officers who first got hold of the suspect, cleared him at the airport before they handed him over to them.

“When we got hold of him, we took him in for questioning and later took his fingerprints samples and his passport and when we established that he was not the man we were interested in, we set him free. As you can see he is not the Devani who is wanted,” Mr Odhiambo said.

Immigration Minister Mr Kajwang has issued statements twice insisting the man arrested and later released was Yagnesh Devani who is wanted over the Sh7.6 billion oil scandal and even accused the police chief of misleading the public.

But on Thursday, Mr Iteere stuck to his position and said “we are not in any doubt. It is not Devani.”

The Commissioner said the man paraded at the CID headquarters was a free man.

Mr Iteere said they were still looking for Mr Devani to face two criminal charges pending in court in relation to the oil scandal which led to the loss of millions of shillings belonging to the Kenya Commercial Bank and the Kenya Pipeline Corporation.

The government sought Interpol’s help to have Mr Devani, together with other directors of his Triton Petroleum Company arrested over the scandal in January last year after accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers was contracted to carry out a forensic audit on the scope of the oil fraud.

Anglicans say No

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 - The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has formally declared its opposition to the draft Constitution, ending weeks of speculation that it would break ranks with other churches.

After a day-long meeting, the House of Bishops (ACK’s top organ), said it could not endorse a draft that fails to protect the life of the unborn and which favours one religion by including Kadhis courts.

“We say No to the proposed Constitution as it is, unless amendments are made before the referendum,” said Dean of Bishops Stephen Njehia who read part of the statement at the All Saints Cathedral.

The church is demanding “justice and equality for all religions, the limitation of fundamental rights based on religion, the protection of right to life and the supremacy of our constitution in the right of international conventions and treaties.”

“The ACK holds life, morality and justice as the fundamentals of the conduct of the society and this must also guide the process and content of the Constitution,” said Bishop Njenga.

The meeting was chaired by Archbishop Eliud Wabukhala who has been out of the country as debate on the issue raged. The prelate urged Kenyans for sobriety and tolerance as the country gears for the referendum.

“We (bishops) are like prophets and if we see something wrong our work is to alert you (Kenyans). It is the responsibility of the citizens to evaluate it,” Archbishop Wabukhala said.

The statement comes barely a day after consensus building talks between Church leaders and the State collapsed after the Cabinet ruled out amendments before the referendum.

The State had asked the church to endorse the draft as it is then pursue amendments later through the popular vote route which requires them to collect a million signatures,. This would then be followed by a referendum. Church leaders have however remained adamant and declared on Wednesday that they would now concentrate on mobilising the faithful to reject the new law at the August referendum.

“The strategy we will apply is doing civic education and requesting for prayers from our Christians,” said Archbishop Wabukhala.

The statement by the bishops is contrary to the position held by retired Archbishop David Gitari who earlier in the month urged the Church to endorse the draft despite its “apparent” flaws since it is a big improvement to the current Constitution.

“We pray that God gives Kenyans the grace to make the right decision and thereafter live together in unity,” said Bishop Njehia as he ended the statement.

Musyoka morphs into a ‘lazy radical’

By DR. GEORGE OGOLA
Published April 27, 2010

Not too long ago Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka celebrated his silver jubilee since becoming a Member of Parliament (MP). It was no mean feat considering only two other sitting MPs, President Mwai Kibaki and Industrialisation Minister Henry Kosgey have represented their constituencies for more years.

But there was more to this milestone. Musyoka’s story has also been the story of the Kenyan politician. Through his life, we note the complexity but also the simplicity of our politics. He is the embodiment of the tensions between the past and present, contradictions, which, like other politicians, he still struggles to grapple with.

Musyoka was not born into privilege but was very much a beneficiary of political patronage. Still, he grew to become his own man. Broadly, he can be categorised as belonging to the country’s moderate politicians. He has never been on either of the extreme ends of our political spectrum. It is, however, a political hue with an unfortunate history of failure. Men of Musyoka’s shade in Kenya have over the years walked the corridors of power but never quite conquered them. It would appear that it is for this reason that the Mwingi North MP has in recent times adopted a rather abrasive, some would say, radical side, particularly when confronting his foes, real and imagined.

While his turf wars with his erstwhile political nemesis Charity Ngilu are not unusual, his fight with Prime Minister Raila Odinga is now of considerable interest, as it points to a remarkable rebranding of Musyoka the moderate into Musyoka the pseudo radical. Pseudo because it is a script he does not read very well. Musyoka’s feud with Odinga is understandable, considering their rather complicated political history. However, the VP seems to be taking the war beyond Odinga and that is where brand Musyoka is losing that moderate hue; that has endeared him to even some of his most reluctant supporters.

Not long ago after Ngilu and Odinga set pitch in Musyoka’s ‘home’ turf ‘inspecting development projects’, which is always the Kenyan euphemism for staking political claim on a territory, the VP quickly organised his own public rally where he made some rather unnecessary remarks. His broadsides were targeted at his political enemies, but then he went further to enjoin a whole ethnic community in this new political war of attrition with Odinga. While telling off Ngilu and Odinga, Musyoka claimed he would go as far as ‘saving the Luos from Odinga’s bondage’.

That claim was not only politically tactless, it was also intellectually lazy. One would have expected better from a trained lawyer and one with 25 years experience in the August House. The sociology of ethnicity in general, and the significance of the Odinga name in the Luo social and political imaginary require a more nuanced discussion. A rhetorical barb at a political rally does not begin to unpack the complex history that attends that presumed Luo bondage to a name. It is a sociology that is far more complex than Musyoka would want us to believe.

There are several political names across Kenya’s ethnic groups that have been historically validated to the extent that they assume certain mythological status. Even then, attachment to such names is not based on some form of irrational collective psychosis. It can be explained on very complex political evolutions of those communities.

Ethnic-based voting or ‘followings’ in Kenya, as elsewhere, for instance, do in fact have various cultural, social and political explanations. These are trends that can be located within the tensions around ethnic and political citizenships. In Kenya, these tensions have dominated the practice of the country’s politics since independence.

As the scholar Stephen Ndegwa argues, the reason many Kenyans fall back on ethnic identities is because the state fails to balance the rights and obligations related to national citizenship. No other social formations, it would seem, balances these two issues adequately, hence providing ethnic republican citizenship with the kind of political legitimacy the nation-state fails to confer. The political affirmation of the ethnic and the attachment to certain historically validated political names do therefore have an explanatory basis, and whoever attempts to explain them as irrational is either ignorant or simply too lazy to think beyond the political podium.

However, our tortured political history shows us quite clearly, the perils of having a population who have an ambivalent relationship with the nation-state. Strong ethnic republican citizenship within a nation state can be problematic, even disastrous, and the 2007 post-election crisis is a case in point. We must therefore strive to strengthen the state and its institutions and to have it balance the rights and obligations associated with national citizenship. Even so, this does not mean we disavow ethnic identities or artificially delete them from national discourse. Ethnic formations are extremely powerful social structures, and have been part of our political and social configurations for several decades. On their own, they are not anathema to either nationhood or to the nation-state.

The struggle in Kenya remains, and one, which one would hope, will inform Musyoka’s next silver jubilee, to help strengthen the state so it can offer that which it cedes the ethnic ‘nations’. The nation-state will not become the pre-eminent political community through some artificial introduction of a new political discourse that is used by politicians when convenient and dropped when they seem to think their political bases are being ‘invaded’.

Meanwhile, Musyoka the pseudo radical will certainly need to rethink his political strategy if he has an eye on the big prize. By all means take the war to Odinga. But it is wrong and politically suicidal to begin to belittle whole communities because of one man. The arrogance and recklessness with which Musyoka is now engaging his political enemies as he morphs into a ‘new’ man may instead do his brand more harm than good.

One would also hope that the time spent in the August House should make politicians more perceptive, particularly in their understanding of our politics.


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Dr. George Ogola teaches at the University of Central Lancashire. Reach him at GOOgola@uclan.ac.uk

RUTO WORKING HARD

The government is considering reintroducing a double intake to public universities like it did in 1987 to rid the country of the current back-log of students waiting to be admitted to public universities.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto said Thursday that the current back-log is undermining the quality of education and perpetuating inequality.

"The long wait many children have to undergo as they await admission into the public universities is causing much concern to the government. It also making many Kenyans seek education elsewhere leading to capital flight as Kenyans pay high fees in those countries," said Ruto.

Ruto who was moved to the new ministry last week in a cabinet reshuffle was speaking after inaugurating the new commissioners of the Commission for Higher Education at the Commission's headquarters in Gigiri.

He said the two year delay in universities' intake is confounding children from poor families to deprivation of their right to accessing quality education.

He said the government is also working on establishing an "Open Universities system" which will enable students taking humanities to learn through distance learning.

This he said will help to decongest the institutions of higher learning and give more room to those taking practical subjects.

The Minister said he is working at creating the much needed synergy at his new ministry in order to achieve better results.

"We shall not allow political noise to interfere with my zest to see the much needed results achieved at my new posting, however the success of any institution does not depend on an individual but on all the stakeholders involved," he said.

The Minister said the Universities Act is set for a repeal and replaced with one that elaborates the mandate of the Commission, expands the scope and depth of its work.

"All universities authorized to operate in Kenya shall be regulated and quality assured by the Commission for Higher Education under the new law," he directed.

The Minister said in order to reassure the public on delivery of quality education for Kenyans, all university will now have to set up internal quality assurance systems that are benchmarked on against proven best practices both locally and internationally.

YES CAMPAIGN

Two cabinet ministers and an assistant minister have appealed to Kenyans to read and understand contents of the draft constitution before making any decisions.

Internal Security Minister Prof George Saitoti, Agriculture Minister Dr Sally Kosgei and Internal Security Assistant Minister Simeon Lesirma regretted that some people have decided to oppose the draft constitution simply because their leaders are opposed to it.

"This draft constitution is not perfect but we all agree it's better than the current constitution. We can vote for it and embark on amendments later," said Prof Saitoti.

They called on Kenyans to avoid being influenced by politicians.

"The country is yearning for a new constitution and the mood is clear. For how long are we going to continue playing politics with a critical issue like the constitution?" asked Prof Saitoti.

"We were able to do away with the unpopular mlolongo system of voting and multiparty was accepted but heckling and mudslinging has frustrated efforts to get a new constitution up to date," said Prof Saitoti.

"The PCs, DCs, Dos and Chiefs are the face of the government and cannot be phased out. Even Mps who were opposed to them before they were elected to parliament are now demanding for creation of districts and other administrative regions because they understand their value," said the minister.

The legislators were speaking in Nandi South District after laying a foundation stone for the construction of the district's headquarters, to be constructed at a cost of 30 million shillings.

Prof Saitoti and Dr Kosgei appealed to the provincial administrators at the grassroots to encourage Kenyans to register as voters so that they may be able to vote during the referendum.

"Even those opposed to the draft constitution can only be able to voice their concerns through voting and they can only do that if they are registered as voters," said Dr Kosgei.

The Agriculture minister maintained that she will vote yes during the referendum and said as a leader she had a duty to tell Kenyans the truth about the draft constitution and leave them to make a decision.

"I have read the constitution several times and as a leader I will tell you when you are being cheated. Let's wait for the civic education to shed more light but that is my position," said Dr Kosgei.

Mr Lesirma said there was no need for negotiations as a lot of discussions had been done by different groups and it was only prudent to pass the draft constitution and sort out other emerging issues later.

Meanwhile, Gender and Social Services Minister Esther Murugi has called for sober debate on the abortion clause in the draft constitution saying the issue risks being hijacked by people out to scuttle the review process.

Murugi called on women to come on board and express their concerns on the issue instead of leaving the debate entirely to men.

Speaking in Mombasa the minister said that men had no right to discuss the reproductive health of women.

Murugi drummed up support for the draft arguing that women representation in parliament would be well distributed.

"For the first time we have a draft constitution that comprehensively addresses the women issues and if looked through a gender lens it's a constitution for women'' said the minister.

Mrs.Murugi said through the proposed National land Commission issues around land resource will be adequately managed to the satisfaction of all communities.

"Land belonging to communities will be managed at community level while parliament will enact the legislation determining the maximum acreage an individual can hold'' she said.

MAGARA LATEST

Court of Appeal will rule tomorrow whether former Trade Assistant Minister Omingo Magara will retain his Parliamentary seat.

Three appellate judges are expected to deliver a judgment on whether Justice Daniel Musinga erred in declaring Magara

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) has already set the date for the anticipated South Mugirango by-election as June 10.

This was after the National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende issued writs declaring the seat vacant.

Marende did this after receiving a certificate from the High Court on the nullification of Magara

Appellate judges Riaga Omolo, Philip Tunoi and Erastus Githinji have powers to overturn the election court

In his case, Magara argued that Justice Musinga went outside the petitioner


The court heard that Justice Musinga in his judgment said that 53 form 16A out of 110 polling stations were not signed and indicated the figure as 43 in another part of his decision.


Out of the six polling stations whose form 16As were not signed by the presiding officers, in three of them, form 16As were found in the ballot boxes during the scrutiny exercise and the same were duly signed by presiding officers.

The stations whose forms were redeemed from the ballot boxes and duly signed by the presiding officers are Nyamunaria Primary School 017, Ndonyo Primary School 031 and Maroo Primary School 085.

It also emerged that Magara won in the re-count exercise that was conducted by the court. The petitioner, Mr Manson Nyamwenya had asked for the re-count.


The court also heard the petitioner was represented by an advocate who was privy to documents that were to be produced in the election petition.


On the issue of the certificate used by the National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende to issue writs, the court heard that it was unusual for a judge to issue the document the same day a judgment is read.


On his part, the petitioner opposed the appeal on grounds that the Speaker has already acted on the certificate.

His advocate, Mr Ombati Omwansa, argued that the issue is not out of the court

Omwansa defended the judge, saying at no time did Magara ask him to disqualify himself from hearing the petition.

SUMMONED FOR POOR PERFORMANCE

The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture has summoned two ministers over the poor ranking of their dockets in the recently released government survey on performance contracting.

Committee chairman John Mututho (Naivasha, Kanu) said Dr Mohammed Kuti, the minister for Livestock Development and his Fisheries counterpart Paul Otuoma will appear before his team within a fortnight to explain why they were sleeping on the job.

Addressing journalists on Thursday after a committee meeting at Nairobi’s Continental House, Mr Mututho said the two ministers were duty-bound to ensure that their services were excellent in the eyes of the public.

The House rules, he said, mandates the committee to assess the performance of ministries in relation to set objectives (Standing Order 198(3)(d)).

“We are not overstepping our mandate; it is here and it is written in English. They have to explain this dismal performance,” he said.

The said Standing Order notes that the role of a departmental committee is “to study, assess and analyse the relative success of the ministries and departments as measured by the results obtained as compared with their stated objective.”

Besides, the committee is also granted powers to “investigate and inquire into all matters relating to assigned ministries and departments as they may deem necessary”.

“We want to find out why they are not meeting their objectives yet these dockets affect hundreds of Kenyans,” said Mr Mututho.

The Ministry of Fisheries Development ranked 41 in the results released on Monday while that of Livestock Development was last at number 43.

However, even with their relatively dismal performance, the two Ministries were still ranked under “good” in the performance report.

Dr Kuti’s Ministry has two parastatals under it, but while one, Kenya Dairy Board, emerged second under regulatory agencies and was 20 overall among the State Corporations, the Kenya Meat Commission performed dismally as it emerged at number 95.

For Mr Otuoma, the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute is his worry as he gears for the grilling session, given that the parastatals ranked at number 84 overall. At total of 139 parastatals were ranked.

Although Parliament is on recess until June 8, committee meetings continue as the House steps up the pressure on the Executive.

NOT GUILTY

Suspended Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Local Government Sammy Kirui, former Nairobi town clerk John Gakuo and eight others arrested in connection with the 283 million shillings Mavoko cemetery land scandal have all pleaded not guilty.

The 10 were arrested by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission on Wednesday and spent the night in police custody.

They appeared before the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission court Thursday to face several counts of corruption and abuse of office.

Kirui was among four permanent secretaries interdicted by the president pending investigations over allegations of corruption.

Each of the ten suspended officials have been released on a 5 million shillings cash bail.

Others who were suspended at the time included Senior Deputy Secretary Reuben Rotich, Director of Procurement Boniface Misero and Chief Financial Officer Herman Chevera.

At City Hall which was the centre of the fraud officers interdicted included Deputy Town Clerk Geoffrey Katsolleh, Director of Legal Affairs Mary Ng'ethe and the Director of Procurement Kanyi Nyambura.

Others were Deputy Director of Legal Affairs Karisa Iha, Deputy Director Procurement Alexander Musee, Medical Officer of Health Daniel Nguku and Chief Internal Auditor I N. Ngacha.

The President also directed that the monies overpaid, amounting to Ksh. 259 million, be recovered from the beneficiaries.

President Kibaki said the officers and other collaborators including lawyers and agents, should be prosecuted for the serious fraud which he said was committed against the Kenyan public.

The scandal came to the limelight after it emerged that the Nairobi City Council had grossly overpaid for the land which was meant to be used for a cemetery.

It also transpired that the land was unsuitable for the intended use.

Local government minister Musalia Mudavadi under whose docket the Nairobi City Council lies was also put on the spot though he vehemently defended himself claiming the move was political.

Meanwhile three police officers were Wednesday morning arrested at Athi River for allegedly receiving bribes.

KACC said its officers pounced on the officers attached to the Axel Load Enforcement Unit of the Highway Traffic at Athi River area as they received bribes from drivers of sand ferrying trucks as they sought to avoid being weighed at the Mlolongo Weighbridge.

By the time of their arrest, the team which comprises of a senior sergeant, a corporal and a police constable who is the driver had collected Ksh 86,650.

"The Commission established that the suspects are usually paid Ksh 1,000 per truck per trip to avoid being weighed and paying the charges for over loading which range from Ksh 100,000 to 400,000," KACC said.

SEAT IN JAIL

THE HAGUE, Apr 29 - “Those who caused violence in 2007/2008 were aiming to have a seat in the Cabinet, but they have to understand if you commit violence you have a seat in jail! says International Criminal Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

In this exclusive interview with Capital News, Mr Ocampo affirms his commitment to pursue the perpetrators and also shares his thoughts about international justice and the importance of cooperation by member States.

“The weakest people are the victims, the women and the children,” said the prosecutor.

The man, widely perceived in Kenya as the deliverer of justice explains what motivates his stressful and risky job which entails dealing with powerful individuals.

Q. Tell us about Luis Moreno-Ocampo

A. I am the Prosecutor of the ICC. My work is to investigate massive crimes when the nationals are not doing that. Particularly people in the slums… sometimes they are ignored and I would like to listen to them and they have to listen to me too because I have to represent them in court. Sometimes they are victims of this type of crimes. Even as a global prosecutor I would like to work for them.

When someone is protected by someone else, I should not interfere. In Colombia there are national prosecutors doing the job so I don’t need to intervene, so I intervene when the people are not presented, (when) no one is taking care of their interests. That is why I like this job. I have to go normally to people who are ignored, very poor, marginalised and then. Yes! We go and work for them.

Q. Is it that Kenya doesn’t have a strong judicial system to prosecute the crimes you are handling?

A. No, we are not making any judgment on the Kenyan judicial system. In fact one of the judges at the ICC is Kenyan. The problem is, there are no national proceedings in Kenya about the post election violence, and that is the issue. When there are no cases, we do a case.

Normally the States organise themselves to have their own police, their own Judiciary. But with these massive crimes they agreed to have this International Criminal Court, so when a country like Kenya joined the court, we are part of the Kenyan justice system. We are the independent part of Kenyan judicial system supported by Kenya, supported by other 110 member States. Then our job is to end impunity for the most serious crimes and that is what we are doing. What we expect from the state parties such as Kenya, is respect for the law and support.

Q. How will the ICC deal with powerful individuals who are suspects?

A. We will be looking at the crimes. I will prosecute the most responsible because really we are a court where we focus on the most responsible. We cannot investigate many people here.

At the same time we respect the accused rights. In Kenya some people are suspects but we will see if they are guilty or not, so as a prosecutor I have to be impartial.

It is my duty to investigate - incriminating but also exonerating to seek for justice. We are willing to meet and receive those considered to be suspects and listen to them and what they have to say.

Q. Is the ICC also concerned with the process of Truth Justice and Reconciliation in countries under its investigation?

A. Yes! We would like to work with others like truth and justice commissions and local leaders among others. This is important as the common goal is to be sure that the next election in 2012 is peaceful.

We are more than happy to work with whoever is working with this goal and in fact I m going to Kenya in May and I would like to meet the local leaders, people in the slums, discussing how we can help them. I came from Argentina when there were serious crimes. The way to reconcile is to establish the law because if someone raped my daughter no one can force me to reconcile with this person, in this case the rapist. However, according to a legal system, I cannot kill the rapist, so that is why the justice effort could help to reconcile the people.

Q. You seem to believe that reconciliation processes are important. Explain this further.

A. We need to organise a system to live together not just in Kenya but in the world. The issue is to live together. I remember I met with President Museveni in Uganda because he invited President Bashir and he explained to me that Bashir is his tribe, you cannot understand and I said, I love the tribal idea. In fact you and I are in the same tribe, we are the ICC tribe, a bigger tribe.

Because you are the Bashir tribe, invite him to Uganda, then arrest him. For me whatever we are building is a global tribe. The basic idea is no more massive killing… we are united for this but this is a very important tribe.

Q. Sudan’s President Omar al Bashir has been indicted, yet he hasn’t been arrested. Do you think Kenyan suspects will be arrested?

A. The problem is al Bashir is using the army and the police and the State operatives to commit crime. Here in Kenya, the government is not committing crime; the government is trying to control crime.

So I think the Kenya State will help to arrest the people. But there is always a chance and we are evaluating every moment that the accused appear voluntarily and we don’t have to arrest them.

In each country we request territorial States to arrest individuals. That is what we are requesting Sudan to arrest Al Bashir and he has a responsibility to appear voluntarily in court.

Q. When you last visited Kenya in November 2009, PEV victims were not happy that you didn’t meet with them. Why did you choose not to?

A. I had my limits because I could not meet with the victims before the judges authorised my investigations. That is why I said I will come to Kenya as soon as the judges authorise my investigations to meet the victims.

The President and the Prime Minister are in charge of Kenya, so I had to inform them what I had come to do. I had to inform them that I would open investigations requesting the judges’ authorisation. Now it is my time to meet the victims. It will be the beginning. I will see how many places I can visit, but I will try to come back in September or October to be there again and meet more victims.

Q. What is your itinerary when you come to Kenya in May?

A. I will come to Kenya to listen to victims. I will ask what happened to you, how were you affected? I don’t want people thinking I’m coming to put you in jail. They have to understand my mandate, what I can do and what I cannot do. I will fulfill my role. I will do what I am promising to do. I would like to tell the Kenyan people to keep reporting justice and justice will come to them.

Q. Israel and the US are not signatories to the ICC Treaty. Why should Kenya be a member and what do you mean that Kenya will be an example to the world, is it a threat?

A. Kenya accepted the idea as many as 29 other African countries, as Europe, as South America. We suffered crime during the pre-colonial time, we suffered crimes during the cold war, and that is why we learn the law is important to protect us. It is showing the sophistication of Kenya to accept and join the treaty and the others will learn.

They feel they can be protected by armies, and we are thinking no! We can be protected by law. That is why we are saying Kenya will be an example to show that. It will be an example of how we can use the law to do justice for the victims and to prevent violence in the future, it is the example we are giving together; the Kenyan people, the Kenyan authorities and the court working together.

Q. Kenyans have a high level of trust and expectations in you. Should they?

A. Oh, I (hope) they continue to trust me. I would like to see them, to be connected to them who are the poorest. I will do a couple of cases. It will not be the end of the story but the beginning of the story. I believe this will help a lot to understand that there will be no more violence.

MAY 6TH

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 - Attorney General Amos Wako has finally confirmed that he will publish the Proposed Constitution next Thursday in readiness for the August referendum.

Mr Wako told journalists on Thursday that although the document was ready, “I have chosen to make full use of the time given to me under the law, to allow more people to register as voters.”

“In the interest of having many people participate in the referendum, I have withheld the Proposed Constitution for some time,” he added.

The AG received the draft law from Parliament on April 7 but had been petitioned by the Interim Independent Electoral Commission to delay to the end of his period to allow them finalise the vote registration which closes on Wednesday.

After the publication, the IIEC will have 90 days from the publication date to announce a referendum on the document.

The publication will also set the stage for thirty days of national civic education program to be spearheaded by the Committee of Experts.

The announcement came barely a day after the collapse of consensus building negotiations between the church and the State signaling the possibility of a hotly contested referendum and deals the final blow to the hopes of churches for amendments before the referendum.

The Cabinet on Tuesday ruled out any agreement to institute changes before the referendum springing the walkout by the church.

The church is opposed to the inclusion of Kadhis courts and a clause that they say leaves a loophole for the legalisation of abortion in the draft law. Church leaders have also opposed the exemption of Muslims from some sections of the Bill of Rights.

Christians have also raised an alarm that the draft leaves a loophole in the ratification of international treaties and agreements claiming that there is no requirement that all should be approved by Parliament.

“Many of the important treaties will have to go to Parliament without approval especially those that need us to domesticate them. However there are those that will not need to go through that process and will be adopted by Cabinet,” said Mr Wako.

Arunga Latest

Finger of God Church official Quincy Timberlake has been charged with being in possession of a forged South African passport.

Timberlake, alias Quincy Zuma Wambitta, alias Sammy Kofi Sighn, was arraigned before Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei also charged with misleading an immigration officer.

Timberlake, the declared husband of former television news anchor Esther Arunga, was accused of keeping and using the forged passport on March 10, 2008 at Komarocks Estate in Nairobi.

He was also accused of having misled Immigration officer Mosoti Osongo in Kisumu on April 16, 2007, by telling him that he had been issued with a Kenyan passport without surrendering another one issued to him on January 30, 2006.

He denied the charges and was released on Sh50,000 cash bail. The case will be heard on June 18.

Illegal group

Timberlake was released last month after being in prison remand for weeks. He had been denied bail in a case in which he and others, including his wife Esther, are charged with being members of an illegal group, the Finger of God.

Mutembei had then denied him bail because he was still being held over an Immigration-related case filed against him at Makadara law courts.

The controversial Finger of God led by Jazz musician Joseph Hellon (Nimrod Omondi Onyango) came into the limelight two months ago when Esther resigned from her job at as a presenter and went to leave in Hellon’s Runda home.

PROSTRATE CANCER

The first vaccine for prostate cancer — one of the major tumours affecting middle-aged and elderly Kenyan men — could be in the market within weeks.

The vaccine, Provenge, which could get approval by the US Federal Drug Agency before the end of this month, has been shown in human trials to prolong life.

Trials showed that although most men given the vaccine lived just four and a half months longer, some gained an extra two to three years of life.

Oral tumours

The disease affects about 1,000 men in Kenya annually and is the most deadly cancer for men after oral tumours. The cancer is estimated to kill 850 men in Kenya every year and the figure is climbing in tandem with other cancers.

Tumours of the lip, mouth, tongue and throat, also called oral cancers, are highest in men locally, according to figures from the Nairobi Cancer Registry.

A study carried out by the Kenya Medical Research Institute last year found that of the 2,292 cancer related deaths recorded in Nairobi during a two-year period, oral tumours claimed the most.

Studies on the new vaccine, developed by Dendreon Corp of the US, showed it improved survival by 38 per cent. Unlike traditional vaccines that prevent disease, Provenge treats it by stimulating the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells.

It is produced by taking cells from a patient’s tumour, incorporating them into a vaccine, then returning them to a physician to be injected back into the patient. The FDA is slated to decide by May 1, whether to approve Provenge for treating advanced prostate cancer.

For two reasons the vaccine may be good for Kenya; first, Kenyans usually present themselves before a physician during advanced stages, and, second prostate cancer has been shown to be highest among Africans compared to other races.

Africans and men of African extraction are thought to be more prone to the disease because of their genetic make-up. The gene responsible is called ODC with a certain variant found in higher frequency in indigenous Africans and men of African ancestry compared to other races.

Writing in a special supplement of the East African Medical Journal, Prof George Magoha, a urologist who is also the vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi, said studies had established that indeed Africans are more prone to the disease.

“Prostate cancer incidence and mortality is higher for Africans in the diaspora than all other races in the world,” wrote Prof Magoha in a past issue of the journal.

The urologist had compared his experience at Kenyatta National Hospital with the Nigerian studies and found similarities in the rates. He also noted that Kenyans with the cancer presented themselves to hospitals when it was too late for effective management.

This was true for about 85,000 patients examined at Kenyatta Hospital for one year. Eighty seven per cent sought treatment when the disease was at an advanced stage. Ages affected started from 50 years peaking at between 66 and 70.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

KALONZO FOR MURANGA

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka embarks on a tour of the greater Murang’a district in central Kenya Friday to gauge his political support in a region which is increasingly attracting leading politicians in the country.

Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau, who is coordinating the visit said the VP would launch a number of projects in Kigumo, Kandara and Maragwa constituencies and also address several rallies at various centres.

Mr Musyoka will be seeking to counter any political mileage Prime Minister Raila Odinga could have gained when he traversed the three constituencies in February this year.

“We expect over 40 MPs from all over the country to accompany the Vice President on Friday. The tour is semi-political and semi-official,” Mr Kamau stated.

According to the programme, Mr Musyoka’s first stop will be at P.K secondary school at Kabati where he will open the school’s library before addressing two rallies at Kabati and Kenol trading centres.

He will then proceed to Githunguri, Kagundu-ini and Kigumo trading centres where he will preside over a ground breaking ceremony for a new girls’ school.

Mr Musyoka will then proceed to Muthithi trading centre where he will address a public rally before heading to Sabasaba where he will hold the final rally.

Mr Odinga was in the region in February to open a tea factory in Kigumo constituency but several MPs from the region boycotted the tour accusing the PM of seeking to undermine deputy prime minister Mr Uhuru Kenyatta’s popularity in the region.

Maragwa MP Elias Mbau and Githunguri’s Stanley Githunguri were the only MPs from central province who accompanied the PM on the tour, which saw huge crowds turn out to cheer his entourage.

Mr Musyoka is also expected to use the tour to gauge the region’s support for the draft constitution ahead of the national referendum set for July or early August.

The VP and Mr Kenyatta were last week forced to come out publicly to announce their support for the Yes campaign after being accused of blowing both hot and cold on the issue.

The Cabinet has since resolved to support the Yes campaign.

ITS DEVANI

The arrest of suspected mastermind of the multi-billion Triton Oil scandal Yagnesh Devani at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport remains a mystery as police maintain that the man arrested was not the real Devani but a relative.

However Immigration minister Otieno Kajwang maintained that the man arrested was indeed Devani and that the police allegedly colluded with the suspect to release him from custody .

Police on Tuesday released the suspect from custody after claiming that they had carried out intensive investigations that proved the suspect was not the wanted Devani but his nephew.

According to Kajwang , the person, who was arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Friday after Kenyan detectives received a tip of from their Interpol counterparts was the businessman.

"I can confirm that all officers who carried out investigations from our two data bases confirmed he was Devani," said the Minister adding that it was only his ministry that stores data on all people in the country.

The Minister who was addressing the media in his office revealed that two tests were carried out on the suspect, the first one at Nairobi Primary Database while the second was done at the Population Registration Centre and the results confirmed that the face and finger prints were Devani's.

"If the police were in doubt about the person they were holding they should have come for more information and we would have confirmed to them that both the finger prints and the face were Devani's," Kajwang said.

When news first came in that the wanted Yagnesh Devani, the tycoon behind the 7.6 billion Triton Oil scandal was to land in the country on Friday last week aboard an Air Arabia flight, all systems were activated to arrest the suspect upon landing.

And indeed, the suspect was arrested and taken to custody. However, since then, it has been a game of musical chairs between the crucial immigration ministry and police headquarters.

Devani is on the watch list, together with 7 other directors of the moribund Triton Oil Company who defrauded KCB Bank and Kenya Pipeline Company of 2.4 billion shillings.

A warrant of arrest was issued against the man who has been charged in a Kenyan court in absentia with stealing over 12 million U.S dollars the property of Kenya Commercial Bank.

He also faces another count of stealing by servant over 19 million US dollars, which he received on behalf of Kenya Pipeline Company.

Devani is also alleged to have stolen some 26,216.60 metric tonnes of oil at the Kipevu storage facility in Mombasa.

The oil had allegedly been entrusted to him by KCB to jointly hold in safe custody with the Kenya Pipeline Company for and on account of Triton Petroleum and KCB.

It alleged that the petroleum products were valued at Ksh1.532, 272,140.

The act by Triton Company is said to have caused the government a loss amounting to billions of shillings and saw seen several senior officers in the oil sector being suspended to pave way for investigations into the matter.

MAGARA DEFECTS TO PDP

ODM has cleared six candidates to battle it out for the party's ticket next Thursday in South Mugirango. The six are Gideon Moreka, Ibrahim Ochoi, Henry Nyabuto, David Okachi, Kepher Marube and Zebedeo Nyaboga.

The aspirants who met the ODM National Elections Board on Monday also agreed that voters' cards and national identity cards will be used in the secret ballot.

The meeting was chaired by the board's secretary Joseph Misoi. It was also agreed that 53 polling stations will be used.

After the meeting, Misoi announced that the aspirants had agreed that party primaries will be held on May 6.

The aspirants also sought assurances from the board that immediate former MP Omingo Magara will not be in the race for the ODM ticket.

Magara, the ODM treasurer did not seek the ODM nomination and speculation is rife he will defect to another party later this week.

"We don't want a situation where Magara will be sneaked into the race," said Nyabuto. Moreka called for free and fair nominations saying any rigging will cost the party the seat.

"We want the primaries to be free and fair so that those who lose will support the winner. Any fallout after the nominations will cost ODM the seat," he said.

Political parties wishing to field candidates in the June 10 by-election have until May 9 to finalise their nominations and hand their papers ou May 17 and 18.

Despite ODM extending the deadlines for submission of nomination papers, Magara failed to return his.

On Monday, the party's national election board met with all the six candidates and Magara did not attend or send a representative.

A source close to the former South Mugirango MP said Magara has made up his mind to quit the party.

ODM insiders said the party had decided to extend the deadline to woo Magara back, but when he failed to respond, it decided to forget about him.
Magara could not be reached for comment. He is currently mourning his younger brother, Titus who died last week.

Another ally of the former Trade assistant minister intimated that, Magara will make public his new party this week. He is expected to announce his defection to little known People's Democratic Party.

POLL RESULT MISSING

The results have been missing since the Electoral Commission of Kenya called off the tallying of votes in December 2007 after chaos erupted.

And the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) is now distancing itself from irregularities associated with the ECK in the constituency.

Through lawyer Stephen Adere, the IIEC said it was taking a neutral position in a petition challenging the election of Simon Mbugua as Kamukunji MP.

Chaos erupted at Shauri Moyo tallying centre when ECK officials had completed tallying results from 135 out of the total 157 polling stations. The constituency had 25 parliamentary candidates.

The ECK then called off the tallying prompting Mbugua, the PNU candidate, to move to court. He successfully sought orders to have the ECK compelled to complete the process.

In August 2008, the court quashed the decision to call off the tallying and ordered the ECK to complete the tallying and announce the winner.

Mbugua was declared winner with 22,614 votes while Ahmed garnered 16,604 votes and third candidate Abdi Yusuf Hassan got 7,663.

Ahmed immediately filed a petition challenging Mbugua’s victory.

In a report prepared in 2008 and used in all the court cases, the returning officer Pricilla Wamiru said they would have completed the tallying were it not for chaos.

She, however, argued that Mbugua would still have won if all the results were received, given his performance in the other polling stations.

Mbugua has made several bids to have the petition struck out.

In his latest application filed through lawyer Kibe Mungai, the MP argues that the petitioner did not include in the court papers the results for all the 25 candidates as required by law.

He is relying on a case in which the Court of Appeal struck out a petition against Naivasha MP John Mututho since the petitioner Jane Kihara had not included the results for all the candidates.

But Ahmed is challenging the requirement that he should produce the results of all the candidates. He says the ECK never made the results available to him.

Lawyer Adere told presiding judge Kalpana Rawal that even the available results had not been countersigned by party agents as required under the electoral law. He said the IIEC had an explanation for the missing results.

But lawyer Mungai has strongly contested the IIEC’s neutral position in the matter saying the commission has been sued alongside his client.

Kibe says the commission should either oppose the petition or concede and opt out of the case.

Hearing continues.

SHOWDOWN

Kenya Churches have laid the battle ground with the government after pulling out of talks over contentious issues in the draft constitution.

The Kenya Christian Church Leaders Wednesday read mischief and lack of political will on the part of the government during their meetings, which culminated in the Cabinet's move on Tuesday to rule out any changes to the proposed law before the referendum.

"Having participated in three meetings with the government, we not with sadness that the greatest hindrance to a resolution of the contentious issues is not legal technicalities but rather the lack of political will," said a statement read by National Council of Churches of Kenya secretary general Canon Peter Karanja, on behalf of 17 churches, at Ufungamano House, Nairobi.

"We indeed are now convinced that the government's call for consultations was meant for purposes other than resolving the cardinal issues in the draft."

He said that the draft, which is awaiting publication by Attorney General Amos Wako, "faces a blanket rejection by Christians at the referendum".

"We therefore inform Kenyans that the Church will not continue engaging in the talks and will instead focus her energies on educating the people of Kenya on the meaning and implications of the cardinal issues and campaigning for the rejection of the draft."

But in a dramatic turn of events, the leaders went into a meeting with government representatives at Harambee House, Nairobi just hours after their announcement that the talks had collapsed.

It was not immediately clear what the agenda of the meeting, currently on going, is.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet ruled out any amendments on the draft since the timetable leading to the referendum was set and said it was "practically impossible at this stage to amend the Constitution of Kenya or Constitution Review Act in order to accommodate concerns expressed by Christian Church leaders and others".

"We advice all Kenyans to vote against this draft constitution at the referendum since the cabinet closed the door that would have costed nobody anything," read the statement.

The Church wants the clause on abortion and kadhis' courts removed from the draft and have vowed to rally Christians to shoot down the new law if their conditions are not met.

A meeting scheduled on Monday between government and Church representatives failed after the former requested more time.

The Church objects to the section of Article 26, which empowers doctors to end a pregnancy if it endangers the woman's life or she needs emergency treatment.

Christian leaders are also opposed to the retention of kadhis' courts in the proposed Constitution under Article 169 and 170, which limit their authority to disputes over personal status, marriage, divorce or inheritance, where all the parties are Muslims and agree to take the case to a Kadhi.

On Wednesday, the Churches said other issues it wanted addressed included: the right to determine employment on the basis of one's religion has been compromised; the Bill of Rights is adulterated to exempt persons professing Muslim faith; the principle of equal treatment of all religions by State has been removed, among others.

The Church will be joined in its battle with the State by the No campaigners led by Higher Education minister William Ruto, who is leading a group of politicians opposed to the document.

Mr Ruto says the draft is flawed especially on its provisions on land, devolution and the Executive. His vocal opposition to the proposed constitution led to his being moved from the powerful Agriculture docket to his new posting in a mini-Cabinet reshuffle last week.

He, however, maintained that he will not relent in his push to mobilise Kenyans to vote No at the referendum.

But, the Cabinet decision could prove decisive since Mr Ruto is bound by collective responsibility and he would be forced to resign if he were to continue his No campaign.

The Churches also took issue with the media accusing it of skewed coverage in favour of the Yes campaign and urged the Press to give Kenyans a chance to determine their destiny freely.

"The .....demeaning media coverage made against people opposed to the draft is unjust and should cease forthwith."

SWORN IN

President Mwai Kibaki has Wednesday at State House, Nairobi witnessed the swearing-in of three assistant ministers.

During the ceremony, the MP for Kipkelion Magerer Kiprono Langat was sworn-in as the assistant minister for energy while the MP for Kaloleni Samwel Kazungu Kambi was sworn-in to serve as the assistant minister for medical services.

The North Mugirango/Borabu MP Wilfred Moriasi Ombui was sworn-in to serve as the assistant minister for national heritage and culture.

The ceremony was conducted by the Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura.

The three were appointed last week in a cabinet reshuffle that also saw former agriculture minister William Ruto swap places with former higher education minister Dr Sally Kosgey.

Belgut MP Charles Keter was sacked as assistant minister for energy while trade minister Amos Kimunya was appointed transport minister in an acting capacity.

VERNACULAR STATIONS

A report by PeaceNet Kenya on the content of Vernacular and community stations in relation to peace building efforts in Kenya has faulted ethnic based FM stations for perpetuating negative ethnicity at the expense of the country's tranquility.

Based on the report, the ministry of information and communications is set to formulate media monitoring policies on content in broadcast stations with emphasis on peace building and conflict early warning and mitigation ahead of the referendum.

Speaking at the launch of a media monitoring report targeting vernacular and community FM stations, Communications assistant minister Dhadho Godhana says the move is a proactive measure to control spread of harmful information that may jeopardize the country's stability during the referendum and ahead of 2012 elections.

CHURCH BATTLE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 - The battle for the enactment of a new Constitution is now headed for the referendum, after Churches pulled out of consensus building talks with the government.

Church leaders told a news conference on Wednesday that the talks had collapsed since the government has lacked the political will.

In a statement read by Bishop Jackson Kosgey, the clergy said the State had failed to accommodate their demands as shown by Tuesday’s Cabinet decision that no amendments are possible before the referendum.

“The Church will not continue engaging in the talks but we will instead focus our energies on educating the people on the implications of cardinal issues and campaigning for the rejection of the draft,” said Bishop Kosgey.

Their stand came hours before a fresh bid to revive the talks which aborted on Monday. A twenty member committee was meant to meet to consider recommendations of a technical committee. Reports however had indicated that Christian lawyers in the technical team had rejected a bid by the State to sign a memorandum of understanding committing to changes after the referendum.

“We are convinced that the government’s call was meant for purposes other than resolving the contentious issues,” added Bishop Kosgey.

The church is opposed to the inclusion of Kadhis courts and a clause that they say leaves a loophole for the legalisation of abortion in the draft law.

The Cabinet resolved to support the draft constitution in its current form but agreed that talks between the government and Church continue to "accommodate their concerns on the issue of abortion and right to life.”

“This is fundamentally a political problem and I think the Christian community is being sidelined politically,” said the National Council of Churches of Kenya General Secretary Canon Peter Karanja. “This is a conspiracy between the organs of review and unknown interests.”

A brief from the Presidential Press Service said that it was practically impossible to amend the draft at this stage as demanded by the clergy.

“I think Cabinet desires to see a contested referendum and we cannot stop them from doing that,” said Canon Karanja.

The attorney General is expected to publish the document next week officially kicking off the National civic education program to be spearheaded by the Committee of Experts. The Interim Independent Electoral Commission will have 60 days after the publication to conduct a referendum.

Canon Karanja said the church will up its NO campaign amongst all faithfuls.

“Unless government chooses to rig the referendum by not providing the draft for all to read, I’m sure many other Kenyans will be saying No when they read the document and see for themselves its implications on their lives,” he said.

CEMETRY ARRESTS

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 - Suspended Local Government Permanent Secretary Sammy Kirui and former Town Clerk John Gakuo are among 10 suspects arrested on Tuesday night over their alleged involvement in the cemetery land scandal.

The 10 were being questioned at the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission offices on Wednesday, and were due to appear in court on Thursday.

“They will spend the night in custody,” KACC spokesman Nicholas Simani said.

The suspects are among 13 officials who were suspended in early March by President Mwai Kibaki over their alleged role in the fraudulent purchase of land for an additional cemetery for Nairobi.

At the time of his suspension, Mr Gakuo was the coordinator of the Nairobi River Project.

President Kibaki had directed that the officers face the law for participating in the alleged fraud involving the purchase of 120 acres by the City Council of Nairobi at an exorbitant price of Sh283 million.

Others who were suspended at the time included Senior Deputy Secretary Reuben Rotich, Director of Procurement Boniface Misero and Chief Financial Officer Herman Chevera. At City Hall which was the centre of the fraud officers interdicted included Deputy Town Clerk Geoffrey Katsolleh, Director of Legal Affairs Mary Ng’ethe and the Director of Procurement Kanyi Nyambura.

Others were Deputy Director of Legal Affairs Karisa Iha, Deputy Director Procurement Alexander Musee, Medical Officer of Health Daniel Nguku and Chief Internal Auditor I N. Ngacha.

President Kibaki had directed that monies that were overpaid amounting to Sh259 million, be recovered from the beneficiaries.

A report by the Controller and Auditor General Anthony Gatumbu released to Parliament over a month ago implicated the officers accusing them of overvaluing the proposed land.

The government audit said the officers ignored a valuation by the Ministry of Lands which quoted the market price for the 120-acre parcel of land at Sh24 million.

The plot was meant to be an alternative for the overflowing Langata Cemetery.

DEVANI'S NEPHEW

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 - Police have now identified the man arrested on suspicion of being Triton Oil scandal architect Yagnesh Devani as his 33-year-old nephew.

A statement from Police headquarters said Devani Kalpesh Vasudev Mohanlal who was traveling on a Kenyan passport was arrested soon after he landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport last Friday aboard an Air Arabia flight from New Delhi.

Mr Mohanlal was set free after samples of his finger prints failed to match those of his 45 year old uncle who is wanted over two criminal charges pending at the Chief Magistrate’s court in Nairobi in connection with the Sh7.6 billion Triton oil scam.

“The finger prints taken from the subject upon arrest were found not to be identical with known finger prints of the accused namely Yagnesh Mohanlal Devani,” Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said in the statement.

On Tuesday, Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang told a local radio station that his officers had confirmed the man’s identity as that of the runaway Mr Devani and accused the police of misleading the public.

When put to task by reporters to substantiate the claims at a later press briefing in his office, the Mbita legislator laughed off and declined to answer any question related to Devani or the suspect who spent the entire weekend in police custody.

But Mr Iteere said on Wednesday: “The man was released because he was found to be a nephew to and shares the same family names with Devani,” the statement added.

The Police Chief clarified that the man was arrested following information that he was Mr Devani who is wanted in Nairobi.

“In view of the information previously received, it became necessary to carry out further investigations to authenticate his identity,” he said.

Mr Iteere added: “His age was confirmed to be 33years old while the accused who is his uncle is aged around 45years. Consequently, he was released.”

He said efforts to trace and extradite Yagnesh Devani were still in progress so that he can stand trial.

Confidential briefs given to the police from the Interpol showed that the man thought to be Mr Devani was in London for the better part of last week from where he left via India and later to Nairobi.

Nairobi-based lawyer Katwa Kigen who represents Mr Devani was the first to disown reports of his clients’ arrest over the weekend when he told reporters Mr Devani was a free man.

He told reporters in Eldoret at the weekend that he had even spoken to him [Devani] who assured him that he was not in the country or in anybody’s custody.

The government sought Interpol’s help to have Mr Devani, together with other directors of his Triton Petroleum Company arrested over the scandal in January last year after accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers was contracted to carry out a forensic audit on the scope of the fraud in which the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) and the Kenya Pipeline Company lost colossal sums of money.

YES MEN

Cabinet meeting under President Kibaki concluded it was "practically impossible" to amend the Proposed Constitution and resolved it be taken to the referendum as it is.

The Cabinet burst into a chat house as members debated the pros and cons of the decision but finally the President laid the rule: they all campaign for ‘Yes’ and those unhappy with the decision were free to leave.

With the stroke of the pen, Kibaki appeared to have begun the isolation of ministers opposed to the draft law. In the meeting the only vocal ‘No’ voice was Minister for Higher Education, William Ruto, who is now pushing for a ‘Yes’ and ‘Yes’ to amendments later’ options at the referendum.
President Kibaki


The President is said to have told the meeting "Huu ndio msimamo wa serikali na yule hataki huu msimamo huu ako huru kuenda popote anataka." (This is the position of the Government and whoever is opposed to it has the freedom to go where he/she wants).

The hardest hit by the resolution would be the Church, which hopes State would buy into its roadmap on changing the Constitution of Kenya Review Act 2008 to allow for uncontested consensus-driven amendments to the draft as was the case with National Accord in 2008.

The Cabinet however, according to Presidential Press Service dispatch, still had a little consolation for the Church: "It was also agreed that the Government will continue engaging leaders of the Christian Churches with a view to agreeing on an Act of Parliament that would accommodate the concerns of Christian churches on abortion and right to life.

Keenly following the proceedings of the Cabinet was Raila, who has been on the ‘Yes’ campaign trail.

The announcement appeared to be a jolt to the leaders of the mainstream churches whose representatives have been negotiating for amendments before the referendum with State officials.

Shortly after the stormy Cabinet meeting, the technical teams representing State and Church reported a stalemate on contentious issues.

At State House meeting, a few ministers opposed the demand they should support the draft, but the President Kibaki is said to have stepped in, stating there would be no compromise on the Government position.

Ruto, sources said, argued he, too, wanted a new constitution but on condition Kenyans were allowed to have a say on its content.

"Ruto eloquently pleaded with the Cabinet to listen to the voice of the dissenting Kenyans, including some churches and come up with a draft that offers them an opportunity to single out issues they wanted amended with time," said a source.

Ruto wanted the referendum question to be crafted in such a way that contentious issues would be voted on separately.

Public Health minister Beth Mugo supported the Eldoret North MP’s push for a ‘Yes’-‘Yes’ referendum.

"Mugo argued Ruto’s position had merit since it was not aimed at denying the country a new constitution, but would bring on board dissenting voices, including the Church’s concern on abortion," reported another source.

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who has lately advocated further dialogue on the draft before the referendum, switched positions and gave it unequivocal support.

The decision that the Cabinet should support the draft without amendments was reached after the ministers spent nearly three hours debating how the Government should handle the process.

The Cabinet, according to a PPS dispatch, also, "scrutinised the time table leading to the referendum as set out in the Constitution Review Act 2008, and the Constitution of Kenya."

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo is said to have sparked off a storm when he told the meeting at least 40 per cent of all the 14 million eligible voters must vote for the draft for it to be deemed valid, according to international standards.

"That requirement is not in our laws, but the Justice Minister was relying on laws from other jurisdictions where referendums have been held before" explained a source.

A minister from central Kenya is said to have said if Mutula’s argument were to be followed, it would be hard to ensure the passage of the new law.

"The minister said that so far there were only eight million registered voters, and 40 per cent of eligible voters are more than six million. That means nearly all those who have registered so far must vote ‘Yes’," the source added.

It is at this point that it was realised if the ‘No’ campaigners continue to soar in numbers, and eat into the enclave of the predominant ‘Yes’, it would be hard to muster sufficient votes to overwhelmingly pass the draft.

"It was realised that even if the ‘Yes’ side wins, it would be hard to ensure that such a big majority support it," explained another source, familiar with the session.

None of them was willing to be quoted because of the secrecy around Cabinet meetings.

Sources further explained Ruto lobbied fellow ministers to have the Interim Independent Electoral Commission frame a ‘Yes’-‘Yes’ referendum question to avoid subjecting a divisive document to the vote.

On Tuesday, a meeting between the technical teams representing the State and Church did not make progress. But the PPS statement also said the Cabinet agreed the Government will continue engaging leaders of the Christian Churches with a view to agreeing on an Act of Parliament — if the constitution is promulgated — to accommodate the concerns of the churches on abortion and right to life.

The Cabinet further directed the Minister in charge of Registration of Persons and the Minister for Justice to expedite and expand the acquisition of identity cards and registration of voters.

"The Government will also mobilise the Provincial Administration and intensify the campaign for registration to allow as many Kenyans as possible to register as voters before the deadline next week," PPS the statement added.

The Cabinet also expressed concern over apathy in voter registration and resolved to speed up the process and married women be assisted to acquire IDs, without being asked to produce their parent’s IDs.

The issue of the just released Performance Contracting Rankings for ministries and Government departments and State corporations featured with Gender Minister Esther Murugi leading complaint by those whose dockets were rated poorly.

Sources quoted the minister and others asking for the criteria, arguing as ministers, they deserved to know instead of being humiliated.

It was then resolved that the officials involved in ranking matrix be ordered to meet with top officials from the lowly-ranked ministries and other departments to explain the rationale.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FIGHTING CORRUPTION

The government will launch a system of tracking corruption within its ranks and making public its findings as part of the war on graft.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Tuesday that the numerous anti-corruption agencies in the country do not focus on systematically monitoring corruption within the government and naming and shaming public institutions overwhelmed by the vice.

He said measures to monitor and curb corruption within individual ministries and other state institutions will be included as key parameters to measure service delivery during the next round of performance contracting.

Mr Odinga was speaking when he received a delegation of government officials from Nigeria who have been in the country to participate in the release of the performance contracting results that were made public on Monday.

The officials, who included permanent secretaries from the Government of Nigeria, were led by the chairman of the Public Service Commission of Nigeria Ambassador Ahmed Alghazali.

The Prime Minister said the government will no longer sit back and wait for international agencies and NGOs to give it a report on corruption in the public service.

"We will not be waiting for Transparency International to tell us where the corruption is taking place and by what margin. We will introduce measuring corruption as a factor in performance contracting and we will be producing a report singling out corruption within government," the PM said.

"We will not sit back and fire fight and do damage control. We want to measure corruption ourselves and tell the public where we have identified it," he added.

Mr Odinga blamed corruption for the poverty and the state of under development in Africa.

"The continent is where it is today largely because of the way it has been governed. Africa's condition today is not entirely because of colonialism. Many African nations would be bankrupt today if they were business corporations," he said.

Mr Odinga faulted a system where promotion did not depend on performance.

"Because people were being promoted according to how long they have been in service, there was no incentive for workers to be creative. You can be a mere passenger in the system and still get promoted.

"People who knew they were going to be promoted after some time as a matter of policy just hang in there and did nothing and their promotion came. We are putting an end to that by rewarding merit."
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