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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nominees to committee on new law implementation tabled

A list of nominees to the Parliamentary Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee is expected to be tabled in parliament Thursday afternoon.

The 27 names submitted to the House Business Committee by the Grand Coalition Government partners PNU and ODM may meet resistance on the floor of the house following discontent over the list.

PNU deputy chief whip Johnstone Muthama says the names were forwarded by political parties and the number of nominees depends on the strength of respective affiliates.

Speaking to KBC Muthama said aggrieved members should raise the issue with their parties.

ODM has 14 slots while PNU and its affiliates have been given 13.

ODM nominees include Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba, assistant Ministers Alfred Khangati, Mohamed Maalim, Elizabeth Ongoro and Joseph Nkaiserry.

Others are Joyce Laboso, Danson Mwazo, Benedict Gunda Charles Onyancha, Julius Murgor, John Mbadi, Millie Odhiambo, Rachael Shebesh and Lucas Chepkitony.

The PNU team comprises of Abdikadir Mohammed, Cabinet Ministers Beth Mugo and Chirau Ali Mwakwere, assistant ministers Kilemi Mwiria Cecil Mbarire and Wavinya Ndeti.

Other nominees include Phillip Kaloki, Amina Abdullah,Martha Karua, Ekwe Ethuro, Charles Kilonzo, David Ngugi and Wilfred Ombui.

MP wants to block vetting of judges

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 - Kamukunji MP Simon Mbugua has now moved to court to block vetting of judges and magistrates.

Mr Mbugua says the process is open to manipulation by the Executive.

"The removal of the judicial officers will bring in political appointees," Mr Mbugua says on his court documents.

He argues that the vetting of the officers will give the political class undue power over the judiciary especially at this critical stage of implementing the new Constitution.

He further contends that Section 23 of the sixth schedule allowing vetting of judicial officers is in conflict with Section 60, 67 and 68 of the Constitution.

He wants implementation and validity of all proceedings including his election petition be heard and determined as matter of national priority.

He is appearing before a judge at this hour to know whether he will get the orders sought.

More details to follow...

Ndolo desolate over supporter's suicide

Speaker stern about party politics

Rudisha's story

The ICC nightmare

Raila On Spot Over Integrity/Leadership

Provincial Administration To Be Scrapped

Ranneberger On Charter Bank

Lawyers Picked For ICC Interviews

The integrity question

Bunge constitution implementation

Seeking the truth

Raila and Karua clash over Sonko

Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Gichugu MP Martha Karua have been drawn into the debate over a new legislator's past, after Karua challenged the PM on the integrity of the Cabinet.

In the process, Higher Education Minister William Ruto’s name was dragged into the mudslinging.

The clash was reminiscent of the proverbial contest between a kettle and a pot over which is blacker, and ignited Parliament, with fellow Members of Parliament clearly enjoying the standoff, even as a credible source told The Standard the new MP still has a case to answer in court.

The Narc-Kenya leader kicked things off when she claimed there were corrupt ministers in Government who should not hold office under the new Constitution, only for Raila to tell Ms Karua that not even Narc-Kenya is immune from the high standards of integrity she expects of Cabinet.

Raila implied that Karua’s party was tainted by having Mr Gidion Mbuvi Kioko as its MP for Makadara while Karua responded by claiming that the Higher Education minister was tarred by the brush of corruption.

Some MPs howled and jeered when the former Justice minister claimed the integrity threshold for MPs is lower than that for ministers and appointed public officers under the new laws.

But even as the two leaders traded words in Parliament, a former policeman who investigated newly elected Kioko, alias ‘Sonko’, over alleged forgery, told The Standard the case is still pending.

Retired Police Inspector Mohamed Dida, said a warrant of arrest issued against the MP by then Mombasa Principal Magistrate Justin Kaburu has not been enacted.

"I was the investigating officer in his case, and I know the man has never been prosecuted," Mr Dida said on Wednesday.

Dida, who is now a private investigator, recalled how Mbuvi’s co-accused remained in custody after his bond was cancelled, and he was later jailed for four years.

He said apart from escaping from Shimo La Tewa Prison, while serving six months for escaping from lawful custody, Sonko’s criminal charges are still pending.


He said Mbuvi was charged with forging the title deed of a plot in Mombasa, which belonged to former Police Commissioner Bernard Hinga.

by false pretence

The new MP faced a second charge of obtaining Sh3 million by false pretence from a Mombasa businessman.

The third charge was of presenting an altered document to the businessman pretending it was a title deed for Mr Hinga’s plot.

"I have watertight evidence against the MP because I am the one who arrested him with his co-accused at a law firm in Pali House along Nyerere Avenue," Dida told The Standard.

Back in Parliament, Karua turned the heat on the media on casting doubt on the integrity "about one of our MPs" in apparent reference to reports linking Sonko to past jail breaks, forgery and other crimes.

But the former officer rubbished Mbuvi’s certificate of good conduct, saying whoever issued it did not do a background check on the man.

"I am the one who took Mbuvi’s fingerprints, which are at police headquarters, showing the man faces criminal charges in court," said Dida.

and his co-accused

He recalled how they laid ambush for him and his co-accused at Pali House, after a lawyer reported the land sale at Urban Criminal Investigation Department office.

The lawyer became suspicious as the man posing as Bernard Hinga was young, yet he knew Hinga had retired from the Police Department.

"We ambushed them when they were going to receive the second batch of Sh3 million, from a lawyer who prepared the sale agreement," said Dida.

He said they had received the first batch, since the plot was sold for Sh6 million.

The witnesses who testified in the case included the lawyer, Hinga, and officers from the Ministry of Lands.

He said Mbuvi’s lawyer Gachaku Gakui gave a spirited defence, but there was overwhelming evidence.

In response to Karua’s statement, Raila said it was political parties, and not the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) who should be held accountable for the calibre and records of their candidates, in apparent reference to the recent by elections.

Raila pricked the MP to the quick when he challenged her to remove "the log in our own eyes" before attacking the Government, and declared that political parties which nominate tainted candidates to contest parliamentary elections "are themselves complicit in compromising Chapter 6 of the new Constitution [on integrity]."

There were further howls when Karua declared in Parliament that Narc-Kenya did not nominate anyone "not qualified" to be an MP under relevant electoral laws.

And MPs watched in awe and bemused silence as she argued that her Narc-Kenya’s recently elected MPs came to Parliament under laws that do not require the stringent integrity levels expected of ministers under the new charter.

Karua sparked the row during the PM’s Question Time when she challenged the Government to sack tainted ministers and public officers facing criminal proceedings over corruption and economic crimes.

Karua argued that the Government flouted Section 6 of the new charter and the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes and Public Officers Ethics Acts, which she said disallows appointment of tainted public officers.

"I am aware there are several people in Cabinet [facing economic crimes charges], Karua charged and added "what are these characters doing in Government?"

facing criminal charges

Karua then accused the PM of mischief when Raila said he is not aware of any "Cabinet minister" facing criminal charges.

She said it was a matter of public record that Higher Education Minister William Ruto was charged with economic crimes, but Raila said the Eldoret North MP had challenged the charges in a constitutional court and the matter was pending.

Speaker Kenneth Marende said it was erroneous to suggest MPs elected under the old Constitution were elected on a low moral threshold.

"Many of us are here because we are highly qualified," Marende said and challenged the Gichugu MP to state if she entered Parliament "because standards were low."

Karua said she was not excusing any form of dishonour in public life, but added that the only qualification a candidate requires to contest a parliamentary election are to be a citizen of Kenya and pass a literacy test among other conditions.

Raila rules out retention of Provincial Administration

By ALEX NDEGWA


The Provincial Administration will be scrapped, Prime Minister Raila Odinga told Parliament.


"When the Constitution states that the system of Provincial Administration will be restructured, even a tortured interpretation will not necessarily mean the system will be retained lock, stock, and barrel," Raila told MPs during Prime Minister's time, seeking to end the row on the future of the unit.


He added: "With the system of county governments, there will be no place for PCs because the province as a unit of government or as an administrative entity is not contemplated under the new Constitution."


But Raila said Government officers serving in the Provincial Administration would not lose their jobs. Instead, they would be redeployed.


"That is not to say PCs will lose their jobs or that no new administrative structures will be established," he said, in an assurance to the officials whose future became uncertain after the coalition partners differed on the meaning of restructuring.


Scrapped

The clearest indication yet that the Provincial Administration would be scrapped came in the PM’s response to a question by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale, who questioned recent actions by the Ministry of Internal Security.


To disapprove of the notion that abolishing the Provincial Administration would precipitate chaos, Raila traced the origin of the system, saying provincial administrators were introduced by the British colonial regime to perpetuate ‘indirect rule’ in colonies.


"Britain today has no PCs, DCs, DOs or chiefs. But more importantly, there is no chaos in Britain," Raila said yesterday.

The PM was emphatic the administrative framework for county governments established after the law on devolved government is passed will "succeed the system formerly known as the Provincial Administration".


"Consequently, present actions to redeploy officers within the Provincial Administration are interim, pending the enactment of the law on devolved government," he added.


The PM was alluding to actions by Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and senior ministry officials to implement a blueprint detailing the vision of the recast Provincial Administration.


Cluster of counties

 

It creates 23 new administrative regions, each made up of a cluster of counties, and outlines how the PCs, DCs, and DOs would be redeployed.


Saitoti has said most of the core functions of the Provincial Administration, particularly the co-ordination of Government business in the grassroots, are still vested on the national Government and would continue to be performed by the system of national administration that comes out of the restructuring of the Provincial Administration envisaged in the sixth schedule.

Wako, NSIS secret assignment on ICC

By Martin Mutua and Ben Agina

International Criminal Court team has neither been given minutes of high-level security meetings during post-election violence nor interviewed Provincial Commissioners and regional police chiefs.

But even before the face-to-face with ICC investigators tracking the givers of the shoot-to-kill orders that claimed 400 lives, the PCs and PPOs have hired lawyers, ostensibly to avoid incriminating themselves or to sit through the sessions as their witnesses.

The ICC team, which is in the country trying to tie the loose ends on its upcoming cases against those deemed to hold higher

responsibility for the killings, has also not been given the internal regulations of the Administration Police unit as requested since August.

Instead, as the Government appeared to drag its feet on satisfying ICC request while pledging unrelenting co-operation for its probe on Kenya, news leaked Attorney General Amos Wako and National Security Intelligence Agency now have a new brief to vet the minutes to be passed on to ICC.

The filtering process appears to defy ICC’s initial request for minutes of meetings that took place at the national and provincial levels between December 2007 and February 2008, and even the one for the revised specified dates ICC submitted last week.


According to the script of the two-step approach the Government is following, Wako and NSIS Director General Michael Gichangi, who sits in the National Security Advisory Council meetings whose minutes ICC also wants to see, will sift through the minutes and select those to be given to ICC, but through the Cabinet sub-committee.

The committee chaired by Internal Security Minister George Saitoti will in turn vet the documents further, ostensibly to ensure what goes to ICC does not compromise national security as Wako recommended. The AG not only sits in the committee, but is also the Government’s legal advisor. Gichangi heads the agency that is the guardian and custodian of the country’s national security through an elaborate network of spies and spy-ware. Prof Saitoti has also categorically stated the Government would have to vet some of the minutes before they are handed over to the investigators.

"We are compiling the necessary minutes as they are many and we shall give ICC the relevant ones," he said, confirming the filtering option the State has settled on.

security memos


The State has directed Attorney General Amos Wako and NSIS Director General Michael Gichangi to sift through the minutes of security meetings and select those to be given to ICC detectives. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]

The Standard separately confirmed Wako and Gichangi were mandated with the responsibility of going through all security memos, and reports that were used during post-election violence.


"We were clear on the matter of Government documents pertaining to the probe, that procedures as stipulated in the International Crimes Act must be followed when it comes to issues of national security," added our sources who are familiar with what transpired at the Cabinet sub-committee meeting on Tuesday.

Wako and Gichangi will decide what is relevant and what is not, and then submit the same to the Cabinet sub-committee, which will scrutinise the reports and decide whether the evidence should be given to the investigators.

 

Saitoti chaired the meeting of the sub-committee, which was set up after the minister requested Cabinet for an-all inclusive team to deal with ICC. He deemed the issue a hot potato and did not want to be accused by others of ‘betraying’ them by virtue of his office if and when trials start.

The Hague team was supposed to begin meeting the police chiefs and PCs on Monday, even though Wako had written to ICC that Kenya would only facilitate its interviews with serving officers – and not those who had left the service.

The officers reportedly hired lawyers over fears they could give away incriminating evidence against themselves or be sacrificed by their superiors if seen to have talked behind their backs. They are insisting they would only be interviewed in the presence of lawyers with the status of a judge or the Registrar of the High Court, as recommended by the Rome Statute.

Curiously, Saitoti said it was up to individual members of the provincial security teams to offer themselves for interrogation by ICC investigators. "The PCs, PPOs, and senior Government officials who were on duty during and after post-election violence are aware of their constitutional rights," argued Saitoti.

Four lawyers who will guide them through the process of giving evidence before the six ICC investigators, who are in the country, will represent the officers. The Standard established the PPOs and PCs have in their individual capacity engaged lawyers Evans Monari, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, Ken Ogeto, and Gershom Ottachi.

Mr Monari and Mr Ogeto confirmed they had been engaged by the officers but in their individual capacities. The two could not give further details.

The Government has been sending out mixed signals over its co-operation with ICC after Chief Prosecutor Luis-Moreno Ocampo indicated he would be prosecuting at least six people by December in two separate cases. Lands Minister James Orengo last week wrote to Cabinet colleagues in the sub-committee to ensure the country fully co-operates with ICC. "It is in public interest to assist the ICC deal with the crimes within its jurisdiction committed in the territory of Kenya," wrote Orengo.

designated judge

He advised if there was any reason to deny them the reports, then the sub-committee should be allowed to scrutinise them before such an action is taken. "We should release all the relevant information to the court that we consider relevant to its investigations, even without a request being made because we are obligated to do so," he argued.

Former and current PPOs and PCs who are were in charge of various stations during the 2007 post-election violence are said to be ready to give evidence ICC so long as their evidence shall taken in writing and on the oath of or affirmation or witness by a judge of the High Court.

"These are the procedures and the ICC team has no issues and we are not in conflict because that is what the law says," added our sources. In the event designated judge takes evidence of those the ICC team wanted interrogated it would have to be certified by the judge then sent to the AG. From the AG, it will have to be produced as taken before the ICC. The judges may later be required to appear before the ICC if prosecutions kick off.


Sources told The Standard the lawyers have written to Wako promising co-operation provided the provisions of ICC Act were respected. The lawyers later met the six ICC officers in Kenya and informed them their clients are willing to give evidence but only on this condition.

The Standard was also informed the ICC officials were not keen on going through the rigours of engaging a judge of a High Court and instead suggested that evidence can be taken through provisions of Article 99 (4), which allows interviews of or taking evidence from a person on a voluntary basis, without the presence of the authorities of the requested State party.

PNU plans for Wajir South in disarray

By NATION CORRESPONDENT
Posted Wednesday, September 29 2010 at 20:03

The PNU coalition’s preparations for next month’s Wajir South by-election have been thrown into disarray by a decision by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s ODM-Kenya to field its own candidate.

Mr Musyoka has announced that the party will pull all the stops and campaign for its candidate in the October 13 by-election to recapture the seat it lost in 2007.

The seat fell vacant after Abdirahman Ali Hassan’s election was nullified by a petition.

Mr Hassan won the seat on a Kanu ticket, an affiliate of the PNU coalition.

Sources within the party say there is a lot of disquiet, especially after PNU secretary general Kiraitu Murungi said the coalition will support the incumbent.

“You should not be surprised to see Uhuru Kenyatta, who is Kanu chairman, and the VP campaigning for different candidates in Wajir South,” a coalition member who did not wish to be named said.

The issue is reported to be on the agenda of a meeting expected this week to try and restore order in the coalition. The meeting has not yet been called.

Fresh wrangles broke out in the PNU after its dismal performance in by-elections in Makadara, Juja and Starehe a week ago.
PNU has won only two of 10 by-elections since 2008.

New MP Mbuvi fires imaginations


FILE | NATION New Makadara MP Gidion Kioko Mbuvi has been making headlines.

By NATION REPORTER, newsdesk@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Wednesday, September 29 2010 at 22:10
In Summary

‘Sonko’ hogging the limelight

New Makadara MP Gidion Kioko Mbuvi has been making headlines again after his armed bodyguards roughed up Capital FM’s DJ Leo, and his passengers — including an eight-year old girl, accusing them of “blocking the road”.
This story elicited a lot of comments from nation.co.ke readers, the majority of who castigated Sonko’s behaviour.
However, despite all the castigation, a cross-section of the blogosphere called for Kenyans to forgive the Member of Parliament and give him a chance to redeem his otherwise tainted image.

The new MP for Makadara is fast becoming an urban legend with Parliament discussing the issue of integrity.

On Wednesday, stories were circulating of people with some similarity to Mr Gidion Kioko Mbuvi, also known as Mike Sonko, some linked to crime.

The 35-year-old MP, who often sports oversized casual shirts and expensive jewellery, has fired the imagination with his display of great but largely unexplained wealth.

The MP reportedly owns five matatus, a double decker bus and an entertainment joint.

Police sources told the Daily Nation that in August 2009, a senior CID officer was demoted after leaking a top secret crime report to a Buru Buru trader.

The leak so infuriated the commissioner of police at the time that he ordered a senior detective to investigate.

The businessman was arrested, questioned at Vigilance House and locked up.

“I personally arrested a young man who owned matatus on the Buru Buru route after he was found with secret police documents,” an officer involved in the probe told the Nation.

In 2009, an officer at Buru Buru and a civilian were arrested and charged with kidnapping a director of C & P Shoe Industries on Bunyala Road.

The officer and civilian, who were driving a car belonging to a Buru Buru tycoon, allegedly accosted the businessman, bundled him into the vehicle and told him he was under arrest for murder. They drove to Kiambu, where it was alleged, they demanded Sh3 million ransom for his release.

However, the Kiambu Flying Squad arrested the two.

Police sources said a senior Vigilance House officer at the time intervened and had the case transferred to Nairobi CID.

About the same time, Mr Mbuvi applied and obtained anticipatory bail from the Makadara Law Courts, fearing arrest.

In 2000, a Gidion Kioko Mbuvi was remanded at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison for alleged forgery. The same year, a fraud case was opened against a person of the same name.

Earlier, a Mr Mike Munga who had been arrested and held at Shimo La Tewa prison escaped. He later successfully appealed against the conviction and the State appears not to have pressed prison break charges.

In Parliament, Prime Minister Raila Odinga clashed with Narc Kenya chairperson Martha Karua in a heated debate on the integrity of some MPs.

Ms Karua had sought clarifications from Mr Odinga on the integrity of some ministers she claimed should be sacked because they had cases in court or were linked to corruption scandals.

Oliech hot form in France excites Harambee Stars


AFP | JEFF PACHOUD. Auxerre's Kenyan forward Dennis Oliech (L) is tackled by Nancy's French defender Andre Joel Sami (R) during the French L1 football match Auxerre vs Nancy on 25 September, 2010 at the Abbe Deschamps stadium in Auxerre. Oliech’s form at AJ Auxerre is exciting the Harambee Stars camp ahead of next weekend’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Uganda in Nairobi.

By ODINDO AYIEKO, oayieko@yahoo.co.uk
Posted Wednesday, September 29 2010 at 19:31

Dennis Oliech’s form at AJ Auxerre is exciting the Harambee Stars camp ahead of next weekend’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier with Uganda in Nairobi.

Oliech, named captain of the team by coach Jacob “Ghost” Mule scored a brace in the weekend French League game against Nancy, the first coming in the 57th second, the fastest goal in the competition this season.

The Stars top marksman also played on Tuesday in the European Champions League clash with Real Madrid and came close to scoring twice though his side eventually lost.

Great hope

“It gives us great hope especially if he can carry that form to the national team,” said newly appointed Harambee Stars spokesman Hussein Terry.

“At least we have watched him play twice in the last week and we are happy with his performance. Oliech is one very reliable players Kenya has and we are excited at his work rate at the moment.”

Terry said already letters requesting release of the players have been dispatched to the five foreign based players who are expected to link up with the squad on Sunday night, just five days to the crucial game with the Uganda Cranes who lead the Group H with three points after the 3-0 mauling of Angola in Kampala early in the month. Guinea Bissau who beat Kenya by a solitary goal in Bissau is second.

The other foreign based players called up are MacDonald Mariga of Inter Milan in Italy, his Belgium based brother Victor Mugabe of Germinia Beerschot, Patrick Osiako of Mjalby in Sweden and Johanna Omollo who plays in Luxemborg for FC Fola Esch.

Plea to President Kibaki

And as the team prepared for the clash, with over 5000 Uganda fans are planning to come and cheer their team to victory, Kenya Football Federation chairman Sam Nyamweya has sent a plea to President Mwai Kibaki to grace the match to boost the morale of the Kenya team.

Sam Nyamweya the KFF chairman says the match is of utmost importance and the boys need support from every Kenyan to put their hopes for a ticket back on course.

“Kenyans need to come out and support the team materially, morally and financially. It is important we win this game. It’s a do or die match,” said Nyamweya.

“We should put our differences behind and cheer our boys to victory,” added Nyamweya whose KFF is embroiled in a leadership rivalry with Football Kenya Limited.

MPs named to powerful reform team

By NJERI RUGENE, nrugene@ke.nationmedia.com and WALTER MENYA, wmenya@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Wednesday, September 29 2010 at 21:32

Political parties on Wednesday forwarded names of MPs to sit on a key committee that oversees the implementation of the new constitution.

Party of National Unity (PNU) and the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) submitted 13 and 14 names respectively to the House Business Committee, which met for two hours Wednesday evening.

The 27 names, with only two Cabinet ministers, Chirau Ali Mwakwere (PNU, Trade) and Beth Mugo (PNU, Public Health), will be tabled in the House for endorsement Thursday.

Said joint coalition chief whip Jakoyo Midiwo: “We tried to follow the law in coming up with the names as much as we could.”
The formation of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on the Implementation of the New Constitution is a significant step in the reform process.

Parties, already divided over poor performance in recent by-elections and campaign hangovers from the referendum, were having difficulties agreeing on who should sit in the coveted committee.

MPs had already agreed that the committee will be chaired by Mandera Central MP Mohamed Abdikadir and that his Budalang’i counterpart Ababu Namwamba will be the vice-chair.

Two Bills crucial to the implementation of the new constitution have also been lined up for introduction in parliament.

The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution Bill and trhe Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill would be brought to the House by Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo.

Earlier on Wednesday, President Kibaki had urged parties to nominate members quickly saying: “We must not allow side-shows to distract us from the implementation of this new dispensation.”

In Parliament, Prime Minister Raila Odinga had the same message, urging leaders to remain focused on the Constitution.

Parliament has to debate and pass 49 laws in the next two years in order to bring the new Constitution into effect.

Speaking at Jamhuri Park where he opened the Nairobi International Trade Fair, the President argued: “To facilitate the birth of this new Republic, we have the responsibility of implementing the new constitution.” Besides, the Provincial Administration is a major point of disagreement within the government with one side led by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka insisting that it will be restructured and retained.

Another wing of the coalition wants the provincial administration scrapped.

Mr Odinga asked MPs to put aside their 2012 ambitions and focus on implementing the new law.

“You do not contribute an iota of sense by declaring yourself for the position of governor or other positions in 2010, to the contrary you are contaminating debate on implementation,” the PM said.

“This is not the time to act in a partisan manner. We should put aside our partisan interests because we run the risk of interfering with the most important task of anchoring the new constitution with politics on who should run for presidency etc,” he stated.

Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo said Cabinet ministers were still holding positions in political parties, giving Mr Samuel Poghisio, Mr Henry Kosgey and Mr Mutula Kilonzo as examples.

Bahari MP Mr Benedict Gunda expressed concern at differences in Cabinet saying the letter and spirit of the Constitution should be respected.

“The so-called Cabinet sub-committee is churning out a lot of Bills for debate in Parliament yet this should have been left to the implementation commission to do. They are taking over the roles of the implementation commission,” he asked.

On the Vetting of Judges and Judicial Service Bills, the PM said they had very strict timelines to meet and that is why the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, Mr Kilonzo had prepared the Bills in consultation with the AG.

“This is taking in consideration that particular timelines must be met in the process of implementing some sections of the constitution,” he said.

Garsen MP Danson Mungatana said tangible administrative changes were needed.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Govt moves to water down price controls

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 - The government has now moved to water down the Price Control Bill, 2009 that sought to regulate the prices of essential goods and protect Kenyans from perennial price fluctuations.

While rejecting the Bill, President Mwai Kibaki directed that Parliament make amendments by deleting specified goods the government shall control their prices and instead give the Minister powers to decide which goods at specified times he regards essential.

“The Minister may, from time to time, by order in the essential Gazette, declare any goods to be essential commodities for the purposes of this Act and determine the maximum prices of the commodities in consultation with the industry,” reads the amendments contained on Wednesday’s order paper.

This new provision reverses the powers in the original bill that had set out specific goods that are classified as essential goods which the Minister of trade will be obligated to control their prices. The Bill that was sponsored by Mathira MP had identified maize, maize flour, wheat, wheat flour and rice as essential. Others are rice, cooking fat, sugar; paraffin and petrol.

However in a move that could be seen as to weaken this power the: “Minister is supposed to take into account any relevant treaty or convention ratified by Kenya.”

“An order made to declare a commodity essential may contain the maximum order under price taking into account related costs of the said essential commodities in any area in Kenya,”

The Bill was passed by the House in June but President Kibaki declined to sign it into law saying that its provisions were against the principle of a free market and liberalisation.

In rejecting the Bill, the President said: "Apart from going against the policy of liberalisation, this clause also violates the fundamental principle of the World Trade Organization on national treatment of which Kenya is a contracting party."

The Head of State said his decision was based on Article Three of the WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade that warned that internal price control measures by contracting parties could be harmful.

"This obligation places a duty on Kenya to avoid measures including price controls, which would have prejudicial effects on other contracting parties supplying imported products to Kenya," President Kibaki said in his memorandum.

The President instead recommended that the Bill be amended to allow Finance Minister to only set maximum prices of gazetted essential commodities upon consultation with the concerned industry.

According to the Bill a person who sells or purchases any commodity and declared an essential good above the penalties maximum price, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both

MPs were set to discuss the amendments later on Wednesday afternoon.

Parties agree on team to implement Constitution

By David Ochami, Peter Opiyo and Alex Ndegwa 

Political Parties have agreed on the sharing out of seats in a crucial committee to oversee the implementation of the new Constitution.

ODM will have 14 and PNU 13 MPs in the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC), which will monitor implementation.

The new committee, which succeeds the PSC on Constitutional Review, will monitor the work of the envisaged Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution (CIC).

On Tuesday, acting Government Whip Johnstone Muthama told The Standard the PNU coalition had agreed on names of representatives.

PNU and affiliates shared positions as follows: PNU has four representatives, ODM-Kenya (3), small parties (3), Kanu (2) and Narc-Kenya (1).

respective lists

VP Kalonzo Musyoka, PNU Secretary-General Kiraitu Murungi and Kinangop MP David Ngugi, on behalf of small parties, signed respective lists.


However, Kanu and Narc-Kenya were yet to submit names of their nominees by last evening.

MPs had only agreed on Mandera Central MP Mohammed Abdikadir and Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, whom they had picked as chairman and vice-chairman.

To adhere to the 30-per cent gender rule, it is understood seven members of the committee would be women.

The PNU Whip and his ODM counterpart Jakoyo Midiwo were expected to submit the nominees to the 27-member committee last evening at a meeting of the House Business Committee for ratification.

It was unclear whom ODM had picked, it is in Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s party where controversy has raged because strong forces within the party want Higher Education Minister William Ruto and Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto sidelined for opposing the new Constitution, and rebelling against the official party position.

Mr Midiwo has been emphatic that MPs who campaigned against the new laws should not expect positions in the new committee.

At the same time, Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale failed in his attempt to have the Chair order the specific date on which a Bill to establish the CIC should be tabled in the House.

Khalwale accused the Government of delaying the Bill. Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim said responsibility to schedule Bills was vested in HBC.

Parliament Re-opens

Movers and Shakers : Professional Shoe Shiner

Uhuru Grilled Over Charterhouse

Mutai returns from Berlin Marathon

Ngilu's second raid

Honour and mystery

Details of Mbuvi's dramatic escape from police custody

By WILLIS OKETCH

A Mr Gideon Mbuvi Kioko escaped from police custody at Coast General Hospital in Mombasa with the help of police, hospital and prison officials in April 1998.

According to records the convict fled to a neighbouring country, believed to be Tanzania, after vanishing from a ward dressed as a woman.

The decision to "admit" the fugitive to hospital was made by laymen prison officers, not prison doctors, raising suspicion that the illness was just an excuse.

According to records at Shimo la Tewa Prison, "Kioko is still on the run". One official claims a conniving senior official was paid Sh2 million bribe.

Makadara MP GidIon Mbuvi (second from right) takes Oath of Parliament during the swearing -in ceremony in Parliament, yesterday. [PHOT0: TABITHA OTWORI /STANDARD]


"Two prison warders were suspended and later sacked," according to the official who cannot be named for security reasons.

DRAMATIC ESCAPE

The Standard published an account of the dramatic escape on May 18, 1998. According to the account, Kioko was charged before Magistrate Justin Kaburu for forging documents with which he intended to sell a beach property owned by former Police Commissioner Bernard Hinga.

He denied the charges and was set free on Sh600,000 bond with a surety of the same amount.

On Sunday, the Makadara MP-elect, who coincidentally goes by the names Gideon Mbuvi Kioko, told Standard on Sunday he was arrested for assault in 1995 and was released on bond.

He alleged when his mother died in 1997, the bond was cancelled leading to his re-arrest and remand at Shimo la Tewa Prison, from where he escaped to bury her only to be arrested again and later pardoned by a court.

On May 18 1998, the Gideon Mbuvi Kioko who later escaped from Prison failed to attend the court, which made Justin Kaburu to issue a warrant for his arrest.

Apparently the escape conspiracy started at the second arrest for jumping bail. On his second arrest, according to information in our possession, Kioko was jailed for six months and given the option of paying a Sh600,000 fine.

Records show he was sent to Shimo la Tewa after claiming he was unable to pay the fine. But police and prison warders at the time said on his second arrest Kioko was found with Sh1.9 million in a suitcase. He attended court with the suitcase, which he, allegedly, also moved with to the prison.

"The prisoner never set foot in the prison," says a report.

After the money was discovered, a two-hour discussion between prison cashiers and officials came up with the decision that Kioko spends the night in a medical clinic. Next morning prison doctors admitted him to Coast General Hospital amid protests from medical staff doubting his illness.

Sh200,000 for special diet

Reports show the convict gave Sh200,000 to a trainee at the hospital to cater for his special diet. The dates for the subsequent escape are unclear but records seen by The Standard indicate the convict was discharged from Coast General Hospital and returned to the prison clinic on April 16, 1998, only to be returned to the bigger hospital the same day.

Kioko was chained to a hospital bed under supervision of two armed guards who were suspiciously replaced on April 16 at night when the suspect escaped.

Records show he deposited Sh108,000 after his conviction although he was actually found with Sh1.9 million. Curiously, a senior prison official, reportedly bought two cars after his escape.

Police Superintendent Geoffrey Mwangi who was prosecuting the case and had applied for his re-arrest, was reportedly transferred to Eldoret.

How new MP was jailed but escaped

By David Ochami, Beauttah Omanga and Willis Oketch

New Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi Kioko was sworn-in as controversy surrounding his past rose, especially over alleged prison break in 1998 and dramatic stint at Kamiti Maximum Prison in 2001.
The MP, who is known more by his alias Mike Sonko, took his seat in the august House on a day he battled fresh accusations he has a tainted past and should not have been cleared to run.

Sonko, the remain the shackles he left on his hospital bed. He was probably unchained by a willing police officer, and the records of Shimo la Tewa Prison showing a Mr Gideon Mbuvi Kioko, who was supposed to be incarcerated for six months escaped, and is still on the run.

Makadara MP GidIon Mbuvi (second from right) takes Oath of Parliament during the swearing -in ceremony in Parliament, yesterday. [PHOT0: TABITHA OTWORI /STANDARD]


He was jailed

But even as focus turned to the 1998 incident, Sonko conceded he was jailed for two months at Shimo la Tewa, but denied he escaped.

"I was arraigned in court over some matter for which I was released on bail. When that date came I skipped court for I had to attend my mother’s burial," said the MP.

He argued the only reason he got into trouble was he only absconded a court bond, which earned him a four-month jail term.

"I stayed behind bars for only two months then I was released by Justice Oguk following an appeal against my sentence. I never escaped from Kamiti and there is evidence to prove that I was set free by the High Court," he said, as he fought off a report in The Star on Tuesday, that he was jailed over forgery and booked in as prisoner Number KAM/1255/2000/LS.

The newspaper carried an affidavit in which Kioko said he had been denied bond/bail and was in Kamiti serving a four-month sentence.

He also listed several medical conditions he said he had and which could be complicated by prison conditions, adding he was from a poor family.

But in reference to the Mombasa case, Sonko appears to suggest it was one and the same case as the one that took him to Kamiti — and so, too, he argued was his innocence against forgery charges that is a common denominator in both.

He said when he was arraigned before a magistrate in Mombasa over the contempt of court case; the magistrate allegedly sentenced him even as he explained he was attending his mother’s funeral the same day the case come up.

The MP denied ever forging documents aimed at acquiring a prime land in Mombasa. "All those stories being written about me are all false. They have even said all my parents are dead when it is only my mother who passed on," said an angry Sonko.


ADVERSE PUBLICITY

He said the adverse publicity was meant to paint him as a criminal, somebody unfit to be a leader, "but I will not be cowed by those negative stories".

He added: "My people know me and I am ready to serve them diligently." He added in reference to report: "One of the papers have named one Gideon Mbuvi Kioko as the one who escaped from Shimo La Tewa.

Those are not my names. As per my ID my names are Gidion Mbuvi Kioko. The person whose details they published is not I even though the impression being created is that I am the one."

Sonko was already subject of rebuttals by Interim Independent Commission, which argued that vetting should have been the responsibility of political parties and disciplinary cases were not in its domain.

This was in reference to claims IIEC could have allowed a leader with a criminal past access to Parliament contrary to the requirements of the new Constitution.

Outside Parliament, Sonko claimed there were attempts to tarnish his name and wondered why all those details about his past were being published days after his victory.

House fails to set up new laws team


File | NATION Parliament in a past session. MPs are faced with a battle over the formation of the team that will oversee the implementation of the new Constitution.

By NJERI RUGENE nrugene@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Tuesday, September 28 2010 at 22:00
In Summary

Political parties stall the process with their indecision on choosing members for powerful committee

Parliament on Tuesday failed to set up a committee to oversee the implementation of the new Constitution.

A meeting of the House Business Committee chaired by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka moved the task to Wednesday afternoon after some political parties in the Grand Coalition Government failed to agree on their nominees for the Parliamentary Constitution Oversight Committee.

Delay several bills

The delay is likely to delay the tabling and debate of several Bills drafted by the Justice ministry to implement the new constitution.

The role of the committee, which already has Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed and his Budalang’i counterpart Ababu Namwamba, is to supervise the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and report to Parliament on its progress.

Sources who attended the meeting revealed that the House Business Committee gave the two coalition partners up to noon today to agree on their nominees.

The committee is expected to comprise no more than 15 MPs.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta was said to be consulting on which Kanu MPs should be in the committee.

Joint Government Whips Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo and his Kangundo counterpart Johnstone Muthama were instructed to coordinate with their parties and present a list to the House Business Committee at its meeting on Wednesday.

The list will be tabled in Parliament for adoption this afternoon, the meeting agreed.

However, Parliament can reject the list if MPs do not approve of the nominees, which would force Mr Musyoka’s team to compile a new list.

The failure to agree on the powerful committee means the three Bills that are ready can only be debated next week.

Hague: Cabinet backs down on state secrets

Stephen Mudiari | NATION Internal Security minister George Saitoti (right) with ministers James Orengo, Otieno Kajwang’ and Amason Kingi, who are members of the cabinet committee, moments after addressing a past media briefing. The committee agreed on Tuesday to allow the International Criminal Court access to sensitive government documents in its investigations.

By Bernard Namunane bnamunane@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Tuesday, September 28 2010 at 22:00
In Summary

High level team insists it reserves the right to vet what can or can’t be handed over to investigators probing post-election violence

A Cabinet committee on Tuesday dropped its opposition to allowing the International Criminal Court access to sensitive government documents in its investigations, according to Daily Nation sources.

The decision was reached during a three-hour meeting of the committee, which was formed to deal with the ICC.

The world court is investigating the killings and other crimes committed during the lawlessness following the last election.

The meeting was also attended by a team from the ICC, which expressed concern at the high level revelations of its communications with government officials regarding the investigations, the sources, who attended the meeting, said.

The committee, chaired by Internal Security minister George Saitoti, however was categorical that it would vet all documents requested by the ICC team before handing them over.

The committee agreed to ask Attorney General Amos Wako and the Kenya Police to hand over the requested information to the committee for them to choose the documents to hand over to the investigators, according to the sources, who asked not to be named because of the confidentiality of the meeting.

Level of cooperation

The meeting at Harambee House was called to discuss the level of cooperation the government was giving to the ICC and came amid revelations of a series of letters that The Hague had written asking for more information.

The information is related to the meetings reported by the Waki Commission and believed to have led to the killings in Naivasha and Kiambaa church in Eldoret.

“The government agreed to fully cooperate with the ICC and will give them access to the documents they want.

“However, the (Cabinet) committee will decide which documents to hand over,” said a source at the meeting.

The two sides of the Grand Coalition Government, it has emerged, were divided over the level of cooperation with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) demanding full access to all information requested by The Hague.

The Party of National Unity (PNU), however, was hesitant to submit reports of high level security meetings that were held at the height of investigations on grounds that they were State secrets.

Sources at the meeting said the ODM team, comprising Cabinet ministers James Orengo, Otieno Kajwang’ and Amason Kingi, pushed for the full cooperation.

They also reminded their colleagues of the recent agreement they signed with the ICC allowing it to establish offices in Nairobi to expedite its work.

PNU ministers Saitoti and Moses Wetang’ula, however, argued that even though the government had agreed to cooperate with the ICC, it was in the interest of Kenya to safeguard confidential State secrets such as high-level security meetings, according to the source.

Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo reportedly argued that since the government had agreed to work with the ICC, it was obliged to provide information.

He was also reported by the sources to have added that it should not be taken that giving access to the minutes of such meetings would amount to the government incriminating itself.

Security meetings

The ICC has written two letters to the government seeking access to minutes of the security meetings and another session that was said to have been held at State House immediately after the outbreak of the violence.

Sources said ICC was not happy with the revelations about their activities and plans of travel by government officials.

They fear that should the trend persist, it could expose their investigators, who have a tradition of carrying out their work with the utmost secrecy.

The ICC team is in the country to prepare the way for investigators who will take statements from some key witnesses in the two post-election violence hotspots.

They were also to inquire about the pattern of violence in those areas and meet the administrators in areas which are set to be visited by the prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Three new MPs sworn in

The three newly elected Kenya MPs were sworn in Tuesday amidst an air of excitement in Parliament.

Juja MP William Kabogo and his Makadara counterpart Mbuvi Kioko caused a sensation in the House when they were escorted to Speaker Kenneth Marende by their Narc party leader Martha Karua for introduction and eventual taking of oath.

Mr Kabogo, who will be serving a second stint as MP was escorted to the Speaker by Ms Karua and Garsen’s Danson Mungatana also of Narc Kenya.

The MP who was elected in 2002 on a Sisi kwa Sisi ticket was dressed in a dark striped suit, white shirt and brown ties and took his oath of office in Kiswahili.

On his part, Mr Mbuvi, also known as Mike Sonko, was escorted to the Speaker by Ms Karua and Mr Asman Kamama of Baringo North.

Dressed in a flashy grey suit white shirt, maroon and gold tie and four gold rings on his right hand, the Makadara MP took his oath in English.

After bowing to the Speaker, he sat in between Mr Peter Kiilu (Makueni) and Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi) and settled down to read the day’s order paper. Meanwhile, tens of his supporters who had travelled to Parliament in three buses waited outside.

Starehe’s Margaret Wanjiru, who retained the seat she had lost in a petition was also sworn in.

Bishop Wanjiru, an assistant minister before she lost at the petition, was resplendent in a cream suit and matching handbag. She was escorted to the Speaker by her Kasarani counterpart Elizabeth Ongoro and Mr Ababu Namwamba of Budalangi who is also ODM’s Parliamentary Secretary.

The public gallery were full with excited supporters of the newly elected MPs who had come in to witness their new representatives take oath of office.

Security at the entrance to Parliament was tight supporters, mainly from Makadara thronged the gate in attempts to make their way through. However, they were locked out as the gallery was already full.

Also sworn in was Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch, who was taking afresh oath of office in line with the requirements of the new Constitution.

He was out of the country when other MPs took the oath on August 27, the day of the promulgation of the new Constitution.

Kibaki censured over Uganda extraditions

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – President Mwai Kibaki on Monday came under a scathing attack from a High Court judge over the rendition of Kenyans to other countries on suspicion of terrorism.

Justice Mohammed Warsame questioned why President Kibaki - who recently swore oath of allegiance to the new Constitution - allowed State agents to infringe on the rights of Kenyans contrary to the new Bill of Rights.

“That kind of behaviour, act or omission is likely to have far and serious ramifications on the citizens of this country and the rulers. It also raises basic issue of whether a President who has just sworn and agreed to be guided by the provisions of the Constitution can allow his agents to breach with a remarkable arrogance or ignorance,” ruled Justice Warsame in a case in which Mohammed Aktar Kana, moved to court to block his arrest and transfer to Uganda over suspicion of involvement in the July 11 Kampala terror attacks where 70 people were killed.

“Prima facie the allegation contained in this application is a serious indictment on the institution of the President and whether he is protecting, preserving and safeguarding the interests, rights and obligations of all citizens as contained in the new Constitution.”

Already thirteen Kenyans are facing terror related charges before a Ugandan Court. Mr Kana says in his affidavit that six of those Kenyans are personally known to him as they worship with him at Jamia Mosque and elsewhere in Nairobi where they socialise in coffee houses.

“Invariably I have interacted with some of the victims in the course of my business as aforesaid. An affinity has therefore evolved in the course of time particularly through religious worship. This interaction is therefore a fertile ground by the said officers for inference of ‘guilty by association’,” he said in his affidavit.

Mr Kana through his lawyer Muturi Kigano has told the court that Ugandan authorities have variously sought to ‘abduct’ him and at one time had even arrested his cousin in a case of mistaken identity.

In blocking Mr Kana’s extradition from the country, Justice Warsame said the action by the Kenyan authorities showed “yesteryears’ impunity is still thriving in our Executive arm of the government.”

He then ordered: “I direct the Attorney General, Police Commissioner and Internal Security Minister to ensure that the applicant is not surrendered, handed over, transported and or transferred to Uganda or any other country without further orders from this court.”

“If the applicant is arrested, he shall be brought to this court without fail or subjected to the due process as enshrined in our Constitution.”

Mr Kana says that lawyer Mbugua Mureithi who was arrested and later released as he went to represent the Kenyans in Ugandan custody had told him that he and Muslim human right activists Al Amin Kimathi who is also in custody were interrogated about him generally.

In his affidavit Mr Kana also claims that he is a frequent visitor to Yemen.

“I occasionally travel to Yemen where my first wife Salima Antonio Fernandes and five of my children reside, work and study respectively. Yemen is categorised by American Government as a terrorist/ Al-Qaeda main cell.”

The court has directed that its orders be also served on the office of the President through Francis Muthaura who is the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President and Secretary to the Cabinet.

The matter is due in court on Thursday for a hearing of all parties.

Dying for Ndolo

PNU row

Opinion Poll Reactions

Gideon Moi on Mau Resettlement

PNU Crisis

This man "Sonko" again!

I haven't changed my stand on ICC -- Mutula

Parliamentarians return

Why Karua now walks with her head raised

By BIKETI KIKECHI

Gichugu MP Martha Karua is full of confidence and promises a bigger shocker in the 2012 presidential elections.

She jetted back last Wednesday with a strong message: "Do not try to dirty our win".

Ms Karua had left the country immediately after her party bagged the Juja and Makadara by-election seats but returned 24 hours later to savour the victory.

The consternation from the results is still being felt across the political landscape, with Party of National Unity (PNU) being the most affected.

In an interview with The Standard, Karua demanded for respect from other parties and declared her commitment to be Kenya’s next chief executive after President Kibaki.

"I am telling our opponents not to ever try to dirty the win by Narc-Kenya and its candidates. Don’t you ever try to downplay it because it is of great significance now and in 2012," said Karua.

She spoke at Narc-Kenya headquarters in Hurlingham, Nairobi, where excited senior party leaders had gathered to receive Juja MP-elect William Kabogo and his Makadara counterpart Gidion Kioko Mbuvi a.k.a Mike Sonko.

favourite figure

Sitting in her office, in the quiet neighbourhood of the Department of Defence headquarters and radiating confidence, Karua exhibits the grit of a favourite figure in Kenyan politics.

"Narc-Kenya has said for the umpteenth time, we are not interested in political alliances. We once went into an alliance and got burned," said Karua.

During the by-election, it had been rumoured that operatives led by acting Chief Whip Johnstone Muthama made futile attempts to stop Karua from fielding candidates to boost chances for PNU candidates.

Asked if it was true, Karua frowned and stated emphatically she had not held any formal discussion over any issue with PNU leaders since she resigned from Government.

She looked disturbed and slighted that such a question could be raised when she had not even met President Kibaki face to face from the time she walked out of his Government.

o recent statistics from pollsters like Synovate and Infotrak Harris, Karua said she had noted their findings but with misgivings.

She said: "I have seen what some polls say, but I want to say there are indicators which show some of them are not authentic and I will not be discouraged by polls made with certain objectives in mind."

The former minister singled the polling done immediately after the referendum, which she claimed were designed to take away space Narc-Kenya and herself gained after the "Yes" victory.

Despite the not-so-encouraging results for Karua in the polls survey, the Gichugu MP insists she will not be discouraged by anybody.

"We always put feelers out there during our visits in various parts of the country to gauge the public mood and I can assure our supporters it is very encouraging," said Karua.

And to the just concluded by-elections, she rated her chances in 2012, as "very viable" despite the discouraging opinion polls.

"I think in the light of our good showing in the by-elections and other indicators, I rate my chances as very viable," said Karua.

enormous resources

How about the talk around town that Mr Kabogo and Mr Mbuvi used enormous resources to win their seats and that could, therefore, not reflect the strength of Narc-K and her clout?

On this, Karua tells critics to be objective and stop speaking out of sour grapes because they lost.

Narc-Kenya chair Martha Karua with party MPs William Kabogo (Juja) and Makadara’s Gidion Mbuvi (right). She believes the by-election outcome has raised her 2012 chances. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]


Had Narc-K candidates lost, Karua is sure nothing would have been said of them.

"I want to say without batting an eyelid that the candidates supported by the parties in power — the coalition parties — not only used more resources than our candidates but also misused public resources," said Karua.

To justify her claim, she pointed out that Government ministers used official vehicles in Juja, Starehe and Makadara with one flaunting a ministerial flag on his car allegedly to peddle influence. The former Justice Minister says Narc-Kenya candidates used their own hard earned resources unlike rivals from PNU and ODM, who allegedly exploited Government resources.

"And you can see for yourself who was involved in the campaigns. In Makadara, it was Prime Minister Raila Odinga himself, while in Juja, it was the Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta on the campaign trail," said Karua.

In the Juja, Karua also lists Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who she claims landed in the area in a chopper and a host of assistant ministers. "In Thika, the Vice-President even used a chopper during the campaigns although he parked it far away, but we saw it," says Karua.

The Narc-K leader is confident her party would, against all odds win, the next presidential and parliamentary elections.

public resources

She said in Thika, Kabogo had complained the Government was using DCs to campaign for the PNU candidate.

"My point is any objective person should focus on irregular activities during the campaigns, notably the misuse of public resources and civil servants," said Karua.

To her, that is what should be considered irregular and not the use of billboards by Mbuvi in Makadara as alleged by some quarters.

"Yes, and if they are saying our candidate used billboards, I saw very huge boards in Thika, so why these double standards?" she said.

She says the use of such resources demonstrates prowess and it was also a plus for the party.

IIEC put in a spot over some candidates' criminal record

By David Ochami

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) was put on its defence over some candidate’s record in the recent by-elections.

A candidate in the Makadara by-election has been quoted in the media admitting a past criminal conviction.

Another one faced a criminal prosecution whose outcome is not established. Another has admitted escaping from jail and it is not clear if the escape led to a conviction.

On Monday, responding to questions on the integrity of the Makadara by-election, IIEC chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said one can only be barred from contesting an election for flouting electoral rules.

"An election offence is the only thing that can disqualify one from contesting an election," said Mr Hassan, quoting the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act, Cap 7 of the Laws of Kenya.

"We relied on political parties," he said, adding the parties are expected to exercise "due diligence" to ensure nominated candidates do not breach relevant electoral laws.

jail term

He said according to this law any other criminal conviction or jail term other than that arising from an election offence cannot be grounds to deny one a chance to contest a parliamentary seat.

There are two main laws governing election of MPs — the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act, and the Election Offences Act.

To be certified to contest, one must be of sound mind, literate in English and Kiswahili, should not be bankrupt and should be a Kenyan citizen among other qualifications.

But some lawyers argue anyone convicted of a criminal offence, including that leading to a jail term of more than six months imprisonment, does not qualify to be elected.

The ‘learned friends’ argue some individuals with questionable character should not be put in elective positions.

But the IIEC chairman said such blanket consideration would violate potential candidates’ constitutional rights.

ICC ‘denied access to key state secrets’ on post-poll chaos


The Hague has been denied access to minutes of a meeting said to have been held at State House at the height of the post-election violence, according to Daily Nation sources. PHOTO / FILE

By bernard namunane bnamunane@ke.nationmedia.com and dave opiyo dopiyo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Monday, September 27 2010 at 22:00
In Summary

Waki said revenge planned at State House, government dismisses the claim

The Hague has been denied access to minutes of a meeting said to have been held at State House at the height of the post-election violence, according to Daily Nation sources.

The sources, who are familiar with the work of the International Criminal Court in Kenya but who could not be named because of the confidentiality of their work, said the government had declined to make available any information regarding the meeting the Waki Commission claimed was attended by key people in government at the time.

The sources also said that prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo is focusing his investigations on two hotspots, Naivasha and Eldoret, and the the cases he expects to file at the Hague will be based on those two areas.

On Monday, Lands minister James Orengo said the Cabinet committee which deals with ICC matters was set to meet a team from The Hague on Wednesday.

Mr Orengo said the ICC should not be denied access to any information since the government had agreed to fully cooperate with it.

“We agreed that we will fully cooperate with the ICC. The Cabinet committee will meet tomorrow to know what is happening,” he said on phone from Mombasa.

On Monday, the government maintained that no such meeting took place and therefore the question of minutes does not arise.

“There was never such a meeting as stated in the Waki Commission (report). It was manufactured and somebody really must have lied to them. We have always said there was no meeting and therefore there can’t be minutes,” government spokesman Alfred Mutua told the Nation.

The government has also declined to the ICC the minutes of high-level security meetings that held at the peak of the violence in which 1,133 people were killed and more than 650,000 evicted from their farms.

The Waki Commission report indicated that the violence in Naivasha between January 27 and 30 was pre-planned and executed by Mungiki members who received the support of political and business leaders.

“The Commission has also evidence that government and political leaders in Nairobi, including key office holders at the highest level of government may have directly participated in the preparation of the attacks,” the report said.

“Central to that planning were two meetings held in State House and Nairobi Safari Club in the run up to the election with the involvement of senior members of the Government and other prominent Kikuyu personalities,” it states.

Similar attention was being given to the killing at the Kenya Assemblies of God (KAG) in Kiambaa Eldoret which took place on the 28 of December 2007. Attackers locked villagers, mainly women and children, in the church and set it on fire. Those who attempted to escape were hacked to death by waiting killers. A total of 35 people died in the atrocity.

In the January 28, 2008 revenge attack in Naivasha, at least 19 people were killed.

The Kiambaa attack was also linked to meetings between politicians, business people and former soldiers in the Rift Valley.

On Monday, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Mutula Kilonzo, while clarifying that the ICC was receiving full government support, said The Hague must prove that crimes committed in the country were within its jurisdiction.

It is not a foregone conclusion that The Hague will automatically take on the Kenya case, it still has to prove that international crimes were committed in 2007, he said.

“We do not know as at now whether the ICC will admit the Kenyan case... pretending otherwise is blowing hot air,” said Mr Kilonzo in Nairobi.

Added the Justice minister: “The prosecutor must first prove that the crimes committed were of an international nature. If he convinces the world that international crimes were committed, we shall allow him to go on with the prosecution. The government will fully co-operate with the investigations.”

Mr Kilonzo was speaking in Nairobi at a workshop on conflict management and mediation for human rights institutions for East Africa. Participants came from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi.

Mr Kilonzo said he did not ask Mr Ocampo to pack up and go after the new constitution was passed but maintained that the reformed Judiciary could also handle the cases.

He said the government had no power to stop the ICC from doing its work, adding that only the perpetrators of violence whose cases fell outside the jurisdiction of the ICC will be tried locally.

The Judiciary was being revamped to ensure it adequately dealt with crimes committed during the post election violence, he added.

Key Bills on the implementation of the new constitution as well as reforms in the Judiciary will be tabled in parliament this week.

They include the a Bill for the formation of an oversight constitution implementation committee, Judicial Service Commission Bill and the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill.

He said once Parliament passes these Bills, including the one on reforming the police, the country will be capable of prosecuting some of the masterminds of the poll violence.

“Kenya can prosecute the poll violence suspects... we can do it,” said the minister.

Lawyers list 10 for top Judiciary jobs


Stephen Mudiari | NATION Law Society of Kenya chairman Kenneth Akide during a press conference at the society’s offices in Nairobi on Monday. LSK has said it will pass a list of 10 names to the President and the Prime Minister for consideration for the posts of Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice. Looking on are some of the society’s council members.

By Nation Reporter
Posted Monday, September 27 2010 at 22:00

Lawyers have compiled a list of 10 colleagues they consider fit to occupy the two top posts in the Judiciary.

But they refused to divulge the names of their candidates for Chief Justice and his deputy, arguing that doing so would invite the ire of those excluded and also jeopardise the vetting of judges and magistrates.

They also accused Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo of usurping the powers of two key Constitution implementation teams when he recently published three Bills.

“Mr Kilonzo jumped he gun by publishing the Bills,” LSK chairman Kenneth Akide said.

Mr Akide, who was accompanied by LSK council members, said that as long as the Commission for Implementation of the Constitution and the Parliamentary Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee were not in place, Mr Kilonzo’s Bills were mere drafts.

They said the formation of the two teams should be the first priority when Parliament resumes on Tuesday.

Mr Kilonzo published the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution Bill, the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates Bill and the Judicial Service Commission Bill, which are to be tabled in Parliament.

The lawyers also opposed any involvement of foreign experts in the implementation.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sonko watches as his men rough up DJ


NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 - Makadara MP-elect Mike Sonko is on the spot after his bodyguards allegedly attacked a Nairobi based Disc Jockey (DJ) "for blocking the road."

The incident occurred on Saturday at 9.30pm as Capital FM's DJ Leo who was accompanied by his eight-year-old niece and a friend stopped at a bus stop in Buruburu estate to pick up two colleagues.

"I was on my way to Black Diamond for a gig and had just picked up my two colleagues at the stage… I heard a car hooting at me from behind but did not pay attention. About 100 metres from the stage, there is a bump. When I slowed down to go over the bump a car blocked me, and two men with guns jumped out," DJ Leo told Capital in the Morning show.

He says they were all forced out of the car before Sonko's men allegedly proceeded to rough him up.

"My friend was told to lie down and the little girl was standing there shaking…. The whole thing took about five minutes. The men hit me and kept on asking why I was blocking mheshimiwa's (honourable MPs) car," he said.

"They hit my chest and others were slapping me, one of the bouncers identified me and asked the others to stop hitting me," he said.

Mr Sonko has apologised over the incident but maintained that his bodyguards did not rough up DJ Leo.

"They were all drunk (DJ Leo and his group) but as soon as he identified himself, I apologised and shook his hand, it was not my wish to act that fast but it was just because of my own security," he said.

But DJ Leo disputes Mr Sonko's allegations saying that he is a teetotaller.

"You all know that I don't drink, I'm a staunch Muslim and all those who have attended my gigs know this is a fact. After the incident he (Sonko) said "chunga, hii ni Nairobi utakufa" (watch out this is Nairobi, you could get killed), DJ Leo said.

Sonko had apologised on his Facebook wall after it was flooded with messages following the incident. The post was later pulled down.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Mike-Sonko/

"I have recorded a statement at the Buruburu police station and it's now up to the wheel of justice to take its course," DJ Leo said.

Sonko won the Makadara seat in a by-election on Monday last week flooring heavyweights Reuben Ndolo of ODM and PNU's Dick Wathika.

He is set to be sworn in after Parliament resumes business this week.

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The hard road ahead for MPs

By Martin Mutua

Parliament reopens on Tuesday after a three-week break heralding a new chapter in the implementation of the Constitution proclaimed last month.

The agenda of the House is tight, the MPs’ waiting tray full, and the expectations of the country overwhelming.

This is partly because MPs are meeting in the middle of split in the Grand Coalition over the fate of Provincial Administration; International Criminal Court’s investigations; appointments to the new offices created by the new Constitution; and the tenure and mandate of some of the Agenda Four commissions, including the Interim Independent Boundaries Commission.

The members are also expected to deal with friction that may be generated by the replacement of Attorney General Amos Wako, who must leave within six months after the promulgation of the constitution, and Chief Justice Evan Gicheru, who has the option of being vetted afresh.

The House agenda may also include issues related to the upcoming Upper House, made up of Senators, and the increase in the number of constituencies from current 210 to 290 a year before 2012 elections.

But even then, the most pressing assignment awaiting MPs is the execution of its part of the deal to ensure the Constitution is implemented in full within a year — not the five years set out in the Law’s sets of schedules.

Parliament is expected to provide leadership in terms of the implementation of the new document, by ensuring the 49 pieces of legislation to operationalise the new document are enacted within the timelines set in the implementation schedule — or even earlier.

And the House will not just have its leeway to do so, because in the event the members fail to abide by the set timeliness, Kenyans have the constitutional power to supervise their elected leaders, and demand dissolution of the House through the courts, if the MPs stall the process.

The fact that this could be the trickiest and roughest stretch for the MPs is given credence by the fact that they have to bury their ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ past and join hands to pass the 49 Bills required to anchor the new Constitution.

Although ODM recaptured its Starehe Parliamentary seat through Bishop Margaret Wanjiru, it will be entering the House bogged down by internal divisions, and stung by failure to capture Makadara seat following a close by-election that saw the Party of National Unity, which held the seat, come third, and its earlier loss in South Mugirango by-election. To its credit however, PNU, which is also beset by internal schisms, easily won Matuga seat through Trade Minister Ali Chirau Mwakwere.

Narc Kenya Party leader and former Justice Minister Martha Karua, will tomorrow be walking tall in the House as she escorts her new MPs — namely William Kabogo (Juja) and Gidion Mbuvi alias Mike Sonko (Makadara) — to be sworn by the Speaker.

But the more urgent business of the House will be formation of the Parliamentary committee to oversee the implementation of the constitution, known as the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee. The House adjourned before it formed the Committee. One of its main tasks is to coordinate with the Attorney General, the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution and relevant Parliamentary Committees to ensure the timely introduction and passage of necessary laws, and to deal with problems in the implementation of the new laws.

Both PNU and ODM have been haggling over who will take control of the Committee, which will also be responsible for building consensus on Bills to be brought to the House for enactment.

So far, members guaranteed to sit in the committee by virtue of having steered the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution as chairman and deputy respectively, are Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed, and his Budalangi counterpart Mr Ababu Namwamba.

The first Bill to be debated is the Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution Bill 2010. However, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, in a bid to speed up the process, has published three bills that would see the process fast-tracked. But because the CIC is not yet in place, there are accusations the Cabinet have literally put the cart before the horse.

The Bills include one on the pending commission, the Vetting of Judges and Magistrates as well as the Judicial Service Bill, which have received Cabinet approval, and have been published. They are expected to be on the House business list for the first reading tomorrow. According to the new Constitution, the Judicial Service Commission has to be set up by October 27, while all judges who want to continue serving in the judiciary must undergo vetting within one year.

But those to sit on the reconstituted Judicial Service Commission will have to have been vetted. Also to dominate the business of the House is the debate over whether or not ICC should try key perpetrators of the post-election violence.

Though he later denied it, Mutula was recently quoted in a local daily telling Chief Prosecutor Luis-Moreno Ocampo to let Kenya’s judiciary handle post-election violence cases. The remarks elicited debate across the political divide, and it is highly likely members will seek the Government’s official statement on the matter.

However, Lands Minister James Orengo on Sunday said the ICC team of investigators who arrive in the country on Monday will receive maximum government support. Orengo said ICC detectives will be in the country from Monday to Wednesday to probe cases involving Kenyans who sponsored or masterminded post-election violence.

President Kibaki’s PNU is embroiled in supremacy battles following the defeat of former Chief Whip George Thuo in the recent Juja by-election, where he lost to Kabogo. PNU Chairman and Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and the party Secretary Kiraitu Murungi who is also Energy minister are pulling in different directions on the matter.

Saitoti is said to be favouring Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni to take over from Thuo, while Kiraitu seems to favour the current acting chief whip Mr Johnston Muthama.

Already, battle lines have been drawn, with MPs from Central Kenya saying the position should be given to one of their own, following Thuo’s exit. Their argument is that Muthama’s party has in its belt the Leader of Government Business through Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

Eyes will also be on Kalonzo as he steers the Government’s agenda in the House, which is often rocked by party divisions and Cabinet wars.

Fully recovered Prime Minister Raila Odinga will be back in the House after being absent before it went on recess on medical grounds.
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