Wednesday, 16 July 2014

CORD Exposes Scheme of State Return to Terror



RETURN OF STATE TERROR

We are in possession of a copy of a letter dated 24th June 2014 written by Mr. Joseph K. Kinyua, the Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service and addressed to Njee Muturi, the Solicitor General and copied to Prof. Githu Muigai, the Attorney General whose contents are extremely disturbing and constitutes a drastic reversal of the democratic gains attained by the enactment of the New Constitution.

The letter demonstrates the desire and scheme of the  Jubilee administration to use the law of treason to achieve political objectives, unrelated and extraneous  to the principles and jurisprudence of Kenya’s criminal justice system. This letter is the clearest indication that the Jubilee administration wants to arrest and detain the leaders of CORD on charges that have no basis in our Constitution and the law in order to emasculate the opposition and give the regime opportunity to introduce the imperial presidency and despotic rule. We are also concerned that this initiative by NASC excludes the office of the Director of Public Prosecution, a constitutional and independent office with the mandate to institute and undertake or to withdraw and terminate criminal prosecutions.

The Governor of Lamu county was recently arrested and detained without charges on the pretext that he would be arraigned on offenses under International Crimes Act. No such charges have been preferred to date. This was a case of politics and the Governor should be left alone so that he can continue with his work in Lamu.

In 1997 the law of sedition was repealed from our Penal Code under Act No. 10 of 1997 because of the trend in those years of dragging Kenyans into criminal courts under that law. The law of detention without trial has also been replaced.
The Jubilee regime cannot be allowed to take Kenya back to the dark old days where state terror was directed against patriotic Kenyans who were struggling against dictatorship and injustice in the name of state security.

CORD remains firm and steadfast in its commitment to make Kenya a better place to live in and no amount of intimidation or harassment will compromise CORD’s relentless struggle to enable the people of Kenya reap the fruits of the New Constitution.

Finally we are concerned about the membership of the National Security Council and the National Security Advisory Committee which does not portray the face of Kenya and is prone to fall prey to the advancement of a parochial and hegemonic agenda in the country to the detriment of national unity.

Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga

Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka

Sen. Moses Masika Wetangula

Nairobi 16th July, 2014

Thursday, 3 July 2014

CORD's final statement towards Saba Saba rally on July 7


This is our final media briefing ahead of our Saba Saba rally scheduled for Uhuru Park on Monday, July 7, 2014. It is also a confirmation that the rally is on, and an open invitation to all Kenyans.

Monday’s rally is the culmination of one month of public consultations among the people of Kenya on what ails our Nation and what needs to be done to rectify the condition.

Although CORD has been at the forefront pushing for Saba Saba, there are thousands of organisers from all walks of life who have laboured tirelessly to make the Monday meeting possible.
 

We will be gathering directly as a result of the Government’s failure to convene a national dialogue process to enable Kenyans to deliberate on issues that are of critical concern to them as citizens.

Our concerns are as follows:

1. INCLUSIVITY AND NATIONAL UNITY:
One of the most consistent amalgams of themes throughout the Constitution is the issues of national unity and inclusivity.
Yet today, Kenya is a Nation apparently at war with itself, posing an existential threat to the idea of Kenya and our very survival as a Nation.

Inter-ethnic relations between our diversity of communities have deteriorated to their lowest point in our history. The Njemps and Tugen, Orma and Pokomo, Gabra and Borana, Degodia and Garre, Turkana and Pokot, the coastal and upcountry people are all seemingly in the grip of ferocious communal conflict or their relations poisoned by suspicion and mistrust.

Making an already bad situation worse, key state institutions appear to have abandoned the constitutional requirement that the appointment of state officers be conducted via processes guided by the principles of equity, competitiveness and transparency and the promotion of gender equality in the management of public affairs.

Recruitment in state organs has manifestly failed to reflect the diversity of the Kenyan people. As a result, today, entire communities feel excluded from participating in the management of national affairs on the basis of ethnicity, gender and other forms of identity.

It is our constitutional responsibility as citizens to demand full accountability.

In this regard we demand the following:

(a): A publication by the Public Service Commission of all appointments made in the public service since election, with full details listing names, regions and percentages. Here we are speaking of starting from the top with an assessment of diversity with regard to our Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Directors, directors in the Ministries, all special committees including the security committees and all others.

(b): A publication of the list of all senior public officers categorised by ethnicity, region and gender from the position of Director upward who have been sacked or transferred.

(c): A detailed activity plan of all national government development projects in every County indicating the nature of activity and the amounts of money allocated to these activities. Details must include all significant national infrastructural development project indicating the regions to benefit and amounts allocated.

(d): On a County by County basis, the budgets allocated to farmer and cooperative subsidies with a clear indication of the intended beneficiaries.

(e): A detailed enumeration, listing beneficiaries by name and region, of all direct cash transfer and social spending schemes across the country including the social empowerment funds.

2. ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION
Regarding the conduct of the 2013 elections, Kenyans set their standards high. They demanded an election that would be free, fair and transparent, meeting top international standards.

They backed their hopes with money, giving the IEBC billions of Kenya shillings to buy equipment and create an infrastructure that would ensure the elections met the expectations of Kenyans. These failed calamitously.

What couldn't have been anticipated was that the IEBC in setting standards for itself, were comfortable delivering what they were later to call ‘Third World Elections’.

In subsequent public submissions, the IEBC has stated that its performance ought to be measured “…in the context of a third world election: violence, voter intimidation, bribery, mass disfranchisement of voters…” The IEBC has the temerity to actually terms ours “a first world complaint.”

It is impossible to go to the next elections unless the issues surrounding IEBC’s performance are first addressed.

We are not contesting the results of the presidential elections held in 2013. We have put that behind us. However, we are talking about the future. We are expressing the overwhelming desire by Kenyans for the country to develop a political culture based on the determined hope that elections should not merely be moments of angry disagreement and attendant instability but events that see Kenyans consolidate their democratic culture at the ballot box in free and fair polls.

3. DEVOLUTION AND RESTRUCTURING OF THE PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION:
We are concerned that the key rationale of Devolution, which is to ensure equitable sharing of national and local resources and put power in the hands of locals is in a state of failure. The Constitution protects the Counties from the mischief by the National Government of using historical, old audited and approved accounts in the division of revenue. The funds allocated to the Counties ought to be based on the audited accounts of the financial year immediately preceding the current financial year. That has not happened.

As a result, the County governments have lost nearly 600 billion shillings in 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 merely because the National Treasury deliberately used outdated accounts for the purposes of revenue sharing between the national government and the County governments. This must not be allowed to become a pattern and must stop. The starvation of devolved units of funds is underway amid frantic efforts to reestablish the centralised old order by merely recalibrating the provincial administration in its colonial format of an occupying force managing the ‘natives’ and protecting the government against the people.

4. CORRUPTION
Impunity with regard to corruption in Kenya has become the norm again. Corruption costs Kenya about 300,000 new jobs every year. Corruption has contributed to Kenya sliding steadily down the annual list of Failed States listed by Fund for Peace to 17th from the bottom globally in 2013.

An inability to stem it on the part of the population and its leadership has contributed to a sharp spike in the destruction of the country’s national heritage that it holds in trust for the rest of humanity through the poaching of elephants and rhinos in particular.

This year alone, it is estimated that over 100 elephants and 20 rhinos have been killed for their tusks and horns.

Corruption has become systemic, pervasive and the cause of a fundamental national malaise that despite the implementation of a new constitution in 2010 has continued to hollow out key governance institutions like the Judiciary, Executive, security services and Legislature considerably undermining the capacity of government to implement even simple policy initiatives.

Far more troubling, corruption has essentially collapsed the capacity of the Kenya government to prosecute one of its core mandates as a State: to protect the lives and property of Kenyans. The security failure has been worsened by threats posed by groups like al Shabaab as Kenya develops its own cadre of young religiously radicalised youth in part derived from the youth bulge (75 percent of Kenyans are below 34), economic inequality, spiraling unemployment and cost of living, and the conspicuous consumption of a tiny elite that unapologetically dominates political and economic power along tribal lines.

As public outrage has continued to mount, over the past year alone the list of giant transactions entered into by the Executive perceived to be corrupt have multiplied: from the payment of Ksh.4.1 billion to an Anglo Leasing type company; the humiliating conduct of the Kenya Defense Forces during the Westgate attack in September 2013, to the US$14 billion Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).

This project, which is a key and vital development in the expansion and modernization of Kenya’s infrastructure, has raised serious credibility concerns and it would appear that costs have been escalated in order to accommodate rents and kickbacks for brokers.
In similar vein, we have the US$200 million primary school laptop project, the US$170 million the Safaricom/Vodafone opaque security contract, among a host of others.

Corruption has compromised flagship projects of Vision 2030 and new development initiatives. Major questions are being raised about the probity and accountability of several pork-barrel and ‘sweetheart’ deals in the energy, oil, mining and agricultural sectors.

Corruption serves to deepen inter-ethnic mistrust as perceptions grow that appointments are being made on an ethnic basis in parastatals, the judiciary, the executive and other positions so that fellow tribesmen can ‘eat’. We would therefore declare corruption a national disaster.

5. NATIONAL SECURITY 

The deteriorating state of security in the country has served to deepen anxiety about Kenya’s future cohesion. It is important that the following happens:

(a): That matters of security are not politicised or even ethnicised. For a country whose greatest vice is tribalism, this is a recipe for disaster that can be exploited by terrorists to harm citizens.

(b):. On Mpeketoni, the president should admit having failed to act in accordance with his Office. He must take full responsibility for any ethnic tension currently prevailing in the region and should be ready to be held accountable for any crimes that may occur as a result of incitement. He must not run away from the responsibility to deal with terror attacks against the nation and assure us of our safety. This is part of his job description.

(c): Security chiefs must be faithful to their professional calling and refuse to be used to abuse their offices and divide the nation along tribal and sectarian lines. The current security lapses that can be openly witnessed at our ports of entry, the borders and in the handling of terror attacks speak for themselves.

(d): We call on our soldiers and policemen in the service to reaffirm their loyalty to this Republic and resolve to do their work professionally. They are sons and daughters of this Nation who hail from the villages of this country. We call on them to resist the temptation of being used in unconstitutional schemes of terrorising citizens and participating in activities that ethnicize war on terror or target certain communities.

6. COST OF LIVING AND IRRESPONSIBLE BORROWING
The Jubilee Government increased our public debt by Ksh.860 billion in one year from Ksh.1.8 trillion to Ksh.2.6 trillion. This is an increase of 50 percent and is the largest annual increase in our history. The Grand Coalition government increased the debt by Ksh.900 billion in the five years it was in office, an average of Ksh.190 billion. Jubilee is borrowing at almost five times the rate at which the Grand Coalition government borrowed.

What does this mean? When Jubilee came to power, every Kenyan owed Ksh.44,000. A year later, each Kenyan owes Ksh.66,000. If Jubilee continues its borrowing spree at this rate, each Kenyan will be owing Ksh.140,000 in 2017. We cannot stand by and watch the Government mortgage our future, or bankrupt the country.

Cost of living has accelerated sharply. Inflation surged to 7 percent in the year to May 2014, compared to 4 percent in the preceding 12 months i.e. April 2012/May 2013.

Food price inflation increased by 9 percent as compared to 4 percent in the previous 12 months.

The price of maize flour which had declined from 120 to 110 shillings per two kilo. packet is back to Ksh. 120. Milk has hit an unprecedented Ksh.50 per 500 ml packet up from 38 shillings a year ago.

Farmers earnings are plummeting. The tea price paid to farmers fell 19 percent last year and the outlook for this year is worse. The price paid to coffee farmers declined 15 percent. Maize farmers received 7 percent less, despite consumers paying more for unga. Overall, farm gate prices declined by 5 percent while the cost of inputs increased by 10 percent.

7. HISTORICAL INJUSTICES AND THE TJRC REPORT
Addressing long-term issues, including undertaking constitutional, legal and institutional reforms; land reform; tackling poverty and inequality as well as combating regional development imbalances; tackling unemployment, particularly among the youth; consolidating national cohesion and unity; and addressing transparency, accountability and impunity particularly over historical injustices is critical to ensuring a stable nation. It is for this reason that the country spent billions of shillings on the TJRC. The product of that effort was first doctored then sat on by the Executive.

We reaffirm Saba Saba, well aware that some national prayers have been called for Sunday. 

We encourage Kenyans to turn up for the prayers, although CORD will proceed with its rallies as scheduled.
 

We urge the religious leaders convening the prayers to see them as an indication that there is a problem and that we will need to go beyond prayers and seek practical solutions.

We also call on the convenors to pray for the Saba Saba rally scheduled for Monday so that we are able to deliberate peacefully and soberly and find practical solutions. It our hope that the prayers will reinforce the Biblical dictum of, “come, let's reason together”.
At times like this, we will always fondly remember the great work of liberating our country that was done by leaders like the late Henry Okullu and Alexander Kipsang Muge, David Gitari and Rev Timothy Njoya, who is still with us.

But we must also remember that in the final push for a new constitution in 2010, Churches campaigned against the constitution. It is our hope that it is not the intention of the religious leadership of the country to stand in the path of Kenyans to meaningful change.
 

Finally, we wish to assure Kenyans that we stand for peace. All our rallies have been peaceful and we intend to continue in that mode.
 

We expect the government to take seriously its responsibility to ensure security for all our rallies and for all Kenyans.

Thank You All. God Bless Kenya.

RT. HON RAILA A ODINGA.
HON KALONZO MUSYOKA
SEN. MOSES WETANGULA.

JULY 3, 2014.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

CORD Statement in Reaction to Revocation of Eldoret Consultative Rally




(as read to the media on June 25, 2014 at Orange House Nairobi)

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy has held four extremely successful and hugely peaceful rallies since May 31st, 2014 when thousands of people turned up to welcome its leader Hon. Raila Odinga back into the country from a three-month sabbatical in the US.

The peaceful rallies have come against a background of grim predictions by government and Jubilee functionaries that they would breed chaos and insecurity in the country. In recent days, the administration has intensified its campaign against CORD rallies, blaming them wrongly for all the security failures that have afflicted the country in the last one year.

This is despite the fact that the CORD rallies are barely a month old and have all been peaceful and attended by Kenyans from across the ethnic and political divide. CORD therefore condemns in very strong terms the alleged cancellation of its rally in Eldoret slated for Friday, June 27th, 2014. We condemn the maneuvers by sections of government to cancel our planned rally planned for Ntulele, Narok on Saturday, 28th June, 2014.

We wish to clarify that we will proceed with both rallies as planned; Eldoret on Friday and Ntulele on Saturday. In the predictions of doom and chaos being fuelled by Jubilee, we see a deliberate effort by the government to pursue a self-fulfilling prophecy similar to the vile propaganda Kanu spread in the 1990s that multi-party politics would breed chaos, ethnic hatred and bloodshed.

Soon after those grim predictions, sponsored chaos emerged in parts of the country leading to ethnic cleansing and mayhem that left thousands dead and many more maimed and wounded. The country lives with the results of that dark, self-fulfilling prophecy to date. In the alleged cancellation of rallies, we also see attempts by Jubilee administration to revive the division of the country into Kanu zones and Opposition zones as Kanu in the 1990s in a bid to stop the people from exercising their freedoms as contained in our hard won constitution.

As Opposition Coalition, we stand committed to defending the constitutional right of Kenyans to free expression, association and assembly. We threaten no one and we expect no one to declare us as threats to peace or to threaten us.

It took a monumental battle to win the freedom we enjoy today. We stand ready to wage another monumental struggle to defend and sustain these freedoms. Kenyans need to remember that the struggle for the freedoms we enjoy today took more than 20 years because the leadership then tried to stop us from attaining and enjoying them.

The people who are today trying to stop us from enjoying the fruits of that long and deadly struggle are products of the system that tried to stop us from getting the freedoms. That is why they can still instruct Police to purport to be cancelling public gathering, a role that was long taken out of the hands of the police.

A famous African proverb says a fruit does not fall far from its tree. We all know the tree from which the Jubilee fruit is falling. The choice is ours, whether to surrender or soldier on as a nation. Surrender is not an option in CORD’s view.

We therefore wish to advise our supporters and all Kenyans who value freedom and peace that we will proceed with all our rallies as scheduled; beginning with Eldoret on Friday, June 27, 2014. We call upon the National Government to respect the Constitution by providing security at all these CORD events. Provision of security is the primary role of any government on earth. In fact, it is about the only reason why people agree to operate under some form of government.

The People of Kenya deserve and should demand no less.
Thank you, God bless Kenya.

RT. HON. RAILA ODINGA

HON. KALONZO MUSYOKA

SEN. MOSES WETANGULA

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Postponement of CORD Kisii Rally

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has postponed its rally that was scheduled for tomorrow (Friday 20th June 2014) at the Gusii Stadium in Kisii town to Friday 4th July 2014.

This follows a request by the local leaders who said they needed enough time to concentrate on the crucial by-election in Bonchari which will be held next Monday (23rd June 2014).

The campaigns for the ODM candidate in Bonchari Mr. Oroo Oyioka are being spearheaded by party leader Mr. Raila Odinga who arrived in Kisii town this morning.

The rest of the rallies remain as scheduled i.e. the rally at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega town this Saturday 21st June 2014 is on as scheduled. Preparations for the rally have been completed.

Philip Etale
Director of Communications –ODM.
19/06/14

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Dates of Contrywide CORD Rallies Announced



The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has for the past few weeks been calling for a National Dialogue with the Jubilee administration to discuss various issues that affect the common mwananchi and the building of our Nation.

The Jubilee government is unwilling to sit down with the opposition to talk about Kenya and therefore,CORD has organized a series of consultative rallies across the country, to meet and listen to the people in the build up to the Saba Saba day.


The CORD leadership is breaking away from the tradition where politicians would get on to the microphone and address wananchi, and now, it will be the turn of wananchi to speak and address the leaders on the various issues affecting them.

The consultative forums are in accordance with article 1 of the constitution which provides that the Sovereignty lies with the people of Kenya who may exercise it either directly or through their democratically elected representatives.
Below is the programme for this month through to the main Saba Saba rally which will be held in Nairobi.

SCHEDULE OF CONSULTATIVE RALLIES

DATE TOWN

Friday 13TH June 2014 Migori Town
Sunday 15TH June 2014 Mombasa
Friday 20TH June 2014 Kisii
Saturday 21th June 2014 Kakamega
Sunday 22ND June 2014 Nakuru
Wednesday 25TH June 2014 Garissa
Friday 27TH June 2014 TBA
Saturday 28TH June 2014 Eldoret
Sunday 29TH June 2014 Narok
Friday 4TH July 2014 TBA
Saturday 5TH July 2014 Kisumu
Sunday 6TH July 2014 Machakos
Monday 7th July 2014 Nairobi

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Raila Odinga: Why National Dialogue is Necessary

By Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga

A second unfortunate assumption is that once elections are held, the victors get an omnipotence to do as they wish with the country, its resources and its people. These two assumptions have been the cause of most of Africa’s underdevelopment and, regrettably, civil strife.

Africa is too diverse to be managed by the imagination and energies of one person or group of people. The continent, and every country in it, is made up of different religions, ethnic communities, racial groups and social classes. Our demographics separate us literally over various civilisations, from the traditional African culture to the most modern digital era.

So, firstly, no leader can arrogate himself to the position of the all-knowing all-powerful deliverer who will single handedly lift the people from the Third World and place them into the First World. African leaders must work with all persons across the board if they are to deliver the promises of independence to the different and divergent populations.

Secondly, no leader can always be prepared to deal with the emergencies that arise time and again. In Africa, our lives are unpredictable and often, we are caught up in crises; sometimes from draught brought about by unforeseen rain failure, or by inter-community clashes brought about by cultural conflicts, or competition for resources, or even political differences.

The only way leaders in Africa can meet these challenges is by being willing to work with others across the board to formulate solutions to the development challenges or the emergent problems.

Those leaders who have failed to do so, and in Africa they are regrettably many, have plunged their countries in unnecessary turmoil and subjected their people to avoidable suffering. In Kenya, we have had a taste of both successes and failures.

The common political philosophy since the era of the first President Jomo Kenyatta has been that of exclusion.

Kenya’s Presidents since independence have attempted to assume the position of the omniscient and omnipotent deliverer. The result of this has always been crisis, pain and failure.

Exclusionist politics

But in one occasion, turmoil that was fomented by this exclusionist and elitist approach to leadership was avoided while in another occasion, it was reversed before the crisis could result in an all out war.

I am of course talking of the IPPG of 1997 and the Serena Talks of 2008. I must congratulate both retired Presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki for their wisdom in calling for dialogue of all sectors of the society when we were faced with crisis that threatened to break the ties that bind us.

In 1997, we were in a very precarious situation indeed. The decision by Moi to agree to sit down with leaders from all sectors, including MPs, members of civil society, religious leaders and the business community helped us turn a crisis into opportunity and put the reform movement back on track, leading to the new Constitution that we eventually got in 2010.

Today, we are faced by similar crisis. Through the practice of elitist and exclusionist politics, the Jubilee Government has brought us to the position where the people are hungry, insecure, and increasingly hopeless.

Security has become the biggest problem in the country. Besides terrorism, the lives and property of all Kenyans are in danger. We are losing chunks of our nation particularly in Northern Kenya and the Coast while leaders issue statements from Nairobi.

We gave Jubilee the benefit of doubt for a year, but things only got worse. We have since come to the conclusion that the intelligence capability of the security sector has failed and the assets and equipment of the disciplined forces do not have sufficient upgrade.

The government declined to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding and leading to the Westgate terror attack. And when the situation got out of hand, the authorities simply woke up and singled out the entire Somali community to scapegoat and persecute.

One of the unfortunate assumptions that African countries have made in adopting western democracy is that those who get elected are infused by their victory with an omniscience that enables them to formulate solutions for all the country’s problems.

Suddenly, there are memories of the Wagalla Massacre and the Mau Mau concentration camps and the pain they inflicted on our people.

Responsible leaders don’t sit back and treat such talk as idleness and ignorance. We feel such talk should be taken as a prelude to something dangerous for our country and should be addressed in an all-inclusive manner.

Kenya’s interest 

There can be no doubt that everywhere things are falling apart in our country. There are still no laptops and no one can blame this on CORD. The deployment of military in what are police operations has not improved security.

Last week, the government announced plans to deploy military to take care of traffic and security operations and they will be reporting to the Inspector General of Police. This is on top of Nyumba Kumi and reinvented provincial administration that is supposed to be taking orders directly from the President. There were also pronouncements that some security functions will be delegated to governors.

What a confused state of affairs! Instead of running and hiding, criminals are having a ball.

This is partly the reason we are saying Government has become one huge experiment without a cogent scientific formula or coherent policy.

More than 10,000 jobs have been lost in the tourist industry alone. This means more hopelessness and more ready-made terror recruits. The era of 10 per cent kickbacks is with us again. That is why leaders bicker openly in public about their communities being locked out of fat tenders.

In the meantime, prices are soaring out of the reach of ordinary Kenyans since money is being siphoned away from service delivery. The county governments that were to address the problems of our people at the grassroots and take pressure away from the National Government are not getting an equitable share of national revenue. They are being killed.

The IEBC is busy fighting for its life in criminal courts; election courts and is under probe by both state organs and non-state actors. Only Jubilee is defending it.

These do look to us like crises and we do not believe as Jubilee does, that they will simply disappear. That is why we are calling for a national dialogue so that every sector of our population can put on the table what it thinks can be done to address the problems.

We recognise that we cannot discuss everything, so we have limited ourselves to the most urgent and those that touch the most number of our people: security, implementation of devolution, cost of living, electoral reforms, eradication of corruption and equitable sharing of national revenue and public service positions.

We act in the interest of our country. The ball is in Jubilee’s court.

Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga is Kenya’s former Prime Minister and Leader of Official Opposition, CORD

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Cord Press Briefing Reiterates National Dialogue "to Stop Complete Collapse of Kenya"



ADDRESS BY RT HON RAILA AMOLO ODINGA TO THE MEDIA
Tuesday, June 3, 2014:

Am happy to be back home after a very rewarding three-month stay in the US as a guest of the Africa Presidential Centre in Boston University. It was an extremely useful experience.

The late Chinua Achebe wrote, “The world is like a mask dancing. If you want to see it well, you don't stand in one place.”

The three months across the US accorded me an opportunity to exchange views and experiences with other leaders in different sectors.

It was a chance for me to look at our world from different spots, from outside and see how we are dancing on it.

I believe that in the process, I was a good ambassador for our country, pro bono, on the international stage. I want to believe I represented our country well.

I did give many talks in several respected universities including Harvard, Columbia, Princeton, Elizabeth City in North Carolina, Morehouse in Atlanta and the University of Massachusetts. I also accompanied Madam Ida Odinga to Wellesley University where she also gave a talk.

We had meetings with the top management of these institutions.

At all meetings, we appealed strongly to them to expand admission and scholarships to young Kenyans.

I have faith that some day, some Kenyan children will benefit from my appeal to the universities.
In the meantime while I was away, I kept on following events back here at home and I realized things were getting from bad to worse.

Kenya has been going through a VERY, VERY, rough stretch compared to any time in our recent history.

We are fighting Al Shabaab abroad and at home, and the end does not seem to be in sight. I don't pretend I know all the answers but we must all be ready to look for viable solutions through some serious dialogue.

Terror has claimed too many lives already. Nobody feels safe anymore.

Our tourism is collapsing and people losing jobs in their thousands.

In the midst of all this, cost of living is forever rising and families are struggling from month end to month end.

 At a time like this, divisive politics, particularly in government and public institutions, can only worsen and not improve our situation.

To add insult to injury, corruption is everywhere. The era and culture of primitive acquisition are back in a big way.

This is adversely affecting investments, demoralizing the business community, sinking our economy into irredeemable debts and impoverishing our people today and into the future. In that regard, we must not just forget and "move on" regarding the Anglo Leasing scam.

The payment of 4.1 billion shillings to an Anglo- Leasing type company by the Jubilee government is a slap in the face of the Kenyan people who have opposed impunity and corruption for decades.
We are calling for the refund of this money that has been paid out.

We also call for the prosecution of all the civil servants, plus their business associates, who have aided and abetted this scam that has led to Kenya losing over $300 million.

Nobody should be cheated that there is any relationship between the paying of this Anglo- Leasing money and our credit rating with regard to the Eurobond.

Any such attempt to derive an association between the two is a lie.

The re-emergence of big time corruption, with inflation of contract costs and demands for kickbacks, added to the growing insecurity in our country mean no investors will me coming here.

That means no new jobs and disappearance of old ones. That means more desperation for everybody and especially our youth.

WE MUST GATHER ALL THE COURAGE TO DEAL WITH THIS CRISIS AND STOP THE COMPLETE COLLAPSE OF OUR NATION.

That is why we are calling for a NATIONAL DIALOGUE not to have CORD join government but to provide Kenyans with a platform to discuss and resolve the following issues:

1. Security.
2. Corruption.
3. National Unity and Constitutional inclusivity in public appointments and government.
4. The IEBC, the electoral process and credibility of elections.
5. The restructuring of the Provincial Administration and Devolution.

We expect Jubilee to treat this matter with seriousness it deserves and provide a team to engage with us

In the meantime we shall continue to consult Kenyans and discuss with them in our National rallies.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Raila Denies CORD Wants to Join Government - Reaffirms Demand for National Dialogue

CORD LEADER RAILA ODINGA says CORD NOT INTERESTED IN JOINING GOVERNMENT:

Hon Raila Odinga wishes to state that the CORD coalition has never contemplated and will never contemplate, joining the Government.

CORD however will not relent on its demand for a national dialogue focusing on the most immediate and compelling problems facing the country including:

1. High cost of basic necessities.

2. Peace and security for the land and the review and reform of security organs.

3. Implementing and empowering devolution and ensuring the county governments get their equitable share of national revenue.

4. The electoral system and process and the overhaul of IEBC.

5. Eradication of corruption.

CORD’s intervention is driven by a growing feeling that the Jubilee administration has lost touch with the pains of ordinary Kenyans who struggle with house rent, bus fare, school fees and high cost of basic commodities like milk and unga.

CORD is concerned that Jubilee may be missing what the evacuation of hundreds of tourists and closure of hotels means to the many waiters, cooks, tour van drivers and tour guides who depend solely on the tourists.

CORD is convinced the fact that Jubilee is quoting figures indicating the economy is well on track further indicates a government losing touch with the struggles of its citizens.

The Opposition coalition views the fact that Jubilee is quoting figures indication the economy is on right track as further indication of loss of touch with the struggles of the voters.

If the trends continues, the next year will be as painful as the last, if not worse.

Cord is not keen on joining such an administration. It is keen on standing up for Kenyans, and it shall do that.


DENNIS ONYANGO
JUNE 1, 2014

Friday, 16 May 2014

CORD Statement on Governments Restructuring of Provincial Administration and Order to Pay Anglo Leasing Debt


Fellow Kenyans, for quite some time now we have constantly voiced our concern that indeed the Jubilee coalition is not committed to devolution. President Uhuru and his deputy have not missed any opportunity to volubly assure Kenyans that they are devoted to devolution. However as the saying goes, action speaks louder than words. This act has clearly vindicated our long held view that this government is not committed to devolution.

1. The president’s unilateral action of restructuring the maligned and archaic system of provincial administration is unconstitutional and negates the well-established principles of devolved system of government. The constitution vests sovereign authority in the people of Kenya which power is exercised by the people through their elected representatives. The people of Kenya overwhelmingly voted for the 2010 constitution and by dint of that act vested their trust and authority in the devolved government.

2. We wish to remind the president that reliance placed on Article 132 (3)(b) of the constitution and section 7 of the National government Coordination Act is exaggerated, misinformed and misconceived. Indeed it is an elementary rule of Constitutional Construction that no one Provision of the Constitution is to be segregated from the others and to be considered alone, but that all Provisions bearing upon a particular subject are to be brought into view and to be interpreted as to effectuate the great purpose of the Instrument. In a nutshell article 132(3)(b) must be read together with articles 1(3)(ba),6,10 and section 17 of the 6th schedule to the constitution. As it is now, the belated introduction of the provincial administration through the back door is unconstitutional and we will use all legal means available to reverse it

3. That section 17 of the 6th schedule to the constitution demands that within five years from the effective date, the national government should restructure the system known as provincial administration to accord with the new devolved system of government. The letter and spirit of this section requires a participatory approach in restructuring the provincial administration including public participation as envisaged under article 10 of the constitution. More importantly emphasis is placed on the process being undertaken by the national government. As it were there is no evidence to suggest that both the Senate and the National Assembly have been involved in restructuring provincial administration as contemplated under the constitution. The process envisaged cannot in anyway be discharged by a few bearcats in the public service. The president’s actions are manifestly unconstitutional and this amounts to a flagrant violation of the constitution

4. That the presidents unilateral decree for payment of Ksh.1.4 billion to the architects of the Anglo leasing scandals is the lowest ebb in our struggle to combat corruption and engender prudent management of public resources in this country. The rational given by the president is at best laughable and at worst cynical. It must be remembered that in 2006, the president while serving as the chairman of the parliament public accounts committee (PAC) conducted investigations and filed a robust report that was duly adopted by parliament. At the core of the report was a solid recommendation that no payments whatsoever should be made to Anglo leasing contracts. Parliament has not varied that recommendation and it remains to date. We wonder what spiritual baptism the president has undergone as to irrationally demand the clearance of the fraudulent sums.

a) The arguments that nonpayment of the kshs.1.4B affects the capacity of the government to borrow internationally are neither here nor there. The bottom line is that the Anglo leasing contracts were fraudulent and therefore cannot be honored. The international community that espouses best business practices cannot in anyway compel the government to honor contracts that are tainted with fraud and illegalities.

b) The threat that Kenya’s embassies will be attached and put up for auction is a scare monger tactic by the government to coerce the country into honoring evil deals. There is no evidence even to suggest that Kenya owns those embassies. Most of them are rented and cannot be the subject of attachment. More significantly, our embassies are fortressed by the Geneva conventions and cannot therefore be liable to attachment and auction.

5.
That attempts to honor Anglo leasing contracts violate Article 201 of the Constitution which sets principles that guide all aspects of public finance in the Republic. This includes the requirement that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way and further that there shall be openness and accountability including public participation in financial matters. The fraudulent nature of the Anglo Leasing deals further offends Article 227 on legitimate contracting and Article 10 which enacts national values and principles that bind all State organs, State officers, public officers and all persons whenever they make or implement public policy decisions”. These include integrity, transparency and accountability.

6. It is regrettable that the president has turned into a rodent that is eating away the very core of the constitution that he swore to protect. We wish to remind him that our constitution is not a lifeless piece in a museum. We will use all means possible at our disposal to defend it and secure public interest.

7. It is our considered view that the president’s decree in favor of Anglo leasing is inadequate even to invite our conscience, impotent to warrant payment from the exchequer, ridiculous for for sanitizing fraud, scandalous if brought forward to earn public support and monstrous if to ruin our already strained economy.

Hon KalonzoMusyoka _______________________
Party Leader, WDMK


Hon Moses Wetangula ________________________
Party Leader FORD-K


Hon Sen Anyang Nyong’o _______________________
Ag. Party Leader ODM

Thursday, 15 May 2014

IEBC Lack Moral Authority to Comment on Voter Apathy

CORD PRESS RELEASE 15TH MAY 2014

The CORD Coalition takes great exception with the sentiments expressed by the IEBC Chair and his IEBC Commissioners regarding the conduct of the 4th March election. We wish to state as follows

1. That IEBC has no moral authority to comment on the voter turnout during the last general election for the following reasons:

• The Commission had fluid voter registers that kept oscillating with changing circumstances. This was a clear scheme to accommodate their cooked figures as evidenced through audit reports by various organizations

• The Commission deliberately bungled the Electronic Voter Identification Devices (EVID) or otherwise set them up for failure ab-initio. It is this devices that would have ascertained the voter turnout with razor accuracy. The argument that the low voter turn-out in CORD areas accounted for the coalition’s loss is frivolous, hopeless, scandalous and malicious to say the least. It is a belated attempt to sanitize the flagrant rape that the commission visited on the democratic rights of Kenyans.

2. That the assertion by IEBC that majority of eligible voters did not register in CORD areas and therefore significantly affected the coalition’s performance is both cynical and immoral in substance. It is on record that the commission orchestrated an evil voter registration exercise that was designed to produce certain results by disproportionately allocating few BVR machines in CORD areas where in many instances over 5 polling stations shared one BVR machine. These areas could therefore not achieve the same number of registered voters compared to the jubilee zones where the BVRs were sufficiently availed.

3. That the IEBC in a clear sign of moral and integrity retrogression proceeded to deploy a different voter register from the one gazetted in February for purposes of the election without notifying either the participating parties or the public as is by law required. This can only have been a promotion of a well-conceived plan to tilt the scales in the elections.

4. That the IEBC failed miserably in its constitutional duty to conduct a robust national wide voter civic education and awareness campaign. It must be remembered that it is the solemn duty of the commission to mobilize and register voters using the billions of taxpayers’ money allocated to them for the same purpose. The flawed attempt to shift this responsibility to parties must be condemned in the strongest terms possible

5. That the proposal by IEBC to stagger the elections will not impeach the corrosive damage that the commission inflicted on itself by bungling the election and descending to the arena of the contest. It is a belated attempt to run away from taking responsibility for the various actions and omissions during the 4th March elections. The golden truth is that the current officials of the Commission must be send packing to pave way for reconstitution of the commission with people who cherish high democratic ideals, democracy and strict adherence to electoral laws.  It will be unbearably expensive to an already overburdened Kenyan taxpayer by staggering the election.

To the contrary, we propose the devolution of the IEBC as an organization to the county level so that election results are managed and reported at the county level as it happens in South Africa where voting districts and provinces only report their aggregated results to the national aggregation centre.

FROM CORD SECRETARIAT

Monday, 5 May 2014

Senators Should Allow Devolution to Grow - Wetangula

Devolution is at the heart of majority of Kenyans and it is the responsibility of relevant constitutional organs to defend and protect it.
 

The coming into being of devolved units early last year has realized enormous development and this, if well protected; Kenyans will enjoy more fruits that come with Devolution.
 

However, it is disturbing to see some forces ganging up to frustrate, intimidate and try to humiliate Governors in the name of holding them accountable. This is not the spirit of devolution.
 

Yesterday’s remarks by the Deputy President Mr. William Ruto at a function in Murang’a which was attended by Senators, Members of the National Assembly and MCAs touching on the integrity of Governors were just the tip of the iceberg. It send out a clear message that Jubilee administration is not for Devolution.
 

The DP and his group outrightly intimidated Governors particularly when speakers (including himself) incited Members of County Assemblies against the Governors. The meeting in Murang’a was like a lynch mob trading their guns against Governors accusing them of all manner of wrong doings.
 

The support for MCAs to rout Governors was in bad taste and the Deputy President ought to weigh his words when it comes to such matters. Each Governor is individually accountable for any wrong-doing. One Governors’ mistake should not be made to be a ‘collective responsibility’ for all the Governors. We must stop this cheap and unpopular politics.
 

Of concern is the manner with which some Senators are using their offices to harass and intimidate Governors and their staff. Annoyingly, is the fact that some of these Senators tend to speak with authority as if they speak for the Senate Leadership. This must stop. A Governor is not an appointee of anyone, they are elected just like Senators and Members of the National Assembly are and each one of these categories must respect the other.
 

 Senators should desist from making statements that could have far reaching implications especially on constitutional matters that involve Devolution. The Senate leadership should provide guidance on what Senators should say in public to avoid them from over-stepping their mandate. Senators must stick to their role as spelled out in the constitution and should do their work without interfering with that of the Governors.
 

As the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), we shall not stand aside and look as some forces try to kill Devolution in the name of providing checks and balances on county bosses. Devolution must be left to grow and Governors allowed to exercise their constitutional mandate of fostering development at the grassroots level.
 

CORD will not allow any organ of the government to frustrate Devolution for personal gains. This is not why Kenyans voted for the current constitution; they supported it so as to have resources trickle down to them from the seat of power.
 

Endless supremacy battles will only slow down the Governors’ work and in the end kill Devolution completely.
 

Sen. Moses Wetangula
CORD Co- Principal
Senate Minority Leader
Senator Bungoma – County.
5/5/14

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Jubilee Leadership is Aiding and Abetting Grand Corruption

To be corrupt or not to be corrupt; that is the question the Kenyan people are today posing to President Uhuru Kenyatta. 

In 2006, during the tenure of the ninth Parliament, Uhuru Kenyatta served as the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. This same PAC conducted an investigation into the Anglo Leasing Scandal to do with the procurement of a forensic lab for our police force. The committee found Mr Deepak Khamani and Mr Anura Pereira culpable as the main architects behind this scheme to defraud the Kenyan people.

On March 28th, 2009, as Chairman of this Committee, Uhuru Kenyatta named these two individuals and gave a sixty day ultimatum to the government of the day to respond to the findings of his report. Again, in 2009, Uhuru Kenyatta served as the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. He reiterated the commitment of the Treasury not to honor any of the controversial Anglo Leasing related promissory notes then valued at Kshs 270 million. He even went as far as publishing a tax-payer funded advertisement on Friday, February 27th, 2009, in the local papers reaffirming his resolve to deal with the issue of Anglo Leasing conclusively.

Eight years later, Uhuru Kenyatta is President, those responsible for these economic crimes are known and yet Kenyans are STILL waiting for answers to the Anglo Fleecing question from the Jubilee Government. Instead of out rightly rejecting the move to pay these briefcase companies for goods that were never supplied, President Kenyatta has gone back on every promise his Jubilee Government made to the Kenyan people on the issue of corruption.

Jubilee continues to push ahead with this nefarious plot to pay KShs 112 billion shillings of Kenyan tax payers’ hard earned money for services NOT RENDERED.

 Furthermore, as CORD, we strongly disagree with the assertion by the Attorney General Githu Muigai, that Kenya is legally bound to make these payments. Any lawyer worth his salt will tell you that any contract is rendered invalid in the event of fraud by any of the parties involved. The companies behind this scandal defrauded the Kenyan people. Jubilee should spend more time exploring this angle as opposed to rushing to recklessly pay the monies.

We, the Kenyan people, therefore CANNOT pay and WILL not pay. Our hospitals are already short of medicine, our youth are lamenting under the burden of unemployment, our homes are under threat from insecurity; we cannot afford to humor the personal projects of the Jubilee Principals - The President and his laptops and his Deputy with his national registration.

If Jubilee insists in going ahead with this economic onslaught on the Kenyan people, we as CORD will file a motion of no confidence in the government of President Uhuru Kenyatta in order that we may protect the Kenyan tax payer from further suffering.

In addition to this, we call upon the Attorney General to declare any interest he may have in the Anglo Leasing matter for the sake of transparency.

We also expect the Government to clear any lingering doubts surrounding the peculiar coincidence that sees the figure of the proposed Eurobond coincide exactly with that of the Anglo Leasing payments.

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

CORD Press Statement of 24 April 2014



COALITION FOR REFORMS AND DEMOCRACY PRESS STATEMENT, 24TH APRIL 2014 

Fellow Kenyans, it is now more than one year since we went to the polls to elect new leadership for our beloved country. Being the opposition coalition and in exercise of our constitutional mandate we wish to state as follows;

1. That this being the first election under the new constitutional dispensation, Kenyans had high hopes and expectations that there will be a paradigm shift in management of public affairs. To their consternation however, the past one year has only yielded so much from the past, regurgitated the old bureaucratic and corruption networks, bred a new cycle of crippling unemployment and condemned millions of Kenyans to abject poverty through unconscionable policies that have driven the cost of living well beyond the means of ordinary Kenyans. Indeed there is no adjective - at least not one that could be legitimately printed in these pages - that does justice to just how appalling this one year has been.

2. That the security situation in the country has oscillated from bad to worse under the watch of the jubilee government. Whereas CORD abhors terrorism in all its manifestations, we take exception with the brutal and inhumane manner in which the government is undertaking the security operation. Ethnic profiling of members of the Somali community is in itself an illegality in law and runs against well-established doctrines of international human rights law and conventions that Kenya is a party to. Similarly we decry the escalating insecurity across the country under the watch of our security forces. We demand for a well thought out security mechanism that will secure our homeland and international borders.

3. That the proposed digital registration of persons is another conduit to syphon public funds through dubious tendering process that have become so reminiscent of the jubilee administration. While the idea could be noble in the long run, we take exception with its timing and implementation mechanism. The Kshs.8 billion projected for this kind of project has not been factored in the budget neither has the senate and the national assembly been afforded an opportunity to deliberate on the matter. It is even telling, that IEBC, the very institution that tragically failed in utilizing technology despite expending billions of tax payers’ money is being proposed as the implementer of the process. We take this as an immoral reward of the commission for bungling the election

4. That we applaud the standard group for its in-depth investigative journalism in unearthing the folly and rot of the bungled march 4th 2013 elections. Indeed the expose has vindicated the long held position by the Coalition that the March 4th elections were bungled and as indicated in the Jicho Pevu expose, no candidate garnered the required constitutional threshold of 50% +1 yet IEBC manufactured a set of its own results and a winner. As nature would have it, the ghosts of the bungled elections still loom large, not even the belated public mechanizations’ by IEBC can wish them away. The truth will ultimately prevail.

5. It is now clear that the “Independent” Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) contrary to its name never exercised independence and impartiality during the March 2013 elections. It instead blatantly mortgaged its Independence to security and business interests hell-bent in seeing a jubilee government in power. The courage exhibited by Mohammed Ali and John Allan Namu is so strong that it even overwhelms impunity in all its manifestations. In furtherance of this;

  • CORD will in the pendency of the current session of parliament sponsor a bill in parliament which among other things will seek to devolve IEBC and fix other far reaching electoral reforms aimed at ensuring that, never ever again will Kenyans ever go into an election where their votes count for nothing.
  • CORD is also in the process of compiling a list of IEBC officers who served as returning officers in the last general elections; where it has been reported and there is evidence that form nos. 34 and 35 are missing, with the view to holding them individually responsible for losing those forms and thus taking them to court for Professional negligence among other crimes of omission and commission against the Kenyan people as envisaged under the Elections Act.
6. That CORD will continue to proactively check the government and secure public interest through the two chambers of parliament. We commit to strongly work together with other actors such the civil society and the media in protecting public interest and offering alternative policies to develop our country.

SIGNED
Hon Kalonzo Musyoka _______________________
Party Leader, WDMK

Hon Moses Wetangula ________________________
Party Leader FORD-K

Hon Sen Anyang Nyong’o _______________________
Ag. Party Leader ODM