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.

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


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.


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.