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Ministry of Education – Where does the buck stop?

Posted by on 8th July 2011

Categories: Corruption Ministries

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

In a statement issued by the Minister of Education responding to calls for his resignation he stated unequivocally that he could not compromise corruption with his political responsibility by resigning as minister, that he would be committing political suicide if resigned, he also took the opportunity to point out to his critics that he dealt only with paperwork and not cash.

The utterances made by the Minister are problematic on too many levels to enumerate. Even if the Minister dealt onlt  with paperwork and not cash as he stated, the ‘disappearance’ of more than 4billion Kshs over several years without detection could hardly have been a hard cash transaction and is one that is likely to have involved a significant amount of paper work and cover up.  Surely the sheer amounts of funds missing and the number of corruption scandals that have taken place in the Ministry under his watch call into account his ability to lead/oversee the running of the Ministry, and as the leader of the Ministry doesn’t the buck stop with him?

Since Chapter 6 of the constitution on leadership and integrity is the benchmark by to which we hold our leaders to account for their actions it could be successfully argued that the theft of 4.2 billion Kshs for free primary education under the Minister’s watch, means that he falls foul of both Article 73 (1)(a)(iv) of the constitution which states that authority assigned to a State officer is a public trust and requires that trust to be exercised in a manner that ‘promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office.’; and Article 73 (2) which states that the guiding principles of leadership and integrity include (c) selfless service based solely on the public interest (d) accountability to the public for decisions and actions.

From the continuing protests outside the minister’s Jogoo House offices and the increasing calls for his resignation by the public, the Minister in the exercise of his duties has failed to promote the public confidence in the integrity of the office and in fact has done the opposite. In his refusal to resign citing political suicide it could be called in to question whether he is indeed acting in selfless service based solely on the public interest? Further questions about accountability are raised when the minister passes the buck by stating that he deals with paperwork and not cash and that he is not responsible, if the Minister, who is in charge of the Ministry is not accountable for missing funds under his watch then who is?

What’s Happening at Kenya’s Borders?

Posted by on 14th May 2011

Categories: Expose Ministries MP Participation News

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

There’s a saying that goes ‘good fences make good neighbours’. If the saying is true what do goings on at Kenya’s borders and borderlands say about the quality of our fences and neighbours they make?

On Tuesday this week protestors marched to parliament after more than 40 people from the Turkana community were killed and another 100 injured in attacks by Ethiopian militia. The massacre as, people have referred to the attack, took place in the town of Todonyang in Northern Kenya border with Ethiopia on the 2nd of this month.

The protestors demanded urgent and expeditious deployment of the army to Turkana, to safeguard the security of local residents from recurring attacks by Ethiopian, Ugandan and South Sudanese militia.  The incursion in Turkana is the latest what seems to be an increasing number of the incursions into Kenya by foreign troops, bandits or armed militia. In the last 20 months there have been no less then 10 incursions into Kenyan borders by foreign forces.

Currently:

  • The Ugandan Armed forces still occupy Migingo Island and last week they extended their occupation to Ugingo Island also on the Kenyan side of lake Victoria, the government is yet to respond to the latest incursion either diplomatically or otherwise.
  • In the last two years there have also been repeated reports about attacks by Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) in parts of Pokot, particularly in Kacheliba and raids by Ugandan security forces in Sigulu in Budalang’i.In 2010 Somali militia linked to the terrorist group Al Shaabab made six incursions into Kenyan territory.
  • This year there have been incursions by Somali militia in the North Eastern Towns of Liboi, Moyale and Mandera. Earlier in the year MPs from North Eastern Province Aden Adualle (Dijui’s), MP Mohamed Hussein Ali (Mandera East) and Mohamed Affey (nominated) demanded the government act on the growing incursions in the North Eastern Region.

This week the Ministries of Internal Security, Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of State of Defence came under fire for failure to protect the borders. Saboti Member of Parliament Eugene Wamalmwa moved a motion for the House to set aside regular business to discuss the attacks as an issue of national importance. Several parliamentarians made strong remarks in support of the motion.

In putting the motion Saboti member of parliament declared parliamentarians were reminding the Government of its cardinal duty to protect the citizens of the country stating ‘Kenyans are beginning to ask: Really, are we in Kenya? Are we citizens of this country? Are we entitled to the protection of the Constitution of Kenya or should we be subjects of Uganda or Ethiopia?’

MP Nicholas Gumbo also criticized the government over its indifference over state of security at the borders stating that the ‘political leadership in this country that does not seem to care about our territorial integrity. We have 40 million Kenyans to protect. We must decide whether we are going to continue to allow our country to be a play-ground for all forms of militias, ragtag armies and formal armies in the neighbourhood.’ MP Martha Karua raised the issue of the 5 billion shillings in the recently passed supplementary budget for enhanced security and whether or not the additional funds are being used effectively to prevent incursions.

No doubt the issue of security particularly for a country like Kenya, which is surrounded by unstable neighbours, is an issue more complex than just making better fences or guarding the fences that we have better. Would there be fewer incursions if the borders were better policed? No doubt the people at the borders would like to see.

*It is worth noting that Professor George Saitoti jointly heads the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Internal Security, after MP Moses Wetangula was suspended from his position as minister of Foreign Affairs. Questions should be asked whether it is possible for one minister to effectively run these two immensely huge and important dockets simultaneously, and what the implications of this are on both security and diplomacy?

Is the Kenyan Cabinet the institution most in need of a purge?

Posted by on 12th January 2011

Categories: Members of Parliament Ministries News

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

If recent headlines are anything to go by the current Cabinet is a haven for (alleged) criminals:

  • Three High-Level Cabinet officials, the suspended Industrialisation Minister, the suspended Higher Education Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Finance and the Head of the civil service are adversely named in the ICC Kenya case.
  • Two of those named by the ICC prosecutor also have cases in the domestic courts the Industrialisation Minister for abuse of office, and the suspended Higher Education Minister for fraud.
  • The Minster for Foreign Affairs is currently on suspension pending the outcome of investigations of financial irregularities in the procurement of the Kenyan Embassies abroad.
  • The Water Minister is also under investigation for irregular allocation of contracts in the Water Ministry.
  • The Assistant Minister for Water is facing criminal charges for incitement.
  • The Ministry of Special Programmes has been adversely mentioned in relation to misappropriation of funds meant for settling the IDPs.
  • The Ministry of Education has been cited for misappropriation of funds meant for free primary education.
  • Suspended Trade Assistant Minister Harun Mwau and the Minister for Internal Security have both been adversely named in connection with drug trafficking.
  • And just yesterday the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission announced that an additional four ministers could face corruption charges by the end of this month.

And the list above covers only the most recent allegations of corruptions.  Many  previous cases of corruption remain pending e.g. Goldenberg, Triton, and Anglo-Leasing. Yet a surprising number of those linked with corruption cases both old and new remain in Cabinet. The reaction of the country’s leadership to the allegations of corruption has been disappointing to say the least.

Instead of a moving to reform a cabinet that seems engrossed in crime and impunity, there appears to be a move to dig in and stay put.

As Kenyans we must ask ourselves, is this the kind of leadership we deserve?

Full Parliament report on the Cemetery Land scandal

Posted by on 22nd November 2010

Categories: Committee Reports Members of Parliament Ministries

Former Nairobi Mayor Majiwa and Local Government Minister Mudavadi have both been fingered as key suspects in the conspiracy to defraud the Nairobi City Council of Kshs 283 million.   Majiwa is currently out on bail, while Mudavadi has so far held steadfast in his refusal to accept any culpability.

You can now download the full report on the cemetery scandal here.

Wetangula Report

Posted by on 15th October 2010

Categories: Breaking News Ministries Open Government

Mzalendo has been able to obtain the complete Wetangula report from the departmental committee on Defence and Foreign Relations. You can read it in its entirety here

Many many thanks to Kawive of CRECO for obtaining the report and AfriCOG for copying and scanning i. Please note that the report we’ve uploaded only contains the findings, and does not contain the annexes containing the evidence on which the findings are based. These could be viewed at either CRECO or AfriCOG.