Entries from November 29th, 2010

Artur Brothers Report

Posted by on 29th November 2010

Categories: Mzalendo News

Greetings readers,

We have been able to obtain the infamous  2007 parliamentary report on the Artur Brothers. The 4MB PDF file can be downloaded here

A qualification matrix for Kenyan political leaders?

Posted by on 29th November 2010

Categories: 2012 Elections Citizen Engagement

The Mike Sonko saga has reignited the debate about leadership qualifications and vetting before one runs for office. Who should be vetting and what should the criteria be?

A local civil society group called the Change Associates Trust has put together a “leadership qualification matrix” all political positions under the new constitution, (elective & appointed), their job descriptions, and the proposed attributes of people aspiring to seat in any of those seats. The idea behind the matrix is “to help
us shift the discussion of post-2012 leaders from who to what.”

What are your thoughts? What would be in your leadership matrix?

Are Affluent Youth Politically Apathetic?

Posted by on 26th November 2010

Categories: Citizen Engagement Vox Pop

By Mzalendo Contributor – MOREEN MAJIWA (@mmajiwa)

If you’re like most Kenyans, you are probably still excited about the promulgation of the new constitution, cautiously optimistic about the implementation process and invigorated by the possibility of change in the new dispensation. You follow with interest the ongoing appointments for various independent commissions as well as the fight against graft that seems to have gained a second wind.

Or maybe not, you don’t follow politics, you don’t debate the issues, you didn’t vote at the referendum on the new constitution,  and are generally uninterested in the politics  i.e. you are politically apathetic. This was the description of affluent youth given by the participants at the panel discussion on the new constitution and the youth.

For the rest of this week I made it my mission to find out whether “affluent youth/ members of the emerging middle class” were truly apathetic about politics, why they were, and what it would take to make them take a more active role in politics.   This is what some of them said:

“I vote sometimes, I keep up with politics, but I don’t think voting is the most effective of influencing the government.  Especially since it is relatively cheap for politicians to buy votes. Why should I imagine that my one vote would make a difference? In that sort of situation does my vote really count? Also how many people voted for the constitution and have done nothing since it implementation, just the act of voting doesn’t change anything there has to be more. Voting just gives you the illusion of participating, but I think a better way to influence policy would be arguing ideas, writing, directly engaging with the politicians not just at elections and referendum times but throughout constantly challenging the philosophy of the system, and not ticking name or a yes or
no box every five years.”

I’ve voted at the previous referendum and in all the elections since I turned 18. I vote because it’s my civic duty to vote, but I don’t really follow politics. I know that politics affects me just look at what happened in 2007, there are still IDP’s, look at the state of the roads. But seriously politics isn’t interesting, politicians don’t always tell the truth, the promises they make are not binding, they don’t keep them. With the state of politics I just don’t think it would be worth me spending a large portion of my time immersed
in it.

I don’t vote, my relationship with the government starts and ends with me paying my taxes, and I feel like even that is daylight robbery. The government hasn’t helped me in anyway, I pay all my taxes on time, yet I can’t see where the tax money going – its
not going on roads, it does not seem to be going to the poor, by way of hospitals or better housing, so where is it going? If I vote I feel like I agreeing to being robbed after all I’ll have voted them into power. What would it take to get me to vote, I would vote
if there were true accountability, not this half baked fight against corruption – in th UK an MP had to resign because he used his allowance to buy personal furniture we should have something similar. I would also vote if I could see that my vote counted and I could find out exactly how my tax money is spent.

I find myself still scratching my head alleged disinterest in politics at the end of these interviews. The affluent youth are obviously up-to-date on the political and governance issues that the country faces. Their replies showed that they have diverse opinions and
are not completely apathetic, but rather, rather simply disillusioned to the point of not wanting to participate, the majority felt that, politicians didn’t have an automatic right
their attention – they have had to earn it.

Parliamentary Pupilage Program for recent law graduates

Posted by on 25th November 2010

Categories: News

Deadline is tomorrow  – Friday November 26, 2010 but better late than never. 🙂

Click here for details.

Kenyan Youth and the Constitution

Posted by on 24th November 2010

Categories: 2012 Elections Kenya Constitution

By Mzalendo Contributor  – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa on Twitter)

I spent yesterday evening with members of the Rotaract Club of Nairobi Central. I was invited to be part of a 3-person panel discussing the new Constitution and how it relates to youth. The participants included a good mix of young Kenyan men and women – almost equal in number – most aged between 18-35.

The best part of the forum was its format, rather than a formal presentation of constitutional facts and clauses – it was an interactive, informal dialogue between the panelists and audience. The informality of the forum really allowed those present to say what they really thought about the new constitution and its implementation, no-holds-barred. The mood with regard to implementation as far as I could tell was one of cautious optimism, heavier on the caution than on the optimism.

Among some to the comments:

  • Would the non discrimination clause would eliminate phrases like ‘over 10 years experience required’ or ‘applicants should be between 35 and 45’ in job advertisement as such clauses automatically discriminate against youth in employment?
  • The issue of emerging middle class apathy was also raised i.e. How middle class youth especially professionals are detached from politics and don’t want anything to do with and want to get on with making money yet they are the ones to potentially influence change and professionalize leadership, no suggestions of how to interest them were made though.
  • There was the issue of how will youth influence politics when the political elections in Kenya are dictated by how much money one has, the youth candidates can rarely compete because none have sonko-type money.
  • Someone also made a comment about all the trees in the forest being changed but the monkeys remaining the same when it comes to addressing youth issues.

Those aged between 18 and 35 make up approximately 75% of Kenya’s population, unfortunately a large percentage of this population is unemployed and feel marginalised in terms of access to opportunities, representation and participation. So how does the new constitution cater for them?

Article 55 requires that the government undertake affirmative action measures to ensure the youth have access to relevant education, training and to
employment. It also requires that the state create and strengthen existing platforms for youth participation in political, social, economic spheres of life and legislate towards this end. However, as they say the devil is in the detail,  and most of the people present wanted to know the exactly how the articles would be implemented and work in practice. Specifically articles on non-discrimination according to age (Article 27.4), affirmative action for youth with regards to the provision of education, training and employment (Article 55).

Also of interest was youth participation in the national assembly as envisioned by Article 97 (1) which requires that political parties to nominate 12 members to represent special interests including the youth. Representation of the youth in the Senate is provided for in Article 98, which requires that the Senate have two members, one man and one woman, representing the youth. Finally youth representation and participation in the county assemblies is  provided for in Article 177 (c).

The constitution does not have specific language on how these provisions will be implemented,  and leaves it up to parliament to enact the relevant legislation. The constitution does however provide an excellent broad framework and launch pad for youth participation and representation.

Bobby Mkangi, one of the panelists and a member of the Committee of Experts,  pointed out that though the constitution caters for youth rights it is up to the Parliament to implement.

What this means is that the youth must remain vigilant during the implementation process to ensure that they are included in all aspects of society in the manner envisioned by the constitution.  To quote Frederick Douglas: Power concedes nothing without demand.

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.

Visiting Parliament without a pass

Posted by on 19th November 2010

Categories: Citizen Engagement News

By Mzalendo Contributor  – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

I was apprehensive about the prospect of going to parliament without a pass signed by a MP – the pink pass is like a special key, it soothes attitudes and opens doors.   On my last visit I had taken out the pass way before I got to parliament  – salutes were given, card keys swiped, and a personal escort given all the way to the Speaker’s Gallery.   I anticipated that without the pass the experience would be vastly different. My friends, the same ones that had been less than encouraging the last visit, concurred with enthusiastic mockery ‘gate crashing sounds fun and if you get chucked out you’ll have something interesting to write about.’

Having made the decision to go parliament sans pass I decided to take it all the way – dress casual and see how easy it is for the regular ‘watus’ to get in.  I wore the uniform for people my age skinny jeans and a shirt-dress. I did carry a blazer in case there was dress code for parliament the blazer and dark coloured jeans could pass for a crude suit.  There isn’t a dress code I learned,  but formal is best.

Being more familiar with the protocol, and having checked the parliamentary timetable on the Bunge website, I got to the gate at 2 pm, 30 minutes before the start of session.  A carefully chosen time, if any hitch occurred I had adequate time to either charm and or argue my way into parliament, charm being the strategy of choice – but was ready to either or both.

It turned out that I didn’t need to do either!  I walked through the main gate, with no problems at all.  The second entrance is a smaller portal, the entry in to the parliament building is very funnel-like, a wide main entry point, a narrower second entry portal with a body scanner and a conveyor belt, and finally a revolving gate which needs you to swipe a your visitors card before you can access the parliamentary building inside the gated area.

The guard at the second entry point is a lot more intimidating than those at the main gate.  I introduced myself to the guard, used to the nonplussed silent stares of government officers I was surprised when he introduced himself back, his name was Charles…he was no-nonsense and very polite at the same time. I told him I wanted to sit in and listen to the parliamentary proceedings.  He asked for my ID and issued me with a visitors pass, checked my handbag and asked me to put it through the scanner and then to leave it at the baggage area.   If you don’t like leaving your bags in public places you’re advised not to carry one.

There is a slight difference between viewing sessions from the  Speaker’s gallery versus  the Public gallery. In the Speaker’s Gallery you face speaker and can see the whole house. The Public gallery is positioned above the Speaker so you can’t see him and your view of the front of the house is constrained. Though the Public Gallery is a lot less comfortable than that in the Speaker’s gallery the experience of being in parliament is no less exhilarating and I’d still recommend a visit. It is relatively easy to get in all you need is your ID and the interest.

Implications Of Adoption Of Constituency Report

Posted by on 18th November 2010

Categories: Uncategorized

Greetings readers.

We have been able to obtain a report outlining the distribution of seats and population if the Ligale committee report is adopted.

You can download the report here

Release the Boundaries Commission Report

Posted by on 17th November 2010

Categories: 2012 Elections Constituency News Kenya Constitution Members of Parliament

By Mzalendo contributor – Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)

On 10th November 2010 the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission’s proposal for the distribution of the 80 new constituencies was leaked. Since then a hornet’s nest has been stirred up.  The Commission’s proposal on the boundaries of the 80 new constituencies has drawn fire from MPs as well as from within the Commission itself.  On Saturday 13th November 2010 the Commission was asked by Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to explain how they arrived at the yet to be gazetted constituencies. Yesterday, 16th November 2010, two MPs successfully applied for an injunction blocking the gazettement of the new constituencies.

The delineation of constituencies is a controversial and potentially inflammatory issue. As the constituencies determine not only electoral blocks, but also the allocation and distribution of state resources. According to the Standard, 11th November 2010, the distribution of the new constituencies is – Rift Valley will have 26 new constituencies bring the total constituencies in the Rift Valley to 76. Nairobi, Nyanza and Western Province each will get 9 new constituencies and will have a total of 17, 33, 41 constituencies respectively. Eastern Province will have 7 new constituencies, creating a total 43 constituencies in the Province. North Eastern will get 6 new constituencies and a total of 17. Finally Coast and Central will both get 4 new constituencies bringing their total, 29 and 33 constituencies respectively.

Why are more constituencies being created, many would argue that there are already too many? Article 97 (1) of the new of the constitution provides for 290 elected seats in the next National Assembly to be elected in 2012.  There are currently only 210, and herein lies the impetus for the creation for an extra 80 constituencies. The creation of these extra constituencies is provided for by Article 89 (1) of the constitution that states that there shall be two hundred and ninety constituencies for the purposes of the next parliamentary elections.

So is the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission mandated to form new constituencies? The mandate of Commission is described in the old constitution under which it was created.  Its mandate is to make recommendations to parliament on the delimitation of constituencies and local authority electoral units on the basis of equality of votes; to making recommendations to parliament on administrative boundaries including fixing, reviewing and variation of districts and other boundaries, as well as other roles as determined by Parliament.

The new constitution seems to broaden the role of the Commission, though Article 27 (1) of the Sixth Schedule of the new constitution clearly states that the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission shall continue to function as constituted under the old constitution and prohibits the Commission from determining the boundaries of the counties (Schedule 6, Article 27.1.a). The constitution clearly states that the Commission ‘shall determine the boundaries of constituencies and wards using the criteria mentioned in this Constitution’ (Schedule 6, Article 27.1.b) only stating that its review of boundaries should not result in the loss of already existing constituencies (Schedule 6, Article 27.4).

The criteria by which the Interim Independent Boundaries Review Commission arrived at their determination of the proposed 80 new constituencies should be measured against the formula provided in Article 89 (5) and (6) of the new constitution. Article 89 (5) and (6) provide that the boundaries of each constituency should be such that the number of inhabitants each constituency nearly equal in number. Though the articles provide for variance in population distribution because of geographical factors etc, the constitution limits how much the variance can be from constituency to constituency i.e. not more than 40% between cities and sparsely populated areas and not more than 30% for other areas.

Given that the creation new of constituencies is allowed by the constitution and further that Commission is mandated to determine the boundaries of new the constituencies. The question that remains is whether the criteria to determine the new constituencies is aligned with the new constitution.

So let the report be released / gazetted so that we the public can have a better understanding of whether the criteria has been met or not.

Additional Wetangula Report Annexes

Posted by on 13th November 2010

Categories: Breaking News

Readers, we have been able to obtain additional annexes to the Wetangula report.

The following files are included

Annex 1 – Letter from Amb. Awori – Progress Report.pdf
Annex 10 – Picture.pdf
Annex 25 – Printed Estimates.pdf
Annex 26 – Letter from PPOA.pdf
Annex 27 – Invoice from Shoji Yanagawa.pdf
Annex 28 – Letter from Mr. Njeru – 24th April 2009 – On Shoji Yanagawa.pdf
Annex 29 – Call Report from Mission – Decision to hire Scrivener – 1st June 2009.pdf
Annex 3 – Inspection report.pdf
Annex 30 – Advice by Arch. Dick Olango – to use Estate Agent.pdf
Annex 31 – Minutes of Tokyo Procurement Committee – 21st April 2009 – Hire of Attorney.pdf
Annex 32 – Regret Letter to Yoshito Kijima from Embassy – 28th April 2009.pdf
Annex 33 – Call Report from Tokyo – 10th June 2009 – Meeting with Y. Kijima.pdf
Annex 34 – Fee Quotation by Y. Kijima – June 12 2009.pdf
Annex 36 – Receipt of Registration Bureau.pdf
Annex 37 – Proof of Title.pdf
Annex 38 – Signed Sales Contract.pdf
Annex 39 – Letter from A. Musasia to Embassy – 2nd April 2007.pdf
Annex 4 – Letter from H-Asia – On Sen. Yano’s meeting with H.E..pdf
Annex 40 – Response from Mission to A. Musasia’s Letter – 4th April 2007.pdf
Annex 5 – Profile of Senator Yano.pdf
Annex 8 – Memo – Government Plot.pdf
CAIRO -final.doc
pakistan – FINAL.doc

You can download the 28 additional annexes in a zip file here

You can download the originally uploaded 22 annexes in a zip file here