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The ICC and Media Responsibility

Posted by on 28th January 2011

Categories: 2012 Elections Kenyaelection07

By Mzalendo Contributor Moreen Majiwa (@mmajiwa)
On Wednesday I went to a public forum on media responsibility in reporting on the ICC processes. The panel was made up of Gichugu MP Martha Karua, Former TJRC Vice Chairperson and transitional justice expert Kaari Murungi, Nation Editor Macharia Gaitho and the Head of Article 19 Henry Maina.
Chepalungu MP, Isaac Ruto was also scheduled to be there but he didn’t turn up.

The topic was particularly interesting because of the critical role the media plays in gathering and distributing information in an environment where transparencyon government business is limited.

Outside official government statements the media remains one of the few avenues through which we can know exactly what our government is doing and through which our right to information is exercised. So what do we as Kenyans and consumers of media expect from it?

Most of those present at the forum expected the media to provide factually accurate, fair, balanced and impartial coverage of events, and as one of the panelists remarked Kenya being a pos- conflict country the media had an additional duty to be constructive in its reporting and an agent of reducing conflict
rather than exacerbating it.

While the panelists lauded the media’s coverage of the ICC process as well as the evolution and maturity of the press since its coverage of the 2007/2008 post-election violence, they also criticized the media of becoming progressively embroiled in the politics and losing cite of the main issues.

Some of the criticism levelled against the media included:

  • The lack of media of memory has meant that politicians have and continue to be allowed to behave badly – going back on promises, and flip-flopping on issues with no one to hold them to account for earlier utterances, particularly with regards to their initial support of and subsequent withdrawal of support for the ICC process.
  • Because the media had become so caught in the politics, they have become a platform for the theatrics of politicians thereby emboldening impunity rather than being a voice of truth.

However it must be acknowledged that similar to most Kenyans, the ICC process is also new to the media and there still needs to a built a competency within the press on reporting on the ICC. What do you think of presses coverage of the ICC process so far?

Is the media losing its agenda-setting platform in its coverage of the ICC?

Judicial vetting under the new constitution

Posted by on 26th October 2010

Categories: 2007 Elections Kenya Constitution Kenyaelection07

BY MZALENDO CONTRIBUTOR MOREEN MAJIWA (@moreenmaj)

The Kenyan Judiciary has for along time been plagued with accusations of corruption. Indeed these concerns were most visible during the 2007 presidential elections where both candidates expressly declared a lack of confidence in the judiciary to resolve the dispute fairly.

So what changes under the new constitution?

First, Section 23 of the sixth schedule of the new constitution requires that within the first year of the new constitutional dispensation Parliament create mechanisms for vetting judges
to determine their suitability to continue service. The vetting process is intended to create a judiciary that is strong and independent and able to decide disputes between people honestly and fairly as well as restore the public’ s faith in the judicial system of Kenya.

Second, on Thursday this week 21st of October, 2010 Parliament approved the first two nominees to the Judicial Service Commission, which will be responsible for the vetting – High Court Judge Justice Isaac Lenaola and Principal Magistrate Emily Ominde. In a historic moment for Kenya, the search for the vetting team is a public process.

The new constitution provides a broad roadmap for
a vetting process that can be vastly more different, fair, open and transparent than the one that took place in 2003/2004, conducted by a Judicial Service Commission that is independent and representative. It is up to parliament to implement enabling legislation that makes such a process possible.

The road to vetting the judiciary and creating the judicial structures envisioned in the new constitution has began on the right footing lets not repeat the mistakes made in the radical surgery of 2005.

Less presidential bids, more constitution implementation please!

Posted by on 18th October 2010

Categories: Bills Kenya Constitution Kenyaelection07

By Mzalendo Contributor – Moreen Majiwa

Kenya is the quintessential definition of a country locked in a trap of perpetual election campaigns.  Almost two months since the promulgation of the new constitution you would think that our leaders are now squarely focused on its implementation. You would be wrong.

Our law makers seem to have eschewed the implementation process for more ‘presidential’ matters.  So far a number of our leaders have announced their presidential bids for 2012. In the past month Gichugu MP Martha Karua, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, and  William Ruto, have cast their hats into the lot. Polls to find out the national favourites for president have been conducted. Saboti MP Eugene Wamalwa cast his bid as early as February 2010.

Given the ever increasing number of presidential bids it is obvious that the campaign train has left the station and is moving full steam ahead at ever increasing speed with no intention of slowing down. Never mind that we still have a constitution to implement. The  question is how does a country with its leaders constantly on the campaign trail implement a constitution? In a context, in which from past experience we can predict a veritable rat race for the presidency, and newly created seats, constant aligning and realigning of parties, and quicksilver creation, demolition and reformation of alliances, how do we do ensure that the job of implementing the constitution gets done?

A realistic look at our context reveals that it is improbable, though not impossible with hard work and focus, that  all the over 30  implementing bills, with a 1-2 year deadline for enactment will be passed before the next election. It is therefore imperative that we call on our leaders to prioritise the enactment of legislation that will ensure smooth transition between the present administration and the next one in the 2012 election.

Which laws should we prioritise? In my opinion, we should prioritise implementation of electoral laws, outlined in Chapter 7 of the new constitution on representation of the people. These include the legislation on elections, electoral disputes, and legislation on political parties. Enactment of electoral laws to ensure an open and transparent election process and laws to put in place peaceful and clear procedures for resolving election disputes is critical to averting the sort of crisis we saw in 2007.

The laws on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission are also crucial to delineate the countries new administrative zones and oversee the election process. Currently there are two separate commissions overseeing elections and boundaries and both are interim commissions.

Enabling legislation for chapter 11 on the devolved government is essential. Issues of devolution are certain to come up in 2012. Devolution of government introduces new structures and institutions while simultaneously dismantling others. This process if not properly legislated for devolution presents a site for major conflict or major corruption. Comprehensive legislation is need to police the transition to devolution, assuring provisional administrators that they will not lose their positions is not sufficient.

Last but not least legislation on chapter 6 on leadership and integrity, the ethics anti-corruption commission deserves priority, both in the face of ongoing scandals and to ensure that there is a filtering process for individuals who will be vying for positions in 2012.

To our leaders I say this is my road map. Show me yours!

NO MORE THAN 24 – SMS CAMPAIGN

Posted by on 8th April 2008

Categories: Kenyaelection07

Kenyans for Peace and Justice (KPTJ) have launched a SMS campaign to urge politicians to fight against a bloated Cabinet. Given the current impasse, there is still an opportunity to urge OUR elected representatives to stop being selfish and to put the nation’s interest before their personal interests.

While we do not have the contact information of all MPs, we at Mzalendo are working hard to update what is missing. We do have quite a number of emails and phone numbers so click on the MP profiles and use that information to contact them and express your views – our country should not be held hostage by a few individuals. Also, please help us fill the information gaps by leaving a comment or via the contact page. If you are unable to SMS, you can express how you feel by leaving a comment on your MP’s profile page. Also please forward this widely to your own networks and contacts.

Some examples of messages you can send are below (it adds strength to your sms if you personalize it by addressing the MP directly. e.g. “Mr. Saitoti, Kenyans want a lean, clean cabinet.”)

Siasa Ya Pupa
Njaa Kwetu!

Kenyans Want A Lean, Clean Cabinet

Lean and Clean
Greed is Obscene

Cabinet Feasts
IDPs Starve

Do the Right Thing for Kenya
No More Than 24

Our Country Our Cabinet
No More Than 24

Contact info for some of the MPs:

Abdirahman, H.Ali – Wajir South – KANU – 0721-724746 / 0722-144999 ahassan@tradeandindustry.go.ke

Chiaba, Mohamed Abu – Lamu East – PNU – 0722-410177

Bahari, Abdul Ali – Isiolo South – KANU – 0733-289501

Balala, Mohammed Najib – Mvita – ODM – 0733 333500 /0724 – 650000 najib@mombasa.co.ke

Bifwoli, Wakoli Sylvester – Bumula – PNU – 0733-865323 Wakolib@yahoo.com

Chepkitony, Lucas Kipkosgei – Keiyo North – ODM – 0733-635894 / 0722816064

Ethuro, David – Turkana Central – PNU- 0722-526370 dethuro@yahoo.com

Gesami, James Ondicho – West Mugirango – ODM- 0733 826090

Gisuka, Machage Wilfred – Kuria – DP – 0733-451806/0725834575

Kajembe, Ramathan Seif – Changamwe – ODM – 0721 609777 Langoni@swiftmombasa.com

Kajwang’, Gerald Otieno – Mbita – ODM – 0722-882787

Kamama, Asman Abongotum – Baringo East – PNU – 0731-583303

Karua, Martha Wangari Gichugu – PNU – 0721 623 342 / 0733-747551

Kenneth, Peter Gatanga – PNU – 0722 512996 andykenneth@hotmail.com

Kenyatta, Uhuru – Gatundu South – KANU – 0722 463 891

Keter, Charles Cheruiyot – Belgut – ODM – 0722 530555

Khalwale Boni – Ikolomani – NEW FORD-K – 0721 318722

Khaniri, George Munyasa – Hamisi – ODM – 0722-859341

Kilonzo, Julias Kiema Mutito – ODM-K – 0722-513605 kilonzo@wananchi.com

Kilonzo, Charles Mutavi – Yatta – ODM-K – 0734-621593 ckilonzo@crystalvaluers.com
Kimunya Amos Muhinga Kipipiri PNU – 0722518801 / 520936 kipipiri@wananchi.com

Kinyanjui, Lee Maiyani – Nakuru Town – PNU – 0722 842653

Kiunjuri, Festus Mwangi – Laikipia East – PNU – 0721 600 305

Kuti Mohammed Abdi – Isiolo North – NARC-K – 0733 235914

Lesirma, Simeon Saimanga – Samburu West – ODM – 0722-719946 simeonlesrima@yahoo.com

Magara – James Omingo – South Mugirango – ODM – 0722 911274 jomingo45@yahoo.com

Katoo, Ole Metito J – Kajiado South – 0721-640175

Midiwo, Washington Jakoyo – Gem – ODM – 0721 504 040 / 0733 421277/ 0722 935761

Mohamed, A.H.M – Mandera West – ODM – 0722-779942

Mohammed, Haji Yusuf – Ijara – KANU – 0722-709395

Mugo, Beth Wambui – Dagoretti – PNU – 0722-205753 bmugo@kenyaweb.com

Mungatana, Danson Buya – Garsen – NARC-K – 0722-411971 mungatana@wanainchi.com

Munyes, John Kiyonga – Turkana North – PNU – 0721-339094 johnmunyes@yahoo.com

Murungi, Kiraitu – South Imenti – PNU – 0721-240863 waziri@kenyaweb.com

Musila, David – Mwingi South – ODM-K – 0722 571117 davidmusila@yahoo.com

Musyoka, Stephen Kalonzo – Mwingi North – ODM-K – 0722 523 872 / 0735 161 588

Mwangi, Onesmus Kigumo – PNU – 0722-778581 kiharamwangimp@yahoo.com

Mwatela, Andrew Calist – Mwatate – ODM 0733 719 871

Mwiria, Valerian Kilemi – Tigania West – PNU – 0733-657562 kilemimwiria@africanonline.co.ke

Ndambuki, Gideon Musyoka – Kaiti – ODM-K – 0720-384553/0734-758567 gndambuki@wananchi.com

Githae, Robinson Njeru – Ndia – PNU – 722514837

Nkaisserry, Joseph Kasaine – Kajiado Central – ODM – 0721-356786 nkaisserry@wananchi.com

Nyong’o, Peter Anyang’ – Kisumu Rural – ODM – 0733 454 133 pan@africaonline.co.ke

Odinga, Raila Amolo – Langata – ODM – 0733 620 736 railaaodinga@yahoo.com

Oginga, Oburu Bondo – ODM – 0733 818517/ 0724-105493 oburu_oginga@yahoo.com

Odeke, Sospeter Ojaamongson Amagoro – ODM – 0733 967345 / 0722 813819

Ojode, Joshua Orwa Ndhiwa – ODM – 0722- 514830 Ojode7@hotmail.com

Okemo, Chrysanthus Nambale – ODM – 0733-608895 Chrisokemo@yahoo.com

Olweny, Patrick Ayiecho – Muhoroni – ODM – 0722-734187/0733-784633

Onyancha, Charles – Bonchari – ODM – 0722-248190 jonyancha2002@yahoo.com

Oparanya, Wycliffe Ambetsa – Butere – ODM – 0722 521856

Osebe, Walter Enock Nyambati – Kitutu Masaba – N LP – 0722 724 556

Poghisio, Samuel Losuron Kacheliba – ODM-K – 0722-520663 / 0734-200836 poghisio@wananchi.com

Ruto, Samoei William K. – Eldoret North – ODM – 0722 517 997 info@williamrutto.com

Shaban Naomi Namsi Taveta KANU 0722 814 412

Shitanda, Peter Soita – Malava – NEW FORD-K – 0721-341241 soita-shitanda@yahoo.com

Sugow Ahmed Aden Fafi KANU 0721-596726

Twaha, Yasin Fahim – Lamu West – NARC-K – 0722-925108

Wekesa, Noah Muhlanganga – Kwanza – PNU – 0722-774374 noahwekesa@hotmail.com

Were, David Aoko Matungu – ODM – 0722 707548/0733 569180 scorpionwere@yahoo.com

Wetangula – Moses Makisa Sirisia – PNU – 0722 517 302 / 806 363 mwetangula@hotmail.com

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF KENYA

Amos Wako 0722 772 453