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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 118
9 - 15 January, 2017

Editorial

How to get it right and put politicians in their place in 2017 elections

It’s something of a wonder that Kenyans vote once every five years and spend the remaining four or so years complaining about the leaders they elected. This week the opposition showed a united front and promised to produce one candidate to challenge the incumbent. However, when you look closely at the outfit there’s really nothing different from the ruling Jubilee. It’s like 2002 all over again, the unity is aimed at removing the incumbent. There’s no roadmap on how they’ll dismantle corruption that is choking the Jubilee government or any grand plans to make our lives better.

And about being the face of Kenya. Like Jubilee’s launch a few months ago, the opposition is also keen on pleasing politicians with tribal numbers rather than building an ideology people could rally around. There’s nothing authentic about the main political parties in Kenya, they’re just vehicles to power. That’s why regardless of whichever party you vote for it always turns out the only thing that change is the forest but the monkeys are the same. Worse still, the ruling Jubilee hasn’t even won the second term but half the party is thinking 2022 constantly reminding pockets of the country to vote because it will be “their turn to eat!” What a tragedy!

However, we can break that cycle in this year’s General Elections by being very deliberate about what we want and choosing to be strategic rather than emotional. To most Politicians voters are just a means to an end – power. It’s also about time we made them a means to an end – better standards of living. First, realize there are only two tribes in this country: the haves and the have-nots – though, our politicians will want you to believe otherwise. Consider where you belong and rally around your people.

Secondly stop with the useless banter on voter apathy that’s neither here nor there. It’s silly to imagine that you hope to get better leaders by abstaining from a political process. Go out and register as a voter. The second phase of Mass Voter Registration (MVR) is expected to kick off next week. If we’re to put politicians in their place this year, we must refuse to be dragged into the apathy debate as it doesn’t change our situation.

Strategic thinking demands you bargain from a place of power. If you miss the registration drive you can’t vote. If you can’t vote, you lose your voice both moral and political. Get your priorities right and mobilize friends and family to register to vote.

News of the Week

Government will not shut internet on Elections day

The Communication Authority (CA) has allayed fears that the country was planning to shut down the internet on elections day. The CA officials clarified that Kenya will not shut down the internet before, during or after the elections while responding to queries from the media on the coverage of the August 8th polls.

President Uhuru signs controversial Electoral Laws

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed into law the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 allowing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to use manual back up in the event that the electronic transmission of results fails. Opposition on the other hand reacted angrily to the assent saying the president has failed to show his neutrality as a symbol of unity choosing instead to play partisan politics. The expected nationwide demonstration against the law was shelved to support the month long Mass Voter Registration exercise that begun on 16th January. Some of the opposition leaders have indicated they are likely to use the courts and other constitutional avenues. The new law also enforced a requirement for MPs and MCAs to have degrees and diplomas from reputable universities before seeking an elective post.
 

Bill to solve county boundary wrangles

The County Boundaries Bill before the Senate seeks to define the boundaries of the counties and have a committee set up dedicated to the issues. The Bill introduced by Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr wants to avoid court disputes that are normally time consuming and expensive. Instead the Bill proposes the committee focus on mediation that that can realize a win-win situation.  

IEBC Targets Six Million in Second Phase of MVR

The Electoral commission is targeting six million new voters in the second phase of the Mass Voter Registration (MVR). The agency is targeting young Kenyans who’ve recently acquired the national Identification Cards (IDs). The commission CEO Ezra Chiloba said they’re planning to have a provisional register by March and open it for verification by April. The electoral commission’s goal is to register 22 million voters up from the 15,857,185 listed as of June 2016. Meanwhile the commission has advised all Kenyans wishing to change their polling station to apply for transfer at the IEBC constituency offices.
 

Parliament on Recess

Kindly note that Parliament is on recess. The National Assembly resumes business on 24th January. 

    

Quote of the Week

"Until Kenya itself upholds the rule of law and ensures that our systems are working. Even if we do policy, we shall never lay a basis for peace."

Sentiments by Former Presidential Candidate Hon. Martha Karua while contributing to the motion on adoption of report on resettlement of IDPs on August 2, 2012

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

"A sum of Kshs. 19 billion has been given to the IEBC… The price of the vehicles that they use in the field is four times the market price. They must practise prudence because this money is enough... We do not want to hear about Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) not functioning like it happened in 2013. We do not want that mistake in 2017 because we will be calling for anarchy."

Sentiments by Hon. Chris Wamalwa when contributing to the motion on budget ceiling for spending agencies on March 3, 2016.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Former 2013 Presidential candidate and National Congress Party leader, Peter Kenneth made headlines after announcing his intentions to vie for the Nairobi Gubernatorial race officially. The former Gatanga MP has ruffled feathers in Jubilee with a faction claiming he betrayed the President by running against him in 2013 and asking that he (Uhuru Kenyatta) drop his bid for presidency and focus on the ICC case. The same faction led by Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko want him to make a public apology. The embattled leader however enjoys support from Jubilee’s top leadership.

... PROFILE

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