Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 131
10 - 16 April, 2017


Kenyans Red Card Aspirants Who Fall Short of Chapter Six of the Constitution

It appears, from the look of things, Kenyans seem to have accepted that politics is only for the dishonest that’s why our debates during electioneering years are simplified to focus on the better thief. The standards Kenyans use to rank our political leaders are so criminally low that it appears ethics don’t inform our choice of leaders. We accuse our political class of being more focused on numbers than ideology, but we are no better. Kenyan voters often dismiss political aspirants of high integrity and competence because they don’t have the numbers. Ironically, we are the ones who determine who gets the numbers anyway.

Article 1 of the Constitution gives power to Kenyans and every public office holder working under it wields delegated authority from the people. It is with this view in mind that four Kenyan Civil Society Organisations – Society for International Development, Transparency International Kenya (TI-Kenya), Inuka Trust and Mzalendo Trust – have launched the “Red Card” Campaign. Like in football, the four organisations are calling Kenyans to kick out of the political game politicians who don’t meet standards set in Chapter 6 of the Constitution; be they political parties, aspirants, public institutions involved in the process and places of worship that allow politicians to campaign on their premises.

The Chapter on integrity is important because it outlines the responsibilities of public officers and the conduct expected of them. Sadly though, the set ethical standards are ignored across the board. Majority of our leaders show utter disrespect for the people when they seek elective office yet are dishonest in the execution of their duties, in-disciplined and non-committal in service to the people. A good number of our politicians and senior public officers remain unaccountable to the public and have the temerity to come back and seek for votes when they can’t explain how they lost our money.

If Kenyans take the time to check track records of all aspirants based on reports by the Ethical Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), Parliament’s Hansard and Committee reports, Auditor General, Kenya Revenue Authority, Kenya National Examination Council and the Courts among others – they are likely to find enough reasons to red card unsuitable candidates’ right from the primaries. Public Institutions execute their mandate on behalf of Kenyans using the taxes collected so use the information.

News of the Week

Address Hacking Issues, IEBC told

Governors want IEBC address the hacking possibilities as the country prepares for the August polls. Council of Governors (COG) chairman said IEBC should consider having a manual backup that can’t be manipulated even if the electoral agency was planning on using the digital system. Bungoma governor Kenneth Lusaka echoed similar sentiments, adding that the matter had generated a lot of tension as an issue of Cybercrime, and could throw the country into chaos if not addressed.

KPMG to use Birth and Death Certificates to clean IEBC register

KPMG is embarking on a rigorous process to inspect the voter register using birth and death certificates. The audit firm also plans to use the 2009 census to assess the population of an area before making recommendations to the IEBC for action. KPMG has up to April 29th to scrutinize the 19.63 million-people register and make recommendations to the electoral agency.

Parties to abide by Electoral Code of Conduct

IEBC maintained a strong position in the midst of opposing voices from the political parties that all parties must sign the code of conduct. All the 69 parties including a coalition took issue with the general language of the code. The Social Democratic Party (SDP) Secretary General Benedict Wachira said it would be difficult to implement. His ODM counterpart, Agnes Zani also said the heavy lifting was left on them and wanted the electoral agency to have a code it can also abide by.

IEBC boss minced no words with the politicians saying if they had a problem with what they had prepared they had until the following day to consider and sign the code. The code gives IEBC powers to disqualify, fine and bar from campaigning or the elections candidate or party if they go against any of the 26 rules. The code is expected to be signed by the Independent candidates as well.

Senate to move to Court to challenge verdict on gender rule  

In a notice of appeal, Senate has indicated it will move to court of Appeal to have the verdict by Justice John Mativo on gender rule challenged. Justice Mativo had ruled that both National Assembly and the Senate having failed to enact the two-thirds gender rule past the August 27th 2016 deadline had to enact the principle in 60-days or risk being dissolved. Last year September three lobby groups had sued the speakers of both Houses and the Attorney General for failing to legislate the two-thirds gender rule. Article 261 of the Constitution allows anyone dissatisfied with lack of enactment of legislation like the gender rule to complain through the High Court.

Murgor quits presidential race

Former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Philip Murgor quit his presidential race. Murgor blamed IEBC for failing to curb early campaigns that disadvantaged him as a late entrant into the race. He also accused the Inspector General of Police for failing to assign him body guards. He said lack of personal security had made it impossible to traverse different parts of the country especially because of the current violent nature of campaigns and insecurity in general. The former DPP also blamed the media for poor coverage but maintained he will nonetheless continue fighting corruption and tribal politics.

Vote for Mzalendo for Best Human Rights Blog

We are kindly reminding you to remember voting for us as the best Human Rights Blog in the ongoing Bake Awards nomination. Please click on this link to access Bloggers Association of Kenya site and vote for Mzalendo at position 20 on the list.


Quote of the Week

"I would like to urge parties on both sides of the political divide to ensure that they provide protection to women who attend rallies as well as women candidates they will be nominating."

Sentiments by former (nominated) MP, Supreme Court Judge Njoki Ndung'u while contributing to the debate on Ratification of Protocol on Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence Against Women and Children on October 17, 2007

Read the Hansard

Lest we forget

" Today, most political parties have very few members, but very many supporters. There are very few parties in this country that can boast of a following of 100,000 members."

Sentiments by Hon. Mwangi Kiunjuri when contributing to the Political Parties Bill on August 3, 2011.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Funyula Member of Parliament Paul Otuoma made headlines this week following a chaotic ODM gubernatorial primaries in Busia County. The Busia primaries showed a new level of dirty politics after opponents to Hon. Otuoma circulated a fake copy of one of the leading dailies with the headline showing he had defected to Jubilee. The tact was to keep his strong supporters from showing up to vote. The process was generally marred with voter rigging claims that saw the party nullify the results. His rival governor Sospeter Ojamoong had been declared the victor with 92,352 votes against him with 63,752. Majority of Governor Ojamoong’s votes originated from two constituencies – Teso South and Teso North. Otuoma has indicated he will not be participating in repeat elections, and instead wants the party to declare him winner because his opponent rigged the elections.


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Mzalendo Trust, Heinrich Boll Foundation,
Prof. Wangari Mathai Road.
P. O. Box 21765 00505 Nairobi, Kenya

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