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AISLES OF POWER: Referendum, the constitutional arithmetic to cling onto power.

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The leaders who catalysed the liberation of Africa from colonial power majority have up-to-date declined to vamoose power. An incumbent can willingly jeopardise a country into pandemonium just to secure his/her position and demand for much more ‘adequate’ time to rule and dictate due to biasness and ‘The big mansyndrome.

Exit of African leaders from power can be categorised into two:

  1. Normal- Constitutional means
  2. Abnormal- Unconstitutional means

Normal means have been through Voluntary resignation, Natural death and Loosing an election. Abnormal means have been through Civil wars(coup) and Assassination.

Research shows three quarter of Incumbents who left power in the 1990s-1970s was through coup, assassination or violent overthrow but apparently wheeled by Constitutional term limits.

Before 1990 when Term limit law came to effect, African leaders exit power at their pleasure, but now at a time and way dictated by the constitutional rules and set up. Incumbents being hit by Age limit are calling for Age Limit discard referendum while those hit by Term limit are calling for Term limit discard referendum. Unfortunately, all those that have called for these exercises have all won, many due to power from the depth of the pocket and power from the bullet.

Elections in Africa have lost importance in terms of credibility, fairness and freeness and by leaders overturning constitutional term service limits on their favour to overrule.

~Recently, Uganda’s long time President Yoweri Museveni assented a bill into law regarding scrapping off of Presidential term limit in his favour and which will make him lawfully seek reelection. This decision was seconded by Constitutional court of Uganda judges who ruled in Museveni’s favour in ration 4:1.

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Museveni's Referendum banners

 

Museveni was quoted saying before, “I’m only one whose language is understood in Washington where Uganda gets funds to promote rural electrification”

Uganda’s parliament in turmoil during Museveni’s Age Limit bill debate

~Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC ) is at war by herself. Democracy can’t be prevailed where the leaders themselves are antidemocratic. The ongoing crisis is attempted coup to remove President Joseph Kabila out power whose term was to end 2016 and elections to be held in November that year. He decided to manipulate the constitution and rescheduled election to 2018. From the records, 5.4 million people have lost their lives in this civil war since 1998.

~In Burundi Pierre Nkurunziza caused attempted coup  when the opposition took action upon themselves to defend the law. Tricks by him to manipulating the constitution in his favour to rerun for third term after claiming that 90% of the population supports his bid and governance.

Pierre Nkurunziza casting his ballot during Referendum

He argued that he was elected by parliament in his first time and not by the people and in line for a second directly elected term. After the successful manipulation, he was set to rule till 2034 but have promised to step down in 2020. Human Rights Watch said that more than 15 Burundians were killed and women were raped during referendum campaign and  he ran for a third term that’s in 2015 and went on to win in a bloody political conflict that left over 1,200 Burundians killed. Four hundred thousand more fled the country.

Victim

~In 2016, Paul Kagame also manipulated the constitution in claim of responding to the voice of the people, a decision which caused unrest and instability from opposition and economy respectively. It favours him to rule until 2034.

President Paul Kagame during the Referendum day

~In 2001 Zambia’s President Chiloba attempted to manipulate the constitution for the same selfish reason but was halted by Civil society who held a massive campaign against his decision.

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~Congo Brazzaville, Dennis Sassou Nguesso won referendum on constitutional amendment to scrap of Presidential term limit in 2015 and got reelected again in 2016

Power addicts manipulating the law to favour their interests forgets power lies in the hands of the people who can squeeze them to dehydration and render them casualties.

Perhaps unclear position or state at which when a president retire they will be in. These worries are possible causal reasons for clinging onto power.


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Opinion

Squandering Goodwill: DPP Noordin Haji Should Choose If He’s Working For Uhuru Or Kenyans.

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DPP Noordin Haji.

Yesterday Kenyans were disgusted to see our mother Philomena Mwilu being arraigned in court over frivolous charges, even when the real criminals are just moonlighting across 5-Star hotels in Kenya.

This comes under the back-drop of last year’s incident, where her driver was shot dead, by elements believed to be working with the Jubilee regime last year, something which indicates that she’s a marked woman.

The response to this persecution has been overwhelming with top lawyers lining up in the defence of the Deputy Chief Justice, with prominent critics like David Ndii and Miguna Miguna casting aspersions on the character and professional impropriety of the DPP.

That this case had been purposely “leaked” to Githeri Media Nation Media Group, shows that it was being manipulated from Statehouse, because the notorious media house editorial policy is drawn up from there.

The DPP and the DCI need to figure out of they are working for President Uhuru Kenyatta or the Constitution of Kenya. Uhuru can be a very petty and vindictive character who reacts on the slightest impulse, and his input to such important offices can be catastrophic. We remember vividly his threat to the Judiciary when he yelled publicly under the influence of alcohol that “we shall revisit”.

We cannot have someone who is as emotional and irrational as Uhuru, tainting the independent offices of the DPP and DCI.

I also remember when Mike Sonko was setting up Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu, he expressly said that Uhuru is controlling/manipulating arrests. What nonsense is this?

DCJ Mwilu when she appeared in court while flanked with a team of 32 senior lawyers led by SC Orengo, Khaminwa, Kalonzo amongst others.

DPP cannot purport to arrest the Deputy Chief Justice, as Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru cat-walks free, as she writes intimidating letters to the EACC, as if they report to her. Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) the most corrupt institution in Kenya, cannot purport to be pursuing Philomena Mwilu over peanuts, yet sham “investors” like Vimal Shah and Somali businessmen are evading taxes in the billions.

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If you want goodwill, go for known villains. Don’t lump fictitious charges on soft-targets who are victims of the political alignments in the country. It is Kenya’s taxes which are funding these offices, not Brookside Dairies or Heritage Hotels money.

We won’t clap for you when petty thieves of 900,000 Kshs are arrested by your office, when known thieves are walking scot free. The DPP cannot commit his scarce resources to chase for petty thieves of scams below 10 Million and expect public goodwill.

People must now justify their continued stay in office. When you commit over 10 officers to hunt down 6 suspects who embezzled 900,000, does that even make economic sense? Can you spend such expensive man-hours chasing for peanuts? DPP and DCI you need to get your act together.

The people who have “eaten” Kenyans money are well-known. They have built flats, malls, stashed the money abroad and hidden it in their houses. You should be giving us the progress of the recovery of these assets first, and not chasing petty thieves of 900,000. We won’t allow our resources to be wasted in pursuit of petty offenders.

Tell us how far you’ve reached in repossession of Evans Kidero’s assets. Tell us which Governor is going to be successfully tried and convicted. Nab the MP’s who were bribed to endorse a sugar report. Go for the people who brought down Chase Bank and Imperial Bank Limited. We want to see blood of the upper-echelon of corruption.

We are being told that Deputy President William Ruto’s PA Farouk Kibet is being arrested on Friday. That one will be a welcomed image because he represents the face of corruption and impunity. But now when you chase a motherly-figure like Philomena Mwilu, you’re eroding all the gains you’ve made so far. We want Alpha-Females who walk as if they own Kenya, to be apprehended.

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My only advise to the DPP and the DCI is to choose your battles wisely. If you needed to shake the Judiciary, you could’ve started with the judge Tonui who took a 200 million bribe from Evans Kidero.

Secondly, those independent office-holders should desist from being used by the petty and emotional clowns working at Statehouse. We are in this current mess because Uhuru consciously allowed corruption to thrive, yet now he’s acting as if he doesn’t know where it came from. Selective-amnesia.

If Uhuru wants to clean up the mess he created, he must do so within the confines of the constitution and not under the influence of his political-biases and petty emotions. Kenyans have no time for his tantrums and petty emotions. His cheap theatrics should be restricted to White House, where he unleashed his fake St. Mary’s British accent.


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Daily Nation’s Role In Arrest Of DCJ Philomena Mwilu As David Ndii Claims NIS Edits DN Stories Nowadays

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NMG’s Editor-in-Chief Tom Mshindi.

From Monday, one thing has been consistent with the Nation Media Group’s DN. The splashing headlines have been on a roll. Leading writers at Daily Nation; Mutuma Mathiu and John Kamau are the familiar faces in this. In what is a clearly well orchestrated plot to build a narrative and set an agenda, the popular newspaper seem to have been favorited in this ploy. Media enjoys the monopoly of agenda setting.

Monday, the splash headline on Daily Nation read, ‘Supreme Court judge targeted in corruption purge’

The Monday headline when the narrative started building up.

“A Supreme Court judge faces imminent arrest and prosecution for corruption in a devastating and dramatic escalation of the government’s campaign against graft. The arrest of such a high-ranking judicial staff, unprecedented in Kenya’s history, will be the culmination of weeks of investigations into brazen corruption at the Judiciary, and is likely to send shock waves throughout the institution.” It read.

“The Nation has followed this case for months after it learnt that the judge had been reported by the Kenya Revenue Authority to the Director of Public Prosecutions over the suspicious movement of large sums of money in and out of bank accounts.” The part of six months got me giggling.

They had the fine details of the entire case probably on tips from the DCI or ODPP who were on top of the case. How they got the information is not important what’s key is, they did not only instill fear in the judiciary corridors but at that particular moment they had put entire Supreme Court bench on public trial before the court of public opinion.

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On Tuesday, same writers, different headline ‘Drama at Supreme Court over arrest of lawyer and top judge’

The Tuesday headline full with all judges faces on the front page.

While this might look harmless to a layman’s perspective viewpoint, I find it alarming that entire bench was on the spot, it paints the picture of a corrupt Supreme Court which is not only defaming but undermining authority and legitimacy of the highest court in the land. I don’t know if the editors had that in mind or maybe they did and a narrative had to keep building up.

On the second day running, the public was being prepared for the eminent arrest of the judge and the narrative was being built to paint a totally corrupt judge even when the entire case hadn’t been tabled. It’s called building perceptions, you don’t necessarily need to tell the truth, you can sway opinions with anything that suits your agenda.

On Tuesday, DCJ Philomena Mwilu was arrested within the precinct of the court which again in my view wasn’t the best thing to do as it doesn’t only undermine the authority of the court but also sends intimidating messages to other judges who might now not want to cross paths with the executive.

Mwilu now faces numerous counts of stealing, abuse of office and failure to pay taxes. “The evidence in our possession, reveals that Lady Justice Mwilu abused her office for personal gain; accepted a gift in the form of money in circumstances which undermined public confidence in the integrity of her office (and) conducted herself in disregard of the law,” DPP Noordin Haji said in a statement.

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“In view of the above, I have concluded that the evidence is sufficient with a reasonable prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest that criminal proceedings should be preferred,” the DPP concluded.

Wednesday, the Daily Nation was once again at it shouting the fall of the DCJ.

Mwilu finally fell according to the DN

Again, this was not only done in bad faith but part of the narrative to defame the DCJ according to my thinking, look, there’s a presumption in the courts that one is assumed innocent until proven otherwise but here’s Daily Nation smartly executing a case in the courts of public opinion. To me this is character assassination on the person of Mwilu.

I find it exposing that the newspaper would overlook the presumptions of the court to prosecute and convict without facts. There are rumors that there’s a succession plan underway since the Chief Justice Maraga is three years shy of his retirement age hence the need to find a favorable replacement. As the DCJ, Mwilu is poised to take over but she is presumed to be a tough nut and system unfriendly, maybe that’s why she need to get out of the way.

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David Ndii seems to have an idea on who’s behind Daily Nation’s Headlines. This is not the first time accusations are being thrown at Daily Nation for being a mouthpiece of the state and if it can be proved then it would be unfortunate for such a big scale media house being reduced to a government mouthpiece and a propaganda channel.


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New Energy Felt As ODPP, DCI And NPS Gets More Active And Engaging On Social Media

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DPP Noordin Haji.

Social media is changing lives they say and that’s becoming clearer by the day as corporates come to the reality that without a social media presence, running a business is like a beautiful girl walking in the dark, nobody notices her.

Public institutions are also not remaining behind as they fully embrace social media in service delivery. I’ve been observing and can’t help notice and express my satisfaction with more specifically the Office Of Director of Public Prosecutions, the Directorate Of Criminal Investigations and the National Police Service.

Evidently, these accounts are under new management given the direction they’re taking and amount of work they’re putting in. ODPP is the most active in my view and a news hub, a good number of cases that previously would go unattended to are now being picked up in a snap.

The relationship between the ODPP and DCI especially on Twitter is really amazing and also I should put in EACC, they’re doing well too on Twitter as far as updating the nation on anti corruption news is go concerned.

Twitter for instance, is a news hub and a powerful communication tool, many cases have been prosecuted off Twitter noise. We’re blessed to have ODPP that’s very active and always picks up most cases raised and a DCI that immediately picks up the cases on directions from DPP and the whole coordination is amazing.

For time now, Kenyans perceive the police as unfriendly and often, they keep their ways apart as much. I’ve realized the NPS handler is actively changing that perception by being friendly and giving a sense of cops are also human and friends.

I just like how they’re engaging the public with some sense of humor you know, Kenya is tough For is all so who wouldn’t do with a bag of laughter? Whoever made the decision to ease the muscles and have such kind of engagements to work on the public and police bond did a good thing. When it comes to security, coordination is key between the two, lack of which things are bound to go wrong way.

Government institutions are actively getting onboard on social media which is the future and that’s a good thing, we’re all snack news consumers, we want everything on our phones. Dealing with crimes, you have to follow and admire the work of the trio; ODPP, DCI and the NPS. Timeliness, consistency, engagements the recipes that’s msking the Noordin, Kinoti teams stand out. There are other public institutions doing great too but this not your post, you’ll get a mention next time.


Kenya Insights allows guest blogging, if you want to be published on Kenya’s most authoritative and accurate blog, have an expose, news, story angles, human interest stories, drop us an email on [email protected] or via Telegram
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