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Opinion

The Effect of Electoral Boycotts: Going Forward, We Are Now Hostages Of Fortune And Why Negotiations Between Raila And Kenyatta Is The Only Way Out.

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Thousands of opposition supporters hits the streets on anti IEBC demos, leaders have announced daily protests next week throughout the country.

By Wachira Maina

We’re in a political crisis not a legal one, in spite of what the talking heads are saying.

The Legal Position: In spite of language in the 2013 Raila Odinga petition that suggested that the withdrawal of a candidate at this stage of an election could lead to fresh nominations I think that on balance the better view is that the IEBC will now treat this as an uncontested election and proceed to declare Uhuru elected unopposed. (The issue of fresh nomination was not an issue in that petition so, strictly speaking, what the court said then is not binding). There is, of course, the decision of the high court- still awaited- in the Ekuru Aukot case -challenging the anointing of Uhuru and Raila as the only candidates eligible to run on the 26th of October, 2017). This could still lead to other candidates being allowed to compete. God knows President Kenyatta now desperately needs this to go Ekuru’s way to give a bland simulacrum of formal legitimacy to what surely is a political curve-ball, irrespective of what Jubilee insiders might now say.

The Coming Institutional Decline: This brings me to the real issue. In my view, this is no longer a legal issue. In fact, further involvement by the court in this issue- whichever way- is not likely to resolve the underlying political problem.

As I see it what we have here is continuing institutional decline of a state which, over time, has become a pure instrument of political struggle and vehicle for pursuing elite interest. If you win power in Kenya, you can bend the law and the economy to your personal interest. This seemed to have changed somewhat under Kibaki but the state as instrument of the ruling power is back with a vengeance.

What we are seeing now is a country on the verge of becoming a ‘warlord democracy,’ a country in which who gets into office will be determined through violence – whether official violence or chaos by private militia and gangs- even though such violence will be marketed publicly in the name of the people. The economy has already been ‘criminalised’ and is bent to those in power and their cronies: as I said elsewhere Kenya is a contractor democracy in which commercial transactions are both personalized and clandestine, defeating all the theories of an open market. (Think- if you doubt our criminal economy- of the runaway corruption, open money laundering and wanton budget raiding at both the national and county level etc). The politics has, so far, been straddling between the lawful ( Sometimes we see compliance with rules and obedience to court decisions) and the unlawful (There is still open vote buying; the opponents are sometimes murdered- especially at lower levels and the hiring of gangs to break the knee-caps of the recalcitrant or the deployment of riot police in non-cmplianct regions).

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In the next phase of this dangerous but evolving game, there will be even less pretence that we are playing normal politics. We shall have the unholy trinity of a) criminalized economy; b) warlord politics and c) a deeply polarized civil society (with some in the marginal areas heavily armed with guns smuggled from regional conflicts). From an economic perspective, the immediate risk is both domestic and external. Domestically, the contraction of economic activity will weaken government revenues, increase unemployment- especially youth unemployment- and ratchet up social stress, all destabilizing factors. Externally, as the government continues to clobber its opponents even as its revenues shrink, our sovereign rating will be further down-graded, making the interest payments on our growing external debt even more burdensome. Sooner than later we shall be talking to all the guys we hate talking to so much: our creditors, the IMF, the World Bank and other members of that usual gang.

The Limits of Law: Will the NASA boycott work though? As a general matter, I believe, that we lawyers are all too often seduced by our faith in the ability of law to solve social and political problems. Behind every constitution, I like to warn myself, is a fundamental moral principle, the commitment that a constitution will always be obeyed even – especially, I should say- when such obedience hurts our vital political interests. Judge Learned Hand once said that if liberty dies in the hearts of men and women neither the Constitution nor the Supreme Court can save it. Our problem right now is that our commitment to legal instrumentalism leaves us stranded on the horns of a cruel dilemma. We have an elaborate constitution but few citizens and leaders are committed to its robust enforcement. In fact, all the social media lawyer blathering by partisans of either side that “the law is clear” are just fig-leafs that mask competing power claims that have slender constitutional legitimacy. A heightening of the heat not a shedding of the light on the problem, if you see what I mean.

The Effect of Electoral Boycotts: Going forward, we are now hostages of fortune. Electoral boycotts are notoriously unpredictable. As a general point, such boycotts are important not because of their effect on the election results but because of their potential effect on the legitimacy of government if the boycott is effective.

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A boycott can lead to 1) a terminal political crisis for the incumbents (as happened in Bangladesh in 1996); 2) no immediate effect on incumbents but a destruction of the opposition (as happened with Blaise Campaore in Burkina Faso in 1991 and Gnassingbe Eyadema in Togo in 1993); 3) a broader constitutional crisis- (as happened in Thailand in 2006- though this was a boycott of the announced election results. The elections were declared invalid by the constitutional court. This led to the resignation of the Electoral Commission with some Commissioners being later jailed for illegalities. A fresh election was then held at the end of that year, 2006).

The second part of outcome 2 – the destruction of the opposition- does not seem likely in Kenya. Elections in Kenya tend to be like an ethnic census. I don’t see NASA’s core support dissipating or crossing over to Jubilee, especially when the situation like the current one exists. Meaning that we are probably looking at a deepening political crisis in the medium-term, hence my fear that we will slide into a “Warlord Democracy” sooner rather than later.

The Brutal Truth: There is NO long-term solution that does not involve either 1) Uhuru and Raila agreeing a political solution (I don’t know the shape and content of that. I do not buy the argument that NASA has all along been playing this game to force a coalition government; or 2) failing that, Raila would have no choice but to up the ante if he wants to keep his base intact. Unfortunately, Uhuru is temperamentally incapable of restraint. His pride is easily wounded when he feels slighted and right now he seems to feel that the opposition do not see him as “Commander-in-Chief”. He will almost certainly call out the police and brutalize Raila’s base. Unfortunately, few countries can sustain a cycle of protest and violence beyond a month before the police and army break down into partisan political factions. If I am right about this, then one of either Raila or Uhuru will eventually buckle. When that happens, we shall revert to either option 1 – negotiations – in which Uhuru is the weaker party- as is always the case when an incumbent is forced to make concessions – or Government resistance with more aggressive repression targeting all regime opponents- in the short-term, this might politically marginalize Raila but it would take the country back to the early 1990s, which would incinerate any legacy that Uhuru thought he had secured.

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We are in this situation because the antipathy between the Kenyattas and the Odingas has completely clouded either side’s perception of what a reasonable way out is. The two are a phone-call away from each other. I am sure they have each other’s cellphone numbers. And still they bellow at each other through TV microphones and loud-hailers at political rallies. The problem is that their respective political bases – egged on by their social media nutters- see the other side exactly as the two see each other: grasping and double-dealing ogres with whom it is impossible to strike a deal that could be honored. Uhuru’s core support is not pro-Uhuru, some are in fact viciously critical of him, they rather are rabidly anti-Raila. Raila still has more ‘religious’ support than Uhuru but this, too, has somewhat dissipated over time. Yet such support as he still has is hysterically anti-Uhuru. They too are shouting at each other across a chasm that might yet swallow the county. Thus does Kenya suffer from a family feud that increasingly begins to look like a blood feud. I despair.

(NB: There are some who think that I am exonerating the IEBC from culpability for running a monkey of an election. I am not. However, the form that the crisis has now taken is unquestionably driven by leaders. Once the Supreme Court delivered its judgment, it lay with the politicians to get the IEBC problem sorted out. Uhuru and Raila cannot sort IEBC out because they won’t talk to each other even though they both know that Kenya is hurtling to a terminal crisis. Of course, the structural cause of all this is our screwed up ‘state” as well as the terminally decrepit electoral system. However, the proximate cause is the politicians. And no, the structural problems cannot be addressed before the 26th of October 2017!)

Writer is a lawyer and seasoned columnist. 

 

Opinions are writers own and don’t necessarily reflect those of Kenya Insights. 


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 tips.kenyainsights@gmail.com or via Telegram

Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Send me tips to [in.kenyawest@gmail.com]

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Opinion

AFRICA: When Development and Democracy is Compromised The Human Survival is At Risk

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A lady at her cassava farm.
Development and Democracy is fundamental right to every citizen it doesn’t matter whether they are from which region, tribe, race or belong to which religion. In Africa, democratic-Icons are still spending sleepless night going around the region and preaching development and unity, their ambition is seeing Africa growing.
Africa is a growing-potential zone in the world with huge raw materials, minds and space to invest, establish and explore new ideas and actualize them into reality. The growth is very slow because of factors which undermine them.
We have seen many countries impressing changes during international forums like African Union summits and meetings, Economic Community of West African States, COMESA, South African Development Community, East African community etc During such forums, leaders are able to utilize money, time and minds to think, sit together and discuss progress of events touching lives of the nations, send representatives to investigate, review and ascertain progress of programmes in the regions and present report to the management and member states.
Our major discussion has been settling wars in members states and solving food related problems especially in arid and semi-arid regions in Africa and improving living standards in the region. Instability in Somali government for instance has attracts many African nations who cry for justice, development and democracy, their citizens around the world want leaders and revolutionary team in Africa to intervene and promote peace in the region because they are part and parcel of Africa.
Fortunately, leaders have tried championed development and democracy in many ways by using different approach some have yielded fruits for instance Southern Sudan is now enjoying fruits of African states, now it is slowly establishing developments and experiencing stability in terms of democracy and development. others like Somalia and Sudan are experienced tough economic challenges which forces citizens to cry and seek for interventions.
I love African pride because leaders understand their ways of lives, during many forums, leaders put aside their interests and campaigned for economic bloc in Africa by encouraging exchange programmes among developing countries, assisting economically challenged nations, removing trade tariffs and subsidizing prices of goods to open markets for varieties of goods.
The recent visit by Ugandan president Yuweri Muzeveni to Kenya paved ways to expand trading partnership, the huge investment on standard gauge railway SGR remained strong investment which two countries Kenya and Uganda share. Museveni managed to enlighten Kenyans and Ugandans about establishing manufacturing companies within the region for instance one huge papermill which will serve the whole region, he also talked about establishing good environment for trade by opening borderlines which is key for promoting and integrating business in the region. He later spoke about pressing issues bedevilling social-economic and political affairs in the region like corruption, tribal and lack of empowerment in the manufacturing industries in the region.
For sure when development and democracy is compromised human survival is at risk. In Africa democracy growing positively and taking centre stage in shaping and changing mindsets of leaders.
Africa is a potential giant in the world with huge investment, I believe in near future, it will be sending an information to the world about progress, democracy and development.
Written By: Ian Chepkuto, Pangani Nairobi.

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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 tips.kenyainsights@gmail.com or via Telegram
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Opinion

Police Impersonation And Their Public Relations

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Keeping law and order has been proved to be every country’s biggest agenda. No one is safe until they feel safe. As much as safety starts with you, there are State personnel specially and specifically deployed to make sure there is law and order.

Keeping law and order in Kenya is the mandate of the Police. Who operate under Kenya police Service. In well and clearly divided divisions, the Kenya Police Service make sure there is law and order as well as justice.

These are the people who make sure that our rights are protected. They make sure there’s a calm environment that promotes political stability hence economic development. These are same people who literally have the nation’s security details at their hands.

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Now, when we start hearing and reporting the cases of police imposters scattered everywhere in our country makes our entire security setup a joke.  This causes lots of unnecessary instability. This discloses a lot of loopholes in our security set up. These imposters make people start thinking about how to protect themselves.

Our security system was supposed to guard us internally and externally. This goes with a very thin margin of era. As I write this, I have been a victim couple of times to these police imposters. First was administration Police with a fake combat. Then Traffic police with unmarked reflector jackets and funny radio calls.

But many people get into bad hands of plain clothes officers.  A lot of people are extorted by civilians pretending to be corps. This even gets worse when such imposters get hold of the real police radio calls and handcuffs. One wonders if they collude with The Police in service to commit these crimes or they have their way in, to our security system.

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Again, I was recently arrested by Police imposters who refused to talk to someone I had saved with a name similar to the Police spokesman. They even refused to take me to a nearby Police station. I had no cash on me, and was not willing to provide any. That angered them and made them chain me for more than 5 hours in their Toyota wish car that had dusted plates. I was fortunately let loose after getting money from a friend who brought it in cash. They also ‘caught’ other citizens who paid off their freedom.

How will we notice that these aren’t the Police? Our security set up works differently according to; who you are.  Where do you come from. Where do you stay. Rule and divide.  Divide and rule. Then protect. There is a section of people who can’t be arrested without a warrant. There are people who can’t be arrested without seeing and verifying the police identifications.

Then there are the majorities who have no clue of what to check, demand or even do. They just get arrested and start negotiating for their release price. The public knows that the police will always charge you with an offense. Be it framed or not, no judicial officer cares as far as the police says so.

The police have neglected a fact that they are supposed to introduce themselves. With all the identification on them being hidden, arise the cases of police impersonation. Hidden identities are the cause of all these menace.

It’s also the duty of the government to make sure that police identifications and budges are hard to fake and easily recognized by the civilians.  We all have duty to protect ourselves and others, which includes those who protect us and the nation at large.

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If security starts with me, then I have to be well equipped with knowledge concerning the security and part of the basic security details every single citizen should know.

 


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 tips.kenyainsights@gmail.com or via Telegram
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Opinion

JohnBosco: Why Government, Examination Bodies and Private Hospitals Are To Blame For Quackery In The Medical Field.

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Photo Courtesy/ Dreamstime.com

Quacks who practice Quackery are defined as the promoters of unsubstantiated
methods that lack a scientifically plausible rationale. Rate of Quackery in the medical field have rapidly infiltrated up to a point where majority of people have been convinced beyond reasonable doubt that only in medical field is where quacks are.

My aim of this article is to get down behind the scenes and get to share with you what and how i think Quackery in the Medical field by ‘Quacks’ and Quacks is being promoted, what promotes it and will probably get worse in the near future if some of the recommendation i have aren’t put into consideration by the concerned authorities.

Most of the quacks in medical field operate as mobile doctors, conducting tests and performing surgeries on patients in their respective homes and visiting them for continuity of care while some are based in private hospitals and some in public hospitals but at a low rate.

Private Hospitals

“Spend less on salaries and earn more income” has always been the Mission and Aim of Private healthcare facilities in a nutshell.

Private hospitals prefer employees who will make them earn more profit than employing expensive professionals who will probably demand more salary hence slashing down the profit of the Cartels. Therefore, they go for desperate undergraduates who work on locum- part time hours with one qualified professional to white wash the briefcase authorities.

On the better side of the coin, private facilities have assisted in reducing the rate of unemployment by offering jobs to these individuals considered quacks whom some are even more competent, credible than some egocentric professionals.

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National Government

State of the economy:

Firstly, high cost of living precisely financial distress elevates the desire and thirst for money to settle your bills and if your little knowledge and experience can bring food to your table if the Government of the day can’t make the cost any cheaper then you’ve to make a breakthrough by yourself. And this catalyses the cartelic business of Quackery without authorization and accreditation from the relevant authorities like Kenya Medical Laboratory Technicians and Technologists Board (KMLTTB), Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDU), Nursing Council of Kenya (NCK), Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB).

Secondly, Ministry of Education accredited institutions, only 50% are competent and up to the task of maintaining the ISO standard. This means: The Ministry accredits many of these unqualified institutions through backdoor and briefcase hullabaloo, after all it is business. So many Medical learning institutions accredited are alive but still a few have employer trust on Competency, Integrity and Credibility which can be confirmed on practical grounds and those that aren’t trusted are still functioning, alive and well in the market and so are the Quacks that we have in the market. Why should Government continue accrediting more institutions when those that are there cant be monitored well to maintain their standards or their accreditation be terminated once the public and employer trust is lost. Why cant the Government close down these institutions that have lost public and employer trust and save Parents’ and Sponsors’ money than waste them and be rejected by employers or fail Board exams only to turn into quacks working in the black market.

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County Government

On cutting cost, County Governments similarly prefer Diploma holder from a well recognised institution like Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) to A Degree holder. Output of a degree holder in medical field is more or less the same as that of a Diploma holder in working station. They also target unrecognised institutions products but cheap so as to ‘save’ county funds only to channel into employer pockets precisely county Ministry of Health (MoH) battalion responsible for employment. I believe if audit report is done on this matter, this is the status quo and so are the rise of Quacks in the system mostly in Counties which didn’t meet the Clean sheet audit report apart from Makueni County which had clean sheet audit.

Examination Bodies

It is in the public domain, how expensive it is to get enrolled to the medical field and to afford the system financially is a nightmare to many individuals with financial impecuniousness.

If you are lucky to get sponsorship or scholarship then you win a jackpot if you’re an academic genius but unlucky if you’re an academic dwarf. Reason being: Sponsors on many occasions deal on ‘Get it right first time’ and affording Resit or Supplementary exams is similarly expensive meaning if you fail, you’ll have to take care of yourself thereafter, pay for your supplementary fee or rather resit fee which equals one full semester or a whole academic year depending on the number of papers you fail.

Affording this for a peasant – low class is like a bête noire. These people try to make ends meet by searching for locums in private healthcare facilities or any other facility within the field of medicine where they can raise funds to pay the fee. Unfortunately, when caught by the concerned authorities, they’re considered Quacks not because of misdiagnosis but because of papers but genuinely true quacks who might have made their way to the graduation list after sex exchange or bribery are embroidered as Qualified professionals.

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Being that the system is corrupt to some extent, extortion still carries the day.

Like in KMTC situation, Kenya Insights was informed of cases where Candidates receive two messages of Fail and Pass of Final Qualifying Examination (F.Q.E) results which we’ve concluded as an extortion scheme – “When you go to confirm why you were sent two texts, you will be probably denied the Pass and be confirmed Fail.” The aim of the System is money that you’ll pay when you get back for resit and it can be done as many times within limit of 4 years.

…………………

In conclusion, these ‘Quacks’ and Quacks sincerely can’t  be compared to employed Quack leaders of this nation who massively kills the future of our unborn children and the future generation every single moment.


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 tips.kenyainsights@gmail.com or via Telegram
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