Saturday, December 9, 2017

The United States has become a renegade on democratic tenets in the developing World

By Joseph Lister Nyaringo
Where did the Supreme Court nullify the United States when Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) bungled the August 8th general election that was later?
How come the US failed to raise a finger when an ICT Manager in the IEBC was murdered with clear intentions to rig the election less than a week to the August election?
The Donald Trump administration has failed to officially condemn President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government for unleashing the police who have so far killed over 200 peaceful demonstrators in the 4 months post-election fiasco.
Trump’s administration needs to review the role of ambassador Robert Godec in Nairobi.
It’s disturbing that Mr. Godec may not be providing a true picture to Washington especially on the police brutality meted towards innocent Kenyans where as young as 6 months old kids have been killed in cold blood.
Active involvement of diplomats to enhance social justice in Kenya is not something new. During the clamor for multiparty democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the late US ambassador to Kenya Smith Hempstone, a Republican teamed up with other European ambassadors like Germany’s Bernd Mutzelburg, members of the civil society and the Church to pressurize retired President Daniel Moi to restore multi-party politics in 1991.
It can be pointed out that the US ambassador in Nairobi and his European counterparts have stayed aloof in the Kenyan crisis even when basic democratic tenets like the right to life are under threat. Which begs this question: Has Western powers abandoned the developing world in the pursuit of social justice and democracy?
If Western ambassadors through their governments actively participated to help Kenya realize political pluralism more than 2 decades ago, why are they not ready carry the same torch now when the stakes are even higher?
It’s extremely disturbing that even the US which is viewed globally as the epitome of democracy and respect for human rights is siding with the current Kenyan regime which is has violated many rights by the citizens.
The US is silent on Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni who has stifled democracy, destroyed all manner of dissent by detaining dissenters, gagged the country’s media and is now on the path to change the constitution to become a life President.
Uganda’s next-door neighbors-Rwanda and Burundi are not sound democratically. President Paul Kagame who brought Rwanda from its knees after the 1994 genocide has undergone a complete metamorphosis. He has chopped the country’s constitution and he is now a life President.
It’s high time the US coiled its tail on other countries affairs because; giving a cold shoulder on ELECTION FRAUD in Kenya makes the global super power look as an aggressor to North Korea!
Examples of African dictatorships where the US has turned a blind eye are many. In East Africa, it’s only Tanzania that has a sound democratic record.
What has irked many Kenyans, who are gearing for self-determination through the political opposition The National Super Alliance (NASA) under the perceived winner of the August election Raila Odinga, is the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Donald Yamamoto.
Instead of Mr. Yamamoto addressing Kenya’s political imbroglio to the government of President Uhuru, he read a riot act to opposition leaders; urging them to abandon the quest for self-determination. The opposition is gearing to fight for electoral justice, equality and inclusion and eventually inaugurate opposition leader Raila Odinga on December 12thas president.
Kenyans appreciate the stand taken by former US ambassador Michael Ranneberger who initially refused to accept President Mwai Kibaki’s victory in the 2007 rigged election. It was however after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew to Nairobi to press Kibaki, to accept compromise based on power sharing with Raila, to break the political impasse.
Why is the US always a Johnny-come-lately on African crises even when human life is under threat?  The Clinton administration procrastinated during the Rwandan crisis where genocide was committed; culminating to the slaying of almost a million people in 1994.
Is history repeating itself that 10 years down the road, under President Trump, who is also a Republican, a diplomat from Washington is sent to Kenya negotiate over a political stalemate?
The US has been a major actor in global democracy, justice and the rule of law and should get it right for Kenyans…Circumstances have changed! What the global superpower advocated in 2007 during the post-election violence to unravel the political impasse cannot work 10 years later.
Kenyan citizens expected Western powers beginning with the US to pile more pressure on the current government of President Kenyatta to cede ground; come to the negotiation table and discuss electoral justice.
The holding democratic elections are the surest remedy for Kenya and the same should be through a multipartite agreement between the NASA coalition, the ruling Jubilee coalition and other relevant stakeholders.
Kenya’s political opposition raised serious concerns on lack of preparedness by the (IEBC) and the Kenyan government to offer free and fair election before the US and some European countries before the August 8th. The same happened after the Supreme Court annulled September 1st Presidential election when opposition leader Raila Odinga called for dialogue to achieve electoral justice.
Its vividly remembered that ambassador Godec consistently sided with the electoral body and the Kenyan government instead of taking a neutral path to bring the government and the opposition to discuss electoral justice.
The desire of Kenyans is free and fair elections. Performing quick fixes like what Secretary Yamamoto is trying to do will not offer a lasting solution. In 2007, Kenyan was in the muddle of a rigged election. The country was almost brought to its knees through ethnic killings, displacement of persons and destruction of property.
A rigged election also happened again in 2013 and now the country is in the same mess five years down the road. Perennial election malpractices dating back to the reign of retired President Moi, who ruled Kenya with an iron fist for 24 up to 2002 if not check will completely dwarf Kenya’s democratic grown as well as derailing respect for the rule of law.
This time round, Kenyans are determined to get it right. They want nothing less that free, fair, credible and verifiable election. The US as a key partner for democracy can do better than piecemeal measures that leave old wounds intact.
Kenya is at the tipping point and if the US lets the status quo stand, it will be a disaster for not only Kenya, but also the East African region and US.

Nyaringo is a social Justice contributor and President of Kenya Patriotic Movement, a Kenya diaspora lobby group  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The US is biased on the Kenyan political crisis!

Many Kenyans are wondering why the United States, the most powerful nation in the world has become a renegade on democratic tenets in the developing World.

Where was the US when Kenya’s electoral body bungled the August election which was later nullified by the Supreme court? How come US failed to raise a finger when an ICT Manager in the electoral body was murdered with clear intentions of rigging the August election?

Has the Trump government through current envoy Robert Godec condemned the Kenyan police for killing over 250 peaceful demonstrators in the 4 months post-election fiasco?

Is urging the aggrieved political opposition NASA, led Raila Odinga, by the US to scale down its quest for electoral justice a reflection of democracy or a sign of perpetuating the status quo; hence dictatorship?

Why is the US always a Johnny-come-lately on African crisises even when human life is under threat?  The Clinton administration procrastinated during the Rwandan crisis where genocide was committed; culminating to the slaying of almost a million people in 1994.

As a concerned Kenyan, I could like to urge the Trump’s administration to censure the role of his ambassador in Nairobi. Mr. Godec is said to be the most biased US diplomat Kenyans have ever seen. The envoy has not done enough to ensure neutrality when dealing with the current government and the political opposition.

Majority of Kenyans citizens want electoral justice. The US which is perceived to be a respecter of democracy, justice and human rights must lead by example. Siding with the current Kenyan government which has committed many atrocities towards own citizens may not only jeopardize the US’s respect in Africa but also on the global stage.

The silence by the United States when innocent Kenyans as young as 6 months old have been killed in cold blood by the Kenyan police is perplexing.

Kenyan citizens expected Western powers beginning with the US to pile more pressure on the current government of President Uhuru Kenyatta to cede the ground; come to the negotiation table and discuss electoral justice.

Holding democratic elections is the surest cure through a multipartite agreement between the NASA coalition, the ruling Jubilee coalition and other relevant stakeholders.

One wonders why the Republican administration in the US has become extremely ambivalent to the plight of Kenyans in their quest for self-determination.

It can be remembered that during the struggle for multiparty democracy in Kenya, it was a US ambassador, the late Smith Hempstone, a Republican who teamed up with other European ambassadors like Germany’s Bernd Mutzelburg, the Kenyan civil society and the Church to put pressure on retired President Daniel Moi to restore multi-party system in 1991.  

Why is the US diplomat in Nairobi and other European counterparts not ready to do what their predecessors did more than 2 decades ago to help the Kenyan people?

Indeed, Kenyans have concluded that Western powers are openly siding with a regime which does not respect human rights if what the current government of Uhuru is doing to the citizens is something to go by.

Kenyan voters are determined to get it right this time round. They have not forgotten how a stolen election in 2007 almost brought the country to its knees through ethnic killings, displacement of persons and destruction of property.

In fact, in the same year, Jendayi Frazer, the former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under President George Walker Bush, had to fly to Nairobi to advocate for a power sharing deal between retired President Kibaki and his opponent Raila Odinga.

Is history repeating itself that 10 years later, under President Trump a Republican, that a diplomat with a similar portfolio to Ms Frazer, Donald Yamamoto, has been sent to Nairobi to initiate political negotiations between the two opposing political camps?

I wonder why the US is now urging the aggrieved NASA coalition to scale down its quest for electoral justice when the country’s chief diplomat in Nairobi knows that the August election whose Presidential results were annulled by the Supreme Court were compounded with illegalities and irregularities.

The repeat of the same election conducted in October 26th was boycotted by the NASA coalition and was way worse than that of August. This time round, the Supreme Court upheld the incumbent Uhuru’s victory after facing threats and intimidations from the current government.

It should be remembered that the NASA coalition raised serious concerns before the US government and some European countries about lack of preparedness by the Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and the government of President Kenyatta, to offer a free and fair election.

The United States being a major actor in global democracy, justice and the rule of law must get it right for Kenya this time round…Circumstances have changed! What the global superpower advocated in 2007 during the post-election violence to unravel the political impasse cannot work 10 years later.

The desire of Kenyans is a free and fair elections. Kenyans want their votes to count because they are tired of quick fixes like what Secretary Yamamoto is trying to do. We were in the same imbroglio in 2007, 2013 and now in 2017. Electoral malpractices dates back to the reign of retired President Moi, who ruled Kenya with an iron fist for 24 years until his retirement in 2002.

This time round, we want tangible mechanisms that will pave the way for free, fair, credible and verifiable election. The US as a key partner for democracy can do better than piecemeal measures which leaves old wounds intact.




Friday, December 1, 2017

HOW TO RESOLVE THE TWO PRESIDENTS CRISIS IN KENYA!




By concerned Kenyans at home and Abroad

Kenya has two Presidents. Uhuru Kenyatta supported by two ethnic communities 32% and Raila supported by the rest 68%.

You cannot wish this away. No presidential election will be free or fair in Kenya until Jubilee’s deep state is dislodged from power to allow for a free and fair election.

Without a national consensus on sharing of power and resources, honor, equality, belonging, justice and our hard earned freedoms elections are not going to be free and fair. If Uhuru and Ruto are left in office to use our taxes to pay The Kenya State Police (KESTAPO) headed by Joseph Boinet and Ndegwa Muhoro to render our constitutional freedoms of assembly and expression null and void, we can agree that the Kikuyu-Kalenjin state shall continue to rule with impunity forever.

We cannot pay for our slavery in Kenya forever. If we cannot overthrow this ethnic apartheid state now when over 72% of Kenyans are united against this illegitimate imposed presidency, when shall we do it? We need to evolve a national culture based on morality and legitimacy not greed and ethnic pride.

Those who have captured the state since independence will always manipulate IEBC, the Police, NIS, the Judiciary and processes to rig the presidency to maintain advantage and power to the exclusion of others. We have a deep state operated by Karanja Kibicho and Joseph Kinyua which is rigging everything in favour of a few.

God loves our nation Kenya but the altar of ethnic pride that we have raised in Kenya has displaced God; demonic greed and killing of Kenyans from ethnic communities that are demanding justice has taken over. 

So here is what will save Kenya and it is not an ordinary proposal but a radical proposal;  Hon. Uhuru has done five years and his father did fifteen as President. Let him hand over power to Hon. Raila Odinga for five years with Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka as Deputy.  We need to honor Raila and Kalonzo for their love and contribution to and for our nation.

Raila, has won elections before but denied the honor to lead Kenya as President. The two deserve to lead us as first among equals because they represent a huge constituency. But Hon. Uhuru and Ruto also represent a big constituency and he deserves to serve as Prime minister because he is leader of party with majority MPs in Parliament. It’s for Kenya.

LET THAT SINK IN. That is the way forward. We cannot have Jubilee or NASA alone governing Kenya. We cannot through election exclude Jubilee even if NASA carried the day in a repeat election.  Electoral justice is now more complicated than holding election and having a winner declared. Swearing in Uhuru and even Raila will not work for Kenya if we are to restore constitutional stability.

Even Mighty Mugabe has accepted to hand over because it’s for Zimbabwe.  In 2022, Hon.  Kalonzo to serve for five years as President and Mudavadi from 2027 as President. I listened to Hon. Mudavadi speak at All Saints today at the requiem service of Mama Mary Chesoni and I said yes he qualifies to be our President. Hon. William Ruto has served his term as Deputy President.

We can give Kenya a break from a Kikuyu or Kalenjin president. This is for Kenya. After Mudavadi, we can open the floor again. Even a Kisii or Taita or any other then should be considered if she or he is the best for our nation.

We shall have stabilized the system and established public morality, redeemed institutions and evolved a positive inclusive culture as a nation. Ethnic pride and greed is going to burn our nation and we will collapse if we don't treat this cancer quickly. His eminence Cardinal Otunga told it to us but we didn't listen- thinking that your tribe is better or anointed over others is tribalism and that is demonic. 

Why do I propose this? Because, this empty tribal arithmetic to win the presidency is not democracy. It's just winning it like a prize to have the legal right to munch meat as the others swallow saliva on starving and dying souls.

The Supreme court cannot solve our moral and spiritual crisis in a country where even Bishops and evangelists are for hire to promote an ethnic-hegemony agenda. 

For The presidency to become an office of selfless service, it must become consensual for at least ten years so that government is focused on addressing our five major needs as the people of Kenya namely a)jobs and cost of living for families especially more than nine million jobless youths b)healthcare for families c) food security and water d) housing, urbanization,  environment and sanitation e) Effective corruption free national and county governments that secures our security, nationhood,  good governance/rule of law, economy, enablers like roads and energy. 

These five needs of the people of Kenya cannot be focused on when the presidency is the outcome of rigged and grabbed elections year after year to secure ethnic pride and greed and fear of others coming to power. Since 1992, 25 years now, our focus has been on ukabila, ulafi and forming illegitimate government. The needs of the people have been neglected. The country is at the brink of destruction, even secession all because of ethnic pride and supremacy. 

 A new constitution has not fixed it, because our culture is rotten. The Soul of our nation is sick. This is the National Dialogue that we need. Democracy is not only voting in useless and pre-rigged presidential elections where more people including six-month-old children are killed by the police state militia. Elements of our constitution and Western democracy are not working for us. We need to resolve the presidency and co-existence, respect for all and get down to re-creating our nation to become the Kenya we All want- together.  

Yes, I am saying that the Kenyatta family has had the Presidency for 20 years. With Kibaki's 10, a kikuyu has been president for 30 years and that is enough. A Kalenjin has been president for 24 years. 

Let’s have ten years of addressing the needs of our people and the building of strong institutions. This needs a national consensus 2017 to 2027, where presidential elections will be consensus-based with the party with majority seats producing the Prime Minister. William Ruto should focus on the Prime minister position. Let's focus on the five needs of our nation especially through effective devolution. The delivery of services through county governments will be crucial.

Money should not be shared from national revenue to pay salaries for example. We must the address all the other long-term problems once we have a political consensus for ten years. 

Without this, we will tear the country apart, we will kill each other, destroy our economy and hurt the soul of our nation further deeply. A national envisioning moment and opportunity is at hand. The spirit of the Lord is upon the nation. 54 Years is enough.
Authors:
Concerned Kenyans at home and in the diaspora!