Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Jacob Mulaku

ABOLISH PARTY PRIMARIES ALTOGETHER
The just concluded party primaries are an indication of an ailing democracy in a country whose population believes in democratic governance.
Going by the number of aspirants seeking to vie for elective posts as independent candidates in the coming general elections, and the outcry by Kenyans on both social and main media, one gets this feeling that the primaries were not democratic, not free, not fair and therefore not credible.
With this trend, in order to achieve a fully democratic country where the will of the people is respected, and have political parties owned by majority Kenyans and not just a few individuals, we need to change our approach towards elections and party membership process, procedure, rules and regulations.
Political parties in Kenya as it stands today belong to a few minorities with majority of Kenyans being recruited into parties either knowingly or unknowingly just to foster the selfish interests of the people who parties belong to.
Kenyans have learned through blackmail and coercion to join parties not because these parties represent their interests but because they identify with certain top individuals in the parties or simply because they have been brainwashed to believe that the parties are regional or tribal forums through which they can put forth their bargain in national politics. Are political parties in Kenya today promoting democracy or they are simply tribal and regional entities?
It is time we put stop to this if we envisage a growing democracy, where political parties belong to members and not party officials, a democracy where majority win, a democracy where people are free to join parties for what they stand for and not because who they belong to or which tribal and regional interests they represent.
For us to achieve this, we must change our elections process in Kenya which will change the way parties recruit their members. The process might sound radical but it’s the best way to ensure that the will of the people is respected; political parties are given back to the people and unite this country without having regional or tribal parties. This will not only see us track back to a culture of cultivating democratic practices at all levels of leadership elections, but also see the marginalized and the minority groups having a chance of ascending to power in this country for what they believe in and what they have to offer to move the country forward, and not be denied opportunity of leadership because they come from a marginalized minority.
This informs my proposal that;
a) We abolish party primaries/nominations and instead have all aspirants down from the MCAs up to the Governorship contest in general elections, and of course this should come with stringent measures, rules and regulations from the election’s body to enlist only serious contenders, people of integrity and leadership qualities able to represent the people at the elective level they intend to represent them.
b) That after their election, the MCAs, MPs, Women Reps, Senators,Gorvernors,through scrutiny of various party manifestoes and in discussion with their constituents, shall affiliate themselves to political parties prior to swearing in within 3 months of election.
c) That upon affiliation, one shall abide by the rules and regulations of the party and be guided by the principles of the party and what the party stands for and shall be subject to disciplinary which shall include but not limited to fines, suspension and expulsion upon negating on the party rules and regulation.
d) That one shall be free to change affiliation, but upon which one shall have to resign from his/her elective position and seek fresh mandate from the electorate before joining another party. This shall also apply to a member who through fair and due process is expelled from his affiliate party by way of disciplinary action for going against the principles of the party.
e) That for one to vie for any elective position except the presidency, one must not be a member of any political party at the time of registration by the electoral body until such a time after elctions,and one shall never be sworn into office unless he/she affiliates himself/herself to a political party.
f) That after the elections of the MCAs up to the Governors, but before their swearing in, a due process under the regulations of the electoral body be in place for the nomination of presidential candidates by political parties at least 3 months to the presidential elections. The presidential election must take place within 3 months after the lower election and presidential candidates nominating parties must have been duly registered at least 6 months prior to the nominations.
Jacob M Mulaku

Monday, 18 September 2017

Western Kenya secession bid moves to the High Court; 18.09.2017

By BENSON MATHEKA
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Africa’s human rights court has ordered Ethiopia to pay $150,000 compensation to a rape victim for failing to protect her rights. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUPAccording to the petitioners, the territorial jurisdiction of King Nabongo Mumia of Wanga spread from Jinja in present-day Uganda to Kijabe to Susua in Kenya. The Wanga Kingdom is not party to the case filed at the High Court. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

Summary

  • According to the petitioners, the colonial government declined to heed to demands by the Abaluhya community to have their own kingdom during the Lancaster House Talks in the United Kingdom that led to Kenya’s Independence in 1963.
  • It is the petitioners’ case that the Luhya community was part of Uganda and their land was given to the then British East African Protectorate, now Kenya, against their wish.
  • “The official representatives of the dominant group occupying the Eastern Province of Uganda being the entire Abaluhya Community comprising the Wanga Kingdom voiced their concern in writing of their planned merger,” Mr Mwilitsa states in an affidavit.
The agitation for parts of Kenya to secede has moved to the High Court with two residents filing a petition seeking the autonomy of western Kenya.
In the petition filed at the Constitutional Division of the High Court, Mr Mathew Okwanda Mwilitsa and Mr Alex Misigo Matisa are asking the court to let the people of what used to be Eastern Province of Uganda under the colonial rule to decide their political future in a referendum.
ABALUHYA KINGDOM
“The petitioners are personally and on behalf of their community urging the honourable court to be pleased to grant the people occupying the territory formerly known as the Eastern Province of Uganda leave to hold a referendum so as to exercise their right to determination in terms of their rights to nationality, territorial integrity, economic, social and culture as a people,” the petition states.
They have sued the governments of Uganda, Kenya and Britain for destabilising the once united Abaluhya kingdom.
Mr Mwilitsa is from  Kakamega County while Mr Matisa lives in Vihiga County.
NABONGO MUMIA
“The inhabitants of the former Eastern Province of Uganda were between the years 1895 – 1962 a distinct, cohesive, homogeneous and a united community under the able leadership of their King Nabongo Mumia, whose territorial jurisdiction spread from Jinja in present-day Uganda to Kijabe with the boundary being at Susua in the then British East Africa Protectorate (now Kenya),” the petition further states.
According to the petitioners, the colonial government declined to heed to demands by the Abaluhya community to have their own kingdom during the Lancaster House Talks in the United Kingdom that led to Kenya’s Independence in 1963.
It is the petitioners’ case that the Luhya community was part of Uganda and their land was given to the then British East African Protectorate, now Kenya, against their wish.
LANCASTER CONFERENCE
“The official representatives of the dominant group occupying the Eastern Province of Uganda being the entire Abaluhya Community comprising the Wanga Kingdom voiced their concern in writing of their planned merger,” Mr Mwilitsa states in an affidavit.
He argues the said merger was meant to destroy their cultural and social fabric, which was well knit under the leadership of the able king of the Abaluhya.
Though the Abaluhya leaders voiced their concern in writing to the Lancaster House Conference Talks on Kenya’s Independence in 1960, their pleas have been ignored to date by subsequent governments.
“The merger of the former Eastern Province of Uganda with the British East Africa Protectorate was illegal, and the same violated the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Governing Assembly Resolution No. 1514 (XV) of 14 thDecember, 1960.
DISCRIMINATION
“The Government of the United Kingdom by design failed to resolve the Abaluhya Question when it was in a position to do so before granting independence  to the British East Africa Protectorate; and therefore liable to pay reparations for the anguish and sorrow suffered by the said community to date,” the petition states.
Since the merger and after independence, the petition says Luhyas suffered severe discrimination, and victimisation in job allocation and general development funding.
“The community has similarly been marginalised economically, socially, culturally and politically  and in the end the community has been given a derogatory tag as being ‘professional  cooks and watchmen’”.
THE UK
The petitioners are asking the court to compel the Government of the United Kingdom to pay reparations to the Abaluyia Community for randomly and arbitrarily placing them in Kenya, and for failing to resolve their question and petition before granting independence to the former East Africa Protectorate, now Kenya.
They want the court to declare that the inhabitants of  the former Eastern Province of Uganda are at liberty in making their free choice of their territorial integrity without external force or intimidation and that Article 15 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the right to nationality, self-determination and territorial integrity applies to their petition.

Repeat presidential election date may be changed, 18.09.2017

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, his deputy Connie Maina (right) and commissioner Roselyne Akombe at a past press conference in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUPIEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, his deputy Connie Maina (right) and commissioner Roselyne Akombe at a past press conference in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Summary

  • French-firm OT-Morpho has submitted to the Wafula Chebukati-chaired IEBC a six-page report, in which it is detailing how long it will take to reconfigure the 45,000 kits for the fresh election, which is scheduled for October 17.
  • Since it is only in a presidential election that the kits will be used, the names of the 14,000 candidates for the five other elective seats, their results and portraits will also be removed from the system.
  • The IEBC has been thrown into a spin with a demand that will lead to an almost-complete overhaul of the election process, which includes buying of new 40,883 ballot boxes.
  • An audit ordered by the Chief Justice David Maraga-led court found massive clerical errors in 42 of the 290 constituencies.
A decision on whether to change the date of the fresh presidential election might be made on Monday, when the electoral commission deliberates on a status report on the voter identification and result transmission kits.
According to sources, however, the decision is not likely to be made public until Wednesday, when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) meets President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main rival Raila Odinga at the Bomas of Kenya, the National Tallying Centre.
French-firm OT-Morpho has submitted to the Wafula Chebukati-chaired IEBC a six-page report, in which it is detailing how long it will take to reconfigure the 45,000 kits for the fresh election, which is scheduled for October 17.
“Since Morpho gave its oral presentations, the talk of change of the election date has gained traction in the commission but has not become a substantive agenda,” a source at the IEBC told the Nation, adding: “The commission will meet again today to discuss a six-page report by Morpho and concretise its decision.”
CONFIGURED
The kits will have to be configured with the names of the top two presidential candidates only after the other six were locked out. This will be after a meticulous, no-mistakes-allowed removal and safekeeping of the August 8 General Election data to avoid the risk of the kits re-using data from the invalidated poll.
Since it is only in a presidential election that the kits will be used, the names of the 14,000 candidates for the five other elective seats, their results and portraits will also be removed from the system.
It is important for the IEBC to get the configuration of the kits right — and, ultimately, the voter identification and results transmission — as they were at the heart of the Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the re-election of President Kenyatta and ordered a fresh poll within 60 days.
OTHER POSSIBLE DATES
Since the court released its judgment on September 1, it means the fresh election has to be held by October 31. Sources, however, cited October 24, 26 and 30 as possible election dates should the commission plenary be convinced by Morpho on a postponement of the election. IEBC commissioner Paul Kurgat however said: “The date is still October 17, but Safran has presented its report and we will look at it and make decisions.”
Yesterday, the Odinga-led Nasa opposition coalition targeted Morpho in its renewed attacks on the preparations for the repeat election, dismissing an audit that the firm said it had done, showing it had found no evidence of hacking of the system in the August 8 polls.
But it is not only the kits that may inform the change of the election date.
The IEBC has been thrown into a spin with a demand that will lead to an almost-complete overhaul of the election process, which includes buying of new 40,883 ballot boxes. Most importantly, it will also have to train its more than 300,000 contract employees who will man the elections.
An audit ordered by the Chief Justice David Maraga-led court found massive clerical errors in 42 of the 290 constituencies. These included missing names of the constituency, name of the constituency written by hand, lack of security features such as the serial number and watermark on results forms, cases where the IEBC stamp looks different and others where the form runs into several pages. 

US wants Uhuru and Raila to hold talks on repeat poll

By PATRICK LANG'AT
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President Uhuru Kenyatta with Nasa leader Raila Odinga when they attended Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's 38th Anniversary Memorial Service at the Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi August 22, 2016. The US has reached out to President Kenyatta and his rival Raila to resolve sticky issues around the October 17 repeat elections. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUPPresident Uhuru Kenyatta with Nasa leader Raila Odinga when they attended Mzee Jomo Kenyatta's 38th Anniversary Memorial Service at the Holy Family Minor Basilica, Nairobi August 22, 2016. The US has reached out to President Kenyatta and his rival Raila to resolve sticky issues around the October 17 repeat elections. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 
By VALENTINE OBARA
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Summary

  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US government’s Bureau of African Affairs Donald Yamamoto said the US had already reached out to top political leaders in the country and informed them that the world is watching.
  • America has huge stakes in Kenya, varying from economic, social, political and security matters, especially in the fight against terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking.
  • Jubilee Party has toned down on calls for change of staff at the commission, instead demanding that the IEBC be granted the independence to choose its staff and make managerial decisions without interference.
  • Nasa has demanded the sacking of IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba, commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye and nine other senior officials and the cancellation of the Dubai-based Al-Ghurair tender to print the ballots.
The US has reached out to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his rival Raila Odinga to resolve sticky issues around the October 17 repeat elections .
A top official in President Donald Trump’s administration said “all eyes were on Kenya” as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) invited President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to a make-or-break meeting over the elections.
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the US government’s Bureau of African Affairs Donald Yamamoto said the US had already reached out to top political leaders in the country and informed them that the world is watching.
Besides regular statements made by the US ambassador to Kenya, Mr Robert Godec, concerning the coming election, this is probably the first time that a senior government official in the Donald Trump-led government has spoken publicly about it.
“Kenya’s on  — probably on — the threshold of a great election on October 17, but it’s the issues that we need to focus on and work with ... the eyes of the world and the US government are on you, on Kenya,” he said.
COMMON INTERESTS
Mr Yamamoto made the comments while giving a speech on advancing common interests of US-African partnerships at the US Institute of Peace based in Washington, on Wednesday.
The Bureau of African Affairs falls under the US Department of State and has the responsibility of advising the Secretary of State on matters touching on Sub-Saharan Africa.
“We’re not going to take our eyes away from it (Kenya). Kenya matters. If our largest embassy is in Nairobi, Kenya, that means we have a stake in that country, and Africa has a stake, and this government’s looking at where the trend lines will go after October 17,” said Mr Yamamoto.
America has huge stakes in Kenya, varying from economic, social, political and security matters, especially in the fight against terrorism, money laundering and drug trafficking.
At the height of the 2007 post-election violence, the US was at the forefront in pushing for mediation between President Mwai Kibaki of PNU who had been declared winner and his main opponent Raila Odinga who vied through ODM.
BROKER DEAL
The country dispatched its then-Secretary of State, Ms Condoleezza Rice, to attempt to broker a deal between the two sides so as to stop the violence, which eventually saw more than 1,100 people lose their lives and thousands others left homeless.
As Mr Yamamoto spoke, sources at the IEBC said the commission has  scheduled a consultative meeting between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga on Wednesday to thrash out issues that the National Super Alliance has raised.
The meeting, it was said, will take place at the Bomas of Kenya, which served as the commission’s National Tallying Centre .“I am positive that we are going to sit down and for the sake of the country, we shall come up with a solution to any issues that might be a roadblock to the holding of the elections on October 17,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said last week, before the commission confirmed the sending of the invites to the two protagonists on Twitter on Friday.
In the Wednesday meeting, the IEBC hopes to go through Nasa’s demands while taking into consideration the Jubilee Party’s views.
It is also at this meeting that the IEBC is expected to tell the candidates if there will be a change of the elections date following a request by French firm Safran Morpho for more time to re-configure the 45,000 voter identification and result transmission kits.
The commission has prepared a 12-page agenda document for the meeting in which they have promised to re-vet returning officers, audit their servers and improve on the ballot paper printing tender.
BALLOTS
To ensure the integrity of the ballots, the IEBC has proposed a tracking system from the source to the warehouses, until the polling stations, data which will be available to the two rivals, while reducing the extra ballot paper provision that led to an extra 1.2 million in the August 8 poll.
Nasa has demanded, among other things, the sacking of IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba, commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye and nine other senior officials, the cancellation of the Dubai-based Al-Ghurair tender to print the ballots and an audit of the IEBC server before the polls.
“Kenyans are coming for you. Salvage what you can and run. There will be no election with you in office,” Mr Odinga told the 12 IEBC officials on Sunday.
President Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party, on the other hand, has toned down on calls for change of staff at the commission, instead demanding that the IEBC be granted the independence to choose its staff and make managerial decisions without interference.
JOINT MEETING
“We must give IEBC the space to run this election. We must respect their independence ... It is not in our purview to decide staff and other administrative issues for the IEBC. That is the job of the commissioners,” said Deputy President William Ruto after a meeting with the IEBC last week.
A joint meeting between the two parties planned for Tuesday last week aborted after Mr Odinga, who was accompanied by his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, and co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula walked out when Mr Ruto failed to arrive for the 11am meeting.
The DP, who arrived later, said his tardiness was due to a Jubilee Parliamentary Group meeting he had attended.
Separately, US Undersecretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Jr said Kenya showed a great maturity in democracy after the Supreme Court ruling, which nullified presidential results that had seen President Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner by the IEBC.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

NASA EMBAKASI DECLARATION: 17.09.2017


WHY SHOULD KENYANS TRUST IEBC WITH ANOTHER ELECTION?
Since the Supreme Court declared that the Presidential election was not conducted in accordance with the Constitution, that Uhuru Kenyatta was not validly declared President and Uhuru’s purported win was invalid, null and void, only two developments have occurred at the IEBC.
First, Chairman Wafula Chebukati raised more questions with the CEO of the Commission Mr. Ezra Chiloba. Then the officials proceeded to a retreat and declared unity and readiness to conduct another election.
Otherwise, all the individuals and institutions that perpetrated the illegalities and irregularities remain in place, claiming readiness to conduct another election.
The French firms Saffran and Morpho that supplied the kits for the failed elections after being single-sourced now claims to have audited itself away from the eyes of the complainants and the Kenyan public and given itself a clean bill of health.
As it declares itself clean and ready for another election, the IEBC's own ftp (file transfer protocol) server logs show over 3,500 attempts to penetrate the system by unauthorized users prior to the election.
The IEBC's own server logs demonstrate an unauthorized user using a personal email account "dkchirchir@gmail.com" to access the server contrary to the IEBC's own ICT User Policy.
Saffran seconded staff to assist the IEBC here in Nairobi with full access to the system. What did those staff do when they noticed this violation? Either they did nothing or aided the illegality.
Rogue users aside, did Safran take note of rogue activities by "authorized" users? For example, the user wchebukati@iebc.or.ke was supposed to have read-only privileges on the system as a national user. Why could his profile delete files (forms 34A and B) from the ftp server? Who granted these privileges and what did Safran do when they noted this violation? Either they did nothing or aided the violation.
Saffran’s complicity in this fraud extends beyond just hacking but to willfully allowing gross violations of the IEBC ICT User Policy.
Does Saffran deny that only two out of 40,883 KIEMS kits transmitted data for the entire election? This is also in the IEBC logs.
As a professional firm in the business of conducting elections, aren't they culpable if they stand by as their system is grossly abused with their full knowledge and input?
Yet as things stand today, the firms are preparing for business as usual in a fresh election.
Another single-sourced firm, Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing, whose track record of supplying ballot papers in nearly all elections in Africa where the will of the people has been manipulated and overthrown, is on standby again, ready to print ballot papers.
When IEBC chairman raised questions with Mr Chiloba, including why his (Chebukati’s) account was created and used to undertake 9,934 transactions in the IEBC server without his knowledge and consent, why 595 polling stations failed to send any presidential results, while 682 polling stations had identical numbers of rejected votes, we heard from Deputy President that Chiloba had answered. Neither NASA nor the Kenyan public knows that Chiloba had responded. Only Jubilee knows.
This is disturbing but easy to understand. IEBC and Jubilee are partners in crime. The two need each other. If Jubilee is in power, it will protect the co-conspirators and fraudsters in IEBC. Those IEBC officials have every reason to protect Jubilee as their only source of protection.
The murder of Chris Msando who was IEBC IT Director is a cold-hearted crime that goes very high up. IEBC and Jubilee are partners in this murder.
The question that follows naturally is: Why should Kenyans trust these individuals and institutions with another election? Is it because the IEBC officials went on a retreat and buried the hatchet? Is it because Safran supposedly conducted an audit and declared itself clean? Is it because Ezra Chiloba provided the answers and handed them over to William Ruto? Is it because Al Ghurair has now committed to transparent engagement with the people of Kenya?
Are we counting on the very institutions and individuals who participated in a coup against the people of Kenya and tried to install a defeated candidate as winner to ensure an accountable counting, tallying, transmission and transparency of results? Our answer is No.
IEBC as currently constituted together with the institutions that conducted the August elections cannot conduct a free and fair election in October. It is not in their interest to do so.
And so today, we launch our campaign against any elections held by IEBC as currently constituted. We shall go around the country sensitising people about our case against elections by IEBC.
We shall sensitise our people about the reforms that must take place before they can be called to another election.
As the opposition, we have instituted reforms to the election process before. We shall do it again. That is our focus and our goal. Because we instituted the use of technology in our elections, we were able to catch the thieves and fraudsters this time.
That made Kenya the first country in Africa and 4th in the world to have a presidential election declared invalid, null and void due to illegalities and irregularities in the electoral process.
We are the people who will end electoral fraud in Africa. We will be the team that will uproot the evil of sham elections with a pre-determined outcome. That is our focus in October and beyond, not another sham election.
We are alive to the fact that institutions can’t reform when they are led by people opposed to reforms.
And so we restate: Officers who facilitated the display of figures purporting them to be results but which at the Supreme Court hearing were disowned by the Commission as mere statistics must get out of the way. That is where is reform at IEBC will begin.
1. Abdi Guliye.
2. Molu Boya
3. Ezra Chiloba
4. Marijan Hussein Marijan.
5. Betty Nyabuto
6. James Muhati.
7. Immaculate Kassait.
8. Praxedes Tororey
9. Moses Kipkogey
10. Sidney Namulungu- in charge of Kisii County where fake Forms were used to declare results
11. Nancy Kariuki- in charge of Mombasa County where fake Forms were used to declare results.
12. Silas Rotich- in charge of Nakuru County where fake Forms were used to declare results.
Kenyans are coming for you. Salvage what you can and run. There will be no election with you in office.
Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga
Hon Kalonzo Musyoka
Hon Musalia Mudavadi
Sen. Moses Wetangula
NAIROBI
September 17, 2017

Akombe fears for her life, says brother has fled the country,17.9.17

By JUSTUS WANGA
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Dr Roselyn Akombe Kwamboka. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUPIEBC Commissioner Roslyn Akombe. Her brother has fled the country after receiving several threatening messages believed to be targeted at his sister and fellow commissioners. FILE PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Summary

  • Dr Akombe opened up on her own fears, saying never before has she felt so insecure.
  • The threats, the Nation learnt, have been in the form of text messages and calls from unknown persons.
  • Asked whether she had reported the threats on her and her brother to the police, Dr Akombe answered in the negative but did not give reasons.
  • On Saturday, Inspector- General of Police Joseph Boinnet told the Nation that he was not aware of the incident.
A brother of electoral agency official Dr Roselyn Akombe has fled the country after receiving several threatening messages believed to be targeted at his sister and fellow commissioners.
The 34-year-old man, who we are not naming for security reasons, his wife and three children left the country through the Namanga border point on September 5 following sustained threats on his life by unknown persons in what is turning out to be a wider plot to intimidate commissioners, especially those perceived not to tow the “official line.”
“He left the country last week when the threats became too much,” Ms Akombe confided in the Nation in an exclusive interview.
Without pointing fingers at anybody, Dr Akombe maintained the threats directed at her brother were intended to intimidate her.
“He is a man who loves this country and had always resisted our attempts to get him something to do abroad.  I feel responsible for it. It feels bad but what can you do about it?” a distraught Akombe said.
INSECURE
The Nation learnt that the man, who worked in one of the government ministries, deliberately avoided going through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for security reasons and instead travelled to Namanga by road, before crossing the border to neighbouring Tanzania.
He eventually landed in his host country eight days later, after passing through five countries.
Dr Akombe opened up on her own fears, saying never before has she felt so insecure.
“I have been to Somalia, Yemen, Jordan, Iraq and even Libya for security assessment missions but on a personal basis I have never felt this insecure,” she said without elaborating.
She was referring to her tour of duty in those countries when she served in the Department of Political Affairs of the UN where she was an Under-Secretary before taking leave to take up the IEBC job early this year.
Asked whether she had reported the threats on her and her brother to the police, Dr Akombe answered in the negative but did not give reasons.
On Saturday, Inspector- General of Police Joseph Boinnet told the Nation that he was not aware of the incident.
DETAINED
“I don’t know anything about what you have just told me. Nothing at all,” he said.
Just one week after the August 8 polls, Dr Akombe was detained overnight at the JKIA by security officers on grounds she did not have prior clearance from the head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to leave the country.
It took the personal intervention of US ambassador Robert Godec to have Ms Akombe released and allowed to proceed with her journey to the United States.
The Ministry of Interior later explained the code of regulations for public servants and employees of independent commissions required they seek clearance from authorities before travelling abroad.
“The IEBC commissioner has proceeded on her travel after being cleared. There is a code of regulations for public servants and officers. It affects even those in independent commissions because they are not private companies,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said.
This was, however, disputed with some observers offering that officials of independent commissions do not require such nod from Mr Kinyua, otherwise they lose their autonomy.
NEED CLEARENCE
Chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights Kagwiria Mbogori disputed the executive’s assertion that independent offices and constitutional commission officers have to be cleared by the Office of the President before they travel out of the country.
“For independent offices and constitutional commissions, we are independent institutions and our independence is granted by the Constitution of Kenya. And for travel of commissioners and even staff in our commissions, you do not need the clearance of the Head of Public Service. So, unless there was anything else, because we are not privy to the on-goings of that particular case, our comment will have to be just that,” said Ms Mbogori said.
The latest incident comes against reports that the security of top IEBC officials has been beefed up following threats directed at them and, in some cases, their family members and close relatives.
Days before he was murdered barely a week to the August 8 election, IEBC ICT manager Chris Msando had complained about threats to his life.
Police chief Boinnet later went on record to assure that all IEBC staff would have their security enhanced. He was responding to an appeal by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati that the government protects them.
ACCORDED SECURITY
“We shall also work with IEBC with a view to ensuring all the commission employees are accorded the requisite security to enable them discharge their mandate,” Mr Boinnet was quoted as saying.
Interviews with various staffers at the polls body, especially commissioners, revealed a number of them had been threatened in one way or the other over the last two months.
The threats, the Nation learnt, have been in the form of text messages and calls from unknown persons.
Two other commissioners are equally affected in what has forced them to adopt a self-enforced curfew. This has meant that, as a precautionary measure, they must be home before or by 6 pm. They also avoid early morning meetings that would require them to be in town before 6 am.
In the period leading to and immediately after the elections, one particular commissioner’s security was enhanced on the request of Mr Chebukati.
The opposition has claimed commissioners seen as independent were living in fear after their security detail was withdrawn by the State.
“It is Mr Chebukati’s constitutional right to have security and it is not a privilege. I want to tell Jubilee administration that if anything happens to Mr Chebukati, it will be held responsible,” said Bungoma Senator and Nasa principal Moses Wetang’ula.
The police have since come out to deny reports of withdrawing security. Police spokesman George Kinoti said no changes had been made to Mr Chebukati’s security arrangements.
On Thursday, the European Union observer mission, in its interim statement, called on the government to provide full security to IEBC officials as the country heads to the October 17 repeat presidential election.

Mutunga affidavit reveals intrigues dogging Supreme Court,17.9.17

By WALTER MENYA
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Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. Dr Mutunga has sworn an affidavit in which he lays bare intrigues that dogged the top court during his tenure. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUPFormer Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. Dr Mutunga has sworn an affidavit in which he lays bare intrigues that dogged the top court during his tenure. PHOTO | JACOB OWITI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

 Summary

  • The former CJ, in an affidavit sworn on August 7, details how two of the judges — Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u and Justice Jackton Ojwang’, at one time went on strike and crippled the court’s operations for close to two weeks.
  • Dr Mutunga’s affidavit is in relation to the consolidated petitions 204 and 218 of 2016 by former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) CEO Apollo Mboya and Supreme Court judge, Justice Ndung’u respectively.
  • The strike, according to an annexed memo of April 6, 2016 by the Supreme Court Registrar, affected eight matters that had been listed for the period, including an appeal by former Nyando MP Fred Outa against the nullification of his election.
Former Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has laid bare the intrigues and infighting which characterised his seven judge bench, almost paralysing the operations of the Supreme Court.
The former CJ, in an affidavit sworn on August 7, details how two of the judges — Lady Justice Njoki Ndung’u and Justice Jackton Ojwang’, at one time went on strike and crippled the court’s operations for close to two weeks.
Dr Mutunga also disowns assertions by the two judges that the decision by the Supreme Court judges to go on strike in 2015 was a collective one.
Furthermore, Dr Mutunga accuses Justice Ndung’u of falsifying the minutes of an October 6, 2015 meeting of then Supreme Court judges.
According to Dr Mutunga, “The said letter (notifying the withdrawal of services by a section of Supreme Court judges) was not authorised by a collective decision of the Supreme Court judges, and ought to be treated as the sole work of the three signatories to the said letter.”
JUDICIAL OPERATIONS
Besides Justice Ojwang’ and Justice Ndung’u, the letter to initiate “a moratorium on all judicial operations” was also signed by Justice Mohammed Ibrahim but who later pulled out of actualising the strike.
Dr Mutunga’s affidavit is in relation to the consolidated petitions 204 and 218 of 2016 by former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) CEO Apollo Mboya and Supreme Court judge, Justice Ndung’u respectively.
Mr Mboya had filed the petition to challenge the Judicial Service Commission’s (JSC) decision to admonish rather than recommend to the president for the formation of a tribunal to investigate the conduct of Justices Jackton Ojwang’ and Ndung’u for participating in an illegal strike and thereby paralysing the Supreme Court’s operations.
The strike was to protest the decision of JSC to retire then Deputy Chief Justice Kalpana Rawal and Justice Philip Tunoi.
HEARING
On the other hand, Justice Ndung’u, in her petition, is contesting the JSC’s decision to admonish her, arguing she was not accorded a fair hearing.
The hearing for highlighting of submissions in the consolidated petition is set for September 20, which will be around the same time the Supreme Court will be publishing the detailed and reasoned judgment of the court for nullifying the August 8 presidential election and the dissents thereof.
Since the Supreme Court nullified the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta on September 1, there has been a sustained onslaught on the apex judges and the judiciary in general with the president derogatively calling the current judges “crooks”.
The President’s party has also heightened the attack on individual judges, including the filing of a petition by Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu seeking to remove current Chief Justice David Maraga.
STRIKE
In the National Assembly, Jubilee MPs have also ramped up the rhetoric, with proposals for changes to the law to limit the powers of the judiciary to annul presidential elections.
According to Dr Mutunga, JSC convened as soon as it received the strike notification by the judges to discuss the contents of the letter and respond to the signatories that the commission stood with its decision of September 4, 2015 that the retirement age of judges is 70.
“Despite receiving the response of the JSC, I am aware that two of the three judges who signed the aforesaid letter (namely Judge Ojwang’ and Judge Njoki) acted upon their threat to down tools thereafter, and as a consequence, the Supreme Court did not proceed with its regular sitting for about two weeks from September 29, 2015 to October 15, 2015,” Dr Mutunga avers.
The strike, according to an annexed memo of April 6, 2016 by the Supreme Court Registrar, affected eight matters that had been listed for the period, including an appeal by former Nyando MP Fred Outa against the nullification of his election.
According to Dr Mutunga, “Justice Ibrahim availed himself for possible sittings of the Supreme Court but Judge Ojwang’ and Njoki did not, hence causing various matters to be taken out.”
INACCURATE NOTES
The former CJ also claims that notes by Justice Ndung’u of a meeting held on October 6, 2015 were found to be inaccurate. Dr Mutunga states that while the Deputy Registrar was in attendance for the formal part of the meeting and duly recorded the minutes, Judge Ndung’u stepped in to take notes for the latter portion of the meeting.
“I recall very clearly that the notes taken by Judge Njoki for the latter portion of the said meeting were challenged in a subsequent meeting of the Supreme Court judges and rejected on the ground of inaccuracy and failure to reflect the true position of the discussions we had held,” the former CJ states.
Thus, the minutes by Justice Ndung’u were discarded.   
As a result of the incident, Dr Mutunga states it was resolved that confidential minutes should also be taken by the Deputy Registrar “to avoid recurrence of inaccurate recording by a judge in future.”
In the said inaccurate minutes, the former CJ points out suspicious recordings by Judge Ndung’u.
QUESTIONABLE MINUTES
According to Dr Mutunga, the questionable minutes indicate the Deputy CJ was chairing the meeting yet the CJ, as the president of the Supreme Court, was present and participating. This according to Dr Mutunga was not the normal practice.
Another anomaly in the purported minutes, Dr Mutunga avers, makes reference to a subsequent meeting which was to take place on October 14, 2015 yet the signature page indicates that the minutes of October 6, 2015 meeting were approved much later on October 27, 2015.
He also points out that the October 6, 2015 minutes were not only inaccurate but also were never approved.
In the same affidavit, Dr Mutunga refutes alleged discussions on administrative matters during the conferencing of the judges.
DIFFERENCES
The conferencing of judges, he states, “was always about discussion of judicial matters that had been heard before us and were pending for judgment with the purpose of determining possible verdict on the said cases.”
The affidavit highlights the ideological and personal differences among the judges of the apex court during Dr Mutunga’s time as the Chief Justice, divisions which have persisted to date.
For instance, there have been claims that Mr Wambugu’s petition could have been drafted with the help of judiciary insiders, especially on matters regarding its organisation and inner workings, including budgets to some agencies within the judiciary.