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ODM MP kicks off quest to split Kenya

The threats were first given prominence by economist Dr David Ndii, who said it was time to have the debate as Kenyans need to be told why the need to stay together

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Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma. He wants a referendum held together with the fresh presidential election.

A push by sections of the country to secede have taken a new twist after Homa Bay Town Member of Parliament Hon Peter Kaluma a letter to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) demanding a referendum to amend the constitution in order to create two new states.

In a letter dated October 2, the lawmaker proposes the creation of two new countries – Democratic Republic of Kenya and the Central Kenya Republic. “It is proposed to amend the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 under 255(1)(b) and (2) of the Constitution as read together with Article 5 of the Constitution to redefine the territory of Kenya and allow for the creation of two new countries,” proposes Hon Kaluma.

The regions targeted to form a new state are the Nasa strongholds which include Western Kenya, Nyanza, Coast and Ukambani.

READ: Raila pushes Uhuru in a tight corner

The threats, which were made following the August 8 General Election, were given prominence by economist Dr David Ndii, who said it was time to have the debate as Kenyans need to be told why the need to stay together rather than divorce in light of marginalisation and historical injustices.

In his letter, Kaluma also suggests that the referendum be held simultaneously with the fresh election, whose status is now in limbo following the withdrawal of Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga, in order to include those who are not intending to take part in the presidential election as well as reduce costs.

Exclusion and tribalism

“Do also confirm by return whether the proposed referendum questions and/or Bill could be expedited and proceeded with simultaneously with the fresh elections; to give those who would otherwise not vote in the fresh elections absent necessary reforms something to vote on. This would also help mitigate incidental public expenditure hereon,” he suggests.

Kaluma points out exclusion, tribalism, inequities, corruption, impunity and general bad governance as the main the vast majority of Kenyans are being subjected to by the Jubilee government as the major reasons behind the secession calls.

EDITORIAL: Secession debate should not divide Kenyans

Claims by Raila that his victory had once again been stolen triggered an online petition, its promoters undisclosed. The intention is to table it for consideration in the African Union’s judicial arm, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights.

The petition cites what it terms a culture of rigged elections, economic marginalisation and extrajudicial killings as major reasons for the separatist call.

“Kenya has consistently been ruled by only two communities, yet Kenya is a country of about 44 tribes. This has seen rampant discrimination against other communities in basic human rights including distribution of national resources,” read the online petition.

“Successive Kenyan Governments have perpetuated a culture of impunity through rigged elections denying Kenyans from other tribes the ability to self-determine and even grow economically. In the wake of a rigged 2017 election and subsequent killings and ethnic cleansing, it is time we charted our own course as a people who believe in change.”

READ: Gina Din Kariuki speaks on her struggles and success

Editor and writer at BUSINESS TODAY, Muli has a passion for human interest stories that have a big impact on economic development. He holds a BSc in Communication and Journalism from Moi University and has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service. Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mwangi

    October 12, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I think it’s a good idea. Raila can then be president for life and they will be a prosperous nation.No more elections. If central Kenya can negotiate a route to the port and all will be happy.

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Politics

Police find guns at Jimmy Wanjigi’s home

The raid on the well-appointed Muthaiga address happened after police raided another house in Malindi and recovered five guns and 93 bullets

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Police have found six pistols and one shotgun at Jimmy Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home but his family says they are licensed.

The Tuesday, October 17 find comes after Monday’s overnight siege of the property on Muthaiga 44 Road that was followed by an operation on Tuesday during which police used sledgehammers and metal cutters to break into the ritzy house.

The raid on the well-appointed Muthaiga address happened after police raided another house in Malindi and recovered five guns and 93 bullets. They also searched another house in Nyali, Mombasa. They linked both houses to Mr Wanjigi.

He has since denied that the Malindi villa belongs to him. Detectives from the Special Crimes Prevention Unit and Flying Squad arrived at Wanjigi’s gate at about midday. The fortified compound is opposite the official residence of the American ambassador to Kenya.

The officers showed guards on duty a warrant and said they had come to conduct a search. Tuesday Wanjigi moved to court seeking to stop his arrest and a court stopped his arrest until September 19, granted him a Sh50,000 anticipatory bail and warned police against the destruction of the businessman’s property.

An anticipatory bail temporarily bars police from arresting a suspect. The businessman sued Police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet and DPP Keriako Tobiko.

Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe said the raid on Wanjigi’s homes was in the interest of national security.  Pictures and video footage in our possession show officers arriving armed with rifles, metal cutters and sledgehammers.

The officers are seen struggling to smash the oak doors but not the glass, suggesting that it could be the reinforced Kevlar type.

ALSO SEE: NASA chief financier under siege

Later they are seen inside a sitting room asking “Mzee wapi mwenye nyumba? Tunajua nyinyi ni wazazi” (Where is the owner of the house? We know you are parents.), suggesting the presence of other parties not captured on camera.

On Monday, Jimmy’s father, Moi-era Cabinet Minister Maina Wanjigi drove to the son’s residence. The only civilian seen in the video is a young man on a couch. Later, a female voice is heard telling an officer “I will take you where you want to go. Where do you want to go?” Another officer in a white shirt, pistol in hand, stands calmly as another one is busy tearing down doors.

Police also searched Mr Wanjigi’s Kwacha House offices on General Mathege Drive, Westlands, Nairobi Caramel, the high end club at ABC Place, also Westlands.

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Politics

Court lifts ban on Nasa protests

Justice John Mativo said the suspension would be in effect until NASA chief executive officer Norman Magaya’s case is heard and determined

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The High Court has temporarily lifted government ban on anti-IEBC demos in the central business districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.

The suspension follows a case filed by National Super Alliance Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya.

The court on Tuesday said the suspension would be in effect until Mr Magaya’s case is heard and determined.

At the same time, Justice John Mativo blocked the arrest and prosecution of Mr Magaya over the demos until the case is determined.

Judge Mativo issued the temporary orders on Tuesaday after the lawyer representing Mr Magaya appeared before him.

ALSO SEE: You didn’t follow the law, police tell Nasa

Mr Magaya had moved to court on Monday seeking to stop his arrest and the ban on protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

He sued Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet, Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko and acting Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

Last week, Dr Matiang’i said Mr Magaya would be held responsible for destruction of property during anti-IEBC protests.

More follows.

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Economy

Drawn-out vote increases risks for investors, IMF says

Bretton Woods institution avers prolonged election period has increased risks for investors and traders, in turn leading to a slowdown in economic activity

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 Kenya’s election rerun is raising the country’s risk profile among investors and weighing down already sluggish economic growth, the International Monetary Fund says.

“The prolonged election period has increased risks for investors and traders,” Jan Mikkelsen, the Washington-based lender’s new resident representative in Kenya, said in an emailed response to questions. “This in turn has led to a slowdown in economic activity.”

The IMF has lowered its 2017 economic growth forecast for Kenya, the largest economy in East Africa, to 5% after expansion slowed in the first half of the year due to a drought that led to a contraction in farming output and pushed up food prices. That would be the lowest growth rate since 2012. Rain-fed agriculture in Kenya, which supplies about a third of the flowers sold in the European Union, contributes about 30 percent to the country’s total output.

ALSO SEE: Prolonged campaigns fatigue Kenyans

The Supreme Court last month overturned President Uhuru Kenyatta’s win in an Aug. 8 election, citing “irregularities and illegalities” by the nation’s electoral body. Opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who has been demanding changes at the electoral commission, threw plans for a rerun on Oct. 26 into disarray when he withdrew from participating in the vote, saying the management of the vote “would be worse than the previous one”.

Economic growth may pick up in 2018 “assuming a return to a more normal, predictable political environment after the forthcoming elections and a modest improvement in agriculture production,” Mikkelsen said.

The IMF will hold talks with the Kenyan government on a $1.5-billion standby facility that’s meant to buffer the nation from excessive external shocks after elections are concluded. The facility ends in March and “Kenyan authorities are not expected to draw on the resources,” Mikkelsen said.

 Story Credit: Bloomberg

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Politics

UN experts decry rights clampdown in Kenya

They aver a pattern of police brutality, excessive use of force, consistent harassment of judges and threats to civil society has been witnessed even before the ban on protests

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Independent Expert on Human Rights Michel Forst. Photo: Jean-Marc Ferré/UN News Centre

Voicing concern over restrictions on protests as well as attacks on judiciary and civil society in the run-up to presidential elections in Kenya, a group of United Nations independent human rights experts called on the Government to honour its obligations and protect the rights of Kenyans.

“It is precisely when political tensions are high that governments should do their utmost to let people express their grievances and to protect their rights,” said the experts in a news release issued by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Kenya is facing a choice. We urge it to choose to uphold its constitution and pursue strengthening of its democracy, to avoid deepening political divisions and exacerbating tensions.”

According to the human rights experts, a pattern of police brutality, excessive use of force, consistent harassment of judges and threats to civil society has been witnessed even before the ban was imposed.

Under the restrictions, protests are forbidden in parts of the nation’s three largest cities – Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu – until further notice, protests in other parts of the country require prior police permission and organisers can be held criminally liable for any offence by any participant.

In the news release, experts noted that while some previous protests had been marred by violent incidents, they stressed that response to any violence must be proportional to the level of threat and that security forces must prioritize dialogue and non-violent means.

The presidential elections are to be held on 26 October.

The rights experts also said that there was currently an alleged climate of impunity for law enforcement officers despite the launching of several investigations, including one into the violence that followed the 8 August general election, when dozens of people were killed and many injured as a result of police action.

ALSO SEE: Nasa vows to defy Matiang’i ban on protests

In particular, they highlighted an incident on 28 September, when 27 students and staff at the University of Nairobi were reportedly injured when police used tear gas, beat them with wooden clubs, robbed them and threatened them with sexual violence.

A few days later, on 2 October, police reportedly used tear gas in a nursery in Nyalenda (a suburb of Kisumu) injuring at least three children.

“We call for a prompt, independent and thorough investigation into all allegations of police brutality,” the experts said, adding: “impunity fosters a culture of violence and mistrust, the opposite of what Kenya needs as it prepares for a repeat of the presidential elections.”

Further in the release, the experts expressed serious concern over reports of repeated attacks against individual judges and the judiciary in general and attempts to limit the courts’ role in hearing election-related petitions.

“Robust checks and balances are the prerogative of every democracy,” they said, stressing that the independence of the judiciary must be protected.

They also underscored that the role of the civil society must also be preserved and denounced fake information being circulated online on social media, seeking to denigrate human rights organizations, including members of the Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu initiative which works for free and fair elections.

“This is unacceptable and must immediately stop,” the experts said. “Over the years, we have repeatedly raised concerns with the Government of Kenya about shrinking civil society space and attacks on individual human rights defenders.”

The UN human rights experts noted above include Michel Forst, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Agnes Callamard, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; Diego García-Sayán, the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; Nils Melzer, the Special Rapporteur on torture; and David Kaye, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Special Rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council – the highest intergovernmental forum in the UN system on rights issues – to examine and report back on a specific human rights theme or a country situation. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

Story Credit: UN News Centre

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