Governance Expert: Concerted effort key in realization of Chapter 6 of Constitution

Implementation of Chapter 6 of the Constitution of Kenya that was promulgated in 12 years ago remains a challenge in the country.

Governance experts argue that the Chapter 6 on Leadership and Integrity has continued to face challenges in implementation due to the lack of political good-will.

Joseph Omondi-an expert in matters governance at Midrift Human Rights Network based in Nakuru argues that implementation of the same calls for concerted effort from all stakeholders.

“The framers of the constitution of Kenya 2010 were very much in order to have Chapter 6 on Leadership and Integrity. But what we have currently have is lack of political good will in implementing the same. It is therefore a call to all stakeholders and Kenyans of good will to stand up and ensure full implementation” said Omondi.

He however commended the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission for administering EACC oath for all governors elected in 2022 August 9 polls.

This is the first time since devolution that County bosses took the EACC oath as a way of ensuring that the county resources are protected and that they will not involve themselves in corrupt deals.

Omondi says this will go a long way in safeguarding the spirit of devolution by ensuring that resources are well utilised and that those who are found engaging in corruption are dealt with as per the stipulation of the law.

He however challenged Kenyans of good-will in all counties to be vigilant and ensure resources at county levels are utilised well for development agenda.

“I must laud EACC for the move taken that all governors who assume office are taken through EACC oath. However, Kenyans are key in safeguarding devolution’s development agenda” said Omondi.

But even as Kenyans mark 12 years since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, questions are being raised on the issue of gender equal representation which has also not been fully realized in the country.

Though some counties such as Nakuru have made history by electing 15 female leaders among them Governor Susan Kihika, Senator Tabitha Karanja, Woman Rep Liza Chelule and 4 MPs ( Njoro, Bahati, Naivasha and Gilgils) as well as 8 MCAs.

The move, Omondi says is great as far as gender representation is concerned and commended Nakuru residents for the same.

He added that time is now for the women in elective positions to up their game and ensure more progressive laws and policies are passed by County Assemblies, National and Senate.

“The gender rule has it that the political parties have to play their role and the electorates too have a role through ballot. But I must commend residents of Nakuru for making history of 15 women elected. My call to those leaders is for them to play their role and ensure the progressive laws and policies are in place” he stated.


Human Rights defenders call for action to end unrest in Nessuit, Mariashoni

Human Rights defenders have joined hands in piling pressure on the Government to establish the political truth and solutions in the Mau Region, Nakuru and Narok counties.

In a statement issued in Nakuru on Thursday, the Human Rights defenders say the lives of the affected communities in Nakuru by the conflicts in Mauche, Nessuit and Mau Eco system will only come to normal if the government moves with speed to find a lasting solution.

According to the statement undersigned by affected communities, Midrift HURINET, Kenya Human Rights Commission, Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance as well as Freedom of Information Network, the conflicts on the border of Nakuru and Narok counties has continued to pose a challenge to the communities.

Led by Davis Malombe from Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Human Rights defenders together with the affected communities have cited lack of political goodwill as hindrance towards amicable solution in the conflicts.

“Lack of political goodwill has continued to hinder amicable solutions in the conflict prone areas such as Nessuit, Mariashoni and Ndoshua most affected” stated Malombe.

Muraya Wanyambugi from Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance adding that the conflicts can be traced back to historical injustices.

He cited that court actions have been there as communities try to seek Justice but all has been in vain with lack of title deeds still a challenge leading to the conflicts.

The conflicts according to the Human Rights defenders have led to forceful evictions, injuries in areas where there was excessive use of force by state.

They are now calling on the government to move with speed and find a lasting solution in the whole issue to avert more suffering of the communities.

Through recommendations read by Trizah Ombewa from Midrift HURINET, the Human Rights defenders want the affected families to commit to cessation of violence, peaceful and mutual co-existence.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission in collaboration with civil society should also ensure joint peace and justice committees to foster intercommunity peace.

They are also recommending the enactment of Nakuru County Peace Bill and implementation of Nakuru County Violence Prevention Policy especially on land issues.

The established taskforce on Mau Forest to look into issues has also been urged to present its findings and recommendations with immediate effect.

In addressing the issue of cut lines, the Human Rights defenders together with the affected communities say the government should come clear and separate settlement and forest land but in consideration of the affected families.

They have also called on the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to consider dropping charges perceived to be politically motivated and preferred against the affected communities.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority(IPOA) and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights(KNCHR) have been called upon to consider investigations into the atrocities allegedly committed by the state security, administration and forest apparatus during the  evictions and other operations.

Meanwhile, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has also been urged to investigate and prosecute the political elite allegedly inciting and dividing communities.While National Land Commission called upon to re-possess the land that was illegally and irregularly acquired by the undeserving elite.

Act on corrupt cartels now or resign, Nakuru Civil society groups tell President Kenyatta

Members of Civil Society organizations in Nakuru County are warning of a disastrous nation in the days to come if the government will not move with speed to address the issues of transparency and loss of public funds during this COVID-19 pandemic.

They have called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to take action and save the nation that seems to be collapsing due to corrupt cartels.

Addressing the media in Nakuru under the umbrella ‘Kenya Tuitakayo’, the human rights defenders are perturbed by the reported theft and diversion of donated Personal Protective Equipment.

In a statement read by Wanjiku Kihika and John Kamande, they members of the Nakuru civil society organizations also raised questions on the reported breaching of provisions of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act 2015 in the procurement of PPEs by KEMSA.

They have also put the government on the spot for failing to disclose all information on the amount allocated and distributed under the social protection programmes set up to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic including the names of beneficiaries and the criteria used to identify beneficiaries.

It is for this reason that the Nakuru Human Rights defenders have called on the government agencies to make public the names of companies and individuals awarded contracts for COVID-19 related commodities or services and the contract amounts.

“We call on all government agencies to immediately publish the names of companies and individuals awarded contracts for COVID-19 related commodities or services and the contract amounts” they stated in the stamen read by Kamande.

The activists are also demanding that the Cabinet Secretary National Treasury publish all expenditure on funds advanced for the CVID-19 efforts.

The Health   Cabinet Secretary has also been put to task to ensure that he provides full disclosure on the distribution of PPEs acquired by the government of Kenya whether purchased or donated giving full details on the sources and recipients.

And in order to ensure transparency, the activists have called on Auditor General to conduct an independent audit of all funds meant for COVID-19.

They further called on the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to fast-track their efforts to investigate the already suspected cases of theft at national and county levels.

Paul Masese Kemunche from Centre for enhancing Democracy  and Good Governance(CEDGG) added that Kenya is at crossroads with many pandemics among them  COVID-19 but with many shadow pandemics such as corruption that if not addressed the society will suffer.

“It is so unfortunate that the Government has been begging for money in the name of vulnerable citizens only to end up stealing from the same citizens. The Global Fund USAID withdrawal will not affect the government but the common citizens and that is why we are saying time is now to act” said Masese.

Masese says if President Uhuru Kenyatta will not address the nation on the allegations of corruption in his government and lay on the table measures to correct the same, then there will be a revolution through huge national civic demonstrations.

  “If the government will not implement the recommendations we have stated then Uhuru will not have an option but to step aside” said Masese.

Similar sentiments echoed by Midrift Human Rights Network CEO Joseph Omondi.

Omondi says a time is now for Kenyans to move from social media organizing to Community organizing.

While noting that the healthcare workers are also suffering as cartels embezzle funds at Afya House, the Midrift Human Rights Network CEO said the government is to blame as health was fully devolved but funding has continued to be paralyzed by the National treasury.

“The healthcare workers are issuing strike notices day in day out. Health was generally devolved but the national Government has continued to remain with the funds. A situation where somebody steals money in the name of COVID-19 pandemic and we are silent?  This is impunity that cannot be tolerated. Thus we need civic action so that the government can listen” said Omondi.

Their sentiments come even as civil society organizations have planned mega protests in various towns to pile pressure on the government to take action against corrupt individuals who have embezzled public funds.

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