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.

Activists arrested in Nakuru during ‘arrest COVID-19 thieves’ demos

Three activists were on Monday morning arrested during ‘arrest COVID-19 thieves’ demos in Nakuru town.

The three Vincent Tanui,David Opingo and John Tower were arrested as Nakuru Human Rights defenders under the umbrella Kenya Tuitakayo Movement held protests in Nakuru town.

They were held at Central Police Station.

The demonstrators staged from Railways ground to the Governor’s and Regional Commissioner officeswhere they submitted petitions demanding action on COVID-19 funds thieves.

However,the demos were marred with excessive use of force by police officers who lobbed  teargas at demonstrators at various points.

Addressing media at the Governor’s office,Masese Kemunche  stated that the continued theft of public Resources has continued to hinder development.

Masese who is also the CEDGG’s program manager was very categorical that the thieves of COVID-19 funds should not go free.

“The continued theft of public Resources has continued to hinder development and that is why we are saying enough is enough” said Masese.

National Coalition on Human Rights Defenders Midrift Representative David Kuria Western has condemned the move by police.

Kuria who spoke to this writer at Central Police Station said the demonstrators were just just exercising their constitutional rights.

He called on Kenyans not to surrender until the thieves of COVID-19 funds are arrested.

“It’s wrong for police to arrest peaceful demonstrators. Kenyans are tired and they are making their voice to the goverment” said Kuria.

Sentiments echoed by James Wakibia.

According to Wakibia,it was shameful for police officers to use excessive force to disperse innocent Kenyans.

“It’s is disturbing that police can use excessive force on innocent Kenyans” he said.

Human Rights defenders have vowed to continue holding demos accross the country to pressure goverment to act on COVID-19 funds thieves.

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.

MCA, activist want Senate called to order over revenue formula

The failure by Senate on Thursday to adopt the third basis formula for sharing revenue among counties has elicited mixed reactions among leaders and civil society groups in Nakuru County.

This is the fifth time the Senate has failed to agree on the third-generation formula that will determine how the counties share Sh316.5 billion allocated to them in the 2020-21 budget.


Kabazi MCA Dr.Peter Mbae.PHOTO/Pristone Mambili.

Responding to the Thursday scenario that took place at the Senate, Nakuru’s Kabazi Ward MCA Dr.Peter Mbae said the Senate is playing around with devolution matters.

He says the formula revenue sharing is clear and will address all the challenges that the counties have been facing.

Mbae has told off Senate adding that the formula was developed by the Commission on Revenue Allocation (CRA) and forwarded to the Senate for consideration last year hence there cannot be any excuse.

“The Senate has no excuse and that is why we are calling on President to call the House to order so that counties cannot suffer anymore. We have been very lenient with Senate. If the President called to order the Senate on the issue of leadership then he can he call to order to save devolution.” said Mbae.

The new formula is a radical shift as it expands the parameters for the shareable revenue. It puts the health index at 17 per cent, agriculture 10 per cent, county population 18 per cent, basic share index 20 per cent, land area eight per cent and rural access at four per cent.

The others are poverty 14 per cent, urban households five per cent, fiscal effort (revenue collection) two per cent and prudent use of public resources at two per cent.

While lauding the formula for trying to address the challenges that were there before such as some counties being marginalized, the MCA questioned why the Senate was delaying the process.

He says the formula that was presented to the Senate in November last year has factored in key issues such as Health, Agriculture, and population.

“We have been historically marginalized as a county despite our huge contribution. We have higher generation of revenue and that means higher services are demanded by the citizens and that is what the census report came to cure” said Mbae.

Mbae says there should be no negotiations when it comes to service delivery at counties and that the formula on revenue allocation to counties was developed by experts who had no political alignments.

He maintains that the National Government should stop using COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to deny counties funds.


Masese Kemunche form Centre For Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance.PHOTO/Courtesy.

Similar sentiments echoed by Masese Kemunche from Centre for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG).

Masese says, “Whatever is happening at the senate is a sad state of affairs.It has compromised service delivery at counties.”

He has appealed to Senate to stop drama and quickly resolve the impasse.

According to the Division of Revenue Act, 2020, which equitably allocates the revenue generated at the national level between the national purse and counties, Sh316.5 billion has been allocated to the devolved units in the 2020/21 financial year.

According to Article 217 (1) of the Constitution, once every five years, the Senate must determine the basis for allocating funds among the counties.

This means that, until the formula is in place, the Senate cannot consider the County Allocation of Revenue Bill, which shares funds equitably among the 47 counties.

error: Content is protected !!