Maina Kiai's Column

Maina Kiai's Column

Health scandal shows how deep the corruption roots have gone

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Let’s get this straight: the current version of tenderpreneurs wreaking havoc on the poor, the weak, the sick and the marginalised are neither entrepreneurs nor businesspeople. They are hustlers who peddle influence. In fact, they are simple brokers, in the very Kenyan sense of the term. An entrepreneur is someone who takes considerable risks to make profits, and who has as much chance to make losses as profits. Tenderpreneurs take no risks given that they already know how much they will be paid, and when. All they have to do is source the commodity for which they receive the tender,…
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It’s foolhardy to attempt to suppress peaceful protests

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The women’s marches held last Saturday across the world – including in Kenya – instigated by American women wanting to reiterate their rights after Donald Trump’s inauguration elicited varied responses. The turnout, especially in some US cities was massive, with the Washington, DC, March reportedly breaking all the records. Nevertheless, or maybe because of these numbers, there have been some negative responses from naysayers, including suggestions that the protesters should have voted rather than protest. So let’s be clear. Given the fact that there were almost three million more votes cast for Hillary Clinton than for Donald Trump, I bet…
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Coming polls offer chance to rise of issue-based small parties

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Time is drawing nigh for candidates to make the tough choice of their election bus.  As our parties are basically devoid of political ideology, choosing a party has become complex.  The recent amendment to the election laws that purposes to bar party hopping is the main reason why candidates should carefully consider which party to join, or whether to contest as independent candidates. The amendment sought to cure the culture of party hopping, but it merely strengthened the power of party leaders who will now be able to command almost absolute loyalty to themselves rather than to the electorate. If…
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Defeating Jubilee is key, but we must not repeat Narc mistakes

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The fact that Jubilee finds it necessary to disparage the proposed National Super Alliance (NASA) of the opposition, suggests that it is a good idea. Indeed, it may even explain the sudden panic that has gripped Jubilee, with the frantic efforts to amend the just passed — and negotiated — election amendments, even before the ink was dry. Were NASA not a formidable idea, capable of shaking the arrogance that Jubilee has exhibited and make the forthcoming elections a close contest, the “upende usipende” culture of the horrible Kanu regime of yesteryears would not have resurfaced. For now, NASA only…
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Honesty lacking in debate on how to conduct 2017 elections

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So now we are being told that manual back-ups are necessary for the elections because the systems may be hacked by Al-Shabaab!  Wow. We have lots of information stored electronically, including tax information, passports, exam results, Ifmis and other sensitive material.  Al-Shabaab has never hacked these, which could damage us way more.  Imagine if KRA, Central Bank or Treasury were hacked.  We are being deliberately misled on the manual back-up for our elections.  The actual casting of the vote is expected to be manual, with each of us making the X for our favoured candidates.  It is the before and…
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Stirring up uncertainty ahead of elections is inviting trouble

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Maybe it is just bravado or brinkmanship. Or maybe it is a part of the grand plot to ensure that the election results turn out in the predictable way that they have except for 2002. Whatever the reason, the chaos and tensions in Parliament this week should worry us all.  And no, it is wrong to apportion blame equally between Jubilee and the opposition for this chaos, for one has immeasurable power, resources and the benefit of incumbency, while the other is a victim, twice being at the receiving end of electoral manipulations.  It is unimportant who is right or…
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