Maina Kiai's Column

Maina Kiai's Column

We must resolve our divisions for Kenya to have proper peace

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Notwithstanding the decision of the Supreme Court this week, only a totally dishonest and/or die-hard partisan can believe that the ‘election’ of October 26 was better than the annulled one of August.  We are yet to know how the Court will justify their bizarre decision given the numerous illegalities, unconstitutional actions and omissions and irregularities that we all witnessed, including an IEBC whose figures for the number of people voting kept on changing even after polls closed and when they were supposed to have firm and final figures from the Kiems kits that cost us millions. I am certain that…
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When rights are treated as gifts, you’re in a dictatorship

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Outside of pure political witch-hunting, it is really quite hard to understand the legal thinking that informs the purported decisions of Fazul Mahamed of the NGO Coordination Board. He is clearly not a lawyer. And his decisions amplify the fact that he was discontinued from university for academic reasons.  He clearly takes orders which he goes overboard to fulfill.  He is also one of the few people in public service jobs without the pretence of academic qualifications, yet he can countermand a Cabinet secretary.  NGOs He owes everything to his owner and if that means looking stupid, unreasonable and uncouth,…
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Supreme Court, IEBC and why political crisis won’t end soon

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There is little doubt that the next weeks will be bring immeasurable pressure on the judges of the Supreme Court as they delve into yet another cycle of election petitions following the sham polls of October 26.  Of course it need have gotten to this had the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) done its job well, and had it sought the Court’s guidance following the withdrawal of Mr Raila Odinga on October 10, using the same laws it had used in gazetting just two candidates for the repeat polls.  But IEBC, it decided to vote — yes vote! —…
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‘Nusu mkate’ idea misses the point on struggle for freedom

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As its suggested solution to the current acute national crisis, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has proposed that the country creates a Prime Minister position, and other positions in the Executive for the opposition.  They think that this will deal with the question of political, social and economic exclusion that is one of the major drivers for discontent, tensions and frustrations for about two-thirds of the country that registered less that 50 per cent turnout in the recent rerun presidential election. HEGEMONY This suggestion is misguided, and perhaps deliberately so.  First, it is amazingly patronising and insulting,…
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We could have avoided election debacle by sitting down to talk

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If the regime thought that forcing what was already a flawed, tainted and illegal election would lead to credibility and legitimacy, then Thursday’s “selection” has backfired badly.  The turnout across the country was incredibly bad, even in stalwart Jubilee zones. It would have been simpler, better, less expensive and less divisive to simply put off the rerun for three to six months, undertake deep and credible election reforms in that time that would be transparent and credible for all concerned. For years, we have been told that the gap between votes cast for the presidency and that for Governors and…
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Holding an election without obeying court orders is futile

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The dramatic resignation of Dr Roselyn Akombe from the IEBC, and chairman Wafula Chebukati’s statement expressing doubt that he can deliver a credible, free and fair election, are monumental. Anyone who seriously believes that any “election” conducted on October 26 will be more than a selection exercise must be living on Mars! And yet again, Dr Akombe’s resignation and the chairman’s statement have exposed the folly of international election observers who had endorsed the selection preparations as adequate. How they could do this, without even questioning why the IEBC has still not opened up the servers from the August election,…
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