Maina Kiai's Column

Maina Kiai's Column

Focus On Masterminds Of The 2007 Violence, Not Human Rights Activists

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Last week The Star newspaper put out a headline that Hassan Omar and I had “saved Raila from the ICC” attributing the statement to Mr Uhuru Kenyatta’s British lawyers. The article that followed was careful not to directly mention Hassan or me, stating instead that we worked at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights at the time, which the lawyers had adversely mentioned. I have read the submissions responding to the ICC’s publication of the redacted evidence that the Prosecution has on Mr Kenyatta. Nowhere do those submissions mention Hassan Omar or me. This is not acceptable, and in…
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For Badly Letting The Country Down, Hassan And His Team Should Resign

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Ahmed Isaack Hassan, the Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, penned an opinion this week, pleading with Kenyans to give him the benefit of the doubt regarding their capacity and integrity to manage the next elections. We should do no such thing. We did that in 2013 and he failed us miserably. Once bitten, the old adage goes, twice shy. In fact, it is in Uhuru Kenyatta’s interest to do a Michael Gichangi, and David Kimayio thing, and engineer the departure of Hassan and his team as soon as possible. For as long as Hassan remains in office,…
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To Safeguard His Legacy, Uhuru Must Write A Different Script On Tribalism

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This past week has seen some public discussions about tribalism, its manifestations and its perceptions. It’s a start, though a more honest and reflective discussion should be had, for nothing makes this country as fragile and weak as tribalism. No amount of development, no amount of security will make us stable and raise us to middle or high income status, if we don’t deal with the issue of tribalism, engender tolerance for our differences, and give respect for the communities that are marginalised and outside the core of power. We have skirted around this issue for decades, refusing to put…
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To Attract More Tourists, Kenya Should Adopt Thailand’s Model

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The tourism sector is a key pillar for the country’s economy, bringing in valuable foreign exchange. And it is also about self-pride, for those who do not want visitors coming to their homes and marvelling about the wonders of it, be they domestic or international? But tourism in Kenya is ailing. Some of the problems are external, such as the threats from Ebola and terrorism, but many are self-inflicted. And even the external ones can be mitigated if our policy makers would only think outside the box, rather than go with their normal knee-jerk response of more marketing and branding.…
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Inequalities Could Easily Spur Tensions And Divisions

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This is a wonderfully beautiful country. Spending time around the slopes of Mt. Kenya easily explains why the British made Kenya one of its few colonies in Africa. Kenya was a prized possession that they would inhabit and control as part of their Kingdom, while most countries in Africa were Protectorates that they would grant independence at some point. We should not take this awesome beauty that is Kenya for granted. It is easier to destroy the country and its beauty than to build up: Those of us old enough to remember the decay, destruction, fear and misery of the…
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