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Referendum doze etc.

* The views that follow are my personal views and do not reflect those of the KNCHR.

Just when I have so much to blog about, there is no time to blog. As I said a few days ago, I’m at the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights for the next few weeks monitoring the campaign, observing the vote, and probably doing post-referendum work. So far my week has been action-packed…when I walked into the office on Monday, it was like I had worked here for years…right back in the swing of things within half an hour….the perks of being back at home – you fit right in, if you land in the right place you get responsibility that would take years to achieve overseas (at least as a young lawyer), you get do work that is meaningful, and you get to have kienyenji and fry for lunch :-)

I’m in a rush so this is kinda haphazard….

First, I know a lot of you have been looking for a credible source of news and information on the referendum. Now you have it.

Second, whoever is running the NO campaign is on point. Supposedly it’s this guy called Atul who is based in London who also worked on the NARC campaign in 2002 and is closely tied to Raila. They had an ad on T.V. last night that was deadly and their ground game/PR is much better run than the . The ad pointed out the inconsistencies between Murungi’s opinion on the constitution when he was in the opposition and his about turn once he got into power using actual TV clips and asking a simple question, “What has changed?” then added the tag “absolute power corrupts.” I guess you’d have to see it to get what I am talking about. Although there is a lot of nonsense going on in the campaign rallies, there is some issue-based campaigning going on e.g. with TV debates and more sophisticated TV ads that signals some maturity in the democratic space. Those days of campaigning just by blasting your posters all over the place (and defacing your opponents posters) are long gone.
Third, Wanjuki Muchemi is supposedly in the running for the A-G’s position. These rumors have been floating around since earlier this year when pressure on Murgor intensified and his job as a DPP made difficult. Some people thought that Murgor was crying wolf, but now it appears that the new DPP, Tobiko, is going through the same thing. According to the grapevine, Wanjuki as A-G would be a disaster…he would make Njonjo look good. My two cents…I wouldn’t be surprised if Wako is gone if the Yes side wins, he’s done whatever dirty work was required of him and since the constitution has become all about power plays, the Yes team would want their own guy to shepherd the process of instrumentalization of the constitution.

Finally, for those who feel that it is impossible to hold our irresponsible leaders accountable, it isn’t. A full list of government officials who have been misusing government vehicles appeared in the press as an ad today and I will be putting it up on the blog shortly (we had to take out a press ad, because we can’t rely on the press for full coverage). The Commission was also in court yesterday bringing two private prosecution cases against Titus Mbathi and George Khaniri. Of course, ever-reliable Wako immediately moved to terminate the case. Despite the nolle, the significance of the two cases cannot be overemphasized. Just seeing the two accused appearing in court for violations that usually occur with impunity was powerful enough…it is important for them to know that their actions are being watched and from now on will be acted upon (incidentally, on KBC news covered the story at 9:00 pm, KTN and NTV didn’t…that surprised me). The fact that the DPP himself and not some state Counsel came to argue the nolle prosequi suggests that the case is being taken very seriously and despite the nolle, the Commission was able to score a small victory when the judge agreed to let us challenge the entry of the nolle prosequi next Tuesday (rarely happens…and it’s going to be a working weekend for me as a result).

Oh, and gossip of the day…Murungaru can’t be sacked because the ‘baks’ kids are implicated in whatever the deal was that’s messed him up, if he goes down he squeals.

OK…back to being a member of the “working nation.”

7 comments to Referendum doze etc.

  • bankelele

    the ad was very courageous, and well researched in that ministers are using their usual cars, but using f ake license plates.

    a dead giveaway of a GK vehicle is that is has no stickers on the windscreen (registration or insurance, and I’ve always wondered what happend if you have an accident with one of them)

  • hottentot

    thank you very much for keeping us updated. you are doing an excellent job endelea vivyo hivyo~


  • JKE

    @bankelele: I had an accident with a GoK presidential escort Mercedes S-class one day – they hit my car while speeding on Riverside Drive in NBO at 7 a.m. ..That was pure horror! No insurance, ruthless driving (their car was off-duty) and then – the situation being clear that their stupid driver caused the accident – they (GoK) came up to me, arguing that it’s my fault. Why? Because those GoK cars are not insured. Someone would just have to pay.

    And the best part of that story: guess who was in that GoK car as early as 7 a.m.? The Chairman of Alico Kenya….

  • Msanii_XL

    This is great news, keeping us updated.


  • Thanks for the info on this unique moment in the history of Kenya. I could not stop laughing after reading this sentence,
    “Those days of campaigning just by blasting your posters all over the place (and defacing your opponents posters) are long gone.”

    I think this is still the case in my country, Tanzania.
    Pole kwa kazi.

    You are welcome na angali ni kazi ngumu yaniridhisha sana.

  • Surfer

    Ory your pundit has joined my google list of sites I visit on regular basis. Keep the fire burning, and please start thinking about running for Public office. You would make for a great leader.

    Thanks! However, no public office for me as long as Kenyan politics continues to function on a patronage system…this is our biggest challenge.

  • Greetings and Hello to everybody! My name is Charmaine, from Ocala, Florida. Your Blog was easy to navigate, most informative, and it contained the information I needed for my college research paper, Have a nice day, and many thanks!