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Govt accused of turning away youths seeking IDs


POSTED MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014 | BY-LUCAS BARASA

Source: http://www.nation.co.ke (Daily Nation)

Senate Minority Leader Moses Wetangula has accused the Jubilee government of selectively issuing national identification documents in “politically correct areas” and turning away applicants in perceived opposition areas.

The Ford-Kenya leader claimed youths were being turned away under the pretext of lack of logistics.

“In opposition areas they are saying there’s no money to issue young people who have reached 18 years national IDs yet we know in some politically correct areas they are being given. In other areas they are asking ridiculous questions like title deeds,” Mr Wetangula said.

In an interview with the Nation, Mr Wetangula also insisted that the Jubilee administration was planning to use the digital registration of Kenyans to rig the 2017 General Election.

  1. DISMISS CLAIMS

He said it was wrong for Jubilee administration to use the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission or the Immigration Department to collect data of Kenyans yet it is the work of the National Bureau of Statistics done after every 10 years through national population census.

“Storage of biometric data and registration of people is done by the National Bureau of Statistics. What the government should do is to give Kenyans IDs unconditional and those with old outdated ones have them replaced,” Mr Wetangula said.

Mr Wetangula added that IEBC should ensure continuous registration of voters. He regretted that one year after last year’s polls, IEBC was yet to start registering voters.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale however dismissed Mr Wetangula’s claims saying the digital registration will go on whether the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy wanted it or not.

At the same time, Jubilee political strategist Moses Kuria denied Cord’s claims that the exercise of registering Kenyans aged 12 years and above is a plot to pre-rig the 2017 General Election.

“These spurious claims expose the soft underbelly of the below par opposition. It should be put in consideration that the situation of our national registration documents deteriorated completely between 2008 and 2012 when ODM’s Otieno Kajwang was in charge of the immigration ministry.

  1. INSECURITY AS AN EXCUSE

“So widespread were the irregularities under Mr Kajwang’s watch that the national registration database is beyond repair and it has to be reconstituted afresh,” Mr Kuria said.

Mr Kuria said the fresh registration exercise is an effort to remedy “that era of Kajwang’s errors.

On Saturday, Cord leaders sparked allegations that the Jubilee administration was planning to use the digital registration of Kenyans to rig the 2017 General Election.
Acting ODM party leader Anyang’ Nyong’o alleged that this would be done by merging the new digital catalogue with the voters’ register.

Prof Nyong’o said the government was using insecurity as an excuse to register Kenyans afresh instead of addressing issues plaguing the country.

Last week, Deputy President William Ruto met with IEBC chairman Issack Hassan over possible amalgamation of the two registers.

  1. REGION PROFILE

But IEBC later said that it would only offer technical advice to government if invited to, and asserted it would not merge its register with any other.

Commissioner Thomas Letangule said that IEBC’s mandate is sealed by the Constitution and, therefore, does not extend to the registration of persons.

On Saturday, Prof Nyong’o said that the registration of persons first ought to be handled by the relevant committees of the National Assembly and the Senate before the process kicks off.

The ODM leader said that no allocation had been made in the budget as announced by the DP. “We suspect that this is a ploy by Jubilee to rig the next poll,” he said.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale and Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba said the process would be unacceptable to Kenyans unless the demographic profile of each region was taken into account.

Dr Khalwale said the government had marginalised communities from western Kenya and asked the region to unite irrespective of political party.

KENYA’S MOST DORMANT MPs


SATURDAY, APRIL 19, 2014 – 00:00 — BY STAR TEAM

Slightly more than a year after they were sworn in as MPs a number of work-shy legislators have either said nothing or spoken less than five times on the floor of the august House. It is not clear why people elected to speak for their constituents, have not been active on the floor yet they are paid for just that.

A sizeable number of MPs remain dormant and hardly speak in the House, the Star can reveal. Some, according to available records, have never even made their maiden speeches since they were sworn in on March 28, 2013.

  1. Shaaban Ali Isaack:
    He represents Lafey constituency in Mandera County and was elected on URP ticket. Records indicate that Ali has spoken two times in the chambers.

  2. Joseph Ngugi Nyumu:
    Ngugi was elected on a TNA ticket to represent Gatundu South. He took over from Uhuru Kenyatta who was the area MP for two terms. Uhuru did not defend the seat in the last elections since he was vying for President. Despite coming from the President’s home constituency, Nyumu has so far spoken only five times, according to records.

  3. Titus Ngahu:
    He refers to himself as TNA 1, having been the first MP to be elected on the party’s ticket in the 10th Parliament. He replaced the fiery late Minister John Michuki. There is no record that he has spoken on the floor of the House during the current Parliament.

  4. Raymond Kipruto Moi:
    The son of retired President Daniel Moi was elected on a Kanu ticket to represent Rongai constituency. There are no records to show that he has spoken on the floor of the House.

  5. Hassan Mwanyoha:
    The Matuga MP was elected on ODM ticket. Records show that he has spoken once in the chambers. And on that day, he complained to the Speaker that he hardly gets a chance to contribute to debates.

He even questioned the Speaker if he is viewed as a flower girl in Parliament. “Nilikuwa nimevunjika moyo nikifikiria labda Mheshimiwa Spika anafikiria mimi ni mrembo ya Bunge hili kwa sababu kila nikiinuka, nanoa,” he complained.

To know more of the domant Mps click on the link below.
http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/article-163713/kenyas-most-dormant-mps

Tears of Defiance, Resilience and Courage: Through It All, Somalia Will Rise


By: Hibaaq Osman

Source: HUFFPOST

Last week, I could only watch on television news as soldiers herded scores of my countrymen on to trucks like livestock, to be driven to detention centers. Women carrying babies struggled to climb onto the cumbersome vehicles, built not for carrying humans but cargo and commodities. Soldiers “helped” some of the women along, grabbing their behinds and pushing them upward, stripping them of their last shreds of dignity.

The scenes came after the Kenyan government ordered all urban-based Somali refugees in the country to move into designated camps. On televisions and computers all over the world, Somalis watched this scene, tears streaming down their faces in disappointment, anger and resentment for how their kin were being treated by their neighbors.

Somalia has become a scapegoat in the eyes of Kenya’s government, which has so swiftly decided to renege on the international conventions guaranteeing the rights of refugees. The Kenyan government has suggested that it is the Somali refugees who have threatened the security of the country in which they have sought sanctuary, pressuring those Somalis who left their homes for the promise of safety to return to violent areas of active armed conflict.

Somalia was not always the hotbed of corruption and violence it is today. In fact, it was once quite the opposite, a place where liberation movement leaders in the region sought refuge and were given support, and even diplomatic Somali passports.

However, the country has been gradually worn down in land exchanges and divisions that awarded control to every party in question, except Somalis themselves. Indeed, the Kenyan lands that so many Somalis are now being forced to leave — the Northern Frontier District (NFD) — were annexed by Kenya into its own borders in the ’60s, despite the overwhelming desire expressed by the region’s population to join the newly-formed Somali republic. During the two decades of Somalia’s absence from the international arena, Nairobi has become the de facto capital of Somalia — the one where the profits and benefits of Somali’s hard work and of Somalia’s instability are realized. Somali business people injected millions of dollars of investments into Kenya’s economy. Almost all non-governmental organizations with operations in Somalia were run from Nairobi-based regional offices. Additionally, export of khat to the unregulated market in Somalia generates about $300 million for Kenyans.

Kenyan profiteering is, however, not limited to legal avenues. A recent confidential report by UN monitors accused Kenyan soldiers in the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia of facilitating illegal charcoal exports from the port city of Kismayu. This trade, banned by the UN in 2012, is known to generate millions of dollars a year for Al Shabaab, the Islamic militant group that has been fighting for control of Somalia for years. Kenyans have identified this same group as a major security threat, and cited its presence as a reason for pushing out the Somalis living within Kenyan borders. If such accusations of corruption prove correct, the Kenyan government is not only empowering the very extremists they claim to be worried about, but they are diverting precious resources from Somalia for the sake of their own greed. Kenya has continued on this path, lobbying to gain control of Somalia’s oil-rich waters, an effort that failed in 2009 but continues today.

While many find it easy to blame the people of Somali for their own radicalisation, there is little proof for such assumptions and indeed evidence to the contrary. For example, both Puntland and Somaliland (the former still part of the country while the latter withdrew from its union with Somalia in 1991) have embraced peace and averted war among their communities, despite the international community giving neither diplomatic recognition. By contrast, the rest of Somalia has been torn apart, pillaged and exploited. Today, Somalis find themselves homeless. They have run from a fractured country in conflict but havefound themselves unwelcome in the nation in which they have long sought refuge, through a campaign that has targeted Kenyan Somalis as well.

Kenya’s Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku said, “any refugee found flouting this directive will be dealt with in accordance with the law.” But what law is this? By international law, what Kenya is proposing is illegal. After years of housing Somalis, who, by historical accounts, belong in Kenya just as much as the native Kenyans themselves, they have been ordered to go. Some will say that it is the right of the Kenyan people to protect themselves from extremism. That the threats they are facing are real and increasing, and they must address them. But Kenya has no legs on which to stand in this debate. It has provoked and supported the very threats it claims to fight against, leaching Somalis for every benefit they can provide and then discarding them in the cruelest possible ways. Extremism has become a smokescreen Kenya employs to distract the international arena from its own abuses and shortcomings.

Watching the refugees being removed, I saw a young boy looking out from the back of one of the trucks. I could see the terror and fright of what was happening drawn all over his face as he looked back upon the armed soldiers and their loaded rifles. Sadly for a child so young, he will remember this moment more clearly than any joy he has ever felt, and sadly for the world, it will inform and shape his future outlook. The fear he feels today will be the hatred he nurses tomorrow, and when he expresses his seemingly irrational desire for revenge, we will blame him for his own abuse and neglect.

I can see the cycle continuing, the fear bubbling up as these refugees fight feelings of worthlessness and powerlessness. I know where Somali youth will turn when they run out of options, and I hope that before then, we will realize where the greater portion of the blame lies and hold ourselves accountable for the part we have played in orphaning an entire nation.