Archive for February, 2013

 

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Wednesday revelation by the chief justice Wily Mutunga that his life was in danger should not be taken lightly. Speaking to the press, the chief justice said he had received a letter warning him and other judges not to make adverse rulings against Jubillee coalition leaders Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto. Apparently, the unsigned letter had been authored by a group going by the name Mungiki Veterans Group Kenya and Kenya Sovereignty Defence Squad.

With only two weeks to the elections, this should send a very worrying message to Kenyans. The letter is said to have been written by this illegal, group begging the question on the existence of illegal groups in the country. These groups could be ganging up to cause havoc come the elections.

Already investigations into the CJ saga have already commenced, the government should also make a step further and investigate the existence of this Mungiki Veterans Group Kenya and Kenya Sovereignty Defence Squad and all other unknow illegal groups in operation throughout the country. Their motives should be clearly investigated to ensure that they do not scuttle the countries peace with just days to the general elections. The government should intensify its efforts to ensure that no illegal groups are operating in the country. It should be understood that not everyone want our country to have peace, and this are the people and groups should be working on to ensure that their plans are completely stopped.  These illegal groups were largely used to propagate violence during the last General Elections. It is so sad that five years down the line, they are still in existence and starting to show up just days when we will be going to the next elections. This means something is really wrong, something which should be thoroughly looked into.

Kenyans should preach and maintain peace

The country has come a long way particularly after the disputed last General election with led to the Post election violence that saw thousands of people loose their lives and thousands of others displaced. The memories are still so fresh in our minds and that is why we should use these coming elections to make a change and prove the world wrong.

So many co-operates, private firms, Kenyans on social media are doing a great job by setting up peace campaigns. This initiative will only bear fruits if as Kenyans we start preaching peace from within ourselves and every Kenyan should take this initiative. Our leaders as they are know cannot be trusted to promise us peace. The same leader will go behind doors and incite the same people they are preaching peace to. As Kenyans, especially the youths, who have always fallen victims of such should not allow themselves to be used by these same leaders.

As we prepare for the March 4th elections, one thing is clear; there is still our dear Kenya after the elections. Whether your favourite candidate wins or looses, we will continue to be one, one nation one people, so let us preach and maintain peace. God bless Kenya.

Nixon Kanali, Kenyan Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC), Nairobi

 

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In about two weeks, the country will be heading into one of the most crucial General Elections ever. These elections has been viewed by analysts as the most competitive one, considering the new elective posts that came with the adoption of a new constitutions. The positions being the senator, the governor, county representatives, women representatives, Members of parliament among others.

The presidential position alone has eight candidates lined up to face each other in the 4th March elections with each of them sure to succeed the incumbent president Mwai Kibaki who took office in 2007 after a disputed election that saw the country engulfed in violence, where thousands of people lost their lives and others displaced.

The presidential aspirants, the incumbent Prime Minister Raila Odinga, his two deputies Uhuru Kenyatta and Musalia Mudavadi. Other aspirants are Peter Kenneth, James Ole Kiyiapi, Paul Muite, Abduba Dida and the only woman in the race Martha Karua are all lined up for the face off and are now busy running campaigns across the country. One of the aspirants, Uhuru Kenyatta and his running mate William Ruto are facing charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on crimes against Humanity after they were linked to the post election violence the marred the country after the disputed 2007-2008 presidential elections.

Opinion polls carried out in recent days have indicated its going to be a tight race between the prime minister Raila Odinga under his Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD) banner and his Deputy Uhuru Kenyatta under the JUBILEE alliance With some predicting a run off due to the high number of aspirants in the race.

Political temperatures have now hit fever pitch in a country with a number of 14 million registered voters. Campaigns are going on throughout the country.

Uhuru and Ruto presidential bids being received with mixed reactions by Kenyans and the international community with some country’s threatening to issue sanctions to Kenya if the two are elected to office. But during the first ever televised presidential debate on Monday 11th, Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed them saying the west should not be allowed to dictate to Kenyans on who to elect as their next president. Political Analyst in the country also have different views on the same.

With all eyes now set for the General elections in this new constitution, the countries media organisations came out to hold a presidential debate on February 11th where these aspirants were taken to task over several issues in the country. The second debate is scheduled for Monday 25th where the same presidential aspirants will be put to task to sell their aspirations for a better Kenya to the electorate.

As this is going on, the private sector, Kenyans themselves and even the government have launched peace campaigns to ensure the country does not go into violence. Leaders campaigning have been urged to preach peace and avoid inciting their supporters. The international community has also urged Kenyans to conduct themselves in a peaceful manner during the elections.

The body mandated to oversee these elections, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) also plays a very crucial role during the elections. Last week, the commission made a very promising announcement that Kenyans will start getting the results of the March 4 General elections one-and-a-half hours after voting closes at 5 p.m. The commission says the presidential results will be the first to be announced before those of the other five elective posts.

Having adopted an electronic Results transmission system which has successfully worked in other African countries, the Ahmed Isack led commission should now be working to ensure that we have a smooth transition to the next government.

According to the commission, this electronic system will make it possible for the vote count to be relayed directly from polling stations to three tallying centres located at the constituency, county and national level. Being the first time this system is being used in the country should make sure it sticks to its words to avoid raising tensions. The last thing Kenyans want now is to doubt the IEBC credibility, that is why it should do all it can to assure Kenyans that all will be well.

Meanwhile, both the Kenyan electorate and leaders should ensure that they preach and maintain peace come the election,

By Nixon Kanali, Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, Nairobi 

At 7:45pm Monday night Kenya rewrote its electoral history as an unprecedented debate among the eight candidates from among whom Kenyans will pick their Fourth President next month hit the airwaves.

The debate brought together the eight presidential aspirants Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Musalia Mudavadi, Peter Kenneth, Martha Karua, James Ole Kiyiapi, Paul Muite and Mohammed Dida

In the first pre-election debate for presidential candidates in Kenya, the eight contestants tackled a wide range of issues, including foreign policy and party politics. They also promised to fight corruption and tribalism.
The thorny issue of the four Kenyans facing trials at the International Criminal Court took centre stage, with Jubilee presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta defending himself that he would still be able to run the country if he won the State House seat.

The issues discussed were at the core of the party manifestos, which have been launched by the major political parties and coalitions ahead of the elections.

Nixon Kanali, Nairobi

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The first among the upcoming presidential debate finally took place yesterday, bringing together the eight presidential aspirants Raila Odinga, Uhuru Kenyatta, Musalia Mudavadi, Peter Kenneth, Martha Karua, James Ole Kiyiapi, Paul Muite and Mohammed Dida.

The debate which was aired in all television stations and broadcast in radio stations for millions of Kenyans was one of a king being the first to be done in the country was a very good platform for all the leaders seeking to succeed president Kibaki air their views on their dreams for a better Kenya. Kenyans got a chance to watch this Kenyans from the usual political rallies they are used to where politicians hold political rallies without giving Kenyans a chance to question and interrogate them. Political rallies, which have always been used since independence have always given Kenyans little time to here in details what these aspirants visions are. Instead, these leaders have always used these rallies to manipulate and incite Kenyans and even going to the extent of throwing insults at their political rivals. The rallies have also always gone to the extent of being marred with violence where people have lost lives and others injured. That is totally different from what was experienced during these first pre-election presidential debate. Each of them was given an equal platform to sell his ideas to the electorate and they did exactly that.

With the hosts dwelling on the key major issues of Ethnicity, Education, Health, Foreign policy, security,Party politics among others, each of them outlined their views and Kenyans keenly followed them.  Their main aim to convince the 14 million Kenyan voters to vote for them come the general elections which are just around the corner.

The main issues that were being discussed during the debate are in the core of most the candidates manifestos, they both battled out each trying to outdo the other. However, it should be seen that this is just a very promising initiative that was started by our media organisations and as Kenyans we are eagerly waiting for the next debate scheduled for February 25th.

One only hopes that as they continue with their campaigns in this remaining few days before the next debate and the elections, they are going to preach what they talked during the debate.  The debate was very crucial as Kenyans will now be able to see what both of the candidates have to offer. Thanks to our media houses for embracing such a noble idea.

Nixon Kanali, Nairobi 

 

 

 

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The announcement by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission  (IEBC) than Kenyans will start getting the results of the March 4 General elections one-and-a-half hours after voting closes at 5 pm could just be one of the most promising news the commission is giving Kenyans. The commission says the presidential results will be the first to be announced before those of the other five elective posts.

 

The commission should now realise that with only 27 days to the elections, all eyes are on them. As Kenyans, we are waiting to see how credible and independent the election process will be carried out.

 

Coming out of the 2007 disputed elections, the commission should now offer its best to make sure that what was experienced during the last general elections does not repeat itself. Having adopted an electronic Results transmission system which has successfully worked in other African countries, the Ahmed Isack led commission should now be working to ensure that we have a smooth transition to the next government.

 

According to the commission, this electronic system will make it possible for the vote count to be relayed directly from polling stations to three tallying centres located at the constituency, county and national level. Being the first time this system is being used in the country should make sure it sticks to its words to avoid raising tensions. The last thing Kenyans want now is to doubt the IEBC credibility, that is why it should do all it can to assure Kenyans that all will be well.

 

With the political temperatures now very high, politicians as they are known could no anything to derail the credibility of this commission. Already, some are going out saying that the elections will be rigged particularly after the shutting down of frequencies for some radio station by the Communication Commission of Kenya (CCK). The IEBC should come out and dismiss these accusations by this section of politicians.

 

As Kenyans, we have faith in this electoral commission and our prayer is that it will not lead us the Kivuitu way. Meanwhile, both the politicians and Kenyans should preach and maintain peace and accept the outcome of the election process. What was experienced during the party nominations process where some leaders could not concede defeat should not be the case come the general elections. Both leaders and their supporters should be ready for any eventuality and keep peace.

 

Nixon Kanali, Nairobi