DID SENATOR KUTI PANIC OR IT WAS STRATEGIC MOVE TO DEFECT TO NARC?

Billboards Scores of youth have been injured over rivalry of erection of billboards by sides backing incumbent Governor Godana Doyo and his political mentor turned rival Senator Mohammed Kuti. Dr Kuti is eyeing the governor’s seat in the August 8 polls and authorities have warned both over the clashes that had left scores injured. Photos By ALI ABDI/STANDARD

The defection of Isiolo Senator Mohamed Abdi Kuti to Narc-Kenya from Jubilee Party has brought interesting dimensions into the gubernatorial race. The question is; was it strategic or survival tactic?

Kuti is eyeing the Governor’s seat held by Godana Doyo. His defection now leaves former Tana Athi River Development Authority chairman Abdul Bahari as the sole JP aspirant for the seat in the nominations slated for Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, Governor Doyo decamped to Party for Development and Reforms from JP, a move that left the race to Kuti and Bahari.

Kuti, while accompanied by his running mate Abdi Issa and four MCAs, announced his defection at Narc-Kenya headquarters in Nairobi. The Senator claimed he was prompted to make the shift following claims that the Bahari camp planned to rig him out.

“I moved because I lost faith with the election board that was inclined towards my rivals,” he claimed.

Last week, the party dismissed three returning officers but the board chairman Abduba Sama said it was done by the head office.

Kuti on Wednesday wrote a resignation letter to JP after his camp’s plea for their grievances to be addressed fell on deaf ears. Some local pundits view his defection as a way to counter a directive by Borana Council of Elders who last Monday asked all Borana clans to vote for Bahari at nomination stage. The elders led by their chairman Abdullahi Haji Gonjobe summoned all the four Borana aspirants to make the announcement. Apart from Bahari and Doyo, other gubernatorial aspirants who attended the meeting were Hussein Golicha (Kanu) and Adan Kabelo (ODM).

CONFIDENCE

“It was evident that majority of Borana would have voted for Bahari and his running mate (Domiciano Mainge),’’ said Daud Tari, an NGO official.

He said Kuti has every reason to be concerned.

“His defection is not going to change anything. Our camp still has majority of Borana and non-Borana speakers like Meru, Turkana, Somali clans and Samburu. Kuti has panicked and written his own political obituary,’’ said Jarso Guyo, from Bahari’s camp.

Governor Doyo says he is confident of retaining his seat in the August elections owing to his development projects. “We have transformed our county in just four years and the voters are with me,” he says.

STATE BANS NIGHT POLITICAL MEETINGS IN ISIOLO OVER SECURITY

A crowd aboard a lorry during a recent political rally in Isiolo Town. The government has banned night political meetings in Isiolo County, citing insecurity. PHOTO | PHOEBE OKALL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By VIVIAN JEBET (Daily Nation Reporter)

IN SUMMARY

– He said surveillance on politicians is necessary since some of them incite the public to gain cheap ethnic popularity.

– He said no incidents of incitement have been reported.

But admitted that some locals recently conflicted over sharing of money dished out by politicians.

– The government has banned night political meetings in Isiolo County over security concerns.

Isiolo Deputy County Commissioner Mwachaunga Chaunga, while announcing the ban, cautioned that anyone found conducting political meetings will face the law.

The administrator further disclosed that the government is working closely with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to monitor hate speech by politicians.

“We have increased our surveillance countywide to monitor political leaders who spread hate messages and incite the public,” he said.

Mr Chaunga said surveillance on politicians is necessary since some of them incite the public to gain cheap ethnic popularity.

He said no incidents of incitement have been reported but admitted that some locals recently conflicted over sharing of money dished out by politicians.

“Politicians should sell their manifestoes to the public freely but should refrain from inciting youths,” he added.

IEBC, EACC AND AG TO ENFORCE LEADERSHIP AND INTEGRITY ACT

 

By Whispers From the North Team

This is a real shocker for aspirants in August 2017 polls. Politicians with ongoing criminal cases, including those battling corruption and hate speech charges, now risk being locked out of the August General Election in an elaborate bid by vetting agencies to comply with Constitutional requirements on integrity.

Those with suspicious degrees running for governor and president, as well as their running mates, will not be safe from the hammer.

 

APPEALS

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, and the Registrar of Political Parties, and Attorney-General Githu Muigai say that they will not leave anything to chance in a bid to clean up Kenyan leadership.

“Information on ongoing criminal trials or investigations into criminal conduct of candidates in the elections may be obtained from relevant agencies, which may be significant to the ethics or integrity standing of candidates,” the team said in a joint communication in Thursday papers.

They, have however, said that such a candidate would not be disqualified if he or she “preferred an appeal or review against the sentence or decision; or all possibility of appeal or review has not been exhausted.”

MANY BOXES

On Wednesday, Attorney-General Githu Muigai remained optimistic that a 2013 court ruling that one cannot be stopped from running for having an ongoing case would not hurt their bid to enforce an ambitious law on integrity for elected officers in the August 8 poll.

“In the integrity test, there are many boxes to tick and criminality is just one of them. The other example is academic qualification. We have, regrettably have people carrying degrees they have not earned. Therefore, one of the basic question we will ask is: Do you hold the academic qualification you claim to hold?” said Prof Muigai.

At a joint press briefing at a Nairobi hotel, the agencies vowed that they would collaborate in the enforcement of Chapter Six ahead of the August polls.

UNSOUND MIND

“The institutions will enforce compliance with the leadership and integrity requirements by aspirants in the forthcoming General Election,” they said in a joint statement read by Mr Wafula Chebukati, the IEBC chairman.

However, the “enforcement” still remains vague, especially considering that lawyers have argued that every Kenyan has an unflinching constitutional right- other than those convicted of election offences, academically unqualified (if required in the position sought) or of unsound mind- to contest for election as long as they are above 18 and are registered voters.

In their joint statement, the agencies still left the heavy lifting to the political parties who nominate candidates for seats, asking them to be the first filter in the clearance chain.

“We encourage political parties to nominate candidates who meet the leadership and integrity threshold set out in the law,” they said in a joint statement.

WATERED DOWN

But in a country where politics is a get-rich-quickly scheme, a provision to lock out corrupt individuals might still remain a pipe dream, much less enforced by political parties.

“I cannot stop anyone from running for office in my party. There are agencies that are supposed to clear people. They should do it,” President Kenyatta had thrown the ball to the agencies’ court in a live TV interview on Monday evening.

Chapter Six was what many have said was Kenya’s most ambitious section of the Constitution 2010, but which has been watered down so much and with a “vagueness” that has made it impossible to implement.

The subsequent Leadership and Integrity Act developed a self-declaration form for aspirants, which the EACC assesses before clearing a candidate.

 

6 MONTHS

They are asked to declare if they have ever been convicted of any offence and sentenced to serve for at least six months, misused public resources, removed from register of members of professional organisations, dismissed from employment due to integrity, or whether they had been subject of criminal or disciplinary proceedings as public officers.

Have a look:

THE EACC SELF-DECLARATION FORM: (Leadership and Integrity Act)

1. Have you ever engaged in the conduct of public affairs?

2. Have you ever misused public resources?

3. Have you ever abused a public office?

4. Have you ever misrepresented information to the public?

5. Have you ever engaged in wrongful conduct whilst in the furtherance of personal benefit?

6. Have you ever discriminated against anyone on any grounds other than as provided under the Constitution?

7. Have you ever falsified official or personal records?

8. Have you ever been debarred or removed from the register of members of your professional organisation?

9. Have you ever had any occupational or vocational license revoked and or otherwise subjected to any other disciplinary action for cause in Kenya or any other country?

10. Have you ever been dismissed from employment on account of lack of integrity?

11. If you have been a public officer, have you ever failed to declare your income, assets and liabilities under the Public Officer Ethics act, 2013?

12. Have you ever been convicted of any offence and sentenced to serve imprisonment for a period of at least six months?

13. Have you ever had any application for a certificate of clearance or good conduct or for a visa or other document authorising work in a public office denied and/or rejected for cause in Kenya or any other country?