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Kenyan law allows Cabinet Secretaries to campaign

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Does the Kenyan law allow cabinet secretaries to campaign?

“…but the truth of the matter is, no civil servant is allowed to take part in political campaigns – that is the law – except the Cabinet Ministers. Cabinet Ministers are free to engage, that is in the law.”
Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju on PressPass, June 19, 2017

Mr Tuju was responding to a question about public servants in political campaigns which came up as the panellists debated a story written by Daily Nation journalist Walter Menya, who had been arrested the day before.

The government has been criticised for a number of actions during the election period. These include creating a website and TV advertisements by the President’s Delivery Unit outlining the Jubilee government’s accomplishments.

These actions contradict the Election Offences Act. Section 14 (2) says:

No government shall publish any advertisements of achievements of the respective government either in the print media, electronic media, or by way of banners or hoardings in public places during the election period.

The same Act makes it an offense for a public officer to engage in activities of parties or candidates, show support or opposition for the same, to engage in campaigns or other political activities or start new development projects in a constituency or county using public money to support a political party or candidate.

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However, Cabinet Sectaries are allowed to campaign by the Leadership and Integrity Act 2012. In Section 23 (1), the Act exempts cabinet secretaries or county executive committee members from a requirement that State Officers not act as agents of political parties or candidates or show support or opposition for parties or candidates.

According to Mr Kibe Mungai, a constitutional lawyer, there is no conflict between these laws, because Cabinet Secretaries are a political position. “Under the presidential system of government, a cabinet secretary is part of the political administration of the President, so that Cabinet, in the strict sense of the word, is a political body,” he explains. “This is the reason why, for purposes of Cabinet Secretaries, the President does not even recruit through the Public Service Commission.”

So the claim that Cabinet Secretaries can campaign according to the law is true

-nation.co.ke

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Clues that linked Obado to murder

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BY OLIVIA MUNGWANA

A statement by one of Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s aides assisted detectives to break the deadlock that led them to arrest him over the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno.

Although detectives say phone records show the governor communicated with some of those arrested before him at around the same time Sharon went missing, the police were under pressure to conclude the case that was nearly going cold.

Casper Otieno who runs errands for the governor presented himself to the police on Tuesday after a Toyota Fielder he drives was identified as having been used in the kidnap two weeks ago. The governor’s other assistant, Michael Oyamo, has been in custody since September 2 and has already been charged with Sharon’s murder.

What was remaining was to determine whether the two assistants to the governor together with three others in custody acted on their own or there were other people involved. It is said the police tried to convince them to confess and get a lesser charge in return.

This will be seen in the coming week as it has not yet been determined whether to compile the six suspects into one case or charge them separately. Oyamo and former Kanyadoto MCA Lawrence Mula have already been charged with the murder.

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Among the options being considered is to charge those who have cooperated with a lesser offence of conspiracy to commit murder and turn them into state witnesses against the rest.

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Africa

Domestic violence deaths on the rise in diaspora

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Zachary Moitui, a Kenyan-born resident of Jersey City, New Jersey, thought he had seen the worst of human brutality when he found himself at the centre of a gruesome murder in America that made headlines around the world.

On October 2010, Evans Kebabe bludgeoned his wife and their two children to death in their Vadnais Heights apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The bodies of his wife Bilha Omare, 32, and their two children then aged 12 and 9 were found on October 14 in their apartment.

Kebabe, who is now serving a jail term handed down to him on January 2011, was arrested after his car ran out of gas while trying to flee.

Mr Moitui, a respected elder of the Kenyan community in Jersey, led plans to move the bodies from Minneapolis to Jersey City for burial.

“It was a heartbreaking time for our diaspora community because in all honesty, we had never witnessed such brutality and never imagined we had such people among us.

“That was until of course recently, when something eerily similar happened right here in Jersey City,” said Mr Moitui.

MURDER/SUICIDE
Mr Moitui was referring to the news early in the week that another Kenyan couple had been found dead in their home and that the husband was suspected to have shot his wife before turning the gun on himself.

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The local press reported that authorities in Jersey City were investigating a murder-suicide after police discovered bodies of a man and woman dead from gunshot wounds.

It turns out that the couple — Henry Okong’o and Lydiah Okong’o — were in fact people Mr Moitui was not only familiar with but also related to one of them.

“The late Lydia was my niece. Fourteen years ago when they started having domestic issues, Lydia moved out and lived with me for five months.

“She went back after we helped them to reconcile. Little did I know it would turn out as it did on Monday,” Mr Moitui said.

RECONCILIATION
He added: “I’m not only feeling devastated by her death, I’m also wondering whether reconciling them was the best thing to do.

“What I did then to reconcile them was what any parent would do for the good of the family, especially the children but, here we are!”

The couple has been living in the 2 Mina Drive property for over a decade and neighbours are still confounded by the incident.

“Three children have been left without parents. This is so sad,” one neighbour was quoted by the local press as saying.

Dr George Omburo, one of the Seventh day Adventists church elders, said the couple “had a tough marriage”.

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
This incident and many others that seem to have escalated in the recent past involving the Kenyan Diaspora have left many wondering what exactly is going on within the community that is usually reluctant to discuss issues of domestic violence openly.

“Having lived in the US for more than 10 years, and having witnessed a lot of these cases, I can confidently say that the major cause of domestic disagreements among Kenyans is the reversal of gender roles as we know them,” Mr Chris Majani, a Kenyan-born resident of Dallas, Texas, said.

Saturday Nation

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Unmasking MPs: How they tricked Kenyans on new tax vote

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MPs may have tricked Kenyans into believing that they were on their side when they met for a special sitting on Tuesday and Thursday to consider President Uhuru Kenyatta’s memorandum on the Finance Bill, 2018.

A section of the MPs had planned to veto President Kenyatta’s reservations on the bill because it was going to increase the cost of living.

They cited the President’s proposal of eight per cent VAT on petroleum products, the 1.5 per cent levy on housing fund as well as the extra Sh18 for every litre of Kerosene among others.

In so doing, they lobbied a good number to shoot down the President’s views ahead of the big day. Just like amending the Constitution, it requires two-thirds or at least 233 of the 349 MPs in the House to veto the memorandum.

Although the MPs had been lobbied by their respective party leaders to pass the proposals, they were in a Catch-22 situation.

They were to please their party leaders, Mr Kenyatta, who held a Jubilee parliamentary group meeting at State House, Nairobi on Tuesday and the National Super Alliance (Nasa) leader Mr Raila Odinga.

Mr Odinga had chaired the Nasa parliamentary group at Orange House on the same day Mr Kenyatta did at State House. However, the tricky part was that they were to please their party bosses without betraying the public.

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But how possible could this have happened? Unbeknown to the public, the MPs may have just killed two birds with a stone.

On Thursday afternoon, after approving the supplementary budget the MPs retreated to the committee of the Whole House to consider the memorandum.

Narok Woman Representative Soipan Tuya, also a member of the Committee of Chairpersons, was the chair of the committee for the afternoon.

When Ms Tuya put the clause on the eight percent VAT on fuel products to vote, she declared the “ayes” had won.

Those in opposition protested and stood up as the House almost degenerated into chaos.

According to Article 115 of the Constitution, those voting “nays” have the obligation to confirm that they have the requisite two-thirds majority before the presiding chair calls for a division.

Though leader of majority Aden Duale led some members out of the chamber, a claim he confirmed saying it was meant to deny the others the numbers, it is a trick that even the opposition previously employed to have their way.

However, under the same provision and Article 122, those voting “ayes” just need to be 26, being the simple majority.

In a voice vote, the only legally known and procedurally simple process is to rule that the “ayes” have it like Ms Tuya did so that the “nays” can vote electronically or by way of being counted, which is called roll call vote so that their number of 233 is confirmed.

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The roll call vote is quite popular in the US congress.

When Ms Tuya called for a roll call, the MPs would not listen with Isiolo Woman Representative Rehema Dida Jaldesa captured on the table microphone saying that they did not want the roll call because it would be known which side they were leaning on.

She would also be heard advising Mandera North MP Bashir Abdullahi against the roll call vote.

One of the MPs, who was against the memorandum blatantly told a parliamentary orderly that all they wanted was to be allowed to shout, as they did not have time for a roll call.

Daily Nation

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