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Makau Mutua wants the corrupt to be beheaded

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Thomas Sankara, the Burkinabe revolutionary cut down in his prime, renamed Upper Volta Burkina Faso, the Land of Upright Men. Methinks it was the land of Upright Women too. But you get the point – under Sankara’s rule, Burkina Faso would cease to be the land of a thieving, conniving and corrupt elite.

LEGAL-POLITICAL WAR

In Kenya, the administration of Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta has not renamed the country yet. But Mr Kenyatta has made it clear – at least rhetorically – that corruption is Kenya’s most malignant vice. I agree. But talk is cheap. Mr Kenyatta must put his money where his mouth is. He can’t blink, or retreat. The International Criminal Court will be his legacy if he can’t politically guillotine the corrupt.

Corruption in Kenya is not a legal problem. Not by a long shot. It is fundamentally a political problem. One cannot gainsay the utility of the law in fighting corruption. But only a fool would conflate law and politics. The law is a servant of politics, and does only that which politics permits. However, that does not mean that the rule of law, or fidelity to social justice and fairness, must be vitiated by politics. Nyet – the law is inherently political and that is the only reason it is not blind, or impervious, to injustice. So, let us get this straight – the law cannot be apolitical. That is why Mr Kenyatta must wage a legal-political war against the corrupt.

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The arrest this week of Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich and Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge along with the mandarins implicated in the colossal Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal could be a turning point in Mr Kenyatta’s putsch against the corrupt. How his government executes the legal fight to prove Mr Rotich’s culpability will speak volumes about his political gumption. Kenyans want to see the corrupt prosecuted, convicted, and frog-marched to jail. As a law professor – one who is faithful to the rule of law – I believe criminal guilt must be proven beyond reasonable doubt. But the presumption of innocence cannot be the reason to rig the legal system in favour of the corrupt. Legal paganism is the refuge of corrupt scoundrels.

 

All those charged, or indicted for corruption, must leave public office at once. They cannot hold public office while under indictment. Mr Kenyatta has taken the right step in replacing CS Rotich and PS Thugge. Alleged co-conspirators must be sent packing in shame. Mr Kenyatta must sever their bureaucratic heads without pity. They should not merely “step down”. No – they must vacate the public offices they hold without any possibility of return. The correct nomenclature is separation from service – a total guillotine. Public shaming as a prelude to criminal sanction is a powerful signal to the corrupt that the vice has no place in Kenya. The power of demonstration will put oomph in Mr Kenyatta’s futile protests against the corrupt.

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It is nary a secret that the dams scandal that has felled Mr Rotich has already been politicised. Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, the political greenhorn, has already tribalised the criminal investigations into it. His political godfather, the irascible William Ruto – who also serves as the constitutionally independent deputy to Mr Kenyatta – reads a sinister purpose in the fight against corruption. To him, the fight against corruption is only intended to stop him from ascending to State House. As if to emphasise the point, Mr Ruto has insisted on continuing to pour millions of shillings into church coffers every Sunday. He does not care when citizens ask where he gets the money for such massive giveaways, which he euphemistically calls “tithes”.

POLITICAL BLACKMAIL

In Kenya, every senior figure accused of corruption runs to hide under the skirt of the tribe. It is nothing but political blackmail. The sad thing is that it works every time. It is a war chant by those who are guilty. They dare the state to hold their corrupt sons and daughters accountable and bear the consequences. Typically, Mr Kenyatta retreats when confronted with such tribal blather. This is the question – will he blink again? My crystal ball tells me that this time round he will stand his ground and call the bluff of his erstwhile political allies. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain. The time has come for Mr Kenyatta to say enough is enough, and mean it.

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Finally, let me end where I started. I invoked Sankara’s name, the martyr betrayed by his political comrades for raw power.

Politicians often make unpalatable bargains to capture office. Call them Faustian bargains. Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto entered into Faustian bargains in 2013 and 2017. That pact has now been put asunder because its raison d’etre has reached obsolescence. Will Mr Kenyatta rise from the ashes of that ignominious pact to leave a legacy that “Upright People” can be proud of? Or will he retreat – again? Will he blink and hand the baton to Mr Ruto?

BY MAKAU MUTUA,  SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of KHRC. Twitter: @makaumutua.

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Sonko compares his extended foreign tour to Trump’s trips abroad

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Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who has been ‘missing’ for almost two weeks now has compared his absence to that of United States President Donald Trump.

Even as he is being investigated in numerous corruption cases, Sonko has had the time to visit several countries abroad including Dubai, Italy, France and later in the week he will be visiting South Korea.

On Tuesday, through social media, Sonko explained why he has been away, stating that all the trips he has taken are good for the city.

“In the last week starting Monday 7th October, I have been out of the country on an official tour where I visited Europe (France) Montpellier, Copenhagen (Denmark) and Asia (South Korea) to attend key note events where other major cities of the world were represented by my counterparts,” Sonko wrote Facebook.

He compared the trips to those of Trump after he took over the Oval office.

“In 2017, US President Donald Trump made several foreign trips, one from 20th to 27th May (8 Days) where he visited a number of Middle East Countries and another in November 5th to 14th (10 Days) visiting Asia, the Korea Peninsula and China. In 2018, Trump went for several foreign trips with one lasting from June 7th to 16th (9 Days) in Europe,” he explained.

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He further said that as the governor he has also made several crucial official trips to represent Nairobi City around the world in the last two years.

This he explained is because he believes it is important for him get to interact with other world city leaders and get to see or learn what they are doing differently in their respective cities.

That aside, Sonko admitted that he has been enjoying every moment of his foreign trip.

BY Nairobi News

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Nazizi exhilarated as son meets President Uhuru Kenyatta

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Last week marked eight decades since St Mary’s School, Nairobi was started and in honor of the fete, the school’s former and current students came together to celebrate.

Leading the ceremony was Saints alumni President Uhuru Kenyatta who stole the show when he turned up dressed in full school uniform.

Legendary Kenyan Hip hop artist Nazizi Hirji’s 9-year-old son Tafari Firoz who is a pupil at the institution had the privilege of meeting President Uhuru Kenyatta and sharing a cake-cutting session with him.

Tafari was among a select number of students chosen to participate in the event.

An elated Nazizi took to Instagram to share her proud mama moment with her online family.

“The president of my heart @tafari_firoz got to meet the President of Kenya yesterday. The celebration was #saintsat80 and yes @uhurukenyatta is an old Saints boy. Super proud mum,” she wrote.

Nazizi’s son with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Joining the president in celebration of the school’s 80th anniversary was Citizen TV news anchor Jeff Koinange, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi and business mogul Jimi Wanjigi, also alumnus of Saints.

The president was pleased with the warm welcome he got from St Mary’s students and in turn extended an invite to the learners to visit the State House for a tour as he urged for the school’s improved infrastructure.

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“Let’s put up credible framework to marshal resources to assist the school in improving libraries and other infrastructure. Institutions’ histories are kept alive by people,” said the President.

By SDE

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Former radio host Angela Angwenyi’s house on auction

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Former Nation FM and Kiss 100 presenter Angela Angwenyi’s is set to lose her house after it was put up for auction.

Through a newspaper advertisement on Monday, Garam Auctioneers put up Angwenyi’s Jacaranda Gardens apartment for auction after she faced financial difficulties.

“Our subject property is part of Jacaranda estate along Kamiti Road just after the Northern bypass,” the advert read.

Angwenyi’s woes started after Out of The Box Solutions, a company linked to her was implicated in the National Youth Service (NYS) scandal.

The company had landed a Sh302 million contract to conduct sensitization campaigns targeting women, youth and persons with disabilities under the Access to Government Procurement Opportunities (AGPRO) program.

After receiving Sh90.7 million, payments were halted and she appeared before the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain how she won tender by the Ministry of Devolution and National Planning.

Consequently, her Housing Finance account was frozen for 90 days following an application by the Asset Recovery Agency (ARA).

By SDE

READ ALSO:   You'd kill yourself if you knew my property, Waititu tells critics
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