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Why Muturi’s radical BBI proposals are now attracting attention

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When National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi appeared before the Building Bridges Initiative task force this week, he made far-reaching suggestions that, if adopted, may alter the way Kenyans choose their political leaders.

Mr Muturi suggested that parties or coalitions of parties that get the highest number of votes should be forwarding names of presidential and governorship candidates.
In what appears to be a coordinated move, Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu, while appearing before a parliamentary committee, also made a similar proposal. She suggested that parties would be expected to come up with a list of their candidates who would be up for election against other parties at the county level as opposed to constituency and ward levels.

In Homa Bay, Suba North MP Millie Odhiambo, in her submission to the BBI task force, also made similar proposals on mixed-member proportional representation.
But Mr Muturi insists that his submissions were drawn from his long experience in interacting with other nations’ democratic processes, especially South Africa, Germany and Nordic countries.
He says his proposal will remove the pressure on candidates and ease the cult-like following on leaders, with focus being on political parties and their manifestos.

n a wide-ranging exclusive interview with the Sunday Nation, Mr Muturi said despite being a close friend of President Uhuru Kenyatta, his proposals are not meant to benefit anyone.
He rebuffed suggestions that he could be preparing the ground for President Kenyatta to retain power. “I know the man very well. That is not true,” he said.
He insisted he had not even discussed his proposals with the President.

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Mr Muturi suggested that the winning party should nominate persons to the key executive Mr Muturi suggested that the winning party should nominate persons to the key executive offices after a general election.offices after a general election.
“The popular will of the people manifested through one-man, one-vote should be actuated through the nomination of the president by the party that garners the majority votes at the general election,” Mr Muturi told the BBI team.

On governors, the Speaker wants each party to nominate three people who are qualified to hold office and send the names to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) before the polls.
If approved, the person shall be gazetted as governor and should nominate a person of the opposite gender as deputy governor.

If a name is rejected, Mr Muturi proposes, the IEBC should forward the second name in the list within three days for consideration.
Mr Muturi acknowledges that it would not be easy for Kenyans to adopt the changes but reckons it can be done with enough civic education.
“It’s an idea on the table. I haven’t said that the President will be elected by MPs. People want to distort what I said. Like the African National Congres of South Africa, the leader of the party is determined by the party, not by MPs alone. The party has membership and officials from the grass roots,” he said.

“Even people from Mt Kenya must begin to appreciate that having a strong party is good. Because we are the worst in running parties. Look at Kibaki, Uhuru, Kiraitu, they changed parties all the time. Time is running out on us. We must begin to appreciate that the provisions in constitutions on strong parties will not be removed. Political parties as institutions of public governance are here with us to stay.”

READ ALSO:   Kenya's House Speaker JB Muturi arrives in Serbia for a 4-day official visit [PHOTOS]

He admitted that scrapping constituencies would be a hard sell but said Kenya should consider adopting mixed member proportional pepresentation as happens in Nordic countries.
On governors, the Speaker wants each party to nominate three people qualified to hold office and send the names to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) before the polls.

“Those people will campaign for their respective parties so thoroughly because no one will be saying if you elect me I will do this and that for you, they will be saying if you elect my party, the party will do this and that for you. And the party will have set out its manifesto,” he said.
“It will be issue-based politics. That appeals directly to the party. And by the way that’s universal suffrage because the right to vote is not taken away. But the people will now vote for ideas not for the people.”

He, however, said more discussions are needed so that Kenya does not copy what other countries do without incorporating local realities.
“We can’t become copycats without exceptions. We must temper this thing called democracy with our own peculiar experiences. It’s not a cap that fits all.”
He dismissed fears that the proposals, if adopted, would lead to dictatorship, especially where renegade MPs opt not to toe party line.

“Actually, I prefer where MPs are recalled by the party. Party discipline is not negotiable. Too bad that today I can’t participate in party matters given my position. I hate party indiscipline. I remained firmly in Kanu despite losing in 2003. One must stand with what their party stands for,” he said.

READ ALSO:   President Uhuru leaves politicians out of commendation list

Mr Muturi cautioned that there is no referendum law, therefore it would be problematic for the BBI report to find its way in Parliament and county assemblies.
“This current BBI process has no way of coming to Parliament. Unless the President brings it when he is delivering State of the Nation address.”
“That is, the President hands two reports, on national values and on security. The values report is debated in both Houses. Then we have to ask the relevant committee to extract the parts that require constitutional amendment,” he said.

Then there are no timelines guiding how long Parliament should stay with these Bills.
“Punguza Mizigo process shows that there were counties that never submitted their reports,” he said.
Whereas ODM members are beating drums of impeachment against Deputy President William Ruto, Mr Muturi said there exists a lacuna in law on what happens after a Deputy President is impeached.

“In the event of the impeachment of a DP, that is not clear. What is clear is when the President leaves for whatever reason. Not when the DP is impeached. This was not envisaged. I guess the name of a new DP has to be brought to Parliament because he is a member of the Cabinet. But is there an impeachment?” he posed.

In his proposals, Mr Muturi seemed to suggest that Senate should be the Upper House, ceding a ground he had held from 2013 that National Assembly is the superior House.

By Sunday Nation,


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Carpenter hopes payday in sight in 27-year fight over presidential seats

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For the past 27 years, Solomon Njoroge Kiore has battled with the government over a debt that was initially Sh195 million but has now ballooned to more than Sh500 million in an unpaid bill for presidential furniture he delivered.

Tomorrow (Monday), Mr Kiore will go to the High Court in Milimani hoping that the end is in sight as he is supposed to get a hearing date for a case that has had many twists and turns.

In 1992, Mr Kiore, the proprietor of Furncon, a furniture company, won a government tender to supply presidential furniture but down the line, the deal went sour when the military officials returned the chairs a year after President Daniel arap Moi had used them — allegedly without payment.

The chairs had been acquired through the Ministry of Defence and approved by State House, according to court documents.

The government has denied failing to make the payment and he went to court to seek redress in 2007.

Although Mr Moi used the chairs for a year, Furncon says the military returned them to his workshop.

But the parties could not agree on the amount to be paid, with the businessman citing lack of goodwill on the side of the state.

Sh527 million

That year, Mr Kiore was seeking Sh527 million, being the price, court costs and storage charges.

He told the court he did not receive any invitation to negotiate a settlement.

Then last year, Symon Yator Cheberek, a military colonel, took over the case after Attorney General Kihara Kariuki appointed him to represent the state in all civil matters in which the Ministry of Defence is a party.

High Court judge Joseph Sergon allowed Col Cheberek to act for the state, but Mr Kiore objected this saying allowing a military officer to take up the matter was tantamount to court-martialling him.

“There can never be a situation where a civilian can be in court one on one with a distinctive disciplined and uniformed force,” he stated in an affidavit on March 25, 2019.

Col Cheberek said he is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and the Attorney General was in order to appoint him.

Justice Sergon has declined the recusal plea, saying the claims of bias could not be proved.

 Now, Mr Kiore says his business has died, as he can no longer use the premises where he has kept the chair as it is an instrument of power.

“It was used by a President for a year. It is treasured and therefore no one is supposed to touch it. My business has suffered immensely because of this seat,” he says in his court documents.

In a letter dated May 10, 2001, the Attorney General informed Mr Kiore that the Department of Defence had extended a without-prejudice offer purely out of honour and respect for presidential instruments.

“However, having realised that your claims include other items worth millions of shillings reflective of your other financial issues not related to the chair in question, it has not been possible to formally make the offer to you,” states the letter signed by V Onyango, a deputy litigation officer at the State Law Office.

Admission of liability

The offer, the officer states, is not the government’s admission of liability, because “the said chairs were ordered by the Agricultural Society of Kenya”.

He says the seat was made under strict supervision of the military and State House staff.

The firm says it was asked to make more furniture for presidential lounges at the Eldoret Moi Airbase and Kahawa Garrison and deliver the chairs to the Agricultural Society of Kenya offices in Nairobi for a three-day presidential function.

But the President ordered that the furniture remain at the ASK offices, according to a letter by the ASK dated August 5, 1999.

Now, Furncon wants a declaration that the ownership of the items was passed on to the government in September 1992, under the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act and as such they are instruments of power.

by nation africa


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Go Green na Optiven

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It is the responsibility of everyone to tender and care for the planet for better and healthier future generations.
We call upon you to join any of these categories:
1. Those who are more environmentally friendly
2. Those who are ecologically responsible in both their decision making and lifestyles
3. Those who protect environment
4. Those who protect and sustain the natural resources in their area of business
5. Those who help to conserve resources like water, air and vegetation
6. Those who produce eco-friendly products, thus preventing pollution of our air, water and land
7. Those who can prove that they have been using Green Energy/clean energy such as solar power or if using conventional energy; they are using eco-friendly bulbs and that save energy.
How can each play a role this is a highlight of just but a few but you can  put your   role that  you are doing  to promote the  green agenda
1. Builders/Engineers/Architects/Interiors designers
i. Use of solar energy/ Use of solar panels
ii. Use of Energy saving bulbs, florescent tubes
iii. Use of organic paints, light friendly windows
iv. Use of Eco-friendly toilets
v. Harvesting of rain water from roof tops, use roofs that are Eco-friendly, ensure that water does not go to waste
vi. Proof of reduction of water bills as a result of going green
vii. Water recycling technologies like Bio digester
viii. Those whose provide green buildings, Eco-friendly homes
2. Farming, gardening, landscaping experts
i. Use of drip or sprinkler on not flooding water while gardening or farming
ii. Use of organic pesticides
iii. Use of organic manure
iv. Those who increase forests cover
3. Health businesses, Schools, Hospitals
i. Those providing natural skin care products & not petroleum or synthetic ingredients on the products
ii. Those offering advice on going green, creating awareness of going green
iii. Those who teach children on being a friend of the earth
iv. Those who buy from ethical farmers who are known to produce organic products
4. Transport industry, drivers, delivery companies and logistics firms/organizations
i. Those who reduce carbon emissions directly or indirectly
ii. Any Awareness of climate change
iii. Any knowledge of carbon emissions and how to reduce?
5. Property Owners within Optiven Projects
i. Planting of trees in their plots
ii. Adoption of water recycling technology
iii. Establishment of Green Spaces
iv. Proper waste disposal
6. SMEs
i. Those who recycle waste
ii. Those manufacturing from the recycled materials
iii. Those who take proper care of electronic wastes
iv. Tech companies that have a green policy on disposal of electric waste
v. SMEs that can prove awareness of global warming
7. Families
i. Those who adopt any of the going green initiative say family tree planting, planting a tree during birthday instead of having a birthday cake or doing both
ii. With children who are aware of climate change and also alive to ways of preventing in preventing it
iii. Families that are involved in separation of different form of waste and or engaged in any form of recycling
8. Hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, entertainment joins
i. Provision of organic food to customers
ii. Support of local farmers who do organic farming
iii. Awareness of climate change and its risks to humanity
9. Decision makers- checking the green component in your venture
i. Any policy decisions on going green
ii. Awareness on global warming
iii. Any knowledge of implementation of United Nations Development Goals
10. Children: If you are a child who is school going or otherwise and you have started being sensitive to the planet by doing conservation activities
11. Others: If you  believe that you are a friend of the planet, let us know
#SaveTheEarth
#SaveOurPlanet
#GoingGreen=Healthy Families
George Wachiuri
Trustee
Optiven Foundation


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VIDEO: Optiven CEO opens up about growing up in abject poverty, doing laundry for fellow students

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George Wachiuri, the CEO of Optiven Limited, has opened up about a side of him few people know about. Despite having built a multi-billion Shilling Real Estate Company and becoming one of the most recognisable names in the field, Wachiuri has remained a humble servant, who says he views his customers as associates and greatly respects and values his work mates. 

In an interview with Jeremy Damaris of Kenya Diaspora Media, he tells of how he struggled, lost money and friends, before rebounding “by the grace of God.”

A Certified Public Accountant – CPA (K) and is a former Lecturer at Daystar University, his entrepreneurial spirit developed early, and was awarded the Entreprenuer of the year 1997 by the University of Nairobi.

He is currently a PhD candidate at the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

He holds a Masters’s degree in Business Administration (University of Nairobi), and a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing option) Degree from University of Nairobi.

Watch as he tells his amazing story in Gīkūyū


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