Bumula youth recruited into the NYS Kazi kwa Vijana programme in October 2017 have every reason to smile after area legislator Mwambu Mabongah secured their weekly stipends they were owed.
The 900 cohorts and 10 huduma kitchen service providers had their services unceremoniously stopped after the 2018/2019 budgetary appropriations failed to cover innovative programmes of the nation’s largest youth parastatal.
Having been at the forefront in ensuring youth from his backyard benefit by ensuring the programme’s introduction to Bumula for the first time,youth and women who provided catering services christened huduma kitchen had their fingers directed at the MP in their quest for justice.
According to our sources at Parliament Buildings,the first time legislator,who is also lauded for being overzealously prudential in resource Management development,has been a dependable representative in following up on the plight of the youth. Records at Parliament, whose excerpts are attached here, indicate how Mabongah tirelessly asked questions in Parliament putting to task the Cabinet Secretary in charge of Public Service,Youth and Gender affairs.
A follow up was made to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Labour and Social Welfare chaired by Hon. Wario,where the impasse was broken. The CS responded to the MP’s questions credibly and certainly promising to expedite the said payments from the 19th of July this year.
The cohort team leader Ken Wafula confirmed that the promise has been kept with about 99% of the youth having received their pay and the mandatory deductions to their Huduma SACCO made and effectively wired to the SACCO accounts for onward access by youth who would wish to venture into businesses. ” Yes. We are very happy. We thank our MP for assisting us get our pay. We were bitter but now we are really elated. Out of the 900 youth,only 7 have not received their pay because their details were conflicting. We have been directed to get their correct details so that their payments are effected. We are happy that they have been coming to our Huduma SACCO offices that the MP assisted us open at Bumula and we are sorting out their issues. We have faith in our MP and will ensure we assist him. We appeal to him to assist us get back to work,” Ken said.
More than Ksh. 6.7 million have been pumped into the paying the cohorts and huduma kitchen service providers.
Many scholars on the African continent have explored the question of what ails Africa particularly in the arena of politics and governance. Perpetual conflict and poverty as inevitable consequences of poor governance have made Afro-pessimists to describe the continent as a scar on the conscience of humanity.
Many argue that adversarial politics driven by ethno-centric political parties whose ideology is nothing but the tribe as the major rallying call is bad for the progress of the continent. In this sense ethnic-based political competition, winning an election in Africa, according to PLO Lumumba, is akin to winning a lottery – some kind of a gateway to personal accumulation of public resources for private use.
Ethnic political parties are used by ethnic warlords to ascend to power, retain power or bargain for power for selfish gains often touted as community power.
Because of the high stakes involved, electoral competition has increasingly become a matter of life and death and whoever loses a presidential contest always believes that he has been rigged out and therefore his community has been denied access to power and resources thus leading to deadly post-election violence.
In order to address this, many African countries end up with bloated governments so as to appease the warring parties as aptly captured by PLO Lumumba in his address to a Security Conference held Kigali – Rwanda in May 2019.
Lumumba says that “under the guise of democracy in a number of African countries we create offices which are siliquas:- you will have a president, a first deputy president, a second deputy president, a prime minister, first deputy prime minister, second deputy prime minister….all those useless offices which make no sense because you have to appoint people into those offices and give them a motorcade so that when they go to their villages they look important, and the people own them as “ours.” People want to be included.”
This is exactly what Kenya seems to be gearing up for. We have been there before during the Grand Coalition Government (2008-2013) led by Mwai Kibaki as president, Kalonzo Musyoka as Vice President, Raila Odinga as Prime Minister with Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta as Deputy Prime Ministers together with many ministers and their assistants.
Does anyone remember the legacy of Raila Odinga as Prime Minister or Mudavadi and Uhuru as Deputy Prime Ministers? Your guess us as good as mine. To the contrary, Raila’s best legacy is recorded during the struggle for multi-party democracy in the early 1990s. As for his legacy in Grand Coalition Government, a reading of Peeling Back the Mask can be helpful.
The truth of the matter, however, is that the Grand Coalition Government was assembled to appease the major ethnic warlords’ appetite for political power. At the heart of it were representatives from the 4 major ethnic communities namely the Kikuyu (Mwai Kibaki as president, Uhuru Kenyatta as one of the Deputy Prime Ministers), the Kamba (Kalonzo Musyoka as the Vice President), the Luo (with Raila Odinga as Prime Minister), and Luhya (Musalia Mudavadi as another Deputy Prime Minister).
This arrangement was arrived at after weeks of post-2007 election pogrom that senselessly claimed many innocent lives and displaced thousands others. However once the representative ethnic warriors were comfortably accommodated in government, the violence ended though animosity remains to this day.
Although the 2010 constitution that was widely praised as progressive and overwhelmingly endorsed by Kenyans sought to correct the perceived weaknesses in the previous constitution, it is emerging that it is equally a bad constitution that is not “inclusive” enough! That it promotes the winner to takes it all political culture.
However a careful look at the past close to 7 years reveals that the genesis of the problem is more to do with individual lack of faith in our institutions than the constitution.
Both the 2013 and 2017 elections were bitterly contested; again by the two major ethnicities; the Kikuyu (Uhuru Kenyatta) versus the Luo (Raila Odinga) with others aligning themselves as was appropriate for the representative lead hunters.
Had Odinga accepted electoral defeat in 2017 and moved on like he did in 2013, we would not be here talking about the referendum less than 10 years after adopting a new constitutional dispensation.
Raila unleashed a strategy he knows how to use best: the threat of post-2017 electoral violence triggered by his refusal to accept election results, perpetrated by his supporters, fueled by the merciless Uhuru-led security forces and augmented by Uhuru’s own ethnic base supporters.
Fearing what befell the country in 2007-2008, Uhuru gave in to the Raila blackmail and the duo engaged in a political intercourse dubbed “Handshake” that led to the conception of the Building Bridges Initiative.
Although the nation is still pregnant out of that politically illicit affair, political gynecologists have already run scans and they report that the child likely to be born has deformities namely a very weak presidency, a deputy president or two, an inflated prime minister and several deputy prime ministers.
Those in support of the BBI argue that the “winner takes it all” system is bad because it is not inclusive thus creating the aforementioned positions is the hallmark of inclusiveness. Of course they know that inclusivity is already guaranteed in the constitution but such is not their version.
They want a situation where whoever loses an election does not become the leader of opposition but rather is accommodated in government as Prime Minister! Why then should we go for an election? Other BBI enthusiasts have hinted that because we have a young president, there is need to create space for in government after his two constitutional terms come to an end.
In the final analysis, the inclusivity sought by the BBI proponents has got nothing to do with creating of jobs for the millions of unemployed youth from all corners of Kenya. It has got nothing to do with having an Ogiek occupying State House as the next PORK after Uhuru. What is being sought is an accommodation of the current traditional political players in this country by creating for them offices for status rather than function.
I have asked many times about the whole idea of BBI and I will continue asking….What bridges are we building? For who are we building them? What are they linking? Who is doing the building?
Bumula Member of Parliament Hon. Mwambu Mabongah pumped millions into schools in his constituency for infrastructural development,in what he termed as the second phase of his education infrastracture reform agenda.
Amongst schools that benefited were Ng’oli Secondary School,Nang’eni Girls’ Secondary School,Kimaeti RC Primary School, Bukirimo Secondary School,Lunao Primary School,Masuno Primary School,Buloosi Primary School,Kabula Secondary School, Namanze Secondary School and Malinda Secondary School,spread across the constituency.
The legislator laid bare his intention in the second phase saying he targets at putting up three storey structures in three schools as he aims at creating opportunities in construction,supplies and jobs for skilled masons and unskilled workmen.
“Thefirst phase of the infrastructure reform agenda targeted at removing mudwalled structures and under-the-tree classrooms. We have fixed most of them. Others are nearing completion. In this phase,we target at fixing condemned structures and rolling out ultra-modern storey buildings in schools which will house classes,administration offices and ICT hubs so that our children get access to top notch resources for research and learning. This financial year, we are doing three model structures at Kabula High School, Ng’oli Secondary School and Bukirimo. My intention is to have such satellite models in every ward. These development aims solely at ynergizing the efforts we are putting in setting up structures to improve performance and leveraging the environment for competition with bigger schools,” the MP said.
“With the commencement of these works we target at providing business opportunities for suppliers even as we employ over 3,000 skilled and unskilled labourers. The completion of the model structures will place the need for IT experts and librarians at a higher pedestal thus creating employment for our young professionals, ” he added.
Our source at the CDF divulged that there are even more beneficiary schools which were not covered by the MP yesterday but which will receive cheques from the MP or the CDF official in the coming days.
The ambitious first time legislator was recently ranked the best in utilizing CDF nationally after a thorough research run by the National Government CDF Board and is set to be feted.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, together with his minority counterpart, John Mbadi, issued a notice of motion seeking to abolish majority/minority positions in the Senate, stating that the two positions are unknown to the constitution and any laws of Kenya.
On Wednesday, Duale threatened to move to court to demand the scrapping off of the two positions, currently held by Senators Kipchumba Murkomenand James Orengo, while daring the Senators to proceed with their suit seeking the court’s interpretation on the distinct roles of the two Houses.
“They have started the war and should be ready to face us in the interpretation of the law when we will be in court,” Duale stated.
“Over the years, we have realised that the Senate believes and thinks the constitution is not clear. Every time you hear them talk, they try to insinuate that the National Assembly is undermining the responsibility and the roles of the Senate, “Suba South MP John Mbadi revealed in an interview with KTN News.
On June 20, the Senate approved a motion by majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen that seeks to institute legal proceedings to challenge the laws that have been enacted by the National Assembly without seeking concurrence from the Senate.
“This is a culmination of a continued struggle of the Senate since 2013. A decision has been made by the Senate in its own Kamukunji and to be affirmed and ratified and adopted by this house,” Murkomen alluded during the Senate proceeding.
“I want to assure ourselves, including myself, that when you are defending the law, you can never be a victim,” Orengo added.
The National Assembly majority leader has seemingly moved to scrap their positions as revenge.
According to a KTN News report, Duale argued that whereas article 108 (4) of the constitution exclusively accords certain order of precedents to be observed in the National Assembly, that is the speaker, the leader of the majority party, and of the minority party, the one in the Senate is unknown to the constitution and any law.
According to Duale and Mbadi, despite the provisions of article 108 of the constitution, the Senate has irregularly established the Parliamentary Service Commission to facilitate and reward the position of the Senate majority and minority leaders.
In a Senate proceeding, Orengo and Murkomen defended the decisions of the House while hitting back at the MPs.
“No one should victimise the Speaker when he will make his own decision, no one should victimise Orengo or me, or any other Senator,” Murkomen stated.
“The space of the Senate in the constitution should not be taken for granted. The Senate is not a dead duck. If anyone thought we are, then the Court will clarify more on the issue,” Orengo defended.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged his cabinet secretaries to copy what his Deputy William Ruto is doing on development tours across the country
Speaking yesterday during a meeting at the office of the President with the government’s top executive members, Kenyatta warned cabinet secretaries who have a penchant behavior of spending a lot of time with office work at the expense of meet-the-people development tours
“Kazi ya Naibu wa Rais na Mawaziri sio kukaa kwa ofisi na kusoma gazeti, kunywa chai, kupiga mdomo haifai na mambo kama hayo. Kazi ya Mawaziri na Naibu wa Rais ni kutembea kote kote na kuangalia mbona hakuna maji, stima na kuleta ripoti. Angalieni Naibu wa Rais anavyo fanya kazi na wengine wenu hapa ni kukaa tu kwa ofisi” Uhuru Kenyatta said
President Uhuru Kenyatta is said to have been impressed by his Deputy’s daily visits to various regions across the nation launching and commissioning development projects like roads, water, Education and electricity.
The DP has been painting news headlines every other weekend crisscrossing the country,a move that has set tongues wagging with his erstwhile political nemesis alleging that he had engaged the political gear.
Deputy President William Ruto has mounted aggressive campaigns to buttress his 2022 presidential bid, clocking at least 300 stops across the country in the last 18 months.
Despite President Uhuru Kenyatta’s early campaigns warning, which led to his angry speech in Kasarani last weekend, Ruto has sustained a countrywide tour blitz ostensibly launching development projects and conducting church harambees, accompanied by politicians branded as Team Tangatanga. The tours are christened development tours.
In the last one and half years, the DP has, for instance, largely sustained frenetic tours in the opposition stronghold of Western Kenya, Uhuru’s Central Kenya backyard and in the capital, Nairobi.
Ruto has visited Nairobi 18 times, Kiambu (16), Kakamega (13), Bungoma (9), Nyeri (9) and Embu five times in the tours, but has heavily shunned opposition leader Raila Odinga’s Luo Nyanza turf.
While the DP’s critics have slammed him for engaging the 2022 high-gear campaigns, his staunch supporters claim he is merely performing the functions of his office by inspecting development projects.
According to his proponents, Ruto is Christian who has also gone out of his way to donate to churches as well us help communities by mobilising funds for community projects.
Whether in public events or church functions, Ruto has always been accompanied by a coterie of his troops who have not shied away from affirming their support for him in 2022.
However, the tours have depicted the DP as a man with a massive financial war chest ready not to spare any coin to galvanise support for his 2022 presidential bid.
In fact, Ruto’s strategists have revealed to the Star that his diary is fully booked in the next one year, signaling his tenacity to scour villages for votes.
lAst week, Cherangany MP Joshwa Kutuny said Ruto’s tours are aimed at projecting him as a front runner, but warned, “His strength is his weakness and his aggressiveness his weakness.”
The MP, who is a Ruto critic despite coming from the Rift Valley, warned the DP to read the signs and cited the alleged rousing welcome for opposition leader Raila Odinga in Narok during the Madaraka Day celebrations.
“Too much availability until it loses test is at times dangerous. In politics, scarcity makes value,” he said, insisting Ruto received a cold reception, despite his many trips to Narok county in the recent past
But National Assembly Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali dismissed the DP’s tours critics, saying Ruto has ‘become a household name in Kenya’ and will reap full benefits in 2022.
“He (Ruto) is coming to Bungoma very soon. He is there for the people and has gotten into the people’s minds,” Washiali, a key Ruto ally in Western Kenya, said.
Responding to claims that DP’s trips are political, the Mumias East MP said it was unfortunate that Ruto’s opponents are not sincere with their criticism.
“It is obviously clear that Ruto’s trips are development-oriented. He has been coming to Western to inspect development projects or conduct harambees to empower the church,” he said.
Former Kakemega senator Boni Khalwale, a new catch for the DP in Western, laughed off the DP’s critics saying ‘Western Kenya needs Ruto even more.”
Insisting that all Ruto’s trips to Western Kenya have been about development and not politics, Khalwale blasted opponents saying they have panicked.
“I don’t know what those who have panicked will do when Ruto starts his campaigns because he hasn’t yet,” he said.
How I wish he could come more [frequently]. We appreciate his tours because they are have brought more development.
Former kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale
The politician popularly referred to as the Bullfighter — for his love for bullfighting escapades — said the opinions of Ruto’s critics could have been informed by his predecessors, who made the office lame duck.
“His (Ruto’s) predecessors were not swift and aggressive as he is. Kenyans must have thought that is how occupants of that office should carry themselves,” he said.
We should appreciate that we have someone with that capacity to move around the country, Khalwale said.
Kimilili MP Didmas Barasa warned Ruto’s opponents against slamming his countrywide tours, saying they have lost focus and want to clutch at straws.
“Our competitors have panicked. They should focus on what the DP is doing when touring the country rather than linking it to 2022 politics,” he said.
Barasa, another key ally of Ruto in Western region, insisted that Ruto has been visiting various regions on invitation by political leaders to either launch projects or help in Harambee.
“We have seen our opponents have also started harambees and launching projects in trying to play catch-up,” he said.
ODM treasurer Timothy Bosire said by working outside the National Development Implementation and Communication Cabinet Committee Ruto “smacks of ‘open defiance.”
“This shows a clear split in Jubilee, manifests a divided leadership and demonstrates the inability to work as a team and smacks of a man pursuing his own dreams outside the President’s framework,” the former Kitutu Masaba MP said.
Bosire said the DP’s countrywide tours are purely personal and political by “a man who is in a hurry and bad mannered to do things his own way.”
“By pursuing his own agenda, Ruto is at loggerheads with the president’s programmes and therefore defiant of the presidency,” he said, noting that he should instead work with the projects committee chaired by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
Siaya Woman Representative Christine Ombaka said the projects the DP has been launching across the country are ‘discriminatory and fake” with a 2022 agenda.
“If they are really genuine, why are we not seeing the line ministers involved? He is just doing the launch himself. It is simple, he is campaigning for 2022,” she said.
Earlier president Uhuru appeared to clip Ruto’s 2022 wings when he established the National Development Implementation Committee of the cabinet chaired by Matiang’i to oversee all government projects.
With the launch of projects being the heart of the DP’s 2022 campaign strategy, Ruto quickly opted for church fundraisers and donations to sustain his countrywide tours.
When not making a trip to one corner of the country , he is hosting various delegations at his official Karen office for meetings seen has part of his 2022 presidential campaigns plan.
Recently, in a clear indication yet that the DP is keen to endear himself to the voters, he has changed tact, adopting the “hustlers nation” tag .
In recent months, Ruto has been showing up in roadside eateries to share meals with the electorate, buying and sharing roasted maize or even just stopping to greet the commoners.
A fortnight ago on Saturday while in Busia county, Ruto took off his expensive shoes and wore cum boots to join farmers plant rice. He also stopped by the roadside to buy roasted maize.
The following Sunday, while attending a church function in Nyandarua county, he stopped by a roadside food kiosk and ordered for a cup of tea and mandazi.
He would also buy roasted maize by the roadside moments after gracing another church function in Dagoreti South constituency, Nairobi.
During the church service, which was also attended by a host of MPs allied to him, Ruto has defended his countrywide tours which his critics consider as part of the 2022 campaigns.
“We have people to serve and others want me to stay in the office. My role is to see government projects are implemented well and spend time with the people,” Ruto said in a church function in Kiambu.
The DP attended two church functions one at the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) Kasuku, Oljororok, Nyandarua County and later on closed the day in Nairobi’s Dagoreti constituency.
On Saturday, he made two stops in Samburu county, in the morning he landed in Baragoi, Samburu North before making other stop in Samburu East also to launch women empowerment projects.
On Friday, he traversed Busia county, the first event was to launch the Sh5.8billion, 10,000-acre Lower Nzoia Irrigation Project, which will benefit 12,000 households in Port Victoria, Budalang’i, Busia county.
Within the same Budalang’i constituency, Ruto presided over the handing over of a five-acre parcel of land to the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute by Busia County Government.
In the afternoon, he flew to the nearby Butula constituency to attended a function at Kingandole secondary school.
On June 2, the DP who is normally accompanied by a huge delegation of MPs and governors allied to him attended three church functions.
He started his day at St Martin’s Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) before proceeding to Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) both within Ruiru constituency, Kiambu county.
In the afternoon, he joined worshippers for another function at St Veronica Catholic Church Githurai, Nairobi County.
On May 31, Ruto who was accompanied by even MPs crisis-crossed the larger Kisii region popularise the Jubilee development agenda and attending church harambees.
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