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Politics Of Coalition Building For 2022: Both Ruto And Raila Stand To Lose

Pundits have observed that Raila has been cheated out of his presidential elections victory three times in a row.

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By Dr Vincent O. Ongore Public Policy analyst

We are witnessing high-level political strategy and treachery unfolding before our very eyes.

The brains behind this latest strategy of coalition building must be political geniuses.

The intended beneficiaries and losers are both camouflaged. What’s obvious to many naked eyes is the presumed loser in this game.

As an insider, that presumed loser understood from the very outset the scheme to systematically edge him out of the very center of state power. He promptly moved out to carve a new political life of his own, away from the hostilities of the center.

As things stand, both the apparent loser and the heir presumptive will most probably lose, with the latter loosing big time!

The unfolding coalitions, though characteristic of political re-arrangements preceding every election cycle in Kenya, are telling in many ways.

First, the Moi orphans have attempted to coalesce under a new outfit dubbed ‘One Kenya Alliance.’ The main target of the alliance appeared to be Raila Odinga who, for long, has been viewed as the only ‘meddlesome outsider’ who has significantly transformed the political landscape in ways that will take ages to mend. The strategists behind the alliance quickly realized that with DP William Ruto and opposition maestro Raila Odinga out of it, they were not going anywhere.

They have gone back to the drawing board. It should be appreciated that the overriding goal of the latest efforts at coalition building is not a manifest hatred of Ruto or love of Raila. Far from it. It’s about a permanent interest, and how to protect it in the post-Uhuru Kenyatta dispensation.

The coalition strategists will go to any length or depth to craft a satisfactory arrangement that will put a most trusted prince at the levers of power.

The winning coalition may not necessarily be the most popular with Kenyans, but it will certainly be the most trusted by the deep state.

DP William Ruto’s demeanor over the last eight years has left observers with no doubt as to his ruthlessness and huge appetite for property and opulence. He can stop at nothing in his bid for primitive accumulation. Besides, he has never hidden his intention to fulfill the ambitions of the late Nandi legislator Jean-Marie Seroney who emphasized that ‘every inch of the Nandi (read Kalenjin) soil belongs to the Nandi.’The late Seroney made the famous statement in relation to Mzee Kenyatta’s policy of aggressive settlement in Rift Valley of the displaced Kikuyu people.

Most of the Kikuyu were displaced by the British from the ‘White Highlands’ and a good number of them who agitated for their land rights driven to concentration camps. Many of them ran to the forests to join the MAU MAU fighters. When they came out of the forests after independence, there was a great shock awaiting them: their land had been taken over by black imperialists who, for many years, had worked for the British as informers, homeguards and sell-outs.

The land had been transformed into large commercial farms, and placed under the ownership of comprador groups of Kikuyu elite and their British business partners. This was rather surprising and disappointing at the same time to the MAU MAU returnees who were hopeful of enjoying new found freedom and independence on their land after the departure of their British colonialists and tormentors. That was never to be.

On realizing that a new fight was in the offing, this time pitting poor Africans against wealthy collaborators, President Kenyatta decreed that they be settled in Rift Valley and Coat Provinces. At that time all the powers to distribute land was vested on the person of the President.

So, Kenyatta used the constitutional powers to help himself to huge tracts of land in Rift Valley and the Coast regions, and also eliminate the eyesore of the MAU MAU landlessness by settling some of them there.

The idea was to completely delink the Kikuyu Diaspora from their kith and kin in Central Kenya, and ensure that they remained there to prevent them from distabilizing the property ownership structure back ‘home’ and in Rift Valley where the same groups of elite had acquired mind-boggling acreages of farmland side-by-side the British commercial interests.

With the support of the British and their surrogates, the Kenyan elite have systematically entangled the Provincial Administration, senior members of security agencies, foreign investors, politicians and the military into a complex web of property ownership that has come to define the ‘permanent interest’ for which the ‘deep state’ exists to protect. Political power rotates around property and the promise to protect it without questioning the predatory arrangement between Kenya and foreign interests. This is true of Kenya, and it’s true of other African countries.

Resource-rich countries of Africa exist to serve the interests of the West, and are expected to be exceedingly thankful as they get paid infinitesimal fractions of the real value of their resources. That’s the way geopolitics works. Any politician who threatens to run a parallel arrangement to the ‘permanent interest’ must be driven farther and farther away from the center of power.

DP Ruto and Raila Odinga haven’t ‘washed their hands’ sufficiently to join the table. But they are hugely popular with the masses of poor Kenyans. This is a threat to the permanent interest, for no one knows what they would do with political power if they got it. For that reason, they must not be allowed to join forces and work together in pursuit of their political ambitions. When the two teamed up in 2007, their coalition easily made minced meat of the Kibaki coalition that even had official state machinery at their disposal. The rest, as they say, is now history.

The state cannot countenance a repeat of that embarrassment. They will do anything and everything to stop it. Let nobody be misled into believing that between Ruto and Raila there’s a preferred candidate. Not at all.

The deep state cannot entrust either of them to protect their interest. You can take this to the bank either in Eldoret or Kisumu: I do not know who will wield executive presidential powers in 2022, but I can bet that it will be neither Ruto nor Raila. What you’re seeing is a smokescreen.

All politicians have ambition to wield the ultimate executive power in their country. There’s nothing short of political power that politicians want. Pundits have observed that Raila has been cheated out of his presidential elections victory three times in a row. He now understands very well that it is not the people who vote that matter, but those who count the vote.

At 76, Raila has mellowed. He’s no longer the maverick of 2007. The deep state can now do business with him. Raila himself has realized, rather late, that it’s not by one’s might that the Presidency is delivered, but by external forces that even the president doesn’t control.

Those forces trust Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Wetangula and Gideon Moi more than they do Raila and Ruto. Of the four, Gideon Moi is the most preferred. Unfortunately, the four trusted gentlemen are political feather-weights who do not even control their own backyards.

In fact, in the 2017 presidential elections, Raila got more votes than Mudavadi in the latter’s backyard of Vihiga. Likewise, Ruto whitewashed Gideon Moi in Baringo where the latter was fronting for KANU candidates. Kalonzo is always under the constant threat of Charity Ngilu in Kitui County. Wetangula, on his part, has never managed to shake off the Bukusu tag.

On their own, the four gentlemen cannot even be relied on to deliver votes from their communities. This puts the deep state in a catch 22 situation where they have to work with people they don’t trust.

The proposed Jubilee-NASA coalition should be understood in the foregoing context. Note that the proposed coalition must bring in all the NASA constituent parties so as to pacify their respective constituencies.

The biggest catch, though, is the ODM leader, Raila Odinga. The proposed coalition with his erstwhile political opponents will damage Raila in at least two ways. First, it will deny him an opportunity to present his candidature for the Presidency without clearance from the new outfit. If he defiantly bolts out, it might be too late, and he will certainly have lost the support of his NASA coalition partners. By then, Ruto will most probably have fully established his presidential campaign structures. If Raila chooses to join him, he can only do so on Ruto’s terms, and play second fiddle. I am not sure Raila would be comfortable with such an arrangement.

Second, it will be a herculean task for Raila to shake off the tag of a selfish politician who has been in alliance with the oppressors. It’s equally noteworthy that the proposed coalition will be heavy on political luminaries.

The current constitutionally supported political architecture of the country can hardly accommodate more than two senior political positions: President and DP. For the ambitions of all the party leaders to be accommodated, the BBI must be implemented.

In Kenya, the President can get his way if he’s so determined to. So, we need to brace ourselves for surprises. The time is not just right for betting on political outcomes. The defections from Central Kenya to UDA might not mean much in real politicss.

We witnessed numerous such defections from KANU to FORD in the early 1990s. The excitement about Raila finally becoming president should equally be kept on hold. The greatest advantages that the deep state enjoys are that it controls the state coffers and the constitutional means of violence.

Every politician has a price. Their prices are known to the deep state. To one side, the carrot will be dangled. They will weigh their options, then figure out how to hoodwink the voters to tag along. On the other side of the aisle, the stick will be shown, then an opportunity to settle on the middle ground will be explored.

Both Raila and Ruto fully understand what the state is capable of achieving with the carrot and stick. They are not naive. Raila is most likely going to be cajoled into supporting someone for executive Presidency or premiership, in exchange for an overrated ceremonial position.

The negotiators on the Jubilee side know fully well that Raila controls half, if not more, of the country. He’s capable of paralyzing the country to create conditions for negotiations. Unfortunately, sympathetic, and therefore, pathetic in the nuts and bolts of negotiation itself. He always leaves the negotiation table with crumbs.

On the other hand, Ruto is a hard-nosed, no-nonsense negotiator who manages to get literally most of what he asks for. Nobody wants Ruto at the negotiation table now. They would rather deal with him on an arm’s length basis.

Both Ruto and Raila stand to lose. But, an impression will be created that one of them is preferred to the other so that they spend the rest of the time to election barking at each other. That way, there will be no opportunity for them to work together, and the strategy shall have succeeded. That’s what will happen. All the political players know this fact and are playing along. Whatever campaigns are going on are mere to raise political stakes for negotiations. Other than that, the rest is mere politics.

Finally, an arrangement will be cobbled up in which all political interests will be accommodated, whether or not it works to the benefit of the ordinary Kenyan.

Let’s compare notes on this post later. Thank you.

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  1. Otieno Ogeda

    June 27, 2021 at 5:06 pm

    Interesting

  2. Rabongo

    June 27, 2021 at 10:43 pm

    Very well put

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Education

Egerton University Celebrates Inaugural Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Richard Musangi

Under the leadership of Prof. Musangi, Egerton College experienced tremendous development in the 1980s.

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.Prof. Musangi, who was born in 1934 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya, was the Principal of Egerton College between 1981 and 1987.

The Egerton University community mourns the passing of Prof. Richard S. Musangi and celebrates the University’s connection to this distinguished scholar, educator, and academic administrator.

Prof. Musangi, who was born in 1934 in Bungoma County, Western Kenya, was the Principal of Egerton College between 1981 and 1987.

Upon the elevation of the College to a University in the latter year, he became the inaugural Vice-Chancellor of Egerton University, serving in that capacity until 1992.

Prof. Musangi fondly remembered that his association with Egerton College started in 1961, when, as a final-year Agriculture student at Makerere College, he and his classmates stayed for two nights at the College while touring neighbouring farms. His next encounter with the College was in 1965, when, as a lecturer in Animal Science at Makerere, along with other colleagues, he came to Egerton to examine students for the East African Diploma in Agriculture, which was conducted from Makerere. In 1972, Musangi, as a lecturer in Animal Science at the University of Nairobi, was appointed an external examiner for Egerton College. At about the same time, Musangi joined the Egerton College Board of Governors (BoG) by virtue of being the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at Nairobi. Prof. Musangi became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nairobi in 1979, and it is from that position that he came to Egerton College.      

Under the leadership of Prof. Musangi, Egerton College experienced tremendous development in the 1980s. Prof. Musangi steered the institution through a major United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Government of Kenya-sponsored expansion programme. The actual implementation of the programme was a joint venture between the Egerton authorities and the South East Consortium for International Development (SECID), USA. The programme entailed the development of various forms of infrastructure, counterpart training for Egerton staff, and acquisition of equipment. Promoting research, teaching, and community service, the programme constituted a big leap forward for Egerton. The SECID impact on infrastructure and staff development not only increased the student population from 860 in 1982 to 1526 in the 1986/1987 academic year but also solidified the chances for the eventual upgrading of the College to a fully-fledged University.

Another development at Egerton specifically attributable to Prof. Musangi was the Institutional Development for Agricultural Training (IDAT) programme. The purpose of IDAT was to strengthen and consolidate the activities under the previous expansion programme, which had ended in July 1984. IDAT resulted in additional training opportunities for Egerton staff.

Two new diploma programmes were initiated at Egerton in the 1980s in addition to the fourteen already established. These were Diploma in Food Marketing and Diploma in Forestry. The launching of these programmes demonstrated Egerton’s flexibility and capacity to respond to national and broader needs. By 1980, agricultural marketing had been identified as a hindrance to agricultural development in Kenya. Similarly, the Diploma in Forestry was in line with a new Government approach focussing on rural afforestation for national development.

An expert builder of intricate academic and development networks, internationally respected and connected to numerous donors, Prof. Musangi stimulated unprecedented vibrancy in research, outreach, and related activities at his institution. In particular, Prof. Musangi spearheaded the intensification of Egerton’s outreach programme, which led to the setting up of the Agricultural Resources Centre (ARC). Similarly, under him, Egerton’s collaboration with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), which had started in 1975, deepened. This collaboration resulted in joint work in a variety of projects as well as in the establishment of the Crop Management Research and Training Centre (CMRT). Both ARC and CMRT continue to thrive as facilities for training of agricultural professionals at the University.

The establishment of linkages between Egerton College and other institutions owed a great deal to Prof. Musangi’s personal initiative. Besides the institutional linkages between Egerton and the SECID universities, collaborative activities developed between the College and other institutions – especially in research and extension. The linkages expanded as Egerton College became a University.

Concerned about the state of farms around the College, in 1984 Prof. Musangi established an extension project whose aim was to disseminate the knowledge generated at his learning institution to the benefit of farmers in the neighbourhood.

The increased demand for academic staff at the growing institution led to aggressive recruitment in the 1980s. Prof. Musangi travelled overseas to personally meet identified bright postgraduate students to persuade them to join Egerton upon the completion of their studies, and he successfully recruited a number of such staff. By the end of 1985, Egerton College had a faculty of 134 full-time members, 13 of whom had Ph.D. degrees, and 50 had M.Sc. degrees.

Aided by his administration, Prof. Musangi also took significant steps to promote the welfare of staff through such projects as a tenant service scheme, extramural studies, recreation and the Catholic chaplaincy. With foresight and decisiveness, Prof. Musangi abolished the institutional credit system which had made many Egerton employees perpetual debtors. Working closely with the BoG, Prof. Musangi also brought about the development of Kilimo Primary School and Egerton Primary School.

Prof. Musangi was the driving force behind the College’s renewed effort in the early 1980s for its elevation to the status of a University. The push for the introduction of degree programmes at Egerton persuaded the Government to set up the Egerton College Upgrading Committee (the Ayany Committee) in December 1983 to look into the issue. The Ayany Committee submitted its report on 30 April 1984. The Committee was fully satisfied that the College was ready, in terms of both availability of land, and physical and academic infrastructure, to start degree courses.

Subsequently, the Government decided to first upgrade Egerton College to a Constituent College of the University of Nairobi in 1986. It was, therefore, the University of Nairobi Senate which approved the degree programmes for Egerton University College in the following five areas: Animal Production, Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Education, Agriculture and Home Economics, and Horticulture.

At the same time, the Senate approved the following four faculties and fifteen departments for the new Egerton University College: Faculty of Agriculture – comprising the Departments of Horticulture, Agronomy (incorporating Crop and Soil Science), Natural Resources (Wildlife, Range Management, and Forestry), Animal Science, Animal Health, Agricultural Engineering, as well as Dairy and Food Science and Technology; Faculty of Agricultural Education and Human Resources – consisting of the Departments of Agricultural Education, Agricultural Extension, as well as Agriculture and Home Economics; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – having the Departments of Economics, Geography, and Anthropology; and Faculty of Science – comprising the Departments of Biological Sciences (Zoology and Botany) and Physical Sciences (Mathematics, Computer Science, Chemistry, and Physics).

Only a year later, in 1987, Egerton University was established as an independent institution through an Act of Parliament, becoming Kenya’s fourth public university (alongside University of Nairobi, Moi University, and Kenyatta University).

A vibrant and focused Vice-Chancellor, at the end of the 1980s and the start of the 1990s, Prof. Musangi laid a solid foundation for the growth of Egerton as a University, paying equal attention to academics, research, and community service. This was a difficult period for university education in Kenya, when a worsening economic situation in the country and the consequent decline in financial resources allocated by the Government to public universities, coupled with two double intakes of students (in the 1987/1988 and the 1990/1991 academic year), made the functioning of the newly established University challenging.

Prof. Musangi faced the difficulties and ensured growth and stability through an admirable balancing capability. With students, he was a strict disciplinarian, and at the same time he was their best advisor, an inspirer, and an undisputable role model. Sociable and approachable, he gave the impression of working with effortless ease, yet accomplishing all that he set out to do.

Prof. Musangi published widely in the area of Animal Science and Agricultural Education. On leaving Egerton University, he worked as a Consultant to several international organisations and development institutions.

In 2013, President Mwai Kibaki appointed him as the Chancellor of Kabianga University. In his retirement, he spent most of his time within Nakuru County, meeting and socialising with his former students, peers and friends, as well as enjoying the game of golf. Friends enjoyed his generosity and infectious laughter.

Throughout his work at Egerton College and Egerton University, Prof. Musangi exhibited impeccable managerial competence, imaginative initiative, clear vision, strictness, fairness, and unwavering dedication to service.

To the Egerton University Community, Prof. Richard S. Musangi, who died on 27 August 2021, will forever remain a beacon of light.

Writer,  PROF. ISAAC O. KIBWAGE, PhD, HSC AG. VICE-CHANCELLOR

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Opinion

Why Corporates Hardly Invite African Politicians To Their Boards

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By Vincent Ongore

It’s a common practice in Europe and North America (including Canada) that once politicians conclude their tour of duty in active politics, corporations and top academic institutions compete to appoint them as premium board members, high ranking executives and experts. As people who have sat at the apex of society, retired politicians bring to the organization unique perspectives and expertise on legislation and policy making, in addition to networking capability that create enhanced corporate visibility and confidence. Thereafter, they write bestsellers, and make lots of money from them. This trajectory comes with huge responsibilities. First, people go into politics with the intention to serve society in a special way. They compete on the basis of their individual plans that are cascaded from party manifestos. Second, once they get an opportunity to serve, they dedicate their time and intellect to deliver to the electorate based on the promises made to them. Politicians observe very strict code of conduct, and stay clear of entanglements that might create conflicts of interest. In many cases, they resign from or become dormant directors of companies if it’s determined that their continued activity poses the risk of conflict of interest, or might compromise their judgment. In other words, for the duration of service as active politicians, they hardly make much money. They lead normal lifestyle, surrounded mainly by research assistants who strengthen their legislative and policy making capability. On the contrary, in Africa, people go into elective politics to make money. In almost all jurisdictions across Africa, except Rwanda and one or two other countries where leadership codes are being enforced, there’s no strict requirement for disclosure of information that has potential for creating conflict of interest in the work of legislators. This lacuna allows African politicians the latitude to use their offices in furtherance of personal business interests. Although there’s provision for employment of research assistants to support their legislative work, this is seldom prioritized. Legislators hardly attend parliamentary sessions beyond the threshold that guarantees their salary, except when there are matters of great interest to them. In fact, many are the times when parliamentary business is postponed due to lack of quorum in the house. The joyrider attitude of the vast majority of politicians makes it difficult for them to gain any useful legislative or policy making capability that might be transferred to the corporate world once they exit active politics. At the same time, politicians exalt themselves to the apex of society from which position they consider everyone else inferior to them. Their governments reinforce such perception by showering them with mind-boggling perquisites and privileges. They become demi-gods, and easily forget that they hold their positions on behalf of the electorate. They are literally deitified by the electorate. Compared to developed countries, Africa spoils her politicians. In the US, for instance, legislators are simply referred to as Congressmen. In Africa, the emphasis is placed on ‘honorable.’ So, when an African politician fails to re-capture his or her seat, the world literally comes tumbling down. The society has a negative perception of them as people who have stolen from the poor. More often than not, they leave Parliament without much useful knowledge that corporations can tap into to shore up their reputation and profits. Besides, their networks are not reliable as they spend their time in Parliament as corporate marcenaries, intimidating and blackmailing businesses on behalf of competitors. To make it worse, the perception of politicians as lords instead of servants of the people follows them into retirement, thus scaring potential employers. Without the people’s mandate to take them back to Parliament, and in a hostile labor market, ex-politicians face huge frustrations. Unable to lay their hands on any meaningful economic activity, they spend the rest of their active time trying to go back to Parliament. Those who try business often fail miserably because of trying to maintain the opulent lifestyle they were used to as parliamentarians, and also due to the excess baggage of hangers-on who keep urging them to give politics one more shot. Yet, many African politicians are highly qualified professionals whose knowledge and skills are direly needed in public and corporate sectors. I think the society needs to treat ex-politicians better than it currently does. At the center of public management problems in Africa lies the reality that most politicians face a bleak future in retirement. Naturally, they tend to engage in all manner of malfeasance while in office in order to cushion themselves against poverty and frustration in their twilight years. The situation gets so desperate when young professionals get into politics before they establish themselves economically, and within one or two terms, are kicked out by the electorate. They have young families to take care of, and ambitions to pursue, yet no corporates want to touch them even with a ten-foot wooden rod. Perhaps, that explains why African politics is so competitive, and often murky. Political assassinations are common. Politicians want to survive by all means. It has been argued that the not-too-clear future that awaits retired African Presidents is the main reason they tend to manipulate the constitution and electorate so they can extend their welcome at state house. What can the society do to rectify this painful anomaly? I think, the starting point should be to demistify politics and politicians. This can be achieved by embedding proper leadership values in the constitution so that when politicians present themselves for election, they fully understand what the society expects of them. Second, the criteria of remuneration must be made absolutely clear. Third, there must be established a way through which the electorate can evaluate performance of their parliamentary representatives, and provide for a recall clause and mechanism to deal with non-performers. Fourth, there should be developed a pension scheme that deducts a huge chunk of the politicians’ current pay as member contributions to better cushion them against poverty in retirement. That way, they will not struggle to try to go back to Parliament even when the odds against them are obviously insurmountable. Corporates and universities will also have value for them. The society will be much safer as the cases of rent-seeking will significantly go down. Thank you.

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Opinion

Courts Should Support The Global Fight Against Covid-19 Pandemic

Law is subservient to science, and it will remain as such. When scientists give an advisory for the sake of humanity, especially in a pandemic situation, we must all respect it, for science is what rules the contemporary civilized world; it is evidence based.

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By Vincent Ongore

The High Court of Kenya ruling that declared aspects of government’s handling of Covid-19 pandemic unconstitutional may have been very well thought out by the learned judges, but there’s still need to be cautious in its interpretation and interpretation.

Otherwise, it might prove to be dangerous and undesirable in a country that’s struggling to control the pandemic.

A pandemic is an Intangible war. Covid-19 pandemic is a world war. It must be fought in all fronts through concerted effort by all humanity. All countries must see the fight against the pandemic as a civic duty of global proportions.

We can’t afford, for one second, to loose sight of the ball, the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s devastating the entire globe. Literally every corner of the world is in a panic mode, threatened by the pandemic.

In Kenya, there’s a debate that pits those who want the economy to be fully opened up so Kenyans can pursue means of livelihood, and those who fear that such an action would lead to a surge in Covid-19 cases.

Then, there are judges who read and interpret the law as written, ignoring the higher issues of scientific evidence and economics that have become so obvious to everyone who cares to think about and through them.

In recent times, the law has been used in this country as a tool of revenge; to fight little battles of partisan nature.

The judges of the High Court of Kenya have sometimes made rulings that depicted them as a group of professionals with a bone to pick with President Uhuru Kenyatta, and we know why.

Unfortunately, such rulings spill over to society as a whole, and not just the Presidency. That’s an irresponsible behavior by public servants.

Law is subservient to science, and it will remain as such. When scientists give an advisory for the sake of humanity, especially in a pandemic situation, we must all respect it, for science is what rules the contemporary civilized world; it is evidence based.

The USA, for example, which is the richest country with the best medical research facilities in the world, is proposing a third jab to boost immunity of those who have been fully vaccinated.

Just for emphasis, this is a country with the best medical facilities in the world, with a top-notch medical university, John Hopkins.

Despite its huge advantages, USA still believes that no arsenal should be spared in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Then, in Kenya, a third world country with next to zero resources to fight the pandemic, we cannot afford to make rulings and judgments that try to bastardize the global effort to curb the spread of Corona virus and Covid-19 pandemic. The country doesn’t have the wherewithal to conduct mass vaccinations.

With a begging bowl in hand, Kenya, like most of Africa, awaits free vaccines from well wishers, especially USA so that it can actualize mass vaccinations of her citizens. A beggar cannot make too much demands.

The entire globe is worried that, so far, only 3 percent or less of the entire African population in the continent has been vaccinated. This confirms at least two facts.

First, there exists Covid-19 Apartheid between the rich and poor nation of the world. Second, Africa and the rest of the developing world remain potential super spreaders of Corona virus to the rest of the world.

We must fight Covid-19 with all the resources at our disposal. Let’s continue to sanitize, musk up, wash our hands, keep social distance, avoid public gatherings, and above all vaccinate our populations.

A surge in Covid-19 cases in Kenya will definitely stigmatize the country, and punish citizens who have reason to travel abroad.

At the same time, travel advisories against Kenya will curtail flow of foreign exchange into the country as tourists review their travel plans.

I don’t know whether our Law Schools have strategic thinking as a common unit at undergraduate level. If they don’t, it’s something they should consider in order to boost appreciation of learners to a systems approach to decision making.

Let it be on record that I don’t doubt the capability of our learned judges to make progressive judgments. No, I don’t. But judges are human beings. When you put them under excessive pressure as the executive has done in the recent past, they are bound to fight back, and when they do, we all suffer.

My concern therefore, is that in making the subject ruling, the judges may have stuck to the letter and not spirit of the law to guide them. In the process, they may not have considered the bigger, larger picture of global ramifications of their judgment. Judicial activism in precarious times such as these can be injurious to the country, her neighbors and the world.

It’s understandable when judges raise issues about overzealous security and enforcement agencies that harass citizens and needlessly kill scores of them. That’s a matter that can and must be dealt with using the due process.

Kenyans of goodwill must demand that our policemen and administrators involved in enforcement of Covid-19 protocols respect human rights of citizens. There are no two ways about it.

The judges were right in raising the issue of human rights violations by security agencies under the guise of enforcing Covid-19 rules.

However, the progressive aspects of the fight against Covid-19 pandemic must be protected for to do otherwise is to throw out the ‘baby with the bath water.’

Let the government speed up mass vaccination exercise to protect the people of Kenya, and those they get into contact with from the Corona virus, and in a small way, help in the fight against the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. Thank you.

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