Banning Bunge la Wazalendo Meetings Unconstitutional 

​T​he Bunge la Mwananchi (BLM) in conjunction with the Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya (CCI Kenya) is condemning with strongest possible terms the banning of Bunge la Wazalendo sessions around city hall​ and subsequent placing of police officers at the space to bar members from meetings and are calling on members to defy the ban and continue with their sessions.

BLM and CCI Kenya reminds the police that article 37 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 guarantees all Kenyans right to Peaceful Assembly and therefore the police risk prosecution for defying the Constitution and protecting and defending the Constitution of Kenya pursuant to article 3 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.

Furthermore, a fundamental freedom or right in the Bill of Rights as the Right of Assembly can only be limited by Law and only to the extent that the limitation is reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom, taking into account the relation between the limitation and its purpose and whether there are less restrictive means to achieve the purpose​ and shall not limit the right or fundamental freedom so far as to derogate from its core or essential content​.  

​The Police are therefore not allowed to limit the right of members of Bunge la Wazalendo to meet as the space offers members of the public with an avenue to participate on matters of governance as is required by Law. 

If the police continue with the blockade then BLM and CCI Kenya will have no option but to mobilize Kenyans and other members to occupy the space in defiance of the Police order and to defend our right of assembly as per the article 37 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. 

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Gitonga Arrested for Leading Peaceful Protest against High Cost of Food 

 

 Activist Joseph Gitonga 

Comrades Joseph Gitonga and Victor Kadika were yesterday Friday 12 May 2017 arrested after leading a demonstration against the Rising cost of food prices in Nairobi. 

According to eye witnesses, comrades Gitonga and Kadika were accosted by over 30 armed Police officers at the Tom Mboya Monument in Nairobi who shot in the air severally Making people to scamper for Safety leaving several innocent wananchi injured. 

Comrades Gitonga and Kadika are currently being held at the Central Police Station where the police has charged them with illegal assembly,  incitement to violence and assault. 

Several Comrades are now at the Central police station to secure their release but the OCS is demanding a cash Bail of KES100,000 each to have them released. 

The Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya in conjunction with Bunge la Mwananchi is Condemning their arrest with the strongest possible terms and are asking for their immediate release because the Constitution at the article 37 Guarantee Freedom and right to Peaceful assembly, picketing and Protest and there is no way comrade Gitonga could assault over 30 armed Police officers. 

The groups are decrying the Impunity and blatant abuse of law by the police and is calling for the charging and prosecution of the said police officers. #FreeFitongaNow 

Supplementary Budget not Solution to High Cost of Living 

The Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya (CCI Kenya) in conjunction with the Kenyan Peasants League (KPL), the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya (CGHRD Kenya) and Bunge la Mwananchi (BLM) are concerned about the rising cost of living and are faulting the government’s strategy to address the issue of cost of living as political. 


The CCI Kenya, the KPL, CGHRD Kenya and BLM are calling for a more sustainable approach to address the issue of rising cost of living and are asking the Jubilee government to stop politicizing the issue of rising cost of living. 

The groups note that the government’s strategy to focus on commercial agriculture as opposed peasant family farming is one of the causes of food shortages and rising costs as over 75% of food on the table is provided by the peasant and family farmers yet government policies have ignored them and have focused on commercial cash crop farming that is not driven by livelihoods but by profit. We are asking for increased investments on peasant family farming to enhance this potential of ensuring food sovereignty. 

The groups ask the government to Nationalize Land, Food, Seeds and Oil sectors so that food sector can be saved from corporate capture which is driven by profit as opposed to provision of livelihood with a view of promoting food sovereignty. 

The groups ask the government to enhance food storage by building silos and modern storage facilities especially in homes of peasant farmers and should lead in recovering all grabbed agriculturally productive lands in Kenya so as to increase the total acreage under food production.

The groups ask the government to invest on Range Lands so that they can target nomadic pastoralists food production systems especially livestock production systems as a source of food to ensure food sovereignty. 

The groups ask the government to address the large land acquisitions in the name of cash crop farming and mineral resource exploration that has driven communities from their ancestral lands and the government needs to ensure full implementation of the Community Lands Laws and enactment of Laws around evictions and resettlement of communities affected by forceful evictions. 

The groups ask the government to realize that 75% of labour in the agriculture sector is provided by peasant family farms majority of whom are women hence by investing more in peasant farming, the government will not only enhance food production but will also provide sustainable employment opportunities to the people.   

The groups ask government to invest in infrastructural development in rural areas including investing in schools, accessible and quality healthcare services, clean and adequate water, reliable electricity and roads so as to improve conditions in rural areas to spur rural peasant based sustainable and socially just economic systems. 

The groups ask the government to address disparities between the highest paid and the lowest paid workers and remove privileges and special protection to those sections of the society that are already highly remunerated.   

The groups ask the government ensure full and proposer implementation of article 11 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that obligates the government to preserve indigenous seeds and plant varieties including promotions of indigenous technologies and indigenous food production systems that are climate friendly. The government need to amend all laws that criminalizes exchange of indigenous seeds, plants and livestock varieties and should invest in enhancing banking of the indigenous seeds, plants and livestock varieties. 

The groups ask the government to ensure full and proper implementation of article 43 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 that guarantees all Kenyans right to food, shelter, water, education, healthcare and social security and should also adopt the Kenya first strategy especially regarding protection of local food production systems and Kenyan industries producing basic consumables like sugar. 

David Otieno 

Syrian Refugees Laud US Strikes 

Yesterday we had a long discussion with others among them comrades Ooko Olonde and Hon Kimanzi Nicholas on the US and to an extent Trump Airstrikes in Syria which to me was a serious about turn on the side of Trump especially his policy regarding non interference to other states. 



Trump is playing to the gallery as he want to preserve the Swamp he so wanted to drain probably after realizing that he needs the Swamp to shore up his leadership and that seems to be working as reports indicate that Syrian refugees have started to laud his actions. 

Trump’s actions will push the Global Military Spending up and might lead to a new Global Arms Race which will turn to a Nuclear Arms Race. The Opportunity Cost will be Investments on Social Services, Peace Processes, Social Justice, Human Rights and Humanitarian Needs whose effects have started to be felt in the US and in other countries that rely on US Aid.   

This is a classic example of how Political expediency and the selfish urge of politicians to preserve their leadership at the expense of preserving the dignity of the people. 

Trumps Rapprochement to Putin was briefly seen to have a thawing effect on Global Tensions and Arms Race thereby dampening the increasing trend of militarization but this is no more as there are reports that Russia is readying for a clash with the US in Syria. 

That Syria might become the frontier for World war is becoming a reality as the West cannot afford another war in their backyard after the devastating effects of the First and Second World Wars on their backyards.

April is the month of Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) that is coordinated by the Global Campaign on Military Spending (GCOMS) and all Peace Lovers need to condemn with the strongest possible terms the new actions by the US and Trump and must also call on Putin Russia to withdraw from Syria. 

In Kenya GDAMS shall be held on 11 April 2017 at Ufungamano House in Nairobi. 

David Otieno 

GCOMS Africa 

Secretariat 

Armed Militia Raid Villages in Turkana 

Reports reaching us indicate that armed raiders believed to be from Pokot have invaded Nakwamoru Village in Turkana South Constituency of Turkana County Today Friday the 7 April 2017 at 6pm leaving one of the raiders dead. 

According to Mr Emeri Eduket ODM MCA Aspirant for Kaputir Ward and a Grassroots Human Rights Defender, the raiders have also attacked Kaputir and Kakong Villages and currently the Villages are under siege and gunshots can still be heard. 

“Is this wat we deserve? Where are our sitting political class? Do we deserve these killings, torture and loss of property?” asked Mr Emeri while speaking to this reporter Via phone. 

Mr Emeri added that tension is still very high and that public view this as strategy to disrupt ODM preliminaries planned for 15 April 2017 and appealed for action from the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the Kenya Human Rights Commission, the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders and the Civil Society Reference Group to pressurize the Government to take action. 

The Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya in conjunction with the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya and Bunge la Mwananchi are calling on the Government to immediately restore Peace in the area as it is a Constitutional obligation of the Government to maintain Peace and stability in Turkana and Kenya at large 

Cidi Otieno 
Convener CCI Kenya 

+254721609699 

Benedict Wachira SDP SG on #KillerCop Debate 

Some of the questions that have been running in my mind since Saturday:

A few years ago, there was this common style of robbing people at Kenya Cinema. A young well-dressed woman would point at some random young man and claim that he had snatched her phone. In the confusion, her thug colleagues would then join in pretending to be ‘good Samaritans’ and steal from him as they, and other passersby (who probably had their phones stolen not so long before then) would beat him up thoroughly. After a one minute mob beating, the poor chap would end up looking like an actual thug. Blood all over, confused. May be even accepting the accusations in exchange for mercy. The watchmen around Kenya Cinema would thereafter get their cut.

Would it be alright for the police to appear and shoot this “phone thief” on the spot? How would we know that the chap is not a phone thief if we do not allow the necessary processes to take place? Would we just take the young woman’s word?

We can argue that these young thugs are victims of poverty, and corruption at the high level. And that is true. But once I was asked whether thugs are the only victims of this high-level corruption…are we (the majority) not all victims? Should we then all become thugs? I was asked what people should do in the meantime. These young chaps do not rob the Waigurus and the Kaburas. They violently rob a mjengo guy coming from a hard day’s work, a single mother who earns 7k a month etc. They use pure terror. Sometimes they are well known in the community, but they successfully instil fear in the people to the extent that no one can report them or testify against them in court.

What do we do in the meantime even as we organise against the big thieves? Against the system?

We talk against extra-judicial killings because we believe in the rules of natural justice. We believe in processes and procedures. We believe in the rule of law. But when a bigman is accused of corruption, we forget about all those ideals and demand for their blood hapo hapo. If the bigman is eventually cleared by the courts, we tell the people that they have been freed because the courts are corrupt, incompetent etc……. then the following day we tell the people that those young violent thugs should be taken to those very courts. The corrupt and incompetent courts.
Isn’t this confusing?

If you walk into many criminal courts today, you will find mentions for cases that are three or five years old. Even when the investigations are complete. This is unlike in the Political Parties court where matters must be heard and determined within three months. Or in election matters which must be determined within six months. Such delays are tiresome and/or practically impossible for some witnesses, who usually drop off along the way. The delays also interfere with the quality of evidence that is eventually presented in court.

Isn’t the neglect of timely justice in the criminal section something that we should deliberately and actively rise against?
Some people are praising the police for “working hard” to end crime by killing these thugs on the spot. The same police arrest hundreds of innocent people in the low-income areas and wekelea them with petty crime charges so that they can get bribes. The same police who claim that you have flouted some traffic rules when you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong. The same police who plant bhang on youths so that they can extort money from them. The same police who for a bribe will let you go even when you have broken certain laws.

Are these the people that some Kenyans want to entrust with such judicial powers? Where will such powers begin and end? Should they for instance, shoot (on the spot) drivers who deliberately endanger the lives of their passengers and other motorists through dangerous and careless driving?

Whenever a policeman/woman is killed by thugs, the police unleash terror on all thugs in the area. We saw the solidarity with which the lawyers protested the extra-judicial killing of one of their own. May be that’s how things work.

But how is it that the police know where and how to get these thugs when such shit happens? Isn’t it a well-known fact that some of these rogue police actually work with these thugs? Can we really exonerate such police from the robberies and the murders that these thugs commit? For the supporters of extra-judicial killings, shouldn’t you then pray that more policemen are killed by these thugs so that they can in turn kill more thugs?

What kind of society will we live in if we encourage the Police to break the law? Who else should we encourage to disrespect the law? Where should it begin and where should it end? What kind of a society will we have if agents of the State do not uphold the Rule of Law?

Police Wrong in Dispersing Joho Rally In Kwale 

The Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya (CCI Kenya) condemns with strongest possible terms the Dispersing of a rally in Kwale that was to be addressed by ODM Deputy Leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and is calling for immediate arrest and prosecution of Kwale Police Boss. 


The CCI Kenya remind the Police that article 37 of the Constitution of Kenya allows peaceful assembly of Kenyans and the work of the police is to provide Security to such gatherings. 

CCI Kenya further observes that the police action amounts to taking political sides which is in contravention of principles of Security in the article 238 that state National Security shall be pursued in compliance with the law and with the utmost respect for the rule of law, democracy, human rights and fundamental Freedoms. 

Furthermore the article 239 of the Constitution of Kenya states that in performing their functions and exercising their powers, the national security organs and every member of the national security organs shall not Act in a partisan manner and shall not further any interest of a political party. 

The CCI Kenya is worried that the police Action is likely to highten political tension ahead of the August Polls and has the possibility of casting doubts at the preparation of the August Polls.

CCI Kenya Press