APRIL 23, 2024.
We have had a meeting of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party Parliamentary Group to review the state of the Kenyan nation and take stock of key developments that are at the centre of public conversation in the country.
We reviewed the budget cycle and the impact of the Finance Act this far, as we approach a new Financial Year. We looked at the hot issue of the distribution of fake fertilizers to Kenyan farmers by none other than the government of Kenya itself, the status of the several court cases by Azimio against the government, the implantation status of the NADCO report.
The PG also reflected on the life, times and contribution of the late General Francis Ogolla, the immediate former Chief of Defense Forces and his untimely death.
The meeting also deliberated on the economic circumstances Kenyans find themselves in against the backdrop of sponsored state propaganda that seeks to make people believe that the situation has improved and life is better.
Kenyans need to know that as at today, Azimio has over 20 cases against state that are at various stages in the slow justice system.
Some of the cases include the AZIMIO LA UMOJA COALITION PARTY -VS- PRESIDENT OF KENYA AND OTHERS NO E153/2023 – High Court– Petition challenging the decision by the President to establish a Commission of Inquiry called The Commission of Inquiry into the Shakahola Tragedy.
There is the AZIMIO LA UMOJA ONE KENYA COALITION PARTY VS JAPHETH KOOME &2 OTHERS PETITION E402 OF 2023 – High Court– Petitioner seeking for the doctrine and principles of command responsibility to be declared applicable and applied to the members of the National Police Service in the process of the discharge of their duties.
We have the AZIMIO LA UMOJA ONE KENYA COALITION versus JUBILEE PARTY OF KENYA and ANOTHER NUMBER E505 OF 2023 – High Court– Petition challenging the decision of the Respondent in recognizing the Interested Party as a Parliamentary Party while it’s still part of the Petitioner’s coalition.
There is also the NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND ANOTHER VS OKIYA OMTATAH AND OTHERS, CIVIL APPEAL E577 OF 2023 – Court of Appeal – Appeals challenging the Housing Levy. The matter set for hearing of the Appeal. Date to be issued by the Court.
The other case is that of KENNETH NJAGI AND OTHERS VS KENYA KWANZA PARTY AND OTHERS, NAIROBI HIGH COURT PETITION NO. E202 OF 2023 – Petition challenging the Ruling by Hon. Moses Wetangula on the question of which is the Majority and Minority Party in Parliament.
Then there is GUYO ALI GURACHA AND OTHERS VS HON. ABDI GUYO AND OTHERS, NAIROBI HIGH COURT PETITION NO. E195 OF 2023 – Petition challenging the defection of Isiolo County Governor and Deputy Governor from Jubilee Party to United Democratic Alliance Party. Whether the Governor and his Deputy are deemed to have resigned and relinquished their positions as a result of the defection.
We have JEREMIAH KIONI V OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR OF POLITICAL PARTIES & JUBILEE PARTY OF KENYA & 14 OTHERS This is an Appeal from the majority decision of the PPDT of 10th July 2023 in PPDT Complaint E009 of 2023: Jeremiah Kioni v Office of the Registrar of Political Parties & Jubilee Party of Kenya & 14 Others, that upheld that decision of the Jubilee Party National Disciplinary Tribunal of 15th May 2023, ratified by the Party NEC on 19th May 2023, ousting the complainant from his position as Jubilee Party Secretary General and revoked his membership to Jubilee Party, just to mention a few.
Together, these cases provide a clear pattern of the slow pace of the hearing and conclusion of cases especially where the State is a subject and senior government officials are involved. We are staring at a clear case of justice delayed and justice denied.
On the death of General Ogolla, the Parliamentary Group shared deep condolences with his family and the families of those who perished with him. Further, the PG called for a judicial inquest into the accident and death as opposed to mere investigation led by the military that is closed to civilians. We also demand that families of the victims be independently represented in the investigation and inquest.
Already, we are seeing worrying signs. We have noted that Mr. Ruto set up a separate investigation team away from the one gazette by CS Kipchumba Murkomen in the gazette notice dated 8th April 2024.
On the economic circumstances, the PG takes the position that life remains unbearable for a greater majority of Kenyans, contrary to state sponsored propaganda that the cost of goods has come down. Kenyans are still struggling to put food on the table, pay school fees, access healthcare, pay house rent and even bus fare. Kenyans are worse off today than they were at this time last year and the year before. The PG therefore calls on the government to embark on steps that will drastically lower the cost of basic goods. Kenya Kwanza promised that Unga would come down to Ksh100 or less immediately to regime assumed power. We need that promise full filed.
On nearly all these issues, this meeting came to the sad conclusion that as a country, we are dealing with an unprecedented case of corruption in government and state capture by people in and out of government.
State capture and corruption are at the centre of the problems we are grappling with as a people; from high taxes, to low investments to provision of basic services like distribution of fertilizers.
Looking at the budget cycle, this meeting was able to establish a clear case of laws being made with the sole aim of benefiting individuals and their businesses at the expense of the economy and the masses.
One case that featured prominently at this meeting is that of the Export and Investment promotion Levy introduced in the Finance Act of 2023. As we warned, together with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, this levy is killing manufacturing in the country by giving preferential treatment to specific businesses whose owners have captured the apparatus of the State and are using it for personal gain, in complete disregard for public good.
The levy on imported good like steel and clinker is creating monopolies in steel and cement manufacturing at the expense of the public. Rather than boost local production, the levy is killing the same. It is killing jobs and it making products like steel and cement extremely expensive.
The mindset that gave birth to this levy is similar to the one that saw the government distribute fake fertilizers to our own farmers. These are manifestations of state capture and corruption at their worst.
They are part of the problem that is making foreign firms lose out on business and contracts in Kenya because top government officials are involved in corruption including bribery and kickbacks.
It is becoming very clear that only firms willing to pay bribes and those with political godfathers high up in government will remain and thrive in Kenya while others close shop or relocate to neighbouring countries.
This meeting has therefore strongly called on the government to repeal and abolish the Export and Investment promotion Levy, and also crackdown on corruption within its ranks. The Levy and the corruption that enabled it is making Kenya to lose investment from businesses and countries that do not participate in corrupt activities.
Recently, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission listed the ministries of interior, health and transport as the most corrupt. The survey showed that the size of the average bribe doubled in 2023.
This meeting has called on EACC to go beyond releasing surveys and swing into action. We need bold action to make corruption an expensive affair for businesses and public officers.
The meeting concluded that the case of fake fertilizers being distributed to farmers by none other than the government of Kenya is an ideal place to begin showcasing our commitment to fighting runaway corruption and state capture as a country. The case of fake fertilizers is, in our view, a case economic sabotage and must be treated as such. Heads must roll.
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