Did President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Jubilee party win the 2013 and 2017 elections fairly, or did a dubious UK-based consultancy company help them win by using unethical means? RASNA WARAH explores possible reasons why the Kenyan media has remained mum about Cambridge Analytica despite the international uproar about its use of dirty tactics.
I don’t yet know how to make peace with the fact that I had a hand in legitimising probably the worst administration this country has had the misfortune of enduring. I will never deserve that peace.
The edifice of elections is crumbling in Kenya. As internal divisions eat away at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s shiny surface, taking down several of the IEBC’s leaders, a softer, murkier layer of corruption scandals, mismanagement and political bias lies exposed. It is tempting to try and prop up what is left of the […]
January 30th 2018 enters Kenya’s history books alongside September 1st 2017, the day when, for the first time, an election in the country was nullified. Many dismissed the opposition coalition NASA’s threat to swear in the principals Raila Odinga and his deputy Kalonzo Musyoka as a PR gimmick. Yet, as the new year rolled in, […]
On November 3, 2017, Kenya’s main opposition party, the National Super Alliance (NASA), spelt out to its supporters the names of three companies whose products they ought to boycott because of these companies’ association with the ruling Jubilee party. The three companies were: Safaricom, the giant money-minting mobile telecommunications company; Brookside Dairies, the largest milk-producing […]
The epic legal battles which have defined Kenya’s presidential contest this year ended, not with the loud bang of the Chief Justice David Maraga’s gavel, but with a whimper and muted celebrations. In the end, it seems, even the resolute Justice David Maraga-led Supreme Court succumbed to political intimidations and Jubilee secured a hard-wrung, bloodstained […]
Political culture is an elusive creature. It is pervasive but invisible, like the oxygen that energizes our social organization and economy. It is also colorless and odorless, the carbon monoxide that suffocates the public interest. Like the quanta of particle physics, it inhabits a difficult to pinpoint state straddling legal-constitutional rationality and people’s behavioral orientations. […]
I visited Kawangware, the sprawling ghetto on the outskirts of Nairobi city, days after it had quieted down from a “political showdown” – a euphemism for brutal ethnic fighting- following the October 26 repeat election. The air was sombre. There was an uncanny feeling that this was not your normal, bustlingly busy Kawangware. The people […]
During a transition into a new presidential tenure such as Kenya is going through at this point in 2017, it is expected that people – certainly government and governance scholars – will review the outgoing tenure so as to highlight the needs of the incoming tenure. If such reviews become a habit, then the next […]
The Elephant in conversation with George Kegoro, Executive Director of Kenya Human Rights Commission.
The Elephant in conversation with George Kegoro, Executive Director of Kenya Human Rights Commission.
The 8 August 2017 general election in Kenya was like no other. On 1 September, the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified the presidential election that saw President Uhuru Kenyatta obtain the majority of the votes. This was his nemesis Raila Odinga’s second petition, having challenged Uhuru’s first victory in 2013. It was the first time […]
The Elephant in conversation with David Ndii, NASA Technical And Political Advisor.
Why are elections in Kenya associated with death and tragedy? At what point in our history as nation, did bloodletting become part and parcel of the Presidential and General elections? In Kenya today, elections are synonymous with shootings, death, sorrow and destructions in some parts of the country. Kisumu and the counties of Homa Bay, […]
The Elephant in conversation with David Ndii, a leading Economist and NASA Technical and Policy Advisor
Since I was a child, I have been acutely aware of conflict and deeply concerned with resolving contentious problems. That has made for an interesting outlook considering that since my birth in August 1982 until this day, my community in Nyanza, Western Kenya has been under regular attack from state forces because of the egalitarian […]
(Keynote Address delivered to the University of San Diego Conference: The Catholic Church Moves Towards Nonviolence? Just Peace Just War in Dialogue on October 6, 2107) Thank you. I’m honored to be amongst so many great scholars, theologians (including Cardinal Turkson and Bishop McElroy) activists, peacebuilders, policymakers and military officers. Thank you to University of […]
The Supreme Court’s courageous act of annulling Kenya’s August 8, 2017 presidential election seems to have plunged Kenya into a deep political crisis, especially after the withdrawal of Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka from the October 26 re-run. However, if the court’s decision compounded Kenya’s political crisis, it was not so much because it radically […]
The Elephant in conversation with Wachira Maina, a Constitutional Lawyer and Wanjiru Gikonyo the Executive Director for The Institute for Social Accountability (TISA).
I Listen Our fishermen have always netted fish, strange bodies, and even stranger stories. Stories of seductive mermaids and Mami Wata; The terrifying Mokele-Mbembe, and the Lochness Monster With a Messiah they caught all types of men, and transformed the world to now say Amen They also caught Nyamgondho’s wife… the not-so-beautiful woman, who transformed […]
Warning: This article contains graphic redacted photographs. A woman sits behind her desk, typing furiously on her keyboard, preparing minutes from the last faculty meeting. She is frustrated because of the many mistakes that she keeps making; silly typos that she should not be making given the fact that she has been doing this job […]
“Elections are the surest way through which the people express their sovereignty. Our Constitution is founded upon the immutable principle of the sovereign will of the people. Therefore, whether it be about numbers, whether it be about laws, whether it be about processes, an election must at the end of the day, be a true […]
On September 30, 2017, the NASA quartet – Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula – held a press conference to alert Kenyans on a pressing issue they considered to be a hot-button election matter. The media briefing was about an IT company called OT-Morpho that had become something of a technological ogre […]
Political thought looks very different when you make the human and not the economy the central figure of your thinking. Try it. It’s good. – Nanjala Nyabola, Twitter, 15 October 2017 Kenya’s official languages are English, Kiswahili, and Silence. – Yvonne Owuor, Dust Africa has to mean a present and future home again for those […]
We should be glad that Uganda’s Parliament has joined the select list of legislative bodies that have descended into physical altercations. On the 27th of September 2017, MPs came to blows for a second day running over a move to change the constitution to remove age limits and allow President Yoweri Museveni seek re-election at […]
When the Supreme Court of Kenya made its ruling annulling the August 8, 2017 Presidential Election, a new-high water mark was reached in the constitutional development of the country. Observers and analysts scanned the horizon in efforts to find out whether there had ever been a precedent for such judicial intervention at that level anywhere […]
“What would you have done?” This is the question that the main character Hanna Schmitz (convincingly played by the British actress Kate Winslet) in the film The Reader asks the judge who is presiding over a case where she is charged with Nazi war crimes. It is a critical moment in the film as it […]
After the 2002 general election that brought the Mwai Kibaki-led Rainbow Coalition into power, the church in Kenya took a vow of silence. Following the 2007 disputed election and its violent aftermath, Oliver Kisaka, a Quaker minister and vice president of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, alluded to the church’s 2002 vow of […]
The August 8, 2017 Kenyan presidential election, which was invalidated and nullified by the Supreme Court of Kenya on September 1, 2017, not only led to a flurry of hastily cobbled up contrite statements by international observer missions and some Western-based media houses, but also opened up a Pandora’s box that critically questioned the role […]
Time is an important part of indigenous conflict management processes. The Meru Njuri Ncheke, for example, would often send the disputing parties away, sometimes repeatedly, in order to force them to further review their case. This encouraged the parties to eventually sort out their problems by themselves, thus sparing the elders of the need to […]
Corruption is Kenya’s favorite political pastime. It is the grease that oils the machinery of the extractive colonial state and an effective stick for the opposition to whack the government with. It generates screaming headlines, dominates talk on the airwaves and in public meeting places across the country. From Chickengate to MAfyaHouse to AngloFleecing to […]
And the loser of #ElectionsKE2017 is… The People. The poor plebeian people of Kenya time and time again are worked in to a political fervour of religious proportion by the elites, with the same old promise of “Freedom” from the terror of grinding poverty and all manner of ills that were created by the self-same […]
Premises In a now commonly known assessment F. Fukuyama, after 1989 change in world systems, predicted the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. It is the ideal system the African continent is not only looking up to, but also being either encouraged, or, in some instances forced to adopt. […]
There we go again. The Election Observation industry has generated a sharp backlash from Kenyans in being reported and perceived to have assertively blessed a hotly contested election process that was ultimately thrown out by the Supreme Court of Kenya as not meeting the minimum standards of the Constitution and Election Law. Soul searching is […]
This was due to be the last in a series of four articles on the Kenyan general elections of 2017. The first three looked at the campaign, the state of play between the main alliances and the capabilities and activities of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission and made a series of predictions about the […]
In the midst of the 2017 Kenyan election process and subsequent petition, a little- known Nairobi street sweeper became an overnight celebrity in mainstream national and international media after his picture started circulating among Kenyan social media users. The sweeper, Martin Kimotho, popularly known as Marto, was among the many Kenyans who were queuing before […]
The post-general election environment in Kenya has been characterised by efforts to crackdown on two human rights organisations. While this recent onslaught appears to be leveled against human rights institutions, it is also an attack on individuals who have held particular views on questions of justice and freedom over the years. The Kenya Human Rights […]
If there is a jurisdiction that the Justices of the Supreme Court of Kenya curse is the court’s exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and determine presidential election petitions. It is both legal and political but politics reign supreme. In a highly divided country, the court will be doomed whichever way it rules. Former Chief Justice […]
For the second time in as many elections, presidential candidate Raila Odinga has taken his case to Kenya’s highest court, the Supreme Court, alleging that he was robbed of victory. Four-and-a-half years ago, he grudgingly accepted the verdict of the six judges who ruled on his petition and who dismissed every issue he raised. Their […]
Confronted on his excesses, abuses and disregard of rights of the people of France, Louis XVI responded, “L etat c’est moi”, “I am the State”. That was in 1715. Louis was tried by the people and executed. Four centuries later, Zaire’s Mobutu Seseko repeated Louis’ “royal liturgy” to a French journalist. Mobutu went further; he […]
Kenya is facing two post-election crises. Both are related to the Jubilee administration’s failure to adhere to the Constitution’s provisions on the inclusion of women in leadership. The first is regarding the validity of the Supreme Court as a legal body. The Supreme Court was created in Article 163, which along with Article 27(8), define […]
While the elections that took place in Kenya this month have played out like the latest episode in a familiar political drama series, the global and regional backdrop has continued to change. The pace of transformation is increasing, the big picture is blurred, and although the 2013 cocktail of ethnic alliances remained unchanged in 2017, […]
“I’m conflicted. Sometimes I want them to just tear it down. But it’s also part of our history. If we don’t deal with the legacy of that past then we are likely to repeat the same mistakes”. Wachira Waheire spends several of the first minutes of our interview sizing me up. As he shares this […]
The process that led to the election of Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmaajo” as president of Somalia on 8th of February 2017 fell short of former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s goal of taking the country to a one-person-one-vote election. It was a goal that seemed achievable when President Mohamud assumed office in 2012, due to improved security […]