Showing posts from February, 2011

Er er ....It's not personal; just business

Caller: Hello, Alphonce. Good morning! Me: Good morning! Caller: Do you have a problem? Me: No. Why? Caller: Do you know I have been reading your updates on Facebook; on the blog and on twitter and I am unhappy with your thinking? Me: Hmmmm…. Caller: Yes, you have to be very careful. I don’t know what Raila gave you, but I decided to call to warn you. You need to be careful. I’d have pasted this on your wall or blog, but then, there’s no need. I gathered that for you to know the gravity of the matter, I phonecall would do. Me: Wait a minute, what’s this about? Caller: You know, I saw your updates and I wanted to comment (he actually commented on one and then deleted!). Me: Darn! You must be really angry… Caller: I am Me: You mean you don’t see that the President has flouted the law and the Attorney General, the government’s legal adviser has said as much? Caller: Let me say this. It doesn’t matter what he said, but I have cautioned you. Me: I will call you back some other time.

Mental sojourn on the nominations debacle

Sometimes, as a journalist, you get the luxury to be paranoid. And so, allow me to share my paranoia regarding the way forward in the nominations debacle. Well, on Friday, PNU called journalists to their headquarters in some compound in Westlands! Right there, as the cameras were rolling, they revealed some cheap plan, whose legality I may not be able to contest. But their argument is logical. They said, that the Chief Justice Evan Gicheru will continue in office as CJ for as long as the Head of State, read President Kibaki, wants, whether we like it or not. They argued that the CJ has the option to go to the Court of Appeal. In this plan, they said, the CJ will be the senior-most judge in the Court of Appeal and thus, with that, the President will have no option but to appoint him in acting capacity. In their book, the CJ will continue occupying the office, whether he is vetted or not. They argue that because the court and Speaker's rulings and those oppossed the nominations are c

Snap election...

Rodgers, you asked: “If PNU pulls out of the coalition, automatically the National Accord ceases to exist and the new Constitution will demand Cabinet ministers be technocrats sourced out of Parliament plus the president and the vice-president shouldn't be MPs...from (President Mwai) Kibaki to (Prime Minister) Raila to the arrogant (deputy Prime Minister) Uhuru Kenyatta, everyone will be thrown out of I right?” Now, you got that right! Clause 9(2) of the Sixth Schedule provides for snap elections. I don’t know how the President and his men will handle it, because they have been preening around saying that PNU can just walk out and that will be it. And snap elections will mean the exact scenario that you’ve painted up there…whoever comes out of the elections as the winner, will take it all. But to the President and his men, well, the “government” that was there before the National Accord, may claim legitimacy and insist on staying on. Having seen the no

Order! You two principals!

I am not a prophet. But I know two things about the President and his men: they believe they are the law, and if not, they believe they are above the law. I spend most of my time in Parliament and that is not something to smile about. A friend of mine, George, joked that I spend my time “surrounded by 222 idiots”. “How do you survive?” he asked. Being a journalist, I looked at him. Is this guy trying the ‘show-me-your-friend-and-I-will-tell-you-who –you-are’ thing on me? But then I laughed it off. But, kindly indulge me. The President submits names to Parliament. The Prime Minister makes a lot of noise about being left out of the loop and asks the Speaker not to accept the President’s nominees. So, the Speaker is harassed for sometime to make crucial decisions. He ponders about it; buys time “hoping” the President and the PM will sit and agree. The duo fail to agree and say, “On the Issue of the nominations to fill State offices currently under consideration by Parliament, the two

Look in the mirror you committee members!

The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee has been good so far with regard to upholding the constitutional right of public participation. But somehow, when it comes to the on-going scrutiny of the constitutionality of the President’s nominees to the offices of the Chief Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Attorney General, the committee has decided to flout article 118 of the Constitution and hold its sittings in camera. The explanation given to this writer when he asked the chairman, Mr Ababu Namwamba, is that the decision for committee meetings to be held in “an open manner” lay with the committee members. Namwamba also said that for the last two days and eight hours of meetings were spent on procedural matters. One of the members, Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu, ODM) told me, “we have been good so far and I think it’s time you gave us a break!” Well, when he said it, I thought he was joking. But when the time for the meeting came, word from the committee was that we’d have