Cord suspends anti-IEBC demonstrations until further notice (Youtube-Clip)

“The opposition cord has called off all Anti-IEBC demonstrations indefinitely, announcing that key issues have been agreed on and a motion establishing a join committee to spearhead dialogue will be ready before the end of the week.
The announcement brings relief after nearly two months that have been marked by on and off street protests to demand the disbandment of IEBC” (Kenya Citizen TV, 2016)

CORD Statement on Suspension of Thursday Anti-IEBC Protests (15.06.2016)

Cord Presser 06.06.2016

Last weekend, we announced the suspension of anti-IEBC protests that were scheduled for last Monday because we were convinced that there were positive and fruitful engagements with the Jubilee administration that seemed to be heading in the right direction and that a peaceful and speedy resolution of the IEBC stand -off was in the horizon. We however did indicate that our programmes for demonstrations would resume on Thursday in the event that no serious progress was witnessed before then.

Since then, much more progress has been made and a lot of ground covered on the sticking issues. We see political will and rays of good faith being exhibited by all parties and a conducive and enabling environment created, although we are yet to conclude discussions on a few but equally important issues.

We therefore wish to inform all our supporters and the country at large that CORD has once again agreed to call off Thursday protests to create a conducive environment for the conclusion of talks on the two or three issues that remain outstanding.

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We reiterate once more that as CORD, we hold no cards under the table and our commitment and objective is limited to resolving the IEBC crisis and ensuring that the people of Kenya can have, as of right, free, fair, transparent, credible, verifiable, peaceful and accountable elections in 2017 and beyond.

However, we are deeply concerned about developments in the last few days where our MPs have been detained without trial or charges being proffered against them. The MPs are also being held incommunicado.

We think this environment cannot be sustained to make progress in the dialogue. In the circumstances, Jubilee should conclude expeditiously their response to the issues we have raised and the persecution of our members and leadership must cease. All these unless resolved will see us resume our demonstrations on Monday 20th and Thursday 23rd, 2016.

SEN. JAMES ORENGO

HON. DR. SIMIYU ESELI

What makes student leadership in Kenya a highly contested affair (Youtube-Clip)

The recent chaos at the University of Nairobi have brought into sharp focus the ever acrimonious student union elections. Early this month the students took to the streets to protest the re-election of Babu Owino as SONU chairman for a record 4th term. What is it that makes student leadership in Kenya such a highly contested affair? What perks make these positions so attractive? Rose Gakuo sought to answer these questions” (KBC NEWS, 2016)

The Kenyan Saga of Journalist John Ngirachu: Minister Nkaissery’s statement to journalists (Youtube-Clip), Press Statement from the Media Council of Kenya (10.11.2015), Press release from Raila Odinga & Press Statement from the Kenyan Editors Guild (10.11.2015)

Media Kenya P1Media Kenya P2

STATEMENT BY THE KENYA EDITORS GUILD ON THE ARREST OF NATION MEDIA GROUP JOURNALIST JOHN NGIRACHU

An old proverb aptly advised human kind over the ages that, “Whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.”

This evening, the Cabinet Secretary in charge of the Ministry of Interior Major General (retired) Joseph ole Nkaissery outdid himself in purported execution of the mandate of his Ministry. John Ngirachu, a Nation Media Group journalist on lawful duty in the National Assembly was arrested within the precincts of Parliament on orders of Nkaissery.

The cabinet secretary has evidently followed through his threat to target the media over a report on the Auditor General’s query on how Nkaissery Ministry spent some Ksh.3.8 Billion in a single day.

The Kenya Editors Guild and indeed the entire independent media fraternity is appalled by the arrest of Ngirachu and the bizarre demand by Nkaissery that the journalist ‘reveal the source of the story’. The query of the Auditor General on the Ksh.3.8 Billion Interior Ministry spending is a matter for which Mr. Nkaissery was questioned by the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament and effectively, Nkaissery is one of the sources of the story, and indeed a reliable one.

The demand for source of the story is therefore mere posturing by Nkaissery who has proceeded to threaten that Ngirachu will quote; “be fried if he does not reveal the sources of his story”. We are indeed disappointed with this unpolished language of an otherwise senior cabinet minister; phrases such as ‘frying’ an innocent journalist could at best find home back in 1980s when Nkaissery led an infamous military ‘security operation’ against potentially innocent villagers in West Pokot.

We have also taken note of a 4-page incoherent statement that preceded the arrest of Ngirachu. The statement is an attempt to build a case against not just the media but also a broader base of Kenyans that have dared question a wide range of issues particularly the runaway corruption in government.

The Nkaiserry statement has bizarrely suggested what it terms ‘a choreographed campaign to destroy the government’. The statement termed corruption and the media reporting of it as ‘an internationalized hysteria aimed at harming the Nation.’ Nkaissery also accuses quote “the media of castigating the government as irredeemably corrupt.” The statement then proceeds to warn that those making allegations of corruption will be held to account.

I am urging the media to publish the statement in full so that the public can appreciate the peculiar, even irrational thoughts contained in the 4-page statement.

If the statement is anything to go by, the arrest of journalist John Ngirachu is only the beginning of tougher times for the media and any other independent voices brave enough to raise questions on the corruption crisis that ails our country tonight.

We complete with an assurance, John Ngirachu will be free and back to work shortly.

Thank you.

Linus Kaikai
CHAIRMAN, KENYA EDITORS GUILD

Press release:

HARASSMENT OF JOURNALISTS 

My attention has been drawn to the arrest of Parliamentary Editor for the Nation Media Group, Mr John Ngirachu. I have also learnt of the absurd explanation by Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Mr Joseph Nkaissery that Mr Ngirachu will be released when he reveals the source of the story he wrote on the Internal Security spending.

I want to express my solidarity with the family, friends and media fraternity over this unfortunate development. I also wish to advise the government to respect the timeless tradition that journalists are duty bound to protect the sources of information they have as long as that information is of immense public interest and there was no way of obtaining it other than by relying on confidential sources. I believe that was the case in regard to security ministry spending. This is not the first time spending by internal security ministry is coming into sharp scrutiny.

I wish to assure Mr Ngirachu that I stand with him personally and the Opposition does too. I assure him that his dreams for a free and open society are valid and legal and he must pursue them without any fear of fighting a lone battle. We will do all we can to secure his freedom.

I demand that the young man be freed immediately to pursue his career. Kenya has to move forward and close the chapter of repression and opaqueness in the management of public affairs permanently. I appeal to my colleagues in government to stop entertaining the idea that Kenya can move backwards or stand still.

In the meantime, I have also instructed lawyers Senator James Orengo and Mr Paul Mwangi to immediately get in touch with the Nation Media Group and take up the young editor’s case for free and defend the rights and privileges of the media for the sake of Kenya.

The Rt. Hon Raila A. Odinga, EGH