Raila writes to Uhuru Asking him to Welcome the National Dialogue

By BERNARD NAMUNANE, June 20th 2014, Daily Nation

Cord leader Raila Odinga has written to President Uhuru Kenyatta, assuring him that he is not interested in grabbing power.

Mr Odinga said he had accepted the results of the General Election and that he was ready to play his role in the opposition.

Addressing President Kenyatta as “my brother”, Mr Odinga was categorical that he neither held a grudge over the way he lost in the last elections nor would he use the clamour for dialogue to seek a position in government.

He said Cord’s intention was to use the national dialogue to debate and find solutions to the avalanche of problems he warned “may tear the country apart if not immediately addressed”.

The former Prime Minister also assured the Head of State of his support in the war against terror and criminal gangs, which he said had taken an upper hand in parts of the country, leading to the killing of 65 people in Mpeketoni, Lamu.

“I want to assure your Excellency that we hold no grudges nor do we want to interfere with your tenure and that of the Jubilee administration as the President and the Government of the Republic of Kenya,” he said in the letter dated June 20.

He said he and other Cord leaders have been holding peaceful rallies as a way of engaging the people in an open and public discourse “on how we can make Kenya great and prosperous; a free nation, a people-liberated and an independent country in the international community of nations”.

It appears Mr Odinga’s move is intended to cool political temperatures that have risen in recent days following his return three weeks ago from a three-week stay in the United States.

The letter comes in the wake of growing tension in the country, triggered by terror and criminal attacks on the one hand and a heightened political mood arising from the clamour for national dialogue.

POLITICAL REASONS

While Cord has insisted that it is the only way to end the current “crisis”, Jubilee MPs have argued that the opposition was using the push for the conference for political reasons — to acquire power outside the ballot.

President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto have argued that some of the issues that Cord wants discussed can be resolved through Parliament and warned that while they hold forte at State House, they were open to talking over “a cup of tea” with their rivals.

But Mr Odinga argued the issues at hand were beyond the floor of the House, requiring both sides of the political divide and other stakeholders to resolve in a “structured” way.

“We have a constitutional mandate as the opposition in Parliament and as a coalition of political parties. However, the problems and challenges facing the country cannot all be addressed as an exercise of law-making or oversight. Nor can they be resolved on the basis of the classical interplay between the three arms of government,” he said.

Quoting Isaiah 1:18, he said great leaders in the world who chose the path of national dialogue in times of crisis emerged victorious.

But in Friday’s letter, he repeated that there were five critical issues afflicting the country and which needed to be discussed to guarantee Kenya’s security and prosperity.

“I seek no office or reward. So I offer the hand of peace and an olive branch so that we may dwell in unity, peace and liberty and in happiness and prosperity,” said Mr Odinga in the letter.

The five points Mr Odinga wants discussed are inclusivity and national unity, devolution, corruption, the electoral process and national security.

He enumerated the incidents that have called into question the state of the country’s national security, among them the attacks in Mpeketoni, Likoni, Diani, Mwembe Tayari, Thika Road and Gikomba in which more than 100 people had been killed.

“To deal with this sequel of terror and its fatal and devastating effects, the nation must sit and dialogue together and in unison combat terror and other invasions to our peace, prosperity and the rule of law,” he said.

He called for the withdrawal of the Kenya Defence Forces from Somalia.

The Cord leader said corruption had manifested itself in the payment of Sh1.4 billion for Anglo Leasing type contracts and questions surrounding the standard gauge railway line and the laptops project for primary schools. “Major questions are being raised about the probity and accountability of several pork-barrel and ‘sweetheart’ deals in the energy, oil, mining and agricultural sectors,” he said.

On the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, he said: “It is not my wish to contest the results of the presidential elections held in 2013. Rather, I want the power and might of the ballot exercised and cast in freely contested democratic elections.”

There was a mixed reaction to Mr Odinga’s overtures from President Kenyatta’s allies, with Starehe MP Maina Kamanda saying the move would help cool tension in the country.

“That’s all he (Mr Odinga) was required to do. It shouldn’t have taken him rallies to ask the President to sit down and talk. I know the President will discuss the issues with him,” said Mr Kamanda.

However, Prof Kithure Kindiki and Mr Aden Duale, majority leaders of the Senate and the National Assembly respectively, said there was no reason for dialogue.

They said what Mr Odinga was asking for was addressed competently in the Legislature “where Cord is well-represented, and by constitutional bodies”.

“The government does not work under the supervision of Mr Odinga. Jubilee is charged with the mandate to govern, while Cord is charged with the opposition duty,” they said in a joint statement.

Riruta Community-Administration Forum

By

Millicent Agutu

Riruta sports fraternity is an association of youngsters, resident of Riruta Location in Dagoretti South sub-county. The youngsters draw from different outdoor and indoor sports in two levels; Provincial League and Academy. This association comprises of different sports groups including RISA, Amani Yassets, Makarios, Amazing Grace and Kianda. The association together with Dagoretti South administration held an open forum to deliberate on eminent societal issues affecting the young people. Two main agendas were highlighted, these being insecurity and development opportunities. There was a concern from the youths in attendance on the access of government funds and services such as Youth fund, Uwezo fund, Njaa Marufuku and Cash Transfers for OVC’s.

Among those in attendance were CBO’s, FBO’s and NGO’s like KARDS, Comprehensive Diverse Initiative (CDI) Kivuli Centre workshop, Plan International, Consolation East Africa, Maiden Hope, Kivuli Youth Group, DYSAE Youth Group and YEEP among other non-governmental actors.

The occasion was graced by government officials from Dagoretti Constituency i.e. Riruta Chief Mr. James Ndichu and his Assistant Mr. Rhuphas Mwangi, the Chief Kawangware Location Mr. Chege and his assistant and Assistant Chief Kabiro. Also in attendance was the Police Inspector Kawangware Mr. David Langat, police officers stationed at satellite police station, CDF County Youth Representative Officer Mr. Kabera, and Dagoretti Uwezo Fund Committee member Mr. Nyaga. Other institutions represented were; Ministry of Education, Ministry of Devolution and Planning and Dagoretti District Development Office.

The representatives of the groups lamented on the issue of exploitation of young people in sports by individuals who only serve to satisfy their own interest through the talents of these young people. They requested the administration to provide an enabling environment for the youth and their coaches to fully exploit the potential existing in sports. They pointed out that getting the youth fully engage will reduce the chances of individuals in the society using them to cause chaos and commit crimes.

Drugs; This session started with one of the coaches sharing reason for man’s creation on the six day, which was to manage Gods issues. But because of identity, we create problem for ourselves and others; This was just to infuse the minds of the youth on reasons to why some of them engage in drug use. This brought about the questions of i) How do we address issue of identity ii) How will we do it? iii) How does the drug use help you?( As an individual, team and community). The topic will be fully discussed in a future date in order to come up with action plan.

Public amenities especially the in areas of sports which mainly incorporate playing grounds and sports academies lack in this area of Riruta and those available are in bad shape. In this area for example there are only two play grounds Kinyanjui Technical and Kawangware ground which are commonly used for football leaving no space for any other type of sport. There was therefore a proposal that the administration and well wishers to look into ways of providing space for other sports including; basket ball, tennis ball and other forms of talents i.e. music and arts.
These facilities should be safe enough to enable both male and female to participate in the trainings. The facilities should also assure security of the participants including the young children in the academy and thus should not expose them to bodily harm or material loss. The association representative urged the citizen and administration to further development of sports through the collaborative efforts.

On the issue of development opportunities available for the youth, it was noted that sports present valuable opportunities for the youth to engage meaningfully in the society. There also exist other government opportunities for the young people to further their innovative ideas for self sustainability. To access these funds however, the young people were advised to form groups either youthful or community based groups and come up with development and business ideas to assist themselves. The administration emphasized on the need to involve both gender in the groups as this was a requirement by the constitution. They also advised the young people to link the administration with members of the community who qualify for the cash transfer fund that is aimed at assisting the OVCs in care of poor guardians. The fund also supports old members in the society who do not have any immediate support from their children.

The forum also addressed the many cases emanating from insecurity in this area. It emerged that the young people are prone to engage in crime since they are mostly idle due to joblessness yet they need to provide themselves with the basic needs. It was argued that engaging the young people in sports would act to reduce the chances of these young people engaging in deviant acts. The forum highlighted factors contributing to insecurity and noted the following;

• Lighting system – The lighting system within Riruta is very poor and as such the thugs take advantage of the dark streets and corners to continue mugging citizen. It was therefore proposed that the administration provide street lighting to address this.
• Unemployment – Lack of employment has forced many young people to engage in crime in search for livelihoods and thus there is need to offer more opportunity to these young people.
• Poverty – Poverty levels in the society have risen thus calling for a need to put up more measures to help the young people make a living.
• Infrastructure – poor state of infrastructure especially the roads have left the citizen prone to highjack as the culprits take advantage of the fact that cars drive slowly in damaged roads and also during the rainy period. There was therefore a need to improve the state of the roads.
• Communication – There lacks a free and prompt communication between the citizen and the security providers hence delay in communicating emergency cases. It was suggested that there be employed a mechanism that the citizen can promptly contact the security personnel in case of such occurrences.
• Corruption – Corruption was highlighted as a major challenge both in the administration and the community which is a major block in getting justice. There is need therefore to institute measures to fight corruption cases.
• Distance from one police post to the other – Distance from police posts inhibit timely response to emergency situations. There is need therefore equip the police with facilities such as vehicles in good condition to enable them make to the scenes with ease.
• Relationship between the police and citizens – There is need to improve the relationship of the police and the citizen for there to be a free interaction and information sharing.
• Responsibilities and roles of citizens – There is a need for the Citizens to actively participate community forums that are geared towards addressing issues affecting them. It was noted that most strategies employed by the authority to curb insecurity were met with a negative reception despite the efforts by the authority to have the citizens involved in making the decisions.

Combating Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Kenya

By Julie Bowen

In Kenya, John Mututho is a household name. His anti-alcohol campaign made him the subject of hate among many beer lovers and bar owners.  After his elder brother’s death in 2007 as a result of alcoholism, Mututho vigorously pursued alcohol control with a focus on the social impact of the issue rarely seen amongst Kenyan politicians. In 2010, he won his battle with the alcohol industry to implement Kenya’s first Alcohol Control Act that limited the operation time of bars and other alcohol outlets to 5.00pm till 11.00pm on weekdays and 2.00pm to 11.00pm on weekends. The Act is known as Mututho’s Law. Was he celebrated as a hero? In the succeeding 2013 elections, he didn’t even win his party ticket. One dedicated Nairobi social worker smiles wryly at the story as if it neatly encapsulates all the social ills of Kenya today. ‘Do we drink because we’re Kenyans, or are we Kenyans because we drink? That is the question.’ In Kenya, the drinking of alcohol, the life of the pub and the world of men, are indivisible.

An expanding market

Sub-Saharan Africa is the new prime territory for multinational alcohol companies looking to increase their profits; here are the perfect conditions for an expanding market. There is a relatively small consumption of commercial alcohol alongside a rising middle class with disposable income, a huge potential market of young people coming of age, and an informal moonshine industry about four times the size of the commercial market, which governments are eager to control; but when use turns to abuse, Africa cannot cope.

Kenya is ill-equipped to deal with the health problems associated with alcohol abuse. The ‘youth bulge,’ with a growing percentage of the population made up of children and young adults, means that many young drinkers are unemployed. They are drawn to the cheaper moonshine, called chang’aa – literally ‘kill me quick’ – which often contains methanol and other toxic additives and has causes more deaths than AIDS or TB. Moves to reduce this market in favour of commercial alcohol will do nothing to solve the problem.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Report on Alcohol and Health 2011, while average alcohol consumption figures (with the exception of South Africa) are low, the rest of sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s highest proportion of binge drinkers; some 25% of drinkers drink excessively. Men do the drinking, families feel the effects: neglect, squandering of money and increased domestic violence are the common results. Mary Wainaina, a programme coordinator at Eden Village Rehabilitation Centre, explained: ‘they’ll say “I was drunk, I didn’t know what I was doing, I’m sorry,” you know, all that. So it makes it easier for them.’

Fighting drug and alcohol abuse

In a speech delivered at the opening of the 2nd National Conference on Alcohol and Drug Abuse at Kasarani in June 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that his government was ‘fully committed to the attainment of high and sustainable levels of economic development within a stable and secure environment. I am aware that this commitment cannot translate into reality if our youth are sucked into alcohol and drug abuse. Moreover, drug abuse-related ailments and complications are an additional burden to the government, which must be avoided at all costs.’

Just as alcohol consumption and abuse is largely a male preserve, so too is the issue of drug abuse, especially amongst those in their early 20s. It has a stranglehold on the young men of the nation, causing a waste of life and opportunity. In his June speech, President Kenyatta also drew attention to the NACADA 2012 survey on drugs and alcohol, which showed that 13% of children aged 10-14 have used an intoxicating substance, mostly alcohol followed by cigarettes. Figures rise with increasing age, as does use of drugs such as miraa (or khat), marijuana, controlled drugs such as heroin and cocaine, and prescription drugs, including those for hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, HIV and AIDS. The increasing misuse of ‘prescription only’ drugs, which is made easy by their sale over the counter, particularly antibiotics, is contributing to the rise in new strains of bacterial infections alongside an increasing resistance to treatment. According to a rapid assessment of drug abuse by the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) in partnership with the Kenyan government, drug abuse has permeated all strata of Kenyan society, and that an erosion of traditional cultural values and discipline at family and community level, which formerly prescribed the circumstances under which drugs and intoxicants could be used, has now largely removed the stigma with a resultant rise in abuse.

President Kenyatta has ordered security forces to deport foreigners suspected of drug trafficking, and required of all County Commissioners that they report on measures taken in their respective counties to fight the drug problem. He has also urged the Ministry of Health and development partners to assist in the provision of addiction treatment, rehabilitation and preventive services. He said: ‘My appeal to the leaders, both in government and in the community is that we must take seriously the responsibility of ensuring that our youth are not exposed to drugs.’

The young at risk

Alcohol and drug abuse is highest between the ages 15-29, with the culture of drinking starting at primary school. Eden Village director of treatment, Tony Njeru, said: ‘People in schools are so focused on passing exams that they have actually missed out on so many other things they can do that can make their life rich in school. If you ask a high school kid today whether he knows any art gallery in Nairobi, he’ll tell you he doesn’t know; but he knows all the different pubs in the city.’

Bill Sinkele, founder and director of Support for Addictions Prevention and Treatment in Africa (SAPTA), has worked for 18 years with some of Kenya’s most marginalized groups, including alcoholic kids from the slums of Nairobi. He says that underage drinkers look only to a future of increased drinking, surrounded by billboards that make alcohol look appealing. The astonishing thing is that multinationals in Africa get tax breaks for selling alcohol to the poor. Governments in the west are considering the introduction of minimum pricing standards to prevent sales to children, while in Africa, with soaring food prices and easily obtained cheap alcohol, the opposite is the case. The new Kenyan government realized the stupidity of this and rescinded the tax breaks. SABMiller, one of the world’s largest brewers, has deflected allegations of exploitation by establishing water bottling plants and becoming ‘the face and name of the regional mineral water market.’

Bill Sinkele is understandably pessimistic. He says the alcoholic will see a problem only when he’s fired, his wife has left, or he’s had an accident and been arrested. ‘It has nothing to do with African culture; it has everything to do with the disease. I don’t think our government or the infrastructure available can even scratch the surface of the problem that we have.’

Alcohol consumption continues to rise. The affluent may have the means to cope; the poor do not. In one of Nairobi’s poorest slums, beside the toxic, waste laden Mathare River, people and pigs pick over rubbish for a living. Here the largest of four illegal moonshine distilleries runs day and night to produce the filthy tasting chang’aa. Workers claim they have never produced a fatal brew. It is only later when adulterated with embalming fluid, fuel or antiretroviral drugs that the problems start. Police habitually put on a staged raid, then return for their daily bribe. The distillery employs more than 100 people and turns over close to $1 million per year. James Anunda, 18 years old, his swollen fingers attesting to five years manning the scalding barrels of distillate, explains that this is the cash crop of Mathare, and the lucky few become tycoons in the business, employing younger men like James to do the hard work. 10 shillings (about 10 US cents) buys you one watered-down shot. You hope you can afford the price of unconsciousness. The black mud of the river bank is littered with the industry’s casualties – red-eyed, unsteady on their feet, or lost in drunken oblivion.

Can technology eliminate corruption?

Posted originally in the Daily Nation by John Walubengo here

The government has in recent times put more pressure in the implementation and use of the Integrated Financial Management Information (IFMIS) platform within ministries.

IFMIS is a computerised financial system aimed at capturing and reporting government expenditure in near real-time.

It is assumed that by automating the financial processes across all government departments and agencies, it would be easier to reign in on the rampant corruption and pilferages frequently occasioned by government officials when dealing with tax payers money.

But is IFMIS the magical solution to our Kenyan problem of embezzling and misappropriating public funds?

First, we must acknowledge that automation does improve transparency and accountability.

Without automation, the Auditor General used to be 4-5 years behind the fact or event. In other words, audited government reports used to be discussed in Parliament 4-5 years after the theft had taken place and the culprits had long moved on.

With automation, it is possible for the Auditor General to file audited accounts within 1-2 years of the event and therefore putting preventive pressure on the culprits who now know that their actions would be discussed fairly soon and within the institutional memory of their colleagues.

But automation without top leadership commitment to fight corruption will not yield the desired outcome. Indeed, corrupt deals in government can never be successfully executed unless authorised or blessed from “above”.

In other words, if the Principal Secretary or the chief executive officer of a parastatal wishes to rip-off the public, they will still find ways and means to do so and cover their tracks. Unfortunately, there is no amount of automation that can prevent this.

One quick way to do this is by incurring the expenditure outside the IFMIS tool – that is use the manual and verbal ways of authorising expenditure.

Another method – with the help of compromised IT professionals – is to use the IFMIS tool but disable or outrightly delete the corresponding audit-trail.

But if the IT team fails to cooperate, the determined high ranking government official still has the option of compromising the Auditor General staff so that they conveniently forget to highlight significant queries.

Beyond that, he or she can always think ahead and spare part of the fraudulent funds with view to “talking” to the Prosecution or eventually the Judge; to have the case disappear or dropped altogether for lack of adequate evidence.

In summary, dealing with corruption requires the same approach as dealing with a mutating AIDS epidemic. It requires a multi-pronged approach that involves multiple players with different interventions in order to be successful. Isolated IT automation of processes is not sufficient and can never be the single sliver bullet to end corruption.

Rwanda’s civil service is for example considered less corrupt than Kenya’s – despite the fact that their automation levels are much lower than Kenya’s.

Perhaps it is because their executive, judiciary, prosecution and professionals practice zero-tolerance to corruption while we on the other hand seem to celebrate corruption and its perpetrators.

Salary Review Commission to Move to Court to Block MP’s Retirement Package

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has vowed to move to court to block the send-off package if the President assents to it

Nation Sunday, October 7  2012

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission has declared the hefty exit package that MPs have awarded themselves illegal and promised to consider moving to court to block it.

Commission chairperson Sarah Serem condemned the move saying it is unconstitutional.

She said such payments can only be effected by the Commission. “The decision by Parliament was therefore null and void and will be fought in the courts if necessary,” she said. (READ: MPs award themselves Sh2bn bonus in secret deal)

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission was established by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 with the mandate to set and regularly review the remuneration and benefits of all State Officers and to advise the national and county governments on the remuneration and benefits of all other public officers.

The secret move has provoked outrage from Kenyans who have reacted angrily terming it selfish.

The Commission for the Implementation of the Constitution has also declared the package unlawful. The commission said changes made by MPs to the Finance Act sneaking in the hefty package was unconstitutional.

Its chairman Mr Charles Nyachae said the commission is ready to challenge the package if President Mwai Kibaki goes ahead to assent the Finance Bill into law to allow for implementation of the controversial package.

Each of the 222 MPs is set to receive a Sh9.3 million sendoff package as a result of the hush-hush manoeuvre by the MPs as the clock ticks to the next general election.

MPs on Thursday night sneaked amendments to the Finance Bill and overwhelmingly voted to award themselves the Sh2 billion gratuities at the end of their term.

National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende and Attorney-General Githu Muigai who are ex-officio members of Parliament—will take home Sh9.3 million at the end of their term that ends on January 15, 2013, if President Kibaki clears the package with a signature.

Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) Vice Chairman Adan Keynan introduced amendments to the National Assembly Remuneration Act pegging MPs severance allowance at the rate of 31 per cent of the gross remuneration payable to the legislators each month.

The severance pay includes the salary, constituency allowance, nominated members allowance, ex-officio members allowance, House allowance, extraneous allowance, transport allowance, entertainment allowance and vehicle fixed cost allowance.

The gross pay each member takes home every month is Sh851,000. MPs approved the amendment that was not listed in the Order Paper without any debate at about 8.40pm on Thursday night.

As a result, they will earn gratuity at 31 per cent of the salary for every year in service, in respect of the period up to August 26, 2010 and at the same rate after the promulgation of the new Constitution on August 27, 2010. Last year, the legislators amended the Finance Bill 2011 to increase their severance perks to Sh3.3 million each (Sh300,000 per month).

Civil society groups went to court to challenge the matter and a ruling is yet to be made.

How embassy staff collude with cartels to con Kenyans

Ms Fatuma Athuman, 25, after she arrived in Kenya on January 11,2010 from Saudi Arabia with both hands broken by  her former employer.

Photo/FILE Ms Fatuma Athuman, 25, after she arrived in Kenya on January 11,2010 from Saudi Arabia with both hands broken by her former employer.

By PATRICK MAYOYO pmayoyo@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Sunday, March 25  2012 at  22:30

An international human trafficking ring is working with employees of some embassies in Kenya to recruit unsuspecting Kenyans into forced labour in the Middle East.

The cartel lures Kenyans by placing advertisements of well-paying job opportunities in United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Kuwait in local newspapers.

Desperate young men and women, some of them university graduates, apply for the jobs, pay travel and contract processing fees only to end up as domestic workers and labourers.

The racketeers alternatively use their local agents to convince jobless youths to sign up for jobs abroad without following the required procedure.

All foreign employers are supposed to inform the Ministries of Labour and Foreign Affairs of vacancies in their countries before seeking applications from Kenyans.

In the recent past, scores of Kenyans have fallen prey to these crooks. Now the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is warning jobseekers to beware of fake employment agencies.

The ministry wants all Kenyans seeking employment abroad to ensure their contracts are scrutinised by the Ministry of Labour and approved before taking up any offers.

It has also established a diaspora desk and wants Kenyans seeking jobs outside the country to register with it.

Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula, told Parliament early this month that some employees at the Saudi Arabia embassy were working with unlicensed recruitment agents to traffic Kenyans into forced labour.

“Sir, that problem actually involves a criminal network. We have engaged the Saudi ambassador in Kenya and he has advised us that, in fact, there are some members of staff at the embassy who work in cahoots with those crooked recruitment agents,” Mr Wetang’ula told a shocked Parliament.

The minister was responding to Lamu West MP Fahim Twaha, whose constituent Tashrifa Mohamed Said was found abandoned on the streets of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, without any documentation.

Mr Wetang’ula said Ms Said was a victim of dubious recruitment agents and the government was making plans to return her home.

Ms Said is just one of the many Kenyans who have in the past two months been subjected to untold suffering in the Middle East after being lured with promises of well-paying jobs that never were.

The minister said most of the victims were from Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu and Kinoo near Nairobi.

“They recruit young Kenyans, mainly girls, and collect very heavy commissions, take them to Saudi Arabia and dump them there in the hands of equally crooked employers who abuse those young Kenyans.

”We have said that any Kenyans going to work out there should report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and leave their details there. They should also report at the embassy upon arrival,” he said.

 Mr Wetang’ula said the Ministry of Labour was signing agreements with countries in Middle East where Kenyans are seeking employment to protect them.

“The Minister for Labour recently signed an agreement with the government of the United Arab Emirates to regulate the working conditions of our nationals working there.

”Right now, I believe that the minister is in Qatar signing a similar agreement to also regulate the conditions of Kenyans working there,” he said.

And the US in its latest report on human trafficking says the government reported 236 investigations, 10 prosecutions, and six convictions of trafficking offenders, though only two of the convictions actually involved human trafficking offences.

The report adds that corruption among law enforcement authorities and other public officials continued to hamper efforts to bring traffickers to justice.

In certain regions, corrupt police, immigration, or labour officials were complicit, received bribes to overlook or provide lighter penalties for, or obstructed investigations of human trafficking.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/How+embassy+staff+collude+with+cartels+to+con+Kenyans+/-/1056/1373646/-/item/1/-/82hys5z/-/index.html

Prostitutes and clients will still be arrested, says Aladwa

Commercial sex workers together with their clients will still be arrested unless the City by-laws are amended to legitimise the trade, Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa said on Sunday.

A Committee appointed by Mr Aladwa will within two weeks analyse the City by-laws that illegalise prostitution and make recommendations on how to respond on the issue. Read: (Nairobi Mayor hints at legalising prostitution)

“As has been the case before, the Council will not allow sex trade to flourish under any circumstances as it’s against the law,” said Mr Aladwa.

Until then, Mr Aladwa said frequent crackdowns on prostitution would continue, and further ordered they be extended to high-end estates targeting not only the commercial sex workers but also their clients.

And once the swoops are carried out in the “high end estates,” Mr Aladwa said Kenyans would be shocked by the list of clientele.

“Kenyans will be shocked that those shouting the loudest, criticising my boldness to tackle the vice, are actually beneficiaries of the illicit sex trade. Only time will tell when suspects are arraigned in court,” he said.

Besides the by-laws, prostitution is prohibited in sections of Acts of Parliament but this has not stopped the trade from flourishing.

The Committee led by Assistant Town Clerk in charge of Reforms Mr Daniel Masetu, will review laws governing hawking, street families and the matatu industry.

“Arresting and arraigning the alleged prostitutes is the end result but the question should be how we can tackle the vice,” said Mr Aladwa.

He added: “I wish to state that most, if not all of the victims involved in the trade are not there by choice but by circumstance. However, this does not mean they should operate beyond the precincts of the law.”

Outdated laws

Mr Aladwa also noted that some City by-laws are “archaic and irrelevant in today’s running of the council.”

Mr Aladwa said such sections should be aligned with provisions of the current Constitution.

Unlike hawkers who had special markets built for them the prostitutes have not had their issues addressed before.

Mr Aladwa formed the Committee on Friday last week when a group of civil activists visited his office.

At the meeting, Mr Aladwa said the Council would want the public to decide on the matter after the by-laws are studied thoroughly.

He said: “Wengi wa wananchi wa Nairobi hawajui sheria ambazo ziko katika baraza kwa hivyo tumekubaliana na wale wanaofanya biashara hiyo, wanaume na wanawake kwa sababu wako kwa hivyo vikundi viwili kwamba watajengewa mahali ambapo wanaweza fanya biashara hiyo, (Most Nairobians do not know the City’s by-laws. We have therefore agreed that those who run that business, both men and women, because we know the trade is across gender, that we will have a special place allocated for them to go about their business).”

“Kenyans should have a holistic approach in tackling the problems we face as they are real instead of engaging in endless debate on what is right or wrong. We should find a long-term solution,” said Mr Aladwa.

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