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Thursday, September 28th, 2017

 

Roads Fund Administration to introduce road access fee by November

By Precious Mtuwa

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost) – Malawi Government, this week approved Roads Fund Administration’s (RFA) to levy a fee called Road Access Fee (RAF) to broaden its revenue collection base.

The RFA will use this revenue for maintenance and rehabilitation of public roads in the country.

Speaking during a press briefing in Blantyre, Director of Finance at the Roads Funds Administration Alexander Makhwatha, said the fee is applicable to all foreign registered small vehicles including saloons, pickups and also those that are not paying international transit fee (ITF).

Makhwatha said big trucks are already paying the fee, “that is the reason we considered including those that are not paying the fee to be help in maintaining the roads in the country.”

He added that local vehicles are already contributing to the maintenance of the roads in the country as there is a levy that they are pay.

The RFA said there will be a fixed amount of $20 per vehicle; it does not depend on distance or origin of country of the vehicle.

The RFA expects to generate US$400.000 annually.

Commenting on how the revenue will be collected the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) Assistant Revenue Accountant Akonda Spoon Yakobe, said this is an extension on the fee that they have already been collecting.

Yakobe said motorists issued with temporary importation permit TIP by the MRA will be required to pay the RAF at the border of entry and upon the renewal of TIP with the MRA.

He added the MRA collects ITF a system that started a long time ago; the process is the same and so they will not keep people waiting on the borders, he assured.

“It is very important that the transporters should always keep the clearance documents they get from the MRA as they may be required for verification,” said Yakobe.

Road Access Fee will roll out in the country from November 1, 2017.

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Malawi tipped on maternal and newborn care

UNICEF Specialist on Maternal and Newborn Health, Dr Atnafu Asfawy has emphasised the importance on continuing the fight against child mortality. Dr Atnafu Asfaw acknowledged the strives Malawi has made but has encouraged the need to establish newborn care units to significantly reduce the deaths of newborns in the country.

He was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of Project Dissemination meeting on improving the quality of critical neonatal care in referral facilities. This was organized by the Pediatric and Child Health Association (PACHA) in Lilongwe.

“We need to have the care units which are dedicated handling newborns who are sick. Skilled health providers that could provide quality care and with the needed equipment in full supply at all district hospital levels,” Dr Asfaw explained.

Malawi has successfully expanded health services to women and children including those in rural communities. As a result Malawi is one of the countries that was able to achieve the millennium development goal targets in reducing maternal deaths.

He further explained that Malawi as a country needs to improve its capacity in terms of facilities and the readiness to take care of newborns to further consolidating its impressing strides it has made in the area.

“Malawi does share the challenges and problems that are present in other many parts of the continent but we could say that in terms of child survival in this country is one of the best.
“The interventions that we are currently discussing today that are being implemented by PACHA together with the government are proving to be high impact interventions that are serving the lives of newborns,” the UNICEF Specialist observed.

President for PACHA, Dr Macpherson Mallewa said his organization is focusing on implementing interventions that could improve the care of newborns like creating new born units and training of health personnel.

“We need an integrated approach that will incorporate various health service providers with the task if improving the survival of newborns. We want to improvise ways in which we can sustain the results we have made from our efforts over the years as a country,” he said.

Chief of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Charles Mwasambo said although the country has managed to achieve the MDG4 by reducing the number of newborn deaths by two-thirds ahead of schedule but it could not afford to sit on its laurels still.

“I need to thank a number of stakeholders like PACHA who are working with government in make sure the proportion reduction of newborn deaths if further signified,” he acknowledged.

PACHA followed up the dissemination meeting by holding its first ever two day Annual Conference under the theme Using Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Child Health Outcomes Throughout Malawi.

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Thousands of Burundian refugees under pressure to return despite risk of torture and killings

Burundi: Thousands of refugees under pressure to return despite risk of torture and killings

Thousands of Burundian refugees are under mounting pressure to return to their country where they would be at risk of death, rape and torture, said Amnesty International in a report out today.

Conform or flee: Repression and insecurity pushing Burundians into exile launches after two East African countries stopped automatically granting refugee status to Burundian asylum seekers. Tanzania stopped in January, and Uganda in June this year.

The Burundi government has been pressing refugees to return. On a visit to Tanzania in July – his first foreign visit since a coup against him failed two years ago – Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza called on the more than 240,000 refugees there to return home. His comments were echoed by President John Magufuli of Tanzania. Other senior Burundian officials have taken the same message to Uganda’s refugee settlements.

“While the Burundian government says all is well and urges refugees to return, more Burundians continue to flee the country due to repression and insecurity,” said Rachel Nicholson, Amnesty International’s Burundi researcher.

“Let’s be clear, Burundi has not yet returned to normality and the government’s attempts to deny the horrific abuses still taking place within the country should not be given credence.” The report sheds light on the pervasive climate of fear in Burundi more than two years after the president’s decision to seek a third term ended in crisis.

The security forces and the Imbonerakure, the increasingly militarized youth wing of the ruling National Council for the Defence of Democracy – Forces for the Defence of Democracy (CNDD-FDD) party, continue to commit human rights violations against perceived government opponents, including killings, unlawful detentions, rape and torture.

Amnesty International researchers interviewed 129 Burundian refugees in Tanzania in June 2016 and Uganda in July 2017, including some who had just arrived in the camps at the time, about why they fled their country and why they did not feel ready to return.

The vast majority said they had left due to insecurity and repression at the hands of the Imbonerakure, the police, the intelligence agency (SNR) and the army.

The violations and abuses the refugees cited included killings, beatings, threats of sexual violence, torture in detention and extortion.

“Belonging to an opposition party, associating with opposition members, refusing to join to the ruling party or simply trying to leave the country is enough to create suspicion and the threat of arrest or worse,” said Rachel Nicholson.

“In these circumstances, it is imperative that Tanzania and Uganda continue to provide a safe haven for Burundian refugees in line with international law.”

One young man told Amnesty International, “If you are not CNDD-FDD, you are considered their enemy.”

Sixteen people told Amnesty International that they were tortured or ill-treated while in detention. One of them, a young man who was detained for a week in May this year in Kirundo Province, northern Burundi, said he was held in a tiny unlit room with three others, repeatedly beaten with batons, and made to eat his meals in the toilet next door.

“They tortured us to make us confess that we worked with the rebels. One day they tortured us in an atrocious way. They took a bottle filled with sand and hung it from our testicles,” he said. One woman who told Amnesty International that she was raped by two Imbonerakure members in her home in the presence of her two children, said “I just wanted to escape the country. I knew I wasn’t safe.”

“Many refugees are still traumatized by the human rights violations and abuses they suffered or witnessed. Neighboring countries must continue to welcome them and protect them from harm. The international community must also step up and provide adequate funding to the seriously underfunded Burundi refugee response,” said Rachel Nicholson.

The report launches on the day the UN Human Rights Council is due to decide whether to renew the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry on Burundi. In a report earlier this month, the Commission said it had strong evidence that crimes against humanity had been committed in Burundi. Amnesty International has called on the UN Human Rights Council to renew the Commission’s mandate.

“The Burundi authorities would like the world to turn their attention away from the human rights violations and abuses being committed in the country. The Human Rights Council must refuse to allow this to happen,” said Rachel Nicholson

Background
According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), more than 400,000 people have fled Burundi since the conflict began in April 2015. They are hosted primarily in Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Only 6% of the funding requested for the UNHCR’s Burundi Regional Refugee Response for 2017 has been received.

Within Burundi itself, more than 200,000 people (roughly 2% of the population) are internally displaced.


Nasa MPs walk out of House over proposed changes on election laws

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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By SAMWEL OWINO
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MPs, mainly from the Jubilee Party, on Thursday evening approved the creation of a special committee to scrutinise proposed changes to the law on elections, driving on the dispute it has created between them and the opposition.

Opposition MPs stormed out of the chamber in the morning after losing a vote on the fast-tracking of the Bill and did not return to the House in the afternoon when the nine-member committee was formed.

The committee will be headed by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo and has eight other members from the Jubilee Party. It is expected to receive the views of the public during the 11-day break that started on Thursday evening.

The creation of the committee signals the Jubilee Party’s resolve to go ahead with the proposed changes despite the fact that the opposition coalition, Nasa, cited the bill’s fast-tracking as the basis for walking out of talks with the electoral commission at the Bomas of Kenya.

On Thursday evening, Majority Leader Aden Duale sought to justify the bill and asked MPs  and every other interested party to read the bill and see that the Jubilee Party has no sinister motive in fronting it just before the repeat election.

SUPREME COURT

He said the motivation to come up with the bill arose from the judgment of the Supreme Court in allowing the petition against the re-election of President Kenyatta and the landmark case by Maina Kiai  before the elections.

In the morning, Mr Duale and other Jubilee leaders in the House rallied their numbers to shorten the publication period for the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, the Election Offences (Amendment) Bill and two others, allowing their formal introduction in the legislative pipeline.

They voted 144-53, flexing their numerical strength, with the MPs from the opposition then staging a walk-out from the chambers.

Led by Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang, the Nasa MPs said they would fight to the end to ensure that Jubilee does not turn parliamentary affairs into Jubilee activities.

“What has been done today is like Jubilee rubber-stamping the agenda of their party from State House,” said Mr Kajwang.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa accused Jubilee of changing the rules of the game midway, a move he said is meant to help President Uhuru Kenyatta rig the repeat  election.


Nurses teargassed in march to Parliament

By ELIZABETH MERAB
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By AGGREY OMBOKI
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Nurses on Thursday camped outside the Ministry of Health headquarters for nearly two hours demanding to have an audience with Health Cabinet Secretary  Cleopa Mailu.

They also gave their colleagues who had resumed work 24 hours to rejoin their strike which is now in its fourth month.

Speaking outside Afya House, Kenya National Union of Nurses (Knun) secretary general Seth Panyako said nurses would not resume duty until the Salaries and Remuneration Commission re-evaluated their job groups.

“It is unacceptable to categorise nurses in the same job group as people who do manual work,” said Mr Panyako,

The nurses had camped outside the building for over two hours, listening to speeches by their leaders as they prepared to proceed to Parliament.

But as soon as the small crowd of nurses started their march, police hurled tear gas canisters at them, triggering chaos.

A few nurses were also arrested in the commotion but were later released by police.

“The tear gas should be used on people who are rioting and  destroying property but not nurses who have never been violent,” said Mr Panyako.

The action by security officers disrupted the procession of nurses who had intended to march to Parliament in a show of protest over the State’s failure to sign their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Speaking to the Nation on Thursday, Nairobi Police boss  Japheth Koome said his officers had taken action to prevent the nurses from damaging the gate to the ministry headquarters as they attempted to force their way in.

DISPERSE GATHERING

“As police officers, we are mandated by the law to disperse any gathering that turns violent and unlawful. Would you expect us to sit back and allow the nurses to destroy government property in the name of demonstrating?” Mr Koome posed.

He said he had no apologies to make over the incident and vowed to take the same step should the nurses attempt to resume their demos at Afya House.

But Mr Panyako accused the government of using what he termed “rogue police officers” to intimidate the health workers, whose strike has now entered day 117.

“You cannot pay a few crooks in the name of police officers within the police service to misuse public funds. Their tear gas must be used on those who are rioting and destroying property instead of nurses who have never been violent,” said Mr Panyako.

He asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to transfer Dr Mailu to the livestock ministry, alleging that he had failed to handle the health docket. 


Police chiefs recall former lawmakers’ bodyguards

By STELLA CHERONO
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The National Police Service has recalled all officers who were assigned to guard former members of the National Assembly and the Senate.

In a circular to all regional commanders and formation heads, Deputy Inspector-General in charge of the Kenya Police Joel Kitili said the move was as a result of “the severe personnel constraints currently facing the service arising from growing demand to respond to a number of security challenges”.

The leaked document, dated September 25, also instructed the commanders to recall officers assigned to guard former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and former Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi.

“The three former holders of the defunct offices will retain only one officer as bodyguard, and officer to guard only one designated residence at night,” says the circular, signed by Mr Benson Kibui on behalf of Mr Kitili.

MOVE CRITICISED

Mr Odinga, Mr Kalonzo and Mr Mudavadi are opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) co-principals. Mr Odinga took part in the August 8 General Election in a bid to unseat President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Making reference to a section of a statement from Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet that was issued on the same day, Mr Kitili instructed that only one officer should be assigned to each member of the National Assembly and the Senate.

Over the past two days, Nasa leaders have criticised the move, saying it was a ploy by President Kenyatta to intimidate and frustrate members of the opposition.

The security personnel for Mr Odinga and Mr Kalonzo were recalled on Monday, a day before Nasa demonstrations held outside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission offices in Nairobi.

VIP SECURITY

The protesters were seeking the removal or resignation of the electoral agency’s officials ahead of the repeat presidential election.

Others who were stripped of their security detail include individuals not approved by the National Security Advisory Council.

The council, whose mandate is stipulated under Article 240 of the Constitution, is chaired by President Kenyatta and is made up of Deputy President William Ruto; Cabinet Secretaries for Defence, Foreign Affairs and Interior; the Attorney-General; the Chief of Kenya Defence Forces; the Director-General of the National Intelligence Service; and the Inspector-General of the National Police Service; among other officials.

Apart from the rationalisation of the VIP security, the National Police Service also asked the commanders to review the number of officers deployed to guard private premises such as financial institutions.


Mission to find body of tourist on Mt Kenya ends in landmark airlift

By NICHOLAS KOMU
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After four days of fatigue, toil and cold, the mission to find the body of a Chinese tourist on Mt Kenya ended in a landmark airlift on Thursday.

A team of six endured a three-day hike through treacherous terrain to retrieve the body of 33-year-old Fang Wenchao, who died while attempting to reach the peak of Africa’s second highest mountain.

Shortly after a one-and-a-half kilometre ascend on Sunday around 3 pm, Wenchao and his guide David Muigai took the decision to head down.

KWS Assistant Director in charge of Conservation Simon Gitau said during descent, communication is vital as only one person can be on a rope at any given time. He also headed the rescue team.

Mr Muigai said he signalled Wenchao to inform him that he was safely off the lifeline and he could advance down.

CLIMBED DOWN

“The next thing I saw was the tourist falling. He hit a rock after about 30 metres and fell another three metres,” Mr Muigai said, adding that he climbed down, about 200ft to where Wenchao was, and found he was dead.

Tropic Air pilots Ben Simpson and Tom Flowers Tropic Air pilots Ben Simpson and Tom Flowers at Sirimon gate after they successfully recovered the body of Fang Wenchao from Batian Peak on Mt Kenya on September 28, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Muigai said that after securing the body, he descended to Shipton Camp around 10 pm to report the accident.

On Monday afternoon, a team of about 20 hikers was put together to get the body from the mountain.

The initial plan was to carry the body from the peak by a team of six. A second team would carry the body to a van at Old Moses Camp.

The team went to retrieve the body from where it had been kept. One of the hikers Simon Thumuni strapped the body on himself and climbed on slippery rocks to a higher ground.

Around 8.15 am on Wednesday, Tropic Air pilot Ben Simpson and his colleague Tim Flowers made the decision to attempt a first airlift at almost 17,000ft above sea level.

“At 17,000ft, the helicopter is strained. Most alpine rescues in Europe are done at about 14000ft,” he said.

A helicopter airlifts the body from Batian peak to Sirimon gate on September 28, 2017.A helicopter airlifts the body from Batian peak to Sirimon gate on September 28, 2017. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mr Simpson kept watching the clouds. A few minutes to 8.30 am, the pair took off from Nanyuki.

“To let the team prepare the body and strap it to the stretcher, we flew away. Once they were done, they radioed us and we came back,” the pilot said.

Mr Flowers hung on the chopper’s side and had to be the eyes of the pilot and ensure the body was hooked properly to the long line.

The entire operation took about 25 minutes.

Wenchao’s body was flown to Sirimon Gate where his family, KWS and police received it.

A postmortem was carried out at Nanyuki mortuary.

The body will be cremated Friday.


Jubilee Party sponsors bill to trim IEBC chairman's powers

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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The contentious bill sponsored by the Jubilee Party seeks to reduce the powers of the electoral commission chairman and entrench the manual system of transmitting results.

The proposed law, which is being considered by the National Assembly,  seeks to make it possible for the vice chairman of the IEBC to act as the chairman in the absence of the substantive chairman.

If both the chairman and the vice chairman are absent, the rest of the members of the commission would elect one of them as the chairman.

The change would also make it possible for at least three commissioners to make a decision as the commission by lowering the quorum for its meetings from five to half of the existing members but not less than three.

On results transmission, it says although both electronic and manual systems will be used, the manual one takes precedence in case of conflict.

It also seeks to provide for President Uhuru Kenyatta to be declared the winner in the October 26 repeat elections if Nasa flagbearer Raila Odinga makes good his threat not to take part in the repeat poll — if only he informs the IEBC in writing.

MANAGE ELECTIONS

The proposed law, still, makes provisions for instances where the chairman of the commission that manages the elections is absent and details how decisions of the commission are endorsed.

Presiding officers and returning officers who fail to fill in the result forms properly would be in trouble if the law is enacted as they would be thrown in jail for five years without the option of a fine.

While the provisions on the concurrent transmissions could be taken to be aligning the current law with the decisions of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, those on the commission’s chairman could prove more divisive as they appear to be watering down his powers.

The bill provoked fierce debate Thursday, with Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, one of the Opposition’s lawyers in the successful petition, arguing that the proposed law is unconstitutional.

There have also been arguments that the proper thing for the commission to do at the next elections is to manage the election properly by having its officers do their job correctly and having all the results before declaring the final.

WILLIAM CHEPTUMO

The proposed law has 11 clauses and runs into 15 pages and has been sponsored by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo, who was named the chairman of the ad hoc committee to scrutinise it and take views from the public.

Splits at the commission in the wake of the Supreme Court decision and the pressure that followed exposed the differences at the IEBC, with four of the commissioners disowning a memo by the chairman, Mr Wafula Chebukati.

The bill provides for voting on contentious matters, stating: “Unless a unanimous decision is reached, a decision on any matter before the commission shall be by a majority of the members present and voting.”

The proposed law also provides for the commission to transmit the results of a presidential election manually and electronically from a polling station to the constituency tallying centre and the national tallying centre.

The commission would then tally and verify the results received at the constituency tallying centre and the national tallying centre and publish the results on an online public portal.

RESULTS TRANSMISSION

It then entrenches into law the assertion by the commission regarding differences between the electronically transmitted results and that filled on the forms, saying: “Where there is a discrepancy between the electronically transmitted and manually transmitted results, the manually transmitted results shall prevail.”

It also seeks to insulate the results in case of a failure to transmit the results electronically, stating: “Any failure to transmit or publish the election results in an electronic format shall not invalidate the result as announced and declared by the respective presiding and returning officers at the polling station and constituency tallying centre, respectively.”

This appears designed to take care of instances where polling stations lack coverage. such as the more than 11,000 in the last election. 

The Supreme Court criticised the IEBC’s failure to have the results transported physically in these areas. It was also critical of the failure by the IEBC to have a complementary system for transmission where the electronic one  failed.


Kuppet wants 30,000 secondary school tutors hired

By OUMA WANZALA
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The Education ministry has been asked to recruit more than 30,000 teachers for the implementation of free day secondary education starting January next year.

In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, dated September 27, the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) said the transition will augment the current shortage of teachers from the current 90,000 to 120,000.

“For this transition to be successful, the government must recruit additional teachers at the secondary school level in the short run. It, therefore, calls for additional funding of Sh30 billion in the education sector to cater for the recurrent expenditure that goes directly to the hiring of teachers,” said Kuppet secretary-general Akelo Misori.

He said while the union appreciates the policy on transition, it expects the ministry to fast-track the allocation of more funds to necessitate the recruitment of additional teachers.

NATIONAL TREASURY

“Remember to address the current disbursement to schools, which has made running of secondary schools difficult,” said Mr Misori in the letter that is also copied to Chief of Staff and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua as well as National Treasury CS Henry Rotich.

The government last week allocated Sh25 billion for the free day secondary education programme.

The money will be for infrastructure development to ensure 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.

In 2018, the Form One intake will accommodate 1,003,522 learners sitting their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination this year. Of these, 903,200 will join public schools and 100,322 private ones.

The government recruits about 5,000 teachers annually and a total of 312,000 are currently employed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

FREE EDUCATION

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli has asked the ministry to explain how the free day secondary education programme will be implemented next year.

“It is important that we know what happens to students in boarding schools starting next year,” said Mr Indimuli.

According to a report by Dr Kilemi Mwiria, 37 per cent of teachers in schools are employed by boards of management.

At the same time, Kuppet has protested against the harassment of five teachers at Kapyego Secondary School in Elgeyo-Marakwet County by students.

In a letter to TSC chief executive officer Nancy Macharia, dated September 19, branch executive secretary John Chesorgon said the teachers were stoned by students in July but no action has been taken yet over the matter.


Talks on polls collapse as Nasa calls for ‘peaceful protests’

By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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Hopes of holding a repeat presidential election on October 26 were on Thursday hanging by a thread after talks between the Jubilee Party and the opposition coalition to agree on sticky issues flopped.

The National Super Alliance protested after the Jubilee Party pushed through bills to amend election laws, and called for mass protests on Mondays and Fridays from next week in what it described as an effort to “liberate the country from a Jubilee attack”.

Unfazed by the opposition’s protests, Jubilee MPs in Parliament shortened the period for maturity of the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill 2017, which among others issues, seeks to dilute the position of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman, entrench election results forms, provide for both manual and electronic transmission of the results — with the former prevailing in case of a contention — and punishment of candidates who withdraw from a repeat presidential election. The maturity period for all bills is set at 14 days but MPs changed the deadline for the election laws amendment to just a day.

The IEBC, while stating that it was preparing for the repeat elections as announced, said the proposed changes to the election laws were unnecessary because all the commission required was a freehand to carry out its mandate.

WALKED OUT OF MEETING

At the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi, the Nasa team led by Siaya Senator James Orengo, walked out of a meeting convened by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati to pave the way for the election, accusing the Jubilee administration of insincerity and erecting roadblocks in the way of a free and credible poll.

It was understood that the Nasa team took the decision to snub the meeting after their plea to have the formal introduction of the bill halted pending the outcome of the consultative talks. The opposition coalition had maintained that enactment of the Election Laws Bill and the Election Offences (Amendment) Bill 2017 should have been put off, since it would have serious implications on the fresh election.

However, a source said that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s team, led by Senate Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki refused to have the bills itemized as an agenda of the meeting and urged the Nasa team to channel their concerns through the laid-down parliamentary procedures.

“We cannot apologise for our majority in the two Houses,” a source quotes Prof Kindiki as telling Nasa during the meeting. “When the Supreme Court delivered a majority ruling it was fine with you. When we exercise our powers using our majority in the parliamentary process it becomes bad? No way.”

Mr Orengo said the bills, if enacted,  will fundamentally change the conduct of the elections and that some of the proposed amendments are so drastic that they go beyond creating an environment for a proper election.

“We have walked out of the meeting because the rules of the games are being changed midstream. They are creating a legal regime that will help them rig elections,” he said flanked by lawyers Paul Mwangi and Norman Magaya.

“If we have reached a point where laws can be changed through the backdoor, Nasa has no choice but to walk out and leave them to their desires because Jubilee is determined to return Kenya into a dictatorship,” said Mr Orengo.

Mr Magaya said the aim of the laws was a scheme by Jubilee to micro-manage the commission and create a lame duck chairman.

“Let Jubilee know that they will not get away with this. A bombshell is awaiting them. October 26 is just another day on the Kenyan calendar. There will be no election,” said Mr Magaya.

However, Prof Kindiki dismissed the position adopted by Mr Orengo and his team, saying Nasa did not want the meeting because they are not ready for the election.

“Nasa is only interested in executing their agenda. They want to force through their agenda through force, intimidation and threats and that is unacceptable,” he said. In Parliament, MPs formed a committee to scrutinise the bill after which it will be tabled in the House.

Mr Chebukati sided with Nasa, saying the tabling of the bills had scuttled the meeting and supported calls to withdraw the proposals if their purpose is to change the conduct of the October 26 poll.

“We have looked at the Supreme Court judgment and we have identified areas that were the basis for nullification of the vote. It was about transmission and forms 34A, not laws. We don’t need any other law for now,” he said, pointing out that the law as it exists is sufficient for a free and credible election.

HARDLINE STANCES

Mr Chebukati urged parties to drop their hardline stances and expressed hope that both President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, and not their representatives, will attend the next meeting to unlock the impasse.

“We shall never tire in our effort to engage our stakeholders. Our doors remain open for engagement with every Kenyan with an issue. We will organise another meeting but we shall insist that the principals attend. We don’t want a situation where they send their representatives whose only motive is to engage the commission in sideshows,” he said.

At the Okoa Kenya offices, Mr Odinga said the collapse of the talks was a demonstration that President Kenyatta was determined to cling to power at whatever cost and drive the country to a chaotic state.

He cited the bills as the reason the Nasa team of negotiators abandoned the talks Thursday.

DEMONSTRATE

“Kenyans must tell Uhuru and Ruto that Kenya does not belong to them alone. The people of Kenya should not surrender their rights to a few individuals. The writing is on the wall that these people do not mean well,” he said and called on Kenyans to demonstrate against the government.

“We have no option but to urge all Kenyans to come out and demonstrate peacefully to liberate their country that is under Jubilee attack. This generation must not despair, they must arise and resist attempts to take their country to single party dictatorship under Jubilee,” he said.