BY MWAKERA MWAJEFA
Catholic Archbishop Martin Kivuva Musonde calls for the rule of law and taking responsibilities to be at the centre of all contestants vying for different elective seats during this electioneering period as citizenry heads towards August 9th polls.
In his view, the elected and those aspiring for elective seats should build the capacity of wananchi, particularly the youth through setting the agenda of issue-based campaigns in lieu of personality politics.
The prelate, in a press interview with this writer at the Mombasa Catholic Pastoral Centre, Tuesday on June 14, 2022, expressed concerned over the way law is being interpreted ‘upside down’ to suit some of those in power.
“Honestly, there’s need for our politicians to play the political game within the confines of existing electoral laws without unnecessarily using unorthodox means to justify an end in the process,” he said.
Asked why the British PM Boris Johnson finds himself in the frying pan for partygate while in Kenya politicians go Scot free in outrageous cases, Archbishop Kivuva said the Kenya’s democracy was still evolving and one day it would reach those of developed worlds.
“I know our democracy has grey areas but based on recent events that have seen a number of our politicians’ red carded for various reasons is a positive trajectory that we should cherish as we head somewhere,” he added.
The British PM’s political career is in the doldrum merely for breaking the Covid rules which provokes a fair dollop of soul searching for most of Kenya’s politicians with more gory details of damning characters and contents.
According to the Archbishop most of the recently enacted laws and some decisions made by the 12th Parliament such as the rejection of IEBC’s gazetted campaign finance limits leaves a lot to be desired.
National Integrity Alliance (NIA), on May 22, 2022, released a list of 25 individuals to IEBC and EACC to stop them from vying different elective seats in the 9th August general election for breach of Chapter Six of the Constitution.
Some of those called out were also red-carded in 2017 such as Governor Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga), former Governor Evans Kidero (Nairobi), former Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko (Nairobi), Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi.
But the list is not exhaustive given that many an aspirants who have declared their interest to seek elective seats in August polls are either adversely mentioned by EACC or face prosecution or having issues with statutory agencies for corruption, economic crimes, abuse of office or other criminal offences.
At the same time, the internal security cabinet secretary, Fred Matiang’i, warned of the possibilities of Kenya’s electorates electing to public office about 40 per cent of wash wash individuals who lack integrity tenets as enshrined in Constitution.
Through the three religious bodies, the invited candidates from MCAs, MPs, women representatives, senators and governors to give a brief Manifesto talks before the Mombasa County electorates drawn from all six constituencies.
Under the banner of The Mombasa We Want, the participating candidates were later issued with two agreements: Peace Charter, which had four declarations and the County Manifesto Acceptance and Commitment for signing.
This was in mind when on June 14, 2022 Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) and Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) under the auspices of USAID held a day’s political aspirants
With the country losing a third of its annual budget to corruption and caving in under the weight of public debt, the electorates are required to observe the national values as envisaged in Article 1 and Article 10 of the Constitution.
Apart from this, they are supposed also to observe the principles of leadership and integrity under Chapter Six of the Constitution; the principles of public finance in Article 201, values of public services in Article 232 and qualifications for election, moral and ethical requirements referred to under Articles 99 (1) (b) and 193(1) (b) of the Constitution.
Other subsidiary legislations to bear in mind include the Public Finance Management Act 2012, Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act 2011, the Leadership and Integrity Act 2012, the Elections Act 2011 and the Public Procurement and Disposal Act 2015; the NCIC Act and KNCHR Act.
In the closing ceremony, Archbishop Kivuva rallied the Mombasa voters to exercise their mandate and bar all corrupt and unethical aspirants from occupying any elective seats.
“To avert real danger to the Nation, we call upon you to red card all corrupt and unethical political aspirants. As the voters, August 9th is your chance to clean this country of leadership that doesn’t meet the minimum integrity threshold,” he said.
After accepting and signing the two commitment agreements, each of the aspirant participants were each issued with Community Manifesto for Enhanced Accountability that stipulated three key pillars: the economic, the political and the service delivery pillars.