November 30, 2012
On 29th November 2012 political representatives and aspirants for the constituency and ward, NGOs / CBOs representatives, religious leaders, elders, youths, people with disability women representatives and provincial administration gathered at Mathare Valley Polytechnic to be addressed by the local IEBC representatives.
IEBC had their agenda while most people had questions, which they wanted addressed. IEBC wanted to sensitize public about voter registration in Mathare constituency, perception on the public on BVR kit, public, violence, role model and morality. When it came to questions, public were more concerned about accessing identity cards, extension of voter registration, transportation of voters into Mathare, voter education and the process which was used to recruit educators, what are the current numbers of registered voters and target for each ward? From the meeting it was clear that the public agenda and that of IEBC was different.
The IEBC official(s) present informed the public on the progress as from 19/11/2012 a follows but these figures were given as estimates (only for the 1st week of registration)
||1st wk registered voters
During the meeting, an aspirant brought a public address system to the meeting, which the public rejected. The IEBC officials should have rejected this move. By accepting ‘resources’ to facilitate an IEBC meeting from an aspirant amounts to being compromised.
The meeting was on a short notice. It was clear that supporters of certain politicians were more than others. IEBC needs to ensure that all aspirants are invited on time and their apologies acknowledged otherwise the public will view IEBC as collaborating with certain sections of the community. The public seems to be unclear on the new boundaries since it causing confusion among the potential voters. In Hospital ward for example, the Kenya Gazette had indicated that Gitathuru and Mathare 4B are still in Mabatini Ward. IEBC ward educators are expected to sensitize the public on the boundaries and other voter’s related issues. The Mathare area District Officer was very categorical that all residents have a duty to ensure that the elections are peaceful both at the party nomination and national elections. Public expect a credible election and IEBC officials should act in ways that will boost public confidence in the process.- Simon
November 23, 2012
Walking around most vote registration centers, one notices low voter turnout. There is urgent need for IEBC to undertake a vigorous voter registration mobilization campaign otherwise we might not meet the target. In all the six wards, there is very little activity going on compared with the interest generated during acquisition process of BVR kits. One would have expected people flock the centres.
In the community people are going around doing their own business and hoping that as usual the deadline will be extended to accommodate their time schedule. The aspirants are busy marketing themselves.- Simon
November 20, 2012
On 18th November 2012 there was a blast in Eastleigh near Juja road area bordering Mathare which has been attributed to terror action. Several people died but the aftermath of the incident later turned into urgly scenes where people of Somali origin were targeted by criminals. People were beaten, robbed and it is said that women were raped too. It is unbelieveable to that we are witnessing these kind of scenes as we register and approach elections.
Attacking people based on their religious or ethnic affliation is totally unacceptable. The Universal Declaration on Human Right is very clear on how human beings should treat each other especially the following two articles
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to protection of the law against such intereference or attacks.
1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state
2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.
Actions of a few bad elements within us should not be blamed on the entire community. The question then is, who is a terrorist? Any people who organized or cordinated the blast together with those criminals who retaliated by stealing, injuring and raping women are all one and the same as TERRORIST. In the bible John 10:10 “….the thief come to steal, kill and destroy…”. Any act of terrorism is meant to destroy and kill people. The government should use its might and intelligence in crushing the few bad elements in our midist. If Kenyans are to enjoy their democratic right then peaceful coexistence is important. – Simon
November 20, 2012
When President and Prime Minister signed the National Accord Reconciliation Agreement after the disputed election and violence that followed, one of the issue that the accord seek to address was among others was poverty, inequality and youth unemployment.
The government has managed to come up with both women and youth fund which according some youth and women is hard to access because of the bureaucracies. However the USAID, through the Yes Youth Can Fund also managed to establish a fund and Nairobi, Coast, Nyanza, Rift Valley, Western became the target of the project focus being the youth. These were some of the regions that were hardest hit by the post election violence.
It is in these target regions that we have started witnessing emergence of deadly gangs and violence. At the Coast we have MRC and infiltration by Al Shabaab elements, Nyanza Marine and Chinese groups, in Central there is re-grouping of Mugiku while in Nairobi there has been frequent skirmishes report along Juja Road and the recent trigger after the blast. If the Yes Youth Can fund was establish to empower the Kenyan youth, then there is a problem may be with how the targeting of youth was carried and implementation of activities geared towards empowerment.
As we approach election, the Yes Youth Can Fund can help the Kenyan youth establish meaningful livelihood structures that will foster socio-economic growth not structures that will destroy our democracy and respect for human rights.
Kenya now is at a stage where the politicians and tribal kingpins will start mobilizing their people for votes. If we have not worked together with our youth to establish viable source of livelihoods then we should expect security nightmare for 2013.
Democracy can only be protected by the ‘shareholders’ (people) who feel protected by the law, have access to generate resources to sustain themselves and community they live in, and tolerate each other devoid of religious, gender, sexual orientation and ethnic bias. Otherwise our youth will be easily influenced by corrupt and blood thirsty politicians and terrorist elements- Simon