The Kenya Government is justified in declaring National emergency in Kenya due to COVID-19. Majority of COVID 19 infections in Kenya are mainly through community transmission and mass uncontrolled movements.
The government is therefore encouraged to come up with specific practical measures that are known to be effective to manage the pandemics impact for another 5 years as they await for the scientist to come up with the therapeutics that will manage the ailment. The same however may take more than five years to reach third world countries. At the time of writing this brief, scientists in US called Gilead Sciences have developed a promising therapeutic medication called Remdesivir.
The initial clinical trial results show a positive results. The knee-jerk prohibitions that we are witnessing being implemented across Africa to mitigate the spread of Covid 19 should not have an effect that causes trauma, hunger or poverty related deaths amongst her vulnerable populace. In other words the mitigation strategies should not be worse than the Covid 19 disease itself.
That is, all the long term policy measures that are being implemented, should not choke or entirely paralyze the commerce within the country. That may sound promising and make people to relax, but the same may take a while to reach Kenya or never, due to research protocols and related boards that control medicine.
While implementing the above containment measures, it is fair for Kenyans to have an honest debate relating to the possibility of postponing the General election that is coming up in a couple of years. The said debate must interrogate the merits vis-à-vis demerits of extending the Presidential new term with different mandates and with the existing wrangles, and the uncertainty of the pandemic, the country can only be healed by forming a Government of National Accord (GNA) as a transitional vehicle that will nurture the implementation of the much debated constitutional amendments.
The Government should without delay initiate and push for an urgent constitution amendment bill to allow the Current elected members of Parliament, Senators and Governors to continue until such a time it will be conducive to hold the elections. H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta should in the meantime completely shelve the BBI initiatives and all political related activities. He should also take over as a Prime Minister (as per our proposal) and head of Government of National Accord (GNA) and Hon Raila Odinga as ceremonial President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces. The proposed amendment bill will allow the appointment of a council of elders and technocrats drawn from across the political divide to start negotiation with all major political parties and other stake holders, to agree on the formation of an interim form of extended Government of National Accord (GNA).
The same should be under the leadership of Prime Minister H.E. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta to ensure that there is continuity beyond 2022 without necessarily holding a general election until such a time when favorable conditions to hold the same, will be feasible.
The entire world has virtually come to a grinding halt in an attempt to contain the spread of the pandemic and as such, we are appealing to the Kenyan administration to borrow successful containment measures that has proved effective. Politics should be set aside for now until the pandemic has been pacified – the example of such measures are endless.
While the driving force behind Kenya’s politics revolves around personal aggrandizement, there is need to bring together experts in economics, clergy, health, social scientist, lawyers, engineering Science and technology to formulate a master plan for economic recovery that is all inclusive (does not leave citizens from every part behind). Otherwise to a common Mwananchi, the perpetual elections that does not benefit her directly or indirectly is mute unless the new President will be a magician.
We at DNA strongly believe that what is needed is a government that draws its Cabinet, various Parastatal heads and boards of various Governmental policy organs from a diverse group of Kenya population. The Kenya constitution anticipates this – when it recommends that the state employees, from the top echelons to the office messenger to represent the “face of Kenya”. Consequently, if the political environment exist and can accommodate structural changes to be effected, why not go ahead and do just that?
Also, there is definitely a contraction in economic output due to Covid 19. An expanded government at this time might results in economic depression and complicating a faster recovery not to even imagining holding a costly General election when the country is at its lowest. Therefore, haphazard expansion of government may have a devastating impact to the economic security of the country. Our export market has grounded and all efforts should be directed towards revamping the economy with minimum focus paid to 2022 politics.
Effects of elections 2022 to Kenya’s economy will affect all sectors that build and support the country. One of them is the ministry of Education which is so sensitive because it take a big percentage of the budget allocation to maintain it.
Now that we have Covid19 in the country adding up election activities means overstretching resulting in killing the education system which is still in its teething stage.
Let us not forget that students have been staying home for several days without proper learning, campaigns interrupt learning due to the election mood meaning more days of improper learning. Schools are used as polling and civic education centres during elections and hence more interruptions.
This will take more wasted time for students and time wasted in learning is never recovered.
With the poor economy being shaken by covid19, families are still coming into terms with the anxiety surrounding the disease.
The country should be left to calm down as citizens continue learning how to overcome the disease and move on.
The government should think of how our hospitals can be equipped to deal with covid-19 instead of thinking on how we use all we have in elections.
That is the reason the current government with a few structural adjustment and advise as stated should continue until we are fully recovered.
The current government should therefore proceed and make the necessary changes to its personnel and re-brand it as a “Government of National Accord (GNA)”
The overarching near-term goal of any administration is to provide the services to its population, this can always be achieved by having a lean and effective personnel. The government personnel must be responsive to the aspiration of its entire population – regrettably, majority of the current top government officials are not up to speed on these tenets of public expectations. We therefore believe that there exist a political existence that allows for such a drastic managerial changes to be effected and which will be supported by the plurality of the Kenyan society.
Just like flu and other contagious diseases, COVID-19 will be with us for foreseeable future and/or until a cure is found. Up and until then, we must concentrate on coming up with effective ways by which the Government functions will be run online. We hope that the recent partnership between the government, Telkom (Ke) and google loon will translate to an improvement of online access to millions of Kenyans in rural areas. We are also proposing that the new Prime Minister or rather the executive should be given more powers that supersede those provided for in the constitution to allow instant decisions to be made after deliberations. The same is possible if executive can be constituted to contain in itself a legal framework comprising of legal experts and other consultants, clergy, and a few seasoned politicians as required.
We are certain that if the above measures are taken, we shall have a country where nobody feels alienated and it will open up the physical geographical space for all since no ethnic group dominates the other politically and by extension culturally and economically.
The same should have in mind the creation of tribal balance and ethnic security and hence political domination would most likely decrease.
Enhancement of democratization within the Government will likely reduce corruption to some extent.
It will pacify street demonstrations thus denying the government to give excuses that it is under siege. The government should not consider itself as being an enemy of its citizen, but instead act as a loyal servant.
With all groups in Government, there will be a more consensus form of democracy.
We at Diaspora National Assembly 254 (DNA), are GREATLY concerned with the welfare of our great country Kenya more than the interest of individuals.
We at DNA foresee a huge monumental problem if the Government don’t consider extending the Presidential term with a new suggested formation as the same has been greatly affected by wrangles and now the pandemic that is not likely to just disappear as it could now be in mutation stages waiting to erupt again even more vigorous than before.
In conclusion and without being partisans, we are hereby CONFIDENTLY telling Kenyans that COVID-19 has changed the anticipated calendars of events including aspirations and ambitions of many but sadly, with the on-goings and the obvious devastating aftereffects, 2022 Elections are not economically viable.
We are ready to offer any guidance and expect to be co-opted in the Task force (if formed) that can come up with a Government of National Accord (GNA) but in the meantime, we have a lineup for the same for ratification.
Disclaimer: The views expressed above and below are not necessarily from the entire DNA members /taskforce or DNA congress executives, but from DNA political advisers and enlightened/reflective minds/ persons of great insight that fit exactly like the saying that goes viz: “A wise man seated on a stool sees further than a lad on top of a tree” If you don’t agree with them, hold your peace for now and let time be the judge.
We fail because we do not try!
We are the voice of the voiceless.
This Report was compiled by:
Hon Arch. Dr. Isaac G. Kinungi- Global President Diaspora National Assembly
Hon James Kairu- Global Ambassador and foreign affairs CS at DNA
Hon Elizabeth Njeru- Speaker of DNA and DNA Ambassador to Australia.
Edith Kariuki- CS Ministry of Home Affairs and Council of Elders at DNA
Kiongo Muigai- Governor Southern States DNA
Hon Constance Mugalla-Chief Whip and CS Diaspora Unity through CODU
The proposed Government was through a general consensus from Diaspora Congressmen based in Kenya in collaboration with top DNA governing council in Diaspora. The list is not final and many more names of advisers will follow.
Its based on the strength of continuity and the men and women chosen were not consulted but members felt that its a high time the Government get advise from non partisan Kenyans who only have interest for our country.
We at DNA are happy to note that 3 of our highly respected members have been included in the proposed governing council as top advisors.
The current situation we are in calls for sobriety as we are in new horizons and the current leaders must agree to work together for we cannot afford to have a change of guards. Definitely not now!