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Daily Nation : February 21st 2014
12 | Opinion DAILY NATION Friday February 21, 2014 Stop turf wars that could cause a crisis Parliament, which comprises the National Assembly and the Senate, is constantly at loggerheads with the Judiciary, each flagrantly defying directives or orders from the other and each rightly citing its independence as stipulated in the Constitution. Two cases illustrate the gravity of the matter. The T first is that of Embu Governor Martin Wambora, who was impeached last week by the Senate despite a court order to the contrary. Then, the Senate argued that the High Court had no business deciding for it what it should do. The High Court sitting in Kerugoya later overturned the impeachment. At the same time, the High Court in Nairobi stopped the Senate from summoning and interrogating nine governors over alleged financial irregularities. Consequently, the Senate has threatened to block counties’ Finance Bill to paralyse their operations. Second, although a Nyeri court nullified the election of Othaya MP Mary Wambui last week, she went to the National Assembly on Wednesday and contributed to a debate when, to all intents and purposes, she was a stranger to the House. The Speaker did not intervene, a nuanced message that he considered the ruling inconsequential. Similarly, the Judiciary has defied summons to appear before parliamentary committees, arguing that it cannot be questioned by MPs even when the Constitution gives the Houses powers to question anyone. The doctrine of separation of powers is clear. However, the doctrine is being abused. Parliament’s mandate is to make laws, the Judiciary interprets them, while the Executive implements them. The different arms of government seem set to continue to fight over jurisdictional powers and unless this vacuity is sealed, the country is headed for anarchy. EAC integration welcome ame of Rwanda using their national identity cards, instead of passports, to identify themselves at immigration control on entering Uganda. Visiting presidents do not ordinarily have to be A cleared by an immigration officer, but the symbolism here illustrated a key development in regional integration. We hope that it was not just a photo op, but a demonstration of free movement of persons within the region. All East African citizens should now be allowed to cross borders within the community using just their national identity cards. Another important development from the fourth Northern Corridor Infrastructural Summit was confirmation that a Central Corridor infrastructural project will also be launched incorporating Tanzania and Burundi. The Central and Northern infrastructural corridors will cover all the five member states of the East African Community, together with an applicant member, South Sudan. This should resolve the issues that have tended to divide the community with the exclusion of Burundi and Tanzania from the so-called “Coalition of the Willing” that made up the Northern Corridor projects. A PUBLICATION OF NATION MEDIA GROUP LINUS GITAHI: Chief Executive Officer JOSEPH ODINDO: Group Editorial Director MUTUMA MATHIU: Group Managing Editor Published at Nation Centre, Kimathi Street and printed at Mombasa Road, Nairobi by Nation Media Group Limited POB 49010, Nairobi 00100 Tel: 3288000, 0719038000, 0732138000. Fax 221396 email@example.com Registered at the GPO as a newspaper key highlight of the ongoing East African regional integration summit was Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Paul Kag- he territorial war between the different arms of government is escalating and unless checked, may lead to a constitutional crisis. MYTH AND REALITY | Mutuma Mathiu reality because either folk lack the courage to confront the funny-looking truth or perhaps we are still at that stage of intellectual development where the scientific method is still a foreign language. I am reminded that while today we exist in the age of positivism — all authentic knowledge is the result of sensory input; if you can’t see it, touch it, measure it, etc it does not exist — humanity has travelled through the forest of metaphysics. Knowledge in that particular jungle is made up of stories about giants and other powerful beings clearing their throats and rattling stuff. Perhaps we Africans have not cleaned our brains completely of metaphysics. Thus, we do not believe that success is the result of hard work and acumen, so we go to witchdoctors to buy vampires and other things which go bump in the dark. We do not believe that living a wholesome life, drinking lots of water, eating real food (as opposed to drinking fried oil), getting some sleep, and occasionally giving the liver some space to function is important to having healthy sexual function. So we fill our bellies with burnt meat Guys, you can get rich through hard work and diligence, even in Kenya A frica is a land of mythology. Fiction is used to explain away everyday and load our livers with whisky and our hearts with fat. When the lights go out, a man sits down to knock back 30 raw quail eggs in a doomed attempt to raise the dead. It is no secret that here in our land, more is better. The more the colours you are wearing, the better you look. The more of your suit you have on, the smarter you are. So you wear it complete with the label on the sleeve. And when it comes to the secret pill, why, the more the merrier of course. So old men, fired up by pharmaceuticals, begin to drop dead at the most inconvenient of times. And our ears are filled with fake smoke-andmirror stories about nude prayers and polonium 235. As you already know, Ken- yans do not just die. They are either assassinated, poi- soned, pushed, hanged, or otherwise caused to expire by evil enemies. Even when they are terminally ill. No Kenyan ever loses a tender. The other side, mainly the Chinese, cooked the whole thing and were unfairly awarded the job after paying a hefty bribe. Today, you say the railway is a matter of national survival and the price of Sh400 zillion is cheap compared to what Malacabra paid for theirs. Tomorrow, after you have lost the tender, the railway becomes a waste of scarce resources that would be better invested in boreholes. And look, Bruaha only paid Sh360 zillion for theirs. Of course no Kenyan has No Kenyan has ever lost an election since the beginning of time. An election is never lost. It is stolen. If there are 50 candidates in a race, the result is 49 winners and one thief. ever lost an election since the beginning of time. An election is never lost. It is stolen. If there are 50 candidates in a race, the result is 49 winners and one thief. Which brings me neatly to the question of wealth and the rich lists we have been publishing. Kenyans worship rich people, but they do not believe that it is possible to make money through your sweat. All wealthy people are thieves, they stole their money from the government, is the popular belief. If you are rich, it does not matter how hard you worked, you are witch-hunted, possibly your buildings The criminalisation of wealth has driven the rich underground. They do not keep their money here, they do not spend their money here, and if you call them rich, they feel as if they could slap you. This is no way for a capi- talist society to operate. The rich must be encouraged to live their lives freely so that they can be taxed and the proceeds used to lift the poor. The reason the super-rich are super-rich is because they are smarter, work harder, are more motivated, and sometimes are luckier, than the rest of us. The pretension that we are all equal, that those who achieve success must have done something unfair because we are all as clever as anyone else, is really unnecessary. There is no shame in not being too clever or being laid back. But quit mythmaking and adjust to a life of modest means and moderate want. What is wrong with that? firstname.lastname@example.org knocked down, and you are targeted by tax collectors and local authorities for extortion. Am I saying all wealth in Kenya is kosher, the product of hard work and diligent application? Of course not. Some rich people are thieves.
February 20th 2014
February 22nd 2014