|April 4, 2003
MWAI KIBAKI CALLS FOR SPEEDY AFRICAN INTEGRATION
See: No More Dictatorship in Kenya
Kibaki with East African Legislative Assembly
President Mwai Kibaki of the African Union's Constituent Republic of Kenya is calling for quickening the pace for the integration of Africa. Speaking to members of the East African Legislative Assembly, Kibaki emphasized that Africans stood to reap more from integration than from separate development strategies.
President Mwai Kibaki has called for the speedy integration of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania into a federation. The President pointed out that the East African Federation required the necessary political will and impetus from the peoples of the region to become a reality.
President Kibaki was speaking at State House Nairobi on March 17, 2003 when he held discussions with members of the East African Legislative Assembly who paid him a courtesy call. They were led by Abdulrahaman Kinana, Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly. Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki said that the realization of the federation in East Africa would be a positive move towards a greater Africa.
He said the reasons that were holding back the integration of the three sister states were trivial, noting that the factors that led to the formation of the East African Community soon after independence were still tenable. President Kibaki stated that the common services that would be enjoyed by member countries of the community would be more viable when harmonized at the regional level.
In this connection President Kibaki called on East Africans to have mutual trust and confidence in each other, saying mutual suspicion and mistrust would militate against unity. He went on to say that this region was well endowed with natural resources that could spur economic progress adding a common approach to the utilization of these resources would be more beneficial to the region.
President Kibaki emphasized that a common market and free movement of people in the three countries were imperative to realize the desired economic growth. The Speaker of the EALA Mr. Kinana said the peoples of the three countries were yearning for the unity of the East African states adding that nothing would be let to distract the region from this set goal.
Guided by the summit of the East African community, Mr. Kinana added they will work towards the speedy integration of the three States. He congratulated President Kibaki and the ruling NARC coalition for a resounding victory in the last elections saying the smooth political transition in Kenya augured well for the future of the community.
Members of the assembly who spoke at the function said there was need to restructure certain elements of the treaty establishing the community to remove bureaucracy that was a drawback to the interests of the community.
They felt that the community required full time or resident ministers from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania to deal specifically with community matters.
Mr. Marando Mabere of Tanzania who spoke on the issue noted that foreign affairs ministers who were currently charged with that responsibility were too busy to perform community duties effectively.
Present were an assistant minister for foreign affairs Ali Chirau Mwakwere and Permanent secretary Peter ole Nkuraiya.
30 Dec 2002
KENYANS END 24 YEARS OF DICTATORSHIP
MWAI KIBAKI BECOMES PRESIDENT IN KENYA
The African Union's constituent republic of Kenya has a new president. Mwai Kibaki, leader of a coalition of political groups called the National Rainbow Coalition [NARC] defeated Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president Jomo Kenyatta and protege of outgoing president Daniel Kapkorios Toroitich arap Moi, to become Kenya's third president. Although the race for president was between Uhuru and Kibaki, it was understood that if Uhuru had won Moi would have retained effective control of government through his dominance over the Kenya African National Union [KANU] political party. The election was the culmination of years of struggle to end years of Moi's manipulation of the constitution and his use of KANU violence and dirty politics to maintain himself in power for so long.
Daniel Moi, who served as Jomo Kenyatta's vice president since 1967, automatically assumed the position of president when Kenyatta died in 1978. Moi then began to concentrate power in his own hands so much so that by 2002 the entire population of Kenya was fed up with the imperious one man regime.
In the later years of the Kenyatta government and the Moi government, the Office of the President progressively took all key security departments. It then took over other key departments from other ministries, creating a bloated institution that overshadowed all other ministries and was responsible for much more than providing general supervision of government operations. This placed the President in direct control of defence, the police force, the intelligence services, immigration, and the Provincial Administration.
Departments which should have been under other ministries came under the President's Office in Moi's regime. This was particularly so with units that enjoyed large budgets, had security implications or the potential to attract donor funding. They included the National Aids Control Council, Kenya Wildlife Service, Ports and Airports Security, Disaster and Emergency Response Co-ordination, the National Youth Service, and even such mundane functions as registration of births and deaths and the registration of persons.
Other departments under Mr Moi's control were those in charge of the state houses and lodges, the Presidential Press Services, state and official visits, the Kenya seal, Government Press, the Inspectorate of state Corporations and Efficiency Monitoring Unit.
HUMAN RIGHTS & FOREIGN INTERVENTION
In order to remain in power for so long Moi manipulated and encouraged sectarian and ethnic rivalry between communities, misused the states' treasury, and threatened and had potential rivals killed or destroyed by the courts and the police. Moi also manipulated the internal affairs of other states in Africa, dispensing punishment or aid to political factions in exile in Kenya in exchange for denial of asylum and security for Kenyan dissidents living in other states.
In spite of Moi's blatant human rights abuses, he relied on international financial and military assistance for the organization of his political machinery. In 1982, American and British troops reinstated him after he had been overthrown in a popular revolution led by students and Air Force officers. British governments supplied Moi with military equipment and preferential economic arrangements. Kenya under Moi provided the US and Britain with military bases and the use of Port Mombasa.
AUF President Kirimi Kaberia with Mwai Kibaki [USA - June 2002]
Mwai Kibaki has said that there will be no "witch hunt" against officials of Moi's 24 year long dictatorship, but that there will be no amnesty either. Moi is implicated in financial corruption charges and the murders of prominent personalities, including Robert Ouko, former foreign minister in Kenya, and Amon Bazira, leader of the opposition to the NRA/UPDF military regime in Uganda.
During Moi's 24 year rule, many political personalities with influence in the newly elected government were detained, tortured and harassed, under the infamous Preventive Detention Law and other draconian regulations. Among the famous political prisoners is Koigi wa Wamwere, who has become a member of the new parliament. Another former dissident is Raila Odinga who, however, joined Moi's government in the 1990s after his mistreatment. Odinga's refusal to cooperate with Moi in the 2002 election was important to the outcome of the election.
In the weeks leading up to the elections, former president Daniel Moi tried to retain power by using the military. Army leaders, many of whom are Moi's appointees, refused to participate in the plan, and let the elections proceed on schedule. However, in some regions the police was used to intimidate voters and returning officers. Paramilitary KANU youth groups were also used to disorganize and attack opposition voters.
The Kaberia family hosts Kibaki during the US visit
In his inaugural speech president Mwai Kibaki recognised that "Kenya continues to bear a heavy burden" due to regional conflicts. He promised that the new government "will support and facilitate all positive efforts to resolve the conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and other trouble spots in Africa."
Mwai Kibaki was born in 1931 in the Kikuyu Community on the slopes of Mount Kenya. After studying in Uganda and London, he became a lecturer at Makerere University, but in the early 1960s gave it up to help in Kenya's struggle for independence. He helped draft Kenya's constitution, was elected as an MP in 1963 and has held his seat ever since.
He was finance minister throughout the 1970s and vice-president of Kenya for much of the 1980s, serving ably under the country's first president, Jomo Kenyatta, and then his successor President Moi. In 1988 Moi deposed Mwai Kibaki from the vice-presidency. When a long-standing ban on opposition parties was lifted in 1991, Mr Kibaki left the ruling party, KANU, to found the Democratic Party, which he still leads.