In 2010, Kenya passed what has been lauded as one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. In line with the wishes of the Kenyan people this constitution created 10 commissions and two independent offices.
The commissions are the Kenya National Human Rights Commission, the National Land Commission, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Judicial Service Commission, the Commission on Revenue Allocation, the Public Service Commission, the Salaries and Remuneration Commission, the Teachers Service Commission and the National Police Commission. The independent offices are the Auditor General’s Office and the Controller of Budget’s Office.
The constitution then specifically mandated these commissions and independent offices with three key obligations: to protect the sovereignty of the Kenyan people, secure the observance of democratic values and principles by all state organs, and promote constitutionalism.
It is important to note that the constitution does not envision a situation where these commissions and independent offices do not exist. They cannot be disbanded. What the constitution envisions is the removal of specific individuals from the commissions or offices. Such removal can be brought about when an individual is in serious violation of the constitution or any other law, is involved in gross misconduct, is physically or mentally incapacitated, is incompetent or bankrupt.
According to the constitution, if anyone wants an individual removed from a commission or office, he or she presents a petition to the National Assembly explaining the grounds for removal. This petition is then considered by Parliament and if it has merit sent to the President who then suspends the named individual and institutes a tribunal.
This is the background against which we must consider Cord’s demand for the disbanding of the IEBC. This also means that all the other nine constitutional commissions and the two independent offices must protect the IEBC against Cord’s onslaught, in fulfillment of their third mandate of promoting constitutionalism.
Cord wants to hold a political rally in Uhuru Park this Wednesday, June 1. This is the reason they cancelled their usual Monday street demonstrations. Unfortunately the grounds have been booked for a religious prayer event.
However, in line with their incapacity to envision that things do not always go their way, Cord is now trying to use the power of the Nairobi Governor’s office to bully the evangelist out of Uhuru Park. The Cord leadership has tasked their man, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, to cancel the religious event and give the opposition the grounds. This is despite the fact that the religious institution has already paid for the grounds and has official receipts from the Nairobi county government.
This is not the first time Cord is doing something like this. On March 2, 2013 Cord wanted to use Uhuru Park for their final political rally ahead of the general election. However, Jubilee had already booked and paid for the grounds. Cord asked the mayor, their man George Aladwa, to cancel Jubilee’s event and give the grounds to Cord.
I encourage Evangelist Lucy Ngunjiri to stand against Cord’s intimidation. I also encourage the rest of us to consider the message Raila Odinga is sending to us about how he uses power when things are not going his way.
Raila has been trying to oust IEBC illegally. now he wants to hound a preacher out of uhuru park