In response to recent discussions surrounding bi-partisan talks, it is imperative to clarify that Linda Jamii Submitted a Memorandum stating that such dialogues lacked a legal foundation and fell short of being termed null and void. The absence of a legal anchor raises concerns about the legitimacy and enforceability of any agreements resulting from such talks. We had suggested that since Kenya is a multiparty Democracy, it was imperative to ensure that all other political parties as well as other sectors of society such as the Civil society, religious organizations and the ‘wanjiku’ would have been actively involved.
Even though other sectors of the society were invited to present their views, the discussions were exclusively between the Azimio and UDA factions, specifically involving key figures Raila and Ruto. That is why the report was signed by both Kalonzo Musyoka and Ichungwa and presented to Ruto and Raila for consideration. Had there been a third party, the ongoing potential rejection could have been moderated by other players.
In that regard, the talk is not to be misconstrued as a national dialogue as it does not encapsulate the broader spectrum of political, social and Economic voices within the country. The Cost of living affects not only Kenya Kwanza and Azimio but also the Civil Society, Religious organizations, Private sector and Kenyans in general.
Operation Linda Jamii is alert to the fact that Our Constitution, recognizing that sovereign power resides in the people, did not envision a scenario where state officers could unilaterally initiate anything leading to constitutional reforms. This prerogative remains firmly within the domain of the citizens, which is the reason Linda Jamii is defending the sanctity of our constitution. In that regard, Linda Jamii will challenge in court any illegalities proposed by the Committee.
Linda Jamii Further Stated that the constitution of the National Dialogue Committee and their technical team was done to deliberately ignore the pain caused by cost of living. This means that the Bi-Partisan talks was a political process Disguised as meant to solve the economic Problem called Cost of Living. In both the Dialogue committee and their technical team, we did not see economists and teams from Treasury included to help come up with an economic formula to solve the cost of living. We had recommended that before the Dialogue began, Kenya Kwanza needed to suspend the Finance Act which continues to make the cost of living worse. We presented an economic formula to cure cost of living but Linda Jamii’s Solomonic economic formula was neither discussed nor was it considered in the report.
Linda Jamii is also very disappointed by the fact that the recommendations of National Dialogue team lack any stroke of genius. Whatever they recommended could be reached at without deploying the resources used. Such a high profile team giving pedestrian recommendations is a public shame. They have easily agreed on political positions to share but found it very hard to agree on what affects Kenyans- the cost of living. Those pretending to disagree with the report from either side of the coalitions are pretenders since the co-chairs have signed the report.
It is our take that National Treasury was supposed to be represented in the Cost-of-living agenda of the bipartisan talks and that technical team of Economic experts was supposed to be constituted to review Kenya’s debt, Tax and, currency. They were then to come up with an economic model that would help turn around the Kenyan economy by developing the Kenyan fiscal policy instead of allowing the infiltration of Kenyan Fiscal policy by foreign institutions like IMF and World Bank. When President Kibaki ignored these institutions Kenyan economy woke up from slumber. Unfortunately, the current government is now giving our economy puriton to get back to sleep as poverty, unemployment, investor flight, depreciating shilling and debt crisis bites.
In this light we want to tell Kenyans that the time of realization that we are on our own has come. Waiting for the Government to solve our problem is an exercise in futility since they are busy with ‘kukula kwanza’ as ‘shareholders’. The opposition is not helping us either when they continuously remind us that since we elected the current government “Tukule Ujeuri wetu”.
The truth is, Kenyans are now tired of being reminded of an election that took place over a year ago. Kenyans wants to move on with their lives despite the failed leadership from both the Government and Opposition.
To move on we need to acknowledge the following:
Appreciate President William Ruto and Azimio Leader Raila Odinga for the ceasefire that the Bi-Partisan talks have given Kenyans. Political problems are to be solved politically and the talks have helped solve that…at least for the time being. Now we need to engage on solving the economic problem that has remained in spite of the cease fire. This cannot be solved through going to the streets violently.
Though we feel we have been patient enough, the KK government continues to ask that we give them time. At the moment, let us turn to God for his guidance and stop looking too much into the government or Opposition. Turning to God means, seeking Wisdom from God on where to go next. Just as Ecclesiastes 3:15 say that there is nothing new under the sun we may ask in wonder: How did we navigate harsh economic times during Moi? We focused on how to come together as the People of Kenya and found a solution to survive in the short term, and God in his providence, eventually gave us an astute economist in the person on Mwai Kibaki. Today, there still exist many Kibakis amidst us, whose leadership we seek. Indeed, it has come to that time when we should ask not what our country can do for us but what we can do for our country.
To solve the Economic problem, we need peace and Stability. For that to happen, Kenyans should take a covenant never again to be taken to the streets that ends up in violent fight with the Police. In that regard, we invite you fellow Kenyans to join us in the “Linda Jamii Peace Run” on 16th Dec 2023.
Linda Jamii is a grassroot initiative representing the people’s desire for Economic Liberation. On 16th December 2023, “Linda Jamii” is organizing a peace marathon to serve as a platform for a national dialogue, providing space for citizens to actively participate in shaping a new course for the nation through nonviolent means.
Linda Jamii has also planned a number of community-based financial literacy and economic empowerment activities targeting mainly the youth and women. We shall be partnering with the Jua Kali Sector and Cooperative movements to turn our Jua Kali Hubs into cottage industries that will birth the Kenyan industrial revolution without depending much on the government. Rather than focus on financial cooperatives which are slowly entering into a vicious cycle of debt, we need to revive our cooperative movements so as to raise capital for our Cottage industries.
In this regard, we will also engage our development partners in creating jobs for the youths by investing in Sports, Music, Arts, and Technology among other youth-related talents. These will also act as an income generating programs for the youths.