Monday, September 07, 2009

Miguna Wants Mutula Kilonzo to Shut Up















By Miguna Miguna
(The writer is a Barrister & Solicitor in Canada & Advocate of the High Court of Kenya. He is also the Advisor of the Prime Minister on Coalition Affairs).


The Kenyan media have reported that the Minister for Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs, Mr. Mutula Kilonzo, yesterday (September 3, 2009) told the American Ambassador, Michael Ranneberger, to shut up. Mutula’s language was crude and undiplomatic. It was also bereft of any logic, reason or legal foundation. Rhetorically, it was in a league of its own; pugnacious and soaring.


But it is not what any reasonable person would expect from a minister of justice. Mutula ought to have limited the excretion of his loose tongue at the borders of coarseness. Unfortunately, he veered farther and much deeper; he entered the boundaries reserved for demagogues and miscreants. Even that might have passed the twiddle test had Mutula been an ordinary Kenyan. However, Mutula is the Minister of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs for all Kenyans!


Reports indicate that Mutula not only told Ranneberger to shut up and refrain from commenting on Kenyan law, he also threatened unspecified “government action” against the ambassador. That is ominous. It is not a threat Kenyans can take lightly.


I hold no brief for the American ambassador. I am also not aware that Ranneberger has his fingers up Mutula’s nostrils, preventing the minister from sneezing. But it is interesting that Mutula, who is a Senior Counsel, confesses that he is not competent in interpreting both British and American laws. In turn, he claims that no foreigner can interpret Kenyan laws. The logic is warped; the language crude. Significantly, Mutula has not told us what laws Ranneberger broke by communicating a message from Washington, DC to Nairobi.


The principles of legal interpretation are universal. They are not Kenyan, British or American. It is possible that a foreigner may be as good an interpreter of Kenyan law as any local expert. Professional expertise in legal interpretation is not Mutula’s exclusive preserve. Nothing prevents Ranneberger from interpreting the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act. No law prevents Ranneberger or the US administration from examining whether President Kibaki violated the law when he purported to reappoint Aaron Ringera for another 5 years.

It is immaterial whether the Kenyan Ambassador to Washington can interpret American law. No one has accused President Barack Obama of flagrantly violating the American constitution and law. Consequently, Mutula’s deflection is both ineffective and unconvincing. Mutula should deal with the charge that President Kibaki violated the law rather than saying that a foreigner has no right to criticize the President. Ad hominem is not a substitute for debate. The President is not God.


Recently, Mutula defended a Cabinet Memo and Draft Bill on the Independent Special Tribunal on post election violence, which strenuously argued that the independence of that tribunal would be guaranteed by a significant presence of foreign jurists. If foreigners are not allowed to interpret Kenyan laws, why hasn’t Mutula opposed the involvement of foreign jurists in Kenyan legal and judicial institutions?


Mutula is desperate, so he conveniently wraps himself in patriotic garb to attempt a cover-up of Presidential illegality and impunity. But like the principle of equity, patriotism demands that you approach it with clean hands.


But the main problem with Mutula’s arguments emanates from his job description. As the minister of justice, Mutula is compelled by law to be fair, objective, professional, competent and ethical at all times in relation to all matters and persons. As the minister for national cohesion and constitutional affairs, Mutula cannot act as a hatchet man for sectarian political forces. He is constitutionally compelled to respect the rule of law. National cohesion is only possible when a minister of justice discards parochial interests and affiliations and acts for the national good.


Clearly, when the President purported to reappoint Ringera as Director of Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), Fatuma Sichale and Smokin Wanjala as Assistant Directors of KACC for additional five years, he flagrantly violated the law.


Subsections 8(2), (4) and (5) of the Anti-Corruption Act provide that the Director and Assistant Directors of KACC shall be persons recommended by the Advisory Board and approved by Parliament before the President announces their appointment to their respective positions. The Act stipulates that the “terms and conditions of service of the Director and the Assistant Directors shall be determined by the Advisory Board.

The law is therefore crystal clear that the President can only appoint a person a Director or an Assistant Director upon the Advisory Board recommending such a person for appointment to Parliament and the latter forwarding the name of the person to be appointed to the President. The President is compelled by law to announce the name forwarded by Parliament. The President has no power or discretion to appoint whoever he wants.


Schedule 1 of the Anti-Corruption Act that the President cited is not a substantive provision. It is anchored on the primary provisions cited above.


Rather than threaten Ranneberger with unspecified “consequences”, it is Mutula who should shut up and concentrate on delivering Kenyans from injustice, corruption, impunity and Presidential excesses.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that people with your kind of paradigm would be involved in any way in advising anybody in an African government.

You are outright dangerous to the interests of the people whose cause you purport to champion.

Beyond feeding your greed for money, fame and position, one wonders how much thought you have given to what inheritance, your relatives' great grandchildren in Africa will ever have. We know yours are securely tacked away somewhere in Canada or elsewhere.

Perhaps by that time you will have ensured that your motherland was long re-colonized and some of her sons will be working away as diving boys for ships owned by Americans prying lake victoria, then a fish farm for a wealthy American or british fish farmer.

Anonymous said...

You should not be surprised by Mutula Kilonzo's ignorance and past life. This is the same loose tongue that served Moi's regime for all those years of a brutal regime. Kilonzo is not fit to be in anybody's cabinet noting the arrogant and irresponsible rhetoric he spews in public. A travel ban to the US and Europe for the likes of Kilonzo should be a good start to cut the rhetoric in that loose tongue.

ODM Fan said...

not surprisingly anon @ 2:49 goes ahead and presents ad-hominem as substitute for debate, how empty headed does one get.

ThinkingMansUhuru said...

Why don't you sign your name to that claim if you really believe it. The point is, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that Rannenberger has a point, and that Matula was probably ticked off because government ministers never like having their practices questioned. If the KACC was really doing the best job possible, there would be no need for the ambassador to be involved. However, since Mr. Rannenberger is the AMBASSADOR to Kenya, he does have a right to comment on the situation.

Secondly, You use of the term re-colonization is a joke. Kenya's current problems are not the fault of the British, who pulled out in the 70's. I've seen this " It's not our fault" game when I was in Kenya 2 years ago, and it amazes me that with all the issues that could be solved by real discussion, people still use this as a lame excuse for why Kenya has failed to change it's political and economic outlook. To accuse someone of wanting Kenya re-colonized with no basis in fact is jingoistic. The poster got out of Kenya to make a life for himself.. if you really think he's hoarding inheritance, ask his family ( Which you won't do because you apparently can't even put your name on this comment).

It is also true that the Kenyan government has the right to reject that criticism. What it does not have the right to do is use a bully pulpit to divert attention away from the mishandling of justice that is so commonplace. As an American, I may not have the understanding of Kenyan jurisprudence that a Kenyan would, but I can still call a spade a spade.

Anonymous said...

How much interested are Americans about what the Kenyan Ambassador to Washington thinks of the Bush or is Barak Obama's government.

Stop the nonsence. It is preposterous for anybody to imagine that simply because they were born on a wealthier place than other people, they know anything better than anybody else. We know how the wealth in America was created in the first place: On the backs of slaves stolen from Africa. On the basis of oil stolen from the middle east. On the basis of gold and diamonds stolen from all over Africa. You purport to care so much about democracy Africa, don't you? How about the millions of lives lost in Darfur?

How about the innocent kids shelled by Israeli bombs in Gaza? How about the millions of lives lost in Iraq due to a lie an American President made to the world to justify regime change and stealing of that country's resources.

What preaching do you purport to give anybody? Where were you when poor Africans were being abandoned post Katrina in New Orleans?

How come you are still doing business with China who kill their people at will? How come America still has an embassy in Khartoum?

How Many people are dying in the Niger Delta in Nigeria due to environmental polution from Connoco Philips, Shell, etc. Give us a break!! For how long do you see this hypocracy going on?

ThinkingMansUhuru said...

So.. you attempt to not deal with my point about your ranting comments here by A)Assuming that I support all American policies, which if you bothered reading my blog, you'd know is not the case, but you never had a point on this anyway.
B)Making blanket statements that because America has a history of historic moral failures, no American can ever comment on something without being a hypocrite.

First you attack the OP with a baseless statement, then you post a rant based on unconnected statements about American policy that have no point and don't relate to ANYTHING I said. I feel sorry for the poster of this blog, because it's now been hijacked by your silliness.. Unafanya Nini Bwana? TOSHA..

Anonymous said...

I am saying you quit the bullshit!!!

We can all suck up to foreigners and have them screw up our daughters and parents and all just so that we can secure our food and or in our small minds our livelihood.

If our forefathers also did this, we would all be porters and maids and houseboys for the British in Kenya.

By the way, how many Kenyans own anything or participate in the tourism industry?

How many Kenyans of African decent own a company outside of Kenya?

Who owns the major farming industry in Kenya? Cement industry? Banking industry? Horticultural industry? Manufacturing industry?

How many Kenyans were killed by foreigners that you now align with so that Africans could regain the resources of their nation that had been stolen by the same characters you identify with.

You are beyond abnoxious!!! You are a fool and not worth having any discourse!!! And to boot, you are an adviser to Raila Odinga. We need God to help us!

ODM Fan said...

lets break this down a little better for our lost anonymous friend

so ok, a child has barfed (or defecated) in your living room. a neighbor brings this to your attention

you could scream and throw tantrums claiming that its not his house all year long and that also the hedge in his own house is overgrown and discolored.

it doesnt change what happened in your house,

the question being asked here is whether KACC is or is not performing and all other smokescreens are just plain irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

So long as you are comfortable with anybody with a white skin looking down on you and our people, it is time wasted for anybody to try to convince you that Americans are not your neighbours.

Foreigners are only interested with what resources they can have control over and will do anything to ensure that we are not capable of owning our own resources. They control and direct our voices and we should be able to see it coming and not allow them. We must protect what we have and only do business with others. We are never going to be able to do that so long as we allow them to control our messages.

They think very little of you and your Odingas and Kibakis and all the nonsence that abound.

But this is us and this is where we are at the moment.

I do not think the only way to resolve our issues is through jumping at each other. We should be capable of changing our way of thinking, starting with treating each other and our elected leaders with kindness, encouragement and respect and still accomplish the results we need: Uplifting the standard of living for all our people.

We do not need to allow strangers to interfere with every conversation that we have.

Please consider what response our Ambassadors to the UK, Spain, France, China, Japan or the USA would receive from the citizens of these countries were they to ever dare comment on those countries leaders.

Besides the salary and hardship allowances the US ambassador gets together with all the sunny holidays he enjoys in this "risky" place, what in God's world does this guy care about Kenya? Is he not just a civil servant working for the Assistant to Hilary Clinton? How many black slaves did his grandfather or even his father own? How well do you know this guy?

But I cannot stop you from hanging on by every word that you hear from anybody from outside of our continent.

Is it a wonder you have to use such complex english words that even yourself have found it necessary to interpret for me.

If you think there is anything original about you, please think again.

You are not any different from Charles Njonjo with all his British mannerisms. You are not different from Robert Mugambe and indeed very many colonised Africans.

You appear to be at most 20% African and 80% white and the two portions do not know each other. You appear to be a stupid complex and nobody other than yourself can cure you.

I feel quite confident to surmise that you are ashamed of your own mother. You must imagine she is too dirty and unsophisticated.

I also feel pretty confident your own kids know very little of your mother tongue if any.

As I said before, you are beyond abnoxious. You are a fool and you continue to confuse your leader, Mr. Raila Odinga.

Please take a very good look at yourself, your mannerisms, relationships etc and consider whether I am not bang on! The truth hurts though but you are capable of redemption.

You are an intelligent man who has chosen to use his intellect to become a puppet due to lack of opportunities and the courage to create those opportunities.

Anonymous said...

I WOULD LIKE TO LOOK FOR THE INTENTION RATHER THAN WHAT YOU HAVE SAID.YOUR INTENTION IS ILL FOR OUR COUNTRY NO MATTER HOW YOU WANT TO BAPTISE YOUR WORDS.WE ARE TIRED OF RENNERBURG RHETORIC MY FRIEND WHO IS HE TEACHING DEMOCRAZY NOW,KENYA IS NOT A FAILED STATE.WHY DONT YOU APPLY ALL THIS YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT TO SOMALIA AND DARFUR FIRST

Anonymous said...

America is the worlds biggest hypocrite.Their interest is to exploit our country in the name of democracy.They will use their ill gotten wealth to buy local NGOs, polluted learned friends,and certain of our power hungry politicians "read Raila and Associates" to misdirect our country.If our country is wicked then America is satanic.What can they advise us after all.

Anonymous said...

MIGUNA,WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR.KENYA HAS NOT ASKED YOU HOW WE SHOULD RELATE WITH WHO.YOU HAVE NO BUSINESS TELLING KENYA WHAT TO DO,BUT ANYWAY WE HAVE OPENED SPACE FOR YOU TO GIVE YOUR OPINION.I THINK KENYA IS MORE DEMOCRATIC THAN WERE YOU COME FROM,BECAUSE NO KENYAN WILL BE ALLOWED TO SAY ANYTHINH CLOSE TO YOUR SENTIMENTS IN AMERICA OR CANADA FOR THAT MATTER BUT HERE IN IN KENYA 'YES YOU CAN'
RENNERBURG SHOULD NOT WAIT FOR MUTULA TO ASK HIM TO SHUT UP HE NEEDED TO USE IS CONCIENCE AND SHUT UP.RENNERBURG YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT KENYAS WILL NOT TOLARATE THIS.'IT IS NOT BUSINESS AS USUAL'

sam body said...

hehehhe!!! anonymus fellow, u cleary have lots of words and energy but totally misdirected.You have managed to take us everywhere but to the point.Miguna is right and history has proved him so and will continue for as long as you keep missing the point.good luck with that by the way

BIRTHER said...

"No one has accused President Barack Obama of flagrantly violating the American constitution and law."

Yes they have!

President Obama refuses the conclusively demonstrate his birthplace. He is not a transparent president.