KESSA: AUGUST 1-2, 2008
THE RECIEVED ABSTARCTS WILL BE POSTED HERE BELOW UNTILL THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM IS DRAWN
THE AFRICAN BUREAUCRACY AND THE CHALLENGES OF MANAGERIAL LEADERSHIP: Meshack Mairura Sagini.
In the light of competitive globalization policies of the declining U.S. hegemony, an ascendant and neocolonial EU and the resurgent but challenging Chinese global influence, the 2007 post-election politics in Kenya has been interpreted in the context of triangular rivalry for global governance. Evidently, the scholarly field of managerial leadership in African countries and their organizations has theoretically and empirically raised issues concerning the quality of bureaucratic leadership. In other words, judged by anecdotal perceptions and other objective international yardsticks of performance, these issues, many of which are controversial reflections of success and failure, have been analyzed to show the occurrence of evidences of gross bureaucratic malaise particularly in professional, economic and political (public) institutions. Based on the literature, neither the first generation of post independence bureaucrats, nor the current generation of the 1990s and the new millennium has been able to display elements of transparency, bureaucratic efficiency and effectiveness and professional accountability. The sources of bureaucratic corruption inefficiency and professional unaccountability, while rooted in local cultures, they historically are rooted in colonial, neo-colonial and contemporary globalism. As a case study, the underlying causes of the recent post-election crisis in Kenya may be deeply rooted in colonial and neo-colonial imperialist struggle and quest for governance and dominance in the global periphery. The implications of this type of competitive rivalry on Kenya's political system and its interpretation by the dominantly entrenched and bourgeois class of the Kenyan elite could have far reaching implications on constitutional, land and electoral reforms which the 1963 Lancaster House constitution "laughs at and has failed" to address for almost 50 years. The cumulative effects of not addressing the reforms on time and the poverty, desperation and joblessness of the new majority whose ignorance of colonialism and tribalism made them revolutionary patriots committed to save the nation by using radical, leftist and popular discontent that threatened the established elites and their global sympathizers. The old guards were discovered to be pant less. For the survival of the Republic and its institutions, we need competent, accountable and transparent bureaucrats as opposed to those whose excessive rent seeking behavior, political patronage and neo-patrimonialism has influenced them to provoke our national multicultural social fabric to experience the worst forms of mayhem, vindictiveness and system disequilibrium. Everybody should support Kofi Annan and Condoleezza Rice for the reforms and popular democratic government or else we will have no country called Kenya.
KENYA'S NUMBER ONE DISEASE IS POVERTY - Ruth Oniango
People in power take advantage of people's abject poverty to intimidate them, to confuse them, to steal from them and to virtually get away with murder. This kind of situation robs people of their rights and dignity. Experience from the just ended elections in Kenya whose presidential results were in dispute, shows that voters were happy with KSh. 20 (a quarter of a dollar) from a parliamentary candidate. Well, statistics show that over 70% of Kenyans live below the poverty line, on less than a dollar a day.
We have a situation of the haves and have-nots. Candidates come around at election time in their newly acquired big cars and the money they have, regardless of how they got it. The money and the rich-man image determine their success at the ballot box. The money is used to buy votes even from those who call themselves Christians; money is used to get supporters commit crime by stealing votes, raping women and children, money has led us to a situation where even the religious leaders can be bribed.
So where do we get leaders of integrity? What happens to our children? Where do we get role models for our children, the future generation? The paper goes ahead to examine ways of Kenya possibly ridding itself of corruption, greed, tribalism, lawlessness, and selfishness and promote a sense of self-worth and integrity ready to be counted with other countries worth their name in the rest of the world.
2007 KENYAN POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE: OPPORTUNITY FOR GREATERSOCIO-ECONOMIC HEIGHTS: Joshua Gisemba Bagaka's, and Noah Midamba.
During the last few years,Kenya has gone through some turbulent times beginning with the controversies that surrounded the MoU and the subsequent failure of the constitutional making. Though these difficulties climaxed immediately after the 2007 general election, the situation had been growing gradually from bad to worse over the years. The proposed study will offer a trend analysis of the socio-political situation beginning with the conclusion of 1997 general election until the 2007 post-election violence. Using empirical data, the study will demonstrate the gradual decline of the socio-political situation in the country, particularly among the ruling class. The primary data set to be used in the study will provide information on the number of parliamentary aspirants during the last three general elections (1997, 2002, and 2007) and the poverty rates in each of the 210 constituencies. Additional information including the geographic distribution of high level government positions, evidence of corruption in high level positions, as well as evidence of increased urban and rural insecurity in the country will be used. The study will discuss related issues including the failure of constitutional making, cosmetic reforms following the 2002 general election, extravagant enumeration and improved terms of service for the members of parliament which led to a dramatic increase in completion for political office in 2007, and the usage of majimbo as a presidential campaign issue in 2007. Attention will also be paid to the impact of growing poverty levels among the masses and the role this phenomenon has played in the state of security and in undermining the process of democratization. The study will offer suggestion for the way forward if meaningful reforms, development, and stability were to be realized.
WEALTH, CONNECTIONS, DYNASTIES AND POLITICS IN KENYA: A CRITICAL RETROSPECTION: Maurice Amutabi.
The violence that occurred in Kenya following the 2007 rigged presidential elections has ignited intense debate on the nature of the nation-state in Africa. The events raised new questions about the nature and place of democracy in the nation-state in Africa. The events revealed that there are still gaps between elites (citizens) and ordinary people (subjects), in relations similar to those that existed in the colonial state. It showed that there are mutual suspicions between ethnic groups. As Mahmood Mamdani rightly argued in his 1996 book Citizen and Subject, I believe that the causes of political paralysis in Kenya as in many African states spring from poor governance, especially corruption. Recent events in Kenya have indicated that this is still a relevant subject. I therefore, argue that Francis Fukuyama was too quick to praise the triumph of political and economic liberalism in his The End of History and the Last Man (1992), for neoliberalism and democracy have failed in Africa. Contrary to scholars who have argued that ethnicity is to blame for the failure of the nation-state in Africa, my contention is that it is the ‘eating chiefs’ or elites who have engineered ethnic differences, for they are the principal beneficiaries of these differences. My argument is that these ‘eating chiefs’ are out to ensure their continued hold on power by all means, including use of violence as Mwai Kibaki did in Kenya. In this paper, I will demonstrate that right from Jomo Kenyatta, through Daniel Moi and now Mwai Kibaki, these eating chiefs and their cronies have used their positions to loot state resources to buy support and retain power. They have surrounded themselves with few members from their ethnic groups, who have formed walls around them. I will examine the role of political elite or ‘eating chiefs’ in Kenya’s political problems. Since the 1970s, these eating chiefs have treated government funds and public land as private property, looted public corporations through cronies, and placed important institutions in the hands of their associates and members of their ethnic groups. They have looted the Kenya National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Kenya National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) which they have treated as milk cows. The rigging of presidential elections and the violence that followed was part of the conflict between eating chiefs jostling for space at the high table, and not about the interests of the peasants, or the hoi poloi.
PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF A LOCAL ENTREPRENEURIAL CLASS IN KENYA: THE IMPACT OF AFRICANIZATION POLICIES SINCE THE INDEPENDENCE PERIOD: Kennedy M. Moindi.
Today Kenya boasts of an ever increasing number of middle and upper class that has mainly evolved from formal sector employment and the private sector, mainly in the area of business. Entrepreneurship that transcends both social and economic status is central in the evolution of a vibrant business sector in the country. At independence in 1963 resource allocation and entrepreneurial activity in the country highly favored immigrant communities, mainly the Asians and Europeans. Although Africans aspired to initiate various businesses in the rural and emerging urban centers, state regulative policies had consistently discouraged the emergence of a class of African entrepreneurs. The attainment of independence in 1963 facilitated the political and economic empowerment of Africans. State support in the form of credit and control of licensing pursued under the policies of Africanization, enabled the expansion of African business in the areas of agriculture, transport, retail and wholesale trade and the industrial sectors. By 1978, even with continued dominance of foreign capital in the country, an indigenous class of entrepreneurs had effectively emerged that was also active in politics. This paper will examine the evolution of this process and will rely on case studies from Gusiiland in south western Kenya and other parts of the country. This paper posits that state policies and individual innovativeness in business are central for the social and economic transformation of modern society in Africa.
ANALYZING KENYA’S FUTURE BY STUDYING KENYA’S PAST; LANCASTER HOUSE III AND THE CRISES OF OCTOBER 1963. Robert M. Maxon.
political elite grapple with the aftermath of the
KENYA: MANAGING ETHNIC/TRIBAL DIVERSITY IN THE WAKE OF THE POST- ELECTION VIOLENCE. V B Khapoya.
Kenyans have an identity crisis and are trapped in labels assigned to them by the British. We need to revisit our identity labels. As one African chief said, when told of a new name for his people, "dogs are named by their masters, free men name themselves." After discussing the labels, I will then consider several models of ethnic bargaining (drawing upon the work of the late Prof Donald Rothchild) in terms of whether or not they would be compatible with the kind of society we wish to have in Kenya. I'll conclude with suggestions of initiatives that must be taken at the national, regional, and local level in order to have the national community we thought we had until "things fell apart," following allegations of rigging in the December, 2007 general elections in Kenya.
A GEOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF SOCIOECONOMIC INEQUALITY IN KENYA: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE COUNTRY’S FUTURE. Kefa M Otiso.
Kenya exhibits significant regional socioeconomic inequalities despite the country’s commitment to regional equity since independence. In this paper, I explore the spatial distribution of socioeconomic wellbeing in the country, causes of such inequality, and the implications of these geographic inequalities for the country’s future
AN APPRAISAL OF PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI’S MANAGEMENT STYLE, 2003-07. Eric E. Otenyo.
On December 27, 2002, Kenyans elected Mwai Kibaki to be third president of the republic. In his acceptance speech, he promised to “do things different “than his predecessor Daniel arap Moi. By all accounts, his presidential and managerial style and agenda was different than that of President Moi. Although much work has been done in the area of leadership, studying presidential managerial styles is not well-developed in African studies. The present paper provides a tentative inventory of presidential management of the Kenyan polity. Specifically, it represents a need to understand the president as a manager of the country’s economic, political, and social life. The question, then, is; was he different than his two predecessors? The paper reflects on critical variables that account for the differences observed.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND URBAN PLANNING IN KENYA: CONTEXTUAL ISSUES. Francis
DEMOCRATIC IMPASSE IN KENYA: THE POLITICS OF CONSTITUIONAL REFORM. Shadrack W. Nasong’o.
Since the beginning of the 1990s Kenya has undergone sustained activism for democratization to engender good governance as a prerequisite for socio-economic development. Basic to the idea of good governance in is the issue of political accountability rooted in the belief that effective government depends on the legitimacy derived from broad-based participation, fairness, and accountability of the governors to the governed. Yet despite a two-decade protracted process of activism for democratization, state structures in Kenya remain more or less the same authoritarian structures inherited at independence in 1963. What factors account for this eventuality? This paper focuses on this question and argues that this eventuality is a consequence of the stalled constitutional review process. Utilizing both primary and secondary data, the paper seeks to explain this in terms of the bifurcated nature of the pro-democracy movement in Kenya between the political class and civil society; the instrumental motivations of actors in both realms; as well as the contradictory role of external actors. The main thesis of the paper is that without constitutional engineering that must be broad-based and inclusive for it to assume some semblance of autochthony, democratization in Kenya will remain in peril with its attendant crisis of political instability. This is because across the space of time and place, political stability, a prerequisite for social economic growth and development, is a function of a broad-based national consensus on constitutive fundamentals of state that constitute the social contract between state and society.
Key words: democratization, constitutionalism, civil society
A RE-COLONIZING DECOLONIZATION: CONFRONTING EUROCENTRIC PARADIGMS, RECLIAMING THE GENIUS OF AFRICA’S INDIGENOUS COMMUNAL HERITAGE: Patrick Dikirr.
Could there ever be a de-colonized body of knowledge that is itself not colonized and ultimately colonizing? How, precisely, could the suffocating galaxies of Euro-Western ways of knowing, worldviews, and philosophies of teaching/learning be effectively dislodged without reproducing bodies of knowledge that are, in the end, themselves, colonized and colonizing? Could a project of this nature and scope be undertaken without also falling into the equally colonizing mindset — of commemorating the unmistakably diminishing influence and authority of indigenous African communal heritage? And, finally, beyond the repeated calls for the need to actively return-back to the cumulative (collective) genius of Africa’s village lore, are there other alternative ways of reconstituting a more flexible, in step-with-the-times, regenerating of minds, of souls, and of structures in Africa? These, and kindred, questions will be fully addressed in this paper.
THE “WOMEN BOARDER CROSSERS” IN TANZANIA: SUFFERING UNDER KENYA-TANZANIA POLICE. Elinami Veraeli Swai.
This paper explores the diverse ways that Tanzanian women traders negotiate their business in the most harsh condition in the hands of Kenya and Tanzania border police, based on ethnographic research with three women traders in Kilimanjaro and Arusha in Tanzania. Drawing on the concept of a ‘boarder crossing’, I show how the effects of economic globalization and gender inequalities intersect with callous treatment and groundless illegalization of women’s trade activities on two borders - Taveta in Kilimanjaro and Namanga in Arusha Tanzania. Using the notion of ‘performativity’, I analyze how women actively reconfigure their lives in the current neoliberal economy regardless of inhuman treatment from Kenya and Tanzanian police forces.
TJRC ATJRC ND HISTORY: KENYA’S FUTURES IN KENYA’S PASTS?: Osaak A.L.A. Olumwullah, Department of History, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056
Early this year Kenya, for a long time a place of entry and departure for international officials dealing with crises in Somalia, Rwanda, and Sudan, was on the verge of collapse. At once, the country became emblematic of what is wrong, what could go wrong, with Africa. In another world, another time, the events that informed Kenya this time around would have been seen as the usual business of Africans killing fellow Africans. This is, indeed, the first line of argument the Western Press took in its assessment of these events. Yet, as violence spiraled and gathered momentum, the search for solutions led to the ultimate question: What, in the first place, was the cause of the murderous chaos? Explanations ranging from claims that the December 27 Presidential Elections had been rigged in favor of the incumbent, to simmering “tribal” animosities in this mosaic of 40-plus nationalities, to what is now being described as “historical injustices” were proffered and thoroughly debated in streets, in pubs, and in the media. All in all, while the first explanation has come to be seen as the tipping-point of a storm that had long been in the making, the other two, “tribalism” and “historical injustices”, are about Kenya’s past—its definition, its meanings, its uses and abuses—and how this past can be known. Almost echoing the words of the Spanish-born US philosopher George Santayana who just over a century ago argued that “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” a Journalist with one of the local daily newspapers in the country put his finger on the problem when he perceptively pointed out that the “challenge for the Kenyan situation is that we need to ask ourselves how we want to deal with the past.” But what exactly does this mean? Why is the past so central to the present, to the future? Is it, simply put, because by learning about it we in the present avoid the mistakes and foibles of our forefathers and thus chart out a sane and secure future for our children? The immediacy with which these questions have been raised, and variously answered, in different parts of the world since the end of WWII draw our attention to how an understanding of human tragedies of the past century is crucial to humankind’s efforts at stemming similar occurrences in our own times and beyond. This, in individual countries and across the world, is about how we not only learn about the past, but also how its checkered meanings are deployed and redeployed to present and future needs. The purpose of this paper, broadly defined, is to examine Kenya’s past in the light of the proposed Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission. Among the questions the paper seeks to answer are: What place does the country’s past have in the understanding of the agonizing and inescapable trauma occasioned by the recent post-election violence? What are the connections between history, political transition and human rights? If history is not to be repeated, what is it in history that could have been different? These questions are about conflict between agency and structure, and they speak directly to the issue of responsibility for violence in the past. Thus, the paper is concerned with how, first, the proposed TJRC is going to confront the past—is it a forum for Kenyans to come to terms with, or work through, the past? Second, what does the TJRC entail for history, its civics, and for movements for participatory democracy in the country?
A STRONG INTERNAL MARKET, A SOLUTION TO KENYA’S ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, AND SOCIAL WOES:Benard Manyibe.
As Kenya matures as a nation, it is struggling politically, economically, and socially. It is recommendable that to meet these challenges it has plan for the way forward popularly known as Vision 2030 that aims at industrializing the country by the year 2030. However, to achieve this status means a lot of work has to be done. In this paper I argue that for Kenya to achieve the goals of Vision 2030, it has to intentionally build a market that would sustain meaningful industrialization. Some of the alternatives available include engaging its neighbors in instituting governance that promotes and supports dynamic market forces which would feed the envisioned industries with materials and manpower as well as absorb industrial products. The other option is to rely on the more developed markets of the west. The most important alternative though is to develop a strong internal market. This market would not only ensure a strong economy but also a cohesive and tolerant society that would entrench the country’s nationhood which the current political mood indicates is at stake.
PROFILE OF OLDER PEOPLE IN KENYA: WHAT HAVE WE PROVIDED TO THEM AND WHAT HAVE WE DEPRIVED THEM? Samuel M. Mwangi.
Societal aging is fairly a recent phenomenon across the world. While historically select individuals have made it to old age, it is only in the last 40-50 years that we have seen aging nations. Kenya is entering the demographic transition as the population of older Kenyans continues to increase. In 1989, there were about just over one million Kenyans age 60 and above. This population had increased to 1.3 million in 1999 and in 2007 there were about 1.5 million older Kenyans who constituted about 4 percent of the total population. By 2020, this population is projected to be slightly over 2 million and it will be followed by a drastic increase to 8.2 million by 2050. Today in Kenya 42 percent of the population is below the age of 14. Like other nations, Kenya will face a number of challenges as it ages. Such changes underscore the importance for preparing for an aging society. This paper will examine the general outlook of older Kenyans in regard to their economic, social and health statuses. It will be argued that the bulk of ageing issues that affect and afflict older Kenyans for the most part have been overlooked. Although available evidence shows that the government and civil society have come to the realization that mechanisms for addressing older people’s predicaments need to be put in place, this realization is undermined by the marginalization of these people that has created a subculture of poor older adults.
Keywords: aging, older Kenyans, aging populations.
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AND GREEN INITIATIVES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: DEFINING FACTORS FOR KENYA’S FUTURE. Beatrice Miringu.
The ability to generate and utilize alternative energy in rural areas is key to sustainable development in Kenya. This presentation will explore the potential of bio-fuel as an avenue for rural economic development in Kenya and as one way for the country to meet its Millenium Development Goals. Experience from other countries in Africa and elsewhere shows that food and biofuel production can be successfully integrated. One of my goals is to see how this can be done in Kenya.