Press release by CLARION
HACKING OF CLARION’S WEBSITE AND THE CONTINUEDÂ INTIMIDATION AND HARASSMENT OF CIVIL SOCIETY.
Early yesterday (Thursday 9thÂ that our website has been hacked into. We took time to confirm with our service provider thatÂ this was indeed the case.
We take this to be part and parcel of the continued intimidation of civil society organisationsÂ and other independent voices in the current political dispensation. These are the cowardly acts ofÂ materially powerful but intellectually inept individuals who have refused to accept that Kenya isÂ no longer a dictatorship.
The intimidation of civil society organisations and individual Kenyans reached its peak lastÂ year (2013). It is believed that one of the reasons the current regime is intent on bullying civilÂ society into submission is because of the International Criminal Court (ICC) trials.
The commonÂ narrative has been that it is civil society organisations that “took” the suspects to the Hague-Â based Court. That this narrative is patently false has been proved time after time by functionariesÂ of the regime itself. Regime elements from the Rift Valley, for instance, have in the past fewÂ months highlighted the role played by public officials in the then Kibaki administration inÂ “framing” the champion of their interests, Deputy President William Samoei Ruto.
The undersigned, who is the Executive Director of CLARION and President of the NationalÂ Civil Society Congress (NCSC), has continued to experience a lot of intimidation. AfterÂ being mentioned as one of those receiving money from foreign sources to bring down theÂ government (essentially treason) early in the year (Jackal news, an online publication believedÂ to be sponsored by State House (See http://www.thejackalnews.com/politics/world-exclusive-Â americans-europe-funding-anti-kenya-government-revolution), he has continued to beÂ intimidated through anonymous calls and messages.
Towards the end of last year (2013) when civil society was planning protests over the thenÂ controversial and punitive amendments to the Public Benefits Organisations Act, he wasÂ followed at least twice by two individuals. On both occasions the message delivered was that theÂ streets (of Nairobi) were “becoming too dangerous for (activists) like him”. The first time wasÂ during the planning phase of the protest while the second time was on the day of the protest.
Indeed, a former civil society colleague now working with the “presidency”, Peter Kariuki,Â attended a meeting of the Civil Society Reference Group on the PBO Act and attempted toÂ persuade the participants against holding protests. Kariuki revealed that he was one of thoseÂ advising the administration on the PBO amendments.
It is clear that Mr. Kariuki’s brief was not only to “persuade” civil society not to hold streetÂ protests but indeed to identify those who were advocating for this line of action so as to intensifyÂ intimidation against them.
Mr. Kariuki, who is obviously enjoying a great time with admirably close proximity to power,Â worked in civil society for many years with the Basic Rights Campaign. A believer in bothÂ civil/political and social/economic rights before seeing the light, he appears today to be in goodÂ company among ideologically empty political elite only bent on looting state coffers.
It is important to point out that the legitimacy of the Jubilee administration can only be securedÂ by delivering on the promise of a better governed, inclusive, transparent and accountable Kenya.
Such legitimacy shall not be secured through intimidation. The Constitution of Kenya providesÂ the best blue print for the regime. Ensuring that it is implemented both in letter and spirit will goÂ a long way to convince regime sceptics that those in power today are the right people to govern.
What is happening right now is not exactly endearing the people to the administration. TheÂ continuously rising cost of living especially after legislation of the VAT Act is pushing moreÂ Kenyans into poverty, frustration and hopelessness.
Promises of free laptops for primary school students fail to excite the population. Parents areÂ having a rough time ensuring their children are in school in these financially challenging times.
Take into account that more than 40% of the population lives below the poverty line and youÂ have a clearer picture.
Insecurity around the country is making it difficult for Kenyans to systematically pursue theirÂ socio-economic activities in a peaceful environment, thus undermining their efforts. The youthÂ want jobs, not promises!
If Kenyan’s are to revolt against the administration it will not be because they were told to doÂ so by the civil society; it will be because they are “running on empty”. In spite of the chargedÂ rhetoric and political posturing, they feel their dreams of a better Kenya are being dashed, yetÂ again!
For CLARION this is history repeating itself. Moi’s authoritarian administration deregisteredÂ the organisation in 1995, after it carried out the first-ever study on official corruption. TheseÂ Hitlerite-Gestapo tactics have fully come back to haunt Kenyans. As CLARION, we shallÂ continue with the struggle for a better governed, inclusive, transparent and accountable Kenya.Morris Odhiambo
Executive Director, CLARION (+254-722 303 349)
Editorial: There has been several attempts to hack into the communication forums of a number of peopleÂ perceivedÂ to be critical to theÂ government. Most members in our team of bloggers and editors have been part of this hacking attempts. This is worrying considering free low of information is a basic tenet of any society that believes in democracy. Kenya Today urges all Kenyan engaged in fighting corruption and pointing at government excesses to take extra caution.