The National Dialogue that the People Want
18 April 2018

We have, however, noted with concern that very limited concrete action has taken place since this statement of intent.


WE THE PEOPLE wish to categorically state that the true custodians of any national dialogue effort can only be the people of Kenya. All initiatives emerging from dialogue must meet the people at their point of need and aspirations. It must never be about the comfort levels of the political class or about creating private solutions to public problems as seen in the delivery of public services detailed below. It for this reason that we wish to highlight the following concerns as those requiring immediate solutions:

Electoral Justice

Kenyans are tired of controversial elections whose unanswered questions are swept under the rug and avoided until the next electoral cycle comes. We cannot lament about divisive elections and fail to seek accountability for the irregularities and illegalities that occur with every election.


The Office of the Director of Public Prosecution in conjunction with the Police must follow through on the pledge to investigate the criminal culpability of IEBC personnel in relation to the failures in the 2017 elections. We note the intrigues within the IEBC which have culminated in the resignation of a number of commissioners from office. These intrigues are the latest evidence that the IBC is damaged beyond repair and that the country would need to start afresh in building an accountable electoral management body. To pave way for this, the remaining commissioners must also resign from office forthwith, and a consultative process should yield recommendations on how a comprehensive independent audit of the IEBC would be conducted. Only after the audit would the country be in a position to fill vacancies within the IEBC. Kenyans also demand accountability for the violence meted out by security officers during the 2017 elections. There must be answers for victims such as 6- month old baby Samantha Pendo, 7-year old Fred Omondi and 8-year old Stephanie Moraa whose lives were ended in the midst of electoral violence they had no role in causing. We must see the police held to account for the use of excessive force with compensation to victims and their families as well as an official public apology from the Commander in Chief with an undertaking that such senseless killings will no longer be tolerated within our security forces. Without this, the 2017 elections cannot be considered a closed chapter.

Electoral reforms must be undertaken in a true multi-stakeholder setting. We will not accept yet another rushed political compromise like the James Orengo and Kiraitu Murungi-led 2016 Joint Select Committee on the IEBC or the ill-advised amendments to the election laws that took place in September 2017.

Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law

Fellow Kenyans, public officers who swore to uphold the Constitution have instead set us on the path of lawlessness. The latest incident of Miguna Miguna’s unlawful deportation was the outcome of government officials who believe they have the power to arbitrarily withdraw your constitutional right to citizenship and totally disregard court orders that protect your rights. Sadly, these same officials orchestrated the shutdown of 3 media houses in January 2017 for covering an event by the Opposition. The President’s threat to revisit the Judiciary in the immediate aftermath of the first Presidential Election Petition has now evolved into Cabinet Secretary for Interior Fred Matiangi choosing which court orders are good enough for him to obey and castigating Judges within the safe precincts of the National Assembly instead of answering to charges of contempt before the Court. Paradoxically, the government, in another instance, expects striking lecturers to abide by a court order and return to work. If the courts cannot protect your rights or provide you with remedies when they are violated, then where should Kenyans turn to?


Those who disregard court orders and disparage the judiciary as an institution cannot be fit to hold public office.The National Assembly must enact legislation to realize the implementation of the two-thirds gender rule as a matter of high priority while the Executive must effect this constitutional principle in appointive positions as well. It is disgraceful that our political leadership has failed to make this a reality despite numerous promises and court orders instructing them to fulfil this critical constitutional provision.

Revisiting the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission Report

National dialogue will benefit from the much broader and incisive analysis contained in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report. The four volumes of the TJRC report were the result of numerous public hearings and memoranda from victims of human rights violations as well as the general public and contain thematic recommendations that enjoy broad based support.


Part of the reason for the current national crisis lies in the fact that no meaningful effort has been made in implementing or even publicly discussing the TJRC report since it was submitted to the President in May 2013. It is time to revisit the unfulfilled pledge made by President Kenyatta in his 2015 State of the Nation address to establish a restorative justice fund and support the implementation of the TJRC report. This is the surest way of achieving national cohesion and defining the national ethos described in their joint statement. More specifically: Ensure that the National Assembly adopts the TJRC report and an implementation framework without further delay; Instituting clear policy and regulations to guide the KES 10 Billion fund as the inception of a reparations fund that will be refinanced in accordance with the victims’ needs and; creating a comprehensive and transparent process for identification and profiling of victims for future reparation programmes while also undertaking  an audit of the IDP resettlement programmme.

Ending Extra-Judicial Killings

We must acknowledge extrajudicial killings and executions are a systemic issue in the security sector as demonstrated most recently during the 2017 elections where numerous unjustifiable deaths were attributed to acts of the police sent in during protests. Proposed solutions must therefore include the following:

  • Commissioning an official audit on the state of security sector reforms with a pledge of political support to prioritize and fast-track the pending security sector reforms;
  • Reopening the police vetting process to public scrutiny and ensuring allegations of human rights abuses are considered during the vetting process;
  • Ensuring criminal and civil liability at the individual and command responsibility level where security officers are found culpable of committing human rights violations; constituting a judicial commission of inquiry on extrajudicial killings and executions in Kenya as a pathway to accountability in this critical area and;
  • Issuing an explicit repudiation of shoot-to-kill orders and undue use of force in policing of protests with a guarantee of prosecuting officers found culpable.

Land injustices


This is the essence of the conflicts we are currently witnessing in Mt. Elgon. It is at the heart of conflicts in the Laikipia and Baringo Counties that have demonized pastoralist communities who have lost grazing lands to large ranches, conservancies and large-scale government projects without any thought for their livelihoods and the added burden of climate change. Communities such as the Ogiek and the Sengwer have been forcefully evicted from their ancestral lands and have been wrongly blamed for the actions of rogue loggers who have decimated the Mau and Embobut forests. In the coastal region, communities have felt so disenfranchised that they were willing to embrace calls for secession as a way of reclaiming their ancestral land. We have created a generation of landless youth who consider themselves dispossessed and disadvantaged in a manner that can only serve to radicalize them against a political and economic system that has shut them out. There is need for a firm political commitment to undertake meaningful remedies which include land redistribution, restitution, and/or compensation. Dealing with community land must allow for the involvement of local mechanisms in decision making processes in a manner that embraces free, prior and informed consent. Furthermore, there must be a fund established to cater for the outlined remedies with clear guidelines as to how the fund will be managed and resourced. The Community Land Act must be fully operationalized without further delay.

An Ailing Healthcare System

Many families are burdened by the inability to afford adequate treatment for their sick loved ones. Fundraising appeals for medical fees and blood donation drives are a regular feature on our social media platforms, as citizens take it upon themselves to provide what is supposed to be a public service and more importantly a constitutional right. Public hospitals are largely a nightmare for patients as they are largely ill-equipped and staffed by doctors, nurses and medical officers who are underpaid and over-worked. Political leaders on the other hand enjoy world class healthcare at the taxpayer’s expense which enables them to travel abroad at the slightest of ailments.


There must first be accountability for failed projects such as the mobile clinics that cost taxpayers 800 million Kenya shillings, the leasing of medical equipment that lie idle in various hospitals around the country and most recently the supply of expired medicines to the tune of Kenya shillings 323 million . The grievances raised by medical personnel agitating for improved working conditions must be addressed in a comprehensive manner instead of the kick-the-can-down-the-road approach that we have witnessed for decades.

The demand for medical personnel must be met through a clear-cut policy of absorbing the graduates from our universities trained at the taxpayer’s expense and not temporary fixes such as flying in 100 doctors from Cuba and expecting them to fully integrate into a broken system. We must salvage the public healthcare system as a matter of highest priority for Kenyans. Even in its current state of insufficient support, our public hospitals have shown remarkable innovation and resilience such as the successful operation on conjoined twins by a team of Kenyan doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital or the first caesarean section delivery at Habaswein Hospital after an upgrade of the facility by the Wajir County Government. We applaud initiatives such as the roll out of universal healthcare in Makueni County by Governor Kivutha Kibwana which has proven that leadership and integrity can bring the best out of our healthcare system.

An Education Crisis at all Levels

The education sector is in the throes of a crisis that has been decades in the making with far reaching consequences on the economy and national cohesion of the country. The failure to uphold collective bargaining agreements with unions has seen perennial strike actions plague the primary, secondary and university levels of our education system. Four-year undergraduate programmes are by default becoming six or even seven year programmes at great cost to the students and their parents. Governance in both public and private universities is at its lowest and instead of addressing challenges raised by students, university administrations are resorting to violent suppression of dissenting voices with the help of the police. Meru University student leader Evans Njoroge was shot and killed by police for simply leading a protest against the increase in fees by the institution.

There are virtually no teachers in Mandera County at the moment- these teachers long endured a harsh environment of insecurity and discrimination and when it became clear that the Teachers Service Commission and the national government would not intervene, they elected to leave the area. A blend of limited funding and corruption has seen free primary education deteriorate in a manner that has left a lot of children behind in as far as progression to the next levels of education is concerned. A curriculum review was undertaken without sufficient consultation and hurriedly implemented in a manner that has rendered our children part of a dangerous and costly experiment.



It is dialogue on these issues that will have true meaning and meet the people at their point of need and aspirations. WE THE PEOPLE as a movement will therefore seek to empower the public at all levels to effectively participate in and own this arena of national dialogue for a transformed Kenya.

We The People press statement
15 March 2018

As a popular movement,  WE THE PEOPLE welcome the developments on Friday 9th March 2018 where President Uhuru Kenyatta and Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga communicated their commitment to dialogue and to working together for the benefit of Kenya and all Kenyans. We are aware that securing our shared destiny requires cooperation, leadership and a strong resolve from and across the top echelons of leadership and influence. For this reason, we are encouraged by the words, the symbolism and the spirit of the Friday event.

As the two leaders and the appointed team work to clarify the specific details of their plan of action, we are optimistic that the process and desired actions will remain INCLUSIVE, PARTICIPATORY and RESPONSIVE to the most urgent issues with potential for lasting impact across the largest segment of the Kenyan people.

We are aware that this event potentially presents an opportunity for the start of a national dialogue as a step towards healing and reconciliation. However, we are particularly keen that in whichever form, to be meaningful, the proposed dialogue and plan of action must not only be inclusive but must be conducted under the existing legal framework.

Of immediate concern in this post-election period and in an effort to create the conditions for reconciliation and stability we believe it is imperative that the political leadership and government do the following:


National cohesion must be built on a strong foundation of reconciliation which requires at a minimum: admission of wrong doing, commitment to non-recurrence, and wherever possible reparative justice for individuals and communities. We cannot move on without addressing the past. It has not worked before and it will not work now. Cohesion requires that we are alive to the various chasms in Kenya today. Ethnicity is important, but so too are youth, women, marginalized communities and groups. We would expect to see this inclusion in the structuring of the dialogue as well as in its agenda setting. Kenyans must set the agenda for politicians and not the other way around.

Kenya belongs to all of us. This gesture of good will by President Kenyatta and Rt. Hon Odinga is a necessary step to re-building our connections but it is meaningless without resolute action. WE THE PEOPLE reiterate our support for national dialogue within the framework of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 which provides that all sovereign power belongs to the people and have clear processes for its amendment.

Further in the subsequent months as this process evolves we wish to emphasize the importance of resolving long standing issues such as:

1. Full Implementation of the TRUTH, JUSTICE and RECONCILIATION REPORT that has been shelved and ignored by the government for years, thus ensuring ordinary Kenyans do not get justice.

2. Fighting Corruption: Kenyans continue to lose their lives and future to corruption. We demand an immediate ban on all public/state officers and their families doing business with government and the arrest and prosecution of known corrupt officials. We cannot afford to continue losing 600 billion to corruption annually as the government drowns us further in debt to fill the financial gaps left by official theft.

3. Justice and Electoral reforms: There can be no peace without justice and the much needed reforms in our election system. We demand lasting solutions to ensure we do not have a repeat of the same injustices, election malpractices and deaths experienced in past elections.





Every Kenyan has a constitutional right to life and the loss of life during the electoral and post-election period is regrettable and calls out for accountability. While we can never fully compensate families for the loss of their loved ones, the government must compensate the families of Samathan Pendo, Geoffrey Mutinda and Stephanie Moraa along with the over 90 other Kenyans killed during the election period.

Accountability for actions is critical to re-setting the direction of the country. Without accountability there can be no justice. Accountability must start at the top. The resignation of IG J. Boinett as the head of the police who it has been documented used excessive force must precede dialogue even as we await investigations by the Police and IPOA on the individual cases.

In addition, a full audit of the 2017 elections must be conducted including an independent electoral and IT audit of the IEBC whose findings must be made public.



An alarming aspect of the political contestation has been the weakening of the rule of law and a flagrant disregard for the Constitution, law and court orders by politicians but also by the State and State actors. This situation has led to rising insecurity for regular Kenyans across the country from Mt. Elgon to Lamu and right here in Nairobi. It has also endangered devolution and the services provided by counties to the people with the delays in remittance of funds by the national government.

Meaningful dialogue, a dialogue that will move Kenya forward, requires that all persons, including political players and the State are bound by the law. As part of the commitment to the existing legal framework we expect full & immediate compliance with the law as well as all existing court orders.

Kenyans have a right to expect the protection of the law for their person and property whether a kiosk or their family shamba, and this protection is impossible if politicians and state officers continue to violate the law without sanction, emboldening criminal elements in the society to terrorize ordinary citizens.

In addition, we expect the revocation of all appointments done in contravention of the law (whether in terms or composition or in violation of the legal process) including those of Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretaries, Director of Public Prosecutions among others. We cannot build a new Kenya on illegalities.

Kenya has one of the most educated youth populations on the continent and it is no longer acceptable to keep excluding them from leadership. The youth are our present not just our future. The recycling of government and public service positions among a small clique of people, ethnicities and families must stop.



Wangari Maathai our own Nobel Laurent warned us of the importance of environmental conservation but we forget that she linked this to good governance. The urgent situation with the degradation of forests, the prioritization of infrastructure over environmental integrity and impact, is hurting ordinary Kenyans. Water shortages and drought are recurring issues that requires action now. We need development but not at the cost of our heritage and the inheritance we will leave to future generations.

This is an urgent matter that requires reconstituting parastatal and public-institution boards, in this sector and others, in natural resource management to ensure the highest levels of integrity, local community participation as well as diversity especially in terms of representation of youth and women.


For Pictures click here:

We-The-People Reject Election
31 October 2017

We-the-People is a citizen’s alliance that seeks to provide alternative public leadership in the national interest. It brings together a diverse group of leaders from trade unions, civil society, academia, faith-based organisations, the media, women, youth, people with disabilities, minorities and citizens at large who have come together to address the Kenyan crisis.

A week ago, We-the-People cautioned against rushing into an election for which the country was ill-prepared. Our call for a postponement of the election was not heeded, and sadly, our fears have been vindicated.

We-the-People assert that the October 26 election was neither credible nor legitimate, and was not legal for the following reasons:

  • The election was not conducted by an independent electoral management body. Former Commissioner Roselyn Akombe fled into exile saying the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) had become party to the country’s political crisis and was characterised by partisan decision-making at the highest levels. IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati affirmed her complaints and said he did not have confidence the Commission could conduct a credible election.
  • The election suffered from a historically low turnout, including the absence of participation in some parts of the country. This denies the election a broad based mandate.
  • The opposition boycott coupled with the effects of violence -- particularly by security agents -- meant the political environment was not supportive of a free, fair and credible election.
  • The refusal to obey the Supreme Court order to open the servers for scrutiny so as to determine what went wrong in August to avoid similar mistakes meant that there was a continuing violation of the law.
  • The management of the electoral process, as well as the results transmission and announcement, did not conform to the requirements of the Constitution. It mirrored issues raised in the petition to the Supreme Court, which annulled the results of the August 8 presidential election, including:

- Results based on far less than 100 per cent of each constituency’s polling stations

- Evidence of multiple Forms 34A from the same polling stations with different results

- Changing numbers in the Voter Register

- Forms 34B that are missing serial numbers

- Forms 34B printed in non-standard formats

- Notes and data missing from the hand-over and take-over sections

- Pages missing from published Forms 34B.


Rather than using the historic Supreme Court judgment to reform and raise electoral standards, the five-year cycle of electoral instability has been further entrenched. This is horribly costly in ways the nation cannot afford, and continues to create uncertainty and fear. The country needs to draw a line on this and raise the bar for elections once and for all.


We-the-People are concerned that a legal challenge is again probable, and far from resolving the failure of the August 8 election, it raises the prospect of yet another election being held within the 60 days as required by the Constitution; or, at the very least, an on-going political crisis with a protracted legal contest.


This means Kenya is not only back where it started in August, but it is also faced with a deepening and dangerous national crisis. We-the-People reject this illegal election, and also reject calls for another election in 90 days as these would have to be managed by what has now become a completely discredited electoral management body. Furthermore, the prevailing atmosphere of fear and violence cannot support another election so soon after the last two. The country would need to heal before it can conduct another election.

The country is in an escalating crisis that has been exacerbated rather than resolved by last week’s election.  It has resulted in more disruption, death and violence. Kenya is in the grip of a massive security crisis marked by impunity in state institutions.

We-the-People note the failure by the international community to support democracy in Kenya. Do Kenyans not deserve the highest standards of democracy?

There is a looming crisis of leadership, and the country needs instead a mechanism to reassert the sovereignty of the people.

Who is in charge of the country as these problems are resolved?

  • It is not clear whether the temporary incumbency arrangement is still in play.
  • There are limits on how the IEBC can be reformed with the diminished powers of the president during the temporary incumbency period
  • Mr Uhuru Kenyatta lacks broad public legitimacy, and it is unclear how the opposition’s resistance will impact his ability to effectively govern the country.


We-the-People seek to institute a mechanism to manage a transition period within a year in which we can properly reform the electoral management body and establish an agency that can genuinely deliver free, fair and credible elections, help reduce national tensions and divisions, and provide solace for victims and survivors.


We-the-People call on the country to work together to find creative ways to resolve this crisis and heal the tensions and injuries inflicted on the nation.

October 31, 2017

We-the-people press statement on the political situation in Kenya
24 October 2017
  1. Our consultations have convinced us that it is not possible to hold a free, fair and credible election on October 26, 2017 as scheduled.  We-the-People therefore demand that the election scheduled for October 26 be called off.
  2. Kenya is in a grave and deepening crisis, with ethnic militias mobilising and vernacular radio stations calling on people to prepare for war. Communities are arming themselves; politicians are making incendiary speeches and threatening violence.  Militia are being openly mobilised – even Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Fred Matiangi, is on record mobilising the ‘chinkororo’ in Kisii County. We are on the brink of bloodshed and hurtling towards catastrophe.
  3. We are greatly alarmed at the sight of public servants and members of the Cabinet wearing military fatigues at political rallies. This visual intimidation and show of might will not bring good tidings to the peoples of Kenya.
  4. We are also deeply disappointed at the broadcast of new advertisements from State House purportedly representing the people of Kenya and imploring the people to vote even when it is evident that a large chunk of the country will not take part in the forthcoming election. The current political and security environment in the country does not support elections under the constitutional principle of universal suffrage.
  5. Security officers deployed to police demonstrations demanding reforms ahead of fresh presidential election have caused scores of deaths and injuries, with evidence indicating that the use of lethal force was neither proportional to the seriousness of the offence nor strictly unavoidable to protect life. We are also deeply concerned by attacks on electoral officials by opposition supporters in parts of the country. We fear for the safety and lives of election staff who will manage the polling stations, and voters who may turn up, should the election go ahead. The exercise will neither confirm credibility nor confer any legitimacy on the winner.
  6. We-the-People demand that a national dialogue be convened to address the political situation in Kenya.  As we prepare for national dialogue, it is urgent that:
    1. Mr Wafula Chebukati, as the National Returning Officer for the presidential election, urgently seek the guidance of the Supreme Court in light of the present circumstances. It is a fact that the IEBC cannot deliver a free, fair and credible election on October 26, 2017.
    2. That the political leadership commit to the national dialogue, and de-escalate the rising tensions in the country. In order to achieve this, the President must refrain from assenting to and gazetting the Election laws Amendment Bill, 2017, while all political actors must commit not to mobilise their supporters for violence.
    3. Security forces must uphold the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and cease acts of brutality. The shocking number of deaths and injuries of protestors has been condemned nationally and internationally, and must cease immediately. We demand swift intervention from Independent Policing Oversight Authority, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions and other related State agencies for accountability and justice for these actions.
    4. The DPP release a status report on the IEBC officials currently being investigated for improprieties committed during the August 8. 2017 General Election.
  7. Putting off the October 26 election will not result in a constitutional crisis. We-the-People remind those clutching at this legal fig leaf that the judiciary has previously helped the country to identify election dates in 2012 under the current Constitution and can do so again.
  8. The electoral commission has power to postpone polling in the event that the environment is hostile to and will likely frustrate free, fair and credible elections. Further, the guidance of the Supreme Court on conducting a fresh election is required after one of the candidates announced his withdrawal from the race on the basis of a 2013 decision. The court had previously observed that a candidate abandoning a fresh presidential race should trigger an entirely fresh election, including the nomination of candidates. The High Court’s recent decision that the direction was obiter dicta and therefore not binding contradicts the advice of the Supreme Court that its obiter and advisory opinions are binding on other courts. The printing of ballot papers and declaration of a voting day cannot override the country’s needs for accountability, truth and justice.
  9. We-the-People call for the involvement of multiple stakeholders to national dialogue. It is only this form of dialogue, embracing a multi-stakeholder approach that can de-escalate the rising tensions and restore the country on a roadmap to peace, truth and justice at this important juncture by focusing on the following issues:
  10. Deep electoral reforms that bring an end to bungled and illegal and manipulated elections once and for all. Never again must we as Kenyans be placed in this situations where elections become a matter of life and death and disrupt country’s life.
  11. Accountability for the violence in the aftermath of the August 8, 2017 General Election
  12. Accountability for crimes and improprieties committed in the August 8, 2017 General Election by IEBC and other officials.
  1. Wide-ranging consultations this week – incorporating the entire spectrum of views -- have convinced us that it is impossible to deliver free, fair and credible elections on October 26, 2017. We are alarmed at the drums of war and unrest that cloud the national atmosphere and which may result in political, social and economic upheaval and long term instability that could drive this country to the abyss of civil strife. Proceeding with the election as planned will deepen the political crisis and push Kenya into another round of devastating violence. This must not happen at any cost.
  2. We-the-People conclude that the only way to stave off imminent large-scale violence is to stop the brinkmanship and call off the election to give our country time to properly handle and resolve the crisis. This includes receiving further direction from the courts.

Done in Nairobi AND dated 23rd of October, 2017.

Click here To Download the Signed Statement

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram