When the next generation of leaders forgets God: State, religion and the dilemma of the interpretation of article 8 of the Constitution of Kenya in the not-so-distant future.Posted: 27 March, 2023 Filed under: Alex Tamei | Tags: Article eight, Bomas draft, Christian values, Constitution of Kenya, corruption, Mukami Wangai, National Council of Churches, NCC, post–election violence, religion, religious leaders, religious practice, Samoei Ruto Leave a comment
Author: Alex Tamei
Law student, Kabarak University School of Law, Kenya
Article eight of the Constitution of Kenya states very succinctly that Kenya shall have no state religion, [i]effectively rendering Kenya a secular state. Several disagreements have arisen because of this minimalist approach taken by the constitution in addressing the relationship between religion and the state. An example is the numerous ‘headscarves cases’ [ii] which according to Mukami Wangai, brought to the surface the confusion in deciding exactly which strain of secularism the 2010 Constitution envisioned for Kenyans. [iii]
Shortly after his ascension to the seat of president of the republic, His Excellency William Samoei Ruto caused a fresh round of debate to ensue on the relationship between state and religion by inviting several clergymen into his official residence at statehouse. Naturally this rankled some people the wrong way. [iv] One such iteration of this debate occurred at Kabarak University during the second edition of the Meet the Author Series where Professor J. Osogo Ambani and a plenary of distinguished contributors came together to tackle the issue at hand through the lens of Professor Ambani’s book, Africa and the decolonization of state religious practice.
Ballot or bullet? Time for African youths to make a choicePosted: 17 October, 2022 Filed under: Murithi Antony | Tags: abstain from voting, bad leadership, contemporary African societies, corruption, democratic governance, economic development, good education, human rights, Peaceful elections, physiological well-being, post-election violence, power to refuse, protection, violence 8 Comments
Author: Murithi Antony
LL.B student, University of Embu
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants…”
– The Holy Bible, Deuteronomy 30:19 (Amplified Version)
The message in the Book of Deuteronomy generally is directed to the new generation that was born in the desert during the 40 years of wandering in which the generation of exodus passed away. The Book puts forward foundational truths, which if the young generation shall abide by, they will succeed. It states that there is life and death, and advises them to choose life, but leaves the option to their discretion. This can to a large extent be equated with the happenings of contemporary African societies whereby the current youth generation, which was born in the desert of problems, neo-colonialism, tribalism, corruption and violence have an opportunity to change the status quo through voting and advocating for peace. Similar to how the Israelites were given choices, the current generation also has a choice to either vote and take charge of their future; or abstain from voting, and choose political, social and economic death. I tell them: “Choose to vote, in order that you may take charge of your destiny, and your generation shall find a better place to live in.”
Call for a corruption-free Africa: A rights based approachPosted: 13 April, 2015 Filed under: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn | Tags: abuse, accountability, Africa, corruption, discrimination, failed government, human rights, impunity, public service systen, right to clean water, right to education, right to health care 1 Comment
Author: Dunia Mekonnen Tegegn
Human rights lawyer, Ethiopia
Corruption is a threat to human rights in that it erodes accountability and results in impunity. Given the interdependence of human rights, the impact of corruption on the whole spectrum of human rights; economic social and cultural rights as well as that of the civil and political rights is significant. It fundamentally distorts the machineries necessary for the realization of human rights namely good governance and rule of law.
Corruption undermines a government’s ability to deliver goods and services. It results in discriminations in the use and enjoyment of human rights. It further undermines the ability of individuals to access justice and corrode their role as active participants in decisions that affect them within the public service. Corruption has a disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups such as women, children and the poor as it decreases funds available for the provision of basic services like education, health and social services that these groups are mostly dependent on.
Chapter 9 institutions: for the sake of accountability and constitutional democracyPosted: 31 March, 2014 Filed under: Kenneth Sithebe | Tags: accountability, Chapter 9 institutions, constitution, constitutional democracy, corruption, democracy, good governance, human rights, investigate, Nkandla, President Zuma, Public Protector, rule of law, South Africa Leave a comment
Author: Kenneth Sithebe
Candidate Attorney, Centre for Child Law, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice beneath new generations. – Solzhenitsyn
It is in the wake of the Public Protector’s findings regarding an upgrade to the President Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla that, the importance and our tolerance for Chapter 9 institutions comes to the fore. Having presented her findings to the public, the Public Protector was hailed by some as a heroin to a South Africa that is ridden with corruption, whilst some questioned her credibility and the integrity of her office. It is submitted that these debates are ordinary in a vibrate democracy like South Africa’s and should be welcome. However, what should not be welcome are unsubstantiated remarks aimed at undermining the office of the Public Protector, or any of the other Chapter 9 institutions, namely, the South African Human Rights Commission; the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities; Commission for Gender Equality; the Auditor General; and Electoral Commission. These institutions, as provided for in section 181 of the Constitution, form a cornerstone to the sustenance of democracy and are important for the full realisation of other democratic principles such as accountability, respect for the rule of law and human rights.
Corruption in Ethiopia: Causes and remediesPosted: 4 July, 2013 Filed under: Daniel Behailu Geberamanuel | Tags: Africa, constitution, corruption, credibility, EPRDF, Ethiopia, Federal Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission of Ethiopia, Global Financial Integrity, human rights, independent judiciary, press freedom, rule of law, separation of power, seperation of power 7 Comments
Author: Daniel Behailu Geberamanuel
PhD student at Law Faculty of Giessen University, Germany
It is often heard (from all concerned) that corruption levels in Africa and particularly in Ethiopia are of concern. Corruption is not only a violation of law and order, but a massive cause for the exacerbation of poverty already entrenched in the society. It frustrates any genuine effort exerted towards societal and economic development both by the government and the people. The ill sides of corruption are not to be undermined nor should efforts to fight it be played up as a political game just to prolong the life of a specific regime posing as the “good guy”. The fight against corruption must not be a tactical step for public attention and a ploy to win the sympathy of people. The fight against corruption by all Ethiopian stakeholders should investigate the root causes of corruption to address the problem sustainably for the following reasons: Ethiopia is cultivating tens and thousands of graduates from universities and technical colleges every year and the lack of jobs is becoming a serious concern.
According to a report by Global Financial Integrity, Ethiopia lost close to $12 billion since 2000 to illicit financial outflows. This is simply disaster in the making. The government must be serious in its fight against corruption because the government’s credibility and whatever level of legitimacy it might have been commanding is put to question. Therefore, in the government cadres’ language, “fighting corruption ought to be a survival issue”.
Every time I hear of anti-corruption efforts in my country, my pain is immense and is summed up by a phrase in the Amharic language “sedo masaded”, roughly translated as “trying to arrest after cutting lose”; the question is why “cut lose”? Why not fix the fence? Why not shut the door to thieves and the corrupt? The question for all of us is how to secure the house. The solution lies in “institutionalising the rule of law”; subsequently, if anyone subverts the system, all due processes of the law must ensue and no one should be considered or consider themselves above the law.