Kenya. After 20 years of debate, Kenya was given a new
constitution in August. In a referendum, 67 percent of
participants said yes to diminished presidential power and
increased decentralization of political influence. Many
issues where the president had the last say in the past
should now be dealt with by elected provincial assemblies. A
new chamber, a Senate, will be added to the Central
Parliament. The newly formed two-chamber parliament is given
the opportunity to put the president before the national
court. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Kenya's highly-criticized judicial system is
reorganized and a Supreme Court is set up.
Several controversial issues in the constitution sparked
uproarious debate and led to violence in the months leading
up to the vote. Christian groups were troubled by
formulations they interpreted as extending the right to
abortion, while large landowners feared that the appointment
of an expert group to examine the distribution of
agricultural and pasture land could lead to their being
deprived of their property. Over the decades, large areas of
state land have been privatized under questionable forms and
it is these transactions that need to be examined.
The uneven distribution of power is believed to have
contributed to the bloody riots after the 2007 elections. In
December, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said the
six suspects are Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta,
Former Education Minister William Ruto, Former National
Police Chief Mohammed Hussein Ali, State Administration
Chief Francis Muthaura, Minister of Industrialization Henry
Kosgey and Radio Chief Joshua Aang Sang.
The message sparked an uproar in Parliament, where a
majority called on the government to terminate the country's
accession to the Rome Statute, thereby breaking the ICC.
Several ministers condemned the court as a tool for Western
imperialism and urged other African states to leave the ICC.
One step in the attempts to heal the wounds after the
riots in 2007–08 was to form a unifying government. That it
still does not work without problems was shown at the
beginning of the year, when corruption cases were revealed
in the Ministry of Agriculture and Education. Prime Minister
Raila Odinga decided to temporarily suspend the two
responsible ministers, whereupon President Mwai Kibaki
immediately reinstated them. For a couple of weeks, the
circle of Odinga boycotted the government meetings. The
fragile balance of power was considered threatened before
Odinga and Kibaki, after several rounds of negotiation,
struck peace again.
Since the new constitution came into force, the fight
against widespread corruption seemed to be gaining momentum.
During the autumn the heads rolled. Among those convicted of
corruption charges were the Foreign Minister, the Minister
of Higher Studies, the capital of Nairobi's mayor and the
chairman of the Truth Commission appointed to investigate
the violence after the 2007 elections.
When Parliament voted in July to raise the salaries of
its members by 25 per cent to the equivalent of almost SEK
90,000 a month, angry people pulled out on the streets in
protest. The MPs argued that wage increases were reasonable
because they would be forced to start paying taxes. GDP per
capita and year in Kenya is about SEK 4,600.
A special court to investigate Somali pirates was
inaugurated in June in Mombasa funded by UN and EU, among