Councils of elders are men’s domains, CJ Mutunga
A news item which was aired on TV on Tuesday caught Ms Rose Kawira’s attention. It was a story about Chief Justice, Dr Willy Mutunga, who was said to have started dialogue with councils of elders to have them formally accepted as arbitrators in the justice system.
Given the patriarchal nature of our society, Kawira notes that only men sit on these councils.
Kawira wonders if there is any provision for inclusion of women in the various traditional councils of elders and if so, what will happen in cases where constitutional provisions conflict with culture. She recalls that the CJ had a similar dilemma last year with his efforts to have Kadhis’ Courts embrace women magistrates.
She notes that councils of elders have since time immemorial been a domain of men and bets that they will fight hard to maintain status quo.
Kawira, who falls under the jurisdiction of Njuri Ncheke, wants assurance from the CJ that she would not be “a rat seeking justice from a court of cats” if her case was ever referred to the council.
Religious freedom has limits too
Lawyer Eric Kivuva read PointBlank article, “When religious fanatics die from treatable ailments” on May 1st with consternation. Mr Kivuva says it is disturbing that Kenyans, who fought for years for a new Constitution that would protect the rights of all don’t seem to appreciate the very rights assured by the same document.
The right to life as envisaged in Article 26 of the Constitution is a fundamental right, inherent right which everyone is born with. Not even an individual, he adds, has the right to take his/her own life.
While article 32 gives the right to freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion it must be viewed in light of article 24 which states that the fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be limited except by law and the limitation must be reasonable and justifiable in an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom.
A religious practice barring blood transfusion, or any other intervention to save life, can not be termed as reasonable and justifiable but a repugnant practice to human dignity and borders on criminal behaviour, Kivuva concludes.
Kilgoris’ daily darkness dose
Businesses in Kilgoris are suffering great losses due to frequent power outages, according to a resident Mr Samuel Kegwaro. It has become a routine, he says, for the town to be hit by blackouts between 7pm and 10am everyday. He adds that the ongoing rains have aggravated the situation and increased the frequency of outages.
“We have complained to KP emergency offices but nothing has beeen done. What is the use of having the KP emergency offices in Kilgoris if they cannot handle customer complaints,” he asks. Workers, he says, don’t seem to share their CEO’s vision for faster service delivery.
Exploitative certificate certifiers
The Ministry of Education, says David Wang’ang’a Thairu, recently issued a directive requiring that certification of academic documents be done by the institution that issued the certificates in a move aimed at curbing proliferation of fake certificates.
This, argues Wang’ang’a, is a bad move that the Minister for Education Mutula Kilonzo should rescind immediately.
Previously, DEOs, religious leaders, principals and head teachers were allowed to certify documents provided they were furnished with original documents. Firstly, Wang’ang’a says that the Kenya National Examinations Council only confirms results at a cost of Sh2,000 per copy and does not certify documents.
But even then, he says, the needy cannot afford to pay Sh2,000. “Recently, I wanted to apply for a TSC number, and was asked for certified copies of KCSE and KCPE certificates. I was required to pay Sh4,000 but was unable to,” he reveals.
His parting shot: This is untenable, greedy and killing of poor youths. I beg Mr Kilonzo to consider what this means for the thousands of us penniless jobseekers.”
Right of Reply
Thanks PointBlank for writing about this road
I would like to 100 per cent thank all PointBlank editors over the last five years for highlighting all complaints that I have written on the state of Miritini Estate road. The road was so deplorable at the entry point that I branded one of the potholes there the biggest in East Africa.
Due to your honest non-partisan journalism, the Municipal Council of Mombasa (MCM) finally contracted a company which is doing the road at the moment to appreciable standards. If it was not for you all, the road would still be unattended. I congratulate you, keep it up!
However, I request the MCM under the stewardship of Town Clerk Tubman Otieno to erect a barrier at the entry point like they did in Mikindani Estate because lorries exceeding 50 tonnes, including oil tankers, usually park with impunity inside the estate and contribute to the destruction of the road.
Let us only allow lorries of up to seven tonnes please and let the contractor put up a good water drainage system.
Lastly, I thank the MCM for addressing my complaint and promise to support them in all possible ways to return our estates to glory.
Gerald Mutua Mutiso,
Point of Order
Lets disband NHIF and save taxpayers’ money
The NHIF circus that we are being treated to can only get worse, predicts Tom Ogola. Mr Ogola argues that NHIF in its current form may never be able to deliver and changing it at the top won’t help much. “May be we should just disband it and have its more useful officers redeployed to public hospitals which need more support,” he suggests.