We the People is a group of trade unions, civil society organisations, the academia, the media and wananchi at large who came together over during the just concluded election to address the political crisis that gripped the country. We are united by the commitment to realising the aspirations of Kenyans for a nation founded on the essential values of human rights, freedom, democracy, justice and the rule of law.
On Sunday evening the 3rd of December 2017 Dr. David Ndii was accosted by seven policemen while on a private visit to Leopard Beach Hotel in Kwale, Mombasa. The policemen, acting without a warrant and unable to explain what they were investigating, proceeded to search the belongings of Dr. Ndii and his wife Mwende. The officers lied to Dr. Ndii’s family that he had been held at Diani Police Station while in actual fact he was driven incommunicado through the night, across Tsavo National Park to CID headquarters here in Nairobi.
The nature of the arrest marks yet another deep attack by the Jubilee regime on the basic freedoms that Kenyans have struggled for so long for. The last time this kind of sinister impunity in the use of the police to enforce the political agenda of the ruling regime was evidenced in this country was in the 1970s during the reign of Jomo Kenyatta. Under the one party dictatorship of Daniel Arap Moi, use of state agents to silence critics, intellectuals, civil society and the opposition continued but was curbed through popular dissent. Under Uhuru Kenyatta, the trend of state intimidation, harassment and murder is creeping back. It is a sad day for Kenya that this kind of democratic reversal can take place a mere seven years since the promulgation of a new liberal constitution.
Dr. Ndii was questioned and was eventually charged with incitement. The purported articles that formed the bulk of his questioning were not genuine, published in a gutter press publication called the Citizen and a website known as Tuko. These articles, placed in the gutter press, do not meet the high standards of Dr David Ndii’s intellectual analysis of Kenya’s political economy. They were clearly authored by persons of dubious intellect and capacity.
This is not a legal issue emerging out of an investigation or some infraction of the law – it is political harassment. Dr. David Ndii, in addition to being Kenya’s most accomplished economist is also an advisor to the National Super Alliance (NASA). This is an attack on the most basic freedoms Kenya enjoys, a herald of things to come. The backward and repressive methodology of ‘disappearing’ people who were considered troublesome to the regime harks back to the 1970s. The same dark arts were deployed in the torture and murder of Chris Msando of the IEBC as recently as August. The police, under the direction of the Jubilee administration have gone rogue.
The abduction and murder of persons like Chris Msando and Willy Kimani rings a bell. Like Father John Anthony Kaizer, Robert Ouko and J.M Kariuki, they were abducted by state security agents, held incommunicado before being brutally tortured and murdered. The arbitrary arrest of Dr David Ndii who was held incommunicado for several hours and driven to Nairobi through the Tsavo National Park epitomises the torturous nature of the current regime and its intolerance of intellectual freedom, free expression, thought, criticism and respect for fundamental human rights.
Dr. David Ndii is an intellectual leader in this region. He has advised governments in Kenya and Rwanda among other countries where he has worked. We are clear that the current effort is aimed at returning a climate of fear into the conduct of national affairs. It is aimed at causing Kenyans to shy away from debating even issues of national interest that affect their lives. We the people of Kenya are resilient and will not relent in the struggle to sustain our constitutional rights and freedoms.
We will continue to hold the government accountable for its actions including corruption, misuse of public funds, repression, police brutality and stolen elections. In exercise of these civil and political rights guaranteed under the Constitution and which Dr David Ndii espouses, Kenyans will not be intimidated by the wrongful exercise of authority exercised by the state in this instance. Our fundamental rights and freedoms as citizens are non-negotiable!
Issued this 6th Day of December 2017 in Nairobi By We the People
Africa Centre for Open Governance (AfriCOG) is an independent non-profit organization whose governance and anti-corruption reform initiatives are aimed at addressing the structural causes of Kenya’s governance crisis while facilitating permanent civic vigilance..read more