06 Aug

TAKE PRESS RELEASE FINAL August 6

1. IEBC

The IEBC situation demonstrates the corrupt reach of politics into every corner of Kenyan society. Politicians take advantage of crisis, some even fan the fires of these crisis’s, all for personal political advantage. 

What has been lost is any sense that politicians need to serve the public good; that politicians work for their constituents, not for themselves.

Kenyan politics has been turned upside down. The system now serves the desires of its leaders and not the people. 

Here’s the problem:

  • The IEBC situation has weakened public faith in government institutions and in the fairness of the electoral system. 

  • Undermining the IEBC has also undermined the integrity of the electoral system and a weakened electoral system is less able to fight against corruption and electoral fraud. 


What can be done?

  • We need to use this situation to re-emphasize the importance of having a credible, national electoral system  

  • We need a system that people can trust. 

  • We need a system that is independent and that operates free from the influence of political leaders and parties. 

  • We need all political parties to agree to a voting rights manifesto that (1) encourages, rather than creates hurdles, to voter registration; (2) that discourages election related violence and that (3) ensures that the IEBC and other national electoral-related agencies are allowed to operate independently, without government or political influence. 

  • In particular we need the following in place: 


    • Fraud detection systems: 

    • Amenability to audit processes: 

    • Independence in transmission of results 

    • Integration of voter and voting system/processes 

    • Resources  


2. School Crisis

We need to acknowledge the importance of education and how the current system is failing students, teachers and parents. We fear for the future of Kenya if we do not fix the problems in our education system today. 

Each one of us can tell of our educational journey and how education opened the doors that brought us from a life of struggle and poverty to doing the great things we all now do. The current discussion is focused on the cheating scandal. There is a suggestion that the government’s attempt to limit cheating through a series of reforms has prompted violence from either a cartel that makes money from selling exams or angry students who want to cheat. 

And while this might, in some way, be an accurate, diagnosis of the current situation, something very important is missing from this explanation. This explanation assumes a corrupt system in which students are willing participants; a system in which cheating is almost expected and institutionalized. This explanation puts the blame on either the students or other outside influences rather than taking a hard look at the system itself.

Here’s the problem: 

  • The nation’s educational system is failing students. The nation is not providing students a world-class education. In the end, Kenya is losing its competitiveness in the world. Resources are inadequate, and teachers are not prepared and sufficiently trained. In fact, the teacher-student ratio is wanting. 

  • Cost and access to education already limits too many young people from any kind of education at all.

  • This crisis and these school fires do not happen in a vacuum. These events are a reflection of the wider society, specifically our political system and dialogue. Our young people look at our politicians and politics and what they learn is that violence is acceptable. Violence is how one gets what one wants, violence is a tool toward an end. We cannot escape the truth that our politics have, in part, created this situation. 


What can be done?

We need to take this opportunity not merely to patch over the systemic problems that have created this crisis but instead, to use this moment to bring real and meaningful change to our educational system:

  • Education must be a right, not a privilege. 

  • It must be universal and open to all. 

  • Money should not determine access. We need to remove this barrier and create a system that is responsive to all children. We cannot survive as a nation when we educate some children, while we ignore others.

  • We need to overhaul how we do education in Kenya and invest in the future. We need to look at this investment as we would any other investment. This is critical to building our nation, no different than building roads or investing in national security. This is investing in our national security. 

  • And our politicians need to look at themselves. They have made this violence acceptable. We need a new politics. We need new leaders who will be role models for our young people and show them that violence is not the answer. 


3. Public opinion polls

Pubic opinion polls are a tool of the establishment to keep and maintain their position. At their best, they give us a window into the thoughts and perceptions of the nation, but at their worst, they are manipulated and used not as an expression of public opinion but as a way to influence public opinion. Today’s polls are concentrated on a failing leadership at both levels; they continue to paint them as popular even in the midst of misery among the populace occasioned by bad leadership. 

Here’s the problem:

  • Too often public opinion polls are used to divert attention from other more serious concerns. Whenever the discussion is about polls, it is time not spent discussing the real problems of the nation.

  • Political polls are a soap opera. Who is up and who is down. These polls do nothing to strengthen the nation or solve our problems.

  • These polls are also easily corrupted and can be manipulated to show any desired outcome. 


What can be done?

  • The only political opinion poll that matters is Election Day and we must do everything we can to make sure that we have an Election Day free of corruption, fraud and violence so that we have a fair and free Election.

  • We also need to make sure that not only is Election Day fair and free but also so is the lead up to Election Day. We need to make sure everyone is registered and we need to eliminate voter intimidation.

  • TAKE is not guided or influenced by polls. We do not need polls to know what we believe or what policies are best for the nation. We believe if the nation is given a free and fair opportunity to elect their leaders that the only poll that will matter is the one on Election Day. 


4. Kenya is Ready for an Alternative

TAKE was created not to further the ambitions of any politicians but as a response to the needs of the nation. In many ways, Jubilee and CORD are responsible for TAKE. These two parties have focused so much on battling each other that they have forgotten to pay attention to the nation. They have put their own interests above the interests of the nation and that is why the nation is now looking for an alternative. 

Here’s why TAKE is necessary:

  • The nation’s political leaders have lost touch with the people, and especially with the peoples real problems. 

  • The people no longer trust the government. The people want leaders who understand their lives, who are one of them. The people want leaders with a different set of life experiences than the current leaders. They want leaders with Ekuru’s and Thirdway’s narrative.


What can be done?

  • The nation needs change and that change is not going to come from the current political class and establishment. 

  • Change will come from the people. Change will come when the people have decided they have had enough of the corruption and the violence. 

  • That is why TAKE has gained so much support so quickly. The nation has decided it doesn’t want to wait any longer. The people want change now, and when they look around for a party and leaders with integrity and credibility and with real plans for our future, there is only one party. Only one alternative, TAKE.