Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From the People's Parliament

"Bunge La Mwananchi (People's Parliament-Kenya) would like to inform you that even after notifying the Kenya Police of the intended rally according to the laws of our land, the OCS of Shauri Moyo Police Station, commanding at least 50 "rioting police", tear-gassed the citizens who had braved the morning cold to attend the citizens' rally. The police clobbered the leaders of Bunge La Mwananchi and the wananchi as soon as we had set up the public address system and put up the banner for our meeting which was to discuss the government heavy expenditures on the Members of Parliament's salary, the cost of running a bloated cabinet, the lack of jobs, deplorable housing conditions and high inflation that is causing basic commodities price increase amongst other issues.

Six leaders of Bunge La Mwananchi were taken hostage by the police for close to 8 hours at the Shauri Moyo police, according to the OCS he told us that he had received orders from above to stop the meeting and make arrests and we would have to wait until 5pm for him to communicate with his superiors. Thankfully, advocates Mbugua Murithii and Harun Ndubi came to our rescue.

The Bunge leaders were later released on police bond and required to report to the OCS on Tuesday 22nd April, 2008 at 8am, having been charged with the following: i) organizing an illegal meeting, ii) planning to incite the public and iii) causing disturbance.

Bunge La Mwananchi is concerned that even after the grand coalition government, Kenyan are yet to start experiencing grand reforms. Further, we are also concerned that the coalition governments is pushing hard for regional balance in the power sharing deal but the ordinary Kenyans wants to see social balance too. For instance, Ordinary Kenyans who earn Ksh. 25,000/- are experiencing a 40% inflation and such income is ussually geared for food whose prices have sky rocketed. To urgently begin addressing the lack of jobs, we want the coalition government to urgently make laws that will look at this problem as an emergency, for example, a new bill should be put in parliament to require all Government departments, Corporate, Embassies, Churches, CSOs, and NGO among others to employ at least 4 more people from the "pool of unemployed youth". On matters of equity and equal distribution of national cake, Bunge La Mwananchi is concerned that the Government of Kenya can afford the expensive Social Welfare Program for the Members of Parliament (see ) however, the government cannot afford to make available basic services for it is people such as electricity, sewerage, water and sanitation.

Bunge La Mwananchi will on 22nd April, 2008 be notifying the Kenya Police through OCS Shauri Moyo once again of another citizens' rally to be held on Saturday 26th April, 2008 as from 10am at Kamukunji grounds to dramatize the abovementioned issues and make our demands known to the coalition government of Kenya."

George Nyongesa

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