Speech Given By Mr. John Henry Juma, Board of Directors, Transparency International Kenya, During the Kagua Kiongozi Awards Held on 14th July, 2017 at Daystar University, Valley Road Campus
Our host today, Dr. Bertha Kaimenyi, School of Communication Language and Performing Arts, Daystar University
Invited guests, Participants of the Kagua Kiongozi Video Competition, ladies and gentlemen
I am happy to join you today in celebrating the Kagua Kiongozi Video Competition winners and the contribution of the youth towards an informed citizenry in electoral issues.
Kagua Kiongozi project is among TI-Kenya’s election interventions being implemented in Uasin Gishu and Machakos Counties, and at the national level through media advocacy ahead of the August 2017 General Elections. The intervention includes Social Vetting Forums dubbed #KaguaKiongozi (Vet your leader) to influence the election of individuals that espouse integrity.
The project feeds into TI-Kenya’s strategic objective of ‘empowered citizens with the capacity to fight corruption and associated vices’. As we all know, the principle of public participation is a key pillar of the Constitution of Kenya and is one of the national values and principles of governance. TI-Kenya thus seeks to contribute to the generation of knowledge that can help citizens build political capital that will enable them to contribute towards the election of individuals of integrity to public office and strengthen transparency and credibility in the electoral process as envisaged by the Constitution.
TI-Kenya has over the years developed expertise in pushing for electoral reforms and amassed knowledge and programmatic expertise towards building a strong foundation of transparency, accountability and integrity in the electoral process in Kenya.
We envision a stable, vibrant, accountable, transparent and democratic political system in Kenya. Our mission in Kenya’s electoral landscape is to promote transparent, free and fair elections through research; policy, legislative and institutional advocacy; voter education and monitoring.
Chapter Six of the Constitution addresses leadership and integrity principles that all public officials must adhere to. TI-Kenya has been consistent in advocating for the implementation of the requirements of Chapter Six by the relevant agencies.
In April 2017, TI-Kenya with partners under the National Integrity Alliance (NIA), launched the Red Card Campaign. The campaign is seeking to bar corrupt and unethical individuals from ascending to public office, raise voter awareness and egg on frontline institutions to hold the promise of Chapter Six.
Vetting of leaders is another important activity TI-Kenya has undertaken to ensure that leaders of integrity are elected. We have thus been mobilising citizens to undertake social vetting of candidates and provide information that touches on their integrity to the relevant bodies. Building civic capacity for social vetting and reporting cases of electoral corruption is thus key.
Through the short clips produced in the video competition, we intend to create awareness on various electoral themes including social vetting, voter bribery, and the role citizens can play in monitoring funding for campaign activities and reporting malpractices. As we intensify voter education efforts in the run up to the elections in August, we will disseminate these videos in our outreach events and through social media, to enhance citizens’ capacity to influence integrity and accountability as constitutional benchmarks in the elections.
I extend TI-Kenya’s gratitude to the institutions and individuals who took part in the Kagua Kiongozi Video Competition. I also appreciate the judges for taking their time to assess the video entries.
Let us continue to spread the following message: Vet your leader before you vote and make an informed decision by voting for individuals that espouse integrity.
Thank you and congratulations to the winners.