Leta Siasa

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kenya Youth Movement: Who We Are


Background Information

(Profile provided to the Kenyan Democracy Project by Mwania Walter, Secretary General of the Kenya Youth Movement.)

The Kenya Youth Movement is a national initiative seeking to unite together all the Kenyan youth under one umbrella body for the sake of their political, economic and social prosperity. The youth constitute a large percentage of our population and over 60% of Kenya’s workforce. But even as such; they have been pushed to the periphery when it comes to matters of political and social, economic decision making. The movement has been in operation since 2003.

Rationale of a youth movement

The ideals behind the Kenya Youth Movement are build on the basis of equity of people in their pursuance of social basic needs and livelihoods, the necessary concern for the other. The youth lack any substantial representation in all social-economic and political spheres in Kenya and as such their interests have been disregarded for quite a long time. Decisions have been made from the local to the national levels which have grave impacts on the youth livelihoods. Besides, there is poor checks and balances on the functioning of the Members of Parliament. The Movement thus seeks to have civic, parliamentary district, regional and national representatives checking the utilization of every tax payers penny, influencing and formulating policy reforms that take into consideration their interests and those of the nation. The CDF, LATF, Bursary funds, Roads funds, HIV/AIDS funds are among the public resources where the Movement shall ensure that they are used for the benefit of the people.

Besides checking the functioning and operations of policy makers, the Movement strongly feels that to have a meaningful change in Kenya, there is a need for a generational change in the Kenyan leadership. This change must be ideologically driven and sphere headed by focused and visionary young leaders. In this regard, we seek to mainstream the young men and women of Kenya into active socio-economic and leadership affairs of this country. This shall be realized through building the capacity of the youth to stand for elective posts in the civic, parliamentary and presidential elections. Other sectors like the sports and Kenya Football Federation, The sugar boards, the City Councils, the councils, and all sectors touching directly on the livelihood of the youth then have to be governed and led by the youth for they suffer most when these sectors are performing below par. The youth are leaders for now and never the future for the future never comes since leaders never want let go power.

Moreover, the youth shall be involved in active processes of transforming the societies from participating in environmental conservation and protection, agricultural production, sports and talents development to mention a few.

Youth problems we seek to address

The movement seeks to address diverse problems affecting the youth including: -

  • Unfocused, and lack of visionary leadership
  • Political Oblivion
  • Unemployment
  • Poor sports management
  • No/minimal efforts to develop Sports and Talents
  • Exploitation by the employers
  • Drug – Abuse and HIV/AIDS prevalence
  • Lack of start up capital and or securities to begin businesses
  • Police harassment
  • Ignorance and illiteracy
  • Tribalism
  • Electoral Malpractices
  • Insecurity
  • Hunger
  • Teenage pregnancies
  • Environmental degradation
  • Corruption in the public service among others

Vision Statement

To provide a nationalistic and visionary alternative leadership.

Mission statement

To champion the process of general change in Kenyan Leadership and foster youth prosperity by uniting them nationally and promoting their participation in sustainable development through capacity building in social, economic and political affairs.


To give Kenya and Africa as a whole, an alternative approach to Social, Economic and Political development and independence by integrating the citizenry in the national development process.


The Kenya Youth Movement aims to:

1. Be the central body to provide a framework on how to address youth issues and co-ordinate youth programs throughout the country.

2. Give the youth a chance to elect their national leaders who best represent their interests.

3. Provide a national forum for the deliberations of youth affairs.

4. Integrate and promote youth participation in national development process.

5. Participate in national environmental conservations by mobilizing members to plant trees and participate in community clean up exercises.

6. Initiate comprehensive Civic Education enabling people shape public policy and advocate for national policy reform in all sectors at all levels.

7. Enhance agricultural development in efforts to empower people economically, eradicate national food insecurity and hence alleviate poverty.

8. Intensify the war on HIV/AIDS, Drug Abuse, Child Abuse and promoting both the rights of the girl and boy child.

9. Initiate Economic Empowerment ventures for the Youth and establish information Resource Centers.


· Governance and Leadership

Kenya Youth Movement seeks to promote the ideals of good governance among the youth and enhance their leadership capacities. This shall enable the youth to have the capacity to make informed decisions while electing their leaders as well as presenting themselves for elective posts in civic, parliamentary and presidential positions come general elections. Workshops and consultative forums across the country shall be organized to this effect.

· Youth Economic Empowerment

Lack of financial support for youth projects is a big deterrent in their quest for their economic prosperity. Banks are not easily accessible for loans to boost micro-financial ventures. Most of the youth are unemployed and prospecting entrepreneurs have no access to start up capital.

The KYM seeks to empower the youth economically by providing them with information on available and possible means and sources of funds to support their projects. The movement will also initiate self-employment projects for youth across the country.

· Sports & Talent Development

Sports are an aspect of life which affects the youth’s livelihoods and is currently a major means of employment. Poor sports management in the country is a cause for concern. Local young artistes in the music industry have worked extremely hard to improve the industry, and which has now turned to be one of the major employers in the country. We seek to push for policy reforms in all sporting activities in Kenya to suit the interests of the youth and enable them excel. We shall also seek to have youth managing sports in Kenya and especially in the KFF.

The movement shall undertake sporting activities across the country to identify talents nurture and develop them. The movement shall link talented youth to clubs both locally and internationally in line with promoting their social and economic well being.

· Community Development & Environmental Conservation

This program seeks to preserve and conserve the environment such that it may be able to support massive agricultural production to arrest the problems of food insecurity, hunger and poverty. The utilization of hybrid seeds and modern methods of farming shall be enhanced. This’ a multi sector programme addressing food insecurity, water and sanitary problems, community security problems, and environmental challenges. Workshops and practical lessons shall be undertaken.

· Health, HIV/AIDS & Drug abuse

HIV-Aids has been declared a global disaster and a threat to humanity. Much effort has been put in the fight against this scourge, but not without some shortcomings. Drug addiction and alcohol consumption among the youth are on the rise hence the high rate of crime and school dropouts. We seek to advocate for policy reforms on health sector to address youth reproductive issues and take the fight against HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse to the rural areas with an active participation of the youth.

· Human Rights Agenda

Though the current and previous Kenyan governments pledged to hold the rule of law and justice, the country’s human rights record is still questionable. Cases of police brutality, cold blood murder of crime suspects, delayed court cases, disruption of opposition political rallies, detention and torture of terrorism suspects, assault on journalist among others, are still rampant in Kenya. Human rights violations are in most cases meted out on the youth who are directly or indirectly linked to crimes.


  • KYM held a consultative forum at the Coast in September 2004 from the 23rd to the 25th at the Mombasa Polytechnic. The forum drew participants from Mombasa, Malindi, kilifi, Kwale and Taita Taveta districts and was attended by among other guests the Provincial Director of Social Services, coast.
  • We also have held consultative forums in Kenyan colleges and in the slums and the response if overwhelming.

Current Activities

· The Kenya Youth Movement is organizing numerous activities countrywide including the 27 & 28 th October 2005 on the proposed constitution and its impact and implications on the livelihoods of the youth.

Organizational Structure:


Board of Trustees

Three elder members of the society

The chairman

The Secretary General

The treasurer

National Secretariat


Secretary General


Organizing Secretary

Director of elections

And Their deputies

National Executive Committee

The national secretariat

The regional coordinators

National Delegates Council

The national secretariat

The regional coordinators

The constituency coordinators

District Councils

The constituency coordinators

Constituency Councils

The constituency coordinators

The ward coordinators

Ward councils

The ward coordinators


The Movement draws members from the youth and elder members of the society who subscribe to her ideals. We currently have a membership of 200 youth drawn from across the country.

Appeal for support

The movement seeks to address issues affecting the nation and the youth with quite a different approach. We haven’t yet reached a level of self-sustainability since we haven’t yet recruited members across the country who shall be paying fees to the movement. Before recruiting many more youth, we seek to enhance the capacity of the secretariat to coordinate participation of the members in various activities across Kenya.

The movement needs both structural and financial support. Your support will go a long way towards helping us set up an efficient secretariat and realizing our objectives. We believe change must emanate from focused and visionary leaders who are bringing paradigm shift in addressing the society’s problems and challenges.




Afya Centre, Mezzanine Floor 1,

Tel: 020-310245; Fax 020247842

Cell: 0723 514596; 0721 720841

E-mail: vijanakenya@yahoo.com

Miguna Demands Justice for Dr.Odhiambo Mbai

By MIGUNA MIGUNA* - 25 October 2005

With a brilliant smile that permanently exposed bright cotton white teeth between dimpled cheeks, Dr. Crispin Odhiambo Mbai was a beautiful man, with an exceptionally sharp mind and a tender heart.

I am using the word beauty in all its colourful connotations. But even this does not really capture the full nature and essence of this wonderful man whose life was cut short by an assassin’s bullets.

Dr. Mbai was more than a beautiful man, husband and father. The kind of beauty Odhiambo wuod Mbai possessed, and that I would like to write about today was more profound than the physical one; it was intellectual, spiritual and humane.

Odhiambo Mbai was what I have come to term as a full and complete human being – gingerly crafted by God, with an agile mind, a sense of fairness, originality, objectivity and vivacious commitment of purpose, especially on important matters affecting his fellow human beings. Why would anybody have wanted to kill such a person?

Someone senselessly killed Odhiambo Mbai that bright Sunday September morning. A fellow Kenya brutalized his body and thought that by so doing, Dr. Mbai’s intellectual contributions to humanity would be permanently undermined. The killers attempted to destroy his legacy and the fruits of his labour.

Sadly, those who killed Odhiambo Mbai

are still free, roaming our streets, cities and villages.

Those people may have killed other innocent Kenyans before and after that fateful Sunday, September 14th, 2003. Those cold-blooded murderers may be planning, if not already executing, another cowardly assassination. Why hasn’t the Kenyan government apprehended the perpetrators of this cowardly and grisly crime?

Dr. Crispin Odhiambo Mbai was a friend of mine. We met more than fifteen years ago at the University of Toronto. He was completing his PhD in Political Science, while I was completing my BA in Political Science, a degree program that I had started but had not finished because some busy bodies at Nyayo House had other ideas about me. He gave me hope and inspiration when nearly everyone was resigning to the ravages of dictatorship and the madness of the Big Man syndrome in Kenya. Why did they rob us of Dr. Odhiambo Mbai?

I have written and spoken with all kinds of people, including serving Cabinet Ministers in this Kibaki Government – asking, beseeching and coaxing them to assist us unravel what has now turned into a mystery murder case. First, I was reassured by a prominent Cabinet Minister that the Kibaki Government was diligently working on all the leads and that sooner or later the culprits would be brought to book. That has not happened.

On other occasions, my pestering emails and promptings have been met by either dead silence or blank but otherwise sympathetic empty expressions. Why has it taken this long to bring the murderers to book?

There was a time when a Cabinet Minister in this Kibaki Government said to me, nonchalantly, that “maybe we should hire you to handle this case.” At first, I thought the man was simply expressing exasperation at my unrelenting quiet campaign to see every available stone turned in order to resolve this case. Then it suddenly dawned on me that perhaps the minister saw me as naïve and wanted to sound sarcastic; demonstrating how ignorant I might have been about the weighty matters of state secrets that he must have been dealing with. I was, of course, never hired to pursue Dr. Mbai’s killers.

Since Dr. Mbai’s murder, my mind has never resigned. It has kept asking: why has this government that came to power on our collective backs, promising justice for the wrongs of the past, been lukewarm on pursuing the trails of the suspected murderers, some of whom were cited in Tanzania by a diligent investigative journalist from the East African Standard newspaper?

Dr. Crispin Odhiambo Mbai was the architect of devolution. He made the most significant single contribution in explaining this concept to politicians, intellectuals and ordinary citizens alike. His success in having devolution entrenched in the Bomas Draft lay in his soft spoken ability to cajole and explain fundamental concepts without sounding arrogant. With his dimpled smiles and warm voice, Odhiambo Mbai was capable, almost single-handedly, in ensuring that the overwhelming majority of Bomas delegates fully understood and appreciated how significant devolution would be for their future collective success and development as a united people. Who felt threatened by Dr. Mbai’s contributions?

In the Short Version of The Report of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission released on Wednesday the 18th day of September 2002, by the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission (CKRC) in Mombasa, the Commission explained the process that Dr. Mbai was murdered defending as follows:

We have always considered that the review is more than merely agreeing on the terms of the new constitution. It is about self-discovery and identity. It is to give voice to the people and to affirm their sovereignty. It is to give them an opportunity for reflection on our national and constitutional history. It is also an audit on our state and government, the first truly popular assessment of the record of present and past administrations. It is a process to discover how the ordinary person defines what is to be Kenyan, and to articulate their singular and multiple identities. It is to reaffirm our commitment to a united Kenya and to resolve to find a framework for the co-existence of communities. It is to agree on, and strengthen, national values and goals. It is to find, together, the devices to realize our collective vision of caring, humane and just society…The function of constitution is not merely to provide a framework for society but to bring into being or consolidate society itself...

The foregoing were the ideals, aspirations and dreams for which Odhiambo Mbai dedicated his life and that he eventually died for. Odhiambo Mbai believed that Kenyans deserve the space, peace and environment within which they can collectively work to rediscovery their true identities and national goals as a united and indivisible people.

If we cherish the ideals for which Dr. Mbai paid the ultimate price, then we, as patriotic Kenyans, must conduct the ongoing referendum campaign in a tolerant, understanding and peaceful manner. Our collective attention should be directed at expressing our sovereignty as a people while at the same time auditing the government’s record since taking power, particularly its role in advancing or sabotaging our dreams of bringing into life our collective vision of a caring, humane and just society. If our audit determines that either the referendum process or the Wako Draft fails to fulfill these dreams, then, we, as conscious people, must hold this government to account by voting NO on November 21st.

Dr. Mbai believed in true and fundamental devolution of government; not chimeras. In all his contributions at Bomas, he asserted the need for Kenyans to determine how much they were taxed, how their taxes were utilized and where. In essence, Dr. Mbai stood and died for the empowerment of all Kenyans, irrespective of their differences. Could this have been the real threat he posed?

As our politicians criss-cross our beautiful country looking for votes, oranges and bananas, Dr. Mbai would have demanded that our political leaders explain to the people how the Wako Draft would ensure that all future presidents relinquish excess powers, act fairly in addressing our national problems, demonstrate intelligence, integrity and sensitivity in handling all public affairs.

Dr. Mbai scarified his life so that Kenyans can live free of all excesses, including the perennial corrupt practices. Can our leaders please explain why justice has not been done in this case?


*The writer is a Kenyan practicing law in Toronto, Canada