The Kenya Patriotic Movement (KEPAM) comes hot on the heels of multiple corruption scandals in the country as well as the spiraling of tribalism, nepotism and charged political undertones driven by tribal sentiments barely less than nine months to the next election.
KEPAM is designed to bring together Kenyans at home and in the Diaspora in the pursuit for social justice, civic awareness and engagements, fairness in the electoral processes, equity and equality and advocacy for accountable and transparency governance practices.
The Movement is an entity registered in Kenya as a trust pursuant to laws governing the same. The Proponents of this initiative believe that it will serve as a think tank to address several issues in the social-economic spectrums as it affects Kenyans at home and abroad.
The executive team of the movement are as follows, Mr. Joseph Lister Nyaringo is the Movement President, Albert Musasia, the Secretary General- all based in the United States. The Coordinator for Resource Mobilization is Cornelious Ole Sikawa. Mr. Karani Onsomu serves as the director for communication. The Coordinator representing the movement in Canada is Mr. Samuel Okemwa.
This is the first time in the history of Kenya, an organization with Diaspora roots is working directly with Kenyans in the homeland to catalyze positive change.
“KEPAM will fuse the synergies of Kenyans at home and abroad in the quest for good governance which is focused on addressing peoples despair and responding to emerging challenges in the country.” Says the President of the Movement Mr. Nyaringo’’
Further, KEPAM has two patrons in the Middle East, Mr. Eric Ashikoye Omune and Martin Ongadi; In Europe, we have Miss Dorah Atinda and Jackson Omondi as the movement patrons.
In the homeland, KEPAM will be led my Samson Omechi as national coordinator, Fred Ayieko as Organizing Secretary and Yusuf Kinoti as director for strategy. The director for programs and interest groups is Ms Emmy Isalambo while the director for fundraising is Mr. Joseph Magutu. The director for media and communication is Henry Omwebu.
“We strive to advocate for the unity of purpose for all Kenyans at home and abroad. We will also be seeking for practical solutions on poor governance, social injustice, inequality and erosion of democratic gains by the ruling elites,” said Mr. Fred Ayieko during the movement meeting held last weekend in a Nairobi Hotel.
Other KEPAM Regional Coordinators and Officers include: Wambwa Munguti representing Coast and lower eastern, Lotims Joseph representing marginalized communities (Turkana County); Mr. Wakoli Kunani representing Bungoma County; Mr. Sheik Noor Shek representing minority of northern Kenya (Wajir County).
As a movement, we cannot be spectators as the IEBC is being manipulated by the retired commissioners who are clinging on their positions despite being shown the exit door. KEPAM is concerned with the lackadaisical way the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is taking the process of Diaspora voting since the same is a constitutional right.
Besides, even facilitating the implementation of dual citizenship for Kenyans living abroad to enable them acquire new passports through its missions abroad has been totally ignored. At the home front, citizens are blank about constitutional provisions because of the slow base of civic education by the government.
Through information sharing, civic education and empowerment of vulnerable groups, the movement is taking the lead in the development of more viable democratic space in the Country through citizen participation. KEPAM will penetrate the villages to ensure that Kenyans get the requisite knowledge that will enable them to make sound decisions especially during 2017 elections.
We stand distinctively unique from other Civil Society organizations which have been criticized for dueling much in boardrooms instead of focusing on action plans in the grassroots where majority of Kenyans live. KEPAM will seize the opportunity to fearlessly speak for the downtrodden while condemning evils like corruption tribalism and nepotism and electoral fraud.
KEPAM has clear-cut caveats on how to identify the right leaders for the country. We will only endorse and support leaders on condition that they pass the integrity test as contained in Chapter 6 of the Constitution. Those who stand for social Justice, and empowering vulnerable groups like women and youth, will earn our support.
Citizens needs to understand their constitutional rights and privileges. We will ensure that copies of the Kenyan constitution are publicized in local languages. This is the surest way to build an informed citizenry especially on matters governance.
KEPAM is set to be launched in January 2017. It has a strong social media presence with a tweeter handler @KenyaPatriots and a website www.kepam254.org. The movement’s homeland hub is in Nairobi with a complete secretariat which will coordinate grassroots activities.