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45–152 CC








JULY 30, 1997

Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations

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BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
JAY KIM, California
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JON FOX, Pennsylvania
LINDSEY GRAHAM, South Carolina
ROY BLUNT, Missouri
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SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
PAT DANNER, Missouri
WALTER CAPPS, California
BRAD SHERMAN, California
BOB CLEMENT, Tennessee
BILL LUTHER, Minnesota
JIM DAVIS, Florida
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Democratic Chief of Staff
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Subcommittee on Africa
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California, Chairman
TOM CAMPBELL, California
JIM DAVIS, Florida
TOM SHEEHY, Staff Director
GREG SIMPKINS, Professional Staff Member
JODI CHRISTIANSEN, Democratic Professional Staff Member


    Hon. William H. Twaddell, Acting Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State
    Hon. Carol Peasley, Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development
    Ambassador Benjamin Edgar Kipkorir, Republic of Kenya
    Mr. James J. Silk, Director, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights
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Prepared statements:
Hon. Donald M. Payne, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey
Hon. Robert Menendez, a Representative in Congress from New Jersey
Rev. Mutava Musyimi, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches
Hon. William H. Twaddell
Hon. Carol Peasley
Ambassador Benjamin Edgar Kipkorir
Mr. James J. Silk
Additional material submitted:
Letter of July 28, 1997, from Daniel T. Arap Moi, President of the Republic of Kenya, to Congressman Donald Payne
Statement of correction by Ambassador Benjamin Edgar Kipkorir
Testimony submitted by the National Council of Churches of Kenya
Testimony submitted by Mr. Anthony Njui, National Executive Secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission, Kenya Episcopal Conference

House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Africa,
Committee on International Relations,
Washington, DC.

    The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2 p.m. in room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Ed Royce, chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding.
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    Mr. ROYCE. This hearing will come to order.
    Today's hearing will examine the political turmoil in Kenya as civil society and the political opposition demand changes in the electoral process. There have been demonstrations, government commissions, constitutional conferences, and now talks between the Kenyan Government and those calling for reform.
    Proposals for reform by Kenyan civil society have been promptly rejected by the Kenyan Government. The demonstrations that have resulted have sparked violence and several deaths. They have provoked some dialog between the government and the reformers as well. It remains to be seen what tangible results these new talks will achieve.
    In 1983, the Kenyan Parliament adopted the infamous Section 2(a), which legally mandated a one-party State. Domestic and international pressure to amend the Constitution to allow for multiparty democracy succeeded in 1991, and the next year Kenya held multiparty elections.
    But while Section 2(a) was dropped, other constitutional provisions inhibiting freedom of assembly and speech remain on the books. Along with government domination of the broadcast media, these provisions prevented an even election environment in 1992.
    It is fashionable to bash the Kenyan Government for preventing a more open election in 1992. These criticisms may be justified, but Kenyans also blamed the political opposition. It was the failure of top opposition leaders to unite that has been cited as the greatest factor in President Daniel Moi's reelection with only 36 percent of the vote. The 1991/1992 period seems to be repeating itself, only over a shorter timeframe.
    Since elections must be held by the end of next March, time is running out for the process of negotiating and enacting the constitutional or statutory reforms needed to allow for fair and free elections.
    This hearing will examine what the United States has done since the 1992 Kenyan elections to encourage the reforms needed to facilitate those fair and free elections. Kenya is a long-standing Western ally, and the United States and other Western nations have considerable influence there. Since the mid-1980's, it is estimated that foreign aid donors have given Kenya more than $8 billion in aid. I believe we have failed to use our combined influence effectively.
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    We also will hear about the movement to demand electoral reforms and even wider changes to ensure the human rights of all Kenyan citizens. The initial Kenyan Government reaction to recent demonstrations for reform was brutal, to say the least. Nine people were killed and dozens of others were injured by overzealous police 3 weeks ago. This prompted several Members of this Committee to write a letter to President Moi calling for government restraint. Since then, President Moi has agreed to talks on reform, and we will hear from the Kenyan Government on how those talks are proceeding.
    Before we proceed, I want to recognize the Members of the Subcommittee who are present at this time: We have Mr. Alcee Hastings from Florida with us. Mr. Tom Campbell of California, and, of course, Mr. Don Payne of New Jersey. I will ask—does anyone want to make a statement at this time?
    Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chairman, I will be very brief, with your permission.
    Mr. ROYCE. Absolutely.
    Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you very kindly, Mr. Chairman.
    First, let me thank you for organizing this timely and most important hearing on an issue that is of paramount importance to all of us, and specifically to the people of Kenya and the people of the African continent.
    Mr. Chairman, I welcome, as I am sure you do and our other colleagues, our colleague, who has been a preeminent leader in the African continent's concerns. We look forward to hearing from Donald Payne. I hope you do remind him to submit his statement and summarize.
    Mr. ROYCE. I will take the responsibility for that, Mr. Hastings, so that you won't have to.
    Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chairman, I commend the Kenyan people, who have demonstrated their love of peace and law and order and civility. While I also recognize that President Moi's initial response to domestic and international pressure to allow meaningful constitutional reform, I would continue to urge, as I am sure we will, the Government of Kenya to take all necessary steps to avoid any more violence.
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    For the past 19 years, President Moi has continually ignored the demands of many people in Kenya for democracy and constitutional reform. Three years ago, Congressman Payne and I, along with Harry Johnston, visited there and we heard from many of those persons of their continuing concern.
    Given the recent example of Mr. Mobutu and others, it does appear that the African people are beginning to tire of some of the old-line leaders and are going to do what they have to to rid themselves of what they perceive, and rightfully so, as scourges which suppress them.
    To ensure that total chaos and rebellion do not rule in Kenya, causing countless deaths and injuries to people and loss of property, the United States has to take some strong measures. And I believe that those strong measures cannot only come from us as policymakers, I think the executive branch of government, all the way up to the Secretary of State and the President, are going to have to involve themselves early on, as I am sure they are preparing to undertake certain measures to make sure that this area of Africa does not explode.
    Toward that end, Mr. Chairman, and through the good graces of your office, I recently introduced H. Con. Resolution 130, and I urge my colleagues to join me in this resolution, which condemns those who are inciting others to violence or looting and destroying property. And by that I mean all of the people who are doing it, calling for the creation of a unified prodemocracy movement and urging free and fair elections.
    In addition, we would urge the U.S. Government and the international community, who are to be complimented, particularly the 22 embassies that applied the appropriate pressure at the appropriate time to allow for free and active demonstrations in Kenya, but we would continue through this resolution to call upon them to exert pressure on the Government in Kenya to ensure a lasting transition to democracy.
    I believe it is necessary to act swiftly on Kenya, Mr. Chairman, to avoid another disaster in Africa. We have seen them in Zaire and Sierra Leone and your recent resolution dealing with Congo-Brazzaville and others. Much progress on all fronts has been made throughout the continent, and I feel it is incumbent upon us to push President Moi and his government harder to allow meaningful constitutional reform in Kenya.
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    I thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Hastings.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. No comment. We will just get to our colleague faster that way. Thanks.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Campbell.
    We invite witnesses to submit the full text of their testimony for the record.
    We had invited Reverend Mutava Musyimi, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, but, unfortunately, he was unable to be with us today. We are entering his prepared statement into the record, and we are distributing his statement as well here at this hearing.
    [The prepared statement of Rev. Musyimi appears in the appendix.]
    On our first panel, it is a pleasure to have Congressman Donald Payne, a distinguished Member of this Subcommittee, who has long been active on Africa issues. He recently visited Kenya, as have two other Members of the Subcommittee, Mr. Campbell, and, of course, Mr. Hastings.
    Mr. Payne.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And I will certainly take in advisement the comments of my colleague from Florida.
    Mr. Campbell, Mr. Hastings, thank you for giving me this opportunity to share with you my thoughts on my recent trip to Kenya.
    I will ask that my entire statement be submitted for the record.
    Kenya is one of the most important countries in Africa, as we all know. It is a country where the United States still has important strategic interests. From the rescue mission in Rwanda to the peacekeeping effort in Somalia, Kenya played a pivotal role by providing access to its ports and airfields and other military facilities. At the United Nations, Kenya continues to provide important support to the U.S. policy objectives.
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    We must also recognize Kenya for its leadership on regional issues, most recently the IGAD peace initiative on Sudan, chairing the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and its most recent access agreement that will continue to allow the U.S. aircraft from NATO countries to use Mombasa and other airfields in Kenya for rapid response.
    My most recent visit was 3 weeks ago, when I met with President Moi for nearly an hour early in the morning of July 7th. July 7th, as we all know was Saba Saba, which is a day that rallies for nonpartisan elections were held, and it commemorates the anniversary when the opposition forces questioned illegalities in the multiparty system.
    I went to offer my help, but mainly to listen. My mission had two principal objectives: One, to urge the President to meet with opposition and religious leaders to discuss opposition demands for constitutional reforms; and, two, to encourage the government to create a level playing field for the upcoming elections so far as the media and electronic media and the printed press.
    I also delivered a personal letter from President Clinton to Mr. Moi that I understand reiterated these and other concerns that President Clinton had.
    I met with President Moi to discuss a wide range of issues. Mr. Moi assured me that he will do whatever it takes to find a peaceful solution to Kenya's political problems. He said he was prepared to meet with the opposition, except that there were so many and so fragmentized that it was difficult to consider the legitimate leaders.
    Mr. Chairman, colleagues, I am pleased to report, as you know, that Mr. Moi did meet with the opposition and religious leaders several days after I left Nairobi and agreed to discuss constitutional reforms with opposition leaders. And I know that the letter was signed by many of the members which also had a bearing on the movement in the government.
    I also would like to compliment Congressman Hastings, because I am sure that it is known that H. Con. Res. 130 has been introduced, and I am proud to say I am an original cosponsor, and all of these collectively sometime will be, hopefully, the positive straw that might break the camel's back.
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    This is an important development, the meeting with the religious leaders and opposition leaders, and the discussion of constitutional reform. It is important, and we are certainly encouraged by this slight movement.
    Yesterday, I received a letter from President Moi, and I would quote, and I will ask that the letter be introduced for the record in its entirety, but I will just take a few quotes from it. Mr. Moi wrote to me: ''When you were in Kenya, we were going through some difficulties, and since then, matters have moved considerably faster, and we are working hard to see that Kenya does not witness any more problems experienced on July 7th. We have already held useful discussions with some concerned parties, and various legal drafts have been drawn up for future discussions as relates to the Constitution.''
    He did add, though, that, ''The whole confrontation was unnecessary and was forced on my government.''
    Due to the general strike called by the opposition and the street violence that was occurring while I was trying to move through Kenya, I was unable to meet with the opposition leaders on that day of July 7th. However, I did let the opposition leaders know the purpose of my visit and the intent that I had to meet with them on that Monday but was unable to.
    I will note that in January, with Congressman Campbell's Codel, he and I had an opportunity to meet with all of the opposition leaders, and at that time in January we did discuss issues with the various political leaders at that time.
    We have to engage both the government and the opposition in a constructive dialog. And let me just stress that the opposition has a responsibility, too, and that is one thing that is lacking as much as the government's position.
    It is not the sole responsibility of the government to strive for a stable and prosperous Kenya; the opposition is also responsible to build a strong, cohesive Kenya.
    There are some people who would like to see Mr. Moi leave power, and perhaps a time has come for that, but, ironically, this has also been the core demand of some in the opposition. It is inconsistent, though, because Mr. Moi was elected by the people in a relatively fair and free election, and if it is his will to run again, he should certainly have that opportunity, and the people should speak.
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    Also, the issue of concern in the Public Order Act is something that is somewhat of a paradox, because even here in the United States we must obtain something similar to a permit if we are to hold rallies in certain public domains. Therefore, I don't suppose it should be any different in Kenya.
    When the Million Man March came to Washington, there was some discussion at the time because a permit had not been requested by the leaders of the march, and the Congress unanimously—I, as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, did inform the marchers that it was necessary to have a permit.
    So when I just cite this as an example that although the Public Order Act seemed repressive because in many instances the permit would not be granted, it is not uncommon for us, even here in our country, to request permits for certain types of meetings. So we need to look at the broader picture, although I do think that this tool is used as a tool for the government, but let's recall that we do need permits here, too.
    I agree that Kenya should be held to a higher standard because, as we all know, they were the first to take the lead to make a commitment for change during the period of colonialism, the independence, and Jomo Kenyatta and Mr. Moi and Mr. Tom Mboya, that led for independence of many of the African countries. Although they did not benefit first, it was the move that started in Kenya. So we do look to them perhaps at a higher standard. However, our government should apply the same standard of measure across the board as we do try to evaluate other countries on the continent.
    In conclusion, let me say that it is time that we clearly define our objectives in Kenya and in Africa in general. During this post-cold war era, we should try our best to implement U.S. goals toward Africa that are in concert with our goals of democratization, human rights, economic stability, a market economy, but also primarily to see that the people of Africa can have an improved quality of life.
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    I am certainly encouraged by this new beginning that the President has said he is interested in moving toward trying to have more dialog with the opposition. I think only time will tell whether this will come to fruition.
    But once again, let me thank my colleagues for giving me this opportunity to speak on Kenya. If you have any questions, I will be glad to try to answer them. But if you don't, I won't feel bad.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Payne appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you very much, Mr. Payne.
    Let me, besides thanking you for your analysis, say that we do want to move, as soon as possible, on the resolution that Mr. Hastings has introduced on Kenya. It is our hope that passage of that resolution will assist in encouraging these reforms. And I understand other Members have resolutions before us, too. So we will have a markup session soon.
    Let me ask a question, if I may. The 1992 Kenyan elections were considered flawed, but they were considered acceptable. Is it possible to achieve a reasonably free and fair election under the current conditions?
    Mr. PAYNE. After leaving and seeing what has happened since my trip, I had the privilege to meet with one of his permanent secretaries who came to the United States, and on last Tuesday—her name escapes me, but——
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Prescott.
    Mr. PAYNE. Yes, right. And I even sent another letter back with her to the President.
    I do believe that Kenya has become extremely concerned about the situation. I think that it perhaps had deteriorated much more than the President recognized. I brought out, for example, the paramilitary group of young men that wear army fatigues, young men that may be between 16 and 21, and they are not armed but they carry batons to sort of assist in peacekeeping, assist the Army.
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    Well, I made it very clear that this group, untrained, undisciplined, creates more havoc and much of the havoc that I saw that day, I saw these roaming groups of young men with these terrible batons. I raised this issue to the permanent secretary, and this was something I suggested that perhaps the government look at and perhaps even think of disbanding this group.
    So there seems to be a new awareness. I do feel that if the pressure continues—as you know, the 22 ambassadors from the Western countries and Japan have a working group. They have given some other ultimatums to the government. I am optimistic that there is a possibility for fair and free elections if the momentum continues in the way it is going.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you.
    Let me also ask you a followup question. When President Kenyatta was in power, the Kikuyu people gained many special benefits at that time in Kenya. Under President Moi, the Kalenjin people are especially benefiting today from his rule.
    Is there hope of breaking the cycle of what some people consider almost an ethnic spoils system in Kenya in the near future?
    Mr. PAYNE. That was something that we discussed very frankly with him. One of his arguments was about multiparty systems. He talked about the fragmentation of the parties, there was the Ford party, and then it became Ford I and II, and now there is a third party from that original party that was created. The unfortunate part is that much of the opposition has broken down into ethnic groups.
    His argument against multiparty elections was because, as you know, the KANU party was the only party up until pressure from the West suggested that they have multiparty elections in 1992. Reluctantly he had multiparty elections but uses the fact that multipartyism is almost interpreted by local people as tribalism or ethnic groups and that the parties break down into ethnic groups. And that is one of his arguments, he said, why he has difficulty with multiparty elections.
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    He is aware of the fact that ethnicity has become a real issue and there has to be a commission formed, as there was an attempt to do in Rwanda, actually, before the crash killed the two Presidents, where a system was developed where there would no longer be a dominance of one ethnic group over the other, that all missions had to have multipartyisms, and he pointed out that most of his ambassadors abroad are actually from other ethnic groups, and he said that there is an attempt to do that. Once again, it remains to be seen.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Congressman Payne.
    Before I ask Mr. Hastings if he has any questions, let me just recognize Mr. Luther from Minnesota, who has joined us and who was very supportive last week on the floor as we brought up resolutions on the Congo and Sierra Leone.
    And I am glad to recognize you for that.
    Mr. LUTHER. Thank you.
    Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Hastings.
    Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Payne, you have been on the African continent more than all of us here combined and doing that for more years even before coming to Congress.
    I might add, I haven't solicited our colleagues yet, but I do intend to, Mr. Chairman, solicit all of the Members of the Africa Subcommittee and the International Relations Committee to join in the potential for Mr. Payne to receive just recognition through an organization that makes allowances for recognition of individuals that have done extraordinary work. I just take this opportunity to put it on the table publicly, but I will be back to everybody on it privately.
    I know that you have been in countries after they exploded, you have been in them before they exploded, and you have been in them when they exploded. And in light of the fact that you are our most recent Member—and I compliment Tom Campbell for doing similar kind of work—most recent Member to visit there, and recognizing the stability factor that Kenya has provided for the Horn of Africa for a substantial number of years, when you and I were there, for example, we visited in Mombasa, if you recall, a refugee camp that had a substantial number of Somalians in it.
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    Mr. PAYNE. That is right.
    Mr. HASTINGS. And there were other refugees in the northern portion, that we didn't visit, that were from other places, as well as Kenya was a host for trying to mediate the Sudanese crisis.
    It is also a tremendous air hub for activity in and out, both in the international human arena of trying to provide food assistance, as you have done so well during the course of your life, as well as commercial.
    Mr. PAYNE. Yes.
    Mr. HASTINGS. And I am just curious if you would give us your sense of the real potential for chaos there, and if such chaos—and God forbid that it should occur—were to happen, what do you feel would be the implications for that region of Africa?
    Mr. PAYNE. Well, thank you very much, and thank you for the compliments.
    It would be disastrous, really, if Kenya went. As you know, in the old days, under the colonial rule—fortunately, it has broken down since—the East African community, made up of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, this was one of the areas that were connected by rail, by road, by plane, and Kenya was really the leader in that East African community.
    As you indicated, the Sudan, you have the question of the neighbors dependent on what happens in Kenya.
    I did mention to Mr. Moi that you have retired Presidents like Mr. Kaunda, Kenneth Kaunda, who took an election, lost in Zambia, and retired after 27 years. You have Mr. Banda in Malawi who, after 31 years—as a matter of fact, his title was life President, but he allowed multiparty elections, was defeated, went back to his village. And they are living with a great deal of pride and prestige.
    Of course, you have Mr. Mobutu, who, for 32 years, was the scourge of Africa, robbing, looting the country with tremendous wealth, but has no functioning hospital, no universities, no judicial—it is a shame; it is a shame on Africa—which is the other example of how you can end up in disgrace, in exile somewhere on a continent.
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    I think that if Kenya does not make it, it would be a domino effect for the region. And that is why I think it is so key and important that it does make it. I think Mr. Moi understands that. He has a tremendous amount of respect for the United States. He talked about, during their struggles against the British, that many Kenyans were sent to the United States for education and they brought back those qualities into the Government of Kenya. So he has a high regard, even a relative who is a U.S. citizen and children who have been educated here.
    I think that we may be able to turn the corner on this. I think there is a realization on his part that something must be done. I think we have to, though, engage the religious community and the opposition. It has been indicated only 36 percent of the vote but he was able to win because there was a fractured opposition. Now, President Clinton didn't get 50 percent either, so we can't be totally critical of a lack of a majority.
    But I think, just in conclusion, that—and he is my friend, you know, but that is the facts.
    I think that with the new pressure, it seems to me to be a change in attitude on the part of the government, only because they see that it is more serious. I think they realize that there will be changes. And I do think that there will be another election.
    Perhaps if Mr. Moi is reelected he may not want to do the whole 5 years, but I think that probably at this point he doesn't want to be forced out, maybe want to go through an election. So it might be positive.
    I am not trying to influence elections in Kenya. I have a hard enough time with my own elections. But if he were to get reelected, I would suppose that perhaps after a year or two he may feel it is in the best interest of the country just simply to retire and let the new wave of newer leaders come forth.
    Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Hastings.
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    Mr. Campbell.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Just one question, Congressman Payne. You have traveled to Africa and seen President Moi over many, many years, from the time when you first met him, which I think might have been when Kenyatta was still President.
    Mr. PAYNE. Yes.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. You most recently met him just 3 weeks ago. Can you comment on his physical appearance and his ability to handle the job, as best you could judge as a visitor who has seen him over a course of years?
    Mr. PAYNE. Well, you know, I was expecting the meeting to be a little bit later, and I was kind of a little drowsy getting up early to meet him. So one thing, I might say, is that physically he appears in very good health. He is a big man and strong, firm handshake.
    It was an early meeting, and I was the second meeting, as a matter of fact. I think he had met with—in regard to the Sudanese problem before me, and I was at his office before 9 a.m. So his mind seemed sharp. He seemed to know and understand the problems and what was confronted.
    I think that one problem may be, as we find with many leaders, that it is difficult to really know the true feelings of the people when you have been in office for a long time. You go to State-sponsored events; you ride your car from one event to another; you really don't get a chance too much to really get down the countryside to hear how people are really doing. Sometimes your advisors tend not to give you bad news. You know, you only want to hear the positive things.
    So, if anything, I think that perhaps he is a little bit out of touch with what is really going on. The question of transparency is important. You know, there is corruption in the police department. I mean, that is a fact. I talked with some tourists who had been in prison and recounted some experiences that they had to go through in order to be released, and it wasn't bail.
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    So there are a number of problems that I don't think the President is really aware of how deep they are, but after some conversations that we have had with his very close allies and confidants, I have asked them to be honest and truthful with him so he knows the depth of the problem. But comprehensive and being on top of matters, I think that he is in good, sound physical and mental capacity.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. I want to recognize Mr. Chabot, who has joined us.
    Are there any additional questions from any of the Members?
    Mr. CHABOT. No.
    Mr. ROYCE. All right. Thank you, Congressman Payne.
    Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much.
    Mr. ROYCE. We will now go to our second panel. On our second panel we have Ambassador William Twaddell, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs. Ambassador Twaddell has had a long and distinguished Foreign Service career. Among the posts he has held are ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; U.S. Chief of Mission in Monrovia, Liberia; and diplomat in residence at Georgetown University and the University of the District of Columbia.
    Ms. Carol Peasley is USAID's Acting Assistant Administrator for Africa. She has had a distinguished career at the Agency and has held a number of high-level positions, including USAID mission director in Malawi and director of project development for USAID's Bureau for Africa.
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    Mr. TWADDELL. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. I welcome this opportunity to participate in the hearing on Kenya's upcoming election. It could not come at a more opportune moment.
    Elections are expected later this year and must occur by the end of March 1998. As the elections have drawn closer, opposition frustration with what they view as an unfair electoral climate and the lack of progress in making democratic reforms has led them to engage in civil disobedience as a means to pressure the government to reform.
    Unfortunately, civil disobedience has on several occasions provoked brutal responses by government security forces, sometimes followed by rioting on the part of the demonstrators. On July 7th, Kenya was shaken by a new level of violence. As many as 15 people were reported killed in the street clashes between demonstrators and police.
    We, the U.S. Government, were joined by many other nations in deploring the unacceptable brutality of Kenya's security forces. We also stated that we viewed the government's failure to institute essential democratic reforms to be the fundamental source of the violent confrontations.
    In the past 2 weeks, we have seen something considerably more encouraging, the beginnings of a dialog on democratic reform between the government and the opposition.
    The government, we believe, must take concrete steps if reform is to be meaningful and future conflict averted, and the political opposition must be a constructive partner. Both sides must work sincerely for peaceful dialog.
    We were encouraged that police did not interfere with a large pro-democracy rally held in Mombasa this past Saturday. This followed statements by President Moi that licenses for political rallies would be approved in all but exceptional circumstances, pending legal reform.
    Given past abuses and current shortcomings in Kenya's democracy, the government will have to expand substantially on this act of political tolerance to earn the trust of the pro-democracy movement. A failure to build trust in the near term could mean a quick return to violence on the streets.
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    This hearing offers an excellent opportunity to encourage the positive movement of the past 2 weeks and to focus attention on how far the government must still go to create the conditions for free and fair elections.
    Our interest in Kenya is that of a friend. We have worked productively with Kenya on regional issues. Our armed forces benefitted from the use of Kenyan facilities during the Gulf War and the Somalia operation, and Kenya facilitates humanitarian assistance to areas of crisis throughout east and central Africa.
    At a regional summit in Nairobi in early July, President Moi showed admirable diplomatic leadership. He brought together Sudanese adversaries and succeeded in convincing Sudan's President to accept the declarations of principles of East Africa's Intergovernmental Authority on Development, IGAD, as the basis for negotiations to end Sudan's civil war.
    In mid-July, Kenya arrested 80 Rwandan genocide suspects, pending formal application for their extradition to the Arusha Tribunal.
    Stability and growth in Kenya are essential to the development of the region, and Nairobi is the base from which 75 American companies, representing investments of almost $300 million, pursue business opportunities in east and central Africa.
    Over the years, our government contributed substantial development assistance because of Kenya's importance, and recently there has been progress in key areas. Trade liberalization, fiscal restraint, and privatization have improved economic performance. However, political uncertainty, public corruption, and recently stalled reform efforts stand in the way to greater growth.
    To attract new investment, Kenya must be stable. Stability, as well as governmental legitimacy, is needed to implement further reforms which can derive only from a more democratic and accountable political system.
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    The political opposition in Kenya must also play a responsible role if Kenyans are to achieve the democracy they deserve. Appeals to ethnic identification and racial prejudice have been made by prominent leaders of the opposition. Actions patently designed to provoke violence have been planned. We urge the opposition to address these problems forthrightly and to channel their struggle for democracy into unmistakably nonviolent efforts.
    We encourage the prospect of a Kenyan national dialog on reform. The responsibility for the success of this process will rest with both the government and the opposition. Both must engage in discussions with a coherent, reasoned agenda, and they must approach the process in the spirit of democratic compromise.
    The government, in particular, must overcome significant public skepticism about their commitment to reform by taking bold and substantial steps. It should engage the National Convention Executive Committee (NCEC), which has become the leading voice for democratic reform in Kenya. It should take steps to meet the criteria for free and fair elections that were laid out by the donors in May, and it should positively consider the opposition's proposition that the National Electoral Commission be expanded to include neutral and credibly independent members.
    Mr. Chairman, Kenya will not become a fully functioning democracy overnight. It has many of the fundamentals, strong civic institutions, including a vocal press, citizens committed to the ideals of democracy, long experience with open political institutions, and the potential for healthy economic growth. What Kenya needs is responsible and farsighted leadership to bring about the stability that only accountable democratic government can provide.
    The United States will continue to do what it can to help Kenya move forward along this path. We will also continue to point out how much Kenya has to lose should it fail to do so.
    Kenya enjoys a well deserved reputation now for regional leadership, particularly through its support for humanitarian aid and its exceptional commitment to bring an end to the conflict in Sudan. In the absence of progress on democracy, however, Kenya will not be able to sustain its regional leadership nor achieve its full potential as a nation.
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    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Ambassador Twaddell.
    Now we will go to Ms. Peasley.


    Ms. PEASLEY. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee.
    I would like to thank you for this opportunity to testify regarding recent political developments in Kenya and, most particularly, on how U.S. aid programs address democratization in Kenya. And I would like to ask that my written testimony be made a part of the record.
    I would like to briefly cover three major points. First, how Kenya deals with its current political challenges has critical implications for its own development and for that of the region as a whole; second, that in spite of these challenges and problems, USAID believes we must stay engaged in Kenya because of its economic development potential and its importance in the region; and third, we believe that the current situation provides a real opportunity for USAID not only to continue what are effective development programs but also to support the Kenyan people as they work their way through the challenges before them.
    While recent developments have highlighted unresolved constitutional and legal issues in Kenya, the issues themselves are not new. They have, in fact, been prominent since before the 1992 election. The debate focuses on two levels of reforms which must be undertaken for successful democratic transition. At the underlying level are systemic constitutional and legal reforms which create an enabling environment for democracy to flourish. At the second level are reforms which focus on the forthcoming election, particularly the obstacles that prevent a level playing field.
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    Many Kenyans and international partners, including the United States, have made free and fair elections a measure of the government's commitment to the democratic process. However, we must not lose sight of the changes in underlying structures and institutions which are needed to sustain democracy in Kenya over time. Indeed, these two sets of issues are now merging and will have to be addressed to some degree simultaneously.
    Kenya is central to the broader development prospects of East Africa, both politically and economically. In spite of recent events, Kenya remains the strongest regional economy. It has a vibrant private sector and serves as the trading and commercial hub for the Horn. Clearly, however, the Government of Kenya must address the pervasive corruption that stifles growth if Kenya is to realize its economic potential.
    To date, the government has shown only limited interest in addressing this serious problem. The government's commitment to economic reform has also been inconsistent, and unless that commitment is more consistently realized and sustained, Kenya's potential will not be achieved, and this could be disruptive for the region.
    In spite of the current situation, USAID continues to believe that Kenya has the potential to be a good development partner. We are currently working almost exclusively with nongovernmental organizations in the areas of family planning and HIV/AIDS, microenterprise development, environment, and democracy/governance. In all of these areas, our programs are achieving important results and providing lessons for others in Africa and around the world.
    USAID's strategy for providing assistance to Kenya has evolved over time to correspond to our concerns over good governance. To reflect concerns about human rights and other abuses, USAID budget levels to Kenya were reduced in 1991 and have not been restored. In addition, USAID has shifted implementation of our programs almost exclusively to the nongovernmental and private sectors.
    As noted earlier, the current state of constitutional and legal restrictions in Kenya inhibits both free and fair elections in the creation of an enabling environment necessary for sustaining democracy. Since the 1992 elections, USAID has sought to address this range of issues by creating effective demand for sustained political, constitutional, and legal reform.
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    The Kenya program focuses on two areas: First, strengthening civil society; and, second, developing a more transparent and fair electoral process. We believe that the current outpouring of demands for a more open system represents a considerable success in our efforts to strengthen civil society.
    Partly as a result of our efforts, between 1992 and 1996, the number of NGO's has increased from 400 to 710, nearly 100 of which are primarily involved in advocacy work and building human rights awareness. We have had less success in promoting a more open electoral process because of the government's resistance to reform.
    The United States is the leading donor in democracy and governance, funding grants to diverse NGO's and interest groups involved in such activities as constitutional reform, coalition building, and documenting human rights abuses. USAID is also providing funding to NGO's for election-related activities in the area of civic education and election monitoring, and USAID and the Embassy are working actively to coordinate donor efforts and provide timely analysis to all of those following developments in Kenya.
    There are a series of changes which must be made if the upcoming elections are to be free and fair. Ambassador Twaddell has clearly laid them out, as did Congressman Payne in his remarks, so I will not repeat them, although I would like to highlight the need to undertake a serious review of the Constitution and the legal framework.
    The recent incidents of political violence have intensified domestic and international demand for change. Again, as noted by Ambassador Twaddell, there have been some important indications of positive movement. These must be realized. But no one can predict with any certainty the outcome of current events in Kenya.
    Though many problems remain, we believe there are modest signs of progress and that this is a critical period of transition. For that reason, we believe we must stay engaged. Carefully targeted development assistance has achieved real development results and has helped to create a more pluralistic society. In the absence of political alternatives, it is this expansion of civil society which is resulting in public pressure for political reform.
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    Continued U.S. support of an expansive and vocal civil society is essential to support a peaceful transition and promote the foundations on which democracy can be felt over the long term. Having said this, however, it is obviously the Kenyan people, working together and engaging in full dialog, who are responsible for establishing a form of government which is accountable and which allows them to realize their potential.
    Thank you.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Ms. Peasley.
    I want to introduce Jim Davis from Florida, who has joined us.
    We have a third panel that is coming up, so I am going to hold to one question.
    Ms. Peasley, you state that the United States, through the IMF and the World Bank, has insisted that the strong conditionality on the reduction of public corruption be upheld in Kenya. However, you mentioned pervasive corruption in Kenya in your testimony.
    Shouldn't the aid donors take some responsibility for enabling that culture of corruption to continue? In other words, if the donors have continued to extend aid and soft loans, don't then donors bear some responsibility for the failure, thus far, to achieve reforms because the donors are, in fact, sending mixed messages to the Kenyan Government? We continue this aid, and they don't make the reforms. Could I ask you about that?
    Ms. PEASLEY. Yes. I believe that the bilateral donors have all been engaged, themselves, in dialog with the government on corruption. I think it is fair to say that all of us have taken steps with regard to our individual programs in order to ensure that those programs are not affected by corruption. Whether that is, in our own case, in dealing primarily through NGO's and asking for annual 100-percent audits of our programs, or in working in our programs with the government, particularly in the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Works, where we did have active programs in the early 1990's. We worked with those Ministries in order to strengthen their financial management capacities, to strengthen procurement practices, so that, in fact, corruption would be less of a problem in those Ministries with which we were working.
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    In addition, we funded a very good study done by an NGO in Kenya—I think it was called Anatomy of Corruption in Kenya, which has looked at political corruption, socioeconomic corruption, and legal corruption and has, in fact, become a very important document in Kenya and has provoked a great deal of dialog among Kenyans on the responsibilities they have to deal with these issues.
    So I think that there are many steps being taken to work with the Kenyans on these issues, both to protect our own resources and to help them resolve these issues.
    I guess I would just finally add that corruption is a problem. It is not confined to Kenya, and it is not confined to Africa; it is an issue that the entire world is dealing with.
    Mr. ROYCE. I know that before the 1992 elections supposedly the war chests for the campaign were infused with money from manipulation of sugar imports. We haven't had any indication, have we, that the government is able to build up a war chest for the upcoming elections by manipulating of similar schemes?
    Ms. PEASLEY. No, I am not aware of that. And, again, with regard to the United States, we are not providing any cash assistance to the Government of Kenya.
    Mr. ROYCE. OK.
    Let me go to Mr. Hastings.
    Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. Secretary, let me thank you first for following through in our hearing on yet another matter. When I asked if you would be kind enough to see to it that I was briefed on Kenya, indeed I was, and it was most instructive, and it lead to the formulation of the resolution that I filed that is going to be a work in progress until such time as it is concluded. I genuinely thank you, because a lot of times secretaries come before us, we make requests, they say they are going to follow up, and nothing is done. I just very much appreciate that.
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    I would like to, Ms. Peasley, address a concern that I have heard expressed by Kenyans largely that many NGO leaders in Kenya have been accused of being partisan. And I am curious, are you concerned that partisanship in any respect may have affected USAID democracy programs in Kenya?
    Ms. PEASLEY. I am not aware of any circumstances under which that issue has been raised. I do know that our support to civil society organizations is in their role as civil society organizations, not as partisan political actors. And I think that we, again, have constantly emphasized that we are supporting a process and that those organizations are trying to strengthen the democratic process in Kenya. We are not supporting any party.
    Mr. HASTINGS. My final question, Mr. Chairman, in the interest of time—I will turn to the Secretary and ask you just to cut to the chase. What does the U.S. Government plan to do at this critical period in Kenya's history to avoid further instability and to ensure that its proclaimed goals of economic development and democratization are institutionalized?
    And the reason I put that is, I may be incorrect—and you correct me if I am—that recently there has been talk about the elections and then discussions about constitutional reform, whereas the opposition has been asking for constitutional reform in advance of the election. Just what are we going to do?
    You know, I mean, enough of this talk. I think I know what I would do, but I am not in the executive branch.
    Mr. TWADDELL. Thank you very much, Congressman Hastings.
    Let me, if I may, respond to your earlier comment. Having just had the opportunity to look at your draft legislation, I think we can certainly support the thrust and sentiment, great emphasis on the responsibility of both the government and the opposition to practice great restraint and nonviolence, move forward in the dialog that may enable them to reconcile during the contentious period and election.
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    I hope I don't disappoint you if I tell you that we probably will talk more. That is what diplomats do. But they also talk about issues with a purpose and with an end.
    We have seen in the last few months in Nairobi, in my experience, a quite exceptional coordination of foreign diplomatic sentiment in the presentation of this aide-memoire of the 7th of May in that four key areas were identified by those 22 principal donors. They go to the very root, the fundamentals, of what creates an environment in which you can have a fair election freely polled and balloted.
    Obviously, registration of potential voters is a very significant element. On the 30th of June, the logs closed and something over 70 percent of all of those eligible in terms of age criteria had registered to vote. Some are concerned that it might not have been higher—or it should have been higher. There was concern that the application of the requirement for an I.D. card among the youngest voters, those just 18, as a precondition had perhaps excluded some or at least delayed the registration of some, but that is a fundamental element.
    Another key point, which goes back to 1992 and even the politics of the 1980's, was the registration of parties. The government has been slow in giving party status, recognized status, to about a dozen of those who have applied. There were about 23 applying. I think they have passed on 13 of those 23.
    Freedom of information, access to information: It was mentioned, I believe, in the comments of Congressman Payne that access—where the government's ability to dominate the news in that sense, control the news, is significant. So the 22 donors, plus our Mission there, obviously, made that a key point to level the playing field.
    The fourth point is very clear, and that is the fundamental principle of freedom of assembly, and this goes to the Public Order Act and other kinds of administrative and perhaps statutory restraints that the government had applied to restrain the possibility of the opposition to get together, to talk over their ideas, their platforms, and to demonstrate their solidarity. Those remain key.
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    I would, without complicating the delicate structure of the 22 Missions that worked on this, add one that I think needs very careful consideration, that I referred to in my remarks, and that is the insertion into the electoral commission of neutral and partial respected individuals that will give to that body what we think is now lacking, and that is an agreement of a truly representative or a neutral body.
    Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Campbell.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I'd like to address either the Ambassador or Director Peasley. I am concerned about the Central Bank and whether we can count on a noninflationary environment. When Congressman Payne and I visited in January, we spent time with the chairman of the Board of Governors. This would be, then, my first question: if you could just speak to me about the condition of the independence of the Central Bank.
    I also admit with a certain amount of national humility that there were allegations in our own country, not recently but at least 20 years ago, that right before an election the Federal Reserve would sometimes be disposed to an easy-money policy. I am concerned that that might be the situation in Kenya, and I wanted to be reassured that it was not. I thought it was not when I was there in January. I would like to hear you talk about that.
    Then the last question I have is: Director Peasley, you used the phrase ''almost exclusively'' twice regarding NGO's. I would like to know to what extent we actually do have government-to-government assistance.
    Ms. PEASLEY. Perhaps I could try to answer the first of those questions as well. It is my understanding that the Governor of the Central Bank is an excellent technocrat, has done an excellent job in Kenya for a number of years, and has come out with some very strong statements linking the importance of political stability to the economic situation in Kenya, a very bold statement to make, and I think, again—which certainly confirms the independence of the Central Bank and its ability to play the important monetary role that it needs to play.
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    So I think we are quite confident on that front that the Central Bank will play an important role in controlling inflation.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Do you happen to know the inflation rate now? Maybe the Ambassador might be able to tell us when he comes up and testifies.
    Ms. PEASLEY. I am sorry that I don't know.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. OK. I don't remember it either.
    Ms. PEASLEY. If someone behind me might slip me a sheet soon.
    The other question, on ''almost exclusively,'' about 85 percent of our program is directly with nongovernmental organizations.
    There is a small amount of our program in which we are working with government ministries, and that is primarily with the Ministry of Health. The assistance we are providing is technical assistance, which is provided through private contractors, and that is why the number is somewhat vague.
    One can say that 85 percent of our program is directly with NGO's. That part which is with government is delivered through private sector mechanisms.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you.
    Ambassador Twaddell, do you agree with the first answer? If so, that would be good.
    Mr. TWADDELL. Yes, I do. I was just told that the inflation is 10 percent or less. It is not seen as a critical issue. I note that the IMF has got a team there now on a periodic review and the issue of rollover of T-bills of 1- and 3-month Treasury bills is an issue that they have been discussing with the Bank.
    But I would also support the point that the head of the Central Bank is very highly regarded, and he was just reconfirmed in that position.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you.
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    I yield back, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you.
    Mr. Payne.
    Mr. PAYNE. Since I did not hear the testimony and didn't get an opportunity to read it, I will pass at this time.
    Thank you.
    Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Chabot.
    Mr. CHABOT. Thank you.
    Mr. Ambassador, first of all, in your statement you had mentioned that there was quite an American business presence. I think 75 companies, at least, have headquarters there or some sort of presence, and about $300 million in assets.
    You also mentioned that the political uncertainty, the public corruption and the stalled reform efforts are stifling growth faster than they have had. I just have a couple of questions revolving around that.
    First of all, what has been the attitude of the American business community there about the political instability and the upcoming elections? How are they looking at this?
    Second, what, if any, role are they playing in the election? Are they, under Kenyan law, allowed to play any role, or is it like over here in the United States where foreign interests aren't supposed, but apparently sometimes they do, play an interest? That is all playing out here now. But are they allowed to be involved?
    How many American citizens over there are related to these businesses now? Is there any threat to those folks?
    If you could answer any or all of those questions.
    Mr. TWADDELL. I am going to have to take a few of those questions. I am sorry, I don't know the total number of American citizens nor those associated with the business community there.
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    But for decades, Nairobi has been a very important hub and commercial center for American, as well as other foreign trade and investment presences, not only for Kenya itself but as a very convenient base for a much wider territory in eastern and central Africa. It does have good communications. It has good facilities, good air links, and what-have-you. So that makes it very attractive.
    With regard to the atmosphere, political and that of corruption and other factors, obviously stability is an element of a judgment of the desirability whether to come in, whether to stay on. We have not heard of any abandonment of those who are there, nor is there a deterrent to those thinking of going to Nairobi.
    I would mention that in recent years, common crime, carjackings, stickups, things of that sort, have been a point of great concern and a regular issue of comment in our regular advisories to either the resident community or those thinking about visiting Kenya. It is, unfortunately, a growing—an unfortunate fact of life.
    The long-term—on the last point, it is my understanding that those American companies cannot directly engage in the political process in Kenya. So that, I think, is similar to our separation of investment foreign presence in our political system.
    Mr. CHABOT. OK. Thank you. I yield back the balance of my time.
    Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Davis.
    Mr. DAVIS. I pass, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. All right. Just one last question, to consider, as we look at the billions that have been spent, and, knowing that the World Bank and the IMF do work directly with the Government in Kenya. In 1995, a USAID assessment found that constitutional change was going to be the top priority before the 1997 elections, and yet testimony here today states that since 1992 there have been little or no significant changes—let me quote directly—''no changes in the Constitution or legal code that would suggest a better outcome for the upcoming elections.''
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    So I just want to ask you, Ambassador, over the past 5 years, just what has USAID done to facilitate constitutional change in Kenya? Because we have not gotten the results that was the stated mission set out to achieve.
    Mr. TWADDELL. Congressman, if I could try to formulate something of an irony in the present situation in the pre-electoral season in Kenya. At this point, the majority of the opposition voices are calling for an election on schedule, according to the current constitutional calendar. They want to move forward with the balloting and with the electoral process.
    The government, and leaders within the ruling party, are talking about the desirability of having a constitutional overhaul now in the short term. It is our view that, I think, is in full harmony with the position of the 21 other countries in that common position in May, that a number—in fact, in the totality, these points that do tilt the playing field to the advantage of the government can be dealt with through either statutory correction or through regulatory correction.
    The opposition has identified 11 pieces of legislation. Some three or four are very significant in terms of the registration of parties. In terms of the ability to assemble and hold peaceful demonstrations, that is the thrust of the opposition agenda and that is our thrust at this point.
    A constitutional overhaul—and that is what they are talking about; this is not tinkering; they are talking about a very substantial overhaul—may well require much more time to do in a deliberate and a responsible way.
    Mr. ROYCE. OK.
    Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Chairman, just for a second, I just was curious to know what the USAID budget was for Kenya this past year and maybe for the past 2 or 3 years.
    Mr. ROYCE. Yes, we will ask that. And if I could add to that question—what is the IMF and the World Bank sum, I think it is in the billions?!
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    Ms. PEASLEY. Our development assistance levels have been approximately $20 million for the Development Fund for Africa. In addition, there have been some centrally funded family planning and HIV/AIDS activities as well, which have added to that.
    If I could also just go back briefly to the question of what USAID has been doing on the constitutional front, I would agree that everyone is frustrated by the fact that this was an issue that had been identified and people have known about for some time, but I think that—and I guess I would like to reemphasize the support that we have provided to civil society, to groups like the Citizens Coalition for Constitutional Change, that these are the people who have been working to draft a new Constitution. These are the people who are working to identify the issues that need to be addressed through the constitutional reform process, and that have been playing an important role in this process, although it does take time and it is a process that really the Kenyans have to lead. We can facilitate through our support to civil society.
    Mr. ROYCE. I just will close by saying, again, there is a mixed message being sent if the World Bank and the IMF are working directly with the Government of Kenya and they are receiving billions at the same time without sending a message that our top priority is to make this change.
    But in any event, we have had a good discussion and I want to again thank you both for your testimony here today. We will now go to the third panel.
    Mr. ROYCE. In our third panel today, we have His Excellency, Dr. Benjamin Kipkorir, the Kenyan ambassador to the United States. Mr. Kipkorir is a historian who left academia to serve as executive chairman of Kenya Commercial Bank and later as nonexecutive chairman of General Motors Kenya Limited. He has served as Kenya's ambassador here since 1994.
    We also have Mr. James Silk, director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights. While still in law school at Yale University, Mr. Silk served as director of the Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Law Project. Since graduating, he has worked as an attorney with the Washington law firm of Arnold & Porter and teaches international human rights law at American University's Washington College of Law.
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    Ambassador Kipkorir.
    Ambassador KIPKORIR. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee.
    Let me, before making my remarks, say that I have submitted a statement for the record which I would like to be taken as delivered.
    Mr. ROYCE. We will take that down as submitted, and we will ask you to confine your remarks to 5 minutes, if you would, Mr. Ambassador.
    Thank you.
    Ambassador KIPKORIR. I think that the main issue today is electoral reform, and let me go to it right away.
    Kenyans were not and are not happy that lives were lost, people injured, property damaged or destroyed, in quest of rights that they believe they had under the Constitution. Since 1988, there have been calls for constitutional reforms and various attempts at dealing with the basic problem, and others have been made. Before coming to the present, though, let me give you a background for the record.
    Kenya has had competitive elections approximately every 5 years since independence. In Kenya's parliamentary and local government elections, the people have had real choices to make. In 1992, under the multiparty Constitution, the people also, for the first time, had a choice to vote directly for their President. The conduct of those elections was not perfect, but almost all observers agreed that the election results reflected the wishes of the voters of Kenya in 1992. The people will have another opportunity this year.
    Although the electoral machinery that is in place is not perfect, there is room for improvement of it. Nevertheless, it has been tried. There has been demand for reform in the broadest sense, and that demand has been registered.
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    The government has engaged numerous groups and individuals in dialog. It has received proposals from the National Convention Executive Council, which have now been studied. Consultations will soon commence on these and other proposals, including those put forward by the ruling party. It is the government's intention to deal with all burning political and electoral issues in time for the general elections.
    Before coming to this hearing, Mr. Chairman, I talked to the Attorney General, and he informed me as follows: That he will publish this Friday a State Law Miscellaneous Amendment Act which will deal with all the most pressing political problems which have been raised in the past. I will have some remarks on the electoral process later, if you ask me, at the end of my remarks.
    Mr. Chairman, let me state this: That the Nation's political stability is something to be cherished. It must not be taken for granted. Stability is not the responsibility of the government alone. The opposition must play its part also as has been recognized by others who spoke before me.
    The opposition in Kenya has disappointed Kenyans. It began as one movement, the Forum for Restoration of Democracy. It split into two, Ford A and Ford K, and in between another political party came into being. The two Fords have splintered further, and even now the spiral continues. Similar afflictions dog the other major party; namely, the Democratic Party.
    Kenya's political problems have been caused as much by wrangling and splintering among the opposition as well as by the ruling party.
    The search for reform is a Kenyan search. It has been recognized by the government. At the end of the day, Kenyans alone can determine what works in their country. Kenyan leaders need to go back to the roots of the founding of their nation. What were the fundamental objectives of the struggle for independence? What were the principles that the Founding Fathers proclaimed should govern the nation? How true have we been to the spirit of our struggle? What can we do to get back on track in instances where we have deviated from the course?
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    Friends like the United States can help Kenya and Kenyans fulfill their endeavors. I believe that the United States can play an important role in Kenya's transition to the 21st century by doing two things: First, remain a true friend. Give clear and consistent advice whenever it is necessary. Second, treat Kenya more as an economic partner than the recipient of aid handouts which flow from a pipe which can be switched on and off at will.
    Please, do not allow interest groups, however well intentioned they may be, to unfairly bias your judgment. I am sure I speak for all Kenyans when I urge you to respect our dignity. We welcome constructive dialog. That way, surely, the United States will have the leverage to influence positive change. The rest and good should follow.
    I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will take any questions, or none at all, as the case may be.
    [The prepared statement of Ambassador Kipkorir appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Silk.


    Mr. SILK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to testify before the Subcommittee today.
    My statement is based in large part on a report issued by the RFK Center earlier this month, ''Kenya at the Crossroads: Demands for Constitutional Reform Intensify,'' which we have submitted to the Subcommittee for the record.
    President Moi's 19-year rule in Kenya is facing its most serious challenge, a broad-based prodemocracy movement demanding profound constitutional, statutory, and administrative reforms, and willing to risk government repression.
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    Buoyed by the collapse of the Mobutu regime, calls for constitutional and other reforms to lessen the power of the executive and establish the basis for a functional multiparty democracy have grown to a national ground swell of support for the immediate initiation of a reform process.
    Kenya has presented an image of stability compared to many of its volatile neighbors. Yet Kenya's transition to multiparty democracy with adequate protections for human rights is far from complete. Elections anticipated late this year are unlikely alone to herald a step forward in this process. The major obstacle to the consolidation of democracy continues to be effective one-party rule supported by a compliant legal and institutional structure.
    In 1992, the Kenyan Government largely succeeded in placating international donors by amending the Constitution to permit multipartyism, but President Moi continued to exercise absolute control over all electoral mechanisms and processes and has, since the 1992 elections, made a series of moves to consolidate his power and weaken the opposition.
    Effective one-party rule manifests itself in many ways beyond the control of elections, including well documented executive interference with the judiciary; restrictions on the rights of association, assembly, and expression; and detention of government critics on the basis of trumped up charges. The KANU party has relied on State-sponsored mob violence as well as police attacks to harass and intimidate critics.
    Despite the government's intransigent position regarding broad-based constitutional reform, the first plenary of the National Convention Assembly, the NCA, was held in early April. Participants included 13 opposition parties as well as religious leaders, NGO's and a cross-section of Kenyans from many walks of life and parts of the country. KANU boycotted the plenary.
    While the upcoming election has provided renewed impetus for constitutional reform, the need runs far deeper than the correction of electoral abnormalities. Various sectors have proposed a minimum reform agenda that could be enacted quickly to create conditions for a relatively free and fair election. Civil society advocates have expressed concerns that a focus on minimum reforms could be used to co-opt the current drive for profound reform.
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    The minimum facilitative pre-electoral reforms proposed by the NCA can only be a first stage in a longer-term comprehensive process of constitutional reform to ensure meaningful change in Kenya and not simply a changing of the guard.
    Since the violent repression of pro-reform rallies on July 7, the pace of activities surrounding constitutional reform has dramatically increased. The violent response aimed at intimidating supporters of reform has clearly had the opposite effect. The commitment to bringing about meaningful reform seems stronger than ever.
    President Moi, faced with mounting domestic and international pressure, has made some gestures toward recognizing the need to initiate a reform process. These gestures, however, have been viewed with skepticism by advocates of reform and have fallen short of the steps necessary to start a genuine reform process.
    Thirty-two opposition members of Parliament have issued a statement rejecting the President's proposed meeting with them to discuss reform. They affirm that genuine dialog, inclusive of the views of Kenyan society, must be with the NCEC, the coordinating group for the reform effort. KANU has reiterated that the government will engage in dialog only with elected representatives.
    The reform movement sharply criticized Attorney General Wako's initiative to draft a constitutional review bill, which was prompted by a KANU resolution, as an attempt to preempt the reform movement and ensure KANU control of the reform—a reflection of a one-party mentality. They said the drafting of a bill must be the product of dialog. The NCEC has now presented a bill that would set up a process of constitutional reform.
    The supporters of reform have reiterated that without good faith steps toward meaningful reform, elections cannot go forward. At a rally in Mombasa on July 26th, NCEC member Gibson Kamau Kuria called on the government to meet certain requirements in order to assure Kenyans that elections will proceed only after genuine national dialog has begun.
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    KANU officials have continued to make it clear that elections will go forward this year and that there can be no constitutional reform until after elections.
    The NCEC has stated that it will continue to hold rallies and will call a general strike if genuine dialog has not begun.
    Before the 1992 elections, the donor community played a key role in pressing to end one-party rule. In 1997, the donor community has focused on particular steps the government should take to create conditions for free and fair elections. On July 21st, 22 donor countries, including the United States, sent a letter to President Moi urging him to proceed with open and frank dialog, but they have taken no position on whether constitutional reform should take place before elections.
    U.S. Ambassador Bushnell has noted that the elements necessary to view Kenya's elections as free and fair are not yet in place. And the State Department has deplored the fact that Kenya's security forces reacted with force to instances of peaceful protest. They noted that the real source of political violence in Kenya is not just the government's unacceptable strong-arm tactics but its failure to take the essential concrete steps to create a free and fair electoral climate.
    The U.S. Government, for example—and I continue to quote—continues to advocate repeal of the Public Order Act, the law on which the government based its disruption of political protests yesterday. This is an important first step, but Kenya urgently needs the initiation of a broad-based constitutional, statutory, and administrative reform process. I welcome the statements here today of the U.S. Government witnesses on this important need beyond the issue of elections.
    Minimum legal, administrative, and constitutional reforms must be undertaken before the next general election as a first step in a comprehensive process of democratic reform. Our report makes several recommendations to the Kenyan Government designed to help achieve that end. We are also convinced that the international community has an important role to play in supporting the efforts of Kenyan civil society to construct a meaningful multiparty democracy based on human rights.
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    I know that my time is up. I would be happy to relate the recommendations that we have made to the U.S. Government and the international community if you would like me to address that.
    Mr. ROYCE. Certainly. But we have your testimony for the record. We will put that in the record.
    [The prepared statement of Mr. Silk appears in the appendix.]
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. Chairman, might I be recognized for a unanimous consent?
    Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Campbell.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    We have a difficulty because a vote has been called, and it strikes me, colleagues, that it might be fair to the Ambassador to ask that the record be kept open for 5 days and that he might then be able to respond to the specifics that Mr. Silk raised, having read his report then and having a chance to review it.
    Ordinarily, the Ambassador would have a chance to rebut it now, and in the give-and-take we would perhaps hear all of his responses. But in view of the fact that he may not have that time, my unanimous consent request would be that the Ambassador be allowed to rebut or be allowed to offer any response, and the record be kept open for that purpose for a period of 5 days.
    Mr. ROYCE. Very good. Without objection.
    Mr. CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. And let me proceed, if I may, with a question for the Ambassador.
    Five years ago, the United States had Ambassador Kempstone in Nairobi, and I think it is fair to say that he was butting heads at that time with the Government in Nairobi. Yet, it is that progress we are talking about building on, the elections that came about as a result, and I would just like to ask you your assessment on the 1992 elections and the role our Ambassador Kempstone played in that, if I could.
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    And I would like to make a point for the record, too. It has been reliably estimated that Western donors have provided at least $8 billion in aid to Kenya since the mid-1980's, and I just wanted to, for the record, make that comment after reading the transcript. But, please, Ambassador, go ahead.
    Ambassador KIPKORIR. Yes. Thank you very much.
    The era of Ambassador Kempstone is not one which Kenyans recall with much joy; certainly not in our political circles.
    I am happy to say that those in your circles, it was recognized that approach of confrontation does not augur well if one wants to get some change. But there are others in Kenya who welcome Mr. Kempstone's crusade, and it has had some effect.
    It was the view of President Moi and others that multiparty politics would introduce ethnic divisions, and to a very large extent the multiplicity of parties in Kenya represent different ethnic group divisions, and it has been said many times that President Moi won reelection in 1992 with only 36 percent and he did not have the majority of the people's votes.
    Now, had the opposition produced one candidate or even two, then one would really know the true picture. So it is not really fair to say that he was elected by a minority of the people because he only had 36 percent, because the other candidates did not enjoy more votes than he had.
    But I am happy to explain further what I consider to be the correct relationship, which is really one of engaging us in dialog, and a lot of good has come out of it.
    A question was raised this morning, why is it that although in 1995 constitutional reform was seen as the main activity that should be embarked upon, nothing has happened? I suspect the answer to that is simple, that there was no one with whom the government could really engage in dialog, because the opposition splintered.
    It has been said that the opposition would like to move forward with an agenda put forward by this pressure group. I think this Committee ought to know that not all Members of the opposition parties go along with that.
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    There is, for example, Ford A, which has said it is not going to go along with that approach. So this is not clear.
    On the question of aid, I also saw the figure a few days ago in the Financial Times. I haven't had time, because I have been busy preparing for this hearing, to check the figures. I suspect it is somewhat exaggerated.
    Kenyans would like to know where $8 billion worth of aid has gone. I don't know anyone who can see it. So I would be quite happy to find the true figure and give it to you, Mr. Chairman.
    Mr. ROYCE. Thank you.
    Mr. Payne.
    Mr. PAYNE. Just very quickly, I, too, would like to see that report of the $8 billion. I think sometimes when we talk about aid, that is one thing; when you talk about World Bank and IMF, those are loans that have to be repaid. And, you know, we have $4 trillion that we have borrowed in this country over the last 20 years that has to be repaid. It is the debt.
    So I would like to know just what does $8 billion really means. I am sure it does not mean dollars in aid, because, as has been indicated, $20 million was given by the United States, perhaps $40 million or $60 million at most in the last 3 years. So it is going to be hard to take our position and get up to $8 billion.
    I just also would like to say that I think that our ambassador, Ambassador Bushnell, is doing an outstanding job and would like to say that I really think that her approach of negotiation and respect for heads of State perhaps, in my opinion, is a much better approach than Ambassador Kempstone's. In my opinion as an American, I think as a U.S. Ambassador, he went overboard and that if an ambassador from another country was doing that here in the United States, he would be strongly criticized.
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    Finally, I just want to mention, Mr. Silk, if the opposition wants an overall reform and it is felt that the elections cannot be done without an overall reform, there is simply not enough time. So how do you balance your request for a total overhaul, which is impossible to do within a 6- to 8-month period of time, since the elections have to go by the current Constitution? What do you suggest should happen? Postpone the election? Have the elections the way they are? Try to do a hasty reform?
    Mr. SILK. I think Ambassador Bushnell has spoken pretty clearly on the ability to hold free and fair elections under present conditions, and I think what the organizations of civil society are asking for are steps to be taken that indicate that a genuine process is under way and that at least minimum electoral reform be implemented in plenty of time before the elections to ensure that the upcoming elections can be free and fair, as well as deadline initiation of an open reform process on the broader issues.
    I think the reality is that NCEC has indicated very clearly that if adequate steps are not taken to implement electoral reform and to initiate broader reform, civil disobedience will continue. A general strike has been called for next month.
    Mr. PAYNE. Just very quickly, though, I understand that. How do you do it in 6 months or 7 months? That is the question. Can it be done in that amount of months? We heard what they say they will do. They won't go with an election. The question is, can you really have a total overhaul of the Constitution before that time? That is the question, and I just wanted your opinion.
    Maybe, Mr. Ambassador. I only have about 3 minutes left.
    Ambassador KIPKORIR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I would like to answer that as follows: The Kenya Government is prepared to deal with the contentious issues, Public Order Act, Chief's Authority Act, the repeal of a number of acts, which restrict political action. The government is prepared to do those between now and when the elections are held.
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    The government is also prepared to look at the Electoral Commission. Members should know that the Electoral Commission is derived from the Constitution. There is room for the President to increase its numbers, and, as I understand it, there is consultation going on just now to see how the Electoral Commission can be strengthened in order to be seen to be fairer than it has been in the past.
    But having said that, Mr. Chairman, we have had elections every 5 years under the same system, and no one has said that the electoral results on the day of the poll in question did not reflect the wishes of the people.
    What the government is prepared to do is to improve the electoral system, as it is, in order to ensure that it will be above board. On the access to media, the government has already conceded that. And the issue of licenses to have meetings has already been addressed. And today, really, it is a dangerous situation, because it can lead to trouble. People cannot have meetings without licenses. And the government is really relaxed on that.
    So as far as I am concerned, the government is taking every step to ensure that the electoral process will be free and fair.
    Mr. ROYCE. We are going to go to Mr. Davis, and then this meeting of the Subcommittee will be adjourned.
    Thank you.
    Mr. DAVIS. Mr. Ambassador, you mentioned in your written statement that the Attorney General is taking steps to draft legislation to deal with corruption. What steps, if any, are being taken by him or any other elected officials to repeal the Public Order Act or related acts that have been enforced to suppress some of the opposition activity?
    Ambassador KIPKORIR. There are aspects of the act which are derived from the colonial era, and they are awesome. They are really annoying to many people, not just politicians, and Kenyans have recognized that there is a need to change those acts.
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    There is a lot of pressure to delink the ruling party from the civil service, and I think that is something that the government will definitely concede. It has to concede, because the civil service has to be seen to be serving Kenyans and not just the ruling party.
    When I am here, I am ambassador of Kenya, I am not the ambassador of the ruling party. I represent all Kenyans. And so these are some of the changes which will be incorporated with regard to the Public Order Act, the Chief's Act, and so on.
    Mr. DAVIS. OK. Thank you.
    Mr. ROYCE. OK. We stand adjourned. Thank you, gentlemen.
    [Whereupon, at 3:47 p.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.]


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