Mr. Chebukati, it is the sole responsibility of IEBC to organize and conduct general elections in accordance with the Law and guided by Article 249 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010. Nobody and no-body should interfere with the organization and conduct of general elections. No one should issue instructions to the Commission and the Commission should take instructions from no other place apart from itself. This does not exempt the Jubilee government, NASA or any other busy bodies out there.
It is not the job of the Jubilee government or the tribal kingpins at its helm or its spokesmen to assure Kenyans of a free, fair and credible election. Only you can do that. It is not the job of NASA and its tribal kingpin “luminaries” to announce results. Only you can do that. I am sure you live in Kenya and you know that the political class is fundamentally mannerless and have desecrated every space, every law and every process in the book in pursuit of their politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi. If you allow them to pronounce themselves on matters elections, watakuambukiza ukora na upuzi! There can be no negotiating with these guys, they must be reined in and put in their place. And they must be reined in now.
There is a West African saying that if a snake does not want children to use it as a rope, it bites. Mr. Chairman, you and your Commission should bite! Warnings to, condemnations and summons of the bad mannered political class are not enough. You are issuing them to fellows who do not care. They do not just believe they are above the law, they believe they are the law. You must show them that when it comes to the elections the Law says you are the boss!
First, these fellows are incapable of delivering free and fair anything in the parties they own (Yes, I am sure you know or ought to know that in Kenya political parties are private property). They cannot conduct free and fair elections nor can they conduct free and fair nominations.
The one side called a group of paid functionaries in Kasarani and declared that they had merged parties by acclamation method popularly known as kura ya makelele, popularized by their progenitor KANU. They then said the party had only two officials, the two tribal kingpins who owned the previous tribal briefcases called TNA and URP. The two un-elected officials then declared that elections will be held after the general elections. After all, they had been declared the leaders, why bother with elections now?
The other side is still a hodgepodge of tribal kingpins and tribal parties that call themselves a coalition. They have never held free and fair anything. Only ODM has ever attempted an election. It was conducted by an elections board called men-in-black. It is a stylish name for goons and hooligans who scuttled the whole election giving the owners of the party the result they were looking for.
These are the fellows you are dealing with, Mr. Chebukati. None of them has the moral authority to demand free and fair elections from anyone. You should deliver free and fair elections because that is what the law demands you do, not because any of these tribal kingpins and their tribal coalitions have demanded it.
You can already hear aspirants in their own parties crying wolf. These aspirants from their own parties cannot trust the tribal kingpins to deliver free and fair nominations because they can’t. How can people who cannot deliver elections of any sort unless un-free, un-fair and un-credible ones be the ones telling you how to run a general election?
I can tell you why.
Their interference with the electoral process has nothing to do with wanting to ensure free, fair and credible elections. They are not interested in free and fair elections. They are interested in elections that they WILL WIN. You should therefore not treat them with kids-gloves imagining that they are people that you can play ball with. You cannot.
Mr. Chairman, I am sure you have heard of a guy called Krieglar. Johann Krieglar. He Chaired the Krieglar Commission and what he had to say would help you know what kind of fellows you are dealing with in Jubilee and NASA. Remember all of them were key players in the botched 2007 elections. This is what Krieglar had to say about those elections:
“Fraud: Numerous implausibly high turnout figures reported in the strongholds of both main political parties evidence extensive perversion of polling, probably ballot-stuffing, organised impersonation of absent voters, vote buying and/or bribery. This inference is supported by numerous eyewitness accounts given to IREC of various forms of manipulation as well as election observers’ observation reports and ECK submissions. Indeed, vote-buying and ballot-stuffing appear to be such extensive and universally condoned practices in Kenyan elections that the question can rightly be asked whether genuinely free and fair elections are at all possible… A further contributor and facilitator for manipulation at polling stations is the disturbing feature that in many instances (in the strongholds of both main political parties) effectively only the majority party was represented during polling and counting. The alert self-interest of competitors is all but indispensable for honest elections and it is a matter for serious concern that this safeguard was absent in many instances.”
The fellows you are dealing with are the same ones Krieglar is talking about here. “Perversion of polling” is their specialty. While some Kenyans will tell you that the elections were stolen, Krieglar’s verdict indicates that everyone stole, only that some were more successful than others. Krieglar noted the existence of “manipulation” in the tribal “strongholds” of the contestants. I need not remind you that we are dealing with the same people today and the same “strongholds”. These tribal kingpins still own them and they plan to capitalize on them through “perversion of polling”, in the same manner described by Krieglar and even more.
I will remind you that there is nothing special about the 2017 elections as regards the Country. It is not like the 2002 and 2013 elections. The 2002 election was a hugely significant election because of the Moi factor. People wanted a new dispensation after 24 years of KANU misrule. 2017 is also not like the 2013 election. This was another hugely significant election. It was going to put into office the first government under a new Constitution and actualize the devolved system of government.
The 2017 elections are like the 2007 elections. There are no stakes for Kenyans apart from the regular and routine change of leaders as envisaged in the Constitution. But like the 2007 elections, the 2017 elections have huge stakes for individual politicians.
And this is dangerous.
On the one side you have a self-proclaimed-YK92-hustler and a 2002-failed-Moi-project who claim they will rule for 20 years. Never mind they were given 5 years by Kenyans in 2013 and all we have seen is a looting spree. On the other side, you have a desperate three time election “looser”, a septuagenarian who claims he has “one bullet remaining”! His idea of free and fair elections are those run by men-in-black. He is flanked by tribal kingpins of the shameless kind. One of them refused to answer a question from a journalist because “your name betrays you”. The other is the only known tribal kingpin to be crowned so in broad daylight after a “scientific poll”. More worryingly, they were all key players in 2007, they are using the script again.
Krieglar warned us Mr. Chebukati. You cannot have free and fair elections in an atmosphere of political dishonesty and ethnic jingoism. You are dealing with the same characters whose political engagement he warned about. You cannot be wishy-washy about them. You must stand your ground and deliver to Kenyans a free and fair election without any reference to them. You cannot sit around and watch them toy with the IEBC and with the electoral process. These people want to use you to deliver elections that they will win. Bite! If a snake does not want children to use it as a rope, it bites!