Opinion: The IEBC dilemma continues even after firing the corrupt ‘band of brothers’ now
The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission of Kenya is now at a standstill after months of hustling from the Opposition against the Commission and their men. The band of brothers run by the Commission Isaack Hassan have been under fire and besieged as their fate have been questioned by ‘Chickengate’ their involvement in the questionable Burundi third term election in 2015 of Pierre Nkurunziza and all the other issues entangled in the current leadership.
Therefore the reasoning for staying while the Jubilee government under President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto could by law keep the men, even as the trust between the IEBC and the people where in tatters. Still, the viable approach through laws and constitution could let them keep the men in charge and run another election in 2017. Though the perception on the rigging and the embezzlement of government funds would be stamped on the foreheads of the commission as they legacy are filled with CHICKENS. The chickens and facilitation of the ones who bought the ballots and needed electoral equipment for by-elections and other elections who earned extra monies on the transactions; these people shouldn’t be there and they can be compromised by the ability to facilitated to give a counted number instead of real cast ballots, as long as the Commissioner would be given a brown envelope.
The Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) Kenya leader and ODM head Raila Odinga wrote today: “Yesterday, those discussions culminated in a very encouraging development—the expression by the IEBC commissioners of their willingness to resign to allow a new team take over in time for 2017 elections. I wish to congratulate Senators Kiraitu Murungi and James Orengo for the steady leadership to the Joint Select Committee of Parliament that has ensured harmonious and mature discussions which has produced this commendable progress” (…) “I thank all the members of Parliament serving in this committee for putting aside partisan politics and focusing on what really matters at this moment in the history of our country which is the need to have a credible electoral body that enjoys the broad support of a great majority of Kenyans ahead of 2017 elections” (…) “Once the talks began, it quickly became clear that CORD and Jubilee have more in common on the IEBC and how to conduct future elections. This is usually what happens when we choose to talk to each other and not at each other and when we give dialogue a chance” (twitlonger, 04.08.2016).
Also this we’re reported:
“The audit report, which also formed basis of a petition forwarded to the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee by Mr Barasa Nyakuri, blamed the commissioners led by Mr Hassan and part of the secretariat for irregular procurement of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits for the 2013 elections” (… ) ”Mr Hassan, who has gone to court seeking to have his name expunged from the report, is also alleged to have single sourced lawyers handling the 2013 presidential election petition, in which over Sh380 million was paid to three prominent lawyers” (…) “The select committee has summoned the IEBC commissioners and senior directors at the commission to present their defence before it today, as it works towards finalizing its report within 30 days as contained in the Motion approved by both Houses, which also set its terms of reference” (…) “The committee’s report could be last nail on the coffin of careers of electoral chiefs mentioned adversely in corruption allegations, including the chickengate scandal, and throw a lifeline to those found not to have engaged in fleecing the taxpayers of millions of shillings” (Njagi, John – ‘Team to probe threats on auditor over IEBC report’ 01.08.2016, Nation.co.ke).
As the reports coming in and the mentality of the change is of guards are coming. IEBC had to be changed before the General Election 2017, as the standstill between the opposition and the ruling regime. Still, with these negotiations, that has happen after the dozen of violent demonstrations because of the police brutality. In this crisis the judgement from the Police and then CS Nkaissery defending their misbehaviour towards the citizens and members of opposition was not just.
Paying Commissioner for thieving:
“Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the Government will use cash from the Contingency Fund to pay off the commissioners. “We have contingency funds for such unforeseen expenditure if it does occur,” Mr Rotich told the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms” (…) “This means that the nine, each earning Sh1.2 million per month, will get Sh372,000 for the five years served, translating to Sh1.86 million per person and Sh16.7 million for the team. The current commissioners are Issack Hassan (chairman), Lillian Mahiri-Zaja (vice chairperson), Albert Bwire, Kule Godana, Yusuf Nzibo, Abdullahi Sharawe, Thomas Letangule, Muthoni Wangai and Mohamed Alawi” (Michira, Moses – ‘IEBC bosses will take home Sh180m 04.08.2016 Link: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000210764/iebc-bosses-will-take-home-sh180m ).
The Kenyan Parliament must be proud of how they are promising payment and salaries towards the former Electoral Commissioners who we’re embezzling funds. They are initially getting paid for stealing funds from government and even not being trusted with delivering trustworthy elections. Free and Fair elections under their leadership we’re under question as they actions we’re bent for the ruling regime and as their financial adjustments we’re done to create bigger wallets from the ones signing contracts for the IEBC. That shouldn’t be paid to silence and to get rid of them. As John Githongo we’re sent away from addressing corruption for being a whistleblower, the men behind the IEBC scandal shouldn’t be paid, but be sent to court and express their guilt or be free-men for not having evidence of the illegal transaction.
The CORD had grievances with the Electoral procedure and the Electoral laws, not only the Commissioners who could be bought and secure funds for themselves as the Kenyan Constitutional Referendum or the OKOA we’re shut down by the same Electoral Commission under Commissioner Isaack Hassan. The other just happens to follow his lead and create an atmosphere where this is justifiable.
Who will take over for former-IEBC Commissioners are not easy to foresee as the negotiations and the agreement between CORD and Jubilee is not something a man can find the answers on the skyline. The next IEBC men and woman have to be people that the current MPs and Parliamentarians trusts as they will both parties agree to their acts as a Commission and their turn for holding the election. The reality will be that no matter what they do and who get picked they will be scrutinized and should be accountable. As the previous ones tried to keep people in the shadow and keep the monies encircled for themselves instead of trying to reasonable and honourable men who did their duty for their country. They tried to quick fix their own pockets instead of just doing their job and being content. Isaack Hassan and his band of brothers will be remembered for their chickens, not for their work or the ballots casted in the elections. Peace.