A look into the Preliminary Reports from the EOMs of EAC & AU-COMESA to the 9th August General Elections in Kenya

The 9th August 2022 Kenyan elections most of the time how an election should be operated and run. Yes, there was faults at play and the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) did some wrong moves and that’s why certain parts of the polls was postponed. However, we will see that IEBC and Chairman Wafula Chebukati is vindicated and the people should be proud. The Kenyan people with their resilience and ability to trust the process says something.

The East African Community (EAC) released their preliminary report yesterday. I will first go through their vital quotes and points. Before I will go through the African Union (AU) -Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which was also released yesterday. These will hopefully come with interesting findings and possibly also show the strength of the system. As people are still awaiting the finalization of results and declaration of winner.

The quotes from the EAC:

The Mission takes note of the remarkable improvements made by the IEBC in regard to transparency, preparations, and management of the 2022 Kenya General elections. However, much more needs to be done for better outcomes in The Mission recommends also that in future, there should be better communication between the IEBC and the various stakeholders” (EAC, 11.08.2022).

Generally, the situation was calm, peaceful, and orderly. Most polling stations opened on time, but there were a few which opened late for various reasons including late setting up of the station, late arrival of polling materials or polling However, we were pleased to note that the time lost was compensated by late closure of polls in the concerned polling stations. It is recommended that; the IEBC should take corrective measures to ensure that these deficiencies do not recur in future elections” (EAC, 11.08.2022).

The mission noted with concern the complaints made by young people that political parties did not provide them adequate space and opportunity for them to participate as candidates in the elections. We consider this a serious matter which needs attention and In the same vein, we call upon the political actors and government to ensure that the two-thirds gender rule is observed to the letter and spirit” (EAC, 11.08.2022).

The EAC Election Observation Mission is satisfied that the way the 2022 Kenya General election was conducted on the polling day, the people of Kenya were given the opportunity to elect leaders of their choice, freely. We hope the subsequent processes will respect, uphold and reflect the will of the people of Kenya in the 2022 General Elections” (EAC, 11.08.2022).

The quotes from the AU-COMESA:

The AU-COMESA EOM noted that despite the relatively high youth population (18-35), there was low youth registration in the 2022 elections. Only 39.84% (8,812,790) of the total registered voters were youth, a decline of 5.17% from the 2017 figures. Stakeholders consulted by the Mission attributed the low youth participation to the general conception that the votes do not count in elections, lack of trust and confidence in the political system, and the youth’s unemployment and poverty in particular face in Kenya today” (AU-COMESA, 11.08.2022).

Although stakeholders had initial concerns about the risk posed by the lack of mobile network coverage in 1,111 polling stations, the IEBC put in place measures such as using satellite phones to facilitate the transmission of results. The Mission noted that within 24 hours of the close of polling, over 95% of the polling stations had transmitted presidential results forms (form 34A) to the National Tallying Centre” (AU-COMESA, 11.08.2022).

While the campaigns were largely peaceful and issue-based, hate speeches, misuse of state resources, non-adherence to campaign schedules, violence, and use of criminal gangs were observed. The misuse of state resources created an unlevel playfield, especially for smaller political players. Likewise, the non-adherence to campaign schedules caused clashes among supporters” (AU-COMESA, 11.08.2022).

The joint AU-COMESA Election Observation Mission commends the authorities and people of Kenya for their efforts toward holding successful elections and deepening democratic rule, which is a prerequisite for sustainable socio-economic development in the country. While the process is still ongoing and the results management process is underway, the Mission urges the candidates and their supporters to continue upholding the Peace Pledge and to desist from any action that could undermine the integrity of the electoral process. It encourages all stakeholders to continue with efforts toward building a peaceful and inclusive society. It further encouraged political tolerance and peace cultivation among citizens” (AU-COMESA, 11.08.2022).

My two cents:

Well, here we are and the general basis of it all is positive and that’s because the general outcome has been good. The way and the manner of the General Elections of Kenya in 2022 can be stated as genuine. That’s why these two Preliminary Reports says it too.

It is striking that both reports are worried about the lack of youth involvement and participation in the elections. These sorts of reports should be listened too, as the youth is the future and the ones to inherit the Republic. That’s why these warnings needs to be addressed somehow.

There are some details that needs to be handled and it has. Like the reports addressed the hate-speech during the campaigns, but we know the authorities has even looked into some of that. So, most of the things are positive and for a reason. The reports proves that and it’s so good. Yes, there was delays and some technical difficulties. There was some voters who wasn’t registered or able to vote. However, the grand schemes of things are good. There shouldn’t be any faults, but they are not tarnishing the whole picture.

Reading these two reports doesn’t change my views on the 9th August 2022 General Elections. Everything seems on the up-and-up. The IEBC and the authorities can feel solid about it. Even with the faults and the postponements too.

IEBC Chairman Chebukati is a victor in this one. After the 2017 elections he has saved face and shown some professionalism. Though, he still has to answer to the procurement of ballot to Mombasa, which wasn’t prepared and ready for the polls. That will also linger on him this time.

Nevertheless, the people should be proud and it seems all credible to me. The process has been sincere and honest. The next few days will show the declaration and the finalization of it. We just have to wait and see what the will of the people has in store. Peace.

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