“The opposition CORD coalition has welcomed the move by members of parliament to pass the elections amendment bill 2016 without any amendments hence barring any politicians from party hopping after party primaries. CORD co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula have put their members on notice to make a decision on whether they will stick to CORD or join other political parties before the party primaries. The bill now awaits the president’s assent” (KTN News, 2016).
“Devolution cabinet Secretary and Nominated MP Sarah Lekorere asked Cord Leader Raila Odinga to concede defeat if his party is beaten in the 2017 General elections. Speaking in Laikipia the duo maintained that Odinga had already supported the new law barring MPs or political leaders from party hoping and indeed if he meant it, then he should do the same if defeated during the opposition nominations as well as during the general elections” (Kenya NTV, 2016)
While we see no need to chest-thump as the CORD negotiating team on IEBC reforms, CORD has achieved what we know is critical to delivering a free, fair and peaceful polls next year.
One; what Jubilee intransigence throughout this process has revealed to us is that the much hyped ‘numbers’ by Jubilee are nonexistent. The fear to have a credible electoral institution by Jubilee tells it all.
Having said that; our team has achieved one critical objective that we set to achieve which was, foremost, to have the current crop of IEBC commissioners to go.
We’ve also reduced the number from nine to seven and delineated their roles from those of the secretariat.
We’ve set modalities for getting a new set of commissioners in the most rigorous manner possible which, in our human estimation, should guarantee utmost credibility.
There are finer details to this that we’ll share in coming days.
My experience with Kenya’s democracy project so far is that it is work in progress. Today we give this, tomorrow we get that. It is give-and-take. And while often we wished we had all; that isn’t how it works in reality.
Two; the voter register will be forensically audited. While Jubilee and current IEBC didn’t want anything done on the voter register, and we were adamant the register had to be expunged and a new one instituted; the middle ground was to audit it and should there be ‘multitude of ghosts’ in it; that will automatically lead to a new one.
Three; from next year the country will go for electronic voting. This goes to voter identification, registration, ballot casting, votes transmission and and tallying. Should this system collapse, there shall be no reverting to manual: the election shall be repeated.
Four; we have anchored it in law that IEBC must provide, within 48hrs, all documents it used to declare any candidate a winner. Many of you who followed 2013 presidential petition knows why this is significant.
Finally, there are finer details of what our side has achieved which cannot be reduced to A FACEBOOK post – much as I wished I could – but I felt it was important to clarify that CORD has achieved much, much more; though not all.
In the end; the only way to get jubilee out of power is to VOTE them out of power. This is the next stage.
Nairobi May 28th 2016. UNDP’s support to the elections cycle in Kenya is through the Strengthening the Electoral Processes in Kenya programme, of which one component is working with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). Through this support UNDP offered to support the voter registration exercise.
The Voter registration process is a continuous activity, nonetheless the Elections Operations plan envisioned two targeted mass voter registration campaigns, one in 2016 and the other in 2017. The aim of these campaigns is to register over 8 Million new voters in preparation for the 2017 elections, a majority of whom are the youth. In January 2016 the IEBC was at an advance stage of planning for the roll out of the MVR Phase I including with support from UNDP. As per the project, UNDP, was to facilitate the mobilization by IEBC of an extra 2,878 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits across the Country in order for the total number of BVRs provided by IEBC for this exercise to be 5,756. This mobilization of extra kits therefore was strategic in view of reaching as many youths as possible within the target of 4 Million for this period. Mobilization of BVRs therefore required the recruitment and remuneration of a total of 3,168 voter registration assistants.
In line with contracting arrangements, VRAs are required to submit copies of their contract, worksheet, National Health Insurance Fund card and National Social Security Fund card to the IEBC for verification, together with valid bank account or M-Pesa details, after which payment is disbursed. Some of the VRAs did not provide this information on time and therefore this resulted in delayed processing of their payment. This has however been addressed and UNDP Kenya and the IEBC are working with all VRAs to ensure expedited payment for services rendered.
Today the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC) answered the Opposition Party of Coalition of Reforms and Democracy (CORD), that has since January 2016 worked for an amendments of laws to sufficiently make the Electoral Reform and the Electoral Commission to become better and more righteous; as the amendments would set more standards and specify the laws as for instance only have one voters registers and so on. That seems legitimate concern for any political party, as that would set precedence for how you can count the actual voters and hereby have certainty of the amount of voters for each polling station. That is just one example of the amendments in the constitutional amendment that the CORD had facilitated and signatures. Here is the latest statement from CORD of the 26 March of 2016 and also today’s statement from the IEBC.
CORD Statement on the 26.03.2016:
“The allegations set out in the said statement are as bizarre as they could get. It is a clear manifestation that IEBC is a joke of a commission that does not comprehend the enormity of the constitutional responsibility bestowed on it. The cavalier manner in which IEBC continues to treat the critical manner of the Okoa Kenya popular initiative to amend the constitution goes a long way to confirm our long held views that we will not go into another election with IEBC as currently constituted” (…)”At the core of this dispute, IEBC has not disclosed to anyone what register they used to verify the Okoa Kenya signatures. During the Supreme court petition in 2013, the commission had a characture of five different sets of registers which were ingnonimously endorsed by the supreme court” (…)”There is no way a collection of 1.7 million signatures from all over the county can lack a few jokers and you can’t tear out those pages without affecting the integrity of the whole collection” (…)”It is interesting that in the week preceding the announcement by IEBC some of its commissioners called the leadership of Okoa Kenya to communicate that the initiative had met the threshold and they were in the process of preparing the transmission to county assemblies. Similarly senior commission officials made a similar announcement in an engagement with county leaders at a forum in Naivasha. This was a until their favorite Siamese twin that is Jubilee knocked on their door that they started shifting goal posts” (Magaya, 2016).
IEBC Statement on the 28.03.2016:
“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) would like to make it clear that it did not at any point verify the authenticity of signatures presented in support of the OKOA Kenya initiative. Any mark was admitted as an intention or consent by a petitioner. The Commission did not reject a single signature because of its structure or formation. The records that were rejected were those that were not found in the voters register. Some records had signatures but without ID or passport numbers while others had just names and no other entries. The claim that IEBC could not possibly verify signatures because it did not have a repository of samples is true. It is therefore needless to belabor or fault IEBC on this matter and we could not ridicule ourselves to that extent”.
That CORD has gone the extent of the exercise of Democratic values went along to follow the constitution to get the signatures from a great amount of people that is needed for this to get through to Parliament and then voted by the Members of Parliament there through the significant amount of votes to amend the constitution.
The IEBC would by all means not accept that as that would mean the ones selected to be in the board and leadership of it would be scrutinized and questioned even more by the citizens and political parties. As the institutions who facilitate and organize the elections and secure the tallying of the votes, would surely not accept to reformed when they are ensured to keep that state as long as they have the grace of the ruling regime and ruling party.
The Ruling regime and Ruling Party of Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) have no interest of changing the constitution as long as that gives them an edge and structure that can secure the next election in 2017. That is the reason alone why they have no interest in this juncture to change it, if so it is to change public perception on the matter and the up-coming election, as the JAP and the President Kenyatta has had enough scandals lately.
The truth of the matter will come at a later point and this is certainly a political game from both angels and the IEBC is the scapegoat either for the JAP and the CORD. The Parties cannot be embedded directly with the Electoral Commission, if so then it’s ipso facto no democratic election to come. Than the IEBC will more directly announcing the result the JAP want or the President Kenyatta wishes, that is not a great look for the ruling regime or the IEBC; except that they are loyal to the regime running the country.
Certainly the reason from the IEBC is disregarding the collection of signatures; they are directly insulting and insinuating cheating of it. And it is with common sense the CORD is saying certain pages will be badly written and conducted as the public will act a fool sometimes. That is something that the IEBC should respect and maybe counter the pages of nonsense. Still not underscore the whole picture from the CORD on the Okoa Kenya and the amendment of the Kenyan Constitution.
The proof and the validity of the IEBC can be questioned by one simple question. Why should the organizer of elections have the power to disqualify the citizen’s questions of the constitution and also disregarding the signatures? Who really think that the commission that controls and instituted elections want to change it? Why would the men and woman who has a comfortable job make it harder? Why want the JAP change the laws when they help them to stay in power?
When you can answer those questions and have the results of them. Then you can see my reasoning for why the referendum on the Constitution of Kenya is not happening. Because the IEBC has no reason to change it, and the ruling regime has the same agenda. Except that the JAP also want to look decent for the citizens and the pundits. IEBC works on accord with the Parliament and the Government, so if the laws changes then they will work differently. The Opposition is right to question the IEBC and their technical and operational work for the elections held. But they should not easy dismiss the wishes to reform the work and electoral laws, as they might be insufficient and missing vital structure to procure viable and trustworthy elections. As long as the can be more than one voters register, you can one which is the one they use and which one is the official. That is something that the IEBC should not have issues with. As long as there are more than one list out, means that there are more possibility to fix the results wished at any given time, as the polling stations can have different amount of total voters depending on which list that the IEBC uses. That gives the them the opportunity to rig the election as they please, instead of having a unified and one single register of voters that can be checked after the announcement and preliminary results from each polling station. You smell me? Peace.
Magaya, Norman – ‘Press Release on the OKOA Kenya initiative’ (26.03.2016) link: http://tupashe.com/railas-cord-releases-explosive-brief-giving-conditions-before-facing-uhuru-in-2017/