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Credibility of IEBC hangs in the balance

08 October 2013, 14:56 Mubweka Orodi

Five MPs, two governors and one Senator have lost their seats through election petition. This is an indication of many things gone wrong during the just concluded March 4 elections. What exactly happened to result in the nullification of so many election results around the country?

During the March 4 general elections, temperatures were high as campaigns came to a close and there were repeated allegations that the electoral body was in tune to rig the democratic process. However, the elections went on well without major incidents of violence as was anticipated by international media and community.

Even though all was well with regard to a peaceful election, not everything went as is supposed in terms of integrity of the whole process. According to the numerous rulings that have been read across the country, there are clear indications that the process of electing leaders was marred with irregularities that affected the results.

Immediately after the election results were announced, the CORD coalition presented their petition before the Supreme Court. The President of the court, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga, presided over the petition with the aide of five other judges for a period of two weeks as is prescribed in the constitution. Evidence presented before court shocked the country as there was widespread manipulation of the results.

To the disappointment of many CORD supporters, the court threw out the petition citing lack of sufficient evidence. This was not absorbed well by the CORD fraternity as they declared their respect for the court’s decision but lack of acceptance of the decision.

What the Supreme Court cited as lack of evidence has been termed as an absurd remark owing to the fact that huge amounts of evidence were presented before the court. Nonetheless, High Courts across the country have just concluded hearing dozens of petitions and by the look of things, there indeed was widespread malpractice in the exercise.

For eight leaders to lose their seats in petitions, there must have been major irregularities. The question pegged then is; what about the presidential election? How major was the malpractice conducted in the presidential election? The IEBC has come under sharp criticism from different quarters to the extent that some members of the public have publicly asked for the disbandment of the electoral body.

The manner in which the elections were conducted clearly left a lot to be desired and thus the credibility of the IEBC needs to be checked afresh. From the manner in which election equipment were procured to the declaration of results, there seems to have been numerous unethical practices that dented the image of the IEBC. As if not enough, the High Court has nullified seven election results increasing the instability of the IEBC boat.

To have the IEBC conduct the by-election will be utter madness. The proper definition of madness is; doing the same thing over and over in the same design expecting different outcomes.

IEBC has already gotten a poor score card from the manner in which they handled the elections and for that they ought to either be disbanded or restructured so as to restore confidence of the Kenyan people.

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