IEBC boss almost admits to bungling up polls
16 August 2013, 15:10
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Isaac Hassan on Friday almost admitted to bungling up the March 4 general election.
Only three months after the hotly contested and heavily disputed elections, Hassan said, “Wacha nimsalimie mzee hata kama nilimkosea (Let me greet Mzee even though I wronged him)."
He made the remarks while disembarking from his vehicle, on his way to attend the national Law Society of Kenya conference where Raila Odinga was to deliver a speech.
The polls body chair made the remarks as he was led by the ex prime minister’s aide to a room at Leisure Lodge resort in Ukunda where Raila was held up in another meeting with his close confidantes.
An IEBC commissioner who refused to be named played down the statement saying it was ‘in jest’ and should not be taken to mean anything serious.
The commissioner said that the statement should not be politicised since the country was past elections and urged the media to highlight it.
“I’m sure it was just a slip of the tongue by my boss,” said the commissioner.
IEBC has been at the centre of controversies following the announcement of Uhuru Kenyatta as the president despite acknowledging technological failures during the elections day.
Raila who has expressed his candidature for presidency in 2017 has been quoted in sections of the press as saying that the IEBC should be disbanded and barred from holding any other election, but the poll body has vigorously defended itself over the disputed election.
Voting kits procurement under investigations
Already, a probe team has been asked to prepare reports on the EVIDs (Electronic voter’s identification devices) - one on the solar lamps used during the March elections and another one on the Biometric Voter Registration Kits.
The team is also expected to check into allegations that Face technologies, a South Africa firm awarded the tender to supply the EVIDs may have sourced the kits from China without the required specification.
The former Prime Minister and other CORD politicians have criticized IEBC over the mass failure of the EVID kits during the March 4 election which was one of their grounds for the petition they filed challenging the election of President Uhuru.
However, IEBC so far maintains that everything was above board and the technological failures were not deliberate.
"The BVR kits were 100 per cent efficient. What failed in some areas were the electronic voter identification kits. I am not saying there were no mistakes. Yes, they happened but we are working on addressing them before the next election," IEBC CEO James Oswago was quoted as saying.
Raila's take on the elections
Raila, while addressing the lawyers at the retreat in Mombasa said he did not agree with the electoral boss but still maintained that he respected him as an individual.
“Isaac knows I don’t agree with him completely but that’s a story for another day. We did not accept the elections results and we went to the Supreme Court to challenge it. We did not agree with the ruling but we respected it,” said Raila.
Raila said CORD party and its supporters avoided bloodshed and political instability by respecting the outcome of the poll, though it was bungled up.
The former Prime minister also took issues with the deputy president William Ruto’s statement on Thursday at the LSK retreat that Raila should stop his calls for referendum and instead let the Jubilee government deliver its promises.
“In 2002 and 2007, Ruto was on the frontline opposing the messy election results we had. He cannot surely now say we should stop our activism,” said Raila.
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