All peace-loving Kenyans have been horrified by developments at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over the last 48 hours.
First was Commissioner Roselyn Akombe’s resignation and escape to the USA. As she has explained, a majority of her former colleagues at the Commission have absconded their oath of office and turned so politically partisan that her continued presence among them was adding no value to the preparation for the October 26 election. Her honest assessment is that IEBC, as currently constituted, cannot conduct an election that meets the standard set by the Supreme Court ruling of September 1.
She has told the world that the so-called election being organized by the IEBC is a sham. She has disowned her previous statements alleging IEBC is ready for elections. She has shared inside information revealing how IEBC has been hijacked and is ran by the Jubilee Party, through commissioners and top secretariat officials who coordinate with the Jubilee campaign in all but name.
Dr Akombe confessed and confirmed that the Chairman Wafula Chebukati, who is the National Returning Officer for the presidential election, is “under siege”; virtually a prisoner held hostage by Jubilee.
Hours later yesterday, IEBC Chairman Mr. Wafula Chebukati speaking as the National Returning Officer for the presidential election made an exceptional confession in a speech to the country. Mr. Chebukati echoed Dr Akombe explicitly announcing that IEBC, in its current aberration as a playground for Jubilee, cannot guarantee the credibility of the October 26 election. Short of announcing his resignation, Chebukati requested for a rethink on the election date.
He said the Commission is divided and attempts to make crucial changes to ensure a free, fair and credible election sabotaged by Jubilee-leaning Commissioners.
Mr. Chebukati was categorical that these Commissioners were forcing the Commission to accept legal opinions that serve partisan interests and are not grounded in the Constitution or the law.
The chairman further said that without critical changes in the key Secretariat staff the country may not have a free, fair and credible election. He publicly asked staff adversely mentioned to have bungled the August 8 election to step aside and allow the Project Team to function without interference.
The disclosures by Dr. Akombe and Mr. Chebukati are not new but confirm the fears NASA has raised consistently despite fierce resistance and denial at every stage.
Dr Akombe forthrightly affirmed that the space for reforming IEBC systems before the scheduled election has elapsed, and that the election of October 26 shall not meet the most basic standards of credibility.
NASA is therefore at a loss why Jubilee is hustling the country towards a sh12 billion disaster. The elections criminal enterprise and their cohorts in IEBC seem to value KICKBACKS and POWER as more important than the security of the country.
Dr Akombe also expressed concern with the hostility IEBC field officers have faced in our strongholds. These can be attributed to the IEBC intransigence borrowed from Jubilee where the rogue commissioners want to force an election down the throat of Kenyans. NASA is addressing those concerns. Indeed we have appealed to our supporters to refrain from any acts of violence or threats to innocent IEBC officers.
We are, however, alarmed and disturbed that even with serious reservations by IEBC itself about its inability to guarantee the credibility of the October 26 election, President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and sections of the international community, including election observer missions still insist on IEBC holding the election. This is confirmation that all those pushing for elections to proceed have never been keen on free, fair and credible elections after all. All they want is any kind of election; in name only but lacking in content.
NASA will not join this charade. We remain committed to FREE, FAIR AND CREDIBLE ELECTIONS, which IEBC cannot guarantee as disclosed by Dr. Akombe and Mr. Chebukati. As we announced at the Kamukunji Grounds last evening, we will hold massive demonstrations across the country on October 26 to express our displeasure with a sham Jubilee opinion poll affair.
We reject attempts by some internal and external actors to blackmail NASA into being complicit in a sham election. Such actors are cynically trying to put our demonstrations at par with the systematic plot in IEBC to undermine the will of the Kenyan people. Instead of such actors helping safeguard democracy, they are trying to apportion criticisms in a warped logic that ‘both sides’ must be to blame.
We in NASA are prepared to pay any price to safeguard democracy in Kenya. October 26 will test the commitment by all Kenyans and our partners to the principles of democracy and national unity. October 26 will mark the launch of a new and ambitious movement to reclaim the constitutionally guaranteed sovereignty of the Kenyan people. Our agitation will be peaceful.
We call upon all people of goodwill to stand by Kenyans’ demand for a Kenya in which all citizens are equal before the law and against inherent Jubilee intent to promulgate a policy in which some Kenyans are more special than others.
Hon. Musalia Mudavadi, EGH,
Chairman, NASA National Campaign Committee
& ANC Party leader