Raila’s crusade on vilifying IEBC a known tactic to cause confusion, anarchy

By Soko Directory Team / Published October 21, 2017 | 7:06 am





By Dennis Munene

The announcement by National Super Alliance (NASA) that its presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka had withdrawn from the presidential race was a strategy to throw the country into unprecedented political and Constitutional crisis.

Their objective is to discredit the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and ensure the electoral body shoulders blame of subverting the will of the people.

The October 26, fresh poll was ordered by the Supreme Court after annulling the August 8, presidential results on the basis of illegalities and irregularities found to have been committed during the electioneering period.   

However, instead of focusing on campaigns, NASA has embarked on an offensive strategy to paralsye the whole country and stage a constitutional crisis by continuously attacking the IEBC in the guise of calling for electoral reforms.

The attack on the elections agency and its officials is a known strategy by Mr Odinga for the past 20 years following each of his resounding failures in the race for the presidency since 1997, 2007, 2013 and now 2017.

At the moment, the reforms Mr Odinga and his NASA brigade are pushing under irreducible minimums are Machiavellian in nature aimed at plunging the country into a serious Constitutional crisis.

None of their demands, however, are derived from the Supreme Court ruling on September 1, and the subsequent detailed judgment on September 20 on its decision to invalidate that election.

Read: Raila withdrawal: Is the Opposition chief conceding defeat?

A similar scheme was witnessed during and after the 2007 elections. Mr Odinga claimed the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) was plotting to rig and eventually rigged the elections to his disadvantage.

He alleged ECK had imported fake ballot papers from Belgium and registered 188,222 voters more than once. After the 2007 elections, the ECK declared President Mwai Kibaki the winner.

ODM party leaders called for mass action against Mr Kibaki’s victory and on the defunct Kivuitu-led commission resulting to the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

This notwithstanding, Mr Odinga’s quest to discredit the electoral body was also replicated when he lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta in the March 2013 elections. Mr Odinga alleged that the IEBC had bungled the 2013 polls, again.

Not relenting on his tactics, Mr Odinga instigated the ouster of former IEBC commissioners when they rejected the Okoa Kenya Bill on March 22, 2016. The opposition had failed to garner the constitutional requirement of one million signatures.

As a result of the non-stop and violent street protest staged by the then Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), the Issack Hassan-led nine-member team opted to resign and pave way for the current and besieged Wafula Chebukati-led commission.

Just like the current situation, Mr Odinga had then expressed his lack of faith in the commission to oversee this year’s election and forced them out of office.

However, Mr Odinga’s plan was to remove Issack Hassan-led commission, and then propose that the next electoral commission be members nominated by political parties. A replica of the previous IPPG model. Although his suggestion was concealed in a package that was previously implemented in Kenya, Mr Odinga’s real intention was to push for the 2010 Ivorian-like crisis.

Here, Mr Odinga wanted to have absolute control of half the electoral commissioners in the proposed IPPG model.  The idea was simply splitting the electoral body to speak in different voices thereby causing deep confusion and tension to create a scenario where the country would rather opt for power sharing among the protagonists rather than risk tearing the country apart in a divisive second round as was the case in Ivory Coast.

With this plan, Raila Knew that whether President Uhuru Kenyatta had the numbers while did not have the model would outrightly propel him to power through a power-sharing model.

Fortunately for Kenyans and sadly for Mr Odinga, the strategy was thwarted and Chebukati-led commission was appointed under an intensive, transparent and non-partisan recruitment process.

Like any other electoral body, Mr Chebukati’s team has suffered the same fate as previous electoral commissions — NASA embarked on an offensive and destructive mission against the IEBC.

Prior to the August 8 elections, NASA had already begun claiming that IEBC was crafted to help Jubilee to win the elections. Thereafter, they asserted that IEBC awarded Dubai based Al Ghurair Printing and Publishing Company the tender to print ballot papers, a company that they purported had links with President Kenyatta.

Still, in pursuit against IEBC, Mr Odinga’s brigade, with help from some civil society activists filed numerous court cases in attempts to derail and frustrate the electoral body prior to the August 8 elections.

After the elections, the opposition chief is still, yet again, vilifying the electoral body with organizing street demos to ouster the IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba with other members of his secretariat, yet the Supreme Court didn’t find any officer at the commission culpable of a misdemeanor during the August 8, elections.

Thus, it’s time the opposition chief Raila Odinga changes his unconstitutional tactics of attacking independent electoral bodies and shift his strategy and advocate for progressive and alternative policies that will spearhead the growth of our civilization, democracy, and economy.


Dennis Munene is a Researcher and Policy Analyst on Governance and Security issues at Africa Policy Institute.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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