The Global Civic Forum wishes to congratulate all Kenyans for turning out in large numbers on August 08 2017 and waiting in line for long hours to exercise their sovereign right to elect their leaders of choice. The patience excised by Kenyans on this day is a clear manifestation of their sheer determination to have their supreme voice heard through the ballot. The Kenyan voters exercised this right in a free, peaceful and mature manner devoid of undue coercion. It’s important to note that the 80 percent voter turnout observed on August 8th 2017 is unprecedented anywhere in the world. The world commends this show of determination by the people of Kenya.
The election was conducted by the Kenyan Independent Electoral and boundary Commission (IEBC); an independent Institution, solely mandated to carry out this exercise in Kenya. The election was by and large highly successful as attested by statements of support made by local and international observer missions (EU, Cater Center, African Union, ILOG, and many other independent institutions from European and Asian Countries). The incumbent, President, Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta was declared the winner subsequent to which the main opposition candidate went to court to challenge the result. In mature democracies, the electoral process and outcome is open to scrutiny and challenge.as guided by the law.
Consequently, after the announcement of the results, the process shifted to the Supreme Court of Kenya. An independent arm of our democracy to hear and make a determination on the presidential the petition. The Supreme Court heard the petition and rendered an independent judgement that nullified the presidential results and subsequently ordered the IEBC to conduct a new election within 60 days in accordance with the constitution. The Global Civic Forum (GCF) urges all Kenyans, including political leaders to respect the court’s ruling in its entirety regardless of their individual or collective opinion of the judgement.
In line with the court’s order, the IEBC has schedule a new presidential election for October 17th 2017. Being the sole body mandated to conduct elections in Kenya, the GCF urge all Kenyans to continue with their support to the IEBC so that they can conduct the election re-run without interference and intimidation. The GCF has taken serious exception to the call from some quarters for the removal of office of the IEBC management. The call is premature, unwarranted and ill intended. While we understand that some returning officers failed to use the proper result transmission forms, and others failed to sign the forms, due process as provided in our constitution rather than public prosecution should carry the day. Where malpractice and perpetrator are identified, we recommend that they be provided with an opportunity through the appropriate channels to explain the circumstances leading to their actions and decision. If found culpable, GCF requests that the Director of Public Prosecution
review all the reports pertaining to the alleged malpractice and recommend prosecution where necessary.
Since the malpractice was not systemic but rather isolated cases involving management officers, an election re-run can be successfully conducted in their absence. The GCF recommend that the IEBC appoint and train other officers to take over from those who failed to follow instructions as provided. In addition, we advise the IEBC to appoint a team of competent personnel at the central tallying center to scrutinize every result transmitting forms for completeness and accuracy.
While every citizen has a right to work in Kenya, it is their sovereign duty and honor to serve with to serve the country without fear or favor. In return, the said officers ought to be guaranteed personal and familial security in order to discharge their duties adequately. The state owes this concomitant ingredient of their job. Consequently, the era of intimidation public prosecution of public officers need to end. With the advent and promulgation of the of 2010 constitution whose hallmark is the doctrine of true separation of powers and the bill of rights, there's no excuse as to the right of being heard. We cannot leave up to self-seeking politicians to determine our fit anymore. A preponderance of evidence has shown that these politicians do not act in our best interest but theirs instead. We therefore implore all citizens to be active custodians of the constitution and independent institutions of governance. Doing this will ensure that our institutions will continue and eventually become of age and our democracy will flourish as a be a beacon of hope locally and in Africa at large.
The GCF strongly urges all Kenyans to respect the independence of the IEBC and offer requisite support to ensure that the repeat election is a success. The GCF is concerned about the recent outburst by the NASA leadership asking the IEBC commissioners to run for their lives. The Supreme court has not yet furnished its detailed judgement to clearly specify who did what and when. It is therefore disingenuous for any party to begin to malign and impugn the integrity of certain officers to meet their egocentric goals.This attack is unwarranted and we urge the NASA leadership to denounce violence and join hands with other peace-loving Kenyans to build one Kenya for all. It would be hypocritical for a leader who claims to fight for a better Kenyan, to recklessly ask others in this case IEBC officers, to quit their jobs and run for their lives.
In addition, a free fair election requires that all Kenyans be accorded an opportunity to cast their vote in an environment free of intimidation, or insecurity. In order to maintain an environment that is devoid of violence, politicians from both Jubilee and NASA should desist from intimidating utterances that go against the concept of free and fair elections. The GCF urges all Kenyans to turn-up in large numbers on October 17th, 2017 and reassert their supreme will through the ballot by voting for their candidate of choice.
By Global Civic Forum Inc.
Global Civic Forum is a Diaspora-based organization that is dedicated to advancing democratic values and processes globally. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org .