@TheStar

IEBC threat to national unity

4 months ago, 14 Mar 01:06

By: Okech Kendo

Electoral reforms are a vicious cycle of dead-ends in a polity where the power clique is obsessed with greed, arrogance, ethnic hubris, violence and impunity. This realisation gives context to the proposed post-election amity. A conspiracy of a mendacious power clique and a gullible Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is a threat to national stability. This conspiracy also undermines devolution in counties tarred with the bad manners of Nairobi. Some counties are dens of corruption where tenderpreneurs are wedded to the political leadership in a partnership whose defining ideology is impunity. Call them cartels or vultures of opportunity. Security agencies are hirelings in this coalition of impunity. For as long as a mendacious power elite presides over the state and county treasuries, the IEBC, whether reformed down to the tea servers, will remain a threat to national stability. The gullible are bought; the bold are killed or exiled. ODM leader Raila Odinga understands this better. The IEBC is the architect of pre-election tension and post-election animosities. It cannot be trusted to run free and fair elections that leave winners and losers hugging. It panders to the whims of the moneyed and the militarised. The timidity of the supposedly independent electoral agency is a matter of historical notoriety. The arrogance of the IEBC leadership is inspired by the feeling that they are secured against accountability. Impunity turns the courts into a laundry for the mendacity of the power clique and its IEBC acolytes. Impunity blossoms during elections — the feeding season for vultures of opportunity. Lords of impunity have a price for vocal political leaders. They jump from party to party, like headless chickens, during elections. After elections, they pander to the whims of the wielders of the stick and the carrot. The cost of rigged elections to the economy, impunity, and the assault on stunted nationhood are clear to right-thinking citizens. The Oxford English Dictionary defines impunity as “exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of action”. Those who enjoy the patronage of the power clique, including those from the IEBC, have always acted with impunity. The courts would not launder bad manners if independent institutions were guided solely by public interest. Post-election behaviour would take a civil trajectory if the perpetrators of electoral injustice were punished. The chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, the late Samuel Kivuitu, confessed on camera he did not know who won the 2007 presidential election. But President Kibaki had to ‘win’ at any cost. A sulking Kivuitu declared an alleged winner, who was sworn-in at night against the backdrop of gunfire, blood and tears. Potential for a civil war was not a barrier to electoral fraudsters. The thieving political class needs a gullible electoral agency to pay lip service to democracy. It also needs a manipulable, tribe-conscious electorate to hawk ethnic propaganda. An embedded press, willing to peddle propaganda, is the icing on this mendacious, nation-killing cocktail of deceit. Thus, the power elite, in Nairobi and the counties, will always ...
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Category: topnews news oped opinion

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@TheStar

IEBC threat to national unity

4 months ago, 14 Mar 01:06

By: Okech Kendo
Electoral reforms are a vicious cycle of dead-ends in a polity where the power clique is obsessed with greed, arrogance, ethnic hubris, violence and impunity. This realisation gives context to the proposed post-election amity. A conspiracy of a mendacious power clique and a gullible Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is a threat to national stability. This conspiracy also undermines devolution in counties tarred with the bad manners of Nairobi. Some counties are dens of corruption where tenderpreneurs are wedded to the political leadership in a partnership whose defining ideology is impunity. Call them cartels or vultures of opportunity. Security agencies are hirelings in this coalition of impunity. For as long as a mendacious power elite presides over the state and county treasuries, the IEBC, whether reformed down to the tea servers, will remain a threat to national stability. The gullible are bought; the bold are killed or exiled. ODM leader Raila Odinga understands this better. The IEBC is the architect of pre-election tension and post-election animosities. It cannot be trusted to run free and fair elections that leave winners and losers hugging. It panders to the whims of the moneyed and the militarised. The timidity of the supposedly independent electoral agency is a matter of historical notoriety. The arrogance of the IEBC leadership is inspired by the feeling that they are secured against accountability. Impunity turns the courts into a laundry for the mendacity of the power clique and its IEBC acolytes. Impunity blossoms during elections — the feeding season for vultures of opportunity. Lords of impunity have a price for vocal political leaders. They jump from party to party, like headless chickens, during elections. After elections, they pander to the whims of the wielders of the stick and the carrot. The cost of rigged elections to the economy, impunity, and the assault on stunted nationhood are clear to right-thinking citizens. The Oxford English Dictionary defines impunity as “exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of action”. Those who enjoy the patronage of the power clique, including those from the IEBC, have always acted with impunity. The courts would not launder bad manners if independent institutions were guided solely by public interest. Post-election behaviour would take a civil trajectory if the perpetrators of electoral injustice were punished. The chairman of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, the late Samuel Kivuitu, confessed on camera he did not know who won the 2007 presidential election. But President Kibaki had to ‘win’ at any cost. A sulking Kivuitu declared an alleged winner, who was sworn-in at night against the backdrop of gunfire, blood and tears. Potential for a civil war was not a barrier to electoral fraudsters. The thieving political class needs a gullible electoral agency to pay lip service to democracy. It also needs a manipulable, tribe-conscious electorate to hawk ethnic propaganda. An embedded press, willing to peddle propaganda, is the icing on this mendacious, nation-killing cocktail of deceit. Thus, the power elite, in Nairobi and the counties, will always ...
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