By David Ogega- Kenya Diaspora Movement
A dark cloud hangs over Kenya today. The declaration of William Samoei Ruto as President-elect notwithstanding the glaring electoral fraud, both within the IEBC and in public, is a stunning indictment that the country’s future is bleak. Shortly before the announcement, majority of the IEBC commissioners, four out the seven i.e., vice chair Juliana Cherera, commissioners Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya, came and denounced Chebukati’s impending announcement, Four IEBC commissioners disown Chebukati presidential results | Nation. Theirs was alarming and we must commend all four for their courage in speaking up against this brazen daylight subversion of the people’s will. Unfortunately, this is not new, Kenya has a dubious longstanding notoriety of election fraud, and this is yet another hallmark of the distinction, this must and cannot stand. it simply MUST end, NOW. Attempts to sanitize this fraud must resisted, electoral corruption cannot be the norm in the country.
In the lead to the elections, there were well-founded telltale signs that all was not well and that fraud at the IEBC was in the offing. Rumors circulated that some of the IEBC commissioners and staff were conspiring to rig the elections and that the chairman himself was either personally aware or involved or both; Ruto himself set the ball rolling by declaring that 1.2 million voters in his stronghold had been improperly reassigned to different polling centers/stations, that was before the KPMG audit report that seemed to castigate the IEBC on the same. He had inside information about the inner workings of the IEBC that nobody else had, a clear sign that he had an unfair advantage over everyone else with his inside information. Then it was the Venezuelans arrested at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for importing questionable election material supposedly for the IEBC. Several other incidents pointed to a concerted effort between the IEBC and the Ruto camp to influence the election outcome. These activities and conduct are demonstrable evidence
The results were a sham
The bottom line is, Chebukati announced falsified results that majority of the commissioners opposed, it cannot get any worse than that for the IEBC; that in and of itself is ground for annulment. It is the only appropriate remedy. In this case electoral fraud is obvious, much more so than was the case in 2017 when the Supreme Court annulled President Kenyatta and Ruto’s “win”; Chebukati’s announcement must meet the same fate. Kenyans voted peacefully, as always. It is the counters at the IEBC who let them down. When IEBC inflates, deflates, or otherwise rigs elections in favor of one candidate over the other, it not only mocks the voters and denigrates democracy it also cancels valid votes and disproves the will of the voters, a recipe for anarchy. Lives depend on these electoral outcomes and the majority’s will MUST always he respected, and the rule of law upheld. IEBC has failed in this regard multiple times, at least in of the last two consecutive cycles now, enough is enough. In this cycle, multiple instances were reported of statistical anomalies where there were more votes than registered voters, almost invariably in William Ruto’s favor, 103%, 118% and so on and so forth; in Central Kenya and parts of Nyanza, mainly Kikuyu-land and Kisii respectively, there were astronomically higher votes, about 700.000, cast for William Ruto as president than for any other position i.e., governor, senator, MP and or MCA. That’s a statistical impossibility but more importantly it is a significant number, three times the spread between Ruto’s margin of 233,000 win over Odinga. In other words, if the 700,000 questionable inflated votes are adjusted or removed, Odinga would be the outright winner. Also, there were reported “attempts” to hack IEBC servers and transmitters to report manipulated numbers and all indications are that the high-tech intrusion succeeded. In no uncertain terms must this be tolerated.
Further, during the count it was established that several clerical math “mistakes” were made that assigned Ruto inflated innumerable votes than he received while Odinga’s were deflated, a few digits here, a few 0s there and you have an accumulation of votes wrongfully assigned to Ruto. In one instance in Kiambu, 10,000 votes that were reportedly “erroneously” assigned to Ruto IEBC erroneously announces 10,000 votes for Ruto in Kiambu (the-star.co.ke), don’t be fooled, these were not errors or mere coincidences; they were deliberate, well-orchestrated and choreographed scheme to rob Kenyans of their choice at the ballot box and ends now, of the few reported instances there are multiple others that weren’t reported, this must end.
Prosecute and jail Poll Defrauders, bar beneficiaries from elective office
Kenya must wean itself of this scourge once and for all, and action is past due. All electoral fraud and suspects must be fully investigated from the top to bottom down and those culpable sentenced to hefty jail terms. Nobody should be spared because electoral fraud are conspiracy crimes, it takes more than one party to commit these offenses, inside and outside IEBC. Elective office candidates who suborn and or benefit from electoral fraud must not only be jailed but also permanently barred from elective office if only to serve as a deterrent. There must very strong penalties to serve as disincentives to would be fraudsters otherwise this will never stop.
Truth is the country is split right in the middle. The issue before us now is the resolution. What is the appropriate remedy or recourse that will preserve the delicate peace and mollify parties on both sides? Of course, the most appropriate remedy is an outright cancellation of the poll and repeat, this election announcement is the perfect candidate for annulment by the Supreme Court, more so than in 2017. This is an expensive exercise and perhaps we should do do-over but if that is impossible then the IEBC should be prevailed to make appropriate adjustments that reflect the statistical reality of the true voter turn-out, meaning reverse the inflated tallies in Central Kenya and Kisii, as well as those areas where IEBC reported higher voter turn-out than registered voters. A recount pointless at this point, too much contamination of the ballots but it is a possible start. Whatever resolution arrived at it must be fair and appropriately reflect the will of the majority as best as possible. A statistical adjustment will mean Odinga is declared the winner and perhaps an accommodation reached for Ruto.
Disband IEBC as currently Constituted
IEBC MUST SHAPE UP or SHIP OUT, it is rife for new leadership, clearly the organization is in disarray and this election epitomizes that. Something must be done at the IEBC to restore Kenyans’ confidence in the organization otherwise its but a charade. I am not sure if it is incompetence, complicity, or outright apathy toward the institution they serve or all the above but clearly the entity is hopelessly broken down and to fix it, it must be disbanded and reconstituted under new rules.