Groups dismiss October 26 poll and Uhuru Kenyatta's win

Tuesday October 31 2017

By COLLINS OMULO
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A coalition of trade unions, civil society, academia, faith-based organisations, the media, women, youth, people with disabilities and minorities has dismissed October 26 repeat presidential election as “a sham”.

The group, under the umbrella of 'We the People' coalition, on Tuesday said President Kenyatta, who won the repeat poll, lacks legitimacy because the poll was not credible “just like the one held on August 8”.

COURT ORDER

"We have a problem with how the election was conducted and therefore President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta lacks political and moral legitimacy to remain in power," said Mr Njonjo Mue of Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu, the convener of the coalition.

The loose coalition alleged that the October 26 repeat election was neither credible, legitimate nor legal as it was not conducted by an independent electoral body.

The IEBC did not obey orders given by the Supreme Court either, the Kenyan leaders argued.

Mr Mue cited claims by former IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe that the commission had become party to the country’s political crisis and was characterised by partisan decision-making.

He also referred to the admission by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati that he did not have confidence that the commission could conduct a credible election.

TURNOUT

“A week ago, we cautioned against rushing into an election for which the country was ill-prepared. Our calls for postponement of the election was not heeded, and sadly, our fears have been vindicated,” he said.

The groups also disputed the turnout declared by the IEBC, saying it was lower than 38 percent.

The the low turnout registered in the elections— including non-participation and boycott by voters in opposition strongholds— denied the election any broad mandate, they said.

“The Opposition boycott coupled with the effects of violence, particularly by security agents, meant the political environment was not supportive of a free, fair and credible election,” said Bernard Mukhaisi of Kenya Export, Floriculture and Horticulture Allied Workers Organisation.

The activists and professionals called for the creation of a one-year transition period with the aim of reforming the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) for a fair, credible and transparent poll.

“We seek to institute a mechanism to manage a transition period within a year in which we can properly reform the electoral management body and establish an agency that can genuinely deliver free, fair and credible elections,” said Lorna Dias of Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu.

NASA CALL

Mr Mue said they were equally against the call for a fresh presidential poll in 90 days by the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

Proper reforms, he said, must be undertaken at the IEBC to avert more hurriedly carried out sham elections.

The group was, however, not forthcoming on whether they will be going to the Supreme Court to challenge the results.

"We have seven days to go to court and we know that a Kenyan will do that but we have not said whether we will go or not," he said.

The rights activists condemned police brutality against protesters and innocent Kenyans during the election and demanded justice and accountability.