Roselyn Akombe: World turning blind eye to Kenyan poll woes

Thursday October 19 2017

Roselyn Akombe

IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe. Election observers have chosen to sanitise flawed Kenyan poll, she says. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By WYCLIFFE MUIA
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Former IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe has taken a swipe at the international community, saying they have blindly backed a “deeply flawed” electoral system.

In an interview with American NPR radio, Dr Akombe on Wednesday said the foreign countries failed in their mandate to help Kenya prepare for a credible repeat poll.

'NO QUESTIONS'

“It’s a complex situation and where you have international community fully supporting the entire process, without questioning any part of such process,” Dr Akombe said.

“In other countries that I have worked, the international community should have been the first to raise these concerns.”

This was second interview the ex-commissioner was granting foreign media after declaring her resignation on BBC on Wednesday.

She said she quit the commission because she did not want to be part of a flawed election that would “make a mockery” of electoral integrity.

She blamed the international community for failing to assess and tell the world about the environment on which Kenyan’s election will be held.

TEARS

“You have not heard anybody from the international community explain whether we have environment that will lead us to have a fair and credible election,” she said

During the NPR interview, Dr Akombe broke down when trying to shed off the ‘opposition-mole’ tag at the IEBC.

“I cannot be a crazy person who has woken up and is raising these issues. I’m speaking out because I care for that country, I passionately care about my country. I do not want to see my country going down again,” she said as she fought back her tears.

“I am speaking out because I’m hoping that there are some sober heads who will take this up and redeem that country (Kenya), before it goes down the drain…sorry you got me a bit emotional, I wouldn’t  be able to continue with this interview,” she told the interviewer.

RUTO

In the wake of her announcement, her former boss, Wafula Chebukati, chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, issued a warning to the country’s political leaders on Wednesday.

“It’s impossible under the current conditions to hold free and fair elections,” Mr Chebukati said in a news conference.

“I issue a stern warning to both sides to stop interfering with the work of the commission.”

But in a tweet from his verified official account, Deputy President William Ruto shot back.

"Chebukati should stop lecturing us and oversee the elections. He is not doing us & we need no favours. Btw we won on 8/8 fair and square,” he said.