Let us all be vigilant in our quest for better Kenya
Posted Saturday, August 11 2012 at 19:58
When one looks critically at what is going on around us in the present Kenya, there may be need to accept the fact that there will have to be a major reorganisation that needs to happen whether we like it or not.
Politicians, business people, social activists and all cultural agents may appear like they are the only ones who understand what kind of Kenya we need to be. But fellow Kenyans, we need to think a little more seriously.
Early last week there was a meeting between the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the two principals together with a few other stakeholders on the issue of the Biometric Voter Registration kit which the commission had unfortunately been unable to deal with in spite of all the hope they had given us.
Mark you they are supposed to be an independent commission. Two days later, I saw a press statement signed by their chairman.
An admission in that statement did not only catch my attention but it also worried me quit a bit. It went something like this; “……the acquisition of the Biometric Voter Registration Kit was frustrated by cumbersome procurement laws and procedures, political and vendor rivalry etc”.
What this meant to me is that the tendering was interfered with by busy bodies – with connections in high places across the political divide – whose intention may have been to make money out of it.
Would political rivalry just be limited to patronage over the busy bodies or could it also have had another agenda related to what the outcome of elections may have been intended to be?
This is a matter that we Kenyans cannot afford to take lightly. Even though the violence that we witnessed after the elections of 2007 must have been one of the options available to a section of our political class, the situation was aggravated by an electoral commission that had been discredited.
The faith citizens have in the commission will determine the credibility of the results.
Government is now involved in the acquisition of the kit.
Where does that leave the independence of commission? If the team has admitted that other than the cumbersome rules of procurement there were also political and vendor rivalries, could there be some of them who would have been the agents of such rivalries? If so, then the integrity of the electoral commission is in question.
Dr Wamugunda is the dean of students and sociology lecturer at the University of Nairobi firstname.lastname@example.org