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Chebukati: You are playing with fire, act and spare us empty threats

By Michael Wainaina | Tuesday, Apr 18th 2017 at 09:24

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, it is the sole responsibility of IEBC to organise and conduct general elections. Nobody and no-body should interfere with the organisation and conduct of general elections. No one should try to arm twist, threaten or issue instructions to the Commission. This does not exempt the Jubilee government, NASA or any other busy bodies out there.

My friend, you are playing with fire. I am sure you live in Kenya and you know that the political class is fundamentally mannerless and have desecrated every space, every law and every process in the book in pursuit of their politics of ethnicity, impunity and mediocrity, siasa ya ukabila, ukora na upuzi.

If you allow them to pronounce themselves on matters elections, watakuambukiza ukora na upuzi! There can be no negotiating with these guys, they must be reined in and put in their place NOW. There is a West African saying that if a snake does not want children to use it as a rope, it bites.

Mr Chairman, you and your Commission should bite! Warnings, threats to, condemnations and summons of the bad mannered political class are not enough. You are issuing them to fellows who do not care. They do not just believe they are above the law, they believe they are the law. You must show them that when it comes to the elections the Law says you are the boss!

First, these fellows are incapable of delivering free and fair anything in the parties they own. They cannot conduct free and fair elections nor can they conduct free and fair nominations. The one side called a group of paid functionaries in Kasarani and declared that they had merged parties by acclamation method popularly known as kura ya makelele, popularised by their progenitor KANU.

The other side is still a hodgepodge of tribal kingpins and tribal parties that call themselves a coalition. They have never held free and fair anything. Only ODM has ever attempted an election. It was conducted by an elections board called men-in-black.

It is a stylish name for goons and hooligans who scuttled the whole election giving the owners of the party the result they were looking for. Same madness is repeating itself in their nominations.

These are the fellows you are dealing with, Mr Chebukati. None of them has the moral authority to demand free and fair elections from anyone. You should deliver free and fair elections because that is what the law demands you do, not because any of these tribal kingpins and their tribal coalitions have demanded it.

You can already hear aspirants in their own parties crying wolf. These aspirants from their own parties cannot trust the tribal kingpins to deliver free and fair nominations because they can’t. How can people who cannot deliver elections of any sort unless un-free, un-fair and un-credible be the ones telling you how to run a general election?

I can tell you why. Their interference with the electoral process has nothing to do with wanting to ensure free, fair and credible elections. They are not interested in free and fair elections. They are interested in elections that they WILL WIN. You should not treat them with kids-gloves imagining that they are people that you can play ball with.

Mr Chairman, I am sure you have heard of a guy called Kriegler. Johann Kriegler. He chaired the Kriegler Commission and what he had to say would help you know what kind of fellows you are dealing with in Jubilee and NASA. Remember all of them were key players in the botched 2007 elections.

While some Kenyans will tell you that the 2007 elections were stolen, Kriegler’s verdict indicates that everyone stole, only that some were more successful than others. Kriegler noted the existence of “manipulation” in the tribal “strongholds” of the contestants.

I need not remind you that we are dealing with the same people today and the same “strongholds”. These tribal kingpins still own them and they plan to capitalize on them through “perversion of polling”, in the same manner described by Kriegler and even more.

This is a dangerous election. On the one side you have a self-proclaimed-YK92-hustler and a 2002-failed-Nyayo-project who claim they will rule for 20 years. Never mind they were given five years by Kenyans in 2013 and all we have seen is a looting spree.

On the other side, you have a desperate three time election “looser”, a septuagenarian who claims he has “one bullet remaining”! His idea of free and fair elections are those run by men-in-black. The one he wins, even when numbers suggest otherwise.

Kriegler warned us Mr Chebukati. You cannot have free and fair elections in an atmosphere of political dishonesty and ethnic jingoism. You are dealing with the same characters whose political engagement he warned about. You cannot be wishy-washy about them.

You must stand your ground. You cannot sit around and watch them toy with the IEBC and with the electoral process. These people want to use you to deliver elections that they will win.

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