Trust institutions managing elections, former AG Githu Muigai says

Former Attorney General Githu Muigai [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Former Attorney General Githu Muigai has discouraged politicians and their supporters from mistrusting public institutions mandated to organise and conduct the election process.

His remarks come amid rising political tensions in the country, as presidential aspirants tour the country to popularize their manifestos 20 days ahead of the August 9 General Election.

Speaking during the launch of Kenya's Political Education Source Book by Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu in Nairobi on Tuesday, Muigai blamed politicians for raising concerns about neutrality in election management bodies.

He has also warned that such actions could jeopardise how the August 9 elections are run.

“These are very dangerous steps in the wrong direction. We must have some measure of trust in public institutions. We must trust judges; we cannot have a situation where we delegitimize the Judiciary ahead of the contest,” he warned.

He called on journalists to exercise caution in their election reporting adding media plays a key role in electoral processes as candidates and political parties depend on it for media access.

“I get very concerned when the media elite begin to delegitimize state institutions [charged with election management] by slowly beginning to create a doubt, not on evidence, but on hearsay,” he warned.

Interior Secretary Fred Matiang'i has previously challenged politicians to be tolerant and refrain from using inciting language in their campaigns.

Matiang’i said while the country heads toward the general elections, it is prudent for politicians to refrain from sentiments that may fuel violence and jeopardise the peace and stability of the country.

“We are asking our leaders, particularly the political class to be very careful about their language, the tone of their conversation, their messaging and how they address the public, reduce tension and any possible opportunity for incitement and refrain from habits that would put us into problems,” he said.