Courageous IEBC man should be emulated by all and sundry

IEBC officials demonstrate to learners and teachers at St Peters Elite Schools in Gilgil how an elecgtion is conducted. [Daniel Chege, Standard].

The term whistleblower has become relatively popular among Kenyans following the intricacies surrounding the outcome of the August 9, 2022 presidential election.

Its sudden popularity emanates from the shocking revelation by an employee of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), who detailed the fraud and manipulation of the vote tallies that characterised the election.

The whistleblower, who remains anonymous, revealed how the presidential election results were falsified before being presented to Kenyans. The revelation has cast more doubt on the credibility of the election.

In his documents, the whistleblower asserts categorically that Raila Odinga won the election garnering 8,170,353 votes representing 57.3 per centagainst William Ruto's 5,915,973 representing 41.66 per cent.

This assertion contradicts what IEBC announced while declaring William Ruto president-elect - garnering 7,176,141 votes representing 50.49 per cent, against Raila's 6,942,930 votes representing 48.5 per cent.

The revelation, which IEBC is yet to officially counter, has stirred the charged political terrain with Raila and the Azimio team avowing to reclaim 'stolen victory', declaring mass action that has since put the country on tenterhooks. They are insisting on an independent audit of the IEBC servers to authenticate the winner of the presidential election.

Kenya is replete with endemic corruption and socio-economic and political malpractices including electoral injustices. This informs the need for more courageous and patriotic Kenyans like the IEBC whistle-blower, if at all we dream of an upright and just society.

The high corruption levels permeating every sector of our economy and politics is hindering development and endangering democracy. It is witnessed not only in the public sector, but also the private sector and civil society.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission estimates that a third of Kenya's annual budget is embezzled in corrupt deals with colossal amounts being paid to private companies owned by corrupt public officials.

In the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, Kenya is ranked 128th out of 180 countries, tied with seven other countries, including - Bolivia, Azerbaijan, Laos, and Paraguay.

Electoral fraud in Kenya, like many other African countries, has continued to undermine the struggle to deepen and institutionalise democracy and deal effectively with government impunity, particularly associated with abuse of executive power and violation of human rights.

This is one country with notoriety of elected leaders and those appointed to serve in various positions, using their positions to amass wealth from public coffers without batting an eyelid. As all this happens, nobody dares to raise a voice, as the respective staff teams only helping in facilitating the theft.

In Kenya we need whistleblowers in State House, government ministries and departments, parastatals and state corporations, National Assembly, Judiciary, county governments, National Government Constituencies Development Fund, private sector and civil society, among many others.

Our elections are never free, fair, transparent, verifiable and credible, due to malpractices like those revealed by the IEBC whistleblower.

Thus we end up having all manner of characters assuming the reins of power and taking over the country's governorship through false mandate, against the will of the majority. These are people who only seek self-aggrandisement, devoid of the interest and welfare of the people.

The time is ripe for Kenyans to be ready to play the whistle-blower role. Whistleblowers' have a characteristic of honesty and fearlessness and are always courageous and brave enough to expose misconduct. Their actions are generally motivated by a commitment to the public interest.

Mr Oduor is the Executive Director of the Orange Democratic Party