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Gichangi predicted post-poll chaos in his memos

BUSIA
By | August 10th 2009

By Standard Reporter

A day after spy chief Maj-Gen (rtd) Michael Gichangi wrote to Mr Samuel Kivuitu, then chairman of disbanded Electoral Commission, he warned Kenya was headed for a "highly polarised election".

"As the country enters the final phase of the electioneering period, cases of impunity, political intolerance, violence as well as inter and intra-ethnic animosities are on the increase," he said.

He said this was an indication that, "the forthcoming elections will be highly polarised," and itemised what he viewed as worrying trends the exercise could burn up the country.

Top on his list was persistent claims of election irregularities "such as printing of ballot papers and alleged advance marking of ballot papers."

Gichangi: Predicted post-poll chaos

He also said perception was already high the Civil Service had taken sides, and singled out "use of Government resources by Provincial Administration and other civil servants in the ongoing campaigns".

In his letter dated December 7, 2007, and copied to Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, Secretary to the Cabinet and chairman of the National Security Advisory Committee, Gichangi predicted: "The country could witness political instability of unprecedented levels with serious ramifications to national security if the process is perceived or seen not be free and fair."

In the letter that was also copied to Police Commissioner Hussein Ali, whose forces were later overwhelmed and the military had to be called in, he proposed: "This therefore calls for the need by ECK to put in place strategies in ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections."

Clashes predicted

In another document which he produced before Waki Commission, and whose contents have already been publicised, Gichangi predicted clashes were President Kibaki to be named winner — mainly in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret.

This turned to be the case when Kivuitu announced Kibaki had won, amidst the chaos at KICC.

Were Raila to be declared winner he said he was not anticipating the kind of violence Kibaki’s would, especially if PNU conceded defeat. He was however, concerned at how to contain, "overzealous ODM supporters who may cause celebration-related violence in Nairobi, Luo Nyanza and in major urban centres."

He advised all security and Government agencies be put on high alert, and admitted "a significant number of Government/security personnel are partisan, they may not be as effective in maintaining law and order.’’

He also cautioned the situation could be compounded if international observers’ report were to "indicate that elections were not free and fair."

His report, which routine requires is tabled at the National Security Advisory Committee meetings chaired by Muthaura, concluded: "The conduct of the election process and that of the main presidential candidates will be critical in determining how the country will forge ahead in the post-election period."

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