The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Bomas probe another red-herring moment

 When the outgoing IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati presented a certificate to President elect William Ruto that certified his election at the Bomas of Kenya Aug 15, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Christianity teaches us that no sin is greater than the other, and the price of eternal death awaits sinners equally.

But in legal speak, offences have varied destructiveness. That’s why a misdemeanour is a lesser wrong than a felony. When intent requirement is low, the outcome is less severe.

This could explain why Kenya Kwanza adherents have adjudged the Bomas vote tallying fiasco of August 15 more odious than any other offence in the face of the earth.

Mr Wafula Chebukati and some leaders have called for a special inquiry into alleged criminal activities at Bomas as Kenya Kwanza and Azimio sides both claim to have been targets of vote manipulation.

President William Ruto claims plans to abduct and kill Chebukati were sanctioned by the ‘highest’ office in the land. Meanwhile, Raila Odinga’s Azimio alleges that illegal users had remote access to IEBC systems. The Opposition brigade now claims to have an IEBC whist-blower’s account. We, the Hoi polloi, are left bewildered. As I argued in this column recently, we deserve truth on the good, the bad and the ugly of 2022 poll.

If anyone plotted to kill Chebukati, used the National Security Council to try deny Ruto victory, or tapped Jose Camargo’s ICT skills and robbed Raila of his win, it’s up to scratch to seek the truth.

But as we plan to probe Bomas to the end, let’s ask ourselves if the findings will be politically palatable. Ruto and Raila have played enough political victimhood. What if their closest allies were involved? Will high-profile culprits, if any, pay for their sins?

A further nerve-wracking food for thought: What if…just what if witnesses insinuate that Ruto, Raila and former President Uhuru Kenyatta were intricately involved? Will they be summoned and what will be the political implications? What happens to the credibility of our polls? Moreover, the firm with the poll data servers won’t open them up.

Ruto should borrow from Socrates, who said the secret of change is to focus your energy, not on fighting the old, but building on the new. There’s no need to dig in on this Bomas thing. The exchange will only provide fodder for negative political energy.

Events of 2022 should die with the wind. Raila was never prosecuted for his mock swearing-in at Uhuru Park in 2018 for the palpable fact that it would have put the nation on a more precarious path.

Believe you me, any probe into the Bomas poll fiasco will go The Hague cases way - all hype in press conference and nothing to write home about.

Those behind many other heinous offences continue enjoying freedom. Why is 2022 different?

We must make the quest for justice all-inclusive, not just for politicians and Mr Chebukati, Ruto’s own hero who ran an inundated Tower of Babel held captive by outside forces.  Remember the bloody events of 2007-2008! No one has ever been properly held to account for the death of more than 1,000 Kenyans. More were raped, displaced and robbed. Today, many lead torturous lives in IDP camps – justice still a mere daydream.  

If at all Bomas must be probed, it must come along with revisiting past sham elections together with full implementation of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission report even if it’s a hot potato.

The Bethwel Kiplagat report lifted the lid on grave historical injustices, and names of well-known powerful individuals who presided over them.

Kenyans must push the limits this year. Let’s not lend credence to the wide unfortunate belief that in Africa, the oppressed help oppressors to oppress them.

We must pursue justice with a tangible end, not one that serves selfish interests. The earlier we forget Bomas the better for all of us. We have a country to build going forward, not backwards.

Writer is an editor at The Standard. [email protected]

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week

The Standard
Make this Easter memorable with our KES999 annual offer!