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Rigging a perception of fear to lose election

By FRANCIS OKELO | December 21st 2016

The prima facie accusation and counter –accusation between the opposition and the government on the issue of rigging the 2017 general election driven by panic and fear.

 The Jubilee party says it favors the use of BVR kits but in an unfortunate event that they fail or malfunction then manual voting shall be the alternative. However, NASA (if at all it crystallizes into a political outfit) is of the view that this is an indispensable way of rigging election.

 First, the audit of voter registers by KMPG, awarding a Middle East company to manufacture ballot papers and other electoral material without open tender. Secondly, the convening of the national assembly in a special session by the Speaker Justin Muturi is among issues that ferment hostilities between leading protagonists in the political arena.

The special session by the speaker viewed with suspicion by the opposition and that is why they are adamant to raise to Jubilee’s bait. Hon Aden Duale, leader of the majority in the national assembly put on airs among Jubilee members to oppose foreign funding of the opposition and the foreign consultant seconded to the IEBC secretariat. He audaciously claimed this meant to dethrone Jubilee from power and install Hon. Raila Odinga as the next President of Kenya through rigging.

Actions stations, the opposition have seen some machinations by Jubilee party to a step and rushed to the court, to stop some actions they suspect geared towards rigging the election. As a result, they vowed to unite and defeat any ad hoc corrigenda that brought to play on Tuesday’s special session but puts Jubilee ahead of the game, despite being in weakened numerical strength.

In my view, the remarks attributed to some politicians on opposing sides are obiter dictum. Both the opposition and the government are behaving as if they know all answers. This is apparent; by the way, they seek to undercut each other politically. However, too much rhetoric and hard-line approach on who is planning to rig the forthcoming election throws the country amidst future uncertainties at least something has to give.

Differences between opposition and government on fundamental aspects of the general election heightened by the perception of fear of losing an election if a certain ground ceded. Hence, anything irregular viewed by suspicion among the competing interests.

Rigging of the next election is a mantra in opposition as well as government and now their followers have jumped onto the bandwagon concomitant with allegations that does not add value including and not limited to mundane constitutional and self –ego aggrandizement matters.

Kenyans are a sober lot, hence expect a credible verifiable, a free fair and transparent election. Politicians trading accusation and counter-accusation on rigging know very well that rigging is illegal. We can hardly do better than to quote chapter 7 cap 86 (a) that states: - Any means of voting used shall be simple, truthful, verifiable, secure, responsible and transparent.

Therefore, it is every Kenyan electorate belief that the horse-trading witnessed between Jubilee and opposition shall find a common ground on remaining concerns and how to thrash out political quagmire before official campaign start and elections on August 2, 2017. Reading from the same script is the only way to manage the coming election, and not a wish list made redundant by government or opposition decree.

The opposition and government are once demonstrating that they are too stubborn to the effect of change. Hardline stances polarize the country along ethnic lines, create hostilities, lead to ethnic cleansing and disenfranchise voters their right to vote.

Certainly, it is going to take Kenyans a long time to be convinced that their socio-economic well-being overrides politician’s political survival technicalities.

It’s time for choice, rigging will underpin instability and absolute stability shall be dependent divine intervention hence vox populi vox dei.

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