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Let NASA focus on vote hunting, not electoral body work ethics
By Irene Nyaboke | Updated Jun 15, 2017 at 15:07 EAT
Wafula Chebukati with opposition leader Raila Odi

Opposition leader Raila Odinga has continued to place the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on the defence in what appears to be a deliberate effort to discredit it.

It is a calculated move meant to return only one kind of result, NASA winning and appointing their own stooges to oversee the August General Elections. However, the NASA flagbearer is known to be among the type of people whose nature is to blame everyone, other than themselves when they lose. That is the narrative the government must avoid at all cost.

Since 2007, rarely has opposition leader Raila Odinga opened his mouth in a political setting and not mentioned the word IEBC, putting to doubt its integrity. After the 2007 polls, Kenyans set up the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC), which conducted the 2010 referendum that gave us a new Constitution.

In 2012, Raila threw tantrums, used coercion until he was allowed to personally select both the Chairman and CEO of IEBC. He selected Issack Hassan, who was a personal friend and very close Raila associate and then PS Mohammed Isahakia.

What was the outcome of the 2013 elections? Raila still lost the election! He took another mission, to force the eviction of Hassan and IEBC commissioners, which he has achieved. Now Raila is targeting to oust the electoral body CEO Ezra Chiloba.

IEBC is not to blame whenever the opposition loses or doesn’t get what it seeks. Attacking the IEBC will not win votes for NASA, it only succeeds in building doubt in the ability of the Commission to conduct free and fair elections. It is a narrative the opposition wants to build so that when Jubilee Party wins the presidential poll on August 8, they will be justified to portray the electoral body as the reason to their failure.

Today, NASA is demanding cancellation of ballot papers printing tender that IEBC awarded to Al Ghurair, wants the commission’s CEO Ezra Chiloba probed. NASA claimed that the awarding of the tender was influenced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, in collusion with some technical staff at the IEBC. This comes just 50 days to the election and the aim to create confusion.

The true reason why NASA is doing this is because, Chiloba had authored an article on IEBC website, which laid out the apathy malady afflicting the opposition strongholds. The analytical article compares the 2009 census figures on the estimated population eligible to vote against the number of non-registered voters, especially in NASA’s stronghold, which left a lot of questions the opposition doesn’t want to confront. After all the tyranny of numbers is haunting Raila’s campaign team, knowing they lost the poll the day IEBC announced tally of its registration exercise in March.

This is the hypocrisy which NASA principals have embraced. Lords of impunity, whose briefcase parties presided over shambolic and anarchic nominations and gave certificates to their cronies without any shame. Do you expect them to be accountable to the people of Kenya?

The opposition must work hard to secure their vote and hope the turnout in their stronghold is high. Voter apathy can affect either side and whereas Jubilee has hit the road to ensure it doesn’t affect their tally, NASA is busy directing their tackles to the referee. This is creating tension and it must be stifled for the good of the country and so that we do not soil the careers of reputable IEBC staff.

After all, this election is not a matter of life and death. Irrespective of who wins this election, there must be peace and stability in the country, there is no gambling with that.

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