By taking away all
the high stakes and emotional voltage that were the reality in
this election period, a cold observation from the outside
without an understanding or appreciation of the undertones would
leave one baffled at the actions, speechification and postures
that were taken especially in the period of politico-legal
activity prior to the election.
The first was the to
and fro about having a “credible” IEBC.
This action was
precipitated by the opposition angling for the removal of the
sitting members by casting aspersions on their ability to
conduct a fair and credible election.
It was the pressure
from street protests and intense media action that led to the
“voluntary” resignation of the incumbent committee.
It resulted in the
coming together of a multiparty comm-ittee to change the
legislation pertaining to the IEBC and also revise part of the
electoral law based on concerns that were raised by all the
This revision was
supposed to create a more credible and fair election as it took
into account all the concerns of the multitude of political
revision by the two major protagonists in the elections was
however going to come back and haunt the very same people who
led the revision.
The second was the
selection of the members of the IEBC following the enactment of
the revisions to the Elections Act.
The interview of the
shortlisted candidates was fully televised by one of the local
TV stations and was in itself great entertainment.
The final selection
of the chairman of the Commission surprised many people and has
continued to be an intrigue in any discussion about the
The issue of the
effe-ctiveness and trustworthiness of the organisation has also
been a subject of heated discussion by all and sundry when all
they were trying to do was deliver an election in a very heated
and fiercely partisan environment.
This discussion will
continue once the protagonists have had a short break to sort
out the fallout resulting from the election outcomes.
It means that the
next election will start in earnest much earlier than the law
allows and will probably much more brutal as it will be an
almost open field.
The third was the
sheer expenditure that was visible during the electioneering
process when the law actually tries to limit how much the
parties spend in the elections.
This legal attempt
at levelling the playing field is one that has been rubbished in
Kenya as the various political parties see the uncapping of
spending as an opportunity to gain serious advantage in
It also causes
ganging up of political parties in order to create some synergy
The issue of capping
of spending of lection is likely to be part of the new
discussions about having fair, free and credible elections in
The fourth was the
understanding of the court process.
The ruling and the
circus around the court process had all of us glued to our TVs,
social media and radio for hours on end and it did not
The first petition
was upheld and the election nullified.
This was a
historical ruling that had many corners of the world talking.
The full import of
the rulings of the two petitions and what it portends to the
electoral process will play out.
There are currently
many parallel conversations taking place in Kenya around what
needs to be done going forward to ensure that elections do not
have impacts on the social fabric of the country as has been
witnessed in the elections this year.
have to take place but with an emphasis of empowering Wanjiku to
be self-reliant and not to look up to political “representation”
as the panacea to all their ills and expectations.
The election of a
President, or Member of Parliament should be based on high level
The elections that
will directly impact on the lives of ordinary citizens is that
of the Governor and the MCA.
If we get to a
situation where elections and heavily fought at the county level
and incidentally at the national level.
That is when we will
have reached political maturity as expressed in our
As Kachumbari says,
it is absolutely essential that we make every Kenyan have a
sustainable livelihood so that they do not rely on politics to
be the solution.