The recent ruling by the Supreme Court nullifying President Uhuru Kenyatta’s reelection has exposed the hopelessly dysfunctional underbelly of Kenya’s institutions. Kenyans have known for decades how corrupt and messy the system is but to witness it play out in the manner it is playing out is stunning. Corruption is ingrained in society; it is part of the societal DNA. The political theatrics and somersaults we are being entreated to by both President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee and Raila Odinga’s NASA simply mean the country is far from a reasonable and just outcome as intended by the Supreme Court. The IEBC has been determined to be fatally flawed, a SCAM Agency that colluded with Kenyatta’s Jubilee to perpetrate a brazen scam on voters at the ballot box; left to its own devices as currently constituted, it will bungle the re-run again. To his point, Raila Odinga is exactly right to demand minimum reforms within the IEBC/SCAM Commission to ensure that there is no repeat of those shenanigans. Thank God for the brave justices at the Supreme Court who had the temerity to stand for the truth and save the country from splintering but their work isn’t done yet and I am hoping that in their final ruling they will decree minimum standards that IEBC must meet in the re-run as well as issue sanctions against the dirty scoundrels/scam artists at the IEBC as both punishment and deterrent. I want them prosecuted, jailed and surcharged for the cost of their screw-ups otherwise we will be at the same exact spot on October, 18.
Kenya’s Supreme Court has demonstrated that it is the ONLY impartial referee with the authority, jurisdiction and discretion to bring about and sanity in the electoral process in Kenya for a just and fair outcome to prevail, especially now. It is not enough that they annulled Kenyatta’s so-called re-election, they have the authority and responsibility to make sure it mitigate future recurrence, Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto have directly threatened the justices for the ruling, they crossed the line as far as I am concerned. Notwithstanding Kenyatta’s coonery, I hope that the Court prescribes a fool-proof process and the necessary supervision to ensure that its orders are followed and that the process is fair and just to him, Raila Odinga and ABOVE ALL, Kenyans themselves. The court simply has to finish the job.
By definition, a special master is generally a subordinate official appointed by a judge to make sure that judicial orders are actually followed, or in the alternative, to hear evidence on behalf of the judge and make recommendations to the judge as to the disposition of a matter. In a limited scale, the Supreme Court actually appointed a master in the form of a supervisor to oversee the gathering of evidence that IEBC refused to disclose and Master’s report on IEBC’s conduct clearly informed the Court’s final decision. So in this context, it won’t be necessarily something new or groundbreaking however unprecedented it might sound to many; besides, so what if it is, the Court has original jurisdiction and final say-so in the matter, there’s no appeal to their decision, I say they should resolve this ONCE and for ALL.
I am fully cognizant that this is a new concept in Kenya or Africa for that matter but it is a necessary and effective tool employed by the Courts in the West, especially the United States, to ensure that court orders are complied with. Kenya’s new constitution is modelled after the United States and this will be a breath of fresh air to her jurisprudence, a great test as to how truly independent and effective the Kenyan Judiciary is.
IEBC MUST FORMULATE AND PUBLISH A NEW ELECTION PROCESS MAP
The objective is very simple, to remove the opportunity or incentive that allowed the IEBC to scam voters in the first place; this need not be rocket science, very simple changes can straighten the process without being overly disruptive or dismantling the entire staff at the IEBC. SO what would the court address in its final ruling that will mitigate cheating by IEBC? The Court, consistent with its determination and final ruling, could or actually should, issue the following stipulations:
- No more Electronic transmission of results – This is the weakest link in the process, it is susceptible to manipulation as it is clearly evident from the evidence uncovered at the trial; this part of the process led to the kidnapping and killing of Chris Msando – needlessly I would add; it was so brazen and clumsy how IEBC/Jubilee rigged this election, using chairman Wafula Chebukati’s login to submit fake results on 10,000 polling stations even before the voting began! I mean how shameful. The thousands of crimes and shenanigans these two rogue entities committed are unforgivable. The good thing about this though is that this process is NOT mandatory, election results do not have to be transmitted electronically. The election itself is MANUAL, the ballot count is MANUAL, why should the announcement be electronic to give thieves a chance to finagle the results. Announce the results at the polling station, which incidentally is what the Appeals Court had ordered anyway. So a special master will be able to take care of this once and for all.
- Quadruplicate Forms 34A & 34B – There has to be a credible AUDIT TRAIL that is fool proof and prevents retro-fitting election results as we saw on August, 8. The opportunity to steal votes availed itself with Form 34A, the polling station where ballot counts are recorded. It is the source document that feeds 34B and ultimately 34C. You tamper with 34A you automatically render 34B and 34C useless and that’s what happened on August 8. What I saw was a simple but important omission that, if cured, would have saved us a lot of drama. The 34A is a single sheet of paper and I say make the form a Quadruplicate, at the end of voting and counting at the polling station, votes are recorded on this one form, the station returning officer, the candidates agents and observer (preferably the court master) validates and signs the form; the Returning Officer retains the original and the parties keep a copy each. The Returning Officer forwards his to the Constituency level and relays to the IEBC headquarters, the process repeats itself with respect to Form 34B. Then these data is relayed to IEBC headquarters and promptly relayed as provisional results, headquarters must actually display the source, at least what constituency and polling centers its display is based on. Candidates, agents and observers will be able to reconcile these announced results instantaneously and resolve any issues that I arise. I think this will not only be an effective tool but will also mitigate a lot of the scams we were entreated, it will be much faster in my estimation. By the time all the data and original forms arrive in Nairobi from around the country, it’s a matter of certification, the wined would have been known, the loser conceded and there you have it. This is a very simple process, I don’t understand why we complicate it.
- Security Features must be included on all Election material – This doesn’t really need elaboration, election material should have special security features to prevent adulteration or introduction of fake ballots. IEBC was caught with tones of fake ballots and I need not belabor the point. As I have stated elsewhere before, all printed ballots MUST be sequentially pre-numbered with unique serial numbers, watermarked, papers with unique identifiers such as County, Constituency and ward to minimize rigging. For example, Ballots for Nairobi County can start at 01470135001 and here is what the numbers mean 01-Kenya; 47-Nairobi County; 01-Starehee Ward (an example); 35001-voter # 35001 and in this case if we know that Starehe has 35001 voters, IEBC should not have more than 36000 ballots printed for Starehe, which includes provisional ballots and spoilage.