Maina Kiai's Column

Maina Kiai's Column

Supreme Court, IEBC and why political crisis won’t end soon

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There is little doubt that the next weeks will be bring immeasurable pressure on the judges of the Supreme Court as they delve into yet another cycle of election petitions following the sham polls of October 26.  Of course it need have gotten to this had the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) done its job well, and had it sought the Court’s guidance following the withdrawal of Mr Raila Odinga on October 10, using the same laws it had used in gazetting just two candidates for the repeat polls.  But IEBC, it decided to vote — yes vote! —…
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‘Nusu mkate’ idea misses the point on struggle for freedom

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As its suggested solution to the current acute national crisis, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) has proposed that the country creates a Prime Minister position, and other positions in the Executive for the opposition.  They think that this will deal with the question of political, social and economic exclusion that is one of the major drivers for discontent, tensions and frustrations for about two-thirds of the country that registered less that 50 per cent turnout in the recent rerun presidential election. HEGEMONY This suggestion is misguided, and perhaps deliberately so.  First, it is amazingly patronising and insulting,…
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We could have avoided election debacle by sitting down to talk

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If the regime thought that forcing what was already a flawed, tainted and illegal election would lead to credibility and legitimacy, then Thursday’s “selection” has backfired badly.  The turnout across the country was incredibly bad, even in stalwart Jubilee zones. It would have been simpler, better, less expensive and less divisive to simply put off the rerun for three to six months, undertake deep and credible election reforms in that time that would be transparent and credible for all concerned. For years, we have been told that the gap between votes cast for the presidency and that for Governors and…
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Holding an election without obeying court orders is futile

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The dramatic resignation of Dr Roselyn Akombe from the IEBC, and chairman Wafula Chebukati’s statement expressing doubt that he can deliver a credible, free and fair election, are monumental. Anyone who seriously believes that any “election” conducted on October 26 will be more than a selection exercise must be living on Mars! And yet again, Dr Akombe’s resignation and the chairman’s statement have exposed the folly of international election observers who had endorsed the selection preparations as adequate. How they could do this, without even questioning why the IEBC has still not opened up the servers from the August election,…
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Polls agency holds the key to peace or chaos in the country

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For close to five years now, this column has persistently pleaded, cautioned, cajoled, criticised and attacked the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). This is because the IEBC — together with the security apparatus and the Executive — are the most likely institutions to lead us into conflict, crisis and chaos. Why? Because elections in Kenya are not just about the policy direction the country will take for the next five years. No, with our winner-take-all system, now slightly modified by devolution, our elections are about inclusion, identity, and about patronage and possibilities for enrichment and corruption.  Today, they are…
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Of stubborn facts and why the Jubilee logic does not add up

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John Adams, the second president of the USA, said that “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” This is truer today, in an era where fake news and slick propaganda work on “our wishes, our inclinations” to subvert facts and evidence to suit the “dictates of our passions.” Kenya is fast becoming a global leader in fake news and propaganda, led from within the highest levels of the state, assisted by western propaganda teams. So let’s get some facts straight.…
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