2013 General Elections: Kenya Not Prepared!

Published on 16th October 2012

The clock is ticking towards Kenya's general elections

Kenya’s crisis triggered by election fraud in December 2007 was a result of years of successive dictatorial regimes, corruption, impunity and inequality, violation of fundamental human rights, marginalization, political manipulation, ethnicity and systemic abuse of office all which had become entrenched in Kenya’s governance system.  The ongoing political situation has imported with itself ethnic tensions, clashes and fragmentation, economic decline, insecurity and near-total breakdown of the social fabric of the nation. Lives and property continue to be lost daily as the public increasingly harbour low confidence in the institutions of governance.

Corruption, impunity, violation of rights ethnicity amongst other vices, still remain unaddressed and continue to weave in our structures five years on.

The crisis has moved from being an electoral dispute to a political one. This political dispute is laden with unresolved perceived historical injustices mostly concerning the question of access to and redistribution of resources during pre - and post-independence periods. Thus, today Kenya as a nation-state is polarized. The legitimacy of the current government remains unresolved; corruption threatens to paralyze the key service sectors of the country, i.e. education, health, tourism, manufacturing, security, agriculture, environment, development support and service delivery to mention but a few. The procrastinated implementation of the reform agenda is the biggest threat to peace and cohesion in the country today. This crisis is likely to cause the total collapse of the state, thus paving way to anarchy and disintegration of the country.

Suffice to say that The Constitution of Kenya 2010 provided an opportunity for the transformation and reconstruction of the Kenyan state and polity. Kenya set an example in East Africa and the continent at large by adopting a new and ambitious constitution with one of the most liberal bill of rights. The implementation process is facing numerous challenges including political interference and horse trading (that has resulted in delays in the implementation process), lack of the requisite infrastructure to support the process, including human and financial resources-, a parliament that is not conversant with the new law, an enthusiastic population whose expectations of the constitution are  very high yet they are not acquainted with it, succession politics and the anxiety around the 2013 elections amongst a host of others. The task of transition to the new constitutional order and implementation thereof is becoming complex and needs to be supported and carefully managed if it is to be successful.

While recognizing that important progress has been achieved in some areas like  free primary education, infrastructure development particularly through extensive expansion of the road network, procurement reform, civil service reform, electoral reform, and increased efficiency in tax collection. Political reform and economic development are inextricably linked, and together they are keys to the nation’s stability and prosperity. The deeply-rooted culture of impunity remains the greatest impediment to defining Kenya’s progress and next leadership at both the local, national and international arena.

The general public has been conspicuously absent in ensuring Government responsiveness and accountability. Apart from Nairobi based civil society organizations, public awareness and engagement in the constitution, its implementation, respect for the rule of law and the general elections, is being directed by the politicians at their will. Who for instance is tracking Government, all organs tasked with the Constitution implementation process –The Constitution Implementation Commission (CIC) the Constitution Implementation Oversight Committee of Parliament (CIOC), the Agenda 4 Commissions, The Commission on Revenue allocation etc on developments around the constitution and its implementation process, the upcoming general elections, understanding electoral processes, and the need for peace building and national integration? All we do is read what is reported by media.

Who has been tasked to address the challenges and employ strategies necessary to ensure that all objects necessary for facilitating fundamental national transformation, legal and institutional reform, and robust public participation amongst others, within a structured framework are adopted? 

The executive and Parliament have without shame amended and adulterated crucial bills. Apart from CIC which like John the Baptist has been made to shout from the mountain tops and whose primary occupation is to resort to court to challenge bills passes in Parliament, the threat of a possible crisis is looming .Greater citizen awareness and participation is necessary in order to create a more direct and participatory channel for interrogating the duty bearers at national, regional and local levels. But this is lacking.

Much as the post-election crisis of 2008 opened up a unique opportunity to bring about sweeping reforms, and fundamental change, one of the leading challenges emerging is that the masses who overwhelmingly voted for the Constitution are not conversant with the implementation process. In addition, part of the Executive and most of the MPs are misinterpreting some clauses, either deliberately or through ignorance, to serve their political interests. In the run up to the August 4, 2010 Constitution referendum, Synovate noted in its polls that 82% of Kenyans did not obtain enough information about the Constitution and that only 10% of Kenyans read and understood it. However 67% of the voters overwhelmingly approved it owing to ethno regional alliances, political persuasions and media influence.

The appointments of the Chief Justice, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, was a major milestone to Kenya’s reform path and has created a watershed moment. However there are fears that the pending judicial reforms might also be interfered with for political expedience. The Judiciary is one of the reasons why the post-election violence persisted since those aggrieved by the electoral process were not ready to go to court because they could not trust a Judiciary appointed by their opponents.  Landmark changes can therefore only be realized through effective leadership, which can only be attained by the power of civic engagement

The National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008 recognizes land and mineral resources as a source of conflict and opens up the political space to make fundamental changes in ownership and tenure through the constitutional, legislative and policy reforms. The content of the National land policy, having been passed and adopted by parliament, and published on 14th December 2009, still remains largely unknown to the general public and some Duty bearers. It is currently not being used to deal with land issues particularly at the community level. The constitution creates various important bodies Key among them, at National level, the National land Commission to deal with land administration and management. To be effective, the national land policy needs to be known and understood by a much wider constituency of Kenyan society, and requires substantial financial resources for implementation. Injustices related to land such as dispossessions, displacements, evictions; violations in relation to rights and ownership over land are still prevalent. Government- sponsored evictions have also aggravated ethnic tensions and in one area, the Mau forest, led to the displacement of roughly 15,000 people. Although the evictions were designed to protect water catchment and environmentally sensitive area, they were “characterized by violence, forced displacement, and other human rights abuses.

The framework set by the National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, and the Constitution, provide for land reforms, seeking equitable access to land, gender equity and equality, distribution, ownership and management of land create greater awareness and advocate for the implementation of the national land policy to address land reforms, the constructional provisions on land and their impact on inheritance and ownership. The national land commission has never taken off!

The Agenda 4 commissions specifically the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) have outlived their usefulness in record time. The TJRC has dug into public coffers to make country wide tours to unearth the truth and has left all wounds open. Where is the Justice and reconciliation component? They commission is on record as having pilfered public funds on suspect vehicle deals and spending months in hotels while withdrawing hefty allowances for themselves. It has also been at the centre of leadership rows! On the other hand , the NCIC has been quick and swift to take action on literally small fish, while breathing hot air when it comes to the so called ‘’fat cats’’ They moved to court to prosecute the musicians. What happened to the Raila and Ruto cases? What are they doing about Nkaissery? Why were Mwakwere’s criminal charges dropped after an apology? What is it that they have done to promote cohesion? Have they spoken about the IDPs plight? How about the perennial land issues at the coast? Exactly why are they still in office spending moneys on foreign trip[s? Is this another cash cow? Five years on, there is nothing to write home about their performance! And now here we are, moving to the next elections with no tangible results! Are we being hoodwinked to believe all is well?

The government sponsored county peace meetings culminating in a national conference was a total waste of time and resources. The government is well aware of the root causes of violence and the possible threats to the stability of this country. It simply fails to take decisive action. This is a panacea for future conflict.

With the government’s move to decentralize governance systems, it is only through heightened levels of awareness that the citizenry will participate more effectively in making decisions on critical issues that have a direct bearing on their lives and livelihoods, especially on the prioritization of community development projects and processes. Past civic interventions tend to have had a broad spectrum of issues and areas varying considerably along several dimensions, but have lacked the bottom- up strategy and focus among others. Civic education in Kenya is not a new concept. It has been conducted for over four successive elections but has yielded no meaningful fruit. The population does not look at issues BUT the political Party and tribe of the candidate. We were in the past electing three candidates, namely President, Member of Parliament and Councillor, yet we could not get it right.

This time round, we are looking to elect six persons all at once. Is the voter educated enough on these posts and what their role and responsibility is? Do we have enough time to say we have done our best? The government led Kenya National Integrated Civic Education Programme has the best intentions but does it have the political will and financial muscle to engage with the people or is it just one of the usual projects undertaken by government for the record and not impact? Having been launched over a year ago, it still has not taken off for the simple reason that there is no capacity to run such a programme within its structures. Government should consider providing grants to Civil society organizations rather than expect them to provide services and claim. Where in the first instance will they source the money from? CSO’s are not business entities and cannot be expected to access credit. Civic education is clearly not the government’s forte.

The continued reiteration by the chair of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that election will be held on March 4th  2013 is not itself a guarantee that it will take place. He should stick to the concerns being raised rather than imagine that such concerns seek to interfere with the Commissions mandate. The commission should accept that it still lacks in capacity. It should dawn on Isaack that elections, if not well managed and institutionalized are capable of reducing a nation state to a constant state of socio-economic and political instability. Currently, there are murmurs about deficiencies such as unfair rules relating to electoral boundaries and voter registration, obnoxious laws that disenfranchise political competitors on eligibility grounds (for instance the degree or post-secondary qualifications for governors Senators MP’s and county representatives and the proposed nomination fees that potentially lock out those with no financial muscle. Both these contravene the bill f rights where one is not supposed to be discriminated on the basis of their education and social status), manipulation of demographics amongst others. If the Biometric Voter registration procurement debacle is anything to go by , then the question of two centres of power in the commission must be dealt with without further delay., There is need for the public to engage and understand the electoral processes, especially in the wake of the New Constitution.

Still on IEBC, it is unfortunate that the BMVR is not in the country yet. Even if the equipment was to be in Kenya by close of October 2012, IEBC will still have to train its personnel and beyond the training, do pre-tests to ensure that the system works. One month of voter registration is unrealistic. How do they expect to register 18million voters in a month? This translates to a daily registration of 600,000 voters a day. Do they have that capacity? Will Kenyans be queuing to register or will we be eating into our productive man hours to just register?

Talk of the youth in their millions who do not have identity cards. Will you deny them their right to vote simply because their identification was not processed on time? Is it not a structural problem? Is it a ploy by Government? Why deny them their constitutional right? Some have been waiting for years on end! It will only take one young man to go to court to stop the election through an injunction. Everyone has a right to be heard! It is simple; this election is being hurried for nothing!

The gender question on representation is also eliciting a lot of debate, with proponents calling for the reservation of at least 72 constituencies for women candidates on a rotational basis. Others say the 80 new constituencies should be a preserve of female candidates. While it’s clear that no organ of Government shall be constitutionally constituted if it fails to adhere to the maxim that no more than two thirds of any appointive or elective body, it is clear that  there is need to work out a mechanism that shall deliver this. It is also imperative that such a mechanism be devoid of controversy and resistance. It is highly unlikely that this will be achieved. Some are even considering a constitutional amendment. This is only possible through a referendum. Is there need to rush an election which in the end is subjected to a constitutional crisis? Are we ready to waste 23 billion for an election that will render government null and void?

Today we have a case in court that seeks to determine whether Ruto and Uhuru are eligible to run for Presidency. Much as all this is welcome, it must be noted that they are already on the fast lane and have whipped their supporters’ emotions and prepared them for voting. If the courts declare them unfit to run, a backlash is inevitable. We are likely to witness tension and possible violence. We are already seeing pre-election pacts being crafted. One would ask whether there is commonality in ideology or is it simply about tribe and numbers. The Latter is the truth. Politics is about numbers and so if the Luo, Luhya and Kalenjin unite, they carry the day. If Kikuyus, Kambas and Luhyas unite, theirs is the kingdom. Politics in Kenya is driven by the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kamba, Kalenjin and Luo. The rest of the country’s tribes are merely sought to fill in the gaps! Is this what we want Kenya to be? 

Politicians are trying to gain vantage positions ahead of 2013. Unfortunately, the Government has not demonstrated its commitment to ensure that the citizens are exposed to the contents of the Constitution; neither has it shown the desire to engage its citizens in the implementation process and educate them on the challenges thereof. The New Constitution brings about sweeping changes to the legal regime in Kenya. It introduces a new devolved structure of governance and a new system of public finance and it expands the concept of human rights by recognizing and promoting socio-economic rights among other changes. The New Constitution lays out the guidelines around which these changes are to be effected and imposes on Parliament the huge task of enacting legislation to bring about these expected changes in the law. Political goodwill is still begging. Citizens’ voice and Government accountability is an important dimension to this process. Citizens’ capacity to express and exercise their views in a structured and effective manner has the potential to influence government priorities and processes, including a stronger demand for responsiveness, transparency, and accountability. This is however still lacking and where present, it is disorganized, reactionary and non-inclusive. The core constitutional principles underpinning citizen and civic engagement include participation, inclusion, gender equality, equity, and transparency. It is therefore imperative to hold the Government accountable for their actions so that it responds to the needs and demands articulated by its population.

The challenges are not only political and financial but also technical and legal, for instance on the question of Land and Devolution. Devolution according to Society for International Development (SID) working papers on the constitution has risks which include Ignorance and participation capacity, nonexistent or weak sub national institutions, elite capture, incestuous socio-economic enclaves and deepening inequality. The report calls for civic education so that Kenyans may understand the contents and implications of operating the 2010 Constitution. The failure to enlighten the citizenry on its contents could lead to disillusionment.  There is a great need to assess the capacity and other resource needs for the successful implementation of the devolution agenda.

It says that the Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA’s) work is critical for the successful implementation of devolution.. Thus, there is an urgent need to update the national household welfare database to enable CRA undertake small area analysis at the sub-location and ward levels at which resources should be allocated, to replace the current analysis and allocations based on the  district and constituency. Further, there is need to develop short courses emphasizing good governance alongside core technical training, which should become mandatory for individuals desiring to hold county offices. These measures are important since county autonomy, which will be interpreted by some as the freedom to employ ‘our own’, must be tempered by the imperative to deliver services.

It suggests that since counties will look down on employment of ‘expatriates’ (from other counties), it is imperative that in-county capacity be nurtured to the extent possible. Additionally, there should be a framework that ensures that counties recruit from a pool of individuals able to deliver on nationally acceptable minimum standards of services. On funding assignation, it is critical that CRA understand its role, which is to justify what share above the 15 per cent floor the Treasury should set aside for the counties. This will require CRA to have adequate resources to undertake multi-sector financing gap studies. Additionally, it is vital that civic education on the equity implications of devolution be undertaken, i.e., on how and with what objectives national resources will henceforth be shared. It will be necessary to develop an autonomous oversight framework that monitors the scope for synergy between national and county level sectoral interventions, and among the counties themselves. It should not be taken for granted that sector operatives at the national and county levels will work harmoniously.(SID constitution working paper no. 4)

The media play a central role in transition. They have the potential to influence social change, whether as a mechanism toward informing or persuading individuals, shifting normative climates or encouraging policy change. The various factors systematically affecting the quality of political information produced by the mainstream media - for instance, the standards by which journalists select their stories and the way in which the media present and frame political issues, affects the media's ability to promote democratization.

There is therefore the need to ensure that there is internal diversity, where a media outlet comprises all relevant viewpoints without favouring a particular position, with its commitment to balance and neutrality, as opposed to the common external diversity, which establishes the representation of all viewpoints through the aggregation of individual media, each promoting a particular cause or ideology. This type of orientation can be detrimental, even a dangerous force in situations where no mechanisms have been found to moderate conflicts between antagonistic groups.

Vernacular radio stations have become popular among both urban and rural listeners. According to a survey published last year vernacular outlets -- Inooro FM and Mulembe FM -- ranked among the top 10 stations in the country in terms of listenership. It is therefore important that the vernacular radio network be monitored. Today there are several FM radio stations dedicated mainly to broadcasts in the various local languages.Chamge FM- Kalenjin, Egesa FM- Kisii, Mulembe FM- Luhya, Muuga FM Meru, Inooro FM- Kikuyu, and Ramogi FM -Luo. Other vernacular FM stations include Kameme FM and Cooro FM (Kikuyu), and Kass FM (Kalenjin). According to the BBC (BBC World Service Trust 2007), by 2007 the market share of these local language radio stations was 27% of the radio market, compared to 33% held by mainstream radio stations.

As we move on as a country, media should rise above pedestrian interests and be able to Media should be able to:

• Highlight topical issues that resonant with the public
• Raise consciousness regarding electoral and political processes
• Shape public opinion and attitudes
• Determine the public discourse and thereby shape the political, cultural and economic priorities
• Influence public policy through the reform agenda
• Reinforce or challenge gender, racial and other stereotypes and norms
• Serve as a channel through which the public communicates to policy makers and vice versa
• Act as a catalyst for social change through coverage of injustices and the marginalization of groups which often have little access to public expression.
• Enhance civic commitment and participation in democratic processes and national affairs

Unless they are committed to doing so, our preparedness for elections will continue hitting a naught.

The security situation in Kenya is humid and tension soaked. The uncertainty is palpable. Insecurity has a potential of redefining political trajectories even as we approach the next elections. Already as it is, the aftermath of the explosions in different parts of the Country has exposed the cracks within Kenya’s security apparatus. MRC have equally stated there will be no elections at the Coastal regions. We have simply allowed those tasked with ensuring our security to walk through our minds with their dirty feet. Bur what do we attribute the security situation in our country to? Is it our police force or the lackluster approach to dealing with issues?  Is it Corruption or impunity? Only the insecure strive for security. I am one of those! And I represent millions of Kenyans. Tacitus says that In a state where corruption abounds, laws must be very numerous. And Kenya has the laws and indeed they are numerous but who follows them?

We have enshrined, in our constitution that everybody should have some basic security. I stare at the Alshabab menace! Initially the Somali were prime suspects, but now you are told it is Omondi, Wafula, Kariuki, Nakhumicha and the likes. They live and dwell amongst us! I stumble on the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC). Who do you blame? Thomas Jefferson in his wisdom saw the MRC coming our way. They seek justice in a ‘’free’’ Country but how free are we? For a people who are free, and who mean to remain so, a well-organized and armed militia is their best security.

When you think of the major threats to our national security, which one is the first that comes to your mind? Is it Alshabab, MRC, Proliferation of arms? Armed militia? Mungiki?  For how long are we going to continue to rely only on our police or military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we have set out as a country? Is a powerful civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded what we need?

I want to state here again that I continue to believe that Kenya’s security is paramount not only for ourselves but for the regions geopolitics and bilateral interests. That is why ICC is here. That is why Hillary Clinton must visit you.

George Bush said that America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of its people.  Can Kibaki or Raila say that? At least Moi and the late Kenyatta said and demonstrated that.  Do we have a security policy I dare ask? Is it Understandable!  Realistic! Consistent! Enforceable! Documented, distributed, and communicated properly! Flexible! Reviewed?

The Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) is a real threat to Kenya’s elections and is demanding secession over historical land grievances in the Coast region. The government banned the group but in an interesting turn of events, the ban was lifted by the courts. Mombasa Republican Council is “a social movement of the poor” and has huge following in the province.

According to the Kenya Civil Society report The MRC needs guidance and a more informed approach; There may be political opportunists using the MRC as a cover; The leadership may not be able to control the youth; There are early warning signs that settler communities are being armed; It is unfortunate but true that bloodshed is the one form of advocacy Kenya’s political elite take seriously; State persecution of the MRC is likely more a case of “blinders’ than conspiracy;• If agents of positive support do not engage other more negative actors will eventually fill the gaper gangs,  Recently they threatened to interrupt National examinations, have vowed to disrupt the 2013 elections and attacked a cabinet minister killing his bodyguard.

Terror gangs have emerged in the tana delta where more than 100 lives were lost and property destroyed. Kisumu is host to such groups and so is the Mungiki threat in central Kenya. Unless the government tames such ‘’movements’’ and Al shabaab, a peaceful election is highly unlikely.

The Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) monitoring reports raise substantive issues which if not taken seriously further confirm a likelihood of postponement of elections beyond the March 2013 date. Some excerpts of the report state thus:

The IEBC is administratively preparing for the next General Election and is building capacity in key areas for the purpose. Although the Commission is moving forward in preparations to conduct the election, other key role players are not. Political parties are approaching the election without making a break with the past: they are yet to institutionalize? There is progress in enacting the required laws. However, enacting the laws is not enough. The test of any law is in its implementation and effective enforcement. There are concerns that the office of the Registrar of Political Parties is not active in enforcing the Political Parties Act and, therefore, many politicians continue on a ‘business-as-usual’ attitude. Parties are flouting the Political Parties Act without consequences for their action. There are grey areas in some of the laws, with some provisions of the Constitution being subject to multiple interpretations.

The environment for the next General Election is becoming increasingly divisive as politicians continue to mobilise along ethnic lines. The trials at the International Criminal Court remain a divisive issue, with discourses for and against the ICC. These divisions are feeding into the electoral environment through mobilization of political support. However, many Kenyans remain supportive of the ICC. They are keen to see an end to the culture of impunity and justice for everyone.

The challenges facing the electoral environment have meant absence of a single and coherent theme for the next elections. There are many issues competing for attention. Absence of a single theme has the consequence of creating a divisive electoral environment. A strong and a coherent electoral theme is required because the organising theme determines the kind of leaders to be elected to move the country forward after the next general election.

Challenges listed include:

• Continuing uncertainty and lack of clarity over gender quotas
• FPTP and the run-off system raises the possibility of a close zerosum electoral contest with possible destabilizing effects
• Incomplete legal and administrative reforms
• Ineffective media regulation and inequitable access to the media
• Continuing violations of basic political freedoms
• Weak political parties and ineffective political party regulation
• Weak early response mechanisms
• Inadequate facilitation of electoral observation
• Continuing weakness of enforcement action in respect to electoral offences
• Uncertainty over when the IEBC will put in place a fool-proof system for counting of votes and results transmission
• Concerns over the recruitment and training of competent staff
• Incomplete legal reforms on electoral dispute resolution
• Weak pre-election dispute handling capability in IEBC and the Political Parties Tribunal
• Uncertainty over the ability of the Judiciary to hear and determine election disputes efficiently and fairly.

It further states that the IEBC has gained public trust and confidence. However, this trust and confidence can be eroded by the failure to enforce discipline in political practice. The failure to enforce the law, and the Political Parties Act, 2011, in particular, can result in reduced confidence. Continuing weaknesses in enforcement action in respect to electoral malpractice will undermine the trust and confidence that the Commission is enjoying.

It says there is need for a credible dispute resolution mechanism to handle pre- and post-election disputes. The review shows that the framework for putting this mechanism in place is incomplete. The review also shows that the political parties appear to avoid the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal. They prefer the courts to the Tribunal. However, the Courts have begun referring back these cases to the Tribunal.

It states that the Judiciary is undergoing transformation and is, therefore, in its nascent phase. Yet it is being overwhelmed with many cases including those that with consequences for election preparation as well as cases that should be settled out of the courts. This is happening at the time when the capacity of the Judiciary is also challenged and likely to be stretched further after the conclusion of vetting for judges and magistrates. Given the important role the Judiciary will play in addressing some of the disputes over the elections

The report concludes that the context for holding the next General Elections is a mixed bag. So far, the electoral environment comprises several issues competing for attention. There is absence of a single and coherent organising question or theme for the election, yet the organising theme around which an election is conducted determines the leaders to be elected. Building a credible and an all-galvanising theme around which campaigns should revolve is critical. Although effective implementation of the constitution had emerged as an important theme, other competing issues appear to be replacing it.

It adds that failure to ensure a credible theme or evolve the main question around which to organise the next General Election may lead to the election of leaders purely on account of parochial considerations. This will also produce a poor agenda for the government that will be formed after the election. To evolve a better reform programme for the next government, it is important to create a formidable reform message as a platform on which the next group of leaders will be elected in order to move the country forward.

It suggests that much as the IEBC has begun preparations in earnest. So has the Judiciary. But other key players --such as the political parties -- are yet not. To the political parties, it is business as usual; and they are yet to break from the past. Police reforms have also not been rolled out to have the required impact. However, the police are making progress in improving capacity to secure the next general election. Because the IEBC is neither wholly responsible for nor in control of the broader electoral environment nor other key players, it is suggested that the IEBC constitutes a policy level committee comprising the key players such as the Judiciary, the police, the Registrar of Political Parties, the Political Parties Liaison Committee, the department for immigration and registration of persons, the media and other key players to regularly review the state of preparedness by each. This will enable everyone to identify critical gaps in the state of preparedness and act in earnest.

Parliament has passed some of the required laws. However, the effectiveness of any law lies in how it is enforced and implemented. There are concerns that the laws are not effectively enforced, thereby allowing some of the role players to flout the laws with abandon.

Finally it says that without the deterrent effect of the law, old behaviour will continue. Different groups or supporters of candidates will begin to zone off their geographical territories against those they consider as their opponents. This, on its own, is a worrying indicator of the extent to which the freedom of assembly may be interfered with in the run-up to the next elections. Left unaddressed, it can create conditions, which may lead to greater forms of intolerance and violence.

It is also worrying is that politicians are continuing to mobilize support along ethnic lines. This is likely to heighten inter-community tensions. Unfortunately, mobilization of support along ethnic identity has remained a feature of the country’s politics.

The above paint a grim picture of the Kenyan institutions and the public’s level of preparedness for elections. With all this stated, why should we stick to the March 2013 date? Let us be sure to hold the country together by addressing the core issues. Elections will be meaningless if we don’t put our house in order. Can anyone hear me? Country. First.

It is for these reasons that I will be moving to court to seek an indefinite postponement of the Kenya 2013 general elections.

God Bless Kenya.

By Jeremiah Kiwoi

The author jkiwoi@gmail.com  is a nairobi based Rights Advocate. 


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