BY: Kissinger Adera
Since the last elections of 2007 and the subsequent violence, Kenyans have lost the real matter that should be of concern to them; credibility of elections.Â Whereas we empathize with our fellow citizens who are facing charges before the ICC for bearing the greatest responsibility over the violence that ensued after the last polls (and we hope both the accused and victims are served justice) , we must not forget the trigger that stoked the insanity, which made neighbour rise against neighbour.Â This was the bungled polls of 2007.
In looking at this, there is one person who can never escape blame however hard she may attempt to extricate herself from the mire.Â This is Ms. Martha Wangari Karua, the then Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
Martha took over from Mr. Kiraitu Murungi of the notorious radical surgery within the judiciary, that saw those perceived to be anti-establishment being forced out of the Bench under controversial circumstances.Â It must be remembered that many of those who had been recommended for removal were vindicated by the Courts later on.Â A notable example is Mr. Justice Phillip Waki who later chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the Post-Election Violence in Kenya.Â In fact the radical surgery was the genesis of the mess that became of the sordid scenes witnessed in 2007-2008.
After Kiraituâ€™s radical surgery, came in the Iron Lady to do the necessary.Â With Murungi having been instrumental in scuttling the quest for a new constitution, Martha, due to her obstinacy, was the best option for the ruling elite to entrench mechanisms that would ensure Kibakiâ€™s stay in power even in the face of a defeat.
Karua embarked on doing this on two fronts: ensuring that the Electoral Commission of Kenya (then under Samuel Kivuitu) and the State Law Office were safely in the hands of those who could play ball, Kivuituâ€™s sterling performance in the referendum of 2005 notwithstanding.
Karua embarked on a devilish mission to rig the polls.Â First, Karua ensured the State Law Office (i.e. the Attorney Generalâ€™s Chambers) had people who could be counted on to defend the elite in case someone tried to seek redress over the election results.Â With a user friendly AG in Amos Wako, Karua ensured that the Solicitor General and the Deputy Solicitor General were people of her own.Â A number of State Counsels from her ethnic domain were also brought on board, and it is these who would be assigned the duty of handling any petition surrounding the presidential elections.
The second mission was for her to ensure that the Inter-Parliamentary Parties Group (IPPG) Accord (though it was entrenched as an Act of parliament) was trashed.Â This Accord, crafted by parliamentary parties in 1997, guaranteed opposition parties a right to nominate commissioners to the ECK.Â Retired President Daniel arap Moi honoured this, despite the being a dictator.Â It was also the IPPG arrangement that ensured that the 2002 polls (in which the Independence party, KANU, was defeated) had a semblance of credibility and a subsequent smooth transition.Â Karua, insisting that President Kibaki had the sole prerogative to nominate commissioners, staffed the ECK with men and women who could be trusted to do the eliteâ€™s bidding as well as trash the will of the people.Â Where did Kibaki get this prerogative that Moi did not have as far as the constitution the was concerned?
With all these schemes in place, the last battle was on the tallying of presidential votes.Â Despite being a Minister in the Government of the Republic of Kenya, Karua arrogated herself the role of Chief Agent of the Party of National Unity (PNU), the vehicle that Kibaki used to secure a blood-stained second term.Â Did she have to be PNUâ€™s chief agent?Â Not at all as that would be in direct conflict with her role and duties as a Minister.
With the rigging successful, Karua and then Chief Justice Evan Gicheru hurriedly organized a swearing-in ceremony at State House in contrast to the open one in 2002 where Moi handed over the instruments of power to Kibaki in broad daylight.Â If Karua and her honchos were fully convinced that Kibaki had won, why the nocturnal swearing-in?Â Why did she insist that any complaint about the polls be lodged with the courts, whilst she knew that she had prepared the courts to act in a manner legitimizing Kibakiâ€™s â€˜victoryâ€™?
It must be noted that the recent vetting of judges of the High Court had as its casualties the very people Karua had sneaked into the Bench to handle the presidential elections petitions in case the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) or any other Kenyan had filed such a petition.Â Despite their removal, Karua has maintained a studious silence over the vetting process even though her appointees were the losers.Â She has, however, voiced a cosmetic support for the changes being undertaken in the Judiciary even though it was the same Judiciary she vehemently vouched for to handle the petitions on the presidential results.
It beats logic why the same Judiciary she wanted to handle the petitions then is the one whose restructuring she now purportedly supports.Â That is a trait existent in hypocrites!Â That she has never ever thought of apologizing to Kenyans for usurping their collective will is hideous, if not immoral.Â That she still claims to be the best for the Presidency is testimony that she never has any respect for the people of Kenya.Â How can someone who thought Kenyans were too stupid to make a choice now want the same Kenyans to make a choice on her?