CORD STATEMENT ON UPCOMING OCCUPY IEBC:
Since CORD announced its intentions to explore all means to ensure the current Electoral and Boundaries Commission is disbanded and reconstituted, the Jubilee Government has responded with violence and anger in defense of the discredited Commission.
Two weeks ago, our attempt to have audience with the Commissioners was violently dispersed and our leaders teargased on the orders of a government whose only hopes of clinging on to power now appears to rest on retaining the thoroughly discredited commission to rig polls in Jubilee’s favour.
And that is what we are determined not to allow.
We therefore take this early opportunity to reaffirm to Kenyans that we intend to return to the Anniversary Towers on Monday, 9th May 2016 to seek audience with the IEBC commissioners on the need for them to leave office in the interest of the nation.
As members of the Firimbi Movement, we intend to represent our members to visit other IEBC field offices on the same day for the same reason of persuading the Commission to give way for a more credible alternative .
We invite all Kenyans who are interested in peaceful, credible, free and fair elections to join this march. Let all Kenyans, from all stations of life, stand in solidarity with this effort.
We call on Jubilee to see our effort as part of a necessary national consultation to make everyone’s voice audible and discuss our misgivings jointly ahead of 2017.
Let us reiterate once again that all our actions will be consistent with the Constitution and laws of Kenya.
We believe we have a water tight case against IEBC. We recognize that no electoral body or system is ever perfect. But in accountable political systems, electoral debacles should lead to immediate thorough public reviews of election laws and the performance of electoral bodies.
That is what happed in the US after the debacle in the US State of Florida in 2000. Individual states immediately undertook close examinations of their electoral systems.
By early May 2001, nearly 1,600 bills on election reform had been introduced in state legislatures around the country, and 130 had been signed into law.
In Ghana, after the Supreme Court ruling in August 2013, the Electoral Commission convened a forum on “Towards transparent and acceptable elections in Ghana: A review of Ghana’s electoral system” to review the electoral system.
The forum acknowledged that the case challenging the 2012 election results had laid bare some challenges of the nation’s electoral system that could not be ignored.
In June last year, the EC announced that it was embarking on a revision of the voters register.
In December 2014, the EC announced that it was rolling out a series of reforms to avert controversies that characterized the 2012 elections. The EC said it would expand its strong room to make it more accessible to the various political parties.
It signed an MOU with political parties committing it to have two Biometric Verification Devices at every polling station to address breakdowns.
In January 2015, the EC set up a 10-member working committee to scrutinize a raft of proposals submitted to it for electoral reforms ahead of the next elections.
In January 2016, Ghana EC rolled out series of activities for the conduct of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections. Among the activities is the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) to meet nine times before the Election Day – tentatively on the first Monday of November; to deliberate, share ideas and advise the commission on electoral matters.
It also includes the commission working with all political parties to clean the voters’ register.
Nothing of the sort has gone on here since 2013. IEBC has only treated us to silence, secrecy, denial and more incompetence.
IEBC set out to register 4 million voters, failed miserably, and then blamed politicians.
IEBC officials went to State House to brief Uhuru Kenyatta and saw no need to meet CORD until we demanded a meeting, which the chairman skipped.
CORD submitted referendum signatures to IEBC. IEBC sat on them and shared them with Jubilee then we got our first response from Aden Duale and Johnson Sakaja.
No Kenyan can say today whether they know why the equipment failed, where that equipment is today and whether any tests have been done to ascertain the kits can be used in 2017.
Kenyans cannot say that they know anything that the IEBC is doing to ensure all citizens of voting age are registered or to get elections, including transmission of results, right.
Nobody has been told why the equipment failed, why it was procured fraudulently and who takes responsibility. To date, nobody has been punished for the failure of the equipment. Instead, we are being told the same IEBC officials have returned to the market abroad to source for more equipment.
IEBC must go. We however note with extreme concern that the Jubilee government is responding to our calls to have IEBC reconstituted by importing sophisticated and expensive anti-riot gear in a bid to protect IEBC.The vehicles have features including water cannons, riot controls and wedged front plows. They are advanced versions of what has been used by other dictatorial regimes like Apartheid South Africa and Uganda recently.
We have no doubts that the Anti-Riot gear and vehicles are being imported into the country right in time for the General Election of 2017 that Jubilee plans to steal with a pliant IEBC.They will be used to oppress the public to preserve a failed regime.
We wish to make it very clear to Jubilee that we will not be cowed. We intend to pursue our cause to the logical end. Jubilee had better be warned that Kenyans have been here before. Other nations have equally been here before. No amount of equipment can ever beat the will of the people. No amount of equipment ever secured a failed regime.