By Isaac Okero
In order to effectively discharge its mandate as an impartial and efficient facilitator of the election process the IEBC is an institution that must have the confidence of the public. It has a serious credibility issue with complaints from all quarters of Kenyan society.
Its Chairman Isaak Hassan is the subject of an investigation by the EACC into the so called Chickengate affair but remains in office. Critical reform recommendations made by the LSK in its report on the election process have not been acted on.
Given that the general elections are 16 months away this situation is now a threat to democracy and requires the most urgent action.
The IEBC chairman must voluntarily step down as corruption investigations remain pending. Cabinet secretaries before him have done so. There should be no different standard applied. It is imperative that the IEBC be reconstituted. The process for the removal of commissioners must accord with the law and the constitution.
Citizens rights to protest, picket and demonstrate are constitutional under Article 37 provided they are peaceable and unarmed. Any deviation from these prerequisites must be condemned. Teargas and riot police placed in anticipation of citizens’ protests does not set the stage for the exercise of Article 37 rights. The use of teargas against peaceful unarmed protestors is reprehensible, provocative and represents intolerance by the government that is not a reflection of the direction we want our country to take.
We must remember that in our recent past genuine dialogue between the leadership is what has advanced the country beyond impasse. Refusing to talk to and listen to each other is not helping the country. We must talk to each other.
The Author is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and President, Law Society of Kenya.