By Dorcas S
At the risk of stating the obvious and repeating myself, the problem with Kenya (a very apt take on Chinua Achebe’s “The Problem with Nigeria”) is its history with official corruption and gross malfeasance executed (no pun intended) with absolute impunity.
Because of this long relationship with corruption and impunity, some Kenyans have become so used to the unfair treatment and social injustices that accompany the afore-mentioned vices that they meekly accept and move on from one fiasco to the next with an “hakuna matataism” that borders on absolute servitude.
And in a depraved corollary of the preceding condition, the same section of the country has become intolerant of and in some cases, ready to rationalize the elimination of those who demonstrate competence in their official capacity or choose to speak out AGAINST incompetence, impunity and corruption – a uniquely Kenyan peculiarity!
Heading this parade of mediocrity are leaders who act with utter disregard for the law that even seemingly well-thought out and well-meaning decisions such as the Sept. 1, 2017 annulment of the presidential election results by the Supreme Court AND the just-announced decision by IEBC chair Mr. Wafula Chebukati to sideline among others, CEO Ezra Chiloba and ICT Director Andrew Muhati from the upcoming re-do of the presidential election are met with harsh recriminations and threats – from the head of state and his deputy!
It doesn’t help that the latter decision was made shortly after Ag. CS of Interior Fred Matiang’i (or was it IEBC Chairman Chebukati?) had announced a September 17th date for the do-over of the presidential elections WITHOUT input from the key stakeholders (meaning the opposition NASA) inevitably adding to the distrust.
Throw in the CS’s long-winded explanation re: the announced election date – something about “reluctance to ‘disrupt’ an intact examination timetable, support for children’s ‘right’; children (who) are ‘not as strong’ as you and me…..handle them ‘carefully….”; this from a government that has practically mortgaged the future of said children with Chinese debt – and you’d forgive me for doubting Mr. Matiang’i’s sincerity.
I do not believe him or the government he represents.
Additionally, the IEBC’s decision to clean house only re-affirms what the opposition (and all fair-minded Kenyans) have known all along:
That the electoral body is, for lack of a better term, a cesspool of corruption and incompetence collectively carrying water for the incumbent Jubilee Party.
It strains credulity that six commissioners of a nine-person (electoral) agency were corrupt and incompetent EXCEPT the chairman and two other (unnamed) “straight arrows”!
Between Matiang’i’s unilateralism re: election date and Chebukati’s sloppy re-loading of IEBC’s talent pool, one that turns on its head, the Mafia truism that “the fish rots from the head on down”, one can only conclude that the ruling party Jubilee and IEBC are doing all they can to manipulate and influence the outcome of the upcoming September 17th re-do of the presidential elections.
As succinctly offered by CJ David Maraga’s ruling, an election IS a process not an end point.
It’s my hope that Mr. Matiang’i and Mr. Chebukati heard the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and as laborious and cumbersome as that (or any official process) may oftentimes be, fidelity to said drudgery comes with the job – so does taking responsibility when things go south as they did on August 8th.
The end result of the insidiousness of Kenya’s love-affair with incompetence and mediocrity is that even what many would consider a bright spot such as the electoral body’s acquiescence to NASA’s demands re: the commissioners to wants replaced – including the “better-looking well-dressed” “githeriman” of this election period Ezra Chiloba – is looked at askance.