The Kenya Patriotic Front Press Statement
KPF is a Diaspora Movement of Kenyan citizens based in the US and conscious of the socio-political happenings here in Kenya. We would like to make the following Statement:
1. Diaspora Voting
Voting in general elections is a democratic right enshrined in the Constitution of Kenya 2010 for all Kenyans over the age of 18. This same progressive Constitution, cognizant of the dynamics of the modern world went further to make provision for voting for Kenyans resident outside our country’s borders to ensure all eligible are enfranchised to participate in electing leaders of their choice.
It is on this basis that we as the Kenya Patriotic Front hereby demand that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission puts in place mechanisms that will ensure all eligible Kenyans living in the diaspora are able to exercise their democratic right to vote in next year’s General Election.
We are deeply concerned at the lack of clarity from the IEBC on this pertinent issue. This concern is further compounded when we see the haphazard strategies such the creation of 6 voting zones in the USA will disenfranchise many Kenyans from exercising their right to vote. Voting is not a privilege but a right; the constitution is very explicit in this matter and none must be left out!
2. Kenyan Ambassador to the US acting as IEBC Returning Officer
We take issue with the inappropriate conduct of the Kenyan Ambassador to the United States H. E Robinson Njeru Githae, who now doubles as a self-declared “official of IEBC” who has arrogated himself the roles and responsibilities of the Commission by zoning the country into 6 regions as polling areas.
The good ambassador has no constitutional mandate real or perceived to delve into matters of electoral preparations. Therefore, current registration being done under the ambit of Ambassador Githae is not only illegal but is also being conducted without proper mapping, and scientific data on the exact number of Kenyans living in the Diaspora and can only result in disaster.
3. IEBC and Electoral Reforms
The Diaspora supports the proposal by the Select committee on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which is currently being debated in the Senate and National Assembly.
We regret the removal of the clause in the Bill to curb political party hopping as this practice will only serve to undercut the entrenchment of democracy in Kenya. We urge politicians to promote and advance political parties based on ideology.
Joseph Lister Nyaringo – Chairman- New Jersey
Albert Obulukhu Musasia – Secretary- Texas
Lilian Mogendi, Coordinator, Minnesota