By Salim Lone
At a time when there is already suspicion about what motivated the rash and premature acceptance of a clearly tainted election “result” by international observers, yesterday’s statement from western envoys asking Kenyans to have faith in, and work hand in glove with the thoroughly discredited IEBC has further damaged western credibility.
What was most astonishing was the total absence in the statement about any IEBC wrongdoing that the entire country is grappling with and which has led to our having to go to another presidential election! It’s as if it was a perfectly respectable body that we were being urged to work with.
The statement’s exhortation was also out of touch with the concerns of Kenyans on the pivotal issue of electoral integrity. Some thought the West was trying to minimize IEBC perfidy, and again showing a pro-government bias.
Certainly, it was not a good statement to issue right as Kenyans are hearing revelation upon revelation about the rot in the electoral body, with IEBC Chairman Chebukatis’s damning new expose showing to what depths it has fallen.
Kenyans should of course work with the IEBC, we in fact have little choice. But should we work with it in its current composition? Hardly. It has no credibility whatsoever among Kenyans to conduct a new election that will be perceived as free, fair and credible.
Major changes must be made that the law permits, and we must ensure that those suspected of crimes will not have a perch within IEBC to influence preparations for the next election is being prepared. The envoys did not exhort IEBC to take any corrective steps even as it urged Kenyans to work very closely with it.
Senior Advisor to NASA Presidential Flagbearer, Raila Odinga