IEBC’s image tainted, way out needed – expert

May 19, 2016 11:40 am
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Bob Mkangi, a constitutional lawyer who served as a member of the Committee of Experts that summarised the 2010 Constitution, called for dialogue that will lead to a legal agreement to resolve IEBC's waning public trust/FILE
Bob Mkangi, a constitutional lawyer who served as a member of the Committee of Experts that summarised the 2010 Constitution, called for dialogue that will lead to a legal agreement to resolve IEBC’s waning public trust/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Whether the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is blameless or guilty of the allegations lodged against it, concerns are that the allegations have disparaged its image.

Bob Mkangi, a constitutional lawyer who served as a member of the Committee of Experts that summarised the 2010 Constitution, called for dialogue that will lead to a legal agreement to resolve IEBC’s waning public trust.

Overview
  • IEBC officials are accused of engaging in corruption deals with references to the 'Chickengate' scandal
  • The IEBC issue can further be resolved through a political agreement backed by a constitutional amendment.
  • For example, in 2008 the political leadership agreed on an amendment that disbanded ECK

“Controversies alluding to corruption really have tainted the institution’s image in the eyes of the public. Where you start attracting scandals cutting across the board, Kenyans will really not support you. IEBC has dented its legitimacy and credibility through the attraction of corruption allegations,” Mkangi argued.

IEBC officials are accused of engaging in corruption deals with references to the ‘Chickengate’ scandal.

READ: Issack Hassan faces EACC detectives over chicken scam

Mkangi explained that IEBC should have reflected better on why the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) was disbanded and insulated itself from similar influences and those related to corruption.

“We have to also put the disclaimer that what are labelled against IEBC are allegations until proven. But IEBC just like the Judiciary is one institution that should always strive never to attract certain controversies to itself.”

In his view, Kenyans wanted change – the main reason why IEBC was established to replace ECK blamed for mishandling the 2007 election that ended up in lethal post poll violence.

“Within one election cycle, we have almost gone back to where we were before. So it’s as if what Kenyans wanted is in vain.”

CORD’s dilemma with IEBC further stems from the dispute of the 2013 General Election that ended up being determined by the Supreme Court.

CORD’s leader Raila Odinga through a court petition said the election was flawed and pointed fingers at missing forms and inconsistencies in the voter register.

“The contestation around declaration of the results – that is almost expected; in any competition there is always a loser and winner,” Mkangi opined.

Though the 2013 election dispute is not as weighty as issues of credibility raised, Mkangi believed it was still contestation that demonstrates IEBC has not entirely corrected ECK’s mistakes.

“Handling of the elections did also point to some questions especially when you consider IEBC came into place to repair what had happened in 2007. But the unfortunate event – the same issues that were raised in the 2007 presidential election were the same ones raised in 2013. It shows a failure of addressing itself to what really ailed the Kenyan electoral process.”

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