Kenya polls body warns over bribery

September 14, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 14 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) is now warning all candidates in upcoming by-elections to abstain from bribing voters.

Speaking after a meeting with aspirants from Juja constituency on Monday, IIEC Chief Electoral Officer James Oswago said the Commission had received complaints about inducement by some candidates and was already investigating.

He asked all the political candidates to honour the Electoral Code of Conduct and avoid unnecessary disputes.

“We have agreed on the way forward and we have also understood what the candidates had in mind. We have heard their worries and we have expressed to them the processes that we are sure as a commission will lead to a fair and just process,” she said.

Mr Oswago also announced that the electoral commission had reorganised its structures to ensure that the upcoming by-elections were held in accordance with the law.

“We have reshuffled our staff so that only those who are integral to the IIEC and in whom we have the greatest trust oversee these by-elections,” he said.

Commissioner Davis Chirchir will be in charge of the Juja constituency; Ken Nyaundi will be in charge of Starehe constituency while in Makadara constituency Commissioner Tiyah Galgalo would be in charge.

In Makadara constituency, voters claimed that they had received free meat and even free transport from one of the candidates.

Constituents interviewed by Capital News however said there was no harm in accepting the giveaways as it would not influence their choice.

“If as a vying politician you didn’t bring any developments to our area, I will take your bribe but I won’t vote for you,” said a voter in Makadara.

Others however said that those found guilty of bribing their way into power should to be banned from vying for political office.

“They should not even be allowed to continue in their campaigns because it is unethical,” said another potential voter.

According to the IIEC Code of Conduct, those who are guilty of bribing voters risk being barred from participating in any or future elections, prosecution and imprisonment, being fined for an amount that would be determined by the commission, being barred from holding public meetings and campaigns and getting a formal warning.

The sponsoring campaign committees could also be cautioned, warned, fined or barred from participation in future elections.


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