, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – The Centre for Multi-party Democracy (CMD) on Thursday demanded that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should not clear ‘rogue’ political aspirants to contest for the March 4, 2013 general elections.
Speaking during the launch of the Tuvuke Initiative whose aim is to foster a culture of peace among Kenyans by denouncing all forms of violence and advocating for acceptance and tolerance, CMD Executive Director Njeri Kabeberi said this will send a clear message to politicians who are keen to cause disharmony by inciting Kenyans against each other.
She said it is politicians who led Kenyans to the 2007-2008 post election violence and they should not be allowed to drive Kenyans back there.
“The IEBC cannot accept a list that brings forward rogue members of political parties who are openly inciting, and I am saying this is irrespective of what the judiciary rules,” said Kabeberi.
She was reacting to recent inflammatory statements attributed to Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu in Kayole. Waititu is reported to have advocated for the eviction of Maasais from the area.
Waititu, who was suspended as Water and Irrigation Assistant Minister has faced charges in court and will know whether he will be freed on bail this Friday.
Kabeberi said that leaders should not be allowed to get away with such comments, arguing that “incitement is one of the causative triggers that lead to the violence.”
“Already after those comments, deaths have already been witnessed so if you don’t take action immediately, it means another politician is going to speak that way and another one will follow. We are a delicate nation right now… we are healing and we do not want those wounds to be opened,” she added.
She further challenged the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u to act on such politicians if their political parties fail to discipline them.
The CMD boss said Ndungu’s office is responsible to ensure that all political parties adhere to the Political Parties’ Code of Conduct and Ethics as provided for in the Political Parties Act. She added that IEBC also has a responsibility through the Elections Act to breathe life into codes by disciplining the parties.
“If the political parties do not take action, according to both the Political Parties Act and Election Act, that party must cease to operate because it is harbouring people who are causing violence in Kenya,” said Kabeberi.
“If the party does not discipline the member, then the registrar must discipline the party.”
Kabeberi said that Tuvuke Initiative came at an opportune time for political parties describing it as “a conscious and deep rooted statement by Kenyans on their aspirations.”
The Initiative whose slogan is a ‘Better Kenya for All’ is being implemented by 18 Civil Society Organisations, and works with key stakeholders including voters, political parties, law enforcement agencies and the IEBC to enhance a peaceful election and the culture of tolerance through the strengthening and capacity building of networks at community, regional, national and the global level.
Tuvuke steering committee chairperson Jennifer Riria said the campaign has set up a monitoring and SMS alerts machinery that will help it screen hot spots during the run up and after the elections.
On the issue of women representation, Kabeberi said MPs must find a solution to bridging the gap in the number of representatives to ensure that either gender is at least one third before the March 4 general elections.
“Political parties must have gender quotas with their parties but they can also urge and mobilise their members of parliament to support the affirmative action bill, and if they do that we will actually have solved the problem that is looking like a crisis,” Kabeberi stated.
According to the Amendment Bill, Political Parties participating in the general election will submit to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) lists of nominees to the National Assembly, the County Assemblies and the Senate.
If this requirement in representation is not met, then the August House or County Assemblies will be deemed to be illegal as they will not be properly constituted.
The MPs want to ensure that in the event the National Assembly fails to get the one third of either gender, the disadvantaged gender will get the required numbers through the names of those who will have been nominated
“The solution must come before the elections, not after the elections,” she added.