, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 — The Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has called for a review of all electoral law with a view of placing all election related offences under a single unified law.
Tobiko told the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) that the complexity and conflict among the number of statutes has affected inter-agency co-ordination when it comes to enforcement.
“Ideally electoral laws should not be found in a number of disparate legislative sources, in general to attain the goal of equality to access of electoral law or to facilitate people’s participation in the electoral process the rules governing elections should be located in as few places as possible. It encourages consistency and unity of approach in electoral law,” he said.
The DPP also proposed the mandate of the IEBC should be limited to conducting elections and the power to investigate election related violence and other offences should be moved to a special multi-agency unit composed of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
“Looking at the IEBC Act, Elections Act and Campaign Financing Act, IEBC is overloaded and their mandate is too wide. In our view the powers of IEBC should be trimmed and confined to its true mandate which is management of election and electoral process and these other mandates given to appropriate bodies,” he said.
He proposed a Sh5 million fine and a ten year jail term for those found guilty of electoral offences saying a lack of non-deterrent sentences for suspects had also impeded his Office’s efforts to secure convictions.
“As has been done in Canada and other jurisdictions we recommend that compensation be paid in addition to imprisonment and fines where a person has suffered a quantifiable loss or personal injury as a result of the violation by the accused person. The court should be able to, in addition to imposing the fine or sentencing the person, order that the appropriate or commensurate compensation should be paid,” the DPP stated.