NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 9 – With about a fortnight left to the fresh presidential election as ordered by the Supreme Court of Kenya, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has condemned attacks on the Judiciary and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori termed the acts and utterances by political leaders as a recipe for anarchy with the potential of discrediting the institutions.
“We condemn attacks on the two bodies especially from the political class, which attacks have now trickled down to the citizenry and are being actively reflected on social media.”
To avoid a constitutional crisis, the Commission recommended that IEBC should conduct the fresh presidential election in strict compliance with the majority decision of the Supreme Court.
“We must strengthen our legal and institutional structures aimed at securing a free, fair and credible election and commit ourselves to fully delivering on the same,” said Mbogori.
She also emphasised the need for political parties, the National Police Service and the general public to act within the limits of the law in their civic engagements.
“The Commission wishes to remind all Kenyans that rights come with responsibilities and they must act at all times within the limits of the law in their civic engagements such as demonstrations, picketing and rallies,” she said.
Mbogori was speaking during the launch of KNCHR’s August elections preliminary report 2017 dubbed “Mirage at Dusk” which highlighted electoral malpractice, misuse of children, voter bribery and violence.
The report showed that Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisumu, Migori and Nairobi recorded the highest cases of electoral violence.
The report also showed that incitement was prevalent in 22 counties that include Kisumu, Bomet, Garissa, Kakamega, Meru and Migori with the Jubilee Party accounting for the highest cases of incitement followed by NASA.
“This was done through circulation of leaflets which were still present come the Election Day, with many bearing hatred messages and threats towards a certain community,” she noted.
The report also focused on the day after the elections, where it recorded 37 deaths between August 9-15 in Nairobi, Kisumu and Siaya.
Some of the areas affected in Nairobi included Kawangware, Mathare, Kibera, Babadogo. In Kisumu County the areas included Kondele, Manyatta, Nyalendo as well as Ugunya in Siaya County.
On voter bribery, the report noted that it was more prevalent during campaigns through harambees by making promises of rewards, giving cash handouts etc.
The vice was common in Kwale, Laikipia, Tana River, Bungoma, and Kericho counties.
A report on special interest groups who include women, children and People Living with Disability (PLWD) showed a worrying trend in which children were being used in the political campaigns.
Meanwhile, PLWDs complained of voting centers not being accessible.