NAIROBI, Kenya June 16 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has hit the ground running in readiness to manage the high stake 2022 General Election.
The electoral body on Tuesday launched an elaborate strategic plan that covers the Elections Operations Plan (EOP) and the Boundaries Review Operations Plan (BROP) that provides a road map for the conduct of the poll which is 13 months away.
While expressing confidence that the commission was ready to handle the exercise, Acting IEBC Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein noted that the strategic plans which cover the years 2020 – 2024 will be instrumental in delivering a successful and a credible poll.
“The plan sets strategic goals and objectives which are to be realised this even as it also takes into consideration the dynamic nature of the electoral environment as well as the expectations of Kenyans for the impeding electoral boundary review, referenda and the 2022 General Election,” he said during the launch at the Bomas of Kenya.
The Commission identified six strategic areas of focus which would help in the implementation of the plans namely – strengthening corporate governance, strengthening the legal framework, effect conduct of elections, public outreach, equitable representation and strengthening strategic operations.
Marjan noted that with the plans, the commission will be able to acquire necessary skills, systems and resources that will aid them in effectively delivering on their mandate.
“It is envisaged that that under this plan the continued integration of information technology will greatly enhance effectiveness and efficiency in the electoral process,” he said.
He stressed that adequate and timely funding to the commission will go a long way in implementing the plan.
“The implementation process itself will depend on the timely availability of requisite resources,” the chief executive said.
Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati who sought stakeholders’ support in delivering a credible poll committed to ensure that no technological issues especially those relating to serves and transmission of results will be encountered again in the 2022 poll.
“A joint technical committee comprising of members of the commission and those of the Communication Authority will undertake quality of services in each and every polling g station in the country to ensure that connectivity is not an issue,” he said.
Jubilee Party Secretary General and Cabinet Secretary without portfolio who represented the Executive challenged the Electoral body to do its mandate as captured in the law stressing that the country cannot afford to plunge into chaos as was witnessed in 2007.
“What is at stake is the fear of exclusion but as you deal with the elections remember that it is not just the elections but you have to ensure that we do not witness the madness that we saw. We do not want to lose lives because of elections,” he said.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairperson (NCIC) Samuel Kobia asked the poll agency to bar candidates in the 2022 General Election who have questionable character.
He insisted that candidates who have been spewing hate and have integrity issues should not be allowed to be on the ballot in the upcoming poll noting that a credible election is one that has participants who have clean good records who will in turn be ambassadors of peace and propagate messages of unity.
“An election well run but with horrible candidates who have horrible records of hate speech will still be a bad election. We must unite to ensure that no hate speech or incitement to violence is tolerated during the coming elections. Only then can we deliver to Kenyans the peace they need and deserve to exercise true democracy,” he said.
Chief Registrar Anne Amadi who represented Chief Justice Martha Koome during the launch asked the commission to play a part in helping in the reduction of election disputes by conducting a credible poll.
“If we all do our part then election results will be accepted and that is what we want,” she said.