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Kagwiria Mbogori. /CFM-FILE.

Kenya

IEBC candidate Mbogori says violence and intimidation main barriers to women elective posts

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 15- Former Chairperson of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) Kagwiria Mbogori on Thursday said intimidation and violence are some of the factors that bar women from participating in elections.

While appearing before the selection panel for the recruitment of four electoral commissioners, Mbogori said a conducive environment should be created for women.

“Most female contenders for political offices are abused and the abuses tend to have sexual innuendos. No mother, no wife wants to be called a prostitute. Nobody wants to be shamed in public and that is intimidation right there,” she said.

Mbogori who boasts of over 30 years of experience in handling human rights matters said that she will bring on board relevant stakeholders in mobilizing resources that will be used to strengthen the commission.

“When you have all your stakeholders, map them so that you make sure that there is no area that is left uncovered you then identify who has resources for what and involve them because the Commission may not have enough resources to undertake all the exercises it may want to,” Mbogori said.

Mbogori is among 36 candidates who were shortlisted to fill up four positions at the poll body which fell vacant following the resignation of Commissioners Roselyn Akombe, Paul Kurgat

Lawyer Justus Maithya who is also seeking to be one of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners said the commission should be careful of the kind of technology it invests in, ahead of the 2022 general election.

Maithya cited cases where the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) failed during the 2017 elections forcing the Commission to resort to manual vote-counting.

“We all know that technology is new to all of us and there has been a challenge on whether technology should be considered to be the primary or secondary during elections. For us to effectively use technology, we must engage other stakeholders,” Maithya said.

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Maithya further proposed that presidential timelines should be adjusted in order to give enough room for petitions that may arise after polls.

Earlier, Justus Abonyo who was also interviewed said the Commission needs to step up its voter education exercise ahead of the 2022 succession politics to guarantee free, fair and credible elections.

Abonyo pointed out that voters not only need to know how to vote but also the kind of leaders they should elect to represent them.

“What is the focus, the price of the person going to vote? It is not enough to just have a leader, but it is to have a leader that is going to bring change and service to the electorate,” he said.

Abonyo reiterated that voters barely get educated on how to hold their leaders accountable when they fail to deliver on their promises.

So far, 20 candidates have been interviewed in an exercise that I sent to be concluded on July 22.

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