IEBC has completely missed the plot in Raila’s poll rigging allegations

Yesterday the NASA flag bearer issued a statement through a press conference claiming that some 42 individuals who are members of the security forces will be used in poll rigging during the 2017 general elections. The claim has since drawn mixed reactions from the public and the two political parties, with those leaning towards NASA having the consolation that Raila has been proven right over and again ever since he started making allegations against Jubilee Government.

Jubilee leaning commenters have however taken issue with the allegations, terming them dangerous and a ploy to generate reasons for chaos once the opposition leader is again defeated in the August 8th elections. Most recently, IEBC through commissioner Roslyn Akombe has commented over the poll rigging claims as alleged by Raila Odinga. In addition to releasing the names of those who will be returning officers for the August polls, Ms Roslyn asked  politicians and parties to identify any member of the security forces on the list.

The act by Ms Roslyn to release the names of returning officers and consequently ask  politicians and parties to identify any member of the security forces on it indicates just how much IEBC has missed the plot on the poll rigging allegations. The allegation was very specific, that some 42 individuals drawn from GSU, Kenya Airport Police Unit, Traffic, and Dog Unit among others,will not be used as returning officers, but as polling clerks.

The statement by Raila Odinga reads in part,

“Information at our disposal indicate that these officers will be recruited as polling clerks of the IEBC, of course with instructions from the Jubilee administration on how to behave”.

Thus, if IEBC wanted to genuinely allay fears that there are no individuals in their books that can be used in poll rigging, then the commission could have simply published the list of all names of individuals that have been recruited to become IEBC clerks in all the 40,883 polling stations across the country. Better still, the commission should provide the list of polling clerks together with their employment numbers, identification numbers, and other necessary information, filtered by polling stations, to all the political parties. The party agents can thereafter verify the identity of the clerks during the polling day before voting starts.

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IEBC has gone ahead to state that the commission will not defend any returning officer who engages in electoral malpractice. “IEBC will not defend any officer who betrays the trust. We took the oath of office to deliver a free, fair and credible election on August 8 and we will do so on schedule,” Ms Akombe said during the national conference for election monitors, observers and journalists for peaceful and credible elections.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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