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Weekly Newsletter - Issue No 158
23 - 29 October, 2017

Editorial

Our Government is as Good as Its Institutions – This One has Failed

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced the winner of the October 26th repeat elections that was boycotted by the opposition NASA today. It took four days after the ballot was closed before IEBC could confirm unequivocally the turnout of that exercise.

The Chairman was flip flopping; one minute announcing a percentage only to negate himself on his twitter account. He explained-on twitter that, “The 48% was a BEST estimate turnout from the team.” And that actual figures from 267 constituencies show 6,553,858 Kenyans turned out to vote.

Interestingly, President Uhuru, the leading candidate had garnered well over 7 million by Sunday and the chairman was at pains to explain how the candidate’s votes had surpassed the turn out. The bump in numbers he explained was the unannounced constituencies-again, this was difficult to level with the country.

The IEBC Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, finally announced the president-elect and deputy president-elect with a 39% voter turnout.

As one lawmaker once said following the bungled August 8th polls, in Kenya voting is not a problem; we just can’t count. It appears the same is true even in the repeat October 26th elections too. Some have even jokingly suggested that Bomas should be renamed Bodmas because of the many formulas applied.

IEBC isn’t the only important institution struggling with independence. The Supreme Court that was the country’s last option as the defender of justice suffered a blow on the eve of elections after Judges absconded their duty over flimsy reasons leading the Chief Justice no option but to cancel the hearing over a quorum hitch after five of the judges were a no-show.

The dissenting judgment by Justice Njoki Ndung’u has been cited as an indictment of the apex court in the sense that it is not free of politics. The judge attacked colleagues in her judgment prompting former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) CEO, Apollo Mboya to file a petition with the Judicial Service Commission over her conduct. If there was a rift among the top judges then the abdication of duty on the 25th confirmed it.

Never mind the police service is also under scrutiny after opposition and human rights watch groups accused it of using extreme force on those demonstrating against the government. To this point, nearly two months later the Inspector General can’t conclude any investigations on police brutality.

News of the Week

MPs behaving badly, again!

Mathare MP Anthony Oluoch found himself in hot soup after disrupting a presser by Jubilee lawmakers led by Senator Murkomen. Hon. Oluoch was attacked by goons who descended on him with kicks and blows. The MP was saved by Senator Sakaja after he confronted the Jubilee team with other NASA leaders over remarks made by Senator Murkomen.

The Elgeyo Marakwet Senator had condemned the violence in Nyanza and attacked the person of Raila Odinga for forming the National Resistance Movement (NRM). However, the scuffle was majorly because he had said that he was buying the NASA MPs tea which did not go well with the opposition lawmakers. A few weeks ago it was Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and his Starehe counterpart Njagua. The fights are unbecoming of the honorable leaders.

 

DPP orders arrest of Kandara MP

Kandara Member of Parliament, Alice Wahome ruffed up an IEBC Returning Officer (RO) over what she claimed was wrong recording of President-elect Uhuru Kenyatta’s results. The MP who was captured on video attempting to snatch the form from the IEBC Returning Officer told the media the matter was being exaggerated and that it was normal for emotions to run high during elections.

On his part the RO explained he was following due process and noted the observations. IEBC have issued a statement condemning the attack on their official. This was the second time an IEBC officer was being assaulted by respected members of public. The DPP had earlier ordered the immediate prosecution of former Deputy Governor and Senator Fred Outa over the same. They were both charged and released on a bond.

 

Is the Judiciary a divided house?

Chief Justice David Maraga found himself and Justice Isaac Lenaola as the only ones present to hear a case on the rescheduling of the October 26th poll after the remaining five judges failed to turn up. While the government gazetted the day as a holiday, the Chief Justice had requested that the judges meet nonetheless and dispense the matter. In another interesting twist, Court of Appeal remained closed during the day in observation of the holiday but convened at night to suspend another ruling by High Court Judge Justice Odunga. These actions coupled by the absentia by Supreme Court judges on the important matter before them leaves many wondering if our Judiciary is also captive to partisan politics.

  

It is Uhuru Kenyatta again

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has declared Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto as the president-elect and deputy president-elect respectively. This is the second time the commission is declaring the duo elect after they were ordered to carryout repeat election following opposition NASA’s successful petition. The President-elect is likely to be sworn in the next 14days seeing as NASA who boycotted the repeat polls have indicated they will not pursue the court option. However, the government is likely to be dogged with legitimacy challenges as over 20 constituencies did not vote in the exercise.

   

Quote of the Week

"I expected Raila, as a senior politician and a role model for most of us young politicians, to concede defeat honourably."

Quote by Hon. Nelson Koech when reacting to former PM Raila Odinga's announcement that NASA doesn't recognise Jubilee candidate, Uhuru Kenyatta's win and that NASA demos will continue on October 30thSeptember 1, 2017

 

Lest we forget

"Therefore, I am pleading with this House, at this time when we are making history, please, because you never know that tomorrow you will be the people who will be affected..." 

Sentiments by Hon. Sophia Abdi when addressing the issue on marginalization during the motion on the Presidential Adress on  19, 2008.

Read the Hansard

Newsmaker this Week

Former Kakamega Senator, Boni Khalwale made headlines after police raided his Ikolomani home for tyres and other materials that were allegedly going to be used to disrupt the just concluded repeat elections. The police led by the Central Criminal Investigation boss in Kakamega went to the former Senator’s house with a valid search warrant. The police said they had information Dr. Khalwale had collected old tyres and kept them in his house for later distribution to the youths to light a bonfire on the election day.
 
 

... PROFILE

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