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.