Safeguarding Elections

Following the battle of the oranges and bananas, at last Kenya had a new constitution promulgated in 2010.  It brought with it a new beginning and new sense of ownership by the people, taking cognizance of Article 1 that gave sovereign power to the citizens. To secure this sovereign power, the CoK entrenched constitutional and independent offices to monitor and safeguard compliance by public and private actors.

These institutions are outlined in Chapter 15 that articulates leadership in the commissions and offices, rules of governance and further articulates necessary steps to be taken on individual serving in any of the institution that is not in tandem with the spirit of the constitution.

The management of elections in Kenya is vested under a body safeguarded under Chapter 15, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. Charged with delivering credible elections in Kenya, the body faces the challenge of leadership today where dissenting voices believe that it’s current leadership composition is incapable of conducting the upcoming general elections in 2017. These voices are calling for the resignation of commissioners who are alleged to have been involved in practices that compromised the last general elections and are not therefore trusted to handle future polls.

As a Commission, we affirm that Freedom of Assembly as is being sought and practiced through picketing at the election body premises. It is a right that must be safeguarded by all. However, the same freedom can be limited t the extent to which it promotes insecurity or is marked by acts such as hooliganism. Also, we are concerned at the extent to which there is pressure to circumvent the law in as far as dealing with Constitutional bodies is concerned.  It is imperative, that after seeking a constitution that was long fought for; that avenues founded in the law are exhausted before seeking other conventional means.