November 23rd 2017

Opinion / Commentaries

Corrupt IEBC officials must pave the way, no two ways about that

These IEBC officials could not provide satisfactory explanation to the Court why this happened. We have the right and moral duty to denounce them as anti-society. They cease to be deserving of the trust placed in them.

By Ndung'u WainainaTuesday, 26 Sep 2017 11:28 EAT

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief electoral officer Ezra Chiloba addressing a media conference at a past event.

Calls for all Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials culpable for bungling the August 8, 2017 presidential election to resign is based on principle that accountability is being responsible or answerable for your actions. It is the duty and obligation placed upon a person who holds a position of trust in society. People in critical positions of leadership must be fully accountable for their decisions and actions.

IEBC officials were fully aware upfront that it was universally agreed that this General Election was critical to Kenya as a nation-state and everything humanly possible must be done to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

The Supreme Court of Kenya found that serious illegalities and irregularities occurred during the presidential election. The Constitution and laws of Kenya were grossly violated. This was intentionally, deliberately and or knowingly done by key IEBC officials. These officials failed to bring honour and dignity to the public office of trust they hold. Their actions were a serious threat to the security and stability of the Country.

These IEBC officials could not provide satisfactory explanation to the Court why this happened. When such officials are unable or unwilling to account for their actions to the people who entrusted them with their mandate, then we have the right and moral duty to denounce them as anti-society. They cease to be deserving of the trust placed in them. This is because there should be no reason officials subsisting on public resources to be unable or unwilling to account for their actions.

The only reason for such culpable failure to adhered to the Constitution and laws of Kenya must be nefarious and, therefore, contrary to good order and the public interest. The law requires that public officials be held to account. If and when those charged with public responsibility decide to undermine the rule of law, then it reduces the concept of justice to jungle law.

Once people take up public positions and swear to serve loyally and to the best of their ability, they must be accountable for their actions, if and when they are perceived to have failed to execute their mandate in accordance with the law. They must, therefore, step aside before they can claim legal protection, instead of seeking cover behind the positions they are perceived to have betrayed. Like Caesar’s wife, IEBC officials must be beyond reproach at all times.

IEBC officials completely failed to deliver transparent, credible, free and fair presidential election on August 8, 2017 as the only hope to guarantee durable peace and political stability of the country. Elections without integrity undermine public trust in democracy, pushing people towards undemocratic and radical alternatives to effect change.

These officials have lost Kenyan peoples’ trust, legitimacy and confidence. Allowing them to remain in office and purport to conduct fresh presidential election is grave mistake of pushing the country to a dangerous cliff. Constitution of Kenya 2010 has transformative governance values that these officials do not meet. They are not beyond reproach. We at the International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) call on the officials to pave way.

The writer is the Executive Director of the International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC).





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