Opinion / Commentaries
Friday, 03 Nov 2017 00:20 EAT
Who was the first victim of election rigging in Kenya? Who was the perpetrator? Who was the whistleblower?
In 1996, Bildad Kaggia gave us (Ntai wa Nkuraru and I) the answer. After the home guard independence, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga and Bildad Kaggia led the resolve to quit Parliament in 1966. Kaggia had turned down President Jomo Kenyatta's offer of 300 acres of land to abandon the campaign to avail land to the suffering Mau Mau forest arrivals.
Indeed at the time, the Kandara MP was popular and was headed for re-election. Kaggia told us that Kenyatta had already made seven assassination attempts on his life. In one of those attempts, his wife had to cover him with her body as the GSU clobbered Kaggia who was unconscious in Thika town where he had gone to open a KPU office.
After the voting had ended, Kaggia waited for the results sure that rigging couldn't have been on the cards that early in our history of independence. The wait for the results took three weeks with everybody sure that Kaggia had won. But Kenyatta had other ideas, and the results showed Kaggia had unbelievably lost according to the Elections Board.
Four years later, a Luo AP Sergent approached Kaggia's P.A. requesting for an appointment with Kaggia. “I am retiring this year and I don't want to go home before getting forgiveness from Kaggia. I will go to hell" the sergeant had gotten saved.
The two met and he gave the graphics of the rigging. "After the voting, we were asked to tie stones on the ballot boxes that had your votes. We were driven at night to the Chania River where we threw all the ballot boxes. None floated because of the heavy stones. We went back and marked new ballot papers in favour of your opponent. Please forgive me," and the man burst into tears.
Kaggia told us, "It was only then that I understood why ballot papers from each box had just one colour of Biro pen. It was a one man job. I forgave the Luo sergeant, he must be in heaven....."
Interesting we went through the same in 2013. We trusted the new constitutional order and only gradually discovered the depth of electoral crime against us after being rigged out by Uhuru - this time by computers algorithms.
The writer is a former university student leader who was detained without trial. He is currently working for the Orange Democratic Movement.