Widget Recent Comment No.

Kenya has never had a Single Credible Election

I was privileged to be part of a conversation where Kenya's elections and peace were subjects of discussion. As usual we shall be having this conversation a lot this year. What annoys most is that Kenyans pretend to love peace so much and even pray for it a lot but they never work for it. I must say that I do not like some of the things that people talk about regarding elections and peace. There is justice and there is peace. If you want peace, simply go out and work for justice for indeed peace is a product of justice. Peace is an end. This is not conjecture nor is it hypothetical. You can question conjecture and debate on hypothesis but never can you do this to proved theories with evidence.

I had the courage to tell the gathering that strictly speaking peace is not one of the known benchmarks of credible elections but credible elections can greatly contribute to peace during election. Of course elections and peace are correlated but such correlation is that that if you hold a credible elections chances of peace are very high and the vice versa is true.

Kenyans and other peoples of the world often talk about 2007-8 as a point of reference of scenarios of elections went wrong. But we never want to tell our descendants that in 1992 and 1997 we had even terrible violence related to elections. Those who were in places like Molo know what happened. I know that we lost many more lives in 1992 and even in 1997 than we did in 2007 but the thanks to new media 2007 is all the world knows and talks about. We also know very well that in 2002 Kenya never had credible elections and that the only reason we never experienced such election related violence is that people were tired of Moi and news of the defeat of Moi (through his project Uhuru Kenyatta), his acceptance of defeat and the fact that the opposition had ganged against Moi made Kenyans to assume that the elections were credible. They were not. In fact, in 2002 we had one of the most shambolic elections in Kenya. Come 2007 and we had yet another shambolic election in which even the man in charge of elections said he did not think whosever he declared winner was the winner. Commission reports are here with us and every other human being on earth can satisfy their curiosity by perusing through those reports. It is very clear that Mwai Kibaki never won elections in 2007. The reason for the violence that we keep talking about is not that some Kenyans love violence or that some people do not accept defeat or any of those claims that people love to peddle on the streets of our cities and paths of our villages. The reason 2007-8 happened the way it did is that we had an election that was not credible and that those who felt cheated refused to accept defeat. Thank God we managed to navigate through a negotiated power-sharing deal between the declared winner and the undeclared winner of that that un-credible election. In 2013 Kenya never had credible elections yet again. Evidence is around for those who want to entertain their minds. Peace expedience through campaigns such as "we need peace alive" blurred the demand for credibility in electoral process. Dangling the ugly images of 2007-8 and with the ICC looming many Kenyans did not have the appetite to yet again go back to that circle of violence. We never broke the circle, we only keep avoiding it. Until we have the courage to break it, that same old urge shall catch up with us and we, for sure, know too well its cost. One way to do this is by investing in credible elections.

Since the return of multi-party democracy in 1992, Kenya has never had a single credible election. And that is exactly where the problem of Kenya lies. Why do we waste time talking about peace at such a critical moment when we should invest our time and energies in putting in place systems and creating and environment, through which Kenya can, for once, hold a credible election? If we think the cost of a credible election is too high, wait until we get the bill for the cost of peace!
Kenya has never had a Single Credible Election Kenya has never had a Single Credible Election  Reviewed by Ibrahim Magara on January 19, 2017 Rating: 5

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.