The sensational resignation of the ever-jovial IEBC commissioner Dr Rosylene Akombe confirms the worst fears of a majority of Kenyans that the IEBC is not only under siege but totally captured by very dark and powerful political forces. However, the most nauseating thing is the way our normally compromised media is ready to be used to downplay the commissioner’s resignation. Our TV screens are replete with self-appointed Jubilee political commentators – in ill-fitting suits – painfully trying to convince the entire country that all is well at IEBC.
Already I have heard some Jubilee operatives trying so hard to make us believe that Dr Akombe’s resignation was not only anticipated but inconsequential. Such assertions constitute a serious affront to the collective intelligence of the Kenyan citizenry. The media has a sacred duty to inform Kenyans that all is not well at IEBC and that the October 26th elections are not only clearly untenable but unreasonable too. The only remaining logical option, as it were, is for the country to have a serious conversation on how to hold an election that will leave no iota of doubt that it was free, fair, transparent, and credible. Without this, Kenya might be rapidly hurtling towards a dangerous precipice that we might all live to regret.
Let’s face it. There are only three people who have always been the face of IEBC in the media and public sphere hitherto: Chairman Wafula Chebukati, disgraced CEO Ezra Chiloba and Commissioner Roselyn Akombe. After the botched 8/8 elections, Ezra Chiloba became the embodiment of everything that might have gone wrong at IEBC during the elections.This effectively made him the black sheep of the Commission. In spite of defiantly hanging on to his position as CEO of the IEBC with surprising tenacity and impunity, Chiloba was forced to take a conspicuous break from media appearances on behalf of the electoral body. This effectively made commissioner Akombe the only remaining face of IEBC that has been almost a permanent fixture on our TV screens always cheerfully trying to explain issues on behalf of the electoral body.
Do you see why commissioner Akombe’s resignation is the last blow that broke the camel’s back? The fact that she resigned citing threats to her life while averring that the IEBC is highly compromised and unable to give us a credible election should deeply worry all of us because this is directly from the horse’s mouth. She has inside information and there is no reason to doubt her. Anybody asserting that her fleeing out of the country and subsequent resignation portends nothing for the IEBC and the country will be blatantly lying to Kenyans. We must realize that people who are dismissing the huge problem at IEBC are the real enemies of this country. IEBC urgently needs help for it to get out of its current captivity. The electoral body has been completely hijacked by external political forces who have a firm stranglehold on it.
Chairman Chebukati threw a spanner in the works when he came out guns blazing to address Kenyans directly and expressed his frustrations as the IEBC boss. He confirmed that the IEBC is under siege with some commissioners serving vested political interests. An unusually assertive and visibly frustrated Chebuakati revealed that most of the decisions he has made before, as IEBC chairman, have been quashed by some rogue and irredeemably partisan commissioners! He also made it unequivocally clear that he will no longer tolerate situations where some of his commissioners who are not lawyers keep pushing him to accept actions that are against the law.
It is now obvious that the ‘I’ in IEBC disappeared a long time ago. Expecting the electoral body, as currently constituted, to give us a credible election is surely expecting too much. Isn’t it mind-boggling that nobody has been held responsible for the criminal acts that led to to the annulment of president Uhuru’s re-election by the Supreme Court? Isn’t it even more astounding that the president’s team seems pretty comfortable with the same IEBC team that led to the annulment of his “victory”? Something doesn’t add up here. Political Party allegiance aside, this country needs a mature national dialogue now more than ever.
Who is holding IEBC hostage? This must be the dominant question ringing in most Kenyans’ minds. Obviously, the partisan commissioners at IEBC are just proxies of very powerful individuals. Since no tangible changes have been made to the current IEBC team after the bungled 8/8 elections and some people seem quite comfortable with this reality, why don’t we answer this simple question first: IN WHOSE FAVOR WERE THE AUGUST 8th POLLS BOTCHED? There can never be any plausible justification to hurry the country into anarchy; not even the constitutional or time constraints can justify that. IEBC should suspend the October 26th presidential elections until we all agree on the way forward for the sake of this country. The mess at IEBC needs to be fixed once and for all.
Gilbert Kenya is a graduate of Political Science and Communications (Double Major) from The University of Nairobi. He is a passionate website content developer, SEO writer, copywriter, and copy editor.
An avid reader and prolific writer, on various topical issues, Gilbert is convinced that writing is his raison d'etre. We are all here for a reason, aren't we?
The scribe also considers himself a global citizen, who strongly believes in human justice and dignity for all.
A certified aficionado of both local and global politics, alongside diverse literary genres, this writer believes that there is always enough to go around for all of us - but only if we become deliberate about it.
As the good old book of wisdom - the Bible - quips; what will it profit you to gain the entire world, but lose your soul in the process?
All the things we do, good or bad, have a strange way of going around and finding their way back to us.
Kenya's favourite maxim is: "LIVE AND LET LIVE." While at it, LAUGH and LOVE, even more, you are not here forever!
When not immersed in writing, Gilbert enjoys spending time in the company of his lovely wife, Betty, and their two beautiful children, Ray and Ivy, in the great "City in the Sun" - Nairobi, Kenya.
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