Perspective of the World from Western Kenya

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Law enforcement agencies and the Director of Public Prosecutions must nip in the bud electoral impunity rearing its ugly head in Western Province and North Rift.

Written by West FM
2012-04-17 10:13:00
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Two incidents one in Nandi East District and Mt. Elgon Constituency this month where members of the public obstructed and literally chased away employees of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from conducting civic education on the electoral process and in view of the forthcoming General Elections are the clearest pointers that the new Constitutional dispensation ushered in 2010 is still alien to the grassroots, the ordinary mwananchi.  That impunity is far from history in the region and it is alive and kicking.

The reasons given for the chasing away of the IEBC officials is that sections of the electorate in those respective areas are dissatisfied with the proposed boundary reviews of the wards and/or Constituencies as gazetted by the IEBC on 07/03/2012.

The members of the public obstructing the IEBC from conducting the civic education on elections on the pretext that their grievances on the gazetted electoral boundaries review are ignorant, oblivious of or purveyors of impunity in that they had 30 days from 07/03/2012 to file in the High Court of Kenya their dissatisfactions about those gazetted boundaries and the High Court will ultimately decide whether to uphold the IEBC position or the dissatisfied electorates position.  Indeed, it is therefore a flagrant breach of the law, outright act of impunity for any elector, any citizen to use the law of the jungle to chase away or obstruct the IEBC from conducting civic education.

(Read:Time for challenging the IEBC gazetted proposed constituencies and wards under which the next general elections will be held is running out. If you are aggrieved go to court or keep your peace for the next eight years.

West fm states that it is a glaring failure of the Kenya Police, and the Director of Public Prosecutions that the reported incidents of chasing away and obstructing the IEBC officials from conducting civic education in Nandi East District and Mt. Elgon Constituency have not yielded any prompt arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of that lawlessness.

West fm states that those two reported incidents of impunity if they go unpunished will only embolden the law breakers to escalate their contempt of the rule of law and breach of the same in greater proportions.

West fm reiterates that the post election violence of 2008 were anchored on the same principles of utter disregard of the law by those who felt aggrieved with the manner in which the Presidential Election results were tallied and announced in 2007.  If the same impunity manifested in 2008 is already rearing its ugly head now in 2012 just before the next elections and the perpetrators can continue loitering and strutting free and without being charged how can any serious law abiding Kenyan trust that the law enforcement agencies of Kenya learnt any lessons from the events of 2008 that nearly drove Kenya into a civil war and that they will never be repeated again?

West fm is further disturbed that the highest organ of the IEBC being the chairman and his Commissioners have not taken up with the Kenya Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions the unacceptable and unlawful incidents where its officials have been chased away and obstructed from conducting civic education in Western Province and North Rift.   What more evidence must those top officials of IEBC require than the two incidents for them to be put on notice that the merchants of impunity and lawlessness that blotted the 2007 General Elections are alive and kicking and beating the drums of electoral violence and enacting the rehearsals through the intimidation of the IEBC officials at the grassroots.

West fm has proclaimed and it will continue to do so that the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution must descend from its Ivory Towers of Nairobi and go to the grassroots to monitor how well, if at all the Constitution is being implemented and enforced where it matters among the ordinary citizens.

The commission on the implementation of the Constitution must step down from the City of Nairobi and the elite Kenyans it addresses in the print media and come and tackle real issues on the ground at the grassroots otherwise Kenya is doomed to experience another cycle of electoral violence.

The challenge is whether the religious organizations, civil society, and all other stakeholders will stand up to be counted in their resolute demands that the law enforcement agencies do without fear or favour prosecute all those who take the law in their hands on the pretext  of being aggrieved  with a Constitutional process as is the case with the electoral boundary reviews and which process has clear legal mechanisms for those aggrieved to go to court and seek redress for their grievances  and not take the law into their hands.

The law enforcement agencies, the Director of Public Prosecutions must enforce the law as mandated without fear or favour if impunity is to be banished from Western Province and North Rift ahead of the next General Elections.


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