With Kenya’s constitutionally set election only just more than six months away, Germany’s Deutsche Welle reports “Kenya’s voter registration rocked by fraud claims“. Even the Daily Nation has published an editorial noting serious questions about the integrity of the current voter registration process.
Gabrielle Lynch notes in her column in The East African, “Unrealistic timelines to blame for Kenya’s election shortcomings,” that the time to implement the gender balance rules of the Constitution under the previous Supreme Court opinion has been blown, and other deadlines are upon us. Dr. Lynch goes through the various pre-election deadlines which were set in legislation and are now in some flux. She raises the prospect of jetisoning some of the technology because what she refers to as compressed timelines.
To me, the issue is a lack of political will, which is independent of the time involved. Legislation to implement the mandatory requirements of the Constitution on gender balance was not passed because the legislators in power, along with the President, didn’t feel like it. They like the old way better than what is required by the “new” (seven year old) Constitution. There has been plenty of time since 2013 to pass gender balance legislation, just as there was plenty of time to replace the fraudulently procured technology systems purchased with the assistance of the United States and other donors for the 2013 election.
Likewise there was plenty of time to legally address the procurement fraud issues as directed by Supreme Court’s decision of April 2013 on the election petitions.
This time the incumbent administration has attacked the donors who are providing an additional $85 million to defray the cost of the election in spite of all the obvious questions. The donor group through its diplomats has pledged transparency this time, but very little specific information has been published on the details of the programming so far.
Unfortunately my October 2015 Freedom of Information Act request to USAID for contract documents from our support for the IEBC in 2013 has still resulted in zeroreleased documents (even though materials were sent from the Mission in Kenya to Washington more than a year ago.)