Friday, September 5, 2008



September 4 2008
Daily Nation

The team looking into last year’s presidential poll results indicated Thursday that its report will show widespread and systematic incompetence throughout Kenya’s electoral system.

Commission chairman Justice Johann Kriegler said that last year’s election was marred by a series of errors that made it impossible to determine the true outcome. He fell short of saying whether massive errors in the contest were proof of fraud and rigging.

“Numerous mistakes were made,” he said, “but it is for the commission to decide whether they are due to fraud or negligence.”

He announced that his team will hand the report to President Kibaki on September 17, and will shortly thereafter present it to former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, who will travel to Nairobi for the occasion.

According to the agreement that led to the establishment of the Independent Review Commission, the President will then have 14 days to make the document public.

Justice Kriegler further added: “We have arranged with Kofi Annan’s office that he will be here later that week and we will formally present it to him.”

He said that it would be impossible for him to determine the true outcome of the election, and that Kenyans should not look at this as a shortcoming, but rather as evidence of an election that was thoroughly flawed.

In particular, Justice Kriegler said that election staff were subjected to outside pressure from political parties, were not given proper training, lacked adequate arithmetic skills, and were overworked.


The retired judge also said that the flaws were widespread throughout the country, suggesting that the final report will not single out any particular politicians or political parties.

He also said that election forms were outdated, and the manner in which the tallying took place was archaic.

But Justice Kriegler expressed confidence that his commission would be taken seriously, unlike many other commissions of inquiry in Kenya’s history.

He offered insight into how the team was working, saying that the representatives from PNU and ODM appointed to the commission were getting along, despite the fact that “at times they have felt their party loyalties.”