Tuesday, October 7, 2008



October 6 2008

The decision by the Electoral Commission to promote one of the men at the centre of last year’s disputed presidential election results has generated a fresh controversy.

Cabinet ministers Charity Ngilu and Soita Shitanda questioned the decision on Monday, wondering why the commission decided to promote Mr Suleiman Chege before the Government acted on the Kriegler report which recommended ECK’s overhaul.

Mr Chege is the new ECK secretary — a post at the level of a permanent secretary.

He replaces Mr Jack Tsola, who retired from the commission in May.

As the ECK deputy secretary in charge of administration, Mr Chege was responsible for the national tallying centre at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre where the disputed presidential poll results were announced.

“ECK and its leadership lost credibility a long time ago and they should resign. Let them be sensitive to Kenyans’ feelings,” Mrs Ngilu said.

Mr Shitanda, the Housing minister, said the commission should explain why they filled the post “in a hurry and without advertising”.

He asked: “How and why they filled the position as they did is something they should explain to us.”

Medical Services assistant minister Danson Mungatana said despite the appointment, reforming ECK is unavoidable.

Remain arrogant

Speaking for Narc Kenya, Mr Mungatana said the appointment may have been for administrative continuity.

Safina leader Paul Muite, said the appointment shows that the ECK continues to remain arrogant and insensitive to Kenyans’ views.

“It makes it even more urgent now for the Constitution to be amended to pave the way for the entire commission to be disbanded,” he said.

However, nominated MP Musikari Kombo supported the appointment arguing that the ECK needs continuity since Mr Tsola had retired.

“When we reform the commission as we shall while implementing the Kriegler Commission’s report, these are some of the issues that we shall address,” he said.

Numerous errors

Mr Chege was one of the ECK officials summoned by the Independent Review Commission chaired by retired South African judge Johann Kriegler.

He was accused of exerting pressure on returning officers to deliver partial results from constituencies to the tallying centre, allegations he denied in his evidence.
He, however, admitted before the commission that the partial results led to numerous errors.

He also suggested that electoral laws should be changed to allow party agents, observers and the media to take part in the tallying of presidential votes.

Mr Chege, an expert in electoral laws, has been with the ECK since it was created by retired President Daniel arap Moi in 1990.

Before joining ECK, Mr Chege, a lawyer, worked at the Attorney-General’s Chambers as an election official.

Ms Koki Muli, a former executive director of the Institute of Education in Democracy, said: “He was the link person for IED at the commission. He was very well versed on electoral law and systems.”

Lost credibility

Ms Muli was among the domestic observers allowed by ECK chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu, to verify the tallying process before the disputed results were released.


Submitted by Kennan
Posted October 07, 2008 02:04 PM

My dear Kenyans, what did we ever do to deserve all this? We go to the polls to elect leaders who in turn who show complete disregard to the electorate. I strongly believe that it is time for a new and fresh leadership in Kenya who do not act with impunity. But then again, did we really vote for this goverment? Maybe that's why they are promoting this commissioner. I think it's time the public started putting rela pressure on the goverment.

Submitted by ombwengi
Posted October 07, 2008 05:53 AM

Kenyans need to protest and refuse to participate in the voting process if the current ECK commissioners refuse to resign.They are nolonger credible.However impunity seems to be the order of the day in every corner of our country.