Saturday, September 20, 2008



September 20, 2008
By Standard Team
The Standard
Nairobi, Kenya

The Kriegler report continued to draw mixed reactions from leaders across the political spectrum.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta hailed the report, saying it had vindicated the position of the Party of National Unity (PNU) on the elections.

"I am happy with the report as it supports what our stand has always been, that there was no rigging and that President Kibaki was announced as a winner on the ground of the election records," he said in Nyeri.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Local Government Assistant Minister Njeru Githae on Friday.

"The commission has supported what our word has always been," Githae told Narc Kenya officials in Nyeri. Former Gatanga MP David Murathe said the report should form the basis for the prosecution of those behind the election violence.

"The verdict has shocked many people who are now wondering why we had to kill and maim each other in the name of a stolen election,"said Murathe in Nairobi.

However, the chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale dismissed it as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

"Kenyans wanted to know what happened during the polls and who rigged. Kriegler and his team have turned out to be a big letdown to Kenyans," said Khalwale.

He said the report did not contain any new information despite millions of shillings having being spent on the commission. Khalwale proposed that the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) chairman be elected by commissioners through a popular vote.

Who won the election?

Kisumu Town West MP Olago Aluoch called for a radical surgery of the ECK.

He added: "To rename ECK is only cosmetic because it will not change many things that have gone wrong. One solution is to ensure that commissioners are appointed on merit with no political strings attached."

Th Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) secretary general, Mr Francis Atwoli, said the Independent Review Commission had set a dangerous precedent.

"Kriegler should have come out and said either who won the election or who was leading when the confusion and chaos erupted," said Atwoli.

The Law Society of Kenya Rift Valley chapter said Kriegler had decided to play diplomat instead of probing what went wrong during the election.

"As a judge, Kriegler should have been impartial; he should have been blunt enough and let Kenyans know who won the elections," said the chairman Gordon Ogolla.

And Release Politicians Prisoners Trust said the report should be adopted to prevent recurrence of election violence. The group noted that the violence could have been avoided had the Inter-Parties Parliamentary Group (IPPG) recommendations been taken seriously.

The IPPG recommended in 1997 that the appointment of ECK commissioners be done by political parties.

It further noted that ECK should regulate and control elections independently without instructions and interference form the Government.


Anonymous said...
September 23, 2008 at 2:10 PM  

ECK tally system should be improved. Results should be given online from the district office or constituency before the handwritten copy signed by the agents is taken to Nairobi. This will avoid alteration claims in future because both should have the same figures. There should be ECK offices in the division level to facilitate good Voter Education and Voter registration. The current Voter Register should be scrubded and people register a fresh because there are so many dead voters who are still in the register.