By OKECH KENDO
Three months after post-election violence, a retired South African judge, Johannes Kriegler, was invited to help Kenyans understand the massive mess the defunct Electoral Commission made of the 2007 poll.
The Kreigler report was expected to inject insight into lessons from the ECK’s moonlighting with vested interests. The dead ECK went to bed with the ruling clique, thus throwing the country off balance.
On the eve of another General Election, there are signals not much has been learnt from the mistakes of the 2007-2008 post-election violence. The deaths of about 1,200 Kenyans, displacement of another 600,000, loss of property worth billions of shillings, and ruin of the economy do not seem to have given new urgency for free and fair elections.
Thousands of internally displaced persons, victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence, are yet to be resettled. Top perpetrators of the violence are yet to be vindicated or punished for their alleged crimes of omission or commission. Impunity still runs amok.
The security machinery, which the Waki Commission accused of killing civilians, is still intact. Security agencies are yet to attain the face of Kenya, even as election date remains the subject of legal submissions.
Politicians, even those with presidential ambitions, are still mobilising support around tribe. Some are using malice as a campaign plunk to undermine free and fair competition for national leadership. Politicians and parties are calling for regional voting blocks to acquire or retain power. In the maze of this ethnic and partisan conundrum, the national interest is overlooked.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, Parliament, and the Presidency personify the confusion. Or shall we say indecision to admit the country is under a new Constitution?
Parliament is yet to pass all election-related Bills, and it is still playing around with election date. Some MPs were contemplating an August 2013 elections before the Court of Appeal ruled on the March 4 date on Tuesday.
The presidency is still caught in a time warp, with appointments that undermine reforms. This was the general public understanding of attempts by President Kibaki to impose county commissioners on country governments. Even though the High Court declared the appointments are unconstitutional, the presidency has not relented.