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Kenyan Electoral Commissioner Votes With Her Feet, Flees To The US

The Oasis Reporters

October 23, 2017

Roselyn Akombe, on self imposed exile in the US.

The embattled Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) suffered another major challenge barely eight days before a crucial presidential election re-run ordered by the Supreme Court of the east African nation after canceling a presidential vote in which the incumbent president, Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the winner on September 1.
The apex had accepted the plea of the opposition party that the electronic voting system was “infiltrated and compromised.”

Before the opposition candidate went to court to challenge the results of the polls, the international election monitors that included former US Secretary of state, John Kerry, had declared it free and fair.

Political watches had asked, ‘what did Kerry and the other monitors actually see or not see as to declare it free and fair?’

Roselyn Akombe, a senior official of Kenya’s electoral commission quit the job and fled to the United States, because in her judgment, the current electoral system was not fit to meet the basic expectations of a free, fair, and credible election.
Besides, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was “under siege” and has thereby becoming a party to the crisis in the disputed election that was finally annulled in the August election.

Akombe had been anonymously threatened and therefore feared for her life, she said in a BBC interview from New York.

“My decision to leave the IEBC will disappoint some of you, but it is not for lack of trying,” she said in a statement issued on October 18. “I have tried the best I could do given the circumstances. Sometimes, you walk away, especially when potentially lives are at stake.”

Recall that her colleague Chris Msando, the ICT manager at the IEBC, who was in charge of the electronic voting system was obviously killed with his body showing signs of alleged torture on 31 July, three days after he had been declared missing in Nairobi, just about enough to send a chill up anyone’s spine.

A week before this, opposition candidate Raila Odinga had withdrawn from the elections citing the IEBC’s inability to make the much needed reforms that would make the elections free and fair.
Odinga said he quit the rerun election after “the ruling Jubilee party has made controversial amendments to electoral laws—and later, used their majority in both houses to pass the bill”, he had said.

BBC and other Agencies report.


Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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