The first nationwide election to be held in Kenya was in 1920, when the few privileged ‘Kenyans’ (i.e. Indians, Arabs and Whites were required to elect members for the Legislative Council (LegCo). Since then, Kenya has had 24 elections in total.
Now, like then, agitation for representation was the order of the day as prior to 1963, when Kenya got her independence, Indians and Arabs were the agitators for right to have more representation in the then parliament.
The protests for equal representation in parliament was finally won, as electoral systems kept changing to accommodate the views of all.
My article is about elections since 1992, when the Section 2A of the constitution was repealed to allow multiparty democracy.
The clamor for multiparty democracy didn’t come cheap. Many Kenyans suffered, others died, just to see their country on the right path where equal, just and vibrant society exists.
Prior to the 1992 elections, the 1998 election was held using the queuing “Mlolongo” system of voting; the system required voters to line up behind the agent of their political choice, the presiding officer would then declare the one with the longest line as the winner.
The fraud that was committed then, was than sometimes the line with fewer voters standing with bigger gaps between them won the election.That notwithstanding the lack of verification of the voters.
The 1992 elections were held under a cloud of fear and uncertainty, Daniel Moi had already been in power for 14 years and had by then embedded his power in all levels of state.
The elections were therefore not free, fair nor credible as incidences of voter bribery, bribery of candidates’, ballot stuffing and intimidation of perceived strong opponents by the Youth For KANU 92 group led by Cyrus Jirongo and Moi’s secret army of killers alias Special Branch.
The same evils i.e. ballot stuffing, intimidation and bribery of voters and candidates, open rigging through voter buying were witnessed in the 1997 elections.
To top it all, Kenya had no credible or verifiable voter register. In short, audit of the voter register was a far-fetched dream.
The 2002 General Election is said to have been largely free and fair. That is largely true. Furthermore, that is the only election that witnessed few incidences of violence if none.
Mwai Kibaki was elected the third president of Kenya due to a united opposition. But that is not to say that the voter register used in that election was credible.
The 2007 election witnessed allegations of rigging, manipulation of voter numbers and figure that were sent to the IEBC, this was a new way of rigging like never before. Some polling station reported over 100% voter turnout. The rest as they say is history.
The country came to the brink of a civil war, more than 1000 people lost their lives and over half a million were displaced. Kenya had gone to the dogs.
The period between the 2007 and 2013 elections saw many changes to the political and social dynamics in Kenya, but one culprit still remained.
The Electoral Commission of Kenyan (ECK) which later became Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) still had skeletons in its closet. The voter register which was used in 2007 was still in use.
The rigging of elections through the use of opaque voter register that allows for manipulation of presidential voter tally was on.
However, the country didn’t go to the dogs as in 2007, but it is open knowledge that Uhuru Kenyatta didn’t win the elections, because to this day, IEBC can’t explain the 2 million votes added to his tally.
We are approaching another election and most of the ills of the past starting with the 1992 elections where ballot stuffing, use of opaque voter register and intimidation of voters and candidates still bare their ugly head.
The united opposition under the umbrella of the National Super Alliance (NASA) and Kenyans on social media have called upon the electoral body, IEBC, to publish the voter register to allow for people to scrutinize it and be satisfied that it is ok, yet less than a month to the elections, the IEBC still remain adamant.
Kenyans have witnessed irregular entries of voter details in the voter register that IEBC shared after the alleged audit by KPMG. This has been well documented and shared numerous times on social media platforms.
The state which continues to act as IEBC communication wing is not helping matters, but then again, elections in Kenya have been fraudulent and the state has all along sanctioned that fraud.
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