Mutula, Sakaja urge swift review of electoral laws
Two governors-elect have called for a review of electoral laws with a view to improving the electoral system and management.
Johnson Sakaja (Nairobi) and his Makueni counterpart Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, said while the country’s elections is the most expensive globally, thanks to a trust deficit, there is also political bad mannerism that make politicians switch allegiance at will.
During an interview with a local TV station on Tuesday, the duo charged that even after lawmakers put in place the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (Kiems) and Results Transmission System, there is no need for Kenyans to wait for seven days to know the winner in a presidential election. “I am a little bit disappointed. We put in place an integrated elections management system and a results transmission system that is supposed to work seamlessly and efficiently. The idea was that you will have transparent and verifiable elections,” said Kilonzo Jnr.
The Makueni Governor-elect said there is no reason for keeping Kenyans waiting for seven days, adding that in other jurisdictions like Brazil, the presidential election outcome is determined within two hours.
He said that although he has not studied the petitions before the Supreme Court, there are allegations that the electoral and commission servers were hacked.
Kilonzo Jnr further charged that when former IEBC commissioner Dr Roselyn Akombe left the commission, she did an elaborate report on the workings of the electoral body, recommending that the country needs a commission that is not affiliated to any political party. “There is a possibility that someone could have hacked the system. We really need to relook into our systems. If you want to reform the country, you must have a commission that is not affiliated to any political party. These commissioners were picked by religious leaders,” he said.
He further said the only big legacy President Uhuru Kenyatta can bequeath Kenyans is to hand over power to his successor peacefully. “There is a time we had a meeting on BBI at State House and I told the President that his biggest legacy is not BBI or the highways or good roads but his biggest legacy will be the day he hands over power peacefully.”
Sakaja on the other hand has called on Kenyans to maintain peace irrespective of the Supreme Court verdict. He suggested that in determining the case, Supreme Court should add the figures of Forms 34As as uploaded in the portal.
“Every Kenyan, no matter how they voted, wants the same thing. Politics should not deny us what we are supposed to do. We have over-legislated our electoral laws because of trust deficit. We legislated in a bad mood,” Sakaja said.
He went on: “We need to keep testing our electoral systems. We should do it for more than a year. This will help us know whether the system is penetrable or not.”
At the same time, Sakaja decried the complexity of the electoral process, saying it comes with a heavy financial burden for political candidates, adding that he spent at least Sh15 million to pay agents for three days’ work during the elections.
“We need to have an electronic transmission for the gubernatorial elections as well. I have just finished sorting out my agents. It cost me Sh15 million. I had 3,643 agents for three days of work. The rest, they did it out of goodwill because I could not afford it beyond there,” Sakaja added.
He also said he had 396 polling centre managers as well as mobilisers, all of whom made up for additional expenditure. “In this country, we keep talking about sharing the cake and revenue allocation but we are not talking about revenue generation. We focus on how to divide and yet there is so much potential for growth for these revenues.”
Sakaja added that people have so many expectations of him, and the county leadership is ready to work with him regardless of political differences. “I am seeing so many messages from MCA’s across the divide; they are saying let us work. Politics is done no one will elect you because you played politics,” he added.
Sakaja, who was running on United Democratic Alliance party ticket, emerged the winner in the Nairobi governor race after garnering 699,392 votes to trounce his competitor, Polycarp Igathe of Jubilee who got 573,516 votes.