Third Eye

IEBC advised to keep crooks out of ballot paper

Thursday, May 19th, 2022 06:36 | By
IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati. PHOTO/Courtesy

When the drafters of the 2010 Constitution settled for Chapter Six, their intention was noble. There was a need to cultivate sanity and integrity in the public service and among State officers. It is for this reason that the chapter was titled Leadership and Integrity.

The chapter stipulates that authority assigned to a State officer is a public trust to be exercised in a manner that, among other things, brings honour to the nation and dignity to the office and promotes public confidence in the integrity of the office. The guiding principles include; Selfless service, objectivity and impartiality, discipline and commitment to service to the people.

These are weighty issues that society needs to put into account when looking at leadership. We have less than three months to go to the General Election. Politicians, as they are wont to, are promising heaven.

However, the Cabinet Secretary for Interior was first to warn the ballot paper will have up to 40 per cent of aspirants unfit to hold office. His warning was echoed by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission together with the Director of Public Prosecutions who are warning that the caliber and integrity of some of the aspirants fronting themselves as electable are wanting. They not only flout Chapter Six of the Constitution but also denigrate the ethos of our society.

In the words of the leadership of these offices, charlatans, crooks, money launderers and drug dealers are lining up to become elected representatives of the people. Those who do not meet the ethical standards that the country has set must be stopped.

Voters should be educate so as not vote for candidates of questionable standing. That is why civic education is critical in the next two months. The relevant government agencies should also work extra hard to vet all aspirants and block those found to be unfit to hold public office.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is one of the agencies tasked with this duty. It should not fail Kenyans. In the recent past when the matter has been brought to the fore, the commission has said that its hands are tied by court rulings. However, there has been nothing to stop it from seeking to bar unfit contestants through orders of a higher court. If an aspirant has faked academic credentials, no courts ought to clear them.

The point is to enforce sanity and integrity in the electoral process and IEBC should be encouraged to challenge rulings that chip away at its independence so that it can do its work effectively.

Whereas we call upon Kenyans to shun politicians with dubious records we ask government agencies to act in public interest and enforce Chapter Six and other relevant provisions in the Constitution.

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