Kenya Elections 2017. What you Need to Know This Week

Curtains will be coming down on Saturday 5th August for all political aspirants required to halt campaigns as Kenyans head for the ballot on the 8th of August.

Christopher Musando, A senior IEBC official, went missing after television interview last week. He is yet to be found. This happened when the IEBC prepared to test its voting kit. His disappearance raises questions to the credibility of the election given that he is the ICT director at the commission.

The motive behind an intrusion into Deputy President William Ruto’s Sugoi home is yet to be known. The lone attacker held the police to a 19-hour standoff before he was eventually neutralised. It remains unknown whether the attack is related to the forth coming elections.

Fake news continues to reign havoc at a critical time in Kenya. Propagandists have taken advantage of the free social media to instil fear through false news into the mind of voters. Nation Media has published tips to detecting fake news in its local dailies.

Bus Stations have seen a swelling demand for transportation as Nairobi dwellers leave the city with fear of violence before, during and after the elections. However, Nairobi’s ODM gubernatorial candidate who is also the sitting governor pleaded with the town dwellers not to travel insisting that their votes are paramount in bring change to the country. He asked his supporter to adopt bus stations and stop people from moving at this critical time.

It is a week ahead of the start of the 2017/18 premier league season which will be flagged off with a community shield match between FA cup winners Arsenal and the premier league champions Chelsea at the Wembley Stadium. The premier league remains a very popular league in Kenya with top teams enjoying a huge following.

NASA Coalition Statement on The Plot to Rig Kenya Election 2017

The national Super Alliance released a statement earlier today 28th July 2017 on the plot by the military to hand over power to Jubilee unconstitutionally. Below is the statement.
WE have called you today to alert you to one of the gravest developments in the history of our country. We have received damning information and concrete evidence of an audacious plan that the Jubilee administration and the top military commanders have put in place to use force to subvert next month’s election with a rigged outcome.
The plan is to hand over power to Uhuru Kenyatta by completely illicit and unconstitutional means. Every aspect of the elaborate democratic polling system that has been put in place over the last four years will be undermined and a military operation conducted to deliver the presidency to Uhuru.
Jubilee has clearly recognized – and been so informed by NSIS – that it is headed for defeat after a disastrous four years in which the vast majority of Kenyans have suffered unprecedented deprivation and hardships. But determined to stay in power, it has enlisted what is referred in documents which detail the anti-democratic plot to use loyal officers by “tribe” and who “regime friendly” to subvert this election.
The plans include cutting of power and water and then militarily isolating settlements such as Mathare and Kibra on election day, possibly on the pretext of containing the spread of the cholera.
We are presenting here the evidence of the mobilization, coordination going on to have the military install Uhuru as president in August.
The documents indicate that very large numbers of officers and soldiers will be participating in the plot. Also included will 226 new soldiers, being trained at Mariakani Barracks to be deployed on this mission. The new soldiers don’t have networks in the military. Because they are new, they will readily take any orders, and at the same time cannot be identified, nor can they communicate with other soldiers who might not be privy to the plot and would opposed to it.
The soldiers are being trained on how to cut off power and water in Kibera and Mathare slums and keep people out of city centre.
They are planning to transport ballot papers to rural areas, code named Special Transit Goods or STG.
They will register telephone lines in the names of dead soldiers.
They are tasking engineers to provide military points of contact in central Kenya region.
Those military contacts are provided in a letter, numbered 4, as follows:
1.   The overall military contact person for Central Region is given as Col J.A Ouda of tel 0727944027.
2.   For Kiambu County is Lt. Col VN Mburu o number 0724600594.
3.   Muranga is under Maj VM Gitonga tel 0727713155.
4.   Kirinyaga is under PN Njenga 0726007555.
5.   Nyeri is under Lt Col. Masai tel 0722 917591
Central Kenya is crucial to this operation, which will drive out NASA agents in order to announce near 100 % votes for Uhuru.
They are developing both air and land emergency evacuation and humanitarian support.
To actualize these goals, a meeting is going on today whose theme is”Pro-activity in mission planning and delivery.” The entire meeting is devoted to issues dealing with the election which the military has no legal right to be involved in.
The agenda items include “Election Scenarios and Legal Implications.” There is also a sinister references to “Command Experiences in Amisom – Strengths and Weaknesses.” Amisom refers to the AU mission in Somalia under which our armed forces have obtained their only real experience in fierce war and combat.
The military is specifically being asked to deliver election to jubilee.
The soldiers being deployed are required to be Regime Friendly (RF) an from the correct tribe (TB).
A team of 1+12, meaning command and 12 fighters are the ones to be given lines to be registered in the names of dead soldiers.
They will have power line termination tools and Power Saw.
On completion of the tasks, these soldiers will be deployed on special missions probably outside the country to ensure they cut contacts and their accounts credited with money.
These soldiers are to be supplied with equipment spelt out in document number 6. The equipment includes:
1.   Land Cruiser closed-signal Frequency Jammers.
2.   Electric Shock flexible baton.
3.   Stun gun
4.   Hammers
5.   Power saw
6.   Metal steel cutters
7.   50 riot clubs and whips to each.
For some time now, we have been saying that President Uhuru Kenyatta is planning to overthrow the constitution and use the military to rig himself back in office after realizing he has lost the August elections. We underestimated the scope of that dastardly threat which we have now revealed. (plagiarised)

Involvement of The Military in Kenya’s 2017 Election May be Hazardious

Analysts are already eulogising trumps presidency. At this rate, no one is scared of the United States, and polls suggest the lowest approval ratings for President Donald Trump.

Kenya is going through an election in 2017, and there are thousands of lessons for the Kenyan voters. Electing leaders shouldn’t be guided by hatred of a candidate rather love for another candidate. People should vote for Uhuru Kenyatta because they hate Raila Odinga but rather vote because they believe in the vision and promises of the Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila Amollo Odinga called a press conference to express his displeasure with purported military interference with the forth coming election. He said, “we have received credible evidence that the army is training a task force to interfere with the August 8th Elections.” Member of the media also attended the press conference and streamed live on facebook through Raila’s Facebook account.

The NASA flag bearer and ODM party leader further reiterated that it is not the role of the military in handle internal security. It is the work of the national police he lamented. He also said that they would boycott the election of the military continues with its plan to interfere with the elections. He says there are planning of jamming connectivity to ensure that the election is rigged. These are utterances may have severe consequences and her neighbours.

What if the allegation is right? Is boycotting the election a solution? The ballot papers are already printed and ready and in what way does NASA plan to boycott the election? The unsubstantiated claim from the opposition which was relayed raw without presentation of evidence raises the serious questions on the preparedness of Kenya towards this election.

If I read the mood correctly, it is possible that boycotting means something else. It means calling for people not to turn out for voting or maybe something worse. Worse in the sense that parts of the country voters might be afraid of voting.

The military must desist from any activity relating to elections and concentrate on its pivotal role in keeping our borders non-porous. They should deal with the enemy that has repeatedly breached the border to distort social order which results in serious injuries and death to the extreme. The military must be professional in their discharge of duties, and there should never be a single element to doubt their neutrality from this election. The military should be trusted beyond reasonable as we head towards this volatile times.

NASA must concentrate on its campaign and try to win voters instead of scaring the country with the claim that might bring back the wounds of disputed 2007 elections. There is no turning back. The ballot papers are already printed and on the 8th Kenyans will be lining up to choose their leaders. If NASA plans to boycott the election, they shouldn’t stand on television to call for their supporters not to vote.

The media needs to be more vigilant than ever. The type of content delivered to Kenyans must be screened to weed out propaganda and rumours. Corresponding evidence should accompany every allegation.

Jubilee, on the other hand, should be as clean as it says it is. They shouldn’t be thought to behind any plot to rig or interfere with the elections.

IEBC being an independent body, in collaboration with the courts should take these allegations with utmost urgency. The peace and stability of Kenya of paramount importance, not just to Kenya, but to the entire world who see Kenya strategically located for business and travel. We cannot afford to lose our country to chaos once again. I choose PEACE.


Political Analysts Confuse Kenyans Instead of shaping Opinion

After the much overly advertised Kenya Presidential Debate in July 2017 between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, I looked forward the next day for insights on the performance of the NASA flag bearer Raila Amollo Odinga. I had not decided who to vote for before the debate. Not that I have decided but the discussion helped in deciding

Debates are important for people like me who do not have time to attend political rallies.

There is no better place to get that other than the prime time TV talks with political analysts who are mostly politicians themselves. They confuse people by disagreeing on even fundamental questions that they shouldn’t.

I agree with Herman Manyora, a lecturer at the University of Nairobi and frequent analyst on prime time talks, that there is a growing number of Kenyan voters, not many but very few, who resonate with the idea that Kenya presidential candidates have to debate for Kenyan voters to decide who to choose.

These calibre of the electorate are gradually growing by the day perhaps significant enough to dictate things by the next general election.

Although Kenya is still not a thriving democracy with most voters being swayed based on their tribal groupings, there is a group of the electorate who have intermarried and prefer having candidates who do not lean towards their tribes.

They seek leaders who have a vision that is far beyond their tribal backgrounds.

What if we ban political rallies altogether and replace them with a series of debates with properly structured ways of addressing voters? Or better still the government employs every eligible Kenyan such that it will be uneconomical to traverse the entire country lying to jobless Kenyans with gimmicks and outright propaganda?

Political Analysts on TV Influence Opinion

What will be prevalent is issue based politics where the history becomes an integral part of the evaluation of a candidate. Political analysts in Kenya side with different factions. The idea of having these analysts on TV analysing say, the Kenya presidential debate 2017, only confuses voters who look up to them as opinion leaders.

Political analysts insights on trending matters in the country are important in shaping the leadership. Unfortunately, political analysts in Kenya take sides and differ even on obvious topics like whether the debate is necessary or not.

The type of political analysts Kenya would like to see is Barrack Muluka type of critics who tend to see through the idea of each political party succinctly. Kenya would like to listen to respectable journalists who are not aligned to any political affiliations. I would like to see political analysts who call a spade a spade.

I  congratulate the Kenyan media owners for trying their level best to have the Kenya presidential debate 2017 despite a disappointing end. At least it was a good start, and the pitfalls exhibited in 2017 elections would not be repeated in the next election.

I  recommend senior journalists in Kenya to step up their level of discussions and engagement to stop political sycophants from playing with our wits on prime time discussion on matters of national importance.



Why Kenya Presidential Debate 2017 Failed. Media Is to Blame

I religiously went home last evening full of hope. I was particularly happy just thinking of how the Kenya presidential debate 2017nwould be. I had this idea in my head that I have an opportunity to make a decision who to vote for.

Unfortunately, Presidential running mates in Kenya just ignored a call to debate even after months of preparation and subsequent communication with respective campaign teams.

Only one little know running mate Eliud Mathiora showed up, took to the podium to tell the country why they have the perfect solution to the Kenya. Kenyans on social media fell in love with him. I think he did well. He may not ascend to power this time, but he will remain in voters minds as one who had the courage to present himself for scrutiny of his agenda.

The lone debater confirmed that there had been consistent communication between the organising committee and the campaign teams

Snubbing the debates began with front runners to the presidential seat boycotting an earlier scheduled debate. President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga cited non-consultation, and they were not privy to the rules of engagement.

However, the organising committee of the Kenya Presidential Debate 2017 refutes the claims and further reiterated that there had been consultations with the respective campaign teams.

It seems politicians are not afraid of what the media can do. They are used to status quo of attending many public rallies and rant false statements and propaganda against each other. The media on the, on the other hand, does not recognise the potential and influence they possess.

Politicians do not want to have a single platform to explain to the entire nation at the same time why they should be elected. They want to stand on a platform in the towns to be cheered as they attack their opponent with meagre propaganda.

The snubbing of the debates can be seen as failed attempt by concerned Kenyans to hold leaders accountable. However, the failed presidential debates are just but the beginning of a new norm.

Candidates can boycott standing in front of the nation to articulate their ideologies to the country, but it won’t be long, they will have to account for every decision they made while in power.

The Shift

The political landscape is changing. Very fast indeed. The rise of social media has placed Kenyans physically apart, but they are closer than ever. Voters can synthesise and discuss issues on social media pages.

Presidential debate failure last night was the beginning of something very great that will shape the leadership of this nation. Leaders will be held into account. I see a country that is headed in the right direction.

The only thing that the organising committee must do is never give up. They should continue offering a platform for Kenyans to know their leaders and be able to make a choice away from tribal, religious or gender affiliations.

Here is the plan

The focus should shift from covering allegations and responses on propaganda and non-issues to focus on what brings change. Weed out “Nasa hawa” and focus on “We’ll bring free improve health for every Kenyan and Free education.”

The media should stop being a conduit for allegation and responses. They should rather focus on national matters that the leaders have in their manifestos. Boycott to report about what Jubilee said about Nasa and focused on what Jubilee said about the people. If allegations are made against either camp, we need journalists pressing these leaders to provide proof. With proof ask the other team to respond with proof.

If the media do some quality reporting and upholding top level reporting, then the politician will be very very afraid of the reporters.

The IEBC Must Step Up its Decision Making Organs.

Kenya is on the home stretch towards the August 8th elections. The question that lingers in the minds of many is whether the IEBC is ready with less than a month for August elections. IEBC has a long way to go with the courts faulting some of the decisions that they are making.

The news from the other arm of government, the judiciary, seems to bring some hope for the future. One of the judges appointed to hear a case filed by NASA to compel IEBC to use the electronic system in the next general election exclusively has recused himself from the case. He said that he practised with one of the NASA principals and it would be improper for him to sit on the bench.

Lately, the manner in which the Judiciary and its members have been acting is rather commendable and encouraging. Kenya is almost confident that the courts can handle the aftermath of the 2017 elections. The judiciary has practised impartiality and ruled cases in a manner to suggest that Kenya is heading in the right direction.

Despite calls from incumbent Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy Willian Ruto that the courts should not take their respect for fear, it is interesting to note members from all political camps seem satisfied with the ruling on presidential ballot paper printing tender against the IEBC.

The ballot raw ruling follows an earlier ruling in which the courts overturned the decision by IEBC to bar Wavinya Ndeti from contesting for Machakos gubernatorial seat. It was a win for Wavinya and rather shameful loss for IEBC who have suffered a series of losses seems the swearing in of the new commissioners.

There is a concern though for the IEBC chaired by Wafula Chebukati. The commission which consists of experienced legal practitioners and members of high social standing has been making reckless and rather arbitrary decisions that have been easily dismissed by the courts for lack of legal basis.

As a constitutional body mandated to carry out free, fair, credible and verifiable elections, the IEBC has a long way to go lest it loses its credibility in the eyes of Kenyans and the international community. Decisions that IEBC makes must stand the test of the law and found to be just and constitutional.

The Constitution of Kenya has deployed necessary resources for the IEBC to run a credible election. Kenyans have bestowed their trust in the IEBC to be effective in its role. It must not fail Kenyans. IEBC must work round the clock to ensure that the Judiciary does not overshadow it with repeated revocation of the decisions the commission makes including announcing the winners of August 8th polls.