December 2016

Jan. 21, 2017 (9 months ago)

2nd Dec: Government re-assures the independence of IEBC selection panel: The government through its spokesperson Eric Kiraithe said that the re-advertisement of the IEBC chair was an independent decision by the selection panel. He added that the panel is keen on selecting a person who shall enjoy the confidence of all Kenyans.

4th Dec: New elections laws jitters aspirants: Laws on fundraising and campaign financing by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) took effect causing worry among aspirants of various political positions. The rules bars all aspirants from contributing in Harambees from December 8.

Other provisions state that an aspirant in the next election ought to have campaign bank accounts and a team of authorized people who will manage the finances. On the other hand IEBC is in a dilemma on whether to implement the regulations since they are yet to be approved by Parliament.

4th Dec: A section of Jubilee MPs wants primaries coordinated from Nairobi: A section of Jubilee MPs suggested that Jubilee party nominations should be coordinated at the National level and not at the county levels. In their opinion, this would avert wrangles emerging from the primaries. Party primaries in Kenya are known to be chaotic and shambolic. This is usually the origin of many party fallouts.

6th Dec: Cooperate with IEBC for smooth elections: A section of Jubilee MPs accused Mr. Odinga of intimidating the electoral agency. In particular they took issue with the persistent claim that they plan to rig the August 8th elections. In preparation of August elections, a multi-agency security team shall be set up to avoid violence during after 2017 general elections. The agencies include the electoral commission, Director of Prosecutions, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the police.

The electoral Commission has gone ahead to order all politicians to pull down banners and billboards erected as campaign period hasn’t officially started. IEBC has warned politicians of heavy penalties as early campaigns equals to misconduct and violations of election laws. Early campaigns have put Kenya in a tensed mood since campaigns are always vicious in Kenya.

6th Dec: The election to cost Sh 30 billion: The August 8th general elections shall cost tax payers Ksh 30 billion. The IEBC chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba exudes confidence that the commission will account for each shilling allocated to them. The commission’s target is to have 22 million registered voters before the election. Currently there are only 15.8 million registered voters.

8th Dec: Panel needs time to select credible candidates: NCCK and KHRC appealed to Kenyans to give the panel ample time in order to select the suited candidates to fill the vacant positions in the electoral agency. In a court case regarding the interviews, the court ordered the IEBC selection panel to interview two candidates who had applied for the position of IEBC commissioners. The two candidates had not been shortlisted. Their inclusion into interviews comes after a Kenyan filed a case asking the court to halt the recruitment process until the panel reveals the criteria used in shortlisting the candidates for the interview. After a successful recruitment process the president handed over the nominees to Parliament for further vetting. Parliament is expected to debate the appointment of the nominees on January 17th, 2017.

9th Dec: Controversy over campaign finance rules: The Justice and Legal Affairs committee disagreed with the IEBC over the campaign financing rules. ODM moved to court to challenge the campaign finance rules. The party is asking the court to annul the IEBC Gazette notice on the rules. ODM argues that the rules are unconstitutional since Parliament hasn’t drafted regulations to implement the Campaign Finance Act.

14th Dec: Auditing of voters register: Clergymen asked IEBC to clarify on the dates they intend to conduct an audit on the voter register. The religious leaders said that mass voter registration ought to be preceded by the audit. In a rejoinder the electoral agency responded that the delayed audit was on course. The delay was caused by the tendering requirements where KPMG East Africa won the tender. It is worth to note that the opposition opposes KPMG’s capacity to audit the voter register citing the company’s inexperience in such a task. The audit was supposed to be completed on January 3 but the dates have been extended to February 17. The dates to hold political parties nominations were also reduced. The audit was commissioned after Cord claimed that the register contains ghost voters.

16th Dec: Political bickering dragging implementation of electoral laws: Political wrangling between CORD and Jubilee on election laws has put the electoral agency in a dilemma. Jubilee party went to the court challenging sections of the electoral laws. Jubilee remains keen on having a manual back up to compliment the biometric voter identification and electronic results transmission. CORD is adamant on retaining both processes as electronic, regardless. This contestation was witnessed in Parliament where the lower house engaged in a fist fight. The electoral laws were passed in both houses but the opposition isn’t satisfied.

19th Dec: Jubilee’s onslaught on donor funds: A group of Jubilee lawmakers demanded the IEBC tables the amount of money they have received from donors and the employees seconded to them by the donors. The demands came after President Kenyatta complained about donors giving too much money in order to influence the forthcoming general elections. So far Western donors have refuted the allegation of scheming to influence the next general election.

The NGO board went ahead to suspend the activities of International Foundation for Electoral Systems, which offers assistance to the IEBC and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) for civic education. The suspension didn’t last long as it was overturned by the court.

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