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March 24, 2018

Former US Marine wanted IEBC job

Andrew J. Franklin, the Managing Director of Franklin Management ConsultantsLimited and Small Arms Advisory Services in his office at Viking House, Westlands. Photo/William Mwangi
Andrew J. Franklin, the Managing Director of Franklin Management ConsultantsLimited and Small Arms Advisory Services in his office at Viking House, Westlands. Photo/William Mwangi

”I am the only non-citizen applicant and, after living in Kenya for 35 years, I can truthfully say I have no baggage,” Andrew J Franklin says when asked why he wanted to be the IEBC chairman and a commissioner.

Franklin has lived in Nairobi since March 1981. Since 1994, his business activities have been confined to Uganda and Kenya. He currently runs Franklin Management Consultants Ltd a company he registered in 1984.The firm provides a full range of security advisory services targeting government security agencies, media houses, international organisations and higher education institutions primarily in Kenya, but also throughout the Horn of Africa.

Franklin is a former Marine Corps commissioned officer. He served for 22 years.

He has appeared on domestic and international news programmes to discuss security. He has written numerous opinion articles in various newspapers. Franklin has a lot of experience in offshore financial services and investment advisory services, as well as vast knowledge in anti-money laundering, countering terrorist financing and sources of funds regulations and requirements.

Right now though, his focus was on serving either as the IEBC chair or a commissioner. The shortlisting of the five candidates for the position of the IEBC chairperson and 36 for commissioners excluded Franklin, something he is unhappy about.

“Somehow everyone seems to know the qualities needed by the next chairperson, but nobody wants to ask why these five applicants were selected for public interrogation? The next IEBC boss and commissioners should not be the usual suspects trying to avoid accountability during unusual times. The chief should be someone manifestly apolitical and not subject to the normal pressures found in the nation’s political environment.”

He is that candidate and preferred to make his case during the interviews so that Kenyans can judge for themselves. If he had failed at the interview stage, he would be satisfied.

Franklin says there is need to fix what went wrong in the past polls.

“How did ChickenGate affect election outcomes? Our priority should be peaceful and credible elections with guarantees against electoral fraud and vote stealing! What happens if the next chairperson and the IEBC commissioners hit the ground walking in January 2017 and CEO Ezra Chiloba resigns late in January 2017?” Franklin asks.

To conduct a credible poll, Franklin thinks it is possible to design foolproof paper-reliant voting systems and also, use eCitizen to register more voters, especially those in the diaspora.

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