What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If electoral injustice is a threat to democracy, it is also a challenge for leadership choices in the counties, including Homa Bay, Embu, and Wajir, where governor elections were nullified.
At each electoral level, the villain is the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The IEBC shall pay out millions of shillings of public money, in fines, to successful petitioners in areas where it bungled elections.
Homa Bay is a classic example of a ‘devolved Bomas’. Justice JR Karanja of the local High Court established, among other irregularities and illegalities, that fake polling stations were created, like Sindo Main Beach, in Suba South constituency.
The court also established primary documents, like Forms 37A, were altered. Votes in the 100, 200, and 300 range were deducted from the petitioner and added to the third respondent. There were two sets of gubernatorial election results from the IEBC: One showing the third respondent Cyprian Awiti won, and another showing the petitioner, Oyugi Magwanga, won. Vandalised ballot boxes, broken seals, and unsigned statutory documents were smoking guns. Failure of most IEBC presiding and returning officers to testify added to the confusion.
These IEBC electoral bungles, among others, were not accidental. Neither were they entirely human error. There was a pattern to the fraud: The irregularities and illegalities benefitted the respondents, while victimising the petitioners. The ultimate losers are the people whose will is overturned at vote tallying centres.
The prefix ‘independent’, a product of the 2010 Constitution, gave high expectations of an impartial arbiter of elections. But the embedded IEBC panders to the whims of the monied and militarised power elite.
Doing a ‘Bomas’ on the electorate in Nairobi, or devolved electoral fraud at county tallying centres, is an offence against the people. Fact: Former Homa Bay county commissioner Kassim Farah and armed police were used to drive out voters as the IEBC declared fraudulent results.
Fact: Former police county commander John Omusanga and Farah were deployed to protect the same fraud during party nominations in April last year. Farah and Omusanga know the people know they did a ‘Bomas’ in Homa Bay. Were they ‘volunteers’ in service of electoral fraud?
The IEBC of the 2013 and 2017 presidential election frauds are matters on record. The IEBC inherited this impudence from its predecessor, the Electoral Commission of Kenya of 2007.
The beneficiary of the 2007 electoral fraud was President Mwai Kibaki. The victim was Raila Odinga. The ultimate causalities were democracy and Kenya’s political stability. The Supreme Court judgment of September 1, 2017, on the presidential election petition, and the ruling of Justice Karanja on February 20, 2018, expose the IEBC’s skulduggery.
The nullification of the election of Awiti as Homa Bay governor is a test case for the National Super Alliance and the Orange Democratic Movement: Will the alliance and the party support electoral fraud? Will ODM defend the injustice the IEBC committed against the people?
Most of the 40 MCAs, the eight MPs, the Homa Bay senator and the woman rep are ODM-sponsored. These politicians are choristers in the fight for electoral justice in Nairobi. Will they defend electoral impunity in Homa Bay?
Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and ODM chairman John Mbadi, who is also Suba South MP, support the incumbent. Wanga and Mbadi have 2022 gubernatorial ambitions. If they support electoral fraud and Awiti, they shall, in effect, be drafting their political obituaries.
The successful petitioner, Magwanga, is an independent candidate, who has won the hearts of the people. He is seen as the leader of a people fighting to reclaim their high expectations of devolution, in a county synonymous with corruption, failed projects, ghost projects, ghost workers, and impunity.
The Auditor General keeps a damning annual record of these, and the anti-corruption agency has been dancing around these cases from 2015.