Cast no doubts on IEBC’s credibility, peace actors to Kenyans

Kobia also said they have identified possible dangers that might be a threat to peace.

In Summary

•Commission’s chairperson Samuel Kobia called on Kenyans to develop trust in the commission as it prepares to conduct elections.

•He said any suspicions against the body's ability to conduct the poll were likely to undermine what Kenyans foresee to be a peaceful process.

NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia
NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia
Image: FILE

The national cohesion and integration commission (NCIC) has come to the defence of the electoral commission asking Kenyans to respect its integrity to ensure a smooth election process.

Commission’s chairperson Samuel Kobia said while there were tests that the commission was grappling with currently, there was a need for the nation to develop trust in it as it prepares to conduct elections.

Responding to the spat between IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and DCI boss George Kinoti over the arrest of two foreigners caught with electoral materials, Kobia called for a cease as it was likely to raise fears about the credibility of the body to conduct the process.

“It should not mean that from now on we should suspect IEBC, if our trust in the body is in doubt, it will definitely undermine what we foresee to be a peaceful process before, during and after August 9,” Kobia.

At the same time Kobia, in a joint press statement with other peace stakeholders under the Uwiano Platform for Peace stated that they have identified possible dangers that might be a threat to peace ahead of the election.

Among those present is the Supreme Council of Muslims chair Hassan Ole Naado, Registrar of political parties Ann Nderitu, Police spokesman Bruno Shioso and Peace and development advisor Rana Taha among others.

Calling on the social media users to desist from sharing old electoral violence videos, the group said the emergence of such clips portends the risk of reigniting negative emotions hence inciting communities.

“The 2007/8 video clips only serve to open old wounds and spur ethnic animosity and hatred among communities currently coexisting together,” said Hassan.

Clashes between rival political candidates as they traverse the nation in search of votes, political intolerance in areas where there is contestation for votes and increased physical attacks on opponent’s supporters are other dangers they have cited.

Heightened misinformation, disinformation and propaganda on social media targeting political candidates, parties and IEBC is another threat.

In seeking to address these, the stakeholders said through IEBC they have conducted a national elections conference where Kenyans have had a platform to engage on matters of election preparedness.

“We have intensified monitoring of hate speech and ethnic contempt on the social media platforms as well as public forums and conducting intra and inter-community dialogues in areas where there is a potential risk of conflicts,” said Raha as they read the statement in turns.

A national peace and mediation team to consolidate various mediation efforts, they said, has also been launched.

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