ELECTORAL REFORMS

Were Kisii MPs computer-generated?

ODM has has no MP in the two counties of Kisii and Nyamira.

In Summary
  • The 2017 selection of MPs in Kisii and Nyamira was curious: The governors, senators, women reps and 88 per cent of MCAs were elected on the ODM ticket
  • The party has no MP in the two counties

There was a time the credibility of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was tattered, cynics believed it could not supervise free and fair elections for a serious cooperative society.

There is no reason to believe the Wafula Chebukati-led electoral agency is doing any better, 16 months to the 2022 general election.

The tragedy, though, is the public silence as the countdown to another election begins.

The worry should not merely be whether the presidential succession election will be free and fair. Parliamentary elections, too, have not been insulated from the mendacity of vested interests.

The muddle of parliamentary elections in 2017 invites scepticism.

Rigged elections turn out politicians who do not flatter public intelligence. But are the masses ready to counter electoral theft?

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, said: “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

Lincoln, counted among the most memorable US presidents, could have been speaking about Kenya’s meddlesome ‘deep state’.

Such meddling produces computer-generated politicians.

The 2017 selection of MPs in Kisii and Nyamira counties was curious: The Kisii governor, senator, woman rep; Nyamira governor, senator and 88 per cent of MCAs in the two counties were elected on the ODM ticket.

The party, however, has no MP in the two counties.

The nine constituencies in Kisii elected MPs on minor parties, while the top county leadership positions went to ODM.

Kisii Governor James Ongwae, Senator Sam Ongeri, Woman Representative Janet Ongera, and most members of the county assembly were elected on the ODM ticket.

Bonchari MP Ooro Oyioka, who died in February, was elected on the People’s Democratic Party ticket. Kitutu Chache North MP Jimmy Angwenyi was elected on the Jubilee ticket.

Richard Onyonka, a third-term MP, arrived through Ford Kenya. Richard Tongi of Nyaribari Chache was elected on the Jubilee ticket. Nyaribari Masaba’s Ezekiel Ombaki was elected in the National Agenda Party ticket.

It was even said it was part of a plot to impeach President Uhuru Kenyatta if an opportunity arrived. The Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the People’s President Raila Odinga of March 9, 2018, neutered the plot.

Alpha Miruka of Bomachoge Chache arrived aboard the Kenya National Congress train, through an election petition.

Zadoc Ogutu won as an independent candidate. Innocent Momanyi Obiri walked in through People’s Democratic Party.

Sylvanus Osoro of South Mugirango also came in through KNC. Most of the parties were in coalition with the Jubilee Party.

Now, most of these MP are aligned to the Tangatanga faction of the ruling Jubilee Party.

The Kisii electoral model is replicated in neighbouring Nyamira county. Governor John Nyangarama, who died last year, was elected on the ODM ticket, so was Senator Okong’o O’mongeni. Most Nyamira MCAs were also elected on the ODM ticket, but the four constituencies have MPs from assorted parties.

Shadrack Mose of Kitutu Masaba was elected on the Jubilee ticket. Ben Momanyi of Borabu arrived through Wiper Democratic Movement. Joash Nyamoko of West Mugirango and Vincent Kemosi of North Mugirango were elected on the Ford-K and Jubilee tickets.

Again, what do you make of rookies who won parliamentary elections in Central Kenya against veterans? Their allegiance this far point to a plot – a conspiracy whose agenda may have been to control Parliament.

The 2017 parliamentary elections in Kisii and Nyamira counties fuel the conspiracy that they were intended to deny ODM a strong voice in Parliament, even if the party presidential candidate won.

The conspiracy may also have been a 2022 presidential succession plot. But the cases were linked to presidential succession.

It was even said it was part of a plot to impeach President Uhuru Kenyatta if an opportunity arrived. The Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the People’s President Raila Odinga of March 9, 2018, neutered the plot.

Many times bitten, citizens should demand electoral reforms. This should include reforming the IEBC, making it accountable to the electorate.