Monday, August 26, 2013

This is for you, Jakom.

My favourite punching bag, Raila Odinga, is still sore that the Kenyatta II administration is still standing. I feel his pain ,though. Therefore, in the spirit of even-handedness, I think it is time we gave him new ideas to pursue his unrealised dreams, one of which, as you are all aware, is to make the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission share his pain. Let us help ODM's Jakom send home the IEBC.

By IEBC we obviously mean the Commissioners and the Chief Executive (although I think the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission will put the Chief Executive in jail before Jakom gets to him. C'est la vie! Let us hope the legendary EACC incompetence will give Jakom a chance to get his hands, figuratively speaking of course, around the Chief Executive's neck.

The demon seed of a Constitution that somehow denied Jakom the presidency, at Article 251, contains the rules for the removal of members of constitutional commission, such as the extant ones. The grounds in Art 251(1), particularly in paragraphs (b) and (d), are just perfect for Jakom's purposes: gross misconduct, whether in the performance of the member's ... functions or otherwise, and incompetence. It's devilishly difficult to establish gross misconduct; incompetence, the main plank of Jakom's Hail Mary Supreme Court Petition, is the ticket.

The Commission, that is, the incompetent commissioners that make up the Commission, were supposed to perform the following functions, well, competently:
  1. Register eligible voters.
  2. Create and maintain a register of voters.
  3. Capture their biometric data in an easily retrievable database.
  4. Procure equipment to register eligible voters and store the details of the registration.
  5. Conduct a general election for President and Deputy President, Governors and Deputy Governors, Members of the National Assembly, Women Representatives of the National Assembly, Senators, Members of County Assemblies, as well as the nominations of Members of the National Assembly and County Assembles.
  6. Record the numbers of voters who voted for each candidate, verify the ballots cast, electronically transmit the results and record the final numbers of the votes garnered by each candidate.
  7. Procure the equipment for the identification of validly registered voters.
  8. Procure the equipment for the transmission of results of the election.
  9. Procure the equipment for tallying the results of the election.
Jakom should abandon all hope of proving that, in the words of the Supreme Court, the Register of Voters was a moving target. He should, instead, prove the incompetence of the IEBC by showing that when it came to the process of registration, verification and identification of voters, the Commission was incompetent; that when it came to the process of recording and transmitting the votes that were cast, the Commission was incompetent; and when it came to the procurement of election equipment and materials, the Commission was incompetent. He does not have to prove gross incompetence, just mere incompetence.

We must not ignore the elephant in the room: for the Commissioners to be dismissed, Jakom requires the President to appoint Tribunals to investigate each and every one of them and to assign the proper blame on each individual Commissioner. This might seem like an insurmountable obstacle; but those who doubt his capacity to rally the people when he has the facts on his side should be wary should he pick up this gauntlet and throw it at the feet of Uhuru Kenyatta.

Since his ignominious defeat at the Supreme Court, Jakom has been searching for a cause. The various ones that he has road-tested have been mere small potatoes, including the sheer lunacy of amending the Constitution to fiddle with the manner in which a president is elected. But if he wants a mission that will receive the full-throated support of his supporters, the perfidious IEBC is a perfect target for his mobilising skills. All he needs are the facts and he will be half way to creating a movement for change.

This will give him something worthwhile to do while his minions in the National Assembly and the Senate deal with the minor detail of trying to hold the Uhuru Kenyatta government to account. They do not need the distraction of a national campaign to fire the IEBC; they don't have the mental or testicular fortitude to see the campaign through. But this is where he will make his mark. We can't go to another general election with these jokers in charge.

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