All 21 members of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK)
say they will not resign despite local and international pressure for them to
step down. Kenyans, including the Kriegler Commission, have blamed the ECK for
bungling the results of last December's general elections, which left over a
thousand people dead and about 500 thousand wounded.
United States reportedly imposed a travel ban on the commissioners. Kenyan Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula
accused some western ambassadors in Kenya of practicing activism under the
guise of conducting diplomatic business.
Ndungo Wainaina is the director of the
Kenyan Center for Policy and Conflict. From Nairobi, he told VOA some European countries also want the Kenyan electoral commission
to step down.
Tuesday, the deputy head of mission (at the U.S. Embassy in Kenya) Pamela
Slutz, did meet with the ECK chairman and actually it is reported that she did
expressly asked Samuel Kivuitu (ECK chairman) to resign. Today the European
delegation here in Nairobi did meet the commission and actually the message was
the same. In fact it is reported that in the delegation one of the
representatives was forthright and actually demanded the immediately
resignation of the chairman and his team," he said.
foreign affairs minister Moses Wetangula Thursday criticized the conduct of
western diplomats who visited the ECK chairman. He reportedly accused some
western ambassadors in Kenya of practicing activism under the guise of
conducting diplomatic business.
said there seems to be a split between the two camps that make up Kenya's
current unity government.
it is very clear that there is a clear division in the coalition government in
terms of their positions on the electoral commission. They appear apparently to
defer the stay of the ECK. Within the Kenyan public, there is a huge consensus
that the ECK must actually resign," Wainaina said.
their meeting Thursday the ECK members said they would not resign in spite of
local and international pressure.
Wainaina said it is only a matter of time before the commissioners will yield
to the demands of Kenyans.
is very clear that it is only a matter of time. They can continue putting on a
fight but I don't it is sustainable at all, and the groups that appear to
support them are in the minority, and I think the international community is
actually taking that cue. Kenyan citizens actually have been demanding since
day one even before the Kriegler Commission was set up, for the commission to
go home. And therefore there is no way they are going to survive it," he said.
the meeting Thursday, the commissioners reportedly said their fate should be
decided by the president of Kenya who appointed them.
said the role of President Kibaki does not feature prominently in the demand
for the resignation of the ECK.
matter of the president deciding does not arrive at all. What is being demanded
here is the question of accountability and demolishing the culture of impunity
that has actually embedded itself in Kenyan public life forever. So therefore
he has no choice. He has to live by what the majority of Kenyans want,"
another development, Kenyan authorities have charged Andrew Mwangura, the
program coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance Program for making false
was quoted as saying that the military equipment on board the hijacked ship MV
Faina was destined for Southern Sudan.
said Kenyan authorities are trying silent Mr. Mwangura about the real story
about the cargo aboard the hijacked ship.
"I think what Kenya is trying to do is
that they are trying to cover the whole thing up because they feel strongly
that if it finally emerges that the military equipment were meant for southern
Sudan, it's going to be an embarrassment to Kenya because Kenya would have
appeared to have facilitated the violation of the UN embargo on military
equipment to Sudan," Wainaina said.