Kenya Election Democracy Ahoy!!

In this world, opportunity comes in scarcity. The motherland had such one golden opportunity to deepen her leadership of Africa election democracy in 2012.

She opted then for a blanket people’s vote cannot be annulled reasoning verdict, upholding the results of an election fraught with large-scale errors and incompetence.

Today, Kenya has taken that opportunity and leadership in African election democracy by saying elections are governed by laws so if the election laws are not adhered to, that election’s results are nullity.

It is a most welcome breather for Africans sick and tired of election rigging which usually imposes incompetent and corrupt governments on a people drowning in avoidable poverty and under-development.

Africans have suffered from election rigging for far too long. The indigenous yoke of intra-national colonialism has replaced the colonial yoke.

Those who disagree with incumbent administrations are subjected to all kinds of maltreatment. And when it is time to reverse tables for the oppressor to fall for the oppressed to try its hand, election manipulation keeps the incumbent in power. Escaping international criminal justice for causing the death of compatriots is no deterrent from self-seeking election rigging.

No, not the typical power drunken African politician.

At certain points in the motherland, governments have forcefully changed to liberate, redeem or revolutionise the opposition.

Sadly in all those forced situations, the liberator or redeemer or revolutionist would eventually turn out to be the oppressor.

Many are colleagues and others I know who could hardly understand how an expert in charge of an election system could be murdered days before the conduct of elections.

They wondered how that could have happened and wondered even more how an election like that could be freely and fairly conducted.

I am yet to read any observer report as to how free and fair the election was.

I have a feeling that they would be worried now if they were not worried about the way the election was conducted and its results.

In our own 2012 disaster of an election, observers thought things were okay, or at worst not too bad for the results to be valid.

All along, the impression one gets about observers is that they can’t wait for some kind of voting to go on without everyone being killed and results declared.

Once results are declared, the mantra is there were a few problems but in all the election was Free, Fair and Credible (FF&C).

In fact, the FF&C seems almost always determined by the extent of violence. For as long as violence is minimised you can be sure observers would without worry declare FF&C.

We have so far escaped from the violence that has on some occasions accompanied elections in Kenya. It has so happened mainly because our people choose to live sulking and enduring pain in silence.

Some say when times such as 2016 come, it strengthens their resolve to always suffer in silence.

The result, congresspeople, have been stealing elections in broad daylight and getting away with it.

Verdict must appease the soul of the murdered, whether election officials or people who might have been protesting against election injustice. It is justice for their souls. No one’s soul can rest peacefully when killed in those

circumstances, especially should someone succeed in stealing the election.

There can be no democracy without an independently bold judiciary.  Just look at how the legislature recklessly created, using gerrymandering trickery, 45 additional constituencies three months to an election in 2012. And just see how the executive stole public money left, right and centre to procure an election verdict. Forget also not the monopoly of the media; the publicly owned with bribery and the privately owned by splashing advertising cash all over.

It needed the judiciary to uphold democracy. Alas, it didn’t happen.

As for the election number crunching whiz kid Peter Mac Manu, he can relax because he is not the first Ghanaian to have suffered the persona non grata fate in the hands of Kenyan immigration authorities. Daily Graphic reported in 1958 (Saturday, May 31) that at Nairobi Airport: ‘Barrister E.N.P. Sowah… was banned from entering Kenya … to defend Tom Mboya … he had been excluded from obtaining an entry permit, pass or certificate to enter Kenya.’

Indeed, the Kenya Supreme Court’s annulment of the results of poorly conducted election is one of the few rare moments of African pride.

All who hate cheating now have hope of a case law where no one will easily get away with writing a 12-minute judgment, which principally hinges on the fallacy that an election, no matter how illegally conducted, cannot have its results annulled.

I sense congresspeople ignoring that to go for the Kenyan results are not sacrosanct.

Long live Kenyan Supreme Court! Long live an independent African judiciary.

By Kwasi Ansu-Kyeremeh