It is needless and unproductive to regard the Electoral Commission (EC) debacle with the gender lens. That cannot pass muster and those treading on that path are only venting their frustrations rather cheaply. What is at stake is the integrity of a critical institution in our democracy and therefore beyond such crude considerations.
We have gone past the gender issue in this country – the two-time appointment of females to the highest point of the judiciary offering an appropriate case in point.
Women have and continue to discharge their duties efficiently and competently in critical segments of state – their roles acknowledged by all and beyond reproach.
Was Charlotte not head of the National Commission For Civic Education before taking over the EC? She had a safe ride there and did not make negative headlines. Now issues are being raised because her compatriots find her stewardship not meeting the standards of the office she occupies. That is what we are looking at and not these craps.
Talk about strengthening our institutions has been in the air for such a long time; it is amazing therefore that these entities continue to exhibit the worrying frailties whose impact on the success of governance remain the bane of our development.
The time to work towards bettering the performance of state institutions, especially, critical ones whose credibility cannot be compromised under any circumstances.
The legislature and judiciary have proven their mettle so far even though more needs to be done to enable them go beyond their present levels.
Their feats would be reduced to naught if the election management machinery is infected with the kind of contagions being noticed on the public space. It stands to reason that the legislature and judiciary can only function and serve the needs of the people when democracy blossoms. Without a virile EC this cannot be achieved by any means and the ship of state would wobble dangerously.
That is why the brouhaha over the integrity of the EC continues to be prominent on the public space; discerning people knowing what the outcome could be if it is not handled heads-on.
At the time we hinted about the bad blood existing within the top hierarchy of the system, the fear was dismissed with a painful contempt. It has not taken long for the truth to be out.
We have noticed the efforts of the Peace Council and others towards managing the matter under review but their soft approach is not the kind of option required under such circumstances with criminal connotations. Some ailments including the EC gangrene cannot be tackled the way these bodies are suggesting. Any attempt at such options would collapse the election management system and hence our democratic march.
The intervention of the Council of State cannot be overlooked on this score. We are compelled to side with the suggestion by some civil society organizations that the Council advise the top echelon of the body to step aside as investigations into the shattering allegations are conducted by the appropriate state bodies.