Friday, June 29, 2007

Why Kivuitu and Gachegu Must Go.

Now that the High Court has spoken and Uhuru Kenyatta is rightfully confirmed as the Official leader of the opposition, should we not be in anxious anticipation of the resignations of both the Registrar of Societies, Bernice Gachegu, and the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Samuel Kivuitu? After all, the panel of judges accused both officers of perpetrating outright illegalities in their apparent haste to do the Kibaki Administration's dirty work.
Today's Daily Nation reports:
In their ruling, the judges said the registration of new officials was “choreographed and became a charade tainted with both procedural impropriety and outright illegality on the part of the registrar.”. . . . Further, ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu they said, acted contrary to the requirements of National and Presidential Elections Act by purporting to convey a decision of the commission and later rescind it on oath.”
The judges also accused the ECK (which, of course, is loaded with Kibaki loyalists after the President tore up the 1997 IPPG "Gentleman's Agreement" that allowed the opposition a voice in the selection of commissioners) of surrendering its independence by meekly acquiescing to the government's blatant attempt to appoint the leadership of a party in the opposition. As I wrote at the time, the government's actions represented "an existential challenge to our hard-won democracy. If the Government is allowed to get away with determining the leadership of opposition parties, then we are on our way back to the days of de facto one party rule. The ridiculous vista of government ministers applauding the (s)election of the man supposed to lead the way in scrutinising their actions speaks volumes. The government seeks a free hand to do as it will without the encumbrance of a parliamentary opposition."

Given that the stakes are so high and that these two were the very officers tasked to prevent just this sort of mischief, their resignations (or those lacking, moves to ensure their swift removal from office) are indispensable if public confidence in our institutions is to restored. The same fate should befall the mysterious Cabinet Minister who was said to have prevailed upon Ms. Gachegu to register the Biwott faction.

However, this being Kenya, I wouldn't hold my breath.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yo Gathara, b4 kivuitu & co. resign as an "existential threat to our [fledgeling if] hard-won democracy" don't you think evans gicheru and the card-board judiciary put in place at the beginning of this regime should resign as an even more fundamental "existential threat"? A compromised and partisan judiciary weakens the foundational checks and balances that protect us from the effects of the corrupting tendencies of power on our leaders. the impunity of the present kenyan government are clear results of these. so, should gicheru and co. resign first i wonder?