01 October, 2007

Electoral Code of Conduct-Kenya

Its an election year and most Kenyans are virtually euphoric in the support of the Leader they deem fit to lead the country for the next five years.

Interestingly all the campaigns have started on a high notch with President Mwai Launching his bid for Presidency this saturday to a mammoth crowd at Nyayo Naational stadium.With the onset of the campaigns the work of the Electoral Commision of Kenya(ECK) now truly begins.I have just looked at the ECK website and found it to be quite nice.Actually one of the best websites in terms of Government/Statutory bodies website.My main interest was to find out what does the electoral code stipulate in terms of enforcement of breaches by political parties against the code of conduct.

Unfortunately the Electoral commision seems to be atoothless bulldog,more precisely a bulldog that doesnt want to bite.The website lists(for the link http://www.eck.or.ke/index.php/Laws-and-Regulations-Governing-Elections/The-Election-Offences-Act.html) Acts of Parliament,laws and regulations that it is seized with enforcing .But i am more specifically interested in their rider after theElections Offences acts i.e. :

"As the title indicates this is the Act which contains and creates Offences
relating to registration of voters and election and the punishment of offenders.
By making it an offence to tamper with the voters’ register it enhances its
security and integrity. It forbids bribery of voters, and generally,
electoral corruption, intimidation and coercion of voters and candidates.
Indeed if it were enforced fully the conduct of elections in Kenya would be
I find this to be bi-partisan, defeatist and an excuse by the body not to perform its statutory obligations.As per the Civil Service Code of Conduct and the Electoral Code of Conduct, Civil Servants are not supposed to actively participate in promotion of a political candidate but evidently both opposition and Government rallies have featured Government resources and or Government employees(one being a diplomat) actively promote a certain candidate.
Obviously this demonstates that human elections wherever they may be cannot fail to have improprieties and two that those seized in enforcing enabling laws and statutes while expected to be neutral and forthright will always continue to turn a blind eye on manifest infringement of the said laws!
Free and fair elections! hardly not here not in America!Prevailing interests will always prevail.Indeed democracy is just a term that exists in the books and at best has been dictatorship by the majority!

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