Press Statement -INTER-REGIONAL PEACE NETWORK

IRPN WANTS IEBC TO EMBRACE TRANSPARENCY IN CLEANING OF THE VOTER REGISTER AND ELECTION PREPAREDNESS

We wish to challenge the IEBC to embrace transparency and involve stakeholders in the ongoing cleaning of the voter register.

In order to earn the trust of Kenyans, it would be prudent that the commission publishes the current register as rotten as it may be so that when they eventually publish the outcome of the cleaning, Kenyans will be able to see by themselves how much work went into it. Currently, the commission seems to be too economical with the truth about the status of the register. You cannot appreciate light unless you understand darkness.

We also urge the commission to demonstrate clearly the status of their preparedness given the timelines ahead of the polls. The commission should not only be perceived to be ready to conduct credible, transparent, free and fair elections but must be seen to be ready to do so.

We are highly concerned about the status of the voter education and as to whether the electorate will be properly informed about their rights and roles before they take to the polls. Lack of proper voter education is a recipe for violence because it broods less informed electorates who are easy to manipulate and sway, sometimes against their wishes. It is not lost on us that the commission just awarded accreditation to voter education providers three months to the elections. We are aware that a greater percentage of these organizations that were accredited do not even have the financial capability to commence the exercise itself adding to the fact that they do not even have enough time to mobilize for the resources.

The Commission should not accept to take Kenyans to the August 8, 2017 polls if they indeed know they are unprepared. The Commission has lately been engaged in a war of words with the opposition regarding announcement of presidential election results at the constituency level. These are issues that we as a country must confront and candidly address.

We also call upon the State to crackdown on hatemongers without double standards. A spate of inflammatory statements from Kenya’s political elite is making an already-tense political environment even worse. Unless something is done, the situation could spiral out of control. That is why we as the Inter-Regional Peace Network have come out to make a difference through holding such forums in complimenting the government’s efforts in promoting peace ahead, during and after the August polls. Through this, we aim at saving mother Kenya from what is clearly shaping up as ethnically charged elections

SIGNED:

MR. FREDRICK OGWENO
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTER-REGIONAL PEACE NETWORK