Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ranneberger: misguided bid to be even-handed?

Allow me to digress...

Now I want to refer to the article by US ambassador Michael Ranneberger (Daily Nation, January 22), in which he says that “there is ample evidence of vote tallying irregularities at the constituency level in their respective strongholds by both sides”, and secondly that the ECK “collapsed under the pressure of the ‘win at any cost’ attitude of both major parties”.

I don’t know whether this is an attempt to demonstrate even-handedness, but if so, it is misguided.

During the recent General Election, all the presiding and returning officers and polling clerks, whether in ODM strongholds or elsewhere, were appointed and posted by the ECK. The registers, ballot papers and ballot boxes were all under the control of the Government and ECK. The tallying mechanisms at polling stations, constituency tallying centres and KICC were under the control of the Electoral Commission. In fact, ODM was so locked out that it was not even able to protect its own victory from being stolen in front of its very eyes, and in front of the eyes of the world.

How then is ODM supposed to have penetrated this system in order to introduce rigging?

These matters were carefully explained to the US envoy, Jendayi Frazer, by Hon. Raila Odinga himself. It is therefore surprising to see Ranneberger raising them again. If the ambassador has “ample evidence” of ODM rigging, it would be interesting if he could produce it. As for the ECK collapsing under pressure, the ECK chairman, Samuel Kivuitu, has publicly admitted that he announced the “result” under pressure from PNU and ODM Kenya. He did not mention ODM. So Ranneberger is telling us what we all know.

Asking for truth and justice is not evidence of a “win at any cost” attitude. It is evidence of respect for the law and respect for the decision of the electorate. One would expect an ambassador to draw this distinction.

1 comment:

Frank said...

It's clear that both sides are in the wrong. I think it is pretty silly at this point to be claiming my side or your side is an angel or a devil. Let's all get past who is worse or better and strive for unity and common purpose. Otherwise this will never end.