With all due respect to the heart, we need the truth about Kenya’s election

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With all due respect to the heart, we need the truth about Kenya’s election


chebukati

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati (right) briefs media at the Bomas of Kenya on August 5, 2022. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

Poor information polarises people, leaving no one clear on the truth, and everyone left to guess, which normally means going where the heart is. Which is why heart is all over our social media this last day or two, in claims, counterclaims, and a polarised country.

I have even read one Tweet from a colleague saying that anyone who thinks Kenya’s election had issues is an African negativist.

So, just so you couldn’t possibly think badly of me, let me absolutely say, we definitely see four out of seven electoral commissioners refusing to back an election result after a week of counting in many, many, many elections and to suggest it merits investigation would be an outrageous act of racism / Nazism / African negativism/ …… fill in the blanks.

Except, I personally, have never seen that happen before, so while I am busy not being a racist, Nazi, African negativist, I have a secret to share: I don’t know what the truth of the Kenyan elections is.

I am confused. I am ready to believe our President-elect pulled off a coup of hearts and minds that saw Luo and Kikuyu, alike, walk away from their own leaders. I am just as ready to believe the results were fixed.

All I need is to know what happened. And the missing information is all in one place. If I were still a young, cub reporter, I would start with those commissioners and their opaque claim of opacity. What on earth do they mean?

What information did they ask for and not get? What did they not see that they wanted to? What interference was put in their way in seeing the results? All I need is just a single shot at asking them what happened.

For there lies the answer. If we take away their own opacity, we get to see if there were worrisome issues, or if they were co-opted by some deep state. It’s all in the facts of what happened.

Of course, we can move around that and leave our own electoral system undermined and discredited by its opacity.

We can live with much of the Luo and Luhya suffering a deep sense of betrayal and just keep stoking our ethnic tensions as we have been for decades. Or, we can clearly explain exactly what happened and why the split, thank you, Mr Wafula W. Chebukati.

Then we may be miserable about the results – personally, I hated the Brexit result, and the election of President Trump too, but I trusted that they reflected the will of the people – but we can know, at least, and for sure (no opacity), this was democracy at play.

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