The recent TNA nomination fiasco in Othaya constituency presents a case study of continued direct involvement and meddling of the Office of the President, the Provincial Administration, and Police in electoral processes in Kenya. It is a chilling wake-up call of what possibly awaits the nation come March 4th, 2013.
All evidence indicates that compared to the Office of President PS and Provincial Administration PS, the Inspector General of Police (David Kimaiyo) has little chain-of-command control over what happens at the local OCPD and OCS offices in Othaya. (Read the Daily Nation investigative report below)
This is a fundamental plank in the equation of purported police reforms in Kenya. How come the OCPD and OCS are DIRECTLY answerable to the DC, PC, and PSs in the Office of President and Provincial Administration, AND NOT the Inspector General of Police?
Is this the same security command-structure we are walking into the delicate and sensitive March 4th, 2013 election with?
This matter is very relevant to the ongoing ICC cases where chain-of-command issues regarding security have arisen with regard to Francis Muthaura’s case.
As the case in Othaya confirms, not just regular police, but Administration Police (AP) (traditionally aligned to the provincial administration) have both developed a dark reputation with regard to meddling in Kenya’s elections. And all such orders evidently emanate from the Office of the President. In the 2007 elections – APs and GSU overtly involved themselves in poll station interference, having been surreptitiously planted in poll stations across the country – acting as PNU poll agents. This brazen meddling of security in elections culminated in the notorious ambush of former ECK Chairman Samuel Kivuitu during the hostile takeover of the KICC tallying center.
In the last week, a dispute between the Office of the President and Prime Minister over the appointments of the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Head of the Administration Police, and Director of CID has exploded into the public.
A crucial element of the dispute regards leadership of the Administration Police, where a Mr. Arachi – previously accused of mobilizing APs during the last (rigged) elections – has purportedly been promoted to lead the outfit. Another key player of the PEV, former Nyanza PPO, SSP Grace Kaindi, has also been hand-picked by Kibaki to be the Deputy Inspector General of Police.
Ndegwa Muhoro who has been picked by Kibaki to lead the CID (in replacement of an earlier appointment of Ms. Mary Oyugi Kaol), was literally blacklisted by the Police Oversight Authority for lacking the integrity required of such office as mandated by the Constitution. Ms. Kaindi is among persons of interest by the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC who are currently being shielded (by Kibaki’s section of the Kenya government) against giving testimony to the ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.
It is against this backdrop that we need to interrogate the ominous role of the Office of the President (led by PS Francis Kimemia and PS Mutea Iringo) in the upcoming elections. All indications suggest possibility of yet another audacious assault on the democratic rights of Kenyan citizens by the Office of the President, Provincial Administration, and highly vested interests within the Police and AP.
We clearly have a situation where certain senior police officials (Muhoro, Kaindi, Ndegwa, Arachi) all have vested interest in the outcome of the 2013 elections. Should CORD come to power, all four fear facing possible questioning over integrity issues, with some fearing having to answer PEV related questions with ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor. It can be argued that all four may therefore “do all they can” to ensure the CORD presidential candidate is not sworn in after the next elections.
Now to the evidence of current and sustained electoral meddling from the Office of the President (OP)- For a glance on whether the OP, Provincial Administration and Police are still meddling in electoral processes in this day and age (2013), pay close attention to this Daily Nation report (below) which details direct involvement of the head of the civil service and PS in the Office of the President, Francis Kimemia, PS in charge of Provincial Administration, Mutea Iringo, and the politically-motivated instructions they issue to both provincial administrators and police officers like PC Jaspher Rugut, DC David Koskei, DO Ms. Chege, and local Othaya police heads (OCPD and OCS). The DC, DO, OCPD and OCS have all become casualties of punitive transfers for not meddling sufficiently enough. [ NB: The nexus between the head of civil service and chain-of-security-command from Kimemia to the OCPD and OCS will likely be of interest to ICC’s OTP where former civil service boss Francis Muthaura is facing serious charges – I will email this piece of information and the news report to the OTP shortly]
Here is the recent evidence of OP’s meddling in the electoral process:
Something had to be done to secure Mr Mugambi’s victory. It was at this point that Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia and PS in charge of provincial administration Mutea Iringo were brought in.
On Friday, January 11, a twin effort was launched with Central PC Japhter Rugut and Othaya DC Koskei being summoned by Mr Kimemia to his office to discuss the matter.
Although they had arrived in the morning, they were kept waiting until 4 pm when the meeting started. Mr Iringo attended the meeting, which explored all the options available on how to secure Mr Mugambi’s victory, but by the time it ended at 10 pm, no solution had been found.
The PC and the DC are said to have put it categorically that Ms Wambui was too strong on the ground and, barring any surprises, she would cruise to victory easily.
Again, the DC, Mr Koskei, was summoned back to Nairobi by Mr Kimemia on Monday, this time without the PC, where the matter was again discussed in the presence of PS Iringo.
After the deliberations, the only option available was to approach TNA with a request that the certificate be given to Mr Mugambi irrespective of who wins the race.
But when he spoke to the Sunday Nation yesterday, Mr Kimemia laughed off suggestions that government officials took more than necessary interest in the Othaya nominations.
“We were monitoring nominations by all parties in all parts of the country for security reasons. It’s preposterous for anyone to imagine that anyone in the Civil Service took any more interest than was required by the call of duty in the nominations,” Mr Kimemia said.
“There was tension on the ground because of delayed materials and we were trying to do whatever it takes to calm the situation. Our focus was not on Othaya. The nomination process helped us to know the potential hotspots,” he added