AMANI 2013 running-mate Jeremiah Kioni confirms Project Mudavadi role as “spoiler candidate”

jeremiah-kioniA “spoiler aspirant” presence in an election is meant to draws votes from a major candidate thereby giving a weaker opponent leverage to win. The lackey candidate causing this poll effect is usually referred to as a spoiler and, short of any electoral fraud, spoilers usually presents no grounds for a legal challenge.

Exactly three years ago, on 22 Jan 2013, after months of playing cat and mouse with ODM leader Raila Odinga, UDF’s Musalia Mudavadi of the Amani Coalition named the then outgoing Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni as his running mate for the 2013 general election. Mudavadi told the assembled media that he arrived at the decision after “painstaking reflection from an initial list of 100 people and that his choice was not influenced by tribe and politics of numbers”

While unveiling his running mate, Mudavadi showered the PNU hawk and Kibaki sycophant with praises saying “my running mate has displayed the ability to lead, he has always respected and fought for the rule of law, has been an example to many leaders in the country and has the interest of Kenyans at heart.”

In an interview with a local radio station early this week, Jeremiah Ngayu Kioni confirmed, without any shade of regret, that Mudavadi’s 2013 presidential bid was a carefully scripted charade. Kioni confirmed that when he and his family visited Kanyagia Primary School in Ndaragwa constituency, none of his six family members voted Mudavadi in the 2013 general elections. Indeed, when presidential votes were analysed; Mudavadi did not manage a single vote from the entire Ndaragwa constituency, which by then had about 50,000 registered voters.

Speaking very confidently on radio, Kioni made damning allegations including the fact that he knew all along that Mudavadi’s bid was to split the Western vote and therefore deny CORD’s Raila Odinga an outright win. Kioni also openly revealed that a series of meetings had been held at State House Nairobi between himself, Mudavadi, Uhuru, Kibaki and their close aides at which time it was agreed they would be given a party, they would be fully funded and friendly media would ensure they get adequate publicity; but the ultimate intention was not to win, or serve in the opposition ranks, but to give the Uhuruto Jubilee coalition its much needed boost by splitting Luhya votes that would otherwise have gone to the CORD coalition. In the end, Mudavadi managed 483,981 votes nationally in a controversial and poorly managed general election.

Kioni announced on Radio Maisha that he would seeking to reclaim his parliamentary seat in the forthcoming 2017 general elections via a Jubilee ticket and that his dalliance with Mudavadi is a closed chapter having already done the job he was contracted to do – meaning deny Raila Odinga the presidency. Kioni hopes to be rewarded by the voters of Nyandarua for standing with Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013. Meanwhile, Mudavadi’s UDF has rebranded to ANC, and as the season approaches, we wait to see how far his “spoiler effect” will impact the 2017 general elections.

Why Kenya must pass referendum now to avert disaster later



By Dr Noah Akala (M. B. Ch. B, MBA)

A wise (wo)man once said, “there is nothing new under the sun!” In this same regard, the myriad of challenges that Kenya is facing in the transition from the old constitutional dispensation to the new are not unique to this Republic. Ranging from lack of political will to questionable capacity, the bottlenecks come thick and fast, one after the other. A quick study of modern African history reveals overlapping parallels with other jurisdictions. A good example are the socio-political similarities we share with Liberia.

While we have been fortunate as a country not to have suffered a civil conflict to the same extent as the Land of the Liberated did, we have not entirely escaped the pang of bloodshed in our national past. The stain of the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence still blots the otherwise progressive story of Kenya. This, however, pales in comparison to Liberia that has endured two civil wars most recently between 1999 to 2003. This bloody conflict was brought to an end following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement stewarded by the United States Institute for Peace. Students of Kenyan politics will draw a parallel between this social contract and the Koffi Annan mid-wifed National Accord and Reconciliation Act.

Both bore a peaceful resolution to the political conflicts that prompted their drafting. Both documents, in my view, are also the most relevant to the modern day context of Africa ever developed. My reason for saying so is simple. Both took an in depth (and eerily similar) view as to the raison d’être as to why the conflicts erupted in the first place. The Kenyan Accord laid out glaring electoral malpractice, perceived judicial rot and societal inequity as key contributors to the spark that lit the flame. The Liberian Agreement identified similar issues in their society alongside a strong feeling of ethnic disenfranchisement and economic marginalization from the embers of their civil war.

Both documents prescribed a consensus-based political cure to the ills set out in the preamble; what were laid out as Agenda Four items in our Accord were detailed in elaborate form in the Decentralization and Devolution roadmap for Liberia. The only difference is that the Liberian context took into consideration the consequences of failing to implement their national resolutions. That is what we have failed to do as a nation.

The current administration haughtily took over the reins of power following the controversial Supreme Court ruling arising from the contested March 4th polls making it clear to their electoral adversaries that the game was up and it was their proverbial “turn to eat.” Since then, the frequency with which we hear it said by TNA/URP top honchos that this is a Jubilee Government and not a Kenyan one serves as an illustration of the attitude adopted by those entrusted with leadership. The President’s dismissal of the recent call for dialogue by the Opposition further entrenched this perception among the 5 million Kenyans who voted for CORD that not only are they electoral losers but are now voiceless tenants in their own homeland. This return to politics of exclusion and marginalization is exactly what took Kenya to the brink in 2007 and what tipped Liberia over in 1999. And this is why Devolution must succeed.

This brief analysis of African history is meant to illustrate to the reader the political necessity for a Referendum. The issues brought forth to do with devolution, constitutional commissions, land reform and inequality are so pertinent that they cannot be brushed off with casual promises of legislation. It would be nothing short of irresponsible if we were that laissez-faire with our national destiny. We have to make a deliberate choice as a country to swallow the medicine, as bitter as it may taste to some, so as to ensure complete cure of the ills that have plagued us for the past 50 years since independence.

The writer is a Public Administration masters student at the Kenya School of Government.

#OkoaKenya: The strong case for electoral reforms

iebcTHE OKOA KENYA MOVEMENT has proposed constitutional amendments that, amongst others, seek election reforms aimed at strengthening Kenya’s electoral system to ensure free, fair, transparent, efficient, accurate and accountable elections.

The INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL AND BOUNDARIES COMMISSION (IEBC) prepared a confidential report dated July 2014 on the March 2013 general elections. This devastating report goes on to reveal how IEBC knowingly misled the country and the world, by allowing Kenyan voters to proceed to elections despite glaring omissions and ill-preparedness.
Though the commission claims to have registered 14.4 million people out of 21.8 million eligible voters for the 2013 elections, IEBC concedes that the accuracy of the voter register was compromised. Additionally:

  • The IEBC unilaterally shortened the voter registration period from 90-days to 30-days, thereby disenfranchising approximately 8 million of eligible Kenyans and blocking them from exercising a fundamental right to vote.
  • Further, the IEBC allowed Kenyans to go the general elections without determining the exact number of registers voters, contrary to the law.
  • In total violation of electoral laws, IEBC deliberately gazetted an erroneous voter register whose accuracy was taunted by the existence of illegal multiple registers prepared by the IEBC itself.
  • As if this was not enough for IEBC to halt the process, the commission knew that there was loss of biometric data due to IEBC staff negligence, and that the biometric data captured fundamentally differed with the data on the IEBC manual register
  • To add insult to injury, during the elections, the IEBC audit reveals that there was massive loss of data during the uploading of data from constituencies to regional level, and as a result there were glaring inconsistencies between data captured using the BVR kits and the final voter’s register.
  • In many instances, forms 34, 35 and 36 were not signed nor stamped by the responsible IEBC returning officers as required by law. This anomaly opened a window for competing political forces to manufacture their own election results summary forms.
  • Additionally, the IEBC internal audit fuels doubts in the veracity of the results it’s commissioners announced at the National Tallying Centre at Bomas of Kenya since a significant number of IEBC’s returning officers confirm that they came under intense pressure and were compelled to alter results.
  • In a shocking case of poor procurement procedure and conflict of interest, Electronic Voter Identification (EVIDs) kits were supplied by South Africa’s Face Technologies (whose local agent is an MP from North Eastern Kenya who contested in the same elections and a brother-in-law of one of the IEBC’s commissioners). The large scale failure of the equipment on election day is noted in the report which says they worked in only 7.5% of the polling stations nationwide.
  • IEBC invested billions of shillings in purchase of equipment. Interestingly, none worked as expected with the Results Transmission System (RTS) only being able to transmit presidential poll results from 14,252 out of of 31,981 polling stations (or 44.6%), another window opened for tampering and pussyfooting.

There are many other indictments IEBC places on itself and its commissioners. Nevertheless, this report vindicates the position by Okoa Kenya Movement that the entire elections were deliberately mismanaged and infiltrated by third parties in a bid to attain a predetermined result. It was an absurd subversion of democracy.

Despite the appalling failures in the 2013 general election management, no IEBC commissioner in authority has resigned, or conceded this glaring and systematic failures, instead the IEBC Chairman boldly affirm IEBC’s “readiness” to conduct 2017 elections.

The Okoa Kenya Movement maintains its intention to see electoral reform through positive constitutional amendments to correct these anomalies and strengthen the capability of the IEBC to conduct future general elections.