CONDUCT OF THE IEBC SHOULD BE OF CONCERN TO KENYANS WITH INTEREST IN DEMOCRATIC, FREE, FAIR AND TRANSPARENT ELECTIONS:
On Wednesday, July 8 2015, the leadership of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy and that of Narc Kenya met the officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in a last ditch effort to express our views on the Strategic Plan that was launched yesterday, July 9, 2015.
At the Wednesday meeting, we expressed strong concerns about the Strategic Plan and appealed for postponement of the launch. We made this appeal based on our understanding that a Strategic Plan is an important tool in providing a sense of direction and outlining measurable goals, guiding day-to-day decisions and also for evaluating progress and changing approaches when moving forward.
We also expressed very specific concerns about the document, among them:
· As Opposition, our views were never sought by the IEBC which came to us at the tail end of the process, when even the date of the launch was already set.
Our concerns in regard to Content included:
· Since this is the first time IEBC was preparing a strategic plan under the new governance architecture, where there are 47 county governments and the National government, the plan should have acknowledge this reality. The IEBC helped create these entities with the last general elections but makes no mention of them.
· In its political environment analysis, the IEBC only addresses what it sees as weak political parties. This is true. However, it does not go into the factors behind this. The law requires political parties to have offices in not less than half of the 47 counties to be fully registered. Operating an office requires money to pay rent, buy and maintain furniture and equipment, hire staff, pay for utilities, security and communication among others. In conservative estimates, a political party would require between Sh. 55-75 million annually to operate and maintain 24 county offices. Currently, only three parties benefit from Political Parties Fund. However, even for these, the money allocated is in violation of the law, which requires that not less than 0.3 per cent of the last audited revenue be allocated. The political analysis should have acknowledged this fact and made recommendation to address this deliberate attempt to kill multiparty democracy.
The elections of 4th March, 2013 were the first in Kenya to attempt to use electronic facilitation. The IEBC, at various stages of the election, deployed the following technologies: (i) Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) during voter registration: (ii) Electronic Voter Identification (EVID) on polling day: and (iii) Results Transmission System (RTS) during tallying.
The Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits were meant to help capture the voters’ biometric data. However, during registration, the commission procured only about 15,000 kits to be used in 24,000 registration centers. It has been found that these kits were inequitably distributed ensuring that regions were disadvantaged while others were over-facilitated.
Electronic Voter Identification Devises (EVIDs) were to use the biometric data to identify electors on the polling day so as to ensure we do not have dead people voting, multiple voting etc. These devises failed on 4th March 2013 polling day.
The most phenomenal failure however was exhibited in Electronic Vote Transmission. The IEBC was required to have an electronic Vote Transmission (EVT) System that allows provisional results to be transmitted electronically from all polling stations to the tallying centres, where these results are consolidated and reported. The system was intended to work with GPRS-enabled mobile device that would transmit over a Virtual Private Network provided by the local telecommunication network operators.
The electronic vote transmission system required each polling centre reporting the provisional results of six (6) elections to transmit these results to three (3) different Tallying Centres across the country. The solution should have fully automated the process as required to address the complexity of the expanded scope of multiple elections.
This system failed miserably-not because it encountered technological problems, but because it was apparently designed to fail. At the end of August 2014, the IEBC made public the “Post-Election Evaluation Report on the March 2013 general Elections.” In spite of very visible efforts made to sanitize it, the report is damning and leaves the IEBC badly exposed. Yet, the IEBC makes no reference to it. We can only infer unwillingness to address the issues raised in the report.
The report confirms almost everything that has been observed to be wrong with the IEBC and how it conducted 2013 elections. For instance, the report confirms that not only was there no reliable register of voters, but that the accuracy of the multiple registers used could not be ascertained due to incompetence of the commission staff. It reads: “the accuracy of the register was further affected by the existence of multiple registers: and loss of data due to staff negligence.”
The report further says the register was not complete due to the fact that corrections recommended in the field were not captured by the ICT Department at the Headquarters and were, therefore, not captured in the final register; there was not reconciliation of the registration data from the different regions with that held by the ICT Department; and the time allocated for inspection of the voters register was not adequate.
The report further confirms what has been raised in the last eighteen months with regard to tallying of results not only for presidential polls, but for all the elective positions. It says: “in some cases the forms were not signed or stamped by the responsible officers and in other cases, the comments on the forms were too casual while others went beyond the scope of the Presiding Officers.” It confirms these commissions and discrepancies formed part of the evidence presented in courts in many of the elections petitions subsequently filed. The Plan IEBC launched yesterday provides no answers to these concerns.
We expressed these concerns openly and strongly to the IEBC team and recommended that the best way forward would be to bring all parties under one roof and have them make their input together.
We are therefore dismayed that the IEBC defied our entire plea and proceeded to launch the Strategic Plan. In proceeding despite our appeals, the IEBC has continued to demonstrate a characteristic attitude of impunity and immunity to reason and criticism which a sure recipe for adding to the mistrust and pushing the country towards a controversial poll in two years-time.
We see the Strategic Plan as the latest effort by the IEBC to whitewash the fundamental flaws that have been pointed out by political parties, governance experts and even the Commission’s own internal review so as salvage its questionable legitimacy that has been irreparably battered by its bungling of the 2013 General Elections.
We feel that the IEBC has put the cart before the horse, proceeding without conducting an all-inclusive review of its past activities and making the process mechanical at best.
We are seeing a continuation of the anti-opposition bias. We are seeing a continuation IEBC’s determination that things be done its way and no other way that betrays its lack of interest in holding elections that are seen and perceived to be free and fair.
We are concerned that the IEBC is laying a dangerous foundation in which future elections will not have a shred of credibility because of its anti-democratic and anti-fairness maneuvers that put opposition parties at a disadvantage.
We are watching this turn of events very closely with a view to taking very specific steps in the interest of the country, good governance and democracy.
Hon Raila Odinga; EGH.
CORD COALITION/ ODM PARTY LEADER.
JULY 10, 2015
There is one common thread that runs through successful individuals, organizations and corporations. The normal chain in communication is you tell others what you do, how you do it and why you do it in that order.
However the most successful reverse this order to achieve greatness. I will give some examples to make this point. In kenya we have 2 major players though some would disagree in the mobile phone service provider market. One is called safaricom and its rival is now called airtel. There are more players in the market but they are not worth mentioning. From a technical perspective and at times even a cost view, many a time I have and many have too felt that airtel has a superior network in terms of call quality, clarity and affordability when it goes head to head with safaricom but their sales tell a completely different story. It all comes down to how the 2 firms have told their stories to the market and this is where the difference is. It has nothing to do with advertising budgets, better pr agencies etc. It’s simply on how they anchor themselves in the market. Allow me to elaborate. Let us start with their slogans, safaricom is simply “the better option” that is what they are selling to you and whether they are or not is besides the point as that is what they are selling on. On the other hand airtel their slogan is, well let me be honest I simply don’t know unless I look it up.
There are 3 steps in communications and safaricom have reversed this order successfully to their advantage. They start with telling you or alleging if you so wish that they are better option. They then tell you how they do it i.e by developing great products and finally they introduce you to their products. Airtel on the other hand are using the conventional method by first telling you what they are offering, then how they do it and if you have enough time you might get to know why they are doing it. I hope you get my point but let me add another example of locally competing companies.
There are many supermarket companies competing in kenya and one is reputed to be the most expensive and the others are much cheaper but the more expensive one continuously outgrows and outsells the cheaper ones. Nakumatt in their selling strategy go straight to the point. They don’t talk about prices, discounts etc. They simply are telling you, “You need it, we’ve got it” and yes many a times you may be lured into going shopping at tusky’s because of their lower prices or uchumi and chances are that you won’t get all the items you wanted or you may have to compromise on the brands you wanted. Nakumatt simply make sure they stock each and everything at all times in all their outlets and the price you pay for this very convenient service is a higher price than the other supermarkets hence they keep growing and outpacing all their competitors. Their rivals focus too much on the what and the how of what they do. They shy away from telling us why they do it and maybe they even don’t know why they do it so how are we supposed to know what they do.
Come to think of it, most brands that are very successful the world rarely start out with money in mind but with offering a superior or better service then the money follows.
This system is also applicable to individuals, politicians etc. Let me give one example that most nairobians are familiar with and that is senator mike sonko. Normally politicians have eight, nine or ten point plans but sonko is different. Instead of starting with what he will do, how he will do it then move to the why. Sonko has started with why and the why in his case is if you vote for him you will get help period. I have not heard a lot of specifics from him about plans but he helps people and the latest gimmick he has come up with is the sonko rescue team. Is this system sustainable and durable you may ask, but for those who have received his help or know someone who he helped or have simply seen or heard of him helping someone trying to convince them otherwise is an exercise in futility. Kidero has grand plans, clearly mapped out and articulated but he hasn’t done great at telling the why him part and hence sonko is going to give him a real run for his money come the next elections if sonko does indeed go for nairobi’s governor position. It will be a communications battle as both of them seem well financially endowed so the team that will communicate better will simply carry the day.
The most successful at selling simply think, act and communicate the same way which is opposite of everyone else. Think of brands like apple which started by selling on a why that simply says “we will challenge the status quo and do things differently from everyone else”. Today the economy of Apple is bigger than those of some EU countries not to mention our backwater here in kenya.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. The goal is not to do business with everybody who wants what you have but to do business with the people who believe in what you believe. Word of mouth which is the most effective form of advertising will then do the rest for you.
This is not just a theory but it’s backed up by scientific studies. It’s backed by not psychology but by biology. Our newest brain the homosapien brain called the neo-cortex is where rational and analytical thoughts take place. However there is an inner part of the brain called the limbic brain. This is the part that is responsible for decision making. This part of the brain cannot comprehend languages so it cant get the what or how you do things. Our decision making part of the brain only gets the why part of communications period. You must have heard someone who was being sold something or asked to take a decision say, something doesn’t just feel right though the numbers are convincing. You may have also even heard some say, my gut feeling isn’t ok with it. You can read up and research more on this by reading up on brain science and marketing.
So in short those who tell u their why’ be they causes, convenience, value etc greatly outsell those who tell us what they offer and how they do it. So if you want to be extremely successful focus on the why. Remember Martin Luther King Junior gave the I have a dream speech, not the I have a plan speech that will all so often here nowadays.
Thank for taking your time to read something I have been researching on and have seen in the corporate world and politics.
This morning for the 1st time in about 6 weeks I managed to finally wear my shoes. In the past 6 weeks I have been forced to wear only open shoes due to what started as a simple bite then onto a fungal infection, which was a gross misdiagnosis and finally a bacterial infection which has now been treated on my toes.
Many a time I would see someone wearing a pair of shoes and would get jealous. You never know the feeling of missing the simpler things in life till you cant have them.
I have reflected a lot these past few weeks and I had lots of time to do so. Some people honestly are just cruel and heartless and would use my unfortunate circumstances to settle some scores that I have no idea how they even exist. I have really bottled up a lot these past few months and writing is always an avenue for me to exhale so in the spirit of exhaling I will try and do a blog post daily here. Whether it be about social media, IT, Politics or just issues I come across in my life I shall be very candid and open. Its been a while but let me start writing again.
Lastly the simplest things in life seem to give me the most satisfaction.
Lets catch up tomorrow then in shaa Allah
My struggle with ADHD
I can remember since my primary school days that I was always somewhat different from other people and this feeling has persisted right into my adulthood. For starters the littlest things always seemed to bother me and I would react very badly and sadly woe unto you if you were the target of my reaction. Sadly the people closest to me paid the heaviest price.
I also realized that it was very hard for me to sit down and stay still. I would always find an excuse to stand up in class, college etc. I also used to get very easily distracted e.g if I was seated next to a window in class and someone walked by my whole focus would be on them and I would not even hear what the teacher or lecturer was saying.
I also realised that I was always very impulsive and would take rash decisions without thinking things through and would later regret. The sad part is that a lot of times I knew doing a certain thing is wrong but somewhow I would find myself doing it. People always misunderstood me and I don’t blame them and at times I would be told, why are you so different from everyone else can’t you just grab a hold of yourself. Honestly I tried and tried but the blunders, misdeeds and regret continued in a very vicious cycle.
In the process I lost a lot and I mean a lot and no need to go into details. At times I would say to myself, such is life everyone struggles but deep in my heart of hearts I knew there was something wrong with me but somehow I just couldn’t put a finger to it and sadly nobody else could. So I got stuck in what I would call a vicious cycle of failure, self blame and pain. Fortunately I was blessed with many talents so after every “crash” I somehow managed to pick up the pieces and keep going. I am a very strong willed person. Sadly the cycle would always continue with no end in sight. Someone even told me that it seems I have a dark cloud over my head as things just never work out fortunately I didn’t believe him as I know that if you believe you ar doomed then surely you will end up doomed.
I don’t blame anyone as I know I wronged a lot of people throughout the course of my life. From family relations, friendships, relationships, marriages, jobs etc things always never worked out. I also used to take decisions without even bothering to ascertain all the facts about an issue and we all know that, when you do that you really piss people off especially in close personal relationships.
Fortunately I am a very fast learner and when I put my mind to it, I excel at whatever I chose to do especially if I am very interested in it or like it. Howver my abilities which I was blessed did not manage to overcome my issues as I would call them back then. So generally life has been very up and down for me with stints of success almost always followed by stints of feeling useless and a failure however fortunately I always kept going or would have given up on life trust me. There is no feeling worse than knowing that even if I work hard and things asre going well at the end of the day it will fail. Be it in my career or relationships but I kept going thankfully.
I hope you now get the picture that I was stuck in a vicious cycle and sadly at times I even suspcted that I was cursed or something though I never belived it and many people even told me that I am cursed. So this now brings me to the issue of why I am writing this so lets move on.
I always felt I needed help but used to wonder, help from where?
Many a time during heated arguments with those closest to me or well meaning friends I always used to be told, you need help, you need help, you have an issue. I tried all I could to figure out what the issue was and to overcome it but year after year the same thing or things kept happening. The cycle of success to failure in all aspects of my life and I have really undergone a lot of pain and suffering to such and extent that I don’t even want to remind myself how much pain I have been through. All the while I really did try my best and put in my best effort in work and relationships but to no avail. Sadly I was also very paranoid and always used to feel that everyone just has it in for me, be it in my professional life and my personal life so the pain continued and continued. I must be very tough and have strong will as I know that many people would have crumbled and withered had they undergone all that I have passed through.
For the past few months things were very hard for me and I almost reached a breaking point but I hung in there as best as I could. However things really hit rock bottom and the calls for you need help kept on being made by those around me and I myself wondered where this help would be available. In most african socities of which kenya still is one no matter how much we think we have become westernized we still are an african society and in our society we have a taboo about certain issues and I feel this complicated matters for me as I sought to get help for my problem. Yes I have lived in the western world but at my core I am still an african. At times I feel that while I was in the west, had I sought the help I needed then maybe I would have avoided a lot of the pain and suffering that I have been through. Anyway it did not happen and no need to dwell on it so let me continue with the story.
Someone very close to me finally manged to convince me to go see a doctor i.e a psychiatrist which is a taboo issue here and a lot of stigma is attached to those who go and se them and honestly I personally used to have a very low opinion of psychiatrists and psychologists. So I said what could the person harm me with and what is the worst he could do to me? let me just go and see him and get it over and done with then this person close to me who is pushing me to go see him will give me some peace. That is all I was going to do there when I went to see the doctor now let us move on to what happened next.
I was taken to Dr Frank Njenga who is probably the best pychiatrist in kenya and is well respcted internationally as well. I went and saw him and he really asked me a lot of questions, I really mean a lot of questions and I was even admitted in hospital for over a week. He has a team of psychologists who work with him and I did a lot of tests and all my past history from my earliest memory was examined an analysed. What bothered me was that for almost six days I was admitted but was not given any medicine. Later they told me that they do not give any medicine until they are 100% sure of the diagnosis.
In short after all these tests and interviews I was told that I have ADHD and at very high levels so I was put on medication and discharged. To be honest I have never been this calm, focussed and relieved maybe since my early childhood even. What is ADHD?
Adult attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (also referred to as Adult ADHD, Adult ADD or simply ADHD in adults) is the neurobiological condition of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in adults. About one-thirdto two-thirdsof children with symptoms from early childhood continue to demonstrate notable ADHD symptoms throughout life.
Three subtypes of ADHD are identified in the DSM-IV (inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, and combined). In later life, the hyperactive/impulsive subtype manifests more frequently. Adults with ADHD typically have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks, or completing work within time limits or meeting appointments. Low self-esteem is common. These difficulties cause life problems within several different arenas, such as emotional, social, vocational, marital, legal,or academic areas
In short someone had finally put a finger and made a corrcet diagnosis of what has been ailing me for very long and I was like what a relief, now I know why I always felt different from everyone else. Sadly I have suffered as a result of it, I have wronged many people as a result of it too. I hope everyone whom I wronged forgives me and more importantly I need to forgive myself for what I did and move on with my life as best I can. I am very happy and relieved that I found out and I am now making ammends. To all those who I wronged I am sorry, I did it but it was partly out of my control due to this condition though am not making an excuse as yes and those bad things and hateful/hurtful words yes I did do them or say them.
I am now busy working to better myself and learning to live a new lifestlye. A lot of friendships will sadly have to end and some have already ended. I will not be able to do some things I used to love to do or go to places I loved to go to but all in all I think its for the better. Many habits have changed and more will too as I adopt a new lifestlye that takes into account my condition. It’s the best and right thing for me to do.
Lastly if you feel you might be in the same predicament or maybe you have a feeling that someone you know may be going through the same issue kindly get or get them some professional help. I myself know a few friends of mine who might need it but the main issue is how to approach them and tell them in a good way or else you will just get dismissed and you end up offending them. So am working on how to approach them.
As for me, personally I feel no shame going public about this and its my prayer that those who need help get it before undergoing a lot of pain and suffering in life and hurting/harming others too.
Thanks for taking your time to read this I know its long but I wanted to capture the whole scenario so that you may understand. Also just writing this has been very relieving for me and its helped me put many things I needed put behind me, way behind me.
Following the State Opening of the joint sitting of the Senate and National Assembly, I encourage our legislators across the political divide to settle down to their duties as soon as possible and selflessly serve the Kenyan people. I look forward to a vibrant Legislature keen on supporting the good in the Executive while keeping in check the excesses.
At this time, I would like to empathize with the over 200 families displaced as a result of floods in Garsen and Magarini. I urge both the Central Government and the concerned County Governors to take appropriate action to alleviate the suffering of these Kenyans.
CONDOLENCES ON DEATH OF MRS MARGARET THATCHER:
It is with great sadness that I have learnt of the death of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of Britain.
I take this opportunity to wish well her family, the Conservative Party and the people of Britain.
Mrs Thatcher will go down in history not only as Britain’s first female prime minister, but as a pioneer of many important ideas that transformed not only her country but many nations across the globe, including Kenya.
She pioneered a closer scrutiny of what the role of the state should be in the lives of citizens, a debate that rages to date, and which led to improved conditions for many people in many nations.
Many features of the modern economic governance like privatisation, deregulation, size of government, free trade, among others, owe their rise and popularity to her tenure when she tried to stem economic decline in her country.
She popularized the idea that a functioning economy is at the centre of freedom with sayings l like “there is no liberty unless there is economic liberty.”
Margaret Thatcher fired up women’s involvement in politics and public life with famous remarks like; “if you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
She may be gone, but the ideals she bequeathed the world will inspire generations to come.
May she rest in eternal peace.
Rt. Hon. Raila A. Odinga, EGH,
PRIME MINISTER; Monday, April 8, 2013.
STATEMENT OF THE RT. HON RAILA A. ODINGA ON THE JUDGEMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT
Members of the media,
Ladies and gentlemen,
You will recall that on 9th March 2013, I issued a statement on the conduct of the elections which had just been concluded.
I expressed my deep gratitude to all Kenyans who had turned out massively to exercise their democratic rights to vote and elect their leaders.
I however expressed my dismay that contrary to the expectations of Kenyans, we witnessed the failure of virtually every instrument the IEBC had deployed to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.
I outlined such failures, with concrete examples of the anomalies that all of us witnessed. It was clear that the constitutionally sanctioned process of electing new leaders had been thwarted again by another tainted election. Democracy was on trial in Kenya.
But that has not dented my commitment to constitutionalism and the rule of law.
Enforcing the spirit and letter of the constitution remains the only sure way to peace and prosperity for our young democracy.
My decision to file a petition in the Supreme Court to challenge the validity of the election was a testament of my faith in the independence of our judiciary.
We did so for the sake of our democracy and for the sake of all Kenyans who wanted to exercise their constitutional right to elect their leaders through free and fair election.
We were joined in this endeavour by Africog, which separately filed a petition seeking to nullify the fourth of March Presidential election.
This proves that my petition had nothing to do with personal grudge as contended by the IEBC, Hon Uhuru Kenyatta and Hon William Ruto.
In the petition, I expressed our belief that the court would uphold the letter and spirit of our constitution. I pledged to abide by the court decision.
We prosecuted the case to the best of our ability.
Our legal team, led by Senior Counsel George Oraro compiled formidable and logical evidence showing that massive malpractices occurred during the elections.
We unearthed evidence of technology failure that required a full audit, inappropriate conduct on the part of IEBC staff, irregular and unethical arrangements such as the sharing of servers by IEBC with a competitor and unmarked registers.
We regret that the court disallowed evidence on the grounds that it was either filed late or the court did not have time to inquire into these discrepancies. In the end, Kenyans lost their right to know what indeed happened.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The court has now spoken. Article 140 of our constitution states that “the Supreme Court shall hear and determine the petition and its decision is final.”
Although we may not agree with some of its findings, and despite all the anomalies we have pointed out, our belief in constitutionalism remains supreme.
Casting doubt on the judgment of the court could lead to higher political and economic uncertainty, and make it more difficult for our country to move forward.
We must soldier on in our resolve to reform our politics and institutions. Respect for the supremacy of the constitution in resolving disputes between fellow citizens is the surest foundation of our democratic society.
And the courts should always act within the evolving constitutional culture.
I and my brother and running mate Hon Kalonzo have no regrets for taking our case to court.
Indeed, it is our view that this court process is yet another milestone in our long road towards democracy for which we have fought so long.
Truth, justice and the faithful implementation of the constitution is our best guarantee to peace and security.
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my hope that the incoming government will have fidelity to our constitution, and implement it to the letter for the betterment of our people. I wish president –elect Uhuru Kenyatta and deputy President elect William Ruto best of luck in this endeavour.
I also wish all the Senators, Members of Parliament, Women Representatives, Governors and others who were elected in the last election success in discharging the expectations of our people.
I want to thank Senior Counsel George Oraro and the members of his legal team for their hard work and devotion in the quest for justice. I would also like to pay special tribute to the Africog legal team led by Kethi Kilonzo for their immense contribution to the rule of law and democracy.
To the Kenyans who supported us and our petition, I want to assure you that I will continue to work for you and with you to build our county, Kenya, and to help you achieve your dreams.
My actions have always been guided by my desire to bring about a better life for all Kenyans, particularly those who are less privileged. The future of Kenya is bright. Let us not allow the elections to divide us. Let us re-unite as a Nation.
Finally, I call on all Kenyans– our supporters and opponents alike – to remember the sacred words of our National Anthem: Justice be our shield and defender;
Thank You and God Bless Kenya.