KENYA: Ill- Preparedness by Electoral Body Could Cost August Elections, Warns Missionary Priest

By Arnold Neliba

NAIROBI, JULY 5, 2022 (CISA) – Rev Fr Nicholas Makau, a Consolata Missionary and director of the Justice and Peace Department of the Religious Superiors Conference of Kenya (RSCK) has warned of a possible last-minute rush in preparations by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) towards the August 2022 General Elections.

With about a month to the elections, Fr Makau highlights notable areas of concern on the voter register, gazettement of candidates, personnel, security and general preparations for the elections, especially in remote areas as some of the indicators of an unprepared electoral body.

“As of today, I can say with confidence that the IEBC is at 60 percent on the higher part. We have seen people have registered, and that is part of their work, they started giving this information and they have also promised to work with the different institutions,” said the missionary priest who currently is on a civic education drive in select remote places in the country.

“We still see there is no preparation in those remote places. We have not been assured of the transportation, the aspect of their securities especially those who go to preside over and those who go to vote,” said Fr Makau in an interview with CISA while on a mission to Samburu County.

As part of the preparations, Fr Makau says he awaits to see the government show support for the electoral commission by expressing goodwill through funding their budgets and allocating well-trained security apparatus for the exercise.

In terms of preparedness of the political class, he alludes that there are also indicators that the contestants are not fully prepared. He says, “There are all kinds of plans to disrupt the process. That is not all about the election day but giving false information about their colleagues whom they are running against, some feeding false information that the competitor has withdrawn. Those are signs that there is no preparation on their side. They are neither set nor confident. They are trying to look for a loophole so that they can cause that kind of disharmony, disruption and create a solo contest.”

In solidarity with the Catholic Bishops in Kenya weekly messages of peace, Fr Makau said the missionaries will continue working in accord with the Church in Kenya by sending reflections on the same to the Kenyans in the diaspora.