EU now wants Kenya electoral officials who bungled elections prosecuted

The observer mission made a raft of recommendations to promote accountability and transparency in the repeat presidential election set for October 17.

In the statement dated September 14, the mission called for “thorough investigations of alleged electoral offences in order to promote prosecutions where warranted, including of IEBC staff.

“There have to date not been any investigations against senior public officers who have reportedly breached the law. Some stakeholders have questioned the ability of the ODPP to challenge more senior leaders,” read the statement by Marietje Schaake, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission.

“Fast, comprehensive and effective investigations are needed so that there is individual accountability for actions taken,” it added.

It noted that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had reported 95 pre-election criminal cases, mostly related to party primaries with 85 individuals charged in relation to election-day crimes, including 24 election officials.

EU’s statement echoes National Super Alliance (NASA) sentiments who have demanded the prosecution of top IEBC officials whom they allege committed election offences during the polls.

NASA has also tabled a list of nine demands to IEBC which it wants implemented before the fresh election are held, failure to which they would not participate in the elections.

EU together with several other observers had initially given Kenya’s election a clean bill of health stating that it had seen no signs of "centralised or localised manipulation" of the voting process.

NASA later expressed disappointment and criticised EU and other observers over their remarks regarding the polls despite concerns raised by the Opposition.

NASA deputy chief agent and Siaya Senator, James Orengo on August 14, two days prior to filing petition on Supreme Court challenging the outcome of the elections called for vetting of election observers to check whether they have any relationship with the government of the day before being sent to the country.

“Some of them just have big names but have nothing to offer on matters of observing the elections,” said Mr. Orengo.

“They can do what they want to do or say whatever they want but they should not tell us to go to court because it is not our option.” He said.

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