Video:Kivuitu blames Kibaki over ECK

Former polls chief Samuel Kivuitu now blames President Kibaki’s appointment of members of the electoral commission for the bungled 2007 elections.
And four years since the post-election violence, which was partly blamed on the mismanaged election, Mr Kivuitu maintains he did nothing wrong.

Instead, he pushes the buck to the skewed appointment of electoral commissioners by one of the presidential contenders, saying the move deprived his team of public confidence.

In the run up to the 2007 elections, President Kibaki ignored calls by the Opposition — then led by Mr Raila Odinga — to involve them in the filling of positions in the now defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya.

And for the first time since the election, Mr Kivuitu revealed that he was not in “full control” of the commission.

In an interview with the Nation, he also “clarified” that he did not declare that he did not know who won the election.

“Commissioners were appointed in a way that I disapproved. President Kibaki should have consulted the Opposition. I was not in full control of the commission because I was working with people who were uncomfortable with me,” he said.

He said had he been given opportunity to give evidence in case of a court petition, he would have testified against President Kibaki — especially on the appointments.

No magic wand

“The appointments should have been transparent and fair. I did not enjoy the kind of control I would have preferred,” he said.

“Those who were appointing members to the electoral commission did not play their part well. Our credibility went down. There was no magic wand to wave.”

Mr Kivuitu, who was just back from India where he had gone to seek treatment for throat cancer, was speaking to Nation journalists at his Nairobi home.

Though the effects of the disease have slowed him down, he hopes to participate in the next election as an observer and document his expertise in election management in a book.

The management of the 2007 polls was partly blamed for the 2008 violence, which claimed more than 1,300 lives and saw the displacement of thousands of families.

However, Mr Kivuitu is unapologetic and maintains that the chaos were planned.



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