Despite Overwhelming Public Disapproval, Raila Set To Hold Sheesha Tuesday
There is an overwhelming political fatigue in the country. This political season has dragged for far too long and everyone just wants it to come to an end. The Supreme Court by a majority decision decided that the August 8 election was not conducted in strict accordance to the law, and thus ordered a fresh election within 60 days.
Nasa has in recent weeks issued demands which they say must be met before any fresh election is conducted. They are calling them the ‘irreducible minimums’, and anything short of meeting them means there will be no election. Despite multiple efforts by media personalities to understand what Nasa means by ‘no election’, they have only given vague answers. What Raila and co. have made clear that it is not an election boycott, but that no election will take place. If this comes to pass, the country will be thrown into a constitutional confusion.
Part of Nasa’s irreducible minimums is the exclusion of Safran Morpho – the French technology provider. This is the company in charge of the bio-metric kits and result transmission. Raila has accused them of ‘allowing’ the system to be compromised. The reasons as to why Morpho should be excluded are to say the least unconvincing, and Raila’s insistence that ‘Morpho Out’ has been interpreted as the clearest sign he does not want elections. The main reason why the election was moved from October 17 to October 26 is because Morpho said they wouldn’t have been ready by then. They also stated that had the court ordered servers to be moved to Kenya, they would not have met the 60 day deadline… luckily this was not the case.
If a company that already has the gadgets, the software, the system and personnel in place is struggling to meet the deadline, it goes without saying that a fresh provider cannot logically replace them within the set timelines. In fact, some of the estimates I’ve seen around are that no Safran Morpho replacement can be ready in less than 1 year.
By insisting that they must go, does Raila and Nasa really want an election?
The same case for Dubai printer Al Ghurair. Even if the government decided to pay the contractual penalties and went with another printer, it would still take about 2 months to realistically get ballot papers delivered. And what crime did Al Ghurair commit? Again, Raila has failed to tell us convincingly.
They say that Al Ghurair printed fake Form 34As and Bs. Well, this has already been revealed to be false. The alleged lack of watermarks and security features was only the case in photocopies, but all these features were present in the originals. Which is expected since photocopiers are not designed to copy such features. Same thing if you photocopy a bank note, you don’t expect it to see the hidden lion.
The other demand by Nasa is for certain individuals within IEBC to immediately resign. Top on the list is CEO Ezra Chiloba. It’s quite telling why in all years, Raila has had issues with the chairmen, but in 2017, the CEO is the one receiving all the fire. Nasa has ‘cleared’ Chebukati of any wrong doing and determined that Chiloba is the one to blame. It was expected that Nasa would tone down a bit after the Supreme Court found no single individual culpable, but what do we know.
Starting today, Raila and Kalonzo are expected to lead hundreds of their supporters to Anniversary Towers to demand the resignation of the IEBC officials they have decided are guilty, and implementation of their other irreducible minimums. This is reminiscent of the infamous ‘Sheesha Monday’ demos Raila staged to remove the Isaak Hassan led commission. Nasa has promised to hold the demos every week until Chiloba leaves office.
Obviously, there will be a big crowd accompanying Raila. But what do most Kenyans think? Do they support these latest demos?
I went through the comment sections of both Raila and Kalonzo, and the message is clear. Very few are in support of the demos.
Here are some comments from Kalonzo’s Facebook page.