The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) has in a report released yesterday said that the August 2017 polls were marred by irregularities and violence.
The report titled: Mirage at Dusk: A Human Rights Account of the 2017 General Electionexamines occurrences from the campaign Period, the Polling Day and the Post-Polling Period.
“Kenya is yet to achieve the democratic reality of an election unmarred by irregularity and violence,” the report says.
“Our title therefore, is a reflection that despite the best intentions and efforts, from our findings, as a country, we must move away from chasing the mirage. We must strengthen our legal and institutional structures aimed at securing a free, fair and credible election, and commit ourselves to fully delivering on the same,” the report further states.
HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES RECORDED DURING THE AUGUST 2017 GENERAL ELECTIONS
According to KNHCR, it set up an Electronic Information Management System to capture key human rights issues which included: misuse of public resources, incitement, bribery, actions and inactions by security organs, unequal access to public resources and facilities, appropriateness and accessibility of polling venues, violence and security.
The information was generated by monitoring the foregoing parameters was collected from 33 Counties.
37 PEOPLE REPORTED DEAD FOLLOWING AUGUST 2017 GENERAL ELECTIONS
According to KNCHR, 37 Kenyans lost their lives during the three-day unrest that erupted in sections of the country following the IEBC declaration of the Presidential results on 11th August 2017 at 10.00 p.m.
“There were gunshots and teargas in, Mathare, Kibera, Dandora, Lucky Summer and Kawangware in Nairobi City County and Manyatta, Kondele, Nyamasaria in Kisumu County as police tried to disperse demonstrators under the cover of darkness,” the report says adding that “Other deaths were attributed to police using live bullets and a few from police bludgeoning using truncheons. Dozens more recuperated in hospitals and at home with various degrees of injuries as documented in our report and perhaps some continue to languish in silence,”
VOTER BRIBERY AND MISUSE OF PUBLIC RESOURCES
The report observes that contrary to law, State Officers used their offices to campaign through food donations, launching of roads and water projects amongst others.
“Some top county officials used taxpayer monies to conduct their campaigns, which included use of County and National Government vehicles as well as blocking their competitors’ access to public facilities and campaign rally venues,”
The KNCHR report further states that voter bribery in the August elections campaigns was a notch higher.
“Politicians used sophisticated voter-bribery methods which included use of branded items, including basic items such as bread and water.”
The Commission has also condemned the attacks on the judiciary, saying they are aimed at curtailing progress towards the realization of the fresh Presidential election.
“We condemn attacks on the Judiciary, especially from the political class, which attacks have now trickled down to the citizenry and are being actively reflected on social media. These acts and utterances are a recipe for anarchy and have the potential for destabilizing the Judiciary. The political class must lead by example and remain true to the Electoral Code of Conduct that specifically calls upon them to condemn, avoid and take steps to prevent violence and intimidation,” KNCHR says in the report.