UDASA – Statement from the University of Dar Es Salaam Academic Staff Assembly- Jan 08

The grave election and post-election situation in Kenya

Pambazuka News

Statement from the University of Dar Es Salaam Academic Staff Assembly (UDASA)




As an association of academics with the social responsibility of pursuing truth and being obliged to take up issues of great concern to citizens of countries in which we work, UDASA wishes to register our grave concern about loss of live and the wanton destruction of people’s property arising from the sad events that have been unfolding since the hurried inauguration of Mr. Mwai Kibaki as the President, for a second term, of the Republic of Kenya. As intellectuals we have made our modest contribution to the building and consolidation of democratic institutions and traditions in Tanzania and, more generally, in East Africa. General Elections are the principal means by which citizens may exercise their hard-worn sovereignty.

On the 27th of December 2007, General Elections were conducted in Kenya. On the 30th of December, 2007, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Kenya, Mr. Samuel Kivuitu announced that Mr. Mwai Kibaki, the leader of the Party for National Unity (PNU) that had gained 33 seats in the 210 seat Kenyan Parliament against 95 seats gained by the party of his main rival, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), was the winner of the Presidential race in that General Election.

Immediately, thereafter, Kenya has been plunged into violence triggered by outbursts of anger and resentment against supporters of PNU and those ethnically associated with Mr. Kibaki who ODM and its supporters accuse of rigging the tallying of the final count of the General Election results and thus stealing victory in the Presidential race from Mr. Raila Oginga of ODM. More than 300 people are said to have died so far and thousands have been internally displaced. Some Kenyans are said to be already fleeing to neighbouring countries as refugees. All the General Election observers, both local and international are in agreement that there were undue delays in having the constituency election tallies submitted to the Electoral Commission headquarters. There is also consensus now that the results that the Chairman of ECK announced on the 30th December 2007 on the basis of which Mr. Kibaki took the oath as the winner of the Presidential race were not credible tallies of the General Election results where the Presidential race is concerned. The ECK Chairman himself has subsequently made the surprising admission that he himself did not know who won the Presidential race in spite being the one, who announced that Mr. Kibaki won the election on the 30th December, 2007.

Popular displeasure has been unleashed. This displeasure has in some cases taken a very violent turn that has expressed itself in ugly scenes of the destruction of people and property. Political passions have been aroused and in heat of the raised political passions ethnic bigotry has been aroused and made to thrive. Some citizens now have taken to thinking that an injustice had been committed against a political leader or groups of political leaders they considered to be of their kind. Other citizen also now being encouraged to believe that an advantage, however unfair, had been gained by a political leader or group of leaders considered to be of their kind. Seeds of ethnic cleansing are being sowed among residences with mixed ethnic backgrounds coinciding with rival political camps.

UDASA believes that it is time to call on all concerned to sit down and discuss the underlying issues that are the source of the unfolding conflict. The tallying of the election results needs to be revisited. Furthermore, a wider debate needs to be initiated on issues such as the composition and role of election commissions.

Dr. D.L. Nyaoro Chairperson

Source: http://www.pambazuka.org/en/issue/336

Leave a comment

No comments yet.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s