President Jakaya Kikwete must be looking at his northern neighbour Kenya with a lot of apprehension. JK was among a group of world leaders who came to Kenya to preach peace and reconcilliation following Kenya's bungled presidential elections in 2007 and the weeks of post elections violence that followed.
In approximately 180 days (6 months),Kenya will go for general elections the promises to be the biggest in the country's history.
While a majority of Kenyan voters are illiterate they will still have to contend with six ballot papers to vote for Women Representative, Ward Representative, Member of Parliament, Governor, Senator and President in accordance with the provisions of the current constitution. At current count, the presidential ballot paper alone will be a booklet since at current count 25 candidates nominated by their parties to run for president. In some constituencies, as much as 40 candidates are expected to run. It will be a logistical nightmare by all accounts considering the voter register is expected to tip 20 million or more voters.
With only six months to go, the Independent Electrolotal and Boundaries Commission is yet to create a new electronic voters register and have already bungled the process of procuring Biometric Voter Registration kits. Civic education has yet to be conducted and even parliament is yet to pass electoral laws as per the timetable of the new constitution.
The last election in 2007 was followed by the worst violence in the country's post colonial history and that election was marred mostly due to a compromised voter register.
The current IEBC politicised and dysfunctional, and it can hardly be termed as independent because of persistent intereference and vested political interests at all levels of the commission.
Despite of this worrying trend of events, most Kenyans still do not picture the disaster that is waiting to happen ahead.
Recently, the Chief Mediator of the Coalition Governemnt blew the whistle and called for speedy implementation of electoral reforms as well as those in the police and other relevant sectors. But as it were, the executive seemed to be more preoccupied with sabotaging the cases at the ICC rather than implementation of reforms. The key figures inside and outside the coalition have in all intents and purposes launched their political campaigns.
WHO WILL SAVE KENYANS IF NOT KENYANS THEMSELVES?