KNCHR moves to Supreme Court to block politicians with integrity issues

A rights group has moved to the Supreme Court with concerns about the integrity of politicians ahead of the general election on August 8.

KNCHR has sought an advisory opinion from the court on standards and guidelines that should apply to leadership and integrity.

It wants aspirants with questionable reputations barred from the election as many of those who won the just-concluded party primaries cannot pass integrity tests.

“We are calling on the DPP to take action against parties and candidates who did not adhere to election laws. This should include de-registration of such parties and barring candidates who involved themselves in malpractices,” chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori said on Monday when the commission released a report on the nominations.

The lobby further wants Chapter Six of the constitution implemented to ensure only candidates cleared by the EACC are allowed to campaign.

Mbogori noted some CSs used state vehicles and resources to endorse candidates and campaign for them.

They must face the law, she said, adding various institutions must verify all documents, including candidates’ financial statements to guard against forgery.

Read: Clean nominations key to election’s integrity

Also read: IEBC, EACC set up central command to vet politicians on integrity, fake papers

In its report dubbed ‘The Fallacious Vote’, the commission further said the nominations did not meet requirements of free and fair elections.

KNCHR cited bribery, violence, missing names (of both aspirants and candidates), harassment and duress (of both aspirants and candidates), intimidation and violence against the marginalised and vulnerable and manipulation of the voter register.

Mbogori said voters were discouraged as out of the 224 polling centres it monitored, 79 opened late and closed in the night.

She said cases of missing name raised the most concern as this was reported at 115 polling centres.

“This is attributed to the fact that none of the political parties in the stations monitored had its own authentic party register. KNCHR established most of the political parties resorted to the use of 2013 IEBC register.

“It was evident that most political parties were not prepared for the primaries. The majority of them, including the two major coalitions, opted to use the 2013 voters register because they lacked an updated political party membership list.”

Bungoma county led in voter bribery claims with 25 per cent, followed closely by Nairobi with 17 per cent and then Kirinyaga and Garissa at nine per cent.

“At least 12 cases of open bribery by aspirants were registered and evidence captured by the KNCHR monitoring team,” the report stated.

Out of the 224 centers monitored, the National Police Service endeavored to provide security at a minimum of 2 officers. But in 79 centers, officers were overwhelmed by the large number of voters.

Seventeen cases of violence were reported in 33 counties – the reported stated that two people were killed and 10 hospitalised with injuries.

Twelve cases of intimidation and harassment were reported – a female aspirant was banished from her home for participating in the primaries.

KNHRC monitored 224 centers in 33 counties based on security trends. These included Bungoma, Kakamega, Kisii, Migori, Siaya, Tana River, Lamu, Kwale, Garrissa, Marsabit, Turkana, Mandera, Isiolo, Samburu and Baringo.

Others were Nakuru, Kirinyaga, Meru, Laikipia, Elgeyo Market, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Nairobi, Kiambu, Muranga, Mombasa, Wajir, Nyamira, Kajiado and Kisumu.