Multi-Party Politics in Kenya: The Kenyatta & Moi States & the Triumph of the System in the 1992 Election

By David W. Throup; Charles Hornsby | Go to book overview
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the impact of each. A single coordinated and integrated monitoring body, staffed by both internal and external monitors, is clearly essential in a future Kenyan or similar case.There were serious question marks over the fairness of polling in the central Rift Valley, where voters were dragooned to the polls and had little choice but to vote for President Moi. Elsewhere, there appeared to be little blatant rigging on polling day itself. Certainly, the election was badly organised outside the KANU zones, but the vigilance and commitment of the population minimised rigging. Administratively, numerous minor improvements were required, some of which were addressed in the observer bodies' reports. The agents' seals did not always work properly and there was little that the agents could do if officials refused to let them accompany the boxes. The ballot papers and boxes should have been colour coded consistently. In an atmosphere of concern over fairness, steps need to be taken to reassure voters and agents, such as ensuring that voters mark with a pen, not a pencil, and that agents' seals are rather harder to cut through or replace. Poll clerks should be better trained, better facilities should be provided and better advance planning carried out. The need for civic education was also clear. Counting clerks should be more numerous and better trained, and election officials should be more openly recruited. All these recommendations will cost money and require careful organisation. Moreover, if Western countries continue to bankroll Kenya's elections, there is no reason why Western officials should not participate actively in the Electoral Commission.In the event, despite all early predictions, KANU won a decisive victory in all three elections. The central question is, given the opposition's huge popularity, and the majority vote it received, why and how did this happen?
Notes
1. Commonwealth Report, p.32.
2. Ibid., p. 31.
3. A classic example was a Mvita polling station, where the original site was changed to one just across the street from KANU Chairman Sharrif Nassir's office. IRI Final Report, p. 46.
4. Kenya Times, 31 December 1992, p. 13.
5. NEMU reported over 10 per cent of stations opening after 10 a.m. NEMU Report, p. 231.
6. Saku in Marsabit, Kenya Times, 31 December 1992, p. 19.
7. There is no evidence that this was intentional. It was simply a problem of time and resources.
8. These included Kirinyaga (stations /60 and /61), Meru, Molo constituency (NKU /98 and /79), Laikipia, Nyahuhuru, Kiambu and Busia. Sources included Matiba, faxed copies of letters to Electoral Commission, 29 December 1992.
9. See the Report of the Election Monitoring Exercise. A Project of the National Council of Women of Kenya, NCWK, 1993 ( NCWK Report).
10. Kenya Times, 31 December 1992, p. 19.
11. NCWK Report.
12. Personal Conversation with a journalist who visited Narok North on polling day, 1993. Also NCWK Report.
13. NCWK Report, p. 18.
14. IRI Final Report, pp. 47-9.
15. Kenya Times, 1 January 1993, p. 4.
16. NCWK Report, p. 26.
17. Msambweni NEMU Poll Report, 31 December 1992.

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