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Statesmanship called for by a Kenyan Daily Nation writer.

Posted by African Press International on January 1, 2008

The nation writer is right when he asks ODM leaders to show statesmanship instead of thinking of themselves and putting their ambitious thoughts ahead of the country!

They have lost. They may have been rigged as they say. What is important now? Them – ODM leadersorKenyans to live in peace? If ODM leaders are really people who love peace,prosperity and want Kenyans to enjoy peace, then they should cool down and look ahead instead of planning demonstrations that may end up causing casualties.

Instead, the should put written evidence on the table as the writerof the article below is asking them to do.,They have promised to produce documents to confirm there was fraud but have failed to do so.


Daily Nation story:

Who will save Kenya from the brink? Raila must try Story by MACHARIA GAITHO
Publication Date: 01/01/2008

EVEN RIGGING REQUIRES a little intelligence. Those were the immortal words of Mwai Kibaki in September 1988 when then President Moi tried to rig him out of the Kanu leadership right down in his own village in Othaya.

Some more urgent issues first. The country is ablaze. The blood of innocent people is on the hands of those who mismanaged electoral process that returned President Kibaki for a second and final term at State House.

A reaction that could leave this country deeply wounded is playing itself out in various parts of the country. Innocent people are being slaughtered on the basis of their tribe, because they are perceived to be a particular political persuasion.

Thugs are taking advantage to go on looting sprees that have nothing to do with politics. The security forces are completely unable to offer protection to those targeted. A president who had to retreat to a swearing-in at State House simply does not carry the mandate or the authority to personally visit the affected areas and plead for peace.

So who will save Kenya from the brink?

Mr Raila Odinga may be rightfully aggrieved at the election outcome. He may be enjoying the paralysis facing the newly-installed president, and salivating at the prospect of an Orange Revolution that will run the president out of town and pave the way for his own triumphant entry into State House.

But this should be the time for statesmanship, not brinkmanship. Mr Odinga may well have been robbed of electoral victory, but this is the time to demonstrate leadership in the interest of the nation.

Nobody right now is better placed than Mr Odinga and his key ODM lieutenants, Mr William Ruto and Mr Musalia Mudavadi, to do what the Government is unable to do save this country from total destruction, and President Kibakis people from the threat of genocide.

The ODM leaders must rise above the political fray and call off their people who have reacted with such anger against what they see as a stolen election. If their intervention can restore a peace the Government is unable to, that will be the real demonstration of who has the peoples mandate.

Back to 1988. Things had become really blatant when President Moi introduced the infamous queue-voting system. The spin was that queues in the open represented the ultimate transparency, not secret voting on slips of paper which could be miscounted or made to disappear.

Transparency, it brought. Everybody saw it in broad daylight when the count was ignored and returning officers declared candidates with the shortest queues the winners.

The embarrassments out of the 1988 daylight robbery forced President Moi to abandon mlolongo and go back to the secret ballot and good old-fashioned ballot stuffing.

BY THE TIME THE 2002 POLLS CAME around, new measures had been put in place that we all thought made rigging almost impossible. The main innovation was that there would be no more transportation of ballot boxes. Counting would go on right at the polling station in full view of candidates, their agents, the media, observers and anybody else.

When ODM started raising the alarm ahead of the just-concluded elections, I was highly sceptical. What would one do with pre-marked ballot papers if they could not be introduced at any stage without detection?

Well, they say they were robbed of victory by the results recorded at the polling stations simply being altered at the ECK headquarters. They, indeed, produced one return from Molo where the vote recorded for President Kibaki was much lower than the one announced by the ECK. Independent election observers also cited the Molo case where they say Kibakis vote was highly inflated.

ODM officials were on Sunday insisting they had in their possession copies of the results from many constituencies signed by returning officers and poll agents of the various candidates.

They also said they had copies of the result forms from ECK files which had been clearly altered.

ODM also produced what looked like potent evidence in testimony from an ECK officer who said he had witnessed with his own eyes figures being altered. He said he had the evidence, but did not produce any such papers.

Curiously, the ODM leaders had, at the time of writing, not bothered to make public any of the documents they claimed to have in their possession, save for the Molo returns.

I personally spoke to Mr Odinga on Sunday shortly after the statement issued at the KICC. He promised to have the documents delivered to me at Nation Centre within the half hour. No show.

I know that many of my colleagues seeking the same documents also spoke to other members of the ODM Pentagon, campaign aides, party officials and anybody else who could help. Blanks.

The ODM leaders would help their cause a great deal if they provided that documentary evidence. If they have it, it need not await the filing of any election petition. They battle right now is in the public court.

This is my fist column for 2008, and it fortuitously falls on New Years Day. Under the circumstances, I am not wishing anybody a Happy New Year.

Lifted and published by API/APN

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