Kenya election official flees to US, says election won’t be credible


One of Kenya’s top election officials has fled to the US, insisting the country is not ready to host a credible election re-run on October 26.

Roselyn Akombe, a senior member of Kenya’s electoral commission (IEBC), fled the country after receiving death threats ahead of next week’s proposed presidential election re-run. Saying it would be “suicidal to stay” in the country, the official also said Kenya’s electoral commission can’t guarantee a credible election.

IEBC can’t guarantee credible election

“The commission in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on 26 October 2017,” Akombe said in a statement. “I do not want to be party to such a mockery to electoral integrity.”

The election official also suggested the commission could repeat its mistakes and fail to hold a successful election at all.

“There is a very high likelihood that the mistakes that some of the presiding officers made during the last election will be repeated,” she told the BBC.

IEBC chief could also quit

Following Roselyn Akombe’s decision to quit the IEBC, the commission’s chief Wafula Chebukati also hinted he could quit ahead of the election repeat. He accuses the government and opposition of hijacking the country’s election failures for political gains.

“I would rather go out with my name intact and my head lifted high than be part of a process where personal interests dwarf the interests of the nation,” he said.

Chebukati also says that – despite his efforts to make “critical changes” ahead of next week’s re-run – it can’t guarantee a credible election.

“I’ve made several attempts to make critical changes but all my motions have been defeated by a majority of the commissioners,” he said. “Under such conditions it is difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election.”


Featured image: “Kenya Election Posters” flickr photo by theglobalpanorama shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.