Whither to?

Ken Opalo blogging on where Kenya goes from here notes in his thoughtful piece on Kenya’s institutions:

The lack of strong institutions handed the country a compromised electoral commission, full of appointees of the same person running for re-election. It was always obvious who the commissioners would side with in the event of a disputed outcome as was seen last Sunday. It therefore came as no surprise that while admitting that there were irregularities and suspicious figures on the tallying sheets, the commission did not order a recount or complete audit but proceeded to declare the president the winner base on the same questionable figures.

The lack of a culture of independent institutionalism has also made the opposition wary to present their case in the Kenyan high court, yet another institution teeming with the president’s appointees. In fact it is this lack of faith in the judiciary that left Kenyans no alternative but to resort to justice by the masses, which has unfortunately been laced with rioting, murder, ethnic confrontations and looting.

As the politicians get ready to have dialogue and possibly come up with a power sharing arrangement, on top of the agenda should be a clear and genuine commitment to the creation of impersonal institutions that will serves Kenyans well. It is of paramount importance that Kenyans develop confidence in the country’s institutions in order to avert situations when citizens take the law into their own hands – as we are witnessing now.


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