After six months of investigation, the Kreigler Commission's report has been handed over to Kenya's leaders. Their findings have been surprising in some ways and fortunate, for they do not lay the blame at any high profile individual's door, or add fuel to consipiracy theories over high level involvement in post election violence. It was diplomatic because Kenya does not need to get involved in further mud slinging but a instead needs a way forward. The Commission stated that the whole election was flawed from grass roots level and the lack of transparency in the process caused widespread misconceptions, suspicion, uncertainty and anger.
'The experts ruled that widespread bribery, vote-buying, intimidation and ballot stuffing - compounded by defective data tabulation, transmission and tallying - impared the integrity of the electoral porcess and irretrievably polluted the results' (the Standard - 18/09/08)
South African judge Johann Kriegler said, 'Even if you wanted a re-tallying of the results, still you won't have sorted out the mess. It would have been impossible to tell you who won or who lost.'
The main focus of the report comprises detailed advice regarding how to restructure and overhaul the Electorial Commission of Kenya to avert such a disaster from ever happening again, where in January this year more than 1,000 Kenyans were killed during infighting and over 350,000 displaced from their homes.
Further observations were that FM radio stations broadcasting 'hate' speeches in the run up and after the election 'helped to fan the animosity between communities' and some of the Media houses did not observe media ethics and standards in order to win a larger audience, adding fuel to the flames.
One fundamental point made in the report was was that many holding responsible positions within the electoral process scarily felt that they could tamper with votes and manipulate the electorate with impunity. This unlawful behaviour has to stop or be stamped out otherwise defective elections and the violence that ensues will never go away.