What to do next? How do we resolve the situation? How do we make things better? How do we maintain peace in Kenya? What is a seriously viable and acceptable to most solution? I'm a firm believer in fixing the future simply because fixing the past is not possible; a phenomenon I often wish my fellow countrymen would catch up to. So here is what I have processed alone and also through talking with various people.
I personally thought Kibaki should resign. I assumed it would bring peace. I was rest assured that it wouldn't. In addition to being all about egos (between men and politicians, could it get worse?)and therefore not likely to happen, I was assured that many kikuyus are now afraid to be governed by anyone other than a kikuyu. Many will flinch at the tribal references. I'm keeping it real. I don't think hiding in shadows is going to do anyone any good any longer. Kikuyus are afraid because many have been directly threatened about "taking our land back" as well as their lives being threatened. I have heard that Western parts that voted for PNU have received threats as well. So have Eastern parts. Some with their lives and properties, some with the future of their constituencies in other tribal hands. I have also been informed that Mungiki is spoiling for a fight. I thought they were all in jail, well not all, but mostly incapacitated. A whole lot of this is hearsay, perhaps not even likely, but definitely makes the Kibaki resignation issue not the simple solution I had thought it to be. A significant percentage of the population does not see it that way.
So I thought, what about going back to the polling stations? Everyone is calling for a recount. Of what votes, I ask? The same ones nobody trusts? The same ones that were stolen from different polling stations? If it's going to be meaningful, it needs to start at the polls. Not that voter turnout could be anticipated in the same numbers. I expect many would stay home for safety reasons. In future, whether as a repeat to the polls of 2007 or in the next 5 years, a few simple solutions could easily be met.
Ballot boxes need counters added on them. And the total number of votes in each ballot box recorded in relation to its serial number before it is sealed. That's really simple technology.
Simple solution is to in addition to having observers from every party in the counting stations, attach cameras and have a second authorized set of observers from all parties observing via camera from a different location. All cameras on the ballot boxes and the tallying process. And the events being recorded. Admittedly this won't cover stupidity which was rumored in some polling stations where rival observers start to feud and the ballot boxes or votes get impacted by being strewn across rooms or whatever. Still stiff penalties for such actions could be enforced and with video evidence available, for both the vote tallies and dodgy behaviour, I don't see how anyone could lose.
Drawbacks: Expensive and from the rumors that have been circulating, technology personnel is not trusted. They were rumored to be inflating numbers. I can't comment on that without knowing what level of security they have. However, levels of security is a solution to tech staff being part of a counting problem. However, should be looked into maybe for elections 5 or 10 years from now, assuming we still have a country in which to vote.
Training and Role Specifications:
Processes for all observers must be outlined clearly. As well as dispute processes. Also communication processes between observers and their candidates need to be established. (aside: Like the F16A forms ODM claims are different from numbers announced, why didn't anyone take pictures of this even with cell phones to forward to their teams?)
It is preposterous that ballot boxes were stolen. This is probably the easiest fix yet. All persons walking in and out of counting stations, besides needing to show 3 types of identification, including a key card pass identifying them as authorized to be in the specific counting station; should be searched both as they come in and leave the stations. I think the ultimate correct way to do this is actually to make better premises for counting where they are "arrested" in until the counting process is complete. Of course the counters from one station should have no access to other counting stations.
Especially from the politicians and as well the voters need to be noble. Also controlled, analytical and mature. Emotions should be controlled.
Back to how do we fix the current situation. Raila could concede defeat. I most definitely don't expect this to happen for the same male politician ego reasons I mentioned above with Kibaki. As well as I don't think that that is his style. I don't personally in any way think this would help the situation on the ground. And about a significant progressive next 5 years, I imagine that our politicians are dumb enough to stalemate parliament for the next 5 years at the expense of development to prove their points. Hence my call for elections. Again, not a recount. After the massive rigging issues being claimed, I don't see how a recount would help.
Now if someone would just figure out how to get Kibaki and Raila to dialogue about elections being held all over, allowing the previous government to keep running affairs for the next 90 to 180 days as they prepare for better manned and executed counting of votes (This process to be arranged and agreed upon by combined members of all significant parties), because let's be honest, voting day went very well. And since everyone has seen what the results of rigging (alleged)are, perhaps we can dare hope that things should go smoothly thereafter.
This just in. Kivuitu announced results under pressure. After reading the entire article, it doesn't seem that Kivuitu is claiming to have announced rigged numbers, just to have announced results before investigations into issues could be done. Well, ECK doesn't have that mandate to investigate so I don't see that he could have done much. I Imagine his job in the past few days has been one of the toughest in Kenya's history.
In the end, what matters is peace. There will be no need to be in Kenya if it is all in ruins after war. As seen already, carnage is being reported everywhere. As usual, it's not the elite upper class or middle class that usually pays the price, unless of course they are caught in the wrong places such as those who died in the Eldoret church arson. What is it that people choose to die for? Which one of these people roaming streets with machetes is likely to meet Kibaki or Raila on a personal level ever?
I'd like to add also what my friend from Somalia said to me when she called to inquire about Kenya after catching some news on CNN. That if Kenya degenerates into war, there goes hope for Somalia and Sudan as well.
It's a huge burden on those who can manage the situation in Kenya. However, anyone who thinks that war is the answer can right now face the fallacies of that view, or wait to learn a painful lesson somewhere down the road.
I do hope there will be another election soon.
On election day the following prayer from our national anthem graced my post. It will today as well.
O God of all Creation
Bless this our land and nation
May we dwell in unity, peace and liberty.
And all peaceloving Kenyans said, Amen!