When he was appointed the Chairman of IEBC, following the establishment of the Institution, Kenyans thought that the country was through with election rigging that were rampant during the Moi era. After IEBC conducted a few by-elections, and after IEBC successfully conducted the 2008 Referendum, millions of Kenyans must have been sitting pretty, hoping that the country was done with the era of election rigging. Respect for Hassan was high as IEBC gained the confidence of millions of Kenyans who lined up for hours on March 4th 2013 to vote. It is therefore extremely disappointing that Hassan has now entered into the league of Kenya’s election riggers.
It is as though Hassan just took over the mantle from Kivuitu and it was very paradoxical that the day Hassan announced the result of the rigged election, Kivuitu was being buried for real, leaving Hassan as the only known and living election rigger in the history of the Republic of Kenya. Moi used to rig elections. But no one could point to any one individual as the culprit. Now, Kenyans have Hassan. What is disappointing is that by rigging a crucial election, the democratic gains of the last 30 years may be wiped out. It is disappointing that after all the vetting which enabled Hassan to assume the Chairmanship of IEBC, he has plunged the country into the very situation the country was trying to avoid by ensuring that a sitting President does not appoint officials of an electoral body.Now, this new process, that was one of the key entries in the new Constitution, appears to have been utterly useless.
The trust that Hassan had from Kenyans has simply evaporated and this is very sad because the other hidden message the new rigging experience has sent to Kenyans is that the so called vetting of public officers might not be all that effective after all. Hassan has been a big let down to all Kenyans and everywhere he goes, he will for ever carry the stigma of having messed up the crucial Kenya 2013 election, an act which has drawn the country backwards. Without rigging the election, Kenyans could have been preparing for the Swearing in ceremony of the new President. Hassan is a disgrace to his country. It is unfortunate that the law doesn’t specify the kind of punishment the likes of Hassan ought to face face.
It is unfortunate that such a young man (as opposed to Kivuitu) could literally put his country on the brink of total chaos or civil war despite his education. His stupid action kills the perception that young Kenyans holds the country’s future. If he could rig an election for whatever reason, and despite the serious consequences, it could be safe to conclude that age is not a factor when it comes to compromization of State officials for whatever reason. Apart from having let down Kenyans, Hassan is also a big let down to young people who viewed him as a role model and who believed that eventually, young Kenyan professionals are rising up to take their rightful place in the building of Kenya as a Nation.
By rigging an election in favour of suspected war criminals wanted in the ICC to answer to crimes against humanity, the matter becomes even more mind-boggling. Why should such a young Kenyan, who passed a rigorous vetting process, who is highly educated and who is entrusted with such a high and sensitive position suddenly let his fellow country men down? Many questions will be asked but at the end of the day, the return to election rigging is a sad day for Kenya.