By Roselyn Akombe
For many months now, I have questioned my role as a commissioner at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. But I have soldiered on hoping that we could collectively find a way of addressing the crisis our country faces today.
I have agonised over the decision to leave my committed IEBC FIELD staff and my country. My decision to leave the IEBC will disappoint some of you, but it is not for lack of trying. I have tried the best I could do given the circumstances. Sometimes, you walk away, especially when potentially lives are at stake. The commission has become a party to the current crisis. The commission is under siege.
It has become increasingly difficult to continue attending plenary meetings where commissioners come ready to vote along partisan lines and not to discuss the merit of issues before them. It has become increasingly difficult to appear on television to defend positions I disagree with in the name of collective responsibility. I have concluded that I am no longer making any significant contribution to the Commission and to my country as a Commissioner.
It broke my heart in the last few days to listen to my staff in the field, majority of whom truly want to do the right thing, express to me their safety and security concerns.
I shared detailed reports from staff in four of the Counties most hit by the ongoing protests – Nairobi, Siaya, Kisumu, and Homa Bay – with the hope that this will bring sobriety to our decision making. Instead this was met with more extremist responses from most Commissioners, who are keen to have an election even if it is at the cost of the lives of our staff and voters. It is unacceptable for any party to disrupt, attack and injure our staff in Mumias, Bungoma, Homabay, Siaya, and Kisumu as they did today.
These acts must be condemned by all and action taken against the perpetrators.