Githongo, Aukot, Willy Mutunga in the mix as nation goes up in smoke.

11 mins read

Some big names and well-known Kenyan civil society and human rights figures are back in the news at a very critical time in our country so we are going to figure out what they are trying to talk about.

The first one would be John Githongo who has signed an affidavit claiming that he talked to one of William Ruto’s criminal operatives. According to media reports, Githongo’s affidavit seeks to overturn Deputy President William Ruto’s victory following his declaration as President-Elect in the just concluded August 9 polls.

In a well-detailed sworn statement, former journalist Githongo said that the whistleblower told him that he was part of 56 people dubbed ‘The Team’ and who had been recruited to allegedly infiltrate the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) systems.

“Their task was to receive form 34As from KIEMS kits which were sent to their server/platform, which he called ‘Uchaguzi Tallying’. They would edit the said forms and upload the edited ones in PDF format into the IEBC portal,” Githongo stated.

Githongo further stated that the Team had 10 supervisors who were guiding and directing the other 46 individuals who were recruited to access and manipulate forms 34As.

He accused some IEBC officials led by Chairperson Wafula Chebukati of working closely with the said supervisors in changing the number of votes in favour of Ruto.

“He further informed me that they had access to the back end of the IEBC server through an arrangement between the 1st and 2nd respondents, officials of the 1st respondent’s ICT  department together with Smartmatic, the company that won the tender to provide election technology in the just concluded general election,” a part of Githongo’s affidavit read.

This is really bad stuff. If this is true then Ruto is turning Kenya into a complete criminal institution and he seems to have a lot of help even from some well-known Kenyans who project themselves as human rights activists. It is very difficult for me personally because I know some of these folks and have worked with them for the good of the country and will continue to do so.

Let me start with Dr. Ekuru Aukot who is now a floating politician looking for a job and hoping William Ruto can appoint him to do something and earn some money. You cannot blame anybody for that. We all have to earn a living somehow and if that means kissing some ass somewhere I will never blame anybody for that. That is why I have no problem with my good buddy Miguna Miguna with his begging mission to Ruto.

In Dr. Aukot’s case I first met him at BOMAS conference in Nairobi in 2003 after Kibaki and Raila killed Moi, plus Uhuru and Ruto trying to keep the presidency. The demand of Kenyans for a new democratic constitution is what destroyed the Moi regime.

After the elections, the Kibaki government called a BOMAS National Conference in Nairobi at the now famed Bomas to resolve the draft for a new constitution. I went to that conference and it was as tough as hell. I was invited by my friend Mwandawiro Mghanga who was an M.P and a delegate at that time.

Then I met Patrick Luoch Otieno (PLO) who was the chairman of BOMAS at the time. He told me I can attend the meetings but I have to ask to vote. I chose to go to the committee debating the executive powers between the President and a proposed Prime Minister.

PLO and me we have a weird set of circumstances. I first met PLO at Usenge High School when I came out of jail in 1983 and I went back to teach at Usenge because I was a teacher there before I went to Nairobi University. The headmaster there liked me because some of the young boys I taught after leaving high school actually joined me at the university.

So we were teaching at the same school in 1983 and PLO was very much against the coup attempt on August 1, 1982, and I supported it so we had a lot of differences but he was a great teacher and so was I.

At BOMAS, PLO, was the big guy and he was very helpful in getting me the materials for the discussions and he was very open-minded in terms of what the resolutions would be. He had no agenda other than what the delegates wanted and I liked his approach.

Dr. Ekuru Aukot was a big figure at the Committee of Experts that produced the BOMAS draft constitution which many of us considered as being very progressive. That is the Aukot many Kenyans knew and loved.

We all know Kibaki, Ruto and the likes of Kivutha Kibwana completely killed the BOMAS constitutional draft and came up with a fake one in 2005 which was defeated in a national vote where incidentally Raila and Uhuru were on the same side. That is how we ended up with the 2010 constitution after Raila and the rest of the country killed the fake 2005 draft katiba.

Then Aukot forms his Third Party Alliance and in 2017 they come last as expected. The Supreme Court nullifies the election results and we had a re-run in Kenya. Raila and NASA declare that they want the election process changed so there is no more rigging. NASA says they will boycott the election unless changes are made on how the election will be run to avoid rigging. Uhuru and Ruto are in a fix because they can’t run an election where there is no opposition.

It was tight. Then Dr. Ekuru Aukot delivers for the riggers. He declares he will run as an opposition party knowing he would get a few hundred votes and lose. That is how Jubilee got in after losing the Supreme Court case.

Today Dr. Ekuru Aukot is doing what all failed politicians do in Kenya which is trying to be relevant and hopefully get a job even if that means being hired by thugs and criminals. That is where Prof. Kivutha Kibwana is running to and he hopes he gets there faster than the other opportunists and job seekers.

And then there is Willy Mutunga whom I have known for many years and we have done work on human rights in our country. At Taifa Hall at Nairobi University in 2012 then new Chief Justice Willy Mutunga invited Kenyans to a community town hall meeting. I was lucky to get a seat in there. It was packed.

I asked our Chief Justice how the Kenyan judiciary can implement Chapter Six of our constitution to bar, thugs, criminals, and even outright murderers from holding public office in our country. Willy Mutunga didn’t address that and Justice Njoki Ndung’u talked about it saying nothing can be done. That was then.

Mutunga really did a very simple thing. He told Aukot that if he believes in the 2010 Kenya constitution he should not talk crap about getting people criminalized for exercising their rights to challenge election results.

The fact that this kind of common sense is even remotely controversial is a shame but it tells you a lot about our so-called human rights activists like Aukot and his buddy Kivutha Kibwana. They are tumbo activists and that is their tumbo not yours or mine. I am fine with that.

“Wasting time of Kenyans on a frivolous lawsuit or petition should be criminalized,” Aukot tweeted.

However, the 2010 Constitution allows one to challenge the process, outcome or any aspect of the election of a President in accordance with Articles 136, 139 (1) (b) and 146 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

In response, Mutunga questioned Aukot if he did not take part in making the 2010 constitution. 

“Says the former secretary of the committee of experts that gave us the 2010 constitution. What a pity. Greatly misguided.”

“A petition needs a remedy. How can that be criminalized? Smacks of fascism,” Mutunga wrote.

Mutunga further demanded an explanation from Aukot on the basis of him wanting the petitioners to be charged with a criminal offense.

“You have not addressed the criminalization! And I don’t know which provision of the Constitution decrees that Kenyans cannot file petitions however frivolous. It’s the Supreme Court that will decide if they are,” Mutunga added.

However, the 2010 Constitution allows one to challenge the process, outcome or any aspect of the election of a President in accordance with Articles 136, 139 (1) (b) and 146 (2) (b) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.

Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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