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Kenya election official Roselyn Akombe flees to US

A senior member of Kenya’s electoral commission (IEBC) has resigned, saying the country is unable to hold credible elections next week.

Roselyn Akombe says it would be "suicidal" for her to remain in the country
Roselyn Akombe says it would be “suicidal” for her to remain in the country

Roselyn Akombe said the IEBC was under political “siege”, unable to reach consensus or take any decisions.

Now in the US, she told the BBC she had feared for her safety while in Kenya after receiving numerous threats.

Last week, opposition leader Raila Odinga pulled out of the 26 October presidential run-off.

The Supreme Court annulled the result of the original 8 August poll, which saw current President Uhuru Kenyatta declared winner, after finding irregularities and illegalities.

In a statement, Ms Akombe said she had “agonised over the decision to leave the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission).

“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.

“The commission in its current state can surely not guarantee a credible election on 26 October 2017.”

And in an interview with the BBC’s Newsday programme, she said: “Would it be a credible election? Absolutely not.

“There is a very high likelihood that the mistakes that some of the presiding officers made during the last election will be repeated.”

Speaking from New York, she said IEBC members had been voting along partisan lines, without discussing different issues on merit.

Commissioners and other IEBC personnel were facing intimidation by political actors and protesters, Ms Akombe said.

She also revealed that she herself had received a number of anonymous threats, and had been put under pressure to resign.

“I have never felt the kind of fear that I felt in my own country.”

She said she did not “feel safe enough to be able to go home” in the foreseeable future.

The IEBC has so far made no public comments on the issue.

Election positions

Mr Odinga, who leads the opposition – the National Super Alliance (Nasa) – said last week: “We have come to the conclusion that there is no intention on the part of the IEBC to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel.

“All indications are that the election scheduled for 26 October will be worse than the previous one.”

Mr Odinga has organised a series of protests against the IEBC in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, Mr Kenyatta says he is ready to proceed with the new vote as planned.

“We have no problem going back to elections. We are sure we will get more votes than the last time.”

“We are also telling him it is the people’s right to choose their leader. It is their sovereign right to choose their leader of choice,” Mr Kenyatta said.

The country’s electoral commission said Mr Kenyatta had won the August vote by a margin of 1.4 million votes – or 54% of the total, compared to Mr Odinga’s 45%. BBC News

  • Why didn’t she go to SA, Nigeria or Ghana? A sponsored spoiler?

  • Makarau arikuzvihwa here izvo?

  • s

    eish african leaders. but why? please tell why you do such things mr Robert mugabe. okay, may be jonathan moyo.

  • Odinga is hands on .. Rashid Behrooz Hamisi

  • She has done the best thing to expose the truth

  • Yes yes yes. Not vanamakarawu vanogwadamira munhu.

  • Run for dear life. This is Africa

  • Makarau…take note you cheating sleaze bag

  • MakArawu imbutu

  • At least kenya takes no nonsense!

  • Makarau pamhata

  • We call upon the international community to help Kenya let them not waite until it is too
    late. There are too people in Kenya who were culprits in ICC that is Uhuru and Rutto, these
    two gentlemen have taken IEBC hostage last week they placed a gun on the head of IEBC
    chairman when he threatened to resign, after that they sent a dozen of Militia men in police
    uniform to kill opposition protesters right now about 50 people are dead, to add salt on the
    wound last night they ordered the police to detain opposition Chief Raila odinga who has
    been fighting for electoral reforms.. If action is not taken now people will slaughter each
    other in this our beloved country Kenya

    • Tinashe the international community is useless. Remember they were the ones who had confirmed that the elections in Kenya were credible. I salute Odinga he is doing it alone. A ruling party cn do anything to steal the election so it cn only be possible if the election board is nuetral of which i see Odinga pushing it to that. Its a wicked seen bt there has to reforms. I see people encouraging the electorate to register to vote instead of reforms. There are no leaders in our country. I wont register to vote its useless without reforms

    • Chamisa said on his live that some the reforms had been implemented

    • Thats a lie.. Nelson Chamisa cant claim that the introduction of bvr in a reform. Thats too lame according to me. The staff composition of Zec matters.. as long as Zec is not independent we are wasting tym n life thinking that a different outcome will come from the elections. We did nothing wen they gave us uncredible election results in 2008. And do u think they wil allow the next election to be credible nooo. There is no way Zanu cn win an election wit the current state of affairs in Zim so they wil make sure they will steal it. No political leaders in Zimbabwe

    • The opposition is to blame for the conflicting messages it continues to feed…Not long ago they were in the streets demonstrating for reforms..but now they are at the forefront saying pple should resgister…They should be careful coz this leads to dissonance in most followers. Through its demos one gets the impression that something is very wrong..After that they have not come bek to the pple to map a way forward..

    • Hey guys these mafias will never ever bow to reform electrol system they know that people no longer need if reforms are done they will completely have not even a single vote. Let alone the economy will fix them like it or not we will be the pooorest nation on earth

  • at least some spots of self worth and dignity can still be found Africa

  • This is Africa for you

  • Hoyo kuUSA ko isu ndosaka ndakaregedza zvepolitics 1979 paDzapasi kuBuhera.

  • AKA

    Told you so the cat is out of the bag with Kenyatta eish and where do they run abroad andnot an african country Nehanda should get a comment from that All Useless AKA AU they do not seem to be saying anyting who said we africans can rule and solve all our issues ???

  • Rita Makarau will do so

  • After listening to Ruto n hunger to stay in power I wonder how he feels to know that not all is well in the electoral proccess. Now Odinga is justified.

  • Fortune Makore i salute her coz the outcome of Kenya’s polls is usually marred by violence..She doesnt want to be responsible for the loss of lives that follow

  • I don’t think that Rita will follow suit, she loves chaos and anarchy so much

  • Americans and their pawns

  • Please no fighting Kenya

  • Sellout

  • Spill the Beans madam

  • Agona

  • Something big behind that table… I pray for innocent children.

  • United Nations human Rights yooooo you are a toothless organization take those mafias to ICC that’s why African gvt were trying to pull out of the ICC they need to protect their evil deeds

  • truths

    The woman is a nonentity, trying to be big, she is an implant and puppet. Gold digger!