EU observers report on Kenya polls cites bribery, use of State resources

Wednesday January 10 2018

Marietje Schaake, European Union’s chief observer in the Kenyan August and October 2017 elections. She released a report on the polls at the EU parliament on January 10, 2018. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The European Union’s head of the election observation mission during Kenya's August and repeat October 2017 vote says her plans to come to Nairobi to present their were frustrated.

Ms Marietje Schaake, in a televised address on Wednesday morning from Brussels, said she had to read the report from the European Union parliament so as to meet the EU’s guidelines of presenting a report three months after an election.

“This is one of the very few times that a presentation of an EU mission observation final report takes place here in the European parliament instead of the country where we observed — Kenya,” Ms Schaake said.

“We were entirely prepared to travel to Nairobi this week to present the final report of our recommendations to the government of Kenya as well as to other important stakeholders, of course the most important being the people of Kenya.


“We’ve understood, however, that the Kenyan government is not prepared to receive us within the terms foreseen in the memorandum of understanding signed between the EU and Kenya; because that specifies that we will present our final report within three months of the Election Day,” said the Dutch politician.


She then went ahead to read the observations on the election and a summary of her team’s 29 recommendations.

Among the issues she highlighted were paying of people to attend political rallies, use of State resources during campaigns, politicians intimidating key independent institutions, and a persistent lack of trust on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

She also pointed out the violence by police and civilians during the charged electoral period, noting that “Kenyan people did not fully enjoy their democratic right”.

In her observation, it is Kenyans’ resolve to be peaceful that has averted the country from plunging into war.

“The fact that Kenya is not in a war situation can be attributed to the Kenyan people,” she said.