KAMPALA - Members of Parliament from the Great Lakes Region have claimed that Mwai Kibaki is holding the Kenyan presidency illegitimately. The lawmakers, grouped in Amani (Swahili for peace).
Forum – composed of parliamentarians from a number of countries in the region, are demanding a vote recount and establishment of a transitional government that would institute a repeat of the presidential election.
“Kibaki is sitting in that chair (presidential seat) illegitimately,” MP Betty Amongi, the chairperson Amani-Uganda Chapter told a news conference in Kampala yesterday.
Amani was among the observers of the highly disputed December 27 election in Kenya, which saw Kibaki’s main challenger Raila Odinga, cite massive irregularities.
The announcement of Kibaki as the winner on December 30 sparked widespread violence of East Africa’s largest economy, which has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced hundreds of thousands.
Amani is a network of parliamentarians in the Great Lakes Region committed to peace and peaceful resolution of conflicts, both within their own countries and beyond.
“It (Amani) calls upon Mwai Kibaki to take immediate action to ensure that the people of Kenya receive an outcome of the election that conforms to democratic standards of freedom and fairness.
“Amani recommends a recount of the votes and tallying sheets, an independent investigation into electoral malpractices, documentation of the results, and the establishment of a transitional government that can institute a repeat of the election,” Amongi said.
Amongi blamed Kibaki’s previous government for inciting ethnic clashes. “Amani notes that acts by the government prior to the election created an atmosphere of tension and violence. Reports of election results from Mwai Kibaki’s strongholds were unnecessarily delayed,” she said in a statement.
Amongi complained that the votes cast did not tally with the results that were eventually announced by the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK).
She said: “When the results were finally announced by the Electoral Commission, they possessed serious irregularities which question their legitimacy. In one area, the number of reported votes was 115% of the total registered voters. An Amani observer was turned away from a tallying room in one disputed area and therefore could not confirm its reported numbers.”
She further said Amani would soon launch an independent investigation into the mass killings in Kenya and recommend a viable resolution to both parties in regard to the outcome of the presidential polls.
“Amani is sending a delegation of MPs that will arrive in Nairobi on January 13 on a fact-finding mission to further investigate. Amani also plans to send letters to foreign embassies which will encourage them to participate in mediation efforts and to ensure that they pressure all parties in Kenya to create a fair and peaceful outcome of the election,” she said.