Opinion & Analysis

EDITORIAL: Find quick political solution to ballot paper tender dispute

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati. FILE PHOTO | NMG
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

With about 50 days to go to the August 8 General Election, the heightened political temperatures in the country are cause for worry.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the ruling Jubilee coalition  and the Opposition must quickly find a political solution to the ballot tender row.

The current amplified counter-accusations are only setting a perfect stage for post-election violence.

The bitter war of words playing out in the public gallery as the main protagonists accuse each other are not conducive for a country heading to the polls.

There is need to clear the air on all the allegations that have been raised regarding awarding of the Sh2.5 billion ballot paper printing tender.

While the IEBC insists that the agreement is a done deal as ait has signed the contract and is behind its election timelines, we opine that it should not totally close the door for compromise with the main players.

The electoral agency says that the deal to print 120 million ballot papers has already been concluded.

It has denied allegations that its staff had improper contact with the Dubai-based Al-Ghurair Printing and Publishing company, but promised to take action if evidence was proffered.

On their part, the political parties are not helping the situation with their hard-line grandstanding.

They should avoid stoking tensions akin to what led to the atavistic violence we witnessed after the 2007 elections. More than 1,500 Kenyans lost their lives and hundreds of thousands were displaced.

Many Kenyans thought we had learnt our lessons after political rivalry almost destroyed this beautiful country, but it seems that our political leaders are embarking on the same route.

The current acidic political atmosphere will only uncover the old wounds that have not yet healed.