The Last Interview with Samuel Kivuitu

Former Chairman of the now defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya Samuel Kivuitu died on Monday Feb 28, 2013 at around 10 pm at the MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi. Mr Kivuitu, 74, has been battling throat cancer.

Since 2008, he has been largely blamed for facilitating the “stolen elections”. Some will look at it half full half empty, bla bla bla, some will choose to hate others will choose to tap into the wisdom of the old man. So I watched this interview and there are quite a few things to learn from the man.

In this TV interview, Kivuitu, fears that voting might take more than one day. He says, “Not all our voters are educated, and to be told to cast votes for 6 candidates is a very difficult exercise”. So the exercise might not be completed in the one day as scheduled.

Characteristic of him and his dry humor, he asserts that “Elections are not a type of an activity that you can continue through out the night, it is not a dancing occasion, you have to break at some point.” And this could flow into a 2nd day of voting. To mitigate such a situation, he recommended that the elections be split over 2 days, and combine presidential elections and the county assemblies elections together for one day, then have the parliamentary and senate go together on a 2nd day.

With regard to the swearing in of the president at dusk, he explains that he had also insisted that the swearing in of the president be done in public. To that effect, 2 weeks before elections, army men and other people were practicing at Nyayo Stadium. When it happened that the plan changed, he did not like the idea of swearing in a president as if he was a thief.

So, as the curtain falls on the man who supervised Kenya’s election when the country lacked a strong framework for election’s transparency, as you take with you the yoke of a greedy-selfish-filthy system, I can only say that “Man, You Fought a Good Fight.”


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