Activists storm ECK meeting
March 11, 2008
By Jibril Adan
Civil society activists stormed an Electoral Commission of Kenya
(ECK) meeting and held the chairman, Mr Samuel Kivuitu, and his
The activists, under the umbrella of National Civil Society
Congress (NCSC), stormed ECK’s conference at Sun n Sand Beach
Resort in the North Coast on Monday and demanded that the hotel
management evict the commissioners.
They said they would not share the premises with ECK because it "had
let down Kenyans".
NCSC were booked at the hotel for a separate conference, but were
‘surprised’ to find that they were in a conference hall less than
300 metres from where ECK was holding its meeting.
The protesters took over the high table in the ECK meeting room
from where Mr Okoiti Omtata read the two-page statement to the
"You have no business spending taxpayers money meeting in lavish
five-star hotels such as this one when more than half-a-million
Kenyans are languishing in misery, poverty and torture as a result
of your actions," said Omtata.
The activists gave Kivuitu and his men one week to resign.
"We hereby give you notice that we will mobilise Kenyans to evict
you from your offices within one week if you fail to leave,"
Another activist, former Nyeri Town MP, Mr Wanyiri Kihoro said: "We
have been looking for these people since the beginning of this
year". He said they would mobilise Kenyans to protest against the
officials’ stay in office.
Earlier in the morning, Kivuitu had declined to field questions
from journalists, but opted to sign a short statement. Asked by
The Standard if he would resign, Kivuitu just shook his head and
went back to the conference room.
In the signed statement, he said, "ECK has always believed that
due process should be followed in determining alleged wrongdoing
by the commission or its staff."
Reacting to calls that they should resign, he said it amounted to
"a public condemnation without giving ECK an opportunity to defend
itself through a competent forum".
Kivuitu also reiterated his earlier statements that he supported
an impartial investigation by a competent team into ECK’s