Kenya

Kenya Humanitarian Update vol. 36, 11 - 25 Sep 2008

Attachments

HIGHLIGHTS

- Absenteeism at schools in Mandera West District reaches 40% due to lack of water resources.

- 10,000 pastoralists were displaced from Turkana South district due to clashes.

- Emergency fund established to prevent the spread of a livestock disease decimating pastoralists' herds.

- Independent Review Commission releases report on the conduct and result of the 2007 General Election noting that the election process was severely flawed.

The information contained in this report has been compiled by OCHA from information received from the field, from national and international humanitarian partners and from other official sources. It does not represent a position from the United Nations. This report is posted on: http://ochaonline.un.org/kenya

I. General Overview

The Independent Review Commission (IREC), mandated to investigate all the aspects of the December 2007 General Election in Kenya, concluded that the election process was so flawed that it was not possible to identify which party had genuinely won the elections. The Commission report focused on the reforms required in advance of the 2012 elections.

While serious defects in the voter register and tallying processes were cited, the IREC report highlighted the systemic corruption that tainted the entire electoral system. Specifically, it was noted that the constitutional and legal framework on elections was flawed and the legitimacy of the Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) had been irreversibly impaired during the general election. It was further noted that the electoral process had been severely disrupted by the actions of the public, political parties and media.

Recommendations from the report included an overhaul of the ECK, improvements to the electoral process, new voter registration systems and development of a new constitution to revamp the electoral system.

There was widespread public discontent that the IREC neither verified nor nullified the election results. However, senior diplomats, including His Excellency Kofi Annan who received the report on 19 September, and 24 heads of diplomatic missions, called for speedy implementation of the recommendations, particularly in advance of the forthcoming 2012 general election.

The Office of the Spokesperson noted that the IREC report will be made available on their website: www.communication.go.ke. It was also confirmed that the Government has initiated the implementation of the recommendations. Africa Confidential reported that since independence in 1963, 26 commissions of inquiry have been established in Kenya, however, none of the previous results have been made public thereby preventing the public from holding the Government accountable for the findings or recommendations.

Amidst criticism from the international financial and lending institutions that the inflation rate was being computed inaccurately, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics is changing the way in which the rate is computed. The basket of goods used to measure the inflation rate had been based on consumption surveys from 1993-1994; the basket will be adjusted to reflect a survey from 2005-2006. It is expected that this shift could adjust the inflation rate downwards from 27.6% in August.

Following the June 2008 entry into force of the Great Lakes Pact, Norwegian Refugee Council's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the International Refugee Rights Initiative released a Guide for Civil Society on the Pact and the rights of Displaced Peoples. The purpose of the Guide is to assist organizations to promote the rights of refugees and IDPs in the region using the Great Lakes Pact, specifically the Protocol on the Protection and Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons and the Protocol on the Property Rights of Returning Populations. (The Guide can be downloaded at www.internal-displacement.org/greatlakes)