By David Mwenda The second edition of the Nation Media Group Leadership Forum took place this week. The forum which took place at the University of Nairobi tried to put into perspective the election and what the people should expect and how they should choose their leaders. Linus Kaikai led the discussion and he involved every stakeholder in the election including the IEBC, a voter who was also running for office and the business sector.
The first thing was brought into perspective was the IEBC and its preparedness. Linus made sure he has brought the questions that other media houses were not asking. He questioned the ability of the IEBC to conduct a free and fair poll and whether they have what it takes to deliver a credible election. The issue of credibility also came up with him trying to question by what the IEBC means by delivering a credible election which they have made a buzz word.
The discussion was important in understanding the role of the IEBC. The IEBC has come out to say they are prepared all the time. They have brought the country up to speed with the electioneering process with voter audits and buying of the equipment needed to make sure they have delivered the election freely and fairly.
Another thing that came out is the observers and what they thought of the process. They have done all they could to make sure the process is free and credible. The chair of the observers, Regina Opondo noted with concern the way the process was being handled. Her role came into play because she was able to explain what role observers play in the election. She made sure she has explained the entire process and what she meant by saying the process is credible and what they have done to make sure the process is free and fair.
One thing that came out of the forum is the political preparedness of the IEBC and what it means. This was brought by Professor Karuti Kanyinga. He noted that sure the IEBC has been able to deliver very credible poll. However they have not been able to deliver political preparedness. They have not been able to make sure that everyone is politically prepared and the media has failed to capture this aspect of preparedness. For instance they have failed to give IEBC a chance to hold brief for them and instead they have crafted a narrative that Jubilee Party is holding brief for the elections board. Even though Linus challenged the IEBC Chairman on the show there is still a long way for the media and the IEBC to work out there issues and make sure they have created a sense of preparedness.
The industrial and corporate world has been left out of the electioneering process. They have not been captured in the entire equation. The business world is very influential with some of them being involved in raising funds in the different parties. They have been unable to make sure their voice is heard and what they think of the electioneering process. This can be attributed by the sentiments that were brought about the Azure Energy CEO, Sumeya Hassan who brought about some alarming statistics of business which are shutting down because they do not want to lose their investments after the election. These sentiments are making sure they have done this because it is high time the police made sure they have invested proper machinery to reassure business in the country.
The NMG Leadership Forum was able to capture the attention of the people and it was able to bring into perspective every single piece of information. They have been able to capture the voter, the IEBC and captains of industry who needed to have their voice heard in the election. Overall the forum was a success in making sure the electioneering process has been understood.