Topic: Role of the Voter in Fighting and Preventing Corruption in the General Election

The National Anti-Corruption Campaign Steering Committee (NACCSC) is established vide Kenya Gazette Notice No. 6707 dated 19th September, 2014. It is mandated to conduct a nationwide public education, sensitization and awareness creation campaign aimed at effecting fundamental changes in the attitude, behaviour, practices and culture of Kenyans towards corruption. The campaign is focused on the members of the public, to empower them fight and prevent corruption.

In line with its mandate and as Kenya prepares for the forthcoming General Election on 8th August 2017, NACCSC has, through a five-month interactive radio campaign themed “Elections and Good Governance” on seven radio stations, been equipping members of the public with knowledge on the qualities of a leader of integrity, benefits of electing individuals who are not tainted by corruption, plus highlighting the corruption-prone areas and corrupt practices in the electoral process so that voters can make informed decisions. The ultimate aim is to enable Kenyans elect into office leaders of integrity and prepare them to deal with any corruption that may arise during the elections and the entire electoral process.

The NACCSC would like the voters to know that they have a major role to play in electing good leaders. The following information will assist them in making good decisions on the leaders that should be elected during the general election: -

1. Leaders of Integrity

a) Qualities of a Leader of Integrity
• Honest, strong and not greedy
• Embraces and practices high morals and values
• Disciplined and willing to serve selflessly
• Shuns tribalism/ethnicism/clannism, and instead treats all Kenyans equal
• Observes the rule of law and respects human rights
• Prioritizes the fight against corruption
• Has not been tainted/associated with any corruption scandals in the past
• Their sources of wealth are obvious and explainable
• Accountable to the public for decisions made and actions taken

b) Benefits of electing Leaders who are not tainted by Corruption
• Reduced corruption levels and unethical conduct in management of public affairs
• Increased growth in economy and development
• Improved investor confidence in County/Country
• Peace, security and cohesion
• Rapid strides in development – increased budgetary allocations to the Counties arising from collection of more revenue

2. Corrupt Practices
• Bribing voters by giving them money, foodstuffs, clothing materials
• Buying voters’ national ID cards and Electors’ cards
• Stirring ethnic or sectarian animosities
• Hiring goons to disrupt public meetings of competitors
• Destroying election materials belonging to competitors
• Branding competitors as enemies
• Causing or meting out violence on voters and aspirants
• Discrimination on account of gender, ethnicity, region, party, body ability
• Favouritism by Government officials

3. Role of Voters: -
• Register as a voter and avail themselves on 8th August, 2017 to vote
• Know who the candidates are, their track record and what they stand for
• Not to participate in electoral malpractices – bribery, theft or destruction of election materials (ballot papers), etc
• Interrogate the potential leaders’ sources of wealth
• Check if their manifestos address corruption, among other important issues
• Elect leaders of integrity, those who are not corrupt, respect and involve the electorate in the management of public affairs; those that are not tainted by corruption, greedy or self-centered
• Shun/reject leaders who spew ethnic/tribal/party hatred and fan violence

4. What is a Peaceful Election?
An election is the act or process of choosing someone to a public office by voting. Peaceful elections, therefore, means this act or process which: -
• Is devoid of violence and electoral malpractices
• All candidates, their supporters and voters observe the elections laws before (campaigning period), during (voting on 8th August, 2017) and after election
• Fair, free, credible and acceptable results by all stakeholders
• All stakeholders play their rightful role to ensure a level playing field for the candidates
• Voters present themselves in an orderly manner to elect leaders of their choice and after the election
• There are no threats or intimidations, destruction of private and public property or displacement of communities.

5. What is the role of Voters in Ensuring Peaceful Elections?
• Participate in the voter and civic education on the election and in voting itself on the day of election
• Protect their voters and national identification cards from being bought/exchanged for cash money and other considerations
• Abide by/conduct themselves in lawful manner – avoid/shun corruption, violence, hateful speeches, etc before, during and after the election
• Respect electoral and security officials and comply with all lawful orders that are issued
• Support law enforcement by foiling/reporting malpractices and other criminal acts, recording statements and adducing evidence in courts of law as will be necessary
• Be on the lookout for any electoral malpractices and report the same for appropriate action
• Facilitate all voters cast their votes, regardless of their ethnic background, political affiliation or ability (give priority to persons with disabilities, sick).

Conclusion
Corruption remains a serious threat to the Country’s development agenda contained in the Kenya Vision 2030 and other development blue prints as it concentrates resources in the hands of a few, scares away both local and foreign investors and denies the public quality services. It should, thus, be in the interest of every individual Kenyan to vote in leaders of integrity who will ensure the vice is fought successfully and public resources applied as intended. NACCSC urges the public to play their rightful role in exercising their democratic right and elect leaders of integrity.

Towards this end, NACCSC issued a press statement on 8th June, 2017 (available on www.naccsc.go.ke) requesting all Presidential candidates cleared by IEBC to ensure fighting corruption is in the forefront of their political parties’ and individuals’ manifestos. Specifically, each candidate was requested to make public his individual plans and strategies on how he will to fight and prevent corruption in Kenya should he be elected as the President. NACCSC has noted with appreciation that manifestos by various candidates address the fight against corruption and we urge the voters, and the public at large, to study and interrogate those strategies and only consider electing candidates who demonstrate seriousness and genuine commitment to fighting corruption in Kenya.

Remember, ‘Fighting Corruption, My responsibility!’


NATIONAL ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN STEERING COMMITTEE