Brand New ECK Vice Chair Loses Her Temper During Her First Contact With The Press
Pamela Mwikali Tutui today demonstrated on national TV precisely why she is NOT qualified to be the vice chair of the Electoral Commission of Kenya. To avoid a disaster that is just waiting to happen Ms Tuitui should resign and head back to the sleepy city of Mombassa where most things happen in slow motion.
Journalists were shocked when Ms Tuitui appeared to lose her temper over a question posed by one journalist shortly after she was sworn in this morning at Chief Justice Gicheru’s chambers. One wonders what will happen when the election campaigns start (let alone the elections proper) when there will be plenty for the good lady to lose her temper over.
It is clear that Ms Tuitui thinks that her new appointment is not any different from her private practice in Mombasa. She seems totally unaware that hers is a public office and she should be ready at any time to answer questions from the press without taking things personally because the people of Kenya want to know.
Kenyans should now ask why would the government want to appoint a short-tempered inexperienced lady to the vice chair of the ECK just a few weeks before the most complex general elections in the history of Kenya?
Actually it has not become crystal clear that the Kibaki administration has no intention of running a free and fair election. The signs are all there for even the blind to read. Watch the next clincher when the experienced chairman will be replaced two or three weeks before the elections when his tenure runs out.
Just yesterday a man appeared before a Kibera court after being found with about 70 elector’s card in his brief case at Yaya Centra in Nairobi. Now why would somebody carry such a large number of elector’s cards in their briefcase?
Then there is the character by the name of Stanley Livondo who is going round the country carrying a firearm and recently somebody was shot in circumstances that are not very clear, by one of his bodyguards.
There are actually many way to rig an elections and one does not need to steal votes only. Sample this incident from the 1997 general elections;
Fred Gumo was present when the returning officer for the Westlands Constituency announced the election results in favor of Gumo’s rival Betty Tett. Gumo walked up to her and slapped her hard across the face. Moments later she announced different election results with Gumo declared the winner of those stormy elections.
These are some of the finer details that only experienced electoral commissioners can look into. You do not send a lady to be presiding officer in a constituency where there is a violent contestant who is known to have no respect for women.
Don’t get me wrong here. I have the deepest respect for women and I am a staunch supporter of affirmative action to give women equal opportunities. But I am also realistic, that is why when I hear a noise at night, I do not take turns with my wife to go out and check what it is. Security is my responsibility in the home.
If Ms Tuitui is smart, she will see the difficult position that she has been put into an resign immediately before it is too late. She surely does not want a black mark on her excellent CV and mark my words this job at the Electoral Commission is bound to produce just that for her. She needs to seek advice from close friends as well who if they love her will tell her that this appointment is not about qualifications but more about temperament and it is the kind of assignment where one needs many months of preparation at the very least to handle what is coming later this year. Instead the poor lady has been put in suicidal position to say the least. And to make matters worse, the outburst this afternoon demonstrated clearly that the good lady is far from being prepared to handle the mother of all general elections.
Tutui, 49, is a Managing Partner with Cootow and Associates Advocates and Head of Conveyance, Corporate Law, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Division. She attended the University of Nairobi between 1979-1982, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree. Between 1982 and 1983, Tutui was at the Kenya School of Law where she obtained a postgraduate diploma in Legal Education Service. She was admitted to the roll of Advocates in 1983 and as a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London in 2005.