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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CAUSES AND PATTERNS OF ELECTORAL FRAUD IN KENYA

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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CAUSES AND PATTERNS OF ELECTORAL FRAUD IN KENYA

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the study

Participating in elections is a fundamental right of individuals and forms the cornerstone of a democratic system. The enduring presence of electoral fraud, criminality, and the godfatherism syndrome poses a significant challenge to politics, not only within the Mombasa but throughout the Kenyan political landscape. When wrongdoing persists without opposition for an extended period, it transforms into a norm, culture, and tradition.

However, as argued by Kaasi (2019), the alarming, unethical, immoral, criminal, and manipulative electoral processes in Kenya, if left unchallenged, have the potential to evolve into a tradition and culture. This would result in individuals seeking public office through flawed, manipulative, and dubious processes, justifying their actions through deceptive, minimal, and sporadic accomplishments or through political settlements. Such a norm, culture, and tradition would institutionalize injustice and foster the belief that the end justifies the means, ultimately leading to a collapse of anything civil, legal, ethical, and just. This scenario would cultivate a perception of a politically unprincipled populace devoid of values and morality.

Furthermore, the prevalence of electoral fraud: criminality, audacity, desperation, and the relentless pursuit of power by any means have significantly damaged Kenya's reputation in the international community and could potentially permanently stain the country's national image. According to Obasi (2019), numerous instances of electoral malpractices, characterized by evil and debasing actions, have contributed to this unfavorable state of affairs. Also, Riker (2019), Lehoucq (2018) describes voting as a fundamental social choice challenge, addressing the difficulty of translating preferences into outcomes when individuals cast their votes, and these votes are converted into seat allocations.

Naturally, the regulations governing voting are likely to be contentious among different stakeholders, whether concerning methods of seat allocation (such as winner-takes-all versus proportional representation) or specific aspects of administration and vote tallying (such as whether legislatures or commissions should certify winners).

However, severe mismanagement and manipulation of elections worsen these challenges, obstructing citizens' preferences and resulting in destabilizing consequences like protests and violence. Additionally, such actions undermine democratic institutions, jeopardizing elections as a means for principals to appropriately endorse agents. Consequently, electoral fraud impedes democratization efforts and reverses democratic progress by posing a threat to political and economic advancement.

Furthermore, despite electoral fraud detrimental impacts, fraud remains inadequately explored in political science, particularly concerning its connection to the preceding voting process and its harmful post-election effects. Scholarly perspectives on the origins and characteristics of rigging lack comprehensive theorization, and gathering data from "third wave" democracies, such as those in Africa, proves challenging. Furthermore, there is ambiguity surrounding the definition of fraud and how to quantify it. The term "fraud" encompasses various activities, including attempts to artificially inflate voter registries, violations of electoral laws, traditional acts like the "stuffing and burning" of ballots, vote-buying, or exerting undue influence over electoral commissions (Alvarez, Hall, and Hyde 2018; Lehoucq 2016).

Similarly, African elections, in particular, have not been closely examined, despite many countries experiencing questionable contests. Allegations of fraud are consistently raised against figures like Robert Mugabe in successive electoral rounds in Zimbabwe (Makumbe 2016), as well as in Ethiopia (Harbeson 2015) and Nigeria (Berber and Scacco 2019).

Furthermore, bribery played a central role in fraudulent activities during the nineteenth century in African countries (Hanham, 2015). Despite the enactment of the 1832 Reform Bill, which prohibited many districts with a minimal number of registered voters, influential figures in Kenya leveraged their parliamentary power to sustain what became known as "rotten boroughs.". Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess the causes and patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya.

Statement of the problem

The electoral sphere in Kenya has been tainted by recurrent occurrences of electoral fraud, posing a threat to the foundational democratic principles of the nation. However, there have been several endeavors to improve electoral systems and procedures, accusations of irregularities persist, casting doubt on the legitimacy of election results. This issue is complex and necessitates a thorough examination to identify the structures and mechanisms that facilitate electoral fraud in Kenya.

Furthermore, critical factors contributing to this problem encompass the manipulation of voter registration procedures, ballot manipulation, intimidation of voters, and the compromise of electronic voting systems. Additionally, concerns regarding the autonomy and efficacy of electoral institutions, such as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), significantly influence the fairness of the electoral process. Grasping the systemic nature of these challenges is essential for developing recommendations based on evidence that can enhance the integrity of future elections in Kenya. It is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess the causes and patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The main purpose of this study is on an assessment of the causes and patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya. Specifically, the study will;

  1. Determine the prevalence of electoral fraud during 2022 presidential election in Kenya.

  2. Assess the causes of electoral fraud presidential election in Kenya.

  3. Investigate on the patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya presidential election in Kenya.

  4. Assess the impact of electoral on the credibility of 2022 presidential election in Kenya.

1.4 Research questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. To what extent was electoral fraud prevalent during the 2022 presidential election in Kenya?

  2. What are the factors contributing to electoral fraud in the presidential election in Kenya?

  3. What patterns of electoral fraud can be identified in the 2022 presidential election in Kenya?

  4. How does electoral fraud impact the credibility of the 2022 presidential election in Kenya?

1.4 Significance of the study

An assessment of the causes and patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya will be revealed to the government at various level, NGOs, politicians, electoral bodies, media houses and resident in the study. Also, NGOs focused on democracy and governance can use research findings to advocate for electoral reforms and promote fair and transparent electoral practices. Furthermore, this research will be inform political candidates and parties about potential challenges, allowing them to address issues and maintain confidence in the democratic process. Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regards to an assessment of the causes and patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on an assessment of the causes and patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya. Theoretically, this study will determine the prevalence of electoral fraud during 2022 presidential election in Kenya, assess the causes of electoral fraud presidential election in Kenya, investigate on the patterns of electoral fraud in Kenya presidential election in Kenya and assess the impact of electoral on the credibility of 2022 presidential election in Kenya.

Geographically, the study will be delimited to people in Mombasa, Kenya.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.

In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.

More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

In quest of carrying out this research work the researcher was not able to carry out this work in a more conclusive standard due to the following limitation.

1.9 Definition of terms

Elections: refers to the process and means through which the electorates choose their representatives into government positions (Nwankwo, 2012). Osumah and Aghemelo (2010), they see election as process through which the people chose their leaders, indicate their policies and programme preference, and consequently invest in a government with authority to rule.

Electoral Fraud: refers to situation where elections fell far short of basic international and regional standards for democratic elections.


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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