I join with the many Kenyans of good will, in offering my unreserved condolences to the immediate family, friends and professional colleagues of the Chairman of our defunct, (former)Electoral Commission, Mr Samuel Kivuitu-now departed from our midst; just one week away to yet another historic election in Kenya;
I have personally known Mr Kivuitu well enough, particularly because of the enormous responsibility history bestowed on him to be the chief steward of our national elections during some very difficult times in our history; dating back to those difficult final days of the single party era in the 1990s, right up to the indelible events of the 2007 elections;
In my considered assessment, Mr Kivuitu was a forthright man who often spoke his mind, without fear or favour. Many are those who may have misunderstood him, but he certainly sheparded over our previous elections from 1997; in 2002 and in 2007), arguably, under some of the most difficult times politically; trying in that role, to negotiate the delicate transition from the tyrannies associated with the past that so many Kenyans are familiar with, through to the challenges of the multiparty era;
I do know for a fact that Mr Kivuitu did not hesitate to speak his mind about the problems we faced, even as we embarked on the 2007 elections, particularly when it came to the controversial appointment of the Electoral Commission in a manner that most flagrantly violated the Inter-Parties Political Agreement (IPPG) spirit as had been negotiated prior to the 1997 elections;
How nice-it would have been, had God extended Mr Kivuitu’s life a little longer, just to witness the new transition that we are all expecting during the forthcoming 2013 on March 4th, under a brand new Kenyan Constitution and new electoral laws!
In all, I have no doubt that Mr Kivuitu rendered most valuable service to our nation and made enormous personal sacrifices; including of health to steer the elections. Indeed, there is no doubt that his tenure at the Electoral Commission offers important lessons for all of us in Kenya, and we do certainly pray that his soul rests in eternal peace. May his family have the courage and fortitude to bear their loss during this very difficult time.
The Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga, EGH; Prime Minister,