Wafula Wanyonyi Chebukati will tomorrow, Tuesday 17 January bow out of his office as the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Mr. Chebukati presided over the Commission during one of the most dynamic eras in Kenya's electoral politics. In 2017 he had a presidential election nullified by the Supreme Court even after he had declared one candidate the winner.
Wafula Wanyonyi Chebukati.
The outcome of the 2017 presidential election led to the resignation of four Commissioners of IEBC who blamed Chebukati for high-handedness and condoning corrupt practices. One of them, Rosemary Akombe accused the Chairman of being complicit in the demise of IT expert John Musando.
Chebukati and Commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye stayed put and were vilified for forming a cartel within IEBC. Professor Abdi Guliye headed the procurement department of IEBC putting him in the limelight as he handled billions that were often not accounted for given the confidentiality of IEBC operations.
Surprisingly once the Kenya Kwanza government took office IEBC was feted for "best procurement practices" In the Kenya Institute of Supply Management Awards 2022 Public Procurement Project of the Year category.
Vilified by many for alleged underhand dealings, Chebukati was nonetheless held as a hero by a few.
By his admission, Chebukati has said that the 9 August 2022 Elections faced the highest number of interference and manipulation by candidates for the results to favor them.
He is quoted in the Daily Nation of Monday 16 January 2023 saying that the state was also involved in the manipulation leading to the death of a returning officer.
Chebukati worked under a lot of duress being the umpire in a contest that is so emotive as politics often is. There was a likelihood that he could often be construed to take sides or favor one of the contestants.
Mr. Boya Molu, Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Prof. Abdi Guliye will tomorrow pocket KES 32.7 million as a send-off.
As he bows out of office he has called on President Ruto to set up a Commission to review the source of interference and manipulation of the 2022 election results to make IEBC a better, more efficient outfit. Together with Commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye, Chebukati will take home KES 32.7 million as a send-off package tomorrow. This is separate from their individual pension.
All these have made Kenyans wonder who really was Chebukati.
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