The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Body's (IEBC) future seems dismal as the Kenya Kwanza Alliance plans to remove four of its commissioners from office and Raila Odinga's Azimio wants to dissolve the entire commission.
IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera, Commissioners Justus Nyangaya, Francis Wanderi, and Irine Masit have been asked to resign from their positions by the Farmers Party, a group linked with Kenya Kwanza, on grounds of flagrant constitutional violations and breaches of oath.
Raila Odinga, the leader of the Azimio party, has set 2024 as the date for the establishment of a new commission, three years before the 2027 general election, as well as for reforms like the adoption of pure manual voting and results transmission as opposed to the current mix of manual and electronic transmission of results.
The six-year terms of IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, Commissioners Abdi Guliye, and Commissioner Boya Molu are scheduled to end in early 2019; however, the "rebel" commissioners Cherera, Nyangaya, Wanderi, and Masit, who took office in September of last year, were expected to continue in their positions until September 2027.
Speaking to the Azimio Parliamentary Group on Friday at the Stony Athi retreat in Athi River, Machakos County, Raila claimed that his coalition had lost the August 9 General Election due to fraud at the polls and during the transmission stage after the process had been tampered with by outside forces.
"In our proposed reforms of the IEBC, we will be looking at the roles of Presiding Officers who play a crucial role in announcing results that cannot even be changed by the IEBC Chairman yet they are employed on temporary terms and poorly paid making them vulnerable to manipulation by the political class," he said.
At his inauguration, President William Ruto heaped praise on the IEBC for carrying out its duties "under trying conditions," singling out Chebukati for "resisting bribes and intimidation" to declare the results as mandated by the Constitution.
"I commend IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and name him the hero of this election for rejecting threats and intimidation to pervert the will of the people," added Ruto.
The four IEBC Commissioners will be held accountable for their acts since they could have sparked anarchy, according to Garissa Township MP Aden Duale, even if they accepted the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement.
"The four Commissioners cannot be allowed to walk away scot-free; they will be subjected to due process. The four Commissioners will be held liable for every action they took immediately after the election results were declared; their activities could have set the country on fire." Duale said.
After the Supreme Court supported President Ruto's triumph, the opposing commissioners had no choice but to swallow their pride.
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