Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission chiefs turned away for failing to submit final poll tally

By Geoffrey Mosoku

Nairobi, Kenya: A meeting between the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) and MPs failed to take place Tuesday when the commission turned up in parliament without required documents.

The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee had summoned the Isaack Hassan led commission to explain why they had delayed in releasing the final results of the 2013 polls.

This followed a question raised on the floor of the house last month by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa who said the delay had affected the disbursement of the political parties’ fund.

On 3rd July, the clerk of National Assembly wrote to IEBC asking them to furnish the committee with an explanation on the delay and the final computed results.

However Tuesday, Hassan, CEO James Oswago and Director legal affairs Praxedes Tororey arrived at continental house lacking without any written reply.

Hassan had just began making introductory marks when he told the committee that they did not bring the answer sought as it will be ready by Thursday.

Committee chairman Samuel Chepkonga interrupted Hassan and told IEBC to leave the meeting room and return on Thursday at 10am with the final results in line with the request made by the MPS.

“It’s going to be difficult to conduct this meeting without a written response to the question,” Chepkonga said before announcing the adjournment of the meeting and directed the commission to come with the results.

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati ion a point of order wanted the Hassan and his team to confirm to the MPs reports that the IEBC was divided down the middle over the fate of the results.

“Mr. Chairman before they leave, can the chairman confirm to this committee reports we have that actually the report was  ready but they could not bring it after some of their colleagues refused to pend their signatures?” Arati queried.

However, Chepkonga overruled him saying the IEBC cannot engage with parliament unless they comply with their order to furnish the committee with those details.

Angry MPs later accused the commission of impunity and inefficiency by deliberately failing to comply with parliament instructions.

Under the house rules, a ministry of independent commission is supposed to reply to inquiries raised in parliament within seven days of receiving the written inquiry.

“What Hassan and hgis people are forgetting is that the committee of parliament is equivalent to high court and can summon them and institute charges against them,” Wamalwa who is not the Justice and Legal Affairs committee member but had been invited by virtue of having raised the question told reporters.

He also said MPs can use this case as a perfect excuse to pass a vote of no confidence and have the entire commission disbanded.

“This matter of failing to release the computation of the final results has caused distress to political parties which cannot get funding,” Wamalwa, who is the opposition deputy Chief Whip said.