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NASA sues electoral agency over poll officials transfer

By Kamau Muthoni | Published Fri, May 19th 2017 at 00:00, Updated May 18th 2017 at 22:23 GMT +3
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. (Photo: Boniface Okendo, Standard)

The National Super Alliance has opened a legal battle with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over appointment and transfer of constituency and county returning officers.

The Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka-led Opposition in its suit filed Thursday argues IEBC is breaking the law as it never consulted them when making the decision.

Through lawyer Evans Otieno, NASA complained there would be no fair elections come August 8 if the Wafula Chebukati-led commission would be allowed to unilaterally decide where the officers go.

"It is in the interest of justice that this application is heard expeditiously to allow the applicant and the people of Kenya have an electoral process that is overseen by independent, credible personnel who have the confidence of all players in the process," the court papers filed Thursday read.

The commission reshuffled returning officers a week ago and scrapped the position of regional coordinator. It instead appointed 47 county managers.

In the changes, all the 290 constituencies got new returning officers.

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IEBC's 17 regional coordinators were retained as election managers. Another 30 officials were promoted to make the 47 county managers.

IEBC insists no returning officer would be posted to their earlier work station and they should not serve in their home areas.

The agency said the move was to avoid cases political influence.