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Opinion: Chebukati must take responsibility for poll fiasco

By Kethi Kilonzo | Published Sun, September 10th 2017 at 00:00, Updated September 9th 2017 at 17:30 GMT +3
The Supreme Court of Kenya Photo:Courtesy

On August 24 you signed an affidavit which was presented to the Supreme Court by your commission defending your declaration of the winner of the presidential elections of August 8.

You signed that affidavit in two capacities: as the Chairman of the Commission and, as the returning officer of the presidential elections.

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In paragraph 7 of your affidavit you informed the judges of the Supreme Court that Form 34As were transmitted through KIEMS kits after being scanned. In paragraph 8 you stated that the Presiding Officers in the 40,833 polling stations were required to scan and electronically transmit the original forms 34A to the constituency and national tallying centres.

In paragraph 17 you stated that the KIEMS kits were successfully deployed and never failed. Accordingly, no single activity in the tallying, verification and declaration of presidential results was done haphazardly.

In paragraph 10.8 you stated that the tallying, verification and declaration of presidential results at the constituency and national tallying centre had complied with the Court of Appeal decision between IEBC and Maina Kiai and others.

In paragraph 9 you assured the judges that the procurement of election materials by the secretariat of the Commission was done in a transparent and timely manner. In your affidavit you take responsibility as chairperson of IEBC for the Commission’s policy leadership and strategic direction.

You stated that you had ensured that the electoral system was accountable, efficient, systematic and methodical. Chairman, because of your sworn testimony before the highest court in the land, and which was so vigorously defended by your advocates for days, no one should buy into your memo.

First, because a “confidential” memo should not so easily find its way into every social media device and desk in the country. Second, your memo was written four days after the Supreme Court declared that the presidential elections conducted under your watch did not meet the bill.

Third, it was written 11 days after your stoic affidavit. Fourth, because you engaged advocates, whose cost will be met by taxpayers, to robustly, defend you as the returning officer of the presidential elections.

Fifth, because of the events of August 11, the date you made your declaration. On that day at 7pm your Chief Executive Officer announced that the Commissioners would meet the chief agents of all presidential candidates at 7:15pm and following which you would declare the results of the presidential election at 7:30pm.

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 At 7:30pm the chief agent of NASA’s presidential candidate, accompanied by other members of his coalition, addressed the Press stating that they had put questions and requests to your Commission which had not been responded to.

The night of August 11 was the correct time that you should have asked the questions that you now seek for answers. You closed the door to the questions of the credibility of the conduct of the presidential elections raised by the NASA coalition; it wasn’t your Chief Executive Officer who made that decision. You, not your Chief Executive Officer, must take responsibility for that decision.

 


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