I will not be forced to quit by Jubilee, Commissioner Akombe declares

IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe arrives during the hearing of presidential Election petition at the Supreme court on Monday 28 August 2017.[Boniface Okendo,Standard]
In the run up to the August 8 General Election, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner Roselyne Akombe was the most visible face in the commission. She was always in the press briefing Kenyans on how prepared the commission was.

Some people even mistakenly thought she was Chair Wafula Chebukati’s deputy owing to her eloquence and firm grasp of matters elections.

But in the wake of the damning allegations at the Commission, the vocal Dr Akombe has taken a low profile. Akombe who also doubles as a senior advisor to the Under-Secretary General (Political Affairs) at the United Nations secretariat in New York, is now in a spot together with six other commissioners for overseeing a shambolic election.

According to a source, she is among three elections managers Jubilee Party wants out before fresh polls on October 17.  Dr Akombe was recently accused by Jubilee point men of being a National Super Alliance (NASA) mole and secretly meeting its flagbearer Raila Odinga.

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But in an interview with Sunday Standard, Akombe denied the allegations: “I have never met any politician over election issues after the Supreme Court ruling.

Near to the truth is my meeting with Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju.” She termed as propaganda screen shots of WhatsApp chats alleged to be between her and Siaya Senator James Orengo.

“I have never met the NASA leadership. I have met Tuju. Why is no one talking about my meeting with him? It’s a meeting I can publicly confirm because as far I am concerned, it was in the interest of the electoral process,” said Akombe. She has also dismissed rumours that she is planning to quit.

“I am not planning to tender my resignation. Now my focus is purely on a credible electoral process that will vindicate us,” she says.

The commissioner, who has kept a low profile since the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport incident where she was briefly detained before she travelled to the US, says all she wants is to deliver free, fair, credible and verifiable election.

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“When I signed up for this job, I knew what I was getting myself into. In the course of discharging my duties, I am cognizant of the fact that many will try to rattle me, but I have to do the right thing,” she says.

She has backed Chebukati’s ‘project team’ which was selected to replace Chiloba and his team. However, five other IEBC commissioners have rejected this team leading to a stand-off.

IEBCJubileeRoselyne Akombe