NASA MPs call for electoral reforms following IEBC resignations

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba at a past event. [File/Standard]
Two NASA allied MPs have called for the initiation of electoral law reforms following the resignation of three Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners.

Ayub Savula, the Lugari MP believes the resignation was a clear indication of lack of independence at the commission and that the three remaining commissioners should also resign.

With the exit of the commission's Vice Chair Nkatha Maina, Commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat, leaders now want a new team capable of working independently and with unity.

Following the resignation of three on Monday, the commission has no quorum to conduct any business. Under the IEBC Act, five commissioners are required to constitute a quorum.

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"The remaining three commissioners lack quorum and should follow suit and allow for a new well-constituted commission to be formed," said Mr Savula.

He added: "We were always right as NASA when we boycotted the repeat presidential election in October and called for electoral reform.”

The coalition through its presidential aspirant Raila Odinga boycotted the October 26 repeat poll calling for a review on the Wafula Chebukati team. Among those NASA wanted out the most was the IEBC chief officer, Ezra Chiloba who is serving a three-month compulsory leave.The commission fallout escalated further last week when Chebukati's decided to send Chiloba on compulsory leave.

"The Supreme Court had ruled that the August 8 election was not conducted well and the responsibility had fallen squarely on the IEBC team that refused to step down," said Savula.

The ANC party parliamentary grouping chairperson urged the relevant authorities to investigate the commission conduct and how procurement of election materials was done.

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"If there was mismanagement in the procurement process, those responsible should be surcharged and taken to court for wastage of public funds," said Savula.

Savula views were shared by Khwisero MP Christopher Aseka who said the commission functioning was compromised during the last general election.

"They should be held responsible for the bungled presidential election last year," said Aseka, as he called for sober mind when appointing new commissioners who will not behave and act as the Chebukati led team.

Meanwhile, the Anglican Church of Kenya Archbishop Josphat Ole Sapit has urged Parliament to move with speed and reconstitute a select team able to vet new commissioners capable of working in harmony.

"It leaves the country in a dilemma with a number of by-elections to be conducted but we pray that Parliament can speed up the process to form a new team," said Sapit.

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Speaking in Butere on Tuesday, the Anglican Church boss said there was need for electoral reforms that will enable future peaceful elections.

"The drafting and implementation of reforms will bring stability among IEBC commissioners and lawfully guarantee their independence," said Sapit.

The wrangles among the IEBC officials, Sapit said were brought about by external forces that included political witch-hunts that affected commission’s service delivery.

“We need a commission that is cohesive enough and one able to deliver services to Kenyans by not taking personal stand and interest, "said Sapit.

NASAIEBCelectoral reformswafula chebukati