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Omtata: Save IEBC from MPs

By Geoffrey Mosoku | Published Mon, April 30th 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 29th 2018 at 22:06 GMT +3
Activist Okiya Omtata
Activist Okiya Omtata

Activist Okiya Omtata now wants the High Court to block Parliament from disbanding the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) following resignation of three commissioners.

In a case filed last Friday, Mr Omtatah further wants IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye protected by the courts.

“The remaining three IEBC commissioners cannot be lawfully removed from office since none of them has done anything to meet the threshold for removal of commissioners set in Article 251(1) of the Constitution,” Omtatah argued.

The petition filed against the commission, the National Assembly and the Attorney General, is seeking to restrain MPs from disbanding IEBC or interfering in its operations.

Withdraw security

Omtatah also wants the court to stop MPs or any other persons from harassing the commissioners by withdrawing their security or any other benefits that come with their office.

The activist says Chebukati, Molu and Guliye have a right to be protected pursuant to Article 236 of the Constitution, adding that there is no law that stipulates they must follow in the steps of colleagues who chose to resign.

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There have been calls for the three to vacate office to pave way for a new team. Jubilee MPs have even threatened to institute proceedings to remove them from office if they do not resign.

But Omtatah claims there is a conspiracy to frustrate an ongoing internal audit at the electoral commission. He says the exit of Chebukati, Molu and Guliye will allow for the cover-up of misdeeds because a new commission will not be under any obligation to carry out the audit.

Justice Chacha Mwita directed that the parties to the suit be served within one week and also appear before him on May 9 for directions.

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