The electoral body has been accused of neglecting its mandate of verifying voters’ signatures in an initiative that seeks to change the Constitution.
Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot has challenged Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati to explain why their push to trigger a popular initiative referendum appears to have stagnated.
“IEBC is being mischievous because they had published a timeline for the completion of the verification of signatures to be May 9 which has since passed. Before we presented the signatures, Chebukati was always in constant communication with us but ever since we presented them, he no longer cares,” said Dr Aukot.
Thirdway Alliance, through an initiative dubbed “Punguza Mizigo”, is seeking a constitutional review that will result in fewer MPs, reduced cost of running Parliament and more money sent to county governments.
To this end, the party submitted 1.4 million signatures to IEBC as the first move in a series of steps that, if successful, would see Kenyans vote in a referendum to accept or reject the proposed changes.
Aukot said the commission was “playing monkey business”, adding that they were considering seeking judicial redress to get the process moving as intended.
“We are looking at how we can take this issue forward and one of the options is to go to court and compel IEBC to take their constitutional mandate seriously.”
But IEBC Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager Tabitha Mutemi denied that the verification process had stalled.
Ms Mutemi told The Standard that the commission had requested the National Treasury for Sh20 million to undertake the verification exercise and they were waiting for a response.
“The commission received the ‘Punguza Mizigo’ documents and we are now mobilising resources to move to the next step. We will keep you updated on any further development,” she said.
Aukot, however, said IEBC did not need funds to run the names of those who signed the petition against the agency’s database of registered voters.
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