Four IEBC commissioners hit out at Chebukati, dismiss poll run-off claims

IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera (centre) addresses members of the press at Serena Hotel in Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Four commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) have now accused its chair Wafula Chebukati of misconstruing his legal mandate and throwing the commission into disarray.

In a statement dated Friday, August 19, the four, namely Vice Chair Juliana Cherera and commissioners Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit, and Justus Nyang’aya dismissed Chebukati's statement earlier this week that they had attempted to force a run-off of the presidential election.

They now term the chairperson’s actions as ‘unlawful.’

“We wish to categorically state that from his statement, the chairman Mr Chebukati appears to have misconstrued his role and that of the commissioners and further misunderstood his Constitutional and legal mandate to verify results by the Commission to mean what he vaguely characterized as ‘moderation’ of those results,” they stated.

The IEBC commissioners further claimed they only requested a proper verification of the results be carried out and not to “moderate” the results as had been reported.

“The chairman went ahead to unilaterally declare the results without any plenary verification whatsoever by all the commissioners and/or their participation as mandated by the Constitution and electoral laws. His actions and conduct were unorthodox and turned the commission into a one-man show circus, in an attempt to subvert the Constitution, electoral laws, and the will of the people,” the four commissioners said.

They also accused Chebukati of ignoring their roles at the electoral agency.

On Wednesday, Chebukati broke his silence and shot back at the four for rejecting the presidential results, saying they wanted to force an election re-run.

The IEBC chair said after briefing the four on the results he was to announce, they asked him to moderate them so that the country could have a re-run of the presidential election.

He added that contrary to the four commissioners’ allegations of operating an opaque tallying and verification exercise, he had involved them in the process to a point that they were announcing the results of various constituencies as they were verified.