The electoral body Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein Marjan has disclosed that the four commissioners who disputed the August 9 presidential results, did so after their attempts to push for a run-off failed.
Appearing as a witness before the tribunal looking into the petition of removal of the four IEBC commissioners, Marjan gave his account of what transpired, stating that the entire process was smooth until the last stages of generating the form 34C. The tribunal is led by Justice Aggrey Muchelule.
Narrating events of August 15, Marjan said IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati came to him at noon asking when tallying will be completed. He said Chebukati told him to hasten the process because he wanted to declare the results on the said day.
At 3pm, Marjan had generated all results and convened with all commissioners at the boardroom at Bomas, only for a disagreement to ensue on whether they should announce the results as they were.
"The issue was that the 233,000 votes was too small and we needed to give them a second chance for them to go for a sort of a re-run," said Marjan.
Marjan explained that Chebukati said he would not do any alterations or moderation of the results and asked that those who agree with the results to join him as he declared them.
Joining Chebukati were Marjan, commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye.
"That's when we left the boardroom and the other commissioners were left behind. That was the only issue I had discussed there. Nothing more nothing less," said Marjan.
He said the results showed that UDA candidate William Ruto was ahead with around 233,000 votes but a section of commissioners argued that was a slim win and pushed the chairman to consider a run-off.
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However, it was not a smooth sail for Marjan as he appeared before the tribunal. Lawyer Donald Kipkorir put his task to authenticate his account by providing minutes of the meeting in the boardroom.
Marjan was also hard-pressed to explain his role and presence in the national tallying centre at Bomas yet he was not a commissioner.
Quoting the Supreme Court ruling that disclosed commissioners were assigned roles, not in their job description, Kipkorir pinned down the electoral agency CEO to explain why he was part of the process at Bomas.
"I was not involved in the verification. There was a team assigned that responsibility. I was the co-chair in the results management," said Marjan.
He defended himself arguing that the said responsibilities were given to him by Chebukati as he did the other commissioners.
Commissioner Irene Masit was assigned duties on security even though their core mandates were centred around tallying and verification of election results.
"The determination of who should be responsible for what is the responsibility of the chairman," said Marjan.
On the third day of the hearing proceedings against the suspended IEBC commissioner Irene Masit, another witness Yaya Apartments accommodation manager Simon Miller, also found himself in the crosshairs, after he released a CCTV footage allegedly showing Masit accessing the apartments at 8pm after the acrimonious day that saw her with three other commissioners denounce the final stages of the electoral process.
The manager said three other commissioners who disputed the Presidential outcome were checked into the building by a person identified as Edwin Ong'ong'a Ogwe and were booked into apartments 21, 23 and 27 on the day they distanced themselves from the election outcome.
Ogwe went to the apartments the following day, August 16, to pay for the rooms. The four commissioners are said to have checked out of Yaya Apartments and Hotel on August 19 at 3pm.
Miller detailed that the commissioners were frequented by top Azimio leadership including former Executive Director of Azimio Raphael Tuju.
However, Kipkorir's asked him whether he knew by name who stayed in apartment 21 and the manager answered he did not know.
But, Miller stated that even though the commissioners accessed the apartments, they did not provide their IDs at the reception when going in.
"When he (Ogwe) booked he said he was booking for some VIPs. He didn't give us the names," said Miller.
"So why are you saying these commissioners were going to that room? By the way, in all this list, is there the name of Irene Masit?" asked Kipkorir.
The lawyer pushed hard to clear his client's name saying there were no records showing she ever accessed the apartment. Miller countered saying his team, "was working that night and they identified her as Irene Masit."
Serena Hotel general manager also gave his witness account, as it emerged that Edwin Ogwe also paid for the press conferences held by the four commissioners at the hotel on August 15 and 16.
Despite being suspended, Masit is the only commissioner who has remained to face the tribunal storm after her three colleagues vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera, and commissioners Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi resigned.
The Muchelule tribunal will resume sittings on January 23 to 27 for more hearings.