Senate starts formal process to kick out four IEBC commissioners

Four IEBC Commissioners when they addressed the press on 15th August 2022. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

The process of kicking out the four dissenting electoral agency commissioners starts in Parliament today.

This is after the House approved the petition tabled by Nyandarua Senator John Methu to kick out Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) vice chairperson Juliana Cherera, commissioners Francis Wanderi, Justus Nyaganya and Irene Masit for allegedly sabotaging the August 9 elections.

The UDA senator said the four commissioners disowned the presidential election final tally announced by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, an act that Methu believed was meant to subvert the will of the people.

"Observing that their actions were a deliberate and concerted effort to subvert the sovereign will of the people through obstructing the constitutional mandate of the commission to conduct free, fair, transparent and verifiable elections, which go against their official duties and oaths of office," Methu said in a petition filed in the Senate last Friday.

The petition was featured in the Senate order paper yesterday but was set aside for debate today. It means the fate of the commissioners will now be in the hands of Parliament.

The future of the entire commission hangs in limbo as Chebukati and commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye are set to exit next year after the expiry of their six year term.

"It is notified that the Senate Business Committee has approved the following tentative business to appear on the Order Paper for Thursday, October 13, 2022," reads the order paper. Methu wants the Senate to institute reforms at the IEBC after the August 9 elections. "The Senate calls upon the IEBC to affect the legal, policy, and institutional reforms recommended by the Supreme Court ruling on the petition," Methu said.

He said the mandate of tallying and verification of votes is vested in the commission collectively and cannot be conducted with the exclusion of any member.

The order paper further that as a direct result of the conduct of the four, the country was plunged into a state of disquiet and uncertainty that resulted in questions being raised on the legitimacy and legality of the results.

"Noting that the four commissioners did not provide information or evidence to substantiate their accusations that the chair had compromised the process," he said.

Methu claimed the four attempted to defeat the sovereign will of the people espoused in Article 138(10) of the Constitution.

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