With little time remaining and so much happening can Chebukati and team hold free and fair election?
Aside from him and two other commissioners Prof Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu, the commission is different from the one which was heavily indicted by the Supreme Court for its failure to hold a free and fair election. The team has four new commissioners - Juliana Cherera (vice-chairperson), Irene Masit, Justus Nyang'aya and Francis Wanderi. Ezra Chiloba is long gone and has been replaced by Hussein Marjan as Chief Executive Officer.
Yet with all the changes in the commission, IEBC is still the same. Like in 2017 when the former commissioner Dr Roselyn Akombe described Chebukati as a man under siege, the chairperson is feeling the walls close in around him as the election comes into sight and the commission falters towards it.
Chebukati is scrambling to put out the little fires in the commission, some of which could become an inferno, which if not neutered early, could consume it and the country.
IEBC is expected to take a second delivery of ballot papers today as it scrambles behind the scenes to settle the matter involving some employees from Smartmatic - the company contracted to supply the election technology, who were arrested. Three Venezuelans were arrested with electronic kits identification stickers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Director Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti. David Njaaga, Standard]
According to IEBC, the evaluation committee had not included those details in the checks about Smartmatic and the commission was unaware when it awarded the tender.
"I rely on the evaluation committee after they do the due diligence and provide me with the report. Therefore, these are things that I was not even aware of," Marjan said.
IEBC has had a slew of excuses over why it left it delayed procurement of critical supplies for the election, citing external factors such as a budget that was provided too late.
The first batch of the 132,722,748 ballot papers to be used in the August General Election arrived in the country on Thursday, July 7. The news seemed to catch some of the commissioners off guard. They said they were not aware that the commission was taking delivery of ballot papers from Greece.
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