Dr Roselyn Akombe has resigned saying that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cannot be able to organise credible elections as is currently constituted.
In September, Akombe was in limelight after revealing that her life was in danger. But tracing her path since the appointment, it has been quite an experience for the commissioner.
In the run up to the August 8 General Election,IEBC the commissioner was the most visible face in the commission. She was always in the press briefing Kenyans on how prepared the commission was.
Some people even mistakenly thought she was Chair Wafula Chebukati’s deputy owing to her eloquence and firm grasp of matters elections. But in the wake of the damning allegations at the Commission, the vocal Dr Akombe took a low profile.
Akombe who also doubled as a senior advisor to the Under-Secretary General (Political Affairs) at the United Nations secretariat in New York, was in a spot together with six other commissioners for overseeing a shambolic election.
According to sources at the time, she was among three elections managers Jubilee Party wanted out before fresh polls on October 26th. Dr Akombe was accused by Jubilee point men of being a National Super Alliance (NASA) mole and secretly meeting its flagbearer Raila Odinga.
But in an interview with Sunday Standard, Akombe denied the allegations: “I have never met any politician over election issues after the Supreme Court ruling. Near to the truth is my meeting with Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju.” She termed as propaganda screen shots of WhatsApp chats alleged to be between her and Siaya Senator James Orengo.
“I have never met the NASA leadership. I have met Tuju. Why is no one talking about my meeting with him? It’s a meeting I can publicly confirm because as far I am concerned, it was in the interest of the electoral process,” said Akombe.
At the time she also dismissed rumours that she was planning to quit.
“I am not planning to tender my resignation. Now my focus is purely on a credible electoral process that will vindicate us,” she said.
The commissioner, who has kept a low profile since the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport incident where she was briefly detained before she travelled to the US, says all she wants is to deliver free, fair, credible and verifiable election.
“When I signed up for this job, I knew what I was getting myself into. In the course of discharging my duties, I am cognizant of the fact that many will try to rattle me, but I have to do the right thing,” she says.
In justifying her resignation, Dr Akombe said that the political environment had changed since the Supreme Court ruling that ordered the commission to hold repeat elections in 60 days.
“The current political conditions did not exist on the 1st of September when the order was issued.” She said.
“Our people are resilient. Our people are patient. What we are faced today is a political crisis that cannot be solved by the Commission alone. Let us solve the political crisis we have at hand and then chart the way forward towards a credible presidential election” She ends her letter
-additional information by Wesley Kipng’enoh
The original article was first published in our sister publication The Standard