IEBC sued over postponing elections

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and vice chairperson Juliana Cherera when they verified results at the Bomas of Kenya.

Pressure is mounting on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct postponed elections on 23rd.

The commission has now been sued a third time in a bid to have the Wafula Chebukati-led commission reverse his decision to postpone gubernatorial elections in Kakamega and Mombasa counties.

Kenya Human Rights Commission in its case filed before the High Court in Nairobi argues that the commission has no powers to postpone elections without the involvement of courts.

According to KHRC, the reasons given by Chebukati are not grave enough to warrant the indefinite postponement.

It argues that the decision is to disenfranchise voters who were expected to vote for their preferred candidates.

Chebukati initially postponed the elections in the two counties over ballot papers errors.

IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said ballot papers for gubernatorial positions had errors, including wrong pictures for the candidates and details.

Chebukati also announced on August 8 that the ballot paper details for Kacheliba and Pokot South Constituencies also had wrong details.

He then pushed the elections further citing intimidation of IEBC officers among other reasons.

However, the human rights lobby argues that those living in the affected areas will not get the services they deserve adding that it was a drastic action.

“County governments in those affected areas are in unnecessary limbo as the outgoing county governors are unable to carry out their mandate precipitated by the constitutional crisis with the result of the members of the public in the affected areas shall be deprived of their constitutional mandate to access public services,” court papers filed on behalf of KHRC by Kelly Malenya, Edmond Shikoli and Cyril Kubai read in part.

Already Chebukati has been dragged to court by three Mombasa residents who are seeking orders that he should stick to the earlier date or be ordered to have an election on a date before the 30th.

Thani Mohamed, Moses Aran and Kevin Nzuki claim that the commission’s chair had not indicated that there is a breach of peace in Mombasa before postponing the date.

Their lawyer Willis Oluga argues that it would be illegal to allow the outgoing governor to continue at the helm beyond the legal limits.

According to them, the move by Chebukati was to achieve ulterior motives.

Meanwhile, Azimio la Umoja gubernatorial candidate Fernandes Barasa and his running-mate Ayub Savula have filed a separate case over the Kakamega gubernatorial contest. They want the court to order IEBC to carry out the election next week.