Presidential poll marred by irregularities, Commissioner Irene Masit claims

IEBC Commissioner Irene Masit during a media briefing at Bomas of Kenya. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Commissioner Irene Masit of the electoral commission has claimed that the presidential election was marred with irregularities that denied them an opportunity to ascertain the winner.

Masit in her affidavit swore that IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati illegally declared Deputy President William Ruto as President-elect despite protest from majority commissioners that the process was opaque and unverifiable.

“Even the total percentage of the total votes casts as declared exceeded 100 per cent which glaringly demonstrates the irregular and erroneous unilateral computations by the chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” swore Masit.

According to the commissioner, the presidential election held on August 9 was marred by several instances that did not depict the transparency expected in a General Election, particularly on the part of the Chairman of IEBC.

She claimed that Chebukati blatantly arrogated to himself the full mandate of the commission of verifying election results thereby denying her and the other three commissioners an opportunity to exercise their duties thus rendering the final results a sham. Masit claimed the bungling of the presidential election begun way before the voting day when Chebukati started transferring some returning officers in total disregard of the IEBC policies that the officers cannot be redeployed until after five years.

“The conduct of the chairman through the entire electoral process was whimsical and solely intended to invalidate the presidential election by rendering the said results cloudy and in effect overthrow the constitution,” said Masit.

She claimed the presidential election could have also been affected by the postponement of elections in some areas and that the postponement could have been avoided if Chebukati and the commission’s CEO had facilitated a team to monitor the printing of ballot papers.

She claimed that the IEBC chairman in complete and deliberate disregard of the separate and discrete role and functions of the Commission and the chairman unilaterally proceeded to declare the final results of the presidential election without the tallying and verification of some areas.

“Chebukati refused to tally, verify, and announce the results from 27 constituencies whose outcome or count had an effect on the final result and outcome of the presidential election,” she swore.

She added that the presidential results declared by Chebukati were not arrived at in accordance with the constitutional requirements and are therefore unconstitutional, invalid, null, and void. According to the commissioner, there was a lack of transparency, accountability, verifiability, and efficiency at the National Tallying Centre which made her and three other commissioners walk out in protest.

“There was an unexplained and suspicious stoppage of the display of running results at the National Tallying Centre at the Bomas of Kenya on August 13 and it was only after we protested that they resumed the display when it was too late for us to audit what had been posted,” said Masit.

She added that none of the commissioners were allowed to see the final tally generated by Chebukati in Form 34C.