Police tear-gas protesters against the ouster of IEBC's Ruth Kulundu

 Ruaraka MP Tom Kajwang with a section of Bunge la Mwananchi members during the march to IEBC headquarters. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Police Monday, September 26, lobbed teargas to disperse Azimio la Umoja legislators and activists protesting the interdiction of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Ruth Kulundu.

Kulundu, who is in charge of IEBC operations, is said to have been interdicted at a plenary meeting of three commissioners, including Chairman Wafula Chebukati for, among others, gross misconduct and insubordination.

News of her interdiction was revealed Wednesday by Azimio allied MPs during a media briefing at Safari Park hotel, Nairobi, where the legislators were attending the 13th Parliament induction workshop.

MPs Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka), Amos Mwago (Starehe), Imran Okoth (Kibra), Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West) and Vihiga Senator-elect Godfrey Otsotsi were dispersed by the police after the commission chained its gates to keep the protestors out.

The legislators, however, gave IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati a 24-hour ultimatum to reinstate Kulundu, failure to which, they will take action against him and CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan, including pressing for their removal from office.

According to Kajwang, Kulundu’s interdiction was unconstitutional, calling on the IEBC to accord Kulundu a fair hearing before calling for her dismissal.

“Assuming this [interdiction] is a genuine disciplinary matter, there is an elaborate procedure for how such matters should be handled,” said Kajwang.

They demanded the commission to call to order the Commission’s CEO, Marjan Hussein Marjan, and demonstrate to Kenyans and the world that he [Marjan] shall live by the values of the public service.

“Failure to that, we shall demand that he relinquish his position, before the commencement of the boundaries review exercise or conduction of pending by-elections,” said Kajwang.

IEBC Vice-Chair Juliana Cherera, and Commissioners Irene Masit, Justus Nyangaya and Francis Wanderi broke ranks with Chebukati, questioning the manner in which presidential results were being verified.

In a rejoinder, however, Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu accused the quartet of having disowned the results after they failed in their attempts to influence the outcome.

The deputy CEO was linked to the four after she, at a breakaway plenary meeting of the four commissioners, questioned the decision to suspend elections in Mombasa and Kakamega.