Kenyans should expect a bombshell on the management of this year’s presidential election if the insinuation by one of the embattled Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials is anything to go by.
Commissioner Irene Masit on Wednesday said despite mounting pressure, she will not quit until she clears her name.
“I’m not ready to quit and Kenyans should expect a bombshell during my appearance before the Justice Aggrey Muchelule-led tribunal,” she said.
Masit expressed fears for her security, saying her official vehicle, driver and bodyguard had not yet been reinstated despite directions by the tribunal chairperson.
The commissioner also faulted a section of the media for “unfairly” targeting her, citing a recent report of high-profile visits by politicians to the Yaya Apartments, where she was residing with the three former commissioners after their Serena Hotel press conference.
“You have seen some stories in the media about Azimio leaders visiting our apartment. This is part of the bigger agenda to target me because the report is factually inaccurate,” said Masit.
IEBC had booked Hermosa Hotel in Karen for the commissioners during the voting, tallying and announcement of results in the August 9 General Election.
“The four of us moved to Yaya Apartments in Kilimani for fear of our safety considering the sensitivity of the presidential election,” she said Wednesday.
The Muchelule tribunal had written to the management seeking information on whether the commissioners resided in their facilities over the election period. The tribunal also sought particulars of the people who made the bookings as well as the CCTV evidence.
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The general manager, Edna Fernades, confirmed that the four stayed at the apartment between August 15 and August 19, occupying three apartments.
“Four guests were identified as IEBC Commissioners and two went straight to the said apartments as one of the bodyguards and two other commissioners passed by the reception for the check process. They were, however, unwilling to provide their details, so we have saved the CCTV footage for ID and records,” the response went.
The management attached the booking records, including payments, vehicle movement, and their visitors. They also attached the CCTV footages of the delegations arrival at 8.36pm on August 15.
The management also disclosed that one Edwin Ogwe made the bookings for apartments 21, 23 and 27. A total of Sh320,550 was paid for the nights spent there in four M-Pesa batches of Sh31,000, Sh100,000, Sh100,000 and Sh89,550.
The information provided shows the commissioners were visited by a mix of people. While some are politicians, others were taxi drivers, caterers delivering food, lawyers and others simply listed as “private”.
The vehicles used by the visitors included Range Rover, Volkswagen Toureg, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Mercedes Benz and Toyota Vitz. Others came on foot.
“We were visited in that apartment by relatives, lawyers, friends and political operatives from both Azimio and Kenya Kwanza divides, and it is shocking that the media opted to leave out that information,” Marsit said Wednesday.
From the visitors' register supplied by the management, it is hard to tell the purpose of the visit or where the visitors came from, apart from a few notable names.
Trouble for Masit, former vice chair Juliana Cherera, and commissioners Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi began on August 15 when they walked out of the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya, disowning the results which were later announced by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.
The National Assembly had received four petitions by the Republican Liberty Party, Reverend Dennis Thumbi, Geoffrey Langat and Steve Owuor seeking the removal of the four from office for gross misconduct and violation of the Constitution.But Cherera, Nyang’aya and Wanderi opted to resign.