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Muhuri activist Khelef wants Chebukati jailed for six months, barred from office

By Patrick Vidija | Sep 28th 2021 | 2 min read

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

An activist has filed a motion of notice to institute contempt of court proceedings against IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

In the notice dated September 27, Director at Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) Khelef Khalifa avers Chebukati has continued to disobey Orders issued by the Supreme Court of Kenya compelling him to open IEBC servers following the disputed 2017 general election.

Khalifa said, as a result, the court should issue summons to Chebukati to show cause why he should not be committed to jail or penalised for contempt of court.

He swears that there are in force orders issued on the 28th August 2017 by the Supreme Court of Kenya directing that an ICT Officer designated by the Court and two independent IT experts appointed by the court to supervise access to the technology including servers, held by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for the 2017 presidential elections.

“The said Orders were served upon the Returning Officer of the Presidential Elections, Mr. Wafula Chebukati who was a party to the Petition therein before the Supreme Court,” he said.

Khalifa argues that in direct violation of the court orders, Chebukati as the Presiding Officer of the Presidential Elections has refused and willfully disobeyed the orders and denied the parties and the Kenyan people access to the technology and particularly the servers used in the presidential elections whose results were subject to Petition No. 1 of 2017 before the Supreme Court of Kenya.

In 2017, the Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru Kenyatta's re-election.

Former Chief Justice David Maraga said the Chebukati-led IEBC committed various illegalities that affected the integrity of the polls.

The six-judge bench upheld a petition filed by then NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka.

Among the orders that were given was for IEBC to conduct a fresh presidential election with 60 days and open its servers to both parties.

As a result, Khalifa said Chebukati is acting in continued violation of the Orders of the Supreme Court while still holding a public office which is incompatible with the provisions of Articles 73 and 75 of the Constitution.

The activist said, to preserve the dignity of the court and inviolability of the judicial process, it is imperative that his application is heard forthwith and in particular and that Chebukati be immediately committed to civil jail for six months for being in violation of the said orders.

“Mr Wafula Chebukati must be committed to jail for six months or penalised on such terms as the Honourable Court may determine, for contempt of court for having deliberately disobeyed orders of the Supreme Court of Kenya issued on the 28th August 2017,” prayed Khalifa.

He said in the alternative, Chebukati should be barred from continuing to act or hold office as Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission for such duration that he shall continue to be in continued violation and breach of the 2017 orders.

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