Makau Mutua on Raila election loss: Chebukati can't conduct polls as an individual

Makau Mutua addressing journalists at the Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on June 4, 2022. [Esther Jeruto, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja's presidential campaign secretariat spokesperson Makau Mutua says IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati ought to have struck a consensus before releasing the presidential poll results on Monday.

This is after William Ruto's presidential election win drew divisions within the commission.

Four IEBC commissioners, including the vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera, said they "could not take ownership" of the results because Chebukati had secluded them during the final stages of the vote tallying.

The results eventually released by Chebukati indicated that Ruto garnered 7.18 million votes (50.49 per cent) against Odinga's 6.94 million (48.85 per cent).

Odinga has since protested the results, saying he'll file a petition at the Supreme Court of Kenya.

Just before Chebukati announced the outcome on Monday, four commissioners Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang'aya addressed a press conference at Serena Hotel, saying they were disputing some 142,000 votes allegedly added to the final tally in unclear circumstances.

Odinga, in his address on Tuesday, said Chebukati should have embraced dialogue before releasing the results.

His remarks have been echoed by his campaign spokesperson Makau Mutua.

"Chebukati should not be a dictator. The law is clear on what he can do and what he can't do. He can't conduct the election as an individual. It's the IEBC, which comprises all the commissioners, that oversees the election. Chebukati's only key function is to announce the results processed by the commission," Mutua said on Thursday, August 18, when he was hosted on Spice FM.

"The IEBC commissioners are seven in number. The odd number is to allow for a majority versus minority decision should there be a dispute. If that happens, the majority decision should carry the day," he said.

Prof Mutua said he is confident that Azimio will win the court battle that they've lodged at the Supreme Court.

"I urge our supporters to remain calm as our legal team takes up the case."

Commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye stuck to Chebukati's side of the divided electoral board.

Second Schedule, Section 8, Act No. 1 of 2017 of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act says: "Unless a unanimous decision is reached, a decision on any matter before the Commission shall be by a majority of the members present and voting."