Lawyer slams constitutional amendment on IEBC, calls for political independence

Lawyer Morris Kimuli. [Screengrab]

A Kenyan lawyer has challenged the need for a constitutional amendment on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), as proposed by the National Dialogue Committee.

Morris Kimuli, speaking on Spice FM on Wednesday, November 22, said the existing laws are adequate, but the interference and manipulation of the IEBC by those in power poses a challenge. 

Kimuli averred that IEBC commissioners should be allowed to exercise their roles independently, as law requires.

“In this country, we appoint good men and women but we want them to do things for us, things that were not done to us by the previous government. If they fail, we threaten them and their families,” he said.

“The problem is not the legal framework for putting the commissioners in office...the problem is the political faces that have dominated the political scenes,” he added.

The lawyer also opposed giving political parties more say in the recruitment of commissioners, as suggested by Raila’s Azimio la Umoja coalition, claiming this would lead to appointing people who would serve the interests of the parties, rather than the public.

“In this country, we believe that if I appoint someone I know or supports me then my plans and needs will be catered for. We have not matured our democracy to the level where systems work so well that you cannot manipulate them to favor you." 

He further argued that IEBC is an independent entity, and instead of changing the laws every now and then, leaders should respect its mandate and let it do its job without undue influence or control.

The committee is expected to present a report to President William Ruto soon.