Political rivals renew public spat over IEBC commissioners

National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee recommended that the President forms a tribunal to investigate then embattled commissioners after hearing four petitions seeking their removal from office. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

President William Ruto and Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga have intensified public spat on social media over the planned ouster of the four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners.

Over the weekend, Ruto and Raila traded accusations on social media over the formation of a tribunal to investigate the conduct of  the embattled IEBC commissioners Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi, during the August 9 General Election. 

Recently, the president and Azimio leader also traded harsh words on Twitter over the embattled IEBC commissioners.

The National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee recommended that the President forms a tribunal to investigate then embattled commissioners after hearing four petitions seeking their removal from office.

On Friday, Ruto suspended the four commissioners and formed a tribunal led by Justice Aggrey Muchelule to investigate their conduct.

In a rejoinder, Raila announced two public rallies on December 7 and 12 to protest the planned ouster of the four commissioners.

Ruto took to his Twitter handle on Saturday night accusing the opposition leader of planning a coup to overturn the will of the people.

“Even with the system/deep state, you lost the election. Stop deluding yourself and lying. The coup to overturn the people’s will using rogue commissioners, you are now threatening us with (maandamano) demonstrations about, failed (sic),” he tweeted.

“Their (the three commissioners') guilt or innocence will be determined by the tribunal. Rule of law it is.” Less than an hour later, the ODM leader responded to the President by sharing a clip of him (Ruto) addressing the Press in 2007. “Usijifanye leo hii kwamba umesahau (do not pretend today that you have forgotten) when the shoe was firmly on the other foot. Let me just leave this here,” Raila tweeted.

In the video, President Ruto was then a member of Raila's ODM party in the run-up to the 2007 elections that saw the late former President Mwai Kibaki face stiff competition from one of his ministers, Raila.

“In Juja, the total number of votes is 85,000 the President has 100,000. This means 15,000 people voted for the president only and walked away, as ODM what we are saying is that we want the commission to announce results that are authentic with supporting documents...” Ruto is heard saying during the ODM presser.

Speaking in Embu, yesterday, Ruto vowed to firmly deal with the opposition supporters should they loot or destroy businesses and property of other Kenyans during demonstrations.

"I have instructed the Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government Kindiki Kithure to demand the schedule of the protests so that men in uniform may protect property and businesses from being looted during the demonstrations," he said.

The President accused Raila of using the protests to derail government agenda. But speaking in Utawala after church service, Raila said he will go on with the protests.

By Agencies Jan. 27, 2023
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