Chebukati - Supreme Court has vindicated me

IEBC chairman and other commissioners

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati addresses journalists at Anniversary Towers, Nairobi, after the Supreme Court upheld the election of President-elect William Ruto as Kenya's fifth president on September 5, 2022.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru I Nation Media Group

Electoral boss Wafula Chebukati has said the decision of the Supreme Court to uphold the win of President-elect William Ruto has vindicated him.

"The IEBC is finally vindicated. We look forward to the full judgment of the Supreme Court as well as feedback from our stakeholders during the post-election evaluation exercise which will inform areas of improvement in the electoral process,” he said.

Speaking to journalists hours after Chief Justice Martha Koome issued the court's decision, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair said the agency endured intimidation, torture and even death in the line of duty. 

"Abuse of IEBC staff reached unimaginable heights. Apart from the two deaths, there was unwarranted arrest, abduction and torturing by people," he said. 

The IEBC boss also cited incidents such as breaking into offices of senior staff, ethnic profiling and cyber bullying as some of the things his team went through while carrying out their mandate. 

He also reiterated that IEBC had robust and transparent election infrastructure to ensure that votes cast in the August poll were counted, electronically transmitted, verified, tallied, announced and declared in line with Articles 81 and 86 of the Constitution.

"The election is a process not an event. Therefore, the Supreme Court judgment today is testimony that the Commission conducted a free, fair, transparent and credible General Election that met the democratic aspirations of the people of Kenya,” said Mr Chebukati.

Mr Chebukati had on August 15, six days after the General Election, declared Dr Ruto as the president-elect after he garnered 7,176,141 million votes (50.49 percent) against Mr Odinga's 6,942,930 million votes (48.85 percent). This result was disputed by the Azimio leader who termed Mr Chebukati's declaration "null and void". 

However, the Supreme Court today rapped Mr Chebukati for claiming exclusive authority to verify and tally presidential election results as received at the national tallying centre. CJ Koome argued that exclusion of other members of the commission in the tallying and verification process is contrary to and inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution.

“Having considered all parties’ submissions, we find that, pursuant to Article 138 (3)(c) of the Constitution, the power to verify and tally presidential election results as received at the national tallying centre, vests not in the chairperson of IEBC but in the Commission itself,” she said. 

See our other coverage of today's events below: