Francis Wanderi resigns as IEBC commissioner

Francis Wanderi

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Commissioner Francis Wanderi (center) briefs the media at the Bomas of Kenya on August 5, 2022.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Electoral commission top official Francis Wanderi has resigned, days after being suspended from office by President William Ruto. 

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)commissioner becomes the third of the four besieged commissioners who were set to face a tribunal on their conduct following a parliamentary vote and the formation of a Justice Aggrey Muchelule-led team.

Commissioner Justus Nyang’aya was the first to call it quits on Friday and Juliana Cherera resigned on Monday. 

Commissioner Irene Masit has stuck to her guns, with her lawyer Donald Kipkorir, saying she was ready to face the  Court of Appeal Judge Aggrey Muchelule-led tribunal.

The four commissioners rejected presidential elections results that saw Dr Ruto declared winner, saying the tail end verification and tallying process was "opaque."

In his letter of resignation to President Ruto, Commissioner Wanderi defended their actions, accusing chairman Wafula Chebukati of "high handedness, dictatorial mannerisms and devoid of principles of good corporate governance."

By resigning, Mr Wanderi said, he was not admitting guilt.

"As I tender my resignation today, I do so not because I am guilty of the allegations levelled against me by the petitoners, but because there comes a time when the country is more important than any individual, including my own aspirations as a Kenyan to see our democratic process mirror those of advanced democracies," Mr Wanderi said. 

Even with his resignation and that of his colleagues Juliana Cherera and Justus Nyang'aya, Mr Wanderi said, not much will change in the commission and their removal "will not help the country achieve its democratic and electoral reform aspirations."

He said he was ready to help, if asked, to reform the electoral agency , including dealing with disputes in the commission and among commissioners in what he called "boardroom disputes."