IEBC four under siege: Party moves to kick Cherera team out of commission
What you need to know:
- Farmers Party accuses the four of of gross misconduct.
- It says the conduct of the four was reckless, selfish and devoid of national values of patriotism.
Kenya Kwanza affiliate, Farmers Party led by Irungu Nyakera has petitioned the National Assembly to kick out four electoral body commissioners who disputed William Ruto win.
The party which is one of the over 10 political parties which formed the Kenya Kwanza Alliance of President-elect William Ruto, has accused Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera and her colleagues; Irene Massit, Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi of gross misconduct.
In a petition filed by Chege and Sang Company Advocates on Friday and received by the National Assembly Main Record Unit, the Farmers Party said the four commissioners were out to sabotage the will of Kenyans hence should not hold office.
"Farmers Party has presented to the National Assembly, in line with Article 251 of the Constitution, a petition for the removal of four commissioners of the IEBC following the attempt by the said Commissioners to sabotage an election process as witnessed on August 15, 2022, at Bomas Of Kenya," said the party in a press release sent to newsrooms.
"The petition by Farmers Party expresses the conduct of the commissioners as being a gross violation of the constitution and a breach of their oath, which denies the four commissioners their legitimacy to hold the state offices as commissioners of the IEBC," the statement by the Farmers Party added.
On August 15, 2022, the four commissioners rejected the presidential election results that IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati announced and said publicly that they could not take ownership of the results.
They had also complained that they were sidelined in the appointment of returning officers and blind-sided on the arrival of the first batch of ballot papers.
This led to a bitter falling-out within IEBC, with two camps emerging, one led by Ms Cherera and Mr Chebukati leading the other, in what seems to be a battle between the newcomers to the commission and the old guard.
Mr Chebukati’s camp had commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu, as well as IEBC chief executive officer, Mr Marjan Hussein Marjan.
They argued that the chairperson announced the final results without their knowledge and that they did not approve the results.
Also, they distanced themselves from the results, and that they cannot be part of the results that were announced while they were kept in the dark.
In their petition that was dismissed, the four commissions alleged that Mr Chebukati ran the affairs of the commission independently without involving them.
But in the verdict that was delivered by the Chief Justice Martha Koome, the four failed to prove that they were kept in dark, and that the chairperson carried out his roles in accordance to the constitution.
The Farmers Party says that the conduct of the four was reckless, selfish and devoid of national values of patriotism.
It also says that the breakaway commissioners acted in a manner that amounted to the betrayal of public trust of the people of Kenya and then rendering them unfit to continue holding their constitutional offices.
If the petition is debated on, the party says that it will present the report to the head of state for the sake of their dismissal noting that for the sake of protecting the integrity of the country's future polls, the National Assembly has to provide guidance for the conduct of electoral officials.
"Once the petition is deliberated by the National Assembly, the petition will be presented to the President for the appointment of a tribunal for the removal of the commissioners under article 251(3) of the Constitution," says the party
It added: "Farmers Party believes that this petition to the National Assembly is critical to entrenching the critical value of the IEBC in the growth of democracy and guiding the code of conduct by IEBC officials in subsequent elections."
The petition comes just days after Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said despite the change of tune by the four commissioners, they will have to be held accountable for their actions which he said was almost throwing the country into crisis.
"The four commissioners should be held accountable both individually and collectively...They cannot turn on and off like a switch and expect us to just forget everything. They must face the music," Mr Duale said.