Four dissenting electoral commissioners have accused chairman Wafula Chebukati of turning the agency into a one-man-show in a deliberate scheme to subvert the will of Kenyan voters by declaring unverified results.
In a continuation of an implosion at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) following the disputed presidential election, the four issued a joint statement Friday saying Mr Chebukati unilaterally declared the presidential results without plenary verification as required by law.
Vice chair Juliana Cherera and Commissioners Francis Wanderi, Justus Nyang’aya and Irene Masit also disputed allegations by Mr Chebukati that they had demanded a moderation of the outcome of the presidential results to force a re-run between President-elect William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga.
“We wish to categorically state that from his statement, the chairman Mr Chebukati appears to have misconstrued his role and that of the Commissioners and further misunderstood the Constitutional and legal mandate to verify results by the Commission to mean what he vaguely characterised as 'moderation' of those results,” says the statement.
The four cited Article 88 (4) of the Constitution that states that the “Commission shall verify the results transmitted under this section are an accurate record of the results tallied, verified and declared at the respective polling stations."
“Regrettably, Mr Chebukati clothed himself with autocratic powers and declined to avail the results for verification as duly required by law before the said results are announced.”
They allege that Mr Chebukati denied them their mandate by turning the commission into a one-man show in an attempt to “subvert the constitution, electoral laws and the will of the people.”
(Read their full statement here: IEBC 4 statement)
On Wednesday, Mr Chebukati released a terse statement accusing the four of unsuccessfully pushing him to declare that none of the candidates had hit the 50 percent + 1 mark to secure a first round win, a move that would have forced a run-off between Dr Ruto and Mr Odinga the two leading contenders.
Read Chebukati's full statement here: Chebukati Statement
Following the elections held on August 9, Mr Chebukati declared William Ruto president-elect with 7,176,141 votes (50.49 per cent). This meant Dr Ruto narrowly avoided a runoff with 69,000 votes.
Mr Odinga, who polled 6,942,930 (48.85 per cent), has rejected the results, terming them a nullity.
“The four commissioners demanded that the chairperson moderates the results for purpose of forcing an election re-run,” Mr Chebukati said.
This, he added, would have been against the law and a betrayal of the commissioners’ oath of office.
“This is tantamount to subverting the Constitution and the sovereign will of the people of Kenya. The chairperson refused to yield to this unconstitutional and illegal demand and proceeded to declare the results of the presidential election as received from the polling stations, and contained in Form 34A, in accordance with the law,” he said.