Raila: Only Cherera should manage upcoming elections

IEBC meeting with candidates affected by deferred polls

Azimio la Umoja Azimio presidential flagbearer Raila Odinga has asked the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati to disqualify himself from overseeing the upcoming Mombasa and Kakamega gubernatorial races. 

Speaking in Mombasa while meeting ODM officials and supporters who had shown up to campaign for ODM Mombasa gubernatorial candidate Abdulswamad Nassir, Mr Odinga said that Mr Chebukati should recuse himself from the gubernatorial elections and the same be overseen by his deputy Juliana Cherera

Mr Odinga accused the polls boss of "standing by injustices even as his commissioners deserted him."

"He should disqualify himself from presiding over Mombasa and Kakamega polls," he said.

"I have decided to come here to see you face to face due to the injustices inflicted upon you and Kakamega people. They decided to postpone the polls in the two counties because they were scared. But non matter how many times they postpone we will still win," Mr Odinga said.

He added: "Can't you see that I am not sad or shaken by anything. I know eventually the truth shall be known. Martha Karua and I have seen a lot of injustice. We are dealing with very corrupt opponents who had planned to rig a long time ago. The truth shall set the Kenyan nation free. Please be patient."

On Monday, the divisions within the polls agency continued to play out with the chairman publicly clashing with his deputy in their first joint meeting after four of seven commissioners disowned the results of the presidential election.

During a meeting with candidates from eight electoral areas, which had their elections postponed, Ms Cherera hang her boss, Mr Chebukati, out to dry over the cause of the initial postponement of the elections.

After being invited by Mr Chebukati to explain to the candidates what informed the first postponement, Ms Cherera put aside the official script to lament the secretive nature of IEBC operations. Insisting that commissioners were not reading from the same script, Ms Cherera charged some commissioners were intentionally kept in the dark regarding the printing of ballot papers.

IEBC meeting with candidates affected by deferred polls

“We talked amongst ourselves as commissioners and did what we call PR [a public relations exercise] to save face because we did not want the commission to be divided,” Ms Cherera said.

“We tried to put pieces together despite the fact that, as a commission, we didn’t even know the first ballot papers were arriving. We were only made aware on the night before the arrival,” she added.

She further detailed how, as part of a team appointed by IEBC to oversee the printing of presidential ballot papers, they were frustrated only arriving at the tail end of the printing process.

“We did not see Mombasa, Kakamega or Kitui Rural papers and so I cannot take responsibility for ballot papers that I was not part of [their] verification. I rest my case,” she said.