Friday, May 24, 2024

We weathered storms that threatened the commission: Chebukati says as he exits IEBC

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has signed out of the commission after completing his 6 year constitutional tenure.

Chebukati who was appointed into the office in January 2017 presided over two General elections and a repeat of presidential election.

During the launch of the 2022 post election evaluation report, Chebukati said his time was filled with difficult moments.

There was intimidation of some members of the commission by some members of the National Security Advisory Council to moderate results

Wafula Chebukati

“The commission in the course of achieving its milestones, encountered a number of challenges that slowed down its quest,” he said.

In his report, he highlights that there were attempts to erode the commission’s independence.

“The 2022 general elections witnessed the gravest attempts to usurp the independence of the commission,” Chebukati revealed.

The chairman said there was ethnic profiling and open threatening of members of commission and staff.

Additionally, some were arrested without lawful basis and held incommunicado.

The report further reads: “There was intimidation of some members of the commission by some members of the National Security Advisory Council to moderate results.”

These did not exclude attacks and assault of members and staff, abduction and illegal detention.

The commission wrote to the President requesting for a public inquiry in respect of the process leading to the declaration of the results

Wafula Chebukati

Public Inquiry

With regards to ensuring the attempts do not reemerge, the chairman said they had requested for a public inquiry.

“The commission wrote to the President requesting for a public inquiry in respect of the process leading to the declaration of the results,” he highlighted.

The outcome, he said, will bolster the independence of the commission and maintain the stature contemplated by the Kenyan Constitution.

In addition, the inquiry will enable an environment free of harassment, intimidation and profiling in future elections.

According to Chebukati, this will also ensure institutions that support the commission discharge their duties in accordance with the law.

Adding; “Not as directed by individuals with partisan interest hell bent on subverting the will of the people.”

We mastered higher courage to overcome the perils of democracy and we delivered the sacred will of the people

Wafula Chebukati

Final Remarks

Chebukati said that misinformation and disinformation further played a big role in creating tension and chaos.

He said there is a need to draw a line between free speech protected by the Constitution and outright misleading statements that incite conflict and violence.

A midst the challenges, Chebukati said he exits the Commission a contented man who gave his best.

“We mastered higher courage to overcome the perils of democracy and we delivered the sacred will of the people,” emphasizes the Chairman.

He called upon his successors to pick the set pace and take the elections to another level.

Chebukati exited alongside commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye

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