Chebukati pulls out of poll preparedness team

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021 07:18 |
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati at a past press conference. PD/FILE

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has pulled out of the National Multi-sectoral Consultative Forum on Election Preparedness (NMSCF).

In a letter signed by chairman Wafula Chebukati and addressed to Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, the commission also withdrew from the Technical Working Committee (TWC).

“Whereas we recognise that the success of the electoral process is largely determined by stakeholder engagement at all levels, we must respectfully point out that a number of the Terms of Reference of the NMSCF and the TWC has the net effect of violating the Constitution, by purporting to direct the commission on how to discharge its mandate contrary to Article 88 of the Constitution,” the letter stated.

The letter was copied to Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, Chief Justice (CJ) Martha Koome, Treasury CS Ukur Yatani, ICT CS Joe Mucheru, NIS director general Philip Kameru, Police boss Hillary Mutyambai, DPP Noordin Haji among others.

IEBC’s withdrawal comes days after Deputy President William Ruto and CJ Koome, who chairs the multi-sectoral committee, clashed over her role in the committee.

According to Ruto, Koome should not be part of the team as she is an arbiter. Ruto and his allies wanted Koome to relinquish her membership in the technical committee on grounds that it compromises her position as CJ as well as President of the Supreme Court.

However, Koome laughed off the criticism and declared that she will not resign from the technical working committee on the 2022 general election preparedness.
The CJ said the independence of the judiciary is well entrenched in the constitution and that it cannot be taken away because of her engagements with government agencies and politicians, in her capacity as the Chief Justice.

Addressing delegates at the Devolution Conference in Makueni County last week, the CJ said the Judicial Service Act empowers her to be the Judiciary’s link with other arms of government and state agencies.

“This morning I asked myself, what will they say when I come out to meet politicians,” Koome said in a thinly veiled attack at Ruto and his allies who want her to relinquish her membership in the committee.

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