Members of Parliament approve polls agency nominees

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 22:52 |
Parliament on session. Photo/PD/FILE

Members of Parliament yesterday asked the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) nominees to expedite the creation of new boundaries as well to kick-start preparations for next year’s elections.

 Lawmakers approved four new nominees: Francis Wanderi, Justus Abonyo, Juliana Cherera and Irene Cherop Masit and  told them to ensure that they remain non-partisan while discharging their duties.

 They told the new commissioners not to behave like the other commissioners, who resigned and others disappeared when the country was in the middle of an election.

 Leader of Majority Amos Kimunya, Leader of Minority John Mbadi and MPs Aden Duale (Garissa Township), Muturi Kigano (Kangema), Jeniffer Shamala (Nominated) led other legislators to ask  IEBC to deliver to Kenyans a free, fair and credible election come next year as it is now fully constituted.

 In particular, Kimunya told the new commissioners, who would join the other three to take the matter of boundary delimitation seriously, as it is a sensitive issue. He asked the new team to demonstrate that it will be able to ensure there is equitable distribution of the additional 70 constituencies that the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill had proposed to allocate. 

“IEBC is at the heart of everything including the election of the Court of Appeal judges who pronounced themselves on their composition.

IEBC helps political parties, if we don’t get it right, then we are going to be in a lot of trouble and that is why we are happy that after today, we are going to have quorum,” he said.

 He added: “The window for the delimitation of boundaries is getting to the tail end, I would urge the new IEBC team to take this matter seriously and do it as early as possible.

There are constituencies that will lose or be scrapped because of the population quota and we want them to demonstrate that they can do a good job.”

Correct policies

 Mbadi while endorsing the four nominees told new commissioners to have a sit-in with the other three including chairperson Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Gulie and Boya Mulu and correct some of the bad policies that the commission has settled on.

 He claimed that Chebukati and his two other commissioners had come up with certain policies yet they were aware that the commission had no quorum.

 On next year’s election, he told the new team not to disappoint Kenyans but ensure that it delivers a verifiable and trustworthy election.

 “We now have a commission that can be relied on, before I told the chairman and two commissioners to stop touching on fundamental decisions regarding next year’s election. 

With the entry of the four, we want this four to have a sit in with the three others and correct the wrongs that they have so far made,” he said.

 He added: “ It is very obvious the process leading to the election is as important as the integrity of the entire election. We don’t want a commission that deals with election matters in an opaque and secretive manner.”

 On whether Chebukati and his other commissioners should resign, Mbadi said he had left the issue to their conscience especially now that they were aware that they presided over the first election to be nullified by the courts.

 Duale while insisting that Chebukati and his two other commissioners will not resign, reminded the new team that their job is a difficult one that has no room for quitting. 

“We do not give this job to cowards that when things get too hot you take off, one took off in the wee hours of the election and the others called for a press conference and resigned. You must be ready to perform your job,” he said.

 While endorsing the nominees saying the country has now adhered to the ruling by court on quorum, Duale warned the team against dealing with boundary delimitation as the exercise is time barred. 

“The current IEBC cannot engage in delimitation of boundaries as they are time barred.

I also want to categorically state that no constituency will be lost and therefore, you do not need to go to court over this matter,” he added.

 Kigano,  who is the chairperson of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) said the four demonstrated that they are patriots and were ready to work for Kenyans.

 “We received clearance reports from all the institutions. None of the nominees is disqualified under Article 88 of the constitution.

JLAC in its report recommended the appointment of the four who have a combined net worth of Sh211.5 million.

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