Embattled IEBC commissioners have told off politicians for interfering with the work of IEBC. In a statement released by IEBC, Wafula told off Siaya senator James Orengo over his calls for the commissioners to resign. Chebukati insisted that the commissioners enjoy state of tenure and should not be used by politicians as a punching bag every election cycle.
“The remarks by Senator Orengo that the commission is a ‘criminal enterprise’ that can be disbanded at will is disrespectful and an insult to the constitution. Orengo is an elected member of the senate who is, therefore a product of the same alleged criminal enterprise. If he indeed he stands by his remarks, he should honorably resign and seek fresh mandate”. said Chebukati.
The IEBC chairman was responding to remarks by the Siaya senator that the commission is irredeemably tainted and corrupt to be trusted with any election. Orengo has called for the disbandment of the election body and wants new commissioners to be appointed to carry out the BBI referendum in 6 months.
The Wafula led commissioners are not new to controversies that have marred election bodies since time immemorial. After the bungled 2007 election that was blamed for the 2007 post elections, the Kiviutu led Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK) was disbanded and a new body IEBC constituted. The new body led by Isaack Hassan was again bungled out after the protracted 2013 election which saw Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto beat their closest competitor Raila Odinga in CORD.
Wafula Chebukati was appointed after Isaack Hassan and his team were disbanded following calls by Raila Odinga for IEBC to be reformed before 2017 elections. If history is anything to go by, then it follows that the current IEBC commissioners may not oversee 2022 elections.
According to Wafula Chebukati, the next elections are less that two years away and its only logical that that the current team be given time to plan elections since they have the experience and have been preparing for the past few years.