• Saturday, 22 June 2024
Wafula Chebukati responds to Ruto's announcement of IEBC vacancies.

Wafula Chebukati responds to Ruto's announcement of IEBC vacancies.

President William Ruto's decision to list open positions in the organization has been praised by Wafula Chebukati.

In addition to Mr. Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu, whose non-renewable six-year terms expire in January 2023, President Ruto declared vacancies at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on October 21.

Mr. Chebukati said that starting the hiring process now will ensure a smooth transition at IEBC in his initial response to Dr. Ruto's choice.

Mr. Chebukati tweeted recently that the IEBC Chairperson and two commissioner positions will become officially vacant on January 18, 2023, and he would like to applaud the decision to make that information public. He added that it would ensure a smooth transition and the retention of institutional memory, which had previously been lacking.

For the IEBC commissioners, Mr. Chebukati was a leading advocate of staggered terms, claiming that this would foster synergy and guarantee that the organization would never run out of commissioners.

In a post-election report from 2017, Mr. Chebukati recommended against appointing commissioners close to a vote because it would give them little time to coordinate efforts and make plans for the polls.

According to Mr. Chebukati's memorandum, the appointment of IEBC commissioners should take into account factors such as gender, ethnicity, and region to promote inclusivity. This will help to ensure knowledge transfer, institutional memory, and growth.

IEBC vacancies expected

Dr. Ruto's choice to publicize the anticipated IEBC vacancies has not, however, been well received by everyone.

Given that the IEBC intended to oversee upcoming by-elections, the opposition, led by Kalonzo Musyoka, the leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement Party, viewed Mr. Chebukati's "early retirement" as suspicious.

Even more sensational was Mr. Musyoka's assertion that this was a component of Mr. Chebukati's larger scheme to sway some choices before he leaves office.

Ask yourself why Chebukati moved the by-elections to December 8 if it was only to make sure he had a duty to fulfill—possibly for a friend—before he stepped down from office, Mr. Musyoka said.

After attending a church service at Deliverance Church in Migosi Estate on Sunday, he gave a speech in Kisumu.

Additionally, Mr. Musyoka cautioned the IEBC against interfering with the four commissioners who argued with Mr. Chebukati during the announcement of the presidential election results in August.

There are four people: vice-chair Juliana Cherera, Mr. Francis Wanderi, Ms. Irene Masit, and Mr. Justus Nyang'aya.

Since the four were hired in September 2021, they will work for the organization through September 2027.

Following his return from Zanzibar last month, Mr. Odinga made a push for significant institutional reforms in the IEBC and the judiciary.

The Azimio coalition gave itself until 2024 to implement the reforms, which some officials have suggested might involve replacing the entire IEBC team at least three years before the 2027 General Election.

The IEBC currently employs a hybrid manual and electronic transmission system. One of the proposed changes is to go back to strictly manual voting and results transmission. Another change is to redefine the role of presiding officers in announcing election results.

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