Ruto’s allies move to have 4 IEBC commissioners out

Written by on 13 October 2022

A Notice of Motion to kick out the four electoral commissioners will be tabled in the Senate today.

The motion, which was to be tabled yesterday, was pushed for today after the Senate Minority side requested to have time and sought out issues within their coalition.

Nyandarua Senator John Methu’s petition seeks to condemn the actions of the  four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) members.

In his prayers to the House, Methu calls upon the electoral agency to effect the legal, policy, and institutional reforms recommended by the Supreme Court ruling on the Presidential Petition No. E005 of 2022.

Supreme court ruling

“The Senate urges the Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights to study the Supreme Court ruling and introduce legislation that will seal existing loopholes in the electoral process, including the manner of appointment of future IEBC Commissioners and enhance the statutory and regulatory framework especially to separate the policy and administrative remit of IEBC,” Methu’s petition reads in part.

He observes that the actions of the four commissioners were a deliberate and concerted effort to subvert the sovereign will of the people through obstructing the constitutional mandate of the commission to conduct free, fair, transparent and verifiable elections, which go against their official duties and oaths of office.

According to Methu, as a direct result of the conduct of the quartet, the country was plunged into a state of disquiet and uncertainty that resulted in questions being raised on the legitimacy and legality of the results and the integrity of the electoral process.

“The four commissioners did not provide information or evidence to substantiate their accusations that the chairperson of the commission had compromised the process. In the absence of any evidence of violation of the Constitution and the electoral laws of Kenya, the four Commissioners attempted to defeat the sovereign will of the people of Kenya,” reads part of the petition.

Samson Cherargei (Nandi) argued that the Kenya Kwanza coalition had not agreed as a parliamentary group on the matter to kick out the four commissioners.

“We have not agreed as members of the Kenya Kwanza on what position to take. We shall wait to see the prayers sought in the petition,” said Cherargei.

Edwin Sifuna (Nairobi) charged that should the motion come to the floor of the house, he will oppose it, adding that the procedure of removing the commissioners is explicit in article 251 of the Constitution.

Article 251 (2) states that a person desiring the removal of a member of a commission or of a holder of an independent office on any ground specified in clause (1) may present a petition to the National Assembly setting out the alleged facts constituting that ground.

Funyula MP Oundo Mudenyo also argued that the removal of a commissioner is set out in article 251 and any other process outside that will be a waste of time.

“There is a petition already sent to the National Assembly. The procedure of removing a commissioner is clearly spelt under article 251 of the constitution. Any other thing outside that is simply hot air, wild goose chase and a waste of time. I will not vote on any motion about the removal of the four,” said Oundo.

However, Nyali lawmaker Mohammed Ali was categorical that the four commissioners have to resign before the petition is even debated.

Ali argued that the four could have plunged the country into imaginable proportions, adding that they have to account for their actions.

“This country could have been plunged into chaos and anarchy because of their actions. If I were them, I would resign even before the petition is debated,” said Ali.

National assembly

Already, Farmers Party of Kenya has submitted to the National Assembly a petition to have the four commissioners ousted for allegedly attempting to sabotage the August General Election.

The petition dated September 9, accuses Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera, Commissioners Irene Massit, Justus Nyang’aya, and Francis Wanderi of gross misconduct and violation of the law.

“Farmers Party has presented to the National Assembly, in line with Article 251 of the Constitution, a petition for the removal of 4 commissioners of the IEBC following the attempt by the said Commissioners to sabotage an election process as witnessed on 15th August 2022, at Bomas of Kenya,” read the statement.

This petition follows other Kenya Kwanza coalition members’ submissions to have the four commissioners compelled to step down.

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