The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has dismissed allegations to the effect that it was intent on sabotaging the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) signature verification process.
The electoral agency’s Chairperson Wafula Chebukati says the accusations are not only unfortunate but completely false.
The commission was responding to remarks attributed BBI Secretariat co-chair and National Assembly Minority Whip Hon. Junet Mohamed, where he was recorded accusing the commission of ‘being part of the scheme that is sabotaging the BBI,’
But in a statement Thursday, Chebukati says the process of ‘signature verification is part of the IEBC’s mandate as articulated in Article 257 of the Constitution and therefore the Commission cannot sabotage it.’
“Commission has deployed its best human resources to manage the process and the same was confirmed by Junet and his BBI co-chair when they visited the Bomas of Kenya facility on 8th January 2021.” Chebukati said in defense of the commission
In Junet’s charge against the commission, “there was no internet connectivity in Bomas of Kenya on Monday and Tuesday this week which hampers the progress of the signature verification,”
Chebukati acknowledged that they experienced intermittent internet connectivity challenges on the material dates at the facility occasioned by system upgrade of the bandwidth and power outages.
He however insists that this cannot be blamed on the commission given that the issues around power supply remained the sole prerogative of the venue management. He says the issue was formally brought to the attention of Bomas of Kenya management for quick action and the same addressed.
“Commission leased the Bomas of Kenya facility for purposes of the verification exercise and thus ‘in accordance with the contractual obligations, the facility was expected to provide uninterrupted power supply and internet connectivity to enable data capture and verification process.” he said
The IEBC chair assured all stakeholders and the general public that the signature verification exercise is going on as expected and that the Commission is committed to ensuring that the process is completed within the shortest time possible.
As at close of business Friday January 8, the Commission disclosed that it had captured data of 544,624 Kenyans in its records.