Chebukati skips date with MPs over by-elections

Embattled Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chair Wafula Chebukati failed to appear before the Justice and Legal Affairs committee Wednesday to give a brief on the happenings at the electoral body following the resignation of three commissioners.

Chebukati instead sent an apology citing the ongoing ward by-elections in Nyeri and Kwale counties.

Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Chairperson William Cheptumo said IEBC had written to the committee saying they would not be able to attend.

However, Cheptumo said the major issue currently is to find ways of creating a long-lasting mechanism of recruiting commissioners as well as replacing those who resigned to ensure there is quorum ahead of the slated by-elections.

The development forced the MPs to reschedule the meeting to a later date.

On the withdrawal of security personnel attached to the commissioners, Cheptumo said that there are procedures to raise the issue with relevant authorities adding that their role is strictly oversight.

Chebukati and his team were expected to explain to the legislators the challenges facing the commission and proposals for its reconstitution.

The National Assembly is set to embark on the process of amending the first schedule of the IEBC Act to provide for the constitution of a selection panel to oversee the vetting of new commissioners.

On Monday, Vice chair Connie Nkatha Maina, and commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat faulted the IEBC chair for alleged inability to lead the commission hence their resignation.

The house team, however, says it has set in motion mechanisms to restructure IEBC and allow the replacement of the four commissioners who have so far resigned.

But despite all the pressure to resign, Chebukati has remained defiant.

In a statement, Chebukati said the three commissioners who quit on Monday have shown that they were unable to accommodate divergent views at the commission and that he was not ready to resign.

But speaking separately, National Assembly minority leader John Mbadi maintained that the commission should be overhauled.




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