Clergy tells off ODM over push for Chebukati’s removal

IEBC to conduct afresh by-elections on 15 December

A section of religious leaders from Nakuru have told off politicians plotting for the removal of IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati terming the move as ill-motivated and out of time.

Metro Church International Leader Dr. Mike Brawan termed the proposal by a section of ODM leaders led by  Minority Leader in the National Assembly John Mbadi as selfish, cowardly, and misguided and only geared to stoking voter disaffection against the constitutional body.

Dr. Brawan advised the lawmakers to desist from politicizing the ongoing reconstitution process of the electoral body and allow its completion instead of attempting to derail the process by mongering skepticism.

Speaking in Nakuru during an Interdenominational prayer service for Peace ahead of General election next year, the religious leader described the IEBC chairman and the other two commissioners presently serving the commission as diligent servants and patriots who, with the cooperation of others have the capacity to deliver a credible and peaceful election.

He noted that it is also unrealistic and illegal to change the chairman of the commission with less than a year to a general election. The law provides that such changes must be effected two years before a general election.

His sentiments come after the three legislators told Mr. Chebukati not to procure Election materials until the commission is fully and reasonably constituted.

The four lawmakers addressing mourners in Homabay County last Friday said the commission as is currently constituted is ill-equipped to organize a meaningful election and as such, it should refrain from any preparations for a general election until it is properly constituted in a a manner that will make it a credible umpire in the next Presidential election that is just less than a year away.

The Members of parliament had also demanded the removal of Chebukati as the commission`s chairman saying he lacks a track record of integrity after a Presidential election he superintended in 2017 was nullified by the Supreme court.

This has emerged as the Orange Democratic Movement`s scathing attack on the Chebukati led electoral agency and has since elicited heated debate in the country as their political archrivals accuse the opposition party of shifting goalposts every election cycle.

Brawan said such suggestions are likely to threaten the confidence of the anxious and prepared voters in IEBC in the next general election which he describes as critical to the country.

Terming the observations of the opposition leaders as reckless, Brawan noted that such suggestions risk compounding a looming problem of apathy among voters who are expected to fully exercise their civic duty and right to choose effective leaders for better lives.

The backdrop of mixed reactions over the commission comes as it continues planning for the 2022 General Election with just three commissioners – Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has since nominated Juliana Cherera, Irene Cherop, Francis Wanderi, and Justus Abonyo to be IEBC commissioners.

The four commissioners will be vetted by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly chaired by Kangema MP Muturi Kigano and will replace Roselyn Akombe, Margaret Mwachanya, Paul Kurgat, and former Vice-Chairperson Consolata Maina who resigned from the commission.

  

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