Three top officials of Kenya's elections body quit citing leadership failure

Wafula Chebukati

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. He says he has not received resignation letters from the three commissioners

Deputy President William Ruto has been linked to the recent infighting and resignations at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) by National Super Alliance (NASA) Chief Executive Norman Magaya.

The officers said whereas the commission is supposed to function as a single unit, Chebukati has created an "us versus them", "Commissioners versus Secretariat", and "Chair versus CEO" situation, reiterating that in their view a failure by any part of a unit of the organization is a failure of the entire commission. "Consequently, we regret to announce our resignation from the commission with immediate effect".

Vice chair of Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Connie Nkatha Maina and two commissioners - Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat - said they left their posts because they have no faith in chair Wafula Chebukati, adding that the organisation is dysfunctional.

"Henceforth, political parties should nominate IEBC Commissioners".

"We must banish external players from the commission boardroom and reclaim the commission's independence", she said.

Orengo noted Kenya will experience both political and constitutional crisis should the commission's Chairperson Wafula Chebukati not resign.Photo: James Orengo/Twitter.

The commissioners' resignation leaves in office three other commissioners after Roselyn Akombe resigned in October previous year saying she feared for her safety and that the IEBC as then constituted could not hold credible repeat elections. By law, the commission must have four active members to carry out business.

The Supreme Court nullified the results of the August election, citing procedural irregularities.

"The question would be why would you call for disbandment of the commission when the chair has called for an important audit of the aspect of 2017 election", he said.

"The commission has refused the conduct of a system audit and the right of access to data retained in its system including the servers following presidential election past year. Where does this leave election management in this country?"

During the East African country's general election a year ago the commission was at the centre of controversy and was accused by the opposition of tampering with the vote.

President Uhuru Kenyatta won a repeat vote in October that opposition leader Raila Odinga boycotted.

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