Chebukati turned away by House team

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has been turned away by the Parliamentary select committee hearing public views on the proposed amendments to the election laws.

The electoral commission boss, Chebukati, was turned away after appearing solo and ordered to return at 7 pm in the company of the other commissioners, as committee members maintained that the Commission is collegiate in nature.

The Joint Select Committee members felt that the amendments in question affect both Chebukati and the Commission as a whole, concluding that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman cannot appear alone to answer questions posed by the parliamentary team.

“For me being here alone is not mischief, my commissioners not being here doesn’t mean we are a divided commission. My commissioners are out busy preparing for the election,” the IEBC chairman unsuccessfully tried to explain.

The House team asked the IEBC boss to bring with him either the rest of the commissioners or a document showing that the memorandum he had carried had been agreed upon by the commission.

Chebukati had appeared before the committee with a memorandum only signed by himself and not by other commissioners.

Asked about the absence of others, he said: “I speak for the commission and if you want the whole commission here, they can come.”

The committee, co-chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo and Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo, has been conducting hearings on the proposed electoral law Bills.

On Thursday, the team was supposed to hear views from the Law Society of Kenya (LSK), IEBC and political party representatives.

However, the Raila Odinga-led National Super Alliance and LSK representatives failed to turn up and submit their views on the proposed electoral laws reforms.

Nonetheless, according to the committee co-chair, William Cheptumo, LSK submitted to the committee a written memorandum.

Jubilee representatives led by Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju and Davis Chirchir showed up with a 26-page memorandum and began making their submissions at around 5.30 pm.

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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