No dialogue on disbandment of IEBC – Uhuru to CORD

President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) with Interior CS Nkaissery (right) and Mandera Governor Ali Roba (left) May 19, 2016. [Photo/PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has rubbished demands by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) for national dialogue to discuss the reformation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The President stated that the Constitution has clearly laid out procedure for the removal of IEBC commissioners saying CORD’s efforts to circumvent the process are in futility.

“CORD principals were part of the team that led us into passing the Constitution in 2010. It is perturbing now, therefore, that they want to find a way around it in the removal of IEBC commissioners.”

“The opposition has a right to demand for the removal of IEBC but they should do so within the confines of the law. It is unreasonable for them, however, to endanger the lives of their supporters in the name of championing for their rights,” he added.

CORD leader Raila Odinga has in several occasions demanded for dialogue with President Kenyatta over the pressing issues surrounding the composition of IEBC and its ability to hold a free and fair elections in 2017.

He noted that he would not be cowed by the opposition they have faced from police officers in their three attempts to remove the commissioners from office adding that they would soldier on with their protests.

The ODM leader, who is currently in South Africa for The Future of African Cities conference, said that he would be back in Kenya in time to lead CORD’s fourth anti-IEBC protests in Nairobi on Monday.

The government, IEBC and CORD now seems to be stuck with all the parties maintaining their stand on the matter.

IEBC has remained defiant of CORD’s mounting pressure with the commission chair Issack Hassan declaring that they would not vacate office while the government has stated that it can only dialogue with CORD within the precincts of Parliament.

Deputy President William Ruto last weekend said a team from government was ready to discuss with CORD officials on the issue of IEBC adding that the current wave of protests will not resolve the outstanding issues.

“We have for long told CORD that we have a team in Parliament that is ready to engage with them on the issues that they have raised and we stand by that. If they are serious about dialogue they should desist from giving conditions,” said Ruto.

Raila has, however, ruled out going the ‘parliament way‘ in the resolution of the issues saying Jubilee has often used its majority numbers in the House to frustrate their motions.

He made reference to a petition by Wafula Buke which raised questions of gross mismanagement of public finances by IEBC commissioners in the procurement of Biometric Voter Registration kits and the Electronic Voter Identification Devices as one of the petitions that was shot down by Jubilee legislators.

“A petition, filed by Mr Wafula Buke mid-2014, for example, laid out various charges against the commissioners, which alleged that they had failed in their work and that they had been corrupt,” read his statement last Sunday.


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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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