Kenya election chair says he won't resign, open to probe

Friday September 1 2017

Kenya's electoral commission, IEBC, chairman

Kenya's electoral commission, IEBC, chairman Wafula Chebukati addressing journalists in Nairobi in the wake of the ruling annulling presidential election results on September 1, 2017. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NMG 

By The EastAfrican
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The chairperson of Kenya's electoral commission, Wafula Chebukati, has absolved himself from any responsibility in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to annul the presidential election result.

The top court, in a majority decision Friday, said that the IEBC had "failed, neglected and refused" to conduct the elections in accordance with the law.

Chief Justice David Maraga, announcing the ruling of four out of the six judges, declared President Kenyatta's re-election in the August 8 poll "invalid, null and void" due to irregularities committed by the IEBC. He ordered for a fresh vote in 60 days.

While addressing a press conference after the ruling, Mr Chebukati said the commission would read the judgement and "where there were mistakes, people must take responsibility".

He argued that the problem that the judges identified had been in the transmission of results and not in the voting and counting processes.

He said the commission will make internal changes that will involve staff shake-up and review of its systems.

'Belong to jail'

Further, he called on the chief prosecutor Keriako Tobiko to investigate and prosecute staff who might have been involved in elections malpractice.

Earlier, opposition leaders led by Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka, who filed the petition, called for the prosecution of IEBC chiefs.

Mr Odinga said Mr Chebukati and his team "belong to jail" as Mr Musyoka declared that they have no faith in the commission.

But Mr Chebukati defended his work and vowed not to resign because he was not “personally touched by the Supreme Court ruling”.

"I am not resigning," he said adding that "I listened to the Supreme Court judges and did not hear anything about the chairman."

He said the commission would proceed to organise the rerun.

"I am confident that we can deliver the election in 60 days. The court said IEBC to run the election. This is the only institution that can do that," he said.