Fresh scheme to kick out Chebukati ahead of 2022

A fresh scheme to fire the electoral agency boss Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu before the 2022 polls has been hatched.

The Standard has learnt that some political players are pushing for the sacking of the three once recruitment of the four vacant positions at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is completed.

A senior official at the Raila Odinga-led ODM yesterday claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to declare the four commissioner positions vacant was part of the wider scheme to have the three remaining commissioners exit the agency as part of the electoral reforms ahead of the 2022 General Election.

The official argues that the three commissioners can only be kicked out after the new ones are hired to avoid a vacuum at a time when the country is preparing for the referendum.

“I can say this with authority that the process of recruiting new commissioners will pave way for the sacking of the current team, and then we will get to the crux of the matter of reforming the commission,” said the official.

According to our source, the scheme involves presenting a petition to Parliament citing gross misconduct by the commissioners during the 2017 polls.

“We have so many grounds as a basis for their removal. There is a report in Parliament by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that indicted the commissioners,” added the source.

The report adopted in April 2019, recommended investigations against the commissioners over alleged conflict of interests in the procurement of electoral equipment at inflated cost.

However, ODM chairman John Mbadi denied knowledge of the latest scheme against IEBC bosses, but said that if there would be reforms at the commission, they will be effected after the passage of the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Mbadi said that once the BBI is passed at the referendum, ODM will take a stand on how to have major reforms in the commission before the next polls.

At the same time, Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju said those pushing for reforms at the commission should look beyond the commissioners. He said proper reforms at the commission will only be addressed by fixing structural challenges.

Former National Assembly Majority Leader and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said any attempts to blackmail the commissioners out of the office will be met with resistance.

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