IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has dismissed claims he did not take action against President Uhuru Kenyatta for allegedly using State resources during the campaigning period.
Responding to claims raised by Raila Odinga in his peition at the Supreme Court, Mr Chebukati said he had nothing to benefit from President Kenyatta’s win. In his reply to Raila’s case before the Supreme Court, the electoral commission boss says his role was only to facilitate Kenyans to elect leaders of their choice.
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“The commission and I do not have a stake in the outcome of the August 8, 2017 elections at all. Throughout the election cycle, we were neutral referees,” he says. “Our resolute mandate was to provide the electoral infrastructure for the people of Kenya to exercise their sovereign will to elect leaders of their choice.”
The IEBC chair, in his 15-paged affidavit, explains the process through which he arrived at the conclusion that President Kenyatta would rule Kenya for a second term.
He says the 40,883 presiding officers it had deployed at polling stations across the country were required to scan form 34As and send them to both the national and constituency tallying centres. These forms, says Chebukati, had special security features that could not allow anyone photocopy them.
“It is not correct, as the petitioners have alleged, that the commission presided over a shambolic presidential election. No single activity or process was done haphazardly,” he says.
When he took over at IEBC, Chebukati says he found a commission under siege, dogged with cases challenging decisions made to carry out a free and fair election.
Despite the challenges, he says, IEBC gave its best.
“In addition, despite the numerous challenges arising from litigation against the commission, the commissioners and I ensured that the procurement of strategic electoral materials by the commission’s secretariat was done in a transparent and timely manner.”
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On the other hand, the IEBC chair admitted that there were errors but he asserted that they were too minor to have any effect on the final outcome.
“The said errors were minor and did not have any effect on the outcome of the presidential election as evidenced,” he says, adding that he followed to the detail each law set to govern the election process and did everything humanly possible to accommodate and resolve issues raised by the competing parties.
“To ensure transparency, legitimacy, and credibility of the process, the petitioners and their agents were given opportunity and fully participated in the tallying of the presidential election results,” he explains.