There is a petition that is likely to make the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Mr. Wafula Chebukati rot in jail the rest of his life.
The petition which is being conducted by Change.org is calling for Kenyans to sign an online petition to be arrested since they believe that Mr. Chebukati’s conduct during the 2022 Presidential Election amounted to a criminal attempt to overwrite the will of the Kenyan people and install a President.
Specifically, the petition cited five grounds as explained below:
Chebukati’s Negligent Handling of Election Materials: His involvement with Venezuelan nationals arrested at JKIA for transporting IEBC election material in personal luggage is downright suspect. He failed to call the relevant authorities to inform them of this transport (thus compromising the, constitutionally mandated, transparency and simplicity of the elections) and did not present a suitable explanation as to why.
Chebukati’s Negligent Management of IEBC Information: The KPMG report on the IEBC voter register shows that 2 million registered voters were moved from their polling stations to other polling stations. The audit also accused the IEBC of having 14 super returning officers that could access IEBC servers and manipulate, alter, add, subtract and move registered voters at will. It is unclear if Chebukati resolved these issues.
Chebukati erred in the Declaration of Final Results:Chebukati should have waited to achieve consensus with the other commissioners before announcing the results. In the absence of this consensus, only 1 Commissioner (Chebukati) signed the form, while 4 declined and 2 abstained.
The fact that 6 out of the 7 Commissioners declined to affix their signatures to the form suggests that the IEBC did not believe in their veracity; only Chebukati did. This suggests two things. First, Chebukati’s results differ from those of the majority of the commission.
Second, that his results, affirmed by a minority, was the basis upon which the President-Elect was declared: the belief of a single man. Herein, Chebukati exercised extra-judicial powers.
As was held in the Maina Kiai case (2017), “there is no doubt from the architecture of the laws we have considered that the people of Kenya did not intend to vest or concentrate such sweeping and boundless powers in one individual, the chairperson of the appellant.”
Chebukati failed his duty: Chebukati failed in his duty by; (1) declaring the results before receiving all the Form 34As, as is required as pr para 300 in Raila Odinga v IEBC (2017) and; (2) declaring the final results before declaring the results from every constituency.
Regarding the former, at the time of the declaration, not all Form 34As had been received by the IEBC, as gauged from the public portal.
Addressing the latter, Chebukati failed to declare all the results from all 291 constituencies before making his announcement.
This amounts to, roughly 1.4 million undeclared votes (approx. 10% of the total number of voters); the contents of which are unverifiable and opaque to the country and more than enough to swing the tide.
Chebukati threatened our National Security: Chebukati’s declaration of the results, in the absence of group consensus, constituted a threat to our national security. It is common knowledge that Kenya’s electoral season is a tense time for the country.
In this unstable atmosphere, the IEBC exists to provide stability by ensuring uniformity of message and action. Chebukati’s hasty declaration country this essential uniformity. Especially when one considers that this could have been avoided had Chebukati been willing to engage with his Commissioners within the time remaining to the deadline for declaration).
Taken altogether, Chebukati must be arrested and found criminally liable for ‘misengineering’ yet another election. Each of the events outlined here jeopardized the realization of our constitutionally guaranteed right to elections that are free from violence, influence and corruption, elections that are transparent, and, most importantly, elections that reflect our popular will.