A wing of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission [IEBC] accused of leaning towards the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta has distanced itself from a memo citing election fraud.
The confidential memo by IEBC chairman, Wafula Chebukati, to the commission’s chief executive, Ezra Chiloba, questioned why over 10,336 out of 40,883 polling stations sent text results without the accompanying Forms 34A.
It cited 595 polling stations that failed and/or otherwise refused to send any results for the presidential election and an IEBC username and password created in Chebukati’s name and used “without my knowledge and consent… to undertake over 9,934 transactions”, among other things.
After the memo went viral, five IEBC commissioners out of the seven disowned the memo claiming it was not discussed by Commission Plenary.
They are; vice chairperson Consalata Nkatha Maina, Prof Yakub Guliye, Amb Paul Kurgat, Boya Molu and Margret Mwachanya who were recently published in Kenyan newspapers as being “against change” save for Mwachanya who is “neutral”.
The pro-change commissioners are; chairman Wafula Chebukati and Roselyn Akombe. While Chebukati questioned the process in his memo, Akombe on her part said IEBC officials who mishandled August 8 presidential poll refused to resign before a caretaker team was appointed.
IEBC commissioner Paul Kurgat was the first to distance himself from statement showing five officials disowning the memo.
The warfare between election officials have proved fears that the election was rigged and cast doubt on their credibility to conduct a re-run.
In a press statement dated September 7, the five commissioners claim the memo was not discussed with the commission plenary but don’t prove that it was not written at all or that it is fake.
They only claim that what it contains is not “true facts” yet they do not provide alternative “facts”. The commissioners just say they are preparing a re-run as ordered by Supreme Court.
Kenyans quickly picked up the release and tore it apart. First, they noted that it is was not on IEBC letter head paper as anything official from the commission would be.
Secondly, the release is not signed by the commissioners whose names appear underneath it.
When tweeps sustained fire online, another press statement with the names of the same commissioners emerged, this time on IEBC letter head paper.
The second release was on a headed paper dated September 5, but the date under the release is July 13, before the elections were even held-proving confusion of cornered officials.
Raila tells Uhuru to resign
Addressing press in Nairobi on Friday, opposition leader Raila Odinga asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to resign following the “sham election” on August 8.
Raila (NASA) made a fourth attempt for the top seat and refused to concede after IEBC declared Uhuru beat him by more than 1.4 million votes.
Raila said Chebukati’s memo vindicated the opposition and added that it is now clear the election was rigged.
He said the President should release the people of Kenya from a repeat of elections.
“Uhuru and Jubilee should resign and let Kenyans move on. Everything is now clear…he lost,” Raila told a press conference.
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) September 8, 2017
“If I were Uhuru I would just resign and leave this thing. Must you impose yourself on the people of Kenya? Now he is trying to buy individuals. We urge Jubilee to do the right thing.”
Commissioners in danger
The NASA principal also claimed commissioners’ lives are in danger following the leaked memo and that they should be protected.
“They are receiving emails threatening their lives. They are in a dangerous situation,” he is quoted by The Star as saying.
Concerns about the safety of IEBC officials arose after the murder of acting ICT manager Chris Msando, who was tortured and strangled.
On Thursday, Raila said Jubilee leaders belong in jail and “are people you cannot compete with”.
“Shame on you. You should not be standing in front of people and chest-thumping that you won the elections,” Raila told the President.
“You did not win. Allow Kenyans to elect their leaders. You [Uhuru Kenyatta] and DP William Ruto are a big shame.”