- East Africa
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) through its lawyer George Murugu has said that it ‘hurriedly’ announced the Presidential results following concerns over the safety of its staff.
He said that the commission made the decision not to announce the remaining 27 constituencies despite being tallied and verified.
He said the results were ready for an announcement by Professor Abdi Guliye but due to the looming threat, they chose to announce the presidential results alone.
Murugu added that the constant harassment that the commission’s staff had faced which included arrest and intimidation is what led to the decision.
“He [Chebukati] made considerations concerning the security of his staff who are that particular point in time were suffering arrest, abductions and injuries to officials including commissioners,” he said.
Murugu is representing the commission's chairperson Wafula Chebukati in the petition said that the results.
As to why IEBC rushed to announce the results yet they had one more day, he said that the mandate to tally and verify the results by the commission had been carried out and given the security concerns and that they had announced to Kenyans that the presidential results would be released on that day.
Responding to a question posed by Justice Njoki Ndung’u on the meaning of the term commission, Murugu said that it depends on the context in which it is used.
He said that some of the roles of the commissioners are oversight, strategy and policy and that the role of the secretariat is to deal with administrative issues of day-to-day operations of IEBC and execution of policies.
He defended Chebukati, saying that he was not an all-powerful figure and that if he was to be incapacitated and not in a position to announce the presidential results, the commission is involved in the whole process of verification of results which means he has no role to act outside his mandate.
He said that the four commissioners who said that they could not take ownership of the presidential results and that they had been given other roles, were the same ones who were announcing some of the results from different constituencies. By Fred Kagonye , The Standard