, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 17 – The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly on Thursday recommended that the House rejects a petition by political activist Wafula Buke seeking dismissal of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman and other commissioners.
The House committee chaired by Ainabkoi MP Samuel Chepkonga had until Thursday to submit its report to the House for debate and adoption.
Majority of MPs in the committee agreed that Buke did not provide any material evidence to establish and prove allegations of gross misconduct, serious violation of the Constitution, grounds of incompetence against the chairperson or members of the commission.
The 29-member House team also cleared the IEBC bosses of allegations toughing on mismanagement of public funds in the procurement of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) and Electronic Voters Identification Devices (EVID).
“BVR and EVID are matters of procurement and several officers of the commission have been charged in court in Nairobi in anti-corruption case No.16 of 2013 as evidenced by the charge sheet presented by the commission. In this matter commissioners are listed as prosecution witness,” read the committee report.
Five Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) lawmakers recorded a dissenting view saying that Buke had sufficient grounds and that President Uhuru Kenyatta should set up a tribunal to investigate the allegations further.
“The matter for removal of the commissioners has never been before anybody for determination and that the petition adduces sufficient grounds, facts and evidence for determination,” read the report on minority views.
MPs Peter Kaluma, Agostino Neto, David Ochieng, Christine Ombaka and Tom Kajwang noted that alteration of results already declared in various documents presented was an open violation of the Constitution and laws of Kenya.
The MPs claimed: “A perusal of results announced in March 2013 and posted on the commission’s website and later presented before the Supreme Court and later presented to Parliament confirm fundamental discrepancies”
They noted the commission’s report presented to the National Assembly on July 18 contained results which were either omitted or falsified.
“The alterations affected up to 92 electoral units in such a way that they cannot be attributed to human error but a gross misconduct deserving of sanctions,” the dissenting members said.
In his petition, Buke wants Parliament to find that the commission violated the Constitution in the manner it handled the disputed presidential poll where President Kenyatta beat Coalition for Reforms and Democracy leader Raila Odinga.
Odinga petitioned the election at the Supreme Court and lost after the court upheld the declaration of Kenyatta as the winner of the presidential poll.
The petitioner alleges that the nine commissioners were incompetent in the management of the elections and wants them removed pursuant to Article 251 (a) and (b) of the Constitution.