NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 3 – Focus has now shifted to drafting a framework for IEBC Commissioners to leave office, after they agreed to an amicable exit.
The IEBC Commissioners led by Chairman Issack Hassan said the country “is bigger” than any of them and “they do not want to be a stumbling block to electoral reforms.”
Hassan said they did not want to hinder electoral reforms but that commission staff must be retained.
“We have 12 months and four days (to the next elections). We have experienced staff who are ready for the 2017 General Election,” he said.
Joint House Select Committee Co-Chairmen Siaya Senator James Orengo and Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi thanked the IEBC Commissioners saying they had “spoken like patriots.”
“If I ever write a book, this day will not be a line but a chapter, in demonstrating that there is always a way of solving problems no matter how insurmountable and show that humanity sometimes look for a more difficult processes, but if they think harder and are more patriotic like the Commissioners have shown, there is always an easier and humane way to deal with our problem, truly we are speaking to nationalists, who when duty calls, will always be ready to perform that duty in the name of the great Republic of Kenya,” Orengo said.
He and Murungi announced that Wednesday marked the last day of the public hearings on the IEBC matter.
“Indeed this session is our last sitting in public. After this, the committee will retreat together with its secretariat, our experts and our rapporteurs to go and sift through all the material that have been given to us. From there, we will see what recommendations we are going to make, including developing a mechanism that will give our commissioners that dignified settlement which they have asked for,” Murungi stated.
“Commissioners, you may not know what you have done, even the African culture and in the political culture, it is difficult for somebody to say that they are voluntarily vacating office in the interest of the country, many Kenyans would rather die trying to fighting for the position.”
“Allow me to thank you most sincerely, for sacrificing for this country so that we can have free and fair elections; it is an act that we cannot take for granted,” Murungi said.
The eight IEBC Commissioners all concurred with Hassan but called for Kenyans and Parliament to allow independent institutions time to grow into their mandates.
Commissioner Kule Godana said: “This country needs strong institutions. We should not keep breaking institutions.”
Commissioner Muthoni Wangai said: “We also hope, that we being the first commission since the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution and your House being one of the first Houses after the promulgation will not go down in history in destroying any important institution set up under that and instead take this opportunity to build this institution and others.”
Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo said he would leave with his head held high as they served and leave with dignity.