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IEBC to make personnel changes to safeguard fresh presidential poll

Chebukati when he reacted to the Supreme Court ruling on Friday/MUTHONI NJUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 1 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Friday said it would be making changes to its internal personnel and processes in response to the Supreme Court nullification of the August 8 presidential election.

Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati has also invited the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to probe its staff after the Supreme Court by majority found that there had been irregularities and illegalities committed in the conduct of the election.

The changes the Commission planned to institute, Chebukati said, are intended to safeguard the integrity of the presidential poll to be held afresh.

“There are certain things they’ll say about errors, what happened during the last election, so whoever was part of that problem will have to take responsibility,” he said. “As of now I listened to that judgment and I didn’t hear anything with regard to the Chairman of the electoral commission.”

Chebukati however begun by seeking to exculpate the Commissioners of any wrongdoing by pointing out that they took office only seven months ago.

He said the Supreme Court did not cast aspersions on the voting and counting of votes.

“The Commission notes the three grounds used by the Supreme Court to reach its majority decision to annul the presidential result. We particularly note the focus of the decision is in the transmission of the presidential results,” he stated.

The Chairman urged the Supreme Court to act fast and provide a detailed ruling within the next 21 days so that the Commission can correct the errors committed.

“The judgment will help us know where the problem was and specific people will have to take responsibility after investigations have revealed what offenses were committed,” he added.

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Chebukati also made it clear he would not resign from his position.

“Let me make it clear we shall read the judgment of the Supreme Court, we appreciate the Supreme Court is the final court and whatever the Supreme Court says will be implemented to the letter. There will be issues on the processes, there will be issues on maybe the ballot and maybe the transmission of results. So we don’t know what the Supreme Court is going to say and I don’t to stand here and write judgment for the Supreme Court.”

“Whoever was part of that problem will have to take responsibility as of now, I listened to that judgment and I didn’t hear anything about the chairman of the Commission in regard of what happened during the last election,” he said.

The IEBC chairman has convened a Commission plenary Saturday after the arrival of Commissioners Kibiwott Kurgat, Boya Mulu and Vice-Chairperson Consolata Nkatha who are outside the country on official business.

“The Commission will have a sitting either today evening or tomorrow evening; this is where the Plenary will make a decision and those changes will be outlined. We shall invite you here to give you whatever we have decided,” he told a news conference where he was accompanied by Commissioners Roselyn Akombe, Prof. Abdi Yakub Guliye and Margaret Wanjala Mwachanya.

The Supreme Court nullified President Uhuru’s re-election, ordering a fresh presidential election in 60 days.

Chebukati maintained that the poll agency will conduct free and credible fresh polls that will fully reflected the will of the people, urging Kenyans to remain calm and maintain peace.

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