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We are united in fresh poll preparation: Chebukati says after Naivasha retreat

Chebukati flanked by his vice chair with whom he publicly differed on the memo/MOSES MUOKI

NAKURU, Kenya, Sep 11 – If the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is to be believed, dialogue in a serene environment is all that was needed to patch up the cracks that emerged in its ranks following the nullification of the August 8 presidential election – over which it presided.

Following a day-long getaway in Naivasha, the Commissioners, led by their Chairman Wafula Chebukati and chaperoned by the Commission Secretary and Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba, emerged from their meetings to stand shoulder to shoulder in a show of unity.

“We are coming out as one team with a common vision that will enable us to deliver on our mandate. It was very evident,” Chebukati stated, “that this retreat was necessary. It helped to clarify issues of concern and we are now better off than when we came here.”

The divisions among the Commissioners played out in the public domain last week when a memo written by Chebukati to Chiloba holding him answerable for the failures of the nullified poll, was leaked to the press then promptly disowned by his fellow Commissioners led by his Vice Chairperson Nkatha Maina but not including Commissioner Roselyn Akombe who has come to be recognised as spokesperson of the Commission.

Akombe was however, mum at Monday’s brief to the press and wore a dour expression on her face as she stood next to Chiloba who she is reported as holding should have resigned as the head of the IEBC secretariat which executed the presidential election adjudged to be flawed by the Supreme Court.

In his memo to Chiloba, the Chairman had sought to know why the August 8 constituency presidential election result forms did not possess standardised security features, why Sh848 million in satellite phones did not function among other concerns.

Concerns which Chebukati said on Monday, Chiloba and his team would respond to in the course of the week. “We resolved to review the responses by the Secretariat and communicate the same to the public at an appropriate time.”

As for accusations made by Deputy President William Ruto that he held nighttime meetings with the National Super Alliance (NASA) leaders, he challenged that his accuser to adduce evidence while asserting that as a whole, the Commission would referee the October 17 repeat presidential poll impartially.

The Commission is scheduled to meet the two political players in the October 17 presidential poll on Tuesday.

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