NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 20 – The implosion of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has dominated headlines this week following the resignation of three commissioners on Monday.
Vice Chairperson Nkatha Maina, Commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat resigned citing lack of confidence in the Chairman Wafula Chebukati after he sent CEO Ezra Chiloba on compulsory leave.
Chebukati however made clear that had no intention of resigning despite calls for the complete reconstitution of the Commission and Secretariat from the Opposition and ruling party.
His State-allocated security detail was however withdrawn on Tuesday morning, a day before he was scheduled to appear before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly to explain the cause of the rift at the IEBC.
Chebukati failed to appear for that sitting and it remains to be seen if he’ll honour the invitation of the Senate Standing Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
His security and that of the two other commissioners was however reinstated Thursday.
– Uhuru’s UK trip –
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to the United Kingdom culminates with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which the Queen opened on Thursday.
Queen Elizabeth, who turns 92 on Saturday, welcomed leaders from the 53 Commonwealth nations – mostly former colonies – to Buckingham Palace for two days of talks that will include discussions on trade, marine protection and tackling cyber crime.
Kenyatta also secured an invitation to the G7 Summit – on the books for June in Quebec – from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In his time in the UK, he has delivered a speech at the famed Chatham House on modern democracy, visited the London Stock Exchange and met with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.
– Matiba’s Demise –
On Sunday, Kenya’s second liberation icon Kenneth Matiba lost a long battle with cancer just hours after South Africa laid another symbol of freedom on the continent, Mama Winnie Mandela, to rest.
It’s not yet known when Matiba will be buried, but there will be two public funeral services that will be held Nairobi and Murang’a on Wednesday and Thursday next week.
He has been celebrated for his great sacrifice in the struggle for multi-partyism with the powers that be receiving some criticism for failing to make good on a court awarded settlement of over Sh900 million for his suffering.
Matiba having been a well-heeled member of the business class in the 80s before he was detained and tortured under retired President Daniel arap Moi’s regime.
– Malema challenge –
A South African Minister had forewarned that Winnie Mandela’s final rites would be, and I quote, chaotic, in keeping with her character.
And Julius Malema of the Economic Freedom Fighters did not disappoint asking Mama, from the great beyond, to send a signal of what should be done about the pretenders in their midst.
Pretenders whom he accused of deserting her when she was convicted for the kidnapping and assault of a 14-year-old who was accused of being an informer at the height of the apartheid struggle and murdered by her bodyguards in 1989.
Not ones to be left behind, Kenyans on Twitter picked up and ran with ‘give us a signal mama’ plea and causing the Julius Malema Challenge hashtag to trend.