, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22- Pressure continues to mount on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati to resign even after insisting that only a tribunal decision will get him out.
Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri and Laikipia West Member of Parliament Patrick Mariru urged Chebukati to surrender his resignation letter to pave way for the recruitment of new commissioners.
They said it was hypocritical that the IEBC chairman was still clinging on his position when it was obvious that there was a problem with the electoral body especially after the dramatic resignation of four of its commissioners.
Kiunjuri said the country was bigger that any individual and hence the need for the officials to respect the rule of law.
“It’s unfortunate to see the IEBC divided when top political leadership was building cohesion,” Kiunjuri noted.
On his part, the Laikipia West MP said some of the commissioners have questioned the leadership of the IEBC chairman and hence challenged Chebukati to swallow his pride and quit honourably.
Chebukati currently lacks the five-member quorum required for binding plenary resolutions following the exit of Vice Chairperson Consolata Nkatha and Commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya.
In his first public appearance on Friday since the resignation of three commissioners on Monday, Chebukati said he is prepared to leave office once indicted by a tribunal.
“If anybody feels that he has an issue with the IEBC, the law is very clear on the removal of the commission. They are at liberty to take that route. The appointing authority will have to do that,” Chebukati said.
He dismissed allegations that the decision to send CEO Ezra Chiloba on a 3-month compulsory leave was taken unprocedurally.
Chebukati said the decision was taken by a majority vote precipitated by an internal audit that exposed irregularities in five election tenders.
“There is absolutely no personal vendetta, witch-hunt, bias, tender-wars as sensationalised by the media. The main issue is whether public resources were utilised prudently and in accordance with the law. Everything else you are hearing is a distraction.”