NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has hit out at Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohammed, for claiming the agency was part of a scheme to sabotage the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) constitutional amendment process.
The MP had spoken during an event to popularize the initiative in Nairobi attended by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
In a statement, the electoral body’s Chairperson Wafula Chebukati denied the claims, saying verification of voters’ signatures in support of a referendum Bill is a requirement of the law and not the agency’s creation.
“In response to the above accusations the Commission would like to state that the allegation that the Commission is sabotaging the process is not only unfortunate but also completely false. The process of signature verification is part of the IEBC’s mandate as articulated in Article 257 of the Constitution and therefore, the Commission cannot sabotage it. The Commission has deployed its best human resources to manage the process and the same confirmed by Hon. Junet and his BBI co-chair when they visited the Bomas of Kenya facility on 8th January 2021,” Chebukati stated.
He said though there were internet hitches in the early stage of the ongoing signature verification exercise, the Bomas of Kenya management where staff verifying signatures are based has since addressed the challenge.
Chebukati assured the verification process was on course, saying the commission is working to ensure the process is concluded within the shortest time possible.
“The Commission wishes to assure all stakeholders and the general public that the exercise is going on as expected and that it is committed to ensuring that the process is completed within the shortest time possible,” he assured.
IEBC has confirmed capturing 544,624 records since the veri-fication exercise commenced on December 31, 2020.
The Commission needs to verify the signatures of at least a million voters for the Bill to proceed to County Assemblies for validation, thereafter to Parliament before it is subjected to a national referendum.