The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has withdrawn from the team preparing for the 2022 elections.
In a letter to Interior PS Karanja Kibicho dated Monday, November 22, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati stated that the decision was reached after consultations, adding that the panel would interfere with its independence.
“After consultations and in-depth critical appraisal of the Terms of Reference (TORs) of the National Multi-Sectorial Committee (TWC) of the NMSCF on Election Preparedness, the IEBC would wish to respectfully withdraw from further engagement in the activities of the said NMSCF and TWC,” Chebukati said in a statement.
The National Multi-Sectorial Consultative Forum on Election Preparedness brings together stakeholders to ensure smooth elections.
According to Chebukati, the Forum which comprises all ministries, agencies, and departments responsible for the election cycle had assumed the role of other institutions, including the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.
“Whereas we recognize that the success of the electoral process is largely determined by stakeholder engagements at all levels, we must respectfully point out that a number of the TORs of the NMSCF and the TWC has the net effect of violating the Constitution by purporting to direct the commission on how to discharge its mandate contrary to Article 88 of the Constitution,” IEBC stated.
The withdrawal of IEBC comes barely days after Deputy President William Ruto’s camp expressed dissatisfaction with Chief Justice Martha Koome‘s active participation in the preparations for the 2022 General Election.
In a letter addressed to IEBC on Wednesday, November 24, UDA Secretary-General Veronica Maina urged the CJ to henceforth stop, abandon, desist, refrain and cease participating in the activities of the committee.
“It is our submission that your continued involvement in the Technical Working Committee is likely to interfere with and shall threaten free and fair elections come 2022,” Maina said.