Chebukati: We’ve been vindicated, working for IEBC should not be a death sentence
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati has praised commission members and stakeholders who worked tirelessly to help deliver a successful 2022 general election despite facing numerous hurdles in the process.
Chebukati said that their acts were validated by the Supreme Court of Kenya, which upheld William Ruto’s victory announcement on August 9.
“The Supreme Court Judgment today is a testimony that the Commission conducted a free, fair, transparent and credible General Election that met the democratic aspirations of the people of Kenya.” Chebukati said.
“In fulfilment of the Constitution, the Commission put in place a robust and transparent election infrastructure to ensure that votes cast were counted, electronically transmitted, verified, tallied, announced and declared in line with Articles 81 and 86 of the Constitution.’ he added.
Chebukati, on the other hand, criticized the harassment, intimidation, kidnapping, arrests, and killings of some of their employees, claiming that no one had been arrested for the crimes committed against Commission members and personnel.
“As it stands, no human rights and civil society organisation have condemned these heinous acts meted on the Commission and its staff. Working for IEBC should not be a death sentence.” Chebukati said.
Chebukati mentioned the deaths of Mr. Daniel Musyoka, a Returning Officer for Embakasi East Constituency, who was abducted and tortured to death in the line of duty, and Mr. Geoffrey Gitobu, a Returning Officer for Gichugu Constituency, who the commission believes died from election-related stress after the elections in his constituency were finalized.
He further condemned the acts witnessed at Bomas of Kenya on the day of the announcement of results and reiterated that an election is a process and not an event.
“This process started immediately after the 2017 General Election and the Commission tested its systems and processes in over 40 by-elections in the last five years.” Chebukati said.
In Raila Odinga’s petition, Chebukati was caught between a rock and a hard place. Raila accused Chebukati of attempting a civilian coup and insisted he was the legitimate winner of the presidential election. However, his quest to discover the truth about what happened was derailed when the Supreme Court judges unanimously ruled against him on nine issues.
On August 15, 2022, Chebukati announced that this would be the last election he would preside over.