The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati has hit out at proponents of the Building Bridges Initiative over a proposal seeking to kick out the current IEBC team before the 2022 election.

In a statement released on Friday evening, Chebukati claimed that IEBC was the only independent commission singled out in the BBI report for overhaul.

According to Chebukati, this is not the first time the commission has been targeted, noting that the same has been happening since the 1992 election.

“The IEBC makes reference to the contents of the BBI report dated October, 2020, and notes that it has been singled out as the only Independent Commission and indeed entity whose establishment is sought to be removed by way of the proposed changes in the Report under Divisive Elections thematic area (see pages 112 to 113 of the report ‘Changes to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’). Additionally, the Report claws back on the gains made over the years on electoral management in Kenya.

“This targeted onslaught against the Commission is not new as it has been occurring after every general election since 1992. The sustained campaigns weaken and interfere with the independence of the Commission which is guaranteed under Article 88 as read together with Article 248 and 249 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” IEBC’s statement read in part.

IEBC’s Take

According to IEBC, the source of the current attacks on it is founded on the outcome of the 2017 Supreme Court Presidential Petition that nullified the 2017 presidential election.

The Commission noted that while most people focused on the one election that was nullified, over 300 petitions filed in other courts were overturned and IEBC cleared on any wrong doing.

“The Commission wishes to inform the general public that both the Supreme Court of Kenya (Raila Amolo Odinga & Another v IEBC & 2 Others 2017 at paragraph 386) and the High Court of Kenya (Brian Asin & 2 Others v Wafula W. Chebukati and 9 Others 2017 at paragraphs 42 and 43) absolved and vindicated the Commission in respect to allegations of criminal culpability. Therefore, the criminality and unsuitability to hold office narrative driven by certain members of the political class is meant to incite the members of the public with the intention of mob-lynching the Commission and its staff, and also to create justification for the ‘clean-slate’ recommendation in the BBI Report,” IEBC said.

IEBC wants Kenyans to engage in an honest discourse of the BBI recommendations, paying keen attention to the proposals regarding the commission.

Here is the full IEBC statement: