“We went into hiding, we had to put off our phones, leave them in Bomas, send away our security and we rode in a Noah car to unknown location.Our only contact to Kenya and the world at the location was the television just to check whether Kenyans were killing each other or celebrating.” IEBC commissioner narrates.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has asked President William Ruto to order an investigation to unveil what transpired in the declaration of presidential results after last year’s general election.
The IEBC outgoing chairman Mr Wafula Chebukati, revealed yesterday that the commission had written to the Head of State on the matter.They had said that the 2022 poll witnessed the highest number of attempts to undermine independence of the agency and usurp its powers.
Security Advisory Committee (NSAC), disinformation campaigns and the murder of a returning officer were some of the attacks against IEBC.“The gravity of these attempts to subvert the will of the people cannot be wished away or swept under the carpet because they may re-emerge in future elections,” Mr Chebukati told stakeholders during the launch of the post-election evaluation report on the 16th of Jan 2023.
He also cited several threats that befell IEBC then,first being ethnic profiling and open threats against some members of the commission and staff.There was also illegal arrest and detention of staff and service providers.Assault of some members of the commission, staff and service providers by goons and law enforcement agencies at the Bomas of Kenya and some County and Constituency Tallying Centres as well.
Mr Chebukati alongside two other commissioners Prof Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu exits the commission today,17th Jan 2023 after serving their six-year non-renewable terms.
Prof Guliye told of how they had to exit the national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya secretly after they declared Dr Ruto the President-elect.
“We went into hiding, we had to put off our phones, leave them in Bomas, send away our security and we rode in a Noah car to unknown location,” the professor narrated.Their only contact to Kenya and the world at the location which he did not mention was the television ‘just to check whether Kenyans were killing each other or celebrating.’
He further explained that after three days in hiding, they realised that Kenyans had moved on and continued with their normal lives.
He said Mr Chebukati, Mr Molu and himself had weathered many storms at the commission in their six-year stint, including attempts by opposition leader Raila Odinga to eject them from the agency.
“You all remember the irreducible minimums of which among the staff I was number one on the list of the people to go. You also recall the clean slate slogan in the BBI — meaning clearing the entire IEBC. Of course it didn’t come to pass,” Prof Gulife said in reference to former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s and Mr Odinga’s failed Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) project.