Chebukati: How I saved Kenya from falling into crisis
Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Wanyonyi said he had saved the county from descending into chaos by announcing William Ruto as president-elect.
In his responding affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Saturday, August 26, Chebukati revealed that some leaders from Azimio la Umoja stormed the podium, preventing him from making the final announcement.
According to Chebukati, Azimio leaders prevented IEBC Commissioner Abdi Guliye from announcing the results of 27 constituencies before declaring the winner of the presidential election.
Azimio leaders mentioned include Siaya Governor James Orengo, Kisumu counterpart Anyang Nyong’o, Rarieda MP-elect Otiende Amollo, Narok Senator-elect Ledama Ole Kina, Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga , and lawyer Paul Mwangi.
IEBC President Wafula Chebukati releases presidential election results in Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022
He further claimed that Azimio’s chief agent, Saibatoa Kanchory, requested a day to verify results in Forms 34A, which could have exceeded the constitutional deadline for announcing presidential results.
“Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya lead candidate agent requested a day to verify results against 34A forms. I did not believe this was a bona fide request, especially since the verification had been carried out with his full participation over the previous five days and he was only looking for a double process to prevent or delay the declaration of the results,” Chebukati said.
Following the chaos that erupted in Kenya’s Bomas, Chebukati said the country would descend into chaos if he did not announce the results at the scheduled time.
“I feared that there would be no other possibility of announcing the results and that the country would sink into crisis if the results were not announced within the constitutional deadlines. The fact that there was one day left does not was hardly reassuring given the events of the day and the safety of Commission staff and service providers,” Chebukati detailed.
Responding to the Azimio la Umoja petition filed by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Martha Karua, Chebukati dispelled their accusations of having committed an electoral offense bordering on treason; instead, he blamed the faction for lawlessness that was observed at the national tally center.
The IEBC chairman further noted that the decision of the four commissioners to leave the national tally center threatened to overthrow the will of the people.
In his affidavit, he argued that flight from duty amounted to subverting the will of the will exercised by participating in the democratic process.
“A member or employee of the Commission who knowingly interferes with the process of free and fair elections, obstructs the performance of his or her duties by the Commission, or otherwise interferes with the functions of the Commission, commits an offense and is liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to a fine not exceeding one million shillings or both,” reads the affidavit.
Responding to Busia senator-elect Okiya Omtatah’s petition that the president-elect had not reached 50% plus one vote, Chebukati revealed that Ruto garnered 7,176,141 votes against the valid votes cast, i.e. 14,213 137.
Additionally, Chebukati rejected affidavits filed by IEBC Vice President Juliana Cherera, Commissioners Justus Nyang’awa, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi, where he was accused of singling them out in the presidential election tally.
The IEBC president argued that the four dissenting commissioners were given specific tasks.
IEBC President Wafula Chebukati and Vice President Juliana Cherera in Bomas of Kenya meet party candidates on August 22, 2022
He also confirmed the allegations raised by Guliye in his affidavit that Azimio Executive Director Raphael Tuju, Senator Amos Wako and lawyer Kyalo Mbobu who visited him on Monday August 15.
“Around 3 a.m. on August 15, 2022, I was visited by Raphael Tuju, Senator Amos Wako and lawyer Kyalo Mbobu. They indicated that they had made several attempts to see me to discuss the count and results. I told them that I could only meet them in the presence of all the commissioners,” he said.
“Raphael Tuju spoke after Senator Wako. He said the results needed to be ‘moderate in favor of Baba’ and that any statement of results to the contrary would ‘plunge the country into chaos.’ “If it was not possible to declare ‘baba’ as president-elect, the Commission should force a second round. For this, he indicated that if his request were accepted, he would be rewarded adequately”, he added. .
Following responses filed on all motions, the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Martha Koome, is expected to deliver the final verdict on September 5.