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February 22, 2019

Former IEBC commissioners should be arrested, MPs say

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo and Siaya governor in a church service in Gem on Sunday
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo and Siaya governor in a church service in Gem on Sunday

Three MPs want the embattled former IEBC commissioners, who attempted to return to office yesterday, arrested and prosecuted.

The three ODM MPs, Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), and Fred Ouda (Kisumu Central) told the three former commissioners that the IEBC office is not their kiosk where they could move in and out as they wished.

Addressing journalists in Ugunja, Wandayi said the Public AccountsCommittee would not allow the former commissioners back without fresh nomination and interview.

He said the three have not even been cleared for bungling the Presidential election.

Wandayi said the former commissioners are supposed to be in jail and not hovering around the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission offices.

"The auditor’s report about the 2017 elections is out and by the time we fully implement it, nearly all the IEBC commissioners will be in jail including the three who now want to return," Wandayi said.

He recalled that IEBC was instrumental in the electoral malpractices that led to the loss of lives last year.

The three former commissioners are Paul Kurgat, Connie Nkatha and Margaret Mwachanya.

"It is very shameful that the very people entrusted with the duty to manage elections in 2017 are the ones who bungle the elections and no serious action was taken against them," he added.

Wandayi stressed that the 2017 election audit report must be implemented to the full and all the IEBC commissioners mentioned be held accountable including those who resigned.

The  PAC chair said the IEBC must be reformed immediately, even before the building the bridges committee tables its report.

Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo said the three former commissioners showed the highest level of impunity by purporting to go back to their former jobs.

Odhiambo said President Uhuru is fighting impunity by demolishing houses on riparian land and arresting corrupt individuals and should not tolerate impunity at the IEBC.

The Gem MP said the President should take stern action on the former  commissioners.

Siaya governor Cornell Rasanga said if the electoral body is to be reformed, all the offi cials who bungled last year’s elections must be arrested and prosecuted.

Rasanga said it cannot be business as usual for the commissioners to bungle elections, resign and then return whenever they wish without being audited.

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati has also maintained that the three commissioners must be replaced.

Maina and Mwachanya attempted to return to their former offices yesterday claiming they did not follow due process while quitting.

But Chebukati says they cannot be allowed back as they had handed over commission assets in their possession having followed the due clearance procedures.

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