- Agumba says Chebukati is a threat to the integrity of the democratic system as his public conduct encourages interference with peaceful transition of power.
- However, through G&A Company Advocates, the commission has strongly opposed the case, saying Chebukati cannot be removed from office.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission says there will be anarchy and chaos if its chairperson is barred from performing his duties less than a week to the polls.
Activist Sigar Agumba wants court to restrain Wafula Chebukati from performing the functions of his office or implementing duties and functions related with the preparations and conduct of the general election to be held Tuesday next week.
Agumba said Chebukati is a threat to the integrity of the democratic system as his public conduct and performance is encouraging open interference with peaceful and democratic transition of power.
However, through G&A Company Advocates, the commission has strongly opposed the case, saying Chebukati cannot be removed from office.
“Any invitation to suspend Chebukati from the discharge of the functions of his office is an invitation for chaos and anarchy within the country," court papers read.
"The same will render the commission improperly constituted thus negating its ability and competence to conduct the forthcoming general elections on August 9.”
The polls agency also challenged the case, arguing that anyone seeking to remove Chebukati should petition the National Assembly, setting out the alleged facts constituting that ground, then the assembly shall consider it and if satisfied, shall send it to the President.
“The petition is incompetent, defective and lacks merit because it seeks to confer this court with the powers it does not have,” the court papers said.
IEBC said the case wants the court to restrain a constitutional office holder from exercising the responsibilities of their office, yet the process of removal from such office has not been initiated and a suspension effected by the President.
“That will be usurping the functions of the National Assembly, the President and the tribunal with regard to removal of members of commissions and independent offices,” court documents read.
The activist has cited the Venezuelan issue as one of the reasons why Chebukati should be removed.
Through lawyer Otieno Aluoka, he said Chebukati has betrayed public confidence and trust in the institution of the IEBC.
“Regardless of the state of public dismay, apprehension and uncertainly over the election affairs, failure of the elections is not an option and as such our country ought to be saved from ineptitude of Chebukati, [who] is a threat to national peace and cohesion,” court papers read.
He further said given the signs of massive improprieties in the management of the electoral process, unless Chebukati is stopped in his tracks, the country risks plunging into chaotic election because of contested legitimacy and credibility of its outcomes.
The case was mentioned on Wednesday morning before Justice Mugure Thande who set the hearing of case on Monday a day before election.
(edited by Amol Awuor)