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Thousands sign Petition to Arrest Chebukati for bungling Kenyan elections

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An online petition calling for the arrest and prosecution of Wafula Chebukati has enchanted thousands who are demanding a pound of flesh from the IEBC Chairman for messing up the 2022 elections.

Started by Kenyans online, the viral appeal points out a number of conspicuous mistakes done by Chebukati which touched on critical areas of the election process, among them, his negligent handling of elections materials and the negligent management of IEBC information.

”His involvement with Venezuelan nationals arrested at JKIA for transporting IEBC election material in personal luggage is downright suspect. He failed to call the relevant authorities to inform them of this transport (thus compromising the, constitutionally mandated, transparency and simplicity of the elections) and did not present a suitable explanation as to why,” the petition reads in part.

”The KPMG report on the IEBC voter register shows that 2 million registered voters were moved from their polling stations to other polling stations. The audit also accused the IEBC of having 14 super returning officers that could access IEBC servers and manipulate, alter, add, subtract and move registered voters at will. It is unclear if Chebukati resolved these issues.”

After the elections, four IEBC commissioners, among them Vice Chairperson Janet Cherera said they could not take ownership of the presidential results announced by the commission’s vice chairperson due to its opaqueness.

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The petition notes this and says the IEBC chair should have waited to achieve consensus with the other commissioners before announcing the results. Only 1 Commissioner (Chebukati) signed the form containing final results, while 4 declined and 2 abstained.

”The fact that 6 out of the 7 Commissioners declined to affix their signatures to the form suggests that the IEBC did not believe in their veracity; only Chebukati did. This suggests two things. First, Chebukati’s results differ from those of the majority of the commission. Second, that his results, affirmed by a minority, was the basis upon which the President-Elect was declared: the belief of a single man. Herein, Chebukati exercised extra-judicial powers.

As was held in the Maina Kiai case (2017), “there is no doubt from the architecture of the laws we have considered that the people of Kenya did not intend to vest or concentrate such sweeping and boundless powers in one individual, the chairperson of the appellant.”

 The appeal already signed by thousands says Chebukati failed in his duty in a number ways, among them declaring the results before receiving all the Form 34As, as is required as per para 300 in Raila Odinga v IEBC (2017) and declaring the final results before declaring the results from every constituency. Regarding the former, at the time of the declaration, not all Form 34As had been received by the IEBC, as gauged from the public portal. 

”Addressing the latter, Chebukati failed to declare all the results from all 291 constituencies before making his announcement. This amounts to, roughly 1.4 million undeclared votes (approx. 10% of the total number of voters); the contents of which are unverifiable and opaque to the country and more than enough to swing the tide,” the petition continues.

In addition, the viral appeal notes Wafula Chebukati threatened Kenya’s national security by declaring the presidential results in the absence of group consensus in the IEBC board.

”Taken altogether, Chebukati must be arrested and found criminally liable for ‘misengineering’ yet another election. Each of the events outlined here jeopardized the realization of our constitutionally guaranteed right to elections that are free from violence, influence and corruption, elections that are transparent, and, most importantly, elections that reflect our popular will.”

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