Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and the Amani National Congress (ANC), led by Musalia Mudavadi have defended IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati from calls by Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to have the electoral body chair Mr. Wafula Chebukati vacate office before the next general elections.
Speaking on Friday in Homabay, at the burial of Senator Moses Kajwang and Ruraka MP TJ Kajwang’s father, ODM legislators led by party chairperson John Mbadi and Finance Committee Chair Glady Wanga vowed to have Mr. Chebukati out of IEBC, because he had presided over the bungled 2017 presidential elections and was unreliable.
“Chebukati presided over a presidential election that was nullified by the Supreme Court. This is the first presidential poll to be overturned in Africa. Chebukati is still at the helm of the electoral agency. I really fear if Chebukati still heads the polls body. We will consult with MPs and find a solution. We cannot allow this country to be plunged into chaos because of elections not being properly conducted,” Gladys Wanga told mourners.
Her sentiments were backed by Minority Leader John Mbadi, who noted the ODM Party cannot trust the IEBC to conduct next year’s elections while Chebukati was still in office.
“Please stop that which you are doing now until we get a full commission because we don’t trust you,” the Gwasi MP said.
In response to calls for Chebukati’s ouster, leaders from ANC and UDA have taken on their ODM counterparts whom they accuse of trying to create anarchy and chaos by calling for the removal of the IEBC chairperson.
”For those calling for removal of Mr.Chebukati, let me remind you that he is just a referee. Just like in a football match, a referee does not play the game, a referee just enforces the rules of the game. Do not, therefore, assign imagined blame to the referee. Get out, fold your sleeves, campaign and convince each and every Kenyan to vote for you, then sit and wait for the election date,” Duale said.
Duale’s sentiments were supported by ANC Party Deputy Leader Ayub Savula who has told the orange parTy ANC will oppose any plans to kick out Chebuakti from office, with the elections just a year away. Savula, also the Lugari MP warned of fireworks in parliament should ODM proceed with their plans.
Muranga Senator and UDA adherent Irungu Kangata noted ODM had not tabled any formal complaint about Chebukati, saying the party should focus on important issues and not politics.
“The procedure for removal of commissioners includes the formation of a tribunal. ODM has not tabled grounds justifying such removal. They should focus on addressing unemployment, agriculture, and health instead of politics,” Senator Kangata said.