The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati, has criticized ODM leader Raila Odinga and other stakeholders who came up with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, for portraying the election body as single handedly being the issue in every divisive election cycle.
Chebukati further lashed out at the BBI team for using the IEBC as a scapegoat through a statement on Friday the 23rd of October 2020. He also condemned the changes the BBI report is proposing on the IEBC.
“IEBC notes that it has been singled out as the only Independent Commission and indeed entity whose establishment is sought to be removed by way of the proposed changes in the BBI report under Divisive Elections thematic area.”
According to Chebukati, the BBI is counteracting some of Kenya’s gains in the election process.
“Additionally, the report claws back on the gains made over the years on electoral management in Kenya. This targeted onslaught against the Commission is not new as it has been occurring after every general election since 1992.
The sustained campaigns weaken and interfere with the independence of the Commission which is guaranteed under Article 88 as read together with Article 248 and 249 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.”
ODM leader Raila Odinga has repeatedly called for changes on IEBC starting with commissioners. According to him, this will increase people’s faith in the independent Commission.
Mr Odinga also proposes that IEBC officials should only be in the office for only a three-year term. They can, however, renew it only once if their tenure was transparent and effective.
The BBI also proposes to do away with the IEBC vice chairperson post who acts when the chairman is absent.
The report also proposes the change of titles to fewer titles such as Head of Department instead of the Director. Returning officers should also only serve for one general election according to the BBI.