Chebukati ‘removes’ all commissioners from IEBC WhatsApp group
Sharp divisions within the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) continues to play out with reports indicating that Chairman Wafula Chebukati has removed all the commissioners from the agency’s WhatsApp group.
A screenshot circulated by NTV shows the WhatsApp group with the sole name of Chebukati at the top.
This is the latest twist in a bitter fallout among the commissioners that first played out publicly last week on Monday when Chebukati declared Dr William Ruto the winner of the presidential election.
That Monday evening, as Chebukati prepared to make the announcement at the Bomas of Kenya, four dissenting commissioners, led by the Vice Chair Juliana Cherera, called a separate press conference to disassociate themselves with Chebukati’s announcement.
The four commissioners rejected the presidential election results saying they would not take ownership of the announced results.
IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati removes all commissioners from commission's WhatsApp group: source pic.twitter.com/lGqzcysOGs
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) August 26, 2022
Cherera’s group comprises Justus Nyang’aya, Irene Masit, and Francis Wanderi while Chebukati’s camp has Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu, in what seems to be a battle of wills between the newcomers to the commission and the old guards.
Cherera’s group also claimed that they were sidelined in the appointment of returning officers, amid allegations that they were blindsided by the arrival of the first batch of ballot papers.
During a meeting with candidates from eight electoral areas where elections have been delayed, Cherera further claimed that some commissioners were intentionally kept in the dark regarding the printing of ballot papers.
Meanwhile, the four electoral commissioners will now each file their responses in the petition challenging the outcome of the vote.