OPINION: Wafula Chebukati, Kenya’s fate rests on your shoulders
BY ERIC B. OCHIENG, Nairobi.
I must recognise and thank you for handling the electoral commission in the manner you have done so far, especially at a time when the entire country is apprehensive.
You have demonstrated composure, fortitude and resilience that comes with the experience of working under pressure.
But Sir, we are at crossroads. Though the Supreme Court did not hold any Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission official accountable after nullifying the August 8 presidential polls, your office was questioned for having not followed the law with regard to conducting and declaring the results.
Now you may want to appreciate that there is a lot of polarisation emanating from the August 8 elections, which some believe were bungled.
Since then, other elected leaders have gone to courts to challenge various respective office holders from that particular election, all of whom have been sworn into office.
Perhaps during proceedings of the petitions, you will have an opportunity to rebut some of these or all the allegations.
But all in all, you have shown the way by organising another presidential election within the stipulated time as ordered by the Supreme Court. Mr chairman, I want to underscore the fact that right now, levels of apprehension have gone high among Kenyans.
One, there is uncertainty as to whether the elections shall be held on the date your office has set. Two, there is a general feeling that you are not in control of the independent commission that is constitutionally charged with conducting an election.
Three, you have been sending alarming signals as to whether your office is working in unison towards achieving the same goal.
Cabinet Secretaries and other government officials led by President Kenyatta are on record insisting that elections have to be held on October 26.
The question now begs; who is in charge of the date and who sets it — between the electoral commission and the executive arm of the Government?
The question on Kenyans’ minds is whether the commission has the capacity to conduct credible polls.
Kenyans will only be at peace when you assure them that you set the date and you are in charge. The executive should only be there to complement your efforts. Orders of the Supreme Court were directed to your office and no any other body, which if not adhered to, then you shall be in contempt of court and bear full consequences.
Right now, you hold the key to saving us from damnation by assuring the country that you are in charge, thus nobody’s puppet. I firmly believe that everyone at the commission is answerable to you as per the chain of command, therefore the buck stops with you Mr Chairman to either redeem or destroy your beloved country Kenya.