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IEBC to appeal High Court decision on quorum, Chebukati

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is in the process of lodging an appeal in regard to the Thursday High Court ruling on its legality and constitutionality in relation to quorum.

Commission Chair, Wafula Chebukati, said they will on Thursday, meet with their lawyers to discuss the matter before they move to appeal the judgement.

Preparations for tomorrow’s Juja Parliamentary Elections on top gear at the Constituency’s Tallying Centre at Mang’u High School. Photo by Muoki Charles

On Thursday, a five-bench judge, while declaring the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) null and void, also restrained IEBC from undertaking any processes in respect to the amendments.

They said IEBC lacked quorum of carrying out its mandate, including verification of BBI signatures.

However, Chebukati said the judgement relied on the commission’s statute of having five members as quorum but not the constitution that provides for three.

He was speaking at Mangu High School, Juja Constituency tallying Centre, today.

“There are two conflicting judgements on what constitutes our quorum which we would like the Court of Appeal to shed light on. We want to know should we rely on the statute or the law,” he said.

He at the same time ruled out any crisis at the Commission, saying the Thursday ruling gave them stay orders to perform its mandate.

Currently, the Commission has three Commissioners out of the required nine.

On Juja by-elections preparedness, Chebukati said it is all systems go, as voting materials, returning officers, clerks and Kiems kits are already in place.

He said they will be working closely with security officers to avert possible violence as witnessed in other by-elections that were recently conducted in Matungu Constituency.

The Chairman said their staff have been adequately prepared to conduct the by-elections in Juja and Bonchari and that they will be able to deliver free, fair and credible elections.

He also added that they will strictly enforce Covid-19 protocols and that they will prevent those who will not have face masks from voting.

Juja Constituency has 184 Polling Stations and about 115,000 registered voters, according to the Returning Officer, Justus Mbithi.

The race has attracted 11 candidates who are seeking to replace, Francis Waititu ‘Wakapee’, who succumbed to brain cancer in February.

Among those seeking to succeed ‘Wakapee’ include her widow, Susan Waititu, who has vied on Jubilee Party ticket and Gorge Koimburi (People’s Empowerment Party-affiliated to Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria).

Others are Zulu Thiong’o (Independent), John Njoroge (People’s Party of Kenya), Eunice Wanjiru (The New Democrats), and Independent candidates, Dr. Joseph Gichui, Moses Mwenda and Kariuki Chege.

By Muoki Charles

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