Chief Justice Martha Koome has sworn into office the Chief Executive Officer of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Mr Marjan Hussein Marjan at the Supreme Court.
Congratulating him on his new appointment, Koome told Marjan to live up to and meet the standards for free, fair and credible elections set out in the Constitution and electoral laws to enable the country have a democratic and peaceful electoral process.
She told Mr Marjan that the oath he has taken requires him to serve the country to the best of his abilities, and to bear in mind the enormous responsibilities placed upon him to deliver his mandate of giving Kenyans a free and fair election process.
The CJ said Kenyans expect the Commission to work towards the realization of strengthening the country’s constitutional democracy through regular free and fair elections in which every voter is able to vote.
“In your hands and the Secretariat, together with the Commissioners, lies the protection and realization of Kenyans’ right to free and fair elections and the right to vote as guaranteed in Article 38 of the 2010 Constitution,” said Koome.
The CJ stressed that Chapter Seven of the Constitution on ‘Representation of the People’ requires IEBC to impartially manage elections, referenda, and the delimitation of boundaries of electoral areas, as a democracy-enhancing institution.
“I urge the Commission to always bear in mind our nation’s history of contested elections and how this has often led to loss of life and property,” said Koome.
She said it is as a result of the undesirable legacy of people losing lives after elections that necessitated Kenyans and the drafters of the Constitution to ensure the Constitution provided detailed principles and rules regarding the conduct of elections.
The CJ said in order to attain the objective of democratic and peaceful electoral processes, the Constitution envisages a credible and visibly independent, transparent, impartial, neutral, efficient, accurate, and accountable Commission.
She said for the Commission to meet the set standards and achieve its purpose, all members of staff at IEBC must work collectively as a team.
She at the same time commended the ongoing collaboration between IEBC and the Judiciary Committee on Elections in regard to the training of judges and Judicial Officers on Election Dispute Resolution and collaboration in the area of electoral law reforms.
“I hope that this partnership will continue to grow going into the future for the benefit of our two institutions and to the benefit of the nation,” added Koome.
By Bernadette Khaduli