Chebukati says IEBC officials faced arrests, threats, kidnappings before results declaration
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Wafula Chebukati has made public a list of setbacks he claims impeded the electoral body from speedily announcing the results of the presidential election, that pit four candidates against each other.
Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya on Tuesday, moments before announcing William Ruto as the president-elect, Chebukati alleged that IEBC officials had on more than one occasion been hounded by unknown individuals who allegedly wanted to compromise the integrity of the election process.
According to Chebukati, some IEBC officials have been threatened with dire consequences by the said assailants, while others were kidnapped and put behind bars for unknown reasons.
"We have walked the journey of ensuring Kenyans get free, fair and credible elections. It's not been an easy journey. Right now two of my commissioners and the CEO are injured; we have staff who have been profiled. There is a staff member who disappeared while on duty. We have staff who have been arbitrarily arrested for no reason and I don't know where they are at the moment," said Chebukati.
His statement, among other things, referenced the unexplained disappearance of Embakasi East Constituency Returning Officer Daniel Musyoka who was officially reported missing on Thursday, August 11.
Despite the alleged threats, Chebukati underscored that IEBC officials, himself included, did not falter under pressure and carried out their mandate to deliver free, fair and credible elections to Kenyans.
"We have a constitutional duty to perform and that is why I stand before you here today despite intimidation and harassment. I took an oath of office to serve this country and I have done my duty in accordance with the constitution and the laws of the land," said Chebukati.
With the August 9 polls being the last General Election that Chebukati will preside over, the IEBC chair bid farewell to Kenyans and urged them to respect the official announcement from the electoral body.
"I feel proud that I have been given this opportunity to serve Kenyans. This will be my last election and for those who will come we have prepared for you what the constitution envisaged from us, an independent electoral commission," he said.
He similarly thanked IEBC staff, stakeholders, members of the diplomatic community and religious leaders who worked in tandem with the electoral body to deliver free, fair and credible elections.
According to Chebukati, Ruto fulfilled the constitutional requirements after garnering 7,176,141 votes, representing 50.49 per cent of the total votes cast and he achieved the minimum number of 39 counties at 25 per cent.
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