Thirdway Alliance party leader Ekuru Aukot wants Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners to work on a part-time basis to curb the irregularities witnessed at the commission.
Aukot added that adopting this work model will guarantee the country free and fair elections as commissioners would work independently without fear of reproach or coercion.
Speaking at an interview on Tuesday 12, Aukot opined that Kenyans, specifically the political class, have politicized the IEBC, thus affecting the independence of the commissioners.
The Ethics and Anticorruption Commission (EACC) already adopted a part-time work model, and Aukot, a lawyer by profession and a 2017 presidential election contestant, sees no reason impeding IEBC from following suit.
Former IEBC commissioners Moya Bolu, Abdi Guliye and Chair Wafula Chebukati during the launch of the 2022 Post-Election Evaluation Report on Monday, January 16, 2023.
“Going forward, we should make IEBC part-time. We should borrow from what has already happened at the Ethics and Anticorruption Commission, where the Commissioners are working part-time,” Aukot opined while appearing as a panellist on Citizen TV.
The Ethics and Anticorruption Act Number 22 of 2011, under the Terms of Office, stipulates that the Chairperson and members of the commission, while being appointed for a single term of 6 years, shall serve on a part-time basis.
“The chairperson and members of the Commission shall be appointed for a single term of six years and are not eligible for re-appointment,” the document reads in part.
Aukot explained that the concept of IEBC commissioners working on a part-time basis is akin to his previous role as chairperson of a University Council, where he served remotely and travelled only when needed.
“I have run a whole university as a chairman of the council while working out of the country. I would fly in, chair a meeting, and take off,” he explained.
From his perspective, the controversy surrounding IEBC commissioners arises from politicians seeking favours and coercing them to conform to their demands.
“Politicians want favours from individual commissioners,” he claimed.
“The whole debate around IEBC is because the politicians want to cherry-pick who is their preferred candidates.”
Reconstitution of the IEBC is among the key contentious issues being discussed within the bipartisan team comprising members of the opposition and pro-government allies.
President William Ruto and opposition leader Raila Odinga selected five allies each to lead peace talks as the two leaders seek a truce.
Aukot, however, rubbished the talks, saying they were a waste of time as Ruto was already elected and sworn in as President, and he has constantly exuded confidence that he won the elections, contrary to the opposition’s claim.
“The problem with these talks is that they are a waste of time and resources, but it also, in a way, confirms that President William Ruto isn’t confident that he actually won the election fairly. If he did, and I believe he did, why is he entertaining a conversation with someone who lost?” This conversation on this country is being reduced to Raila and Ruto, yet Kenya belongs to more than 50 million people,” he warned.
“If I were President Ruto, I would tell the opposition that if they have a problem with my leadership, they need to go through Parliament and file a motion of censure or impeachment,” Aukot challenged Ruto.
Other than the reconstitution of the IEBC, the team agreed to entrench the prime minister’s office in the Constitution, create the official office of the opposition leader and safeguard the fidelity of political parties.
William Ruto on the left holding his certificate with Rigathi Gachagua on the right accompanied by other Kenya Kwanza leaders at Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022