Immediate former IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati says spirited attempts were made to subvert the will of the people during the August 9 polls.
Chebukati, while appearing before a nine-member tribunal probing the conduct of the four former IEBC Commissioners recounted the visits that were made at IEBC’s national tallying centre at the Bomas of Kenya with a singular aim of moderating the results.
The first visit that was made at 3am on August 15, 2022 was made by former CS Raphael Tuju, former Senator Amos Wako and Advocate Kyalo Mbobu on behalf of Azimio Coalition with an aim of discussing the verification process and tallying of the results.
“The first to speak was Amos Wako who said we should not operate in a vacuum and should look at the bigger picture. He advised that we should moderate results and achieve stability of the country. Hon. Tuju said it was necessary to moderate the results in favour of Baba (Raila Odinga) to avoid plunging the country into chaos. If not possible, we should moderate Presidential results to ensure there is a runoff,” recalled Chebukati whose term at the helm of IEBC ended on January 18, 2023.
“Hon.Tuju indicated that we will be adequately rewarded if we considered the request.”
While the “Cherera 4” Commissioners wanted the request considered, Chebukati said his stance, together with that of Commissioners Prof. Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu that they will abide by the rule of law saw the Tuju team leave in a huff.
Yet still, Chebukati indicated that on the morning of January 15, 2022, he received a call from the then Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua who indicated that members of the National Security Advisory Committee will be paying him a visit to discuss the “Assumption of Office.”
The team of four members that were carefully selected included Kennedy Kihara, Kennedy Ogeto and former Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.
“They had a message from the committee that if I declared the final results in favour of William Ruto, the country was going to burn,” said Chebukati who indicated the team was also rooting for modification of Presidential results.
According to Chebukati, the results verification process was thorough and incorporated all Commissioners and agents who had the chance to look at the forms and raise any issue if need be.
“It is only Commissioner Nyang’aya who raised an issue regarding the results of one area which was sorted out. All the Commissioners never had an issue with tallying and verification process until the tail end,” Chebukati told the Justice Aggrey Muchelule led tribunal.
It would however emerge that the Commissioners had their own silent wars with Irene Masit refusing to work with Francis Wanderi in taking charge of matters welfare and security prompting the Chairman to split the two functions.
The former IEBC Chairperson says they set up a public portal to ensure that Kenyans and the whole world could have an opportunity to interact with all election results and that 386 million people interacted with the portal worldwide.
The nine-member tribunal led by Appellate Judge Aggrey Muchelule was appointed to consider the petition for the removal of Juliana Cherera, Francis Mathenge Wanderi, Irene Cherop Masit and Justus Abonyo Nyang'aya from office as members of IEBC and to inquire into the allegations therein.
Cherera, Wanderi and Nyang’aya have since resigned with Masit opting to clear her name before the tribunal.
The tribunal will resume on the February 9, 2023 at 10am for highlighting of the filed submissions.