CJ Koome Questions IEBC's 2022 Elections Preparedness

  • CJ Martha Koome addressing fellow state actors during the NCAJ meeting
    CJ Martha Koome addressing fellow state actors during the NCAJ meeting
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  • The Chief Justice, Martha Karambu Koome, has questioned the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) preparedness to hold credible and fair elections on August 9, 2022.

    Koome, while speaking in Mombasa on Tuesday, November 16, challenged IEBC to make public all logistical measures it has put in place, stating that there is need to interrogate these measures. 

    She stated that although IEBC is an independent body, it is important for the public to gauge its level of preparedness.

    “Though we are an independent body as per our operations, every agency involved in the General Election preparations must inform Kenyans how well prepared they are, since we all work in an inter-dependable manner with several other agencies,” she remarked.

    IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati During Election Preparation Forum on October 21
    IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati During Election Preparation Forum on October 21
    IEBC Twitter Page

    “How well trained are those ready to work with IEBC? How committed are they or will we still see a trend of last-minute employment of returning officers, are they ready to ensure that they will not mess with the will of the people?” the Chief Justice posed.

    Besides the logistics, Koome stated that one group that plays a very critical role in elections is the returning officers, and therefore the election body should state in detail the process they used in hiring these officers. 

    She proceeded to say that these officers must be willing and qualified, to ensure elections are fair, and there are no disruptions. 

    Koome stated that it is important to gauge the capacity of these people as early as now, so that there is no trend of last minute employment in the election body. 

    “How well trained are those ready to work with IEBC? How committed are they or will we still see a trend of last-minute employment of returning officers, are they ready to ensure that they will not mess with the will of the people?”

    In a way of defending her remarks, the Chief Justice stated that although the constitution provides that IEBC is an independent body, no institution can work independently and provide the best results. 

    “I am holding this chain here, you are holding the same chain at the far end, how tight is your grip? If it’s not tight enough, it will loosen and the chain of justice will fall," she stated.

    Her sentiments were backed by the Court of Appeal President, Justice Daniel Musinga, who stated that the Judiciary is working together to ensure that the country delivers credible elections.

    “There is a committee of judges recently formed by the CJ and we are working closely with all stakeholders in ensuring that the country will have free and fair elections by dealing with all disputes expeditiously,” noted Musinga.

    IEBC Officials During A Stakeholders Meeting on Wednesday November 3
    IEBC Officials During A Stakeholders Meeting on Wednesday, November 3
    IEBC Twitter Page