Chebukati Suffers Another Setback

  • IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati addressing the press during a past event.
    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, addressing the press during a past event.
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chair Wafula Chebukati has been dealt another blow after a court extended orders suspending his directive requiring all civil servants who are interested in elective seats to resign by February 9.

    On Monday, January 24, Justice Monica Mbaru of the Employment and Labour Relations Court, gave a stay order until February 9 when the case that was filed by Embu County official Julius Wainaina Kariuki will be heard.

    The court had earlier indicated that it would rule on the matter on January 24.

    Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Monica Mbaru
    An undated image of Employment and Labour Relations Court Justice Monica Mbaru.
    Capital Group

    While the order is a setback for Chebukati, it is a reprieve for public officers such as Cabinet Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries, parastatal chiefs, board members and directors of State agencies who are eyeing political seats.

    The petitioner had moved to court on December 21, 2021, seeking the suspension of section 43(3) of the Elections Act.

    The Act stipulates that: “A public officer who intends to contest an election under this Act shall resign from the public office at least six months before the date of the election.”

    In his case, Kariuki claimed that IEBC had no power to disqualify public servants seeking public office on grounds that they did not resign six months prior to August 9, General Election.

    A similar petition was filed in court by a teacher from Kisii County seeking to stop the electoral agency from disqualifying him from contesting if he does not resign from his position by February 9.

    In his court papers, James Oroko, a teacher at Nyakeyo Mixed Secondary School, asked the court to bar the commission from implementing the directive.

    In August 2021, Chebukati noted that public officers have to resign before February 9 if they intended to contest in the forthcoming polls. He asked them to allow other Kenyans to take up the positions.

    Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati and BBI Secretariat Co-Chair Dennis Waweru submit signatures at IEBC headquarters on December 10, 2020
    Suna East MP Junet Mohamed (left), and BBI Secretariat Co-Chair Dennis Waweru (right) submit signatures to IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati (centre) at IEBC headquarters in Nairobi on December 10, 2020