5 People to Watch as Kenyans Head to Elections

  • EBC Chairperosn Wafula Chebukati addressing a crowd on Oct 22, 2018
    EBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati at a conference held on October 22, 2018
    File
  • With just 33 days to the General Election, activities surrounding the preparations for the August 9 poll have intensified.

    Various stakeholders are racing against time to ensure a flawless and credible process. 

    Critical state organs are usually involved in the planning and implementation of an election process. Kenyans.co.ke has highlighted some of the key figures to watch in the course of the electioneering period.

    A collage of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati and the Communications Authority Director-general Ezra Chiloba.
    A collage of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Wafula Chebukati and the Communications Authority Director-general Ezra Chiloba.

    Wafula Chebukati

    The Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission is a major player in the election process. His commission is mandated to conduct and supervise elections in the country.

    The IEBC chair is expected to be a busy man as his commission seeks to deliver on its mandate. 

    Chebukati, who will be overseeing a General Election for a second time, will hope to improve on the flaws experienced in 2017 where a presidential election was nullified.

    Upcoming general elections
    IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati in a past event
    Citizen Digital

    He is the voice of the commission and has the responsibility of leading the rest of the commissioners. IEBC chair is the returning officer for the presidential election where stakes are extremely high. 

    Chief Justice Martha Koome

    The Chief Justice is also the President of the Supreme Court of Kenya - the only court with the jurisdiction to determine a presidential election dispute. 

    As such, Koome and the entire seven-judge bench will be of great influence in the event of a presidential petition. 

    She has been in office for one year now since she took over from former Chief Justice David Maraga. Her predecessor Maraga made history in 2017 when he led his fellow Supreme Court judges in nullifying the presidential election.

    Chief Justice Martha Koome reads her verdict on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) ruling on Thursday, March 31, 2022
    Chief Justice Martha Koome reads her verdict on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) ruling on Thursday, March 31, 2022
    YouTube
    Supreme Court

    Samuel Kobia

    The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), has a major role in mitigating ethno-political violence and hate speech.

    In a country with a history of election violence, the NCIC will be a crucial player in the delivery of peaceful elections. 

    Samuel Kobia has been the commission’s chair since 2019. He has throughout his tenure stood his ground in combating ethnic violence, discrimination, and hate speech from political leaders.

    He once caused a stir when he blacklisted some popular phrases with the conviction that they had the potential to incite. These phrases included “hatupangwingwi” and “madoadoa”.  

    The commission is currently conducting a campaign to enhance cohesion among Kenyans. 

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    NCIC Chair Dr. Samuel Kobia addressing members of the press
    The Standard

    Ezra Chiloba

    Communications Authority Director General Ezra Chiloba is not new to election matters. Chiloba was part of the IEBC team that oversaw the last elections in 2017 while serving as its CEO. 

    At the Communications Authority, Chiloba is expected to lead in the authority's mandate to monitor how Kenyans share information about the elections.

    The authority will be key in ensuring that information about the election process is not distorted or manipulated. 

    Chiloba has assured Kenyans of their freedom in expressing their views through social media amid claims of plans to switch off social media.

    Communications Authority of Keya (CA) Director General Ezra Chiloba,.jpg
    Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) Director General Ezra Chiloba.
    Communications Authority of Kenya (CA)

    Hilary Mutyambai

    The police are also a major player in the delivery of a peaceful election. The inspector general will be expected to marshal efforts to maintain peace and order. 

    Police officers will be required to man the over 50,000 polling stations hence proving the big task ahead for the police. 

    Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai inspecting a past parade.
    Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai inspecting a past police parade.
    File
    violence