President William Ruto gave his two cents regarding the removal of the four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission(IEBC) commissioners, seemingly taking a jibe at Azimio One Kenya Coalition party leader Raila Odinga's defence of the officials, after he claimed that the process was predetermined and aimed at kicking them out without fair trial.
Taking to his Twitter handle, the head of state intimated that the opposition was bent on restricting the law from taking its due course in the removal of the four IEBC commissioners namely vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera, Wanderi Kamau, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya, claiming that the democracy of Kenyans was under threat.
He further stated that the handshake agreement between retired President Uhuru Kenyatta and the former prime minister had previously endangered the independence of oversight institutions and hence would not stand for it in the current regime.
"The lords of impunity,who destroyed oversight institutions using the handshake fraud,should allow parliament to hold rogue officials who put the nation in danger by subverting the democratic will of the people to be held to account. New order is RULE of LAW not wishes of big men," his statement read.
President Ruto made the statement after Azimio’s top leadership, Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Martha Karua held a press briefing after attending the petition hearing against the Cherera Four by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly on Thursday, November 24 at County Hall.
Raila claimed that the ouster was unfair and predetermined as other petitions filed against IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati had not been tabled, alleging that the ouster bid had other motives.
“A process whose outcome is pre-determined is already underway at the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. The four Commissioners are supposed to appear before this Committee, be found guilty and be made to appear before a tribunal to be set up by [President] Ruto that will confirm their guilt. They will then be thrown out of IEBC,” he stated.
“A petition by Mr Milton Nyakundi Oriku dated 19th September 2022 against the three - Chebukati, Guliye and Molu - was received at the Main Records Unit of the Senate on 28th September 2022. To date, it has not been tabled before the Senate,” Odinga added.
The Azimio front was aiming to have the four commissioners accorded a chance to explain what transpired during the tallying of the presidential vote that led them to reject the results announced by Chairman Wafula Chebukati, terming the process as opaque.
Further, the faction wanted the other existing petitions tabled before the select committees so as not to victimize the four, to allow the questioning of the other three-Chebukati, Guliye and Molu to provide further details over what happened during the verification and tallying process after the August 9 elections.