Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati has insisted that the commissioners who returned to their offices on Friday resigned and they will, therefore, not be allowed back.
In a statement to the newsrooms, Mr Chebukati said the three commissioners including former vice-chairperson Consolata Maina, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya issued a public statement of their resignation on April 16.
Mr Chebukati said the three filed and submitted their clearance forms – having surrendered the commission's assets and were cleared by the secretariat.
Additionally, he said, they each swore affidavits affirming their resignations in a petition pending before the High Court, that they had submitted their letters to the President.
In a ruling, Justice Wilfrida Okwny said the issue of the commissioners’ alleged resignation was an issue that was neither here nor there and was not proved by any tangible evidence.
Two of the commissioners returned to their offices on Friday, causing an uproar as lawyers termed the move as unethical and immoral.
Mr Chebukati said in the statement that the commission has appeared before Parliament’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee and the Senate to address the framework for filling the vacancies.
“More importantly the Judgment delivered by the High Court in Petition 212 of 2018 while affirming that the commission is properly constituted noted the former commissioners did not follow due process in resigning. However, the court further noted that it had taken judicial notice of the fact of the public action and decision of the commissioners in resigning and made further observation that the vacancies should be filled by appointment of new commissioners,” he said.
The IEBC chairman said they will continue discharging their mandate including the post-election evaluation, which he said is in its final stages.
Ms Maina and Ms Mwachanya stormed the commission’s offices last Friday, saying they are effectively still in office despite having announced their resignations in a press conference.
The two arrived at the commission mid-morning and went to Mr Chebukati’s office who left after refusing to see them, describing them as strangers whom he could only meet on appointment.
Mr Chebukati said he wrote to the three commissioners on April 20 asking them why they have never reported to their offices or issued the commission with letters confirming their resignations.
But since then, they have never responded or reported to their offices at Anniversary Towers.
“It is clear that the three have absconded duty unlawfully,” Mr Chebukati added in an affidavit in a case pending in court.