Lobby wants three IEBC chiefs who resigned reinstated

The group says electoral agency chairman Wafula Chebukati violated the law.

Paul Kurgat (left), Margaret Mwachanya and Connie Maina when they announced their resignation from the electoral agency in April. A lobby wants them reinstated. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

IN SUMMARY

  • The group says IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati acted unreasonably when he stopped the three from taking their jobs.
  •  Wafula Chebukati said the three resigned from IEBC and even returned the commission’s property.

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A lobby has filed a case in court to push for the reinstatement of three electoral agency commissioners.

The International Human Rights Defenders Care Well Society, in a suit filed on Tuesday, said Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati acted unreasonably when he stopped the three from taking their jobs.

Mr Chebukati earlier said Ms Consolata Nkatha, Ms Margaret Mwachoya and Mr Paul Kurgat would not be allowed back following their public resignation on April 16.

 He said the three resigned from IEBC and even returned the commission’s property.

VIOLATED THE LAW

The group said Mr Chebukati violated the law and demonstrated his intentions "in word and deed".

It said Mr Chebukati is not the their employer and that locking their offices was unlawful.

The High Court last week stopped the three from resuming duty, pending the hearing and determination of an application by Mr Okiya Omtatah — an activist — who wants the resignations upheld.

Mr Omtatah said he seeks to protect the Constitution and the rule of law, “which are threatened by the action of the three”.

“The application seeks to stop the resumption of duty by the three, who have announced and demonstrated their shameless resolve to resume duty, after they voluntarily resigned on April 16, 2018,” Mr Omtatah in the court papers says.

FORMALLY RESIGNED

He argues that the three stated under oath that they formally resigned from the IEBC by writing to the President and had handed over their offices.

“Later, they cleared with the IEBC,” Mr Omtatah says.

According to the activist, the “former” commissioners “purport to have rescinded the decision to resign by relying on sections of a judgment delivered recently, which failed to resolve the controversy surrounding their action”.

The court will give directions on the case on September 17.

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