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Senator Okiya Omtatah reignites activism mojo, takes Ruto to court

Omtatah argues that President Ruto's appointments were unprocedural

Busia Senator Okiyah Omtatah

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) selection panel's operations face a potential legal challenge from Busia Senator Okiya Omtatah.

Omtatah argues that the selection panel was not constituted according to the law since the entities nominating members did not involve the public.

He asserts that only the Parliamentary Service Commission complied with the legal requirement by advertising the position of panel members. According to Omtatah, other organizations made decisions in boardrooms and handpicked panel members.

He also criticized the political liaison committee's chair for nominating himself to the panel, likening the situation to running the country like a kiosk.


"All these other bodies went into the boardroom decisions and handpicked people to the panel. To make it worse, the chair of the political liaison committee nominated himself. We can't run a country like a kiosk," the Senator said.

Moreover, Omtatah contends that the Senate did not pass the IEBC amendment law as required, as it was withdrawn from the floor before the vote. He maintains that the withdrawal of the bill by the Senate legal committee's chair, Hillary Sigei, was not procedural and went against standing orders, making the law used to form the selection panel faulty.

Omtatah plans to challenge the amendment in court, asserting that the bill was passed without debate and, thus, constitutes an invalid law.


"I will head to court next week to challenge that amendment. The chair was prevailed upon to withdraw the bill from the house. No standing order provides for that, therefore, that bill was passed without the debate on it and it's an invalid law," the Senator said.

Despite the legal challenges, the IEBC selection panel, led by Dr. Nelson Makanda, has started its work and advertised for the vacant positions of chair and commissioners. Thus far, 169 individuals have applied for the seven positions.

The selection panel is required to have representatives of the Parliamentary Service Commission, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC), the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) and the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya.


Below are the members composing the IEBC selection committee:

  1. Bethuel Sugut
  2. Novince Euralia Atieno
  3. Charity S. Kisotu
  4. Evans Misati James
  5. Benson Ngugi Njeri
  6. Nelson Makanda
  7. Fatuma Saman


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