An epic clash is looming between Deputy President William Ruto and the handshake duo of President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga over proposed changes to the electoral body, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the 2022 general elections.
A recent meeting by the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) to deliberate on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries (Amendment) Bill and the Referendum Bill exposed the hardline stand taken by the two rival camps.
“We will not just consider the Bills but also check whether IEBC, as currently constituted, can conduct not only a referendum, but also elections,’’ confirmed the committee vice chairperson Otiende Amollo
While the handshake brothers are keen on having the IEBC reconstituted before the 2022 polls, DP Ruto’s team has made it clear that any attempt to do so will be unconstitutional and will be met with resistance.
Led by Soi MP Caleb Kositany who is DP Ruto’s spokesman, the pro-Ruto team has made it known that they will reject any attempt to reconstitute IEBC, essentially throwing their weight behind embattled chairman Wafula Chebukati to manage the 2022 elections.
“The current IEBC can manage the next elections. Remember in the Kriegler report, there was a suggestion that we should not change the IEBC two years to an election.
“What needs to be done right now and should be fast tracked, is to add the four commissioners so that it is fully constituted to prepare and run the 2022 elections,” said Mr Kositany.
IEBC currently has 3 commissioners Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu in office. This is after resignation of vice chairperson Cornie Nkatha Maina and commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya in 2018.
Deep state rigging out DP Ruto
Belgut MP Nelson Koech who is a vocal Ruto ally pointed out that ODM colluded with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s side of Jubilee to seize control of the Justice and Legal Affairs committee both in the Senate and the National Assembly in order to “meddle” with IEBC and warned that it will lead to mayhem.
“Any talk about changing IEBC now is not healthy and it will be unconstitutional…We must stop this perception that having your own IEBC will give you an upper hand. The real deep state or system is voters,” Mr Kositany added.
This come at a time when DP Ruto has expressed concerns of rigging, alleging that well-connected individuals who he refered to as the system and the deep state are out to steal his victory in 2022.
“Tunatishiwa ati kuna system,ati Deep State, ati hata tukipiga kura watatuibia, kuna watu wameketi mahali fulani wanangojea, watakuja na deep state, tutakuja na wananchi na mungu,” Ruto during a recent meeting at his Karen home.