Chebukati says IEBC will not bar those with active appeals
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati yesterday reiterated that the polls body will not bar any candidate with integrity queries as long as they have active appeals in court.
Speaking a day after the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) questioned IEBC’s decision to clear some of the aspirants fingered for various ethical and criminal issues, some with active cases in court, Chebukati said their hands were tied saying the Constitution provided a window for those with cases to vie for office unless they are convicted and have exhausted their appeals. He, however, slammed the door for those who were impeached from office.
“Under Article 75 of the Constitution, those who have been impeached stay impeached and we shall treat them as such. For those who have been convicted but have an appeal, the commission follows the direction of Article 99(3), that as long as you have an appeal, we cannot stop you from vying,” Chebukati said. In an earlier statement, the EACC said they had isolated individuals who should not be cleared to run for office. “The Commission has flagged 241 persons with various outstanding integrity issues related to corruption and economic crime. EACC considers these persons to have fallen short of the moral and ethical standards stipulated for election to public office. EACC hopes that IEBC will make appropriate decisions guided by Constitutional values and public interest,” said the anti-graft agency.
Chebukati however, said they were waiting for an active case in court to be determined.
“I am also alive to the fact that there is a court case in which the Chief Justice has constituted a three-judge Bench to hear a case relating to integrity issues. I would appeal that the case be heard as soon as possible, within two weeks before the commission starts preparing ballot papers so that if there is any direction from the court then we shall incorporate the decision of the court,” he added.
In particular, Chebukati referred to the ongoing case of Sirisia MP John Waluke who has been cleared to vie despite having a case in court. The MP had been found guilty of graft by the High Court but has appealed.
Reacting to the EACC report, Chebukati said the commission will follow the law to the letter.
“We received the report from the EACC yesterday evening. As you all know the clearance is ongoing, so we shall therefore look at the report and make a statement on the way forward,” Chebukati stated.