The Star (Nairobi)

21 December 2012

Kenya: Right of Reply - IEBC Must Ignore Call to Ban Sonko and Waititu Bids

opinion

This is in response to the article 'Ombudsman wants Sonko, Waititu barred' published on page I of the Star newspaper of Tuesday December 18 where the Commission on the Administration of Justice chaired by Ombudsman Otiende Amollo is seeking to have MPs Mike Sonko and Ferdinand Waititu as well as all commissioners who served in the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya, barred from running for public office

In the matters relating to nominations and elections the IEBC is the sole constitutional arbiter on suitability and eligibility or otherwise of candidates. The only other body that may constitutionally intervene or review decisions of the IEBC is the judiciary.

Whilst Mr Amollo's commission is established by an Act of Parliament (Act No.23 of 2011) the IEBC is established by the Constitution with a specific mandate on the general supervision of elections. Mr Amollo's commission is therefore inferior to the IEBC.

By its purported recommendation, Mr. Amollo's commission is usurping the IEBC's jurisdiction and is therefore a busy-body. Under Article 249 of the Constitution, the IEBC's authority and functions are "independent and not subject to direction or authority or control of any person or authority" inclusive of Mr. Amollo, his commission, or other unsolicited sources.

In purporting to interfere with IEBC's constitutional mandate and "naming" individuals inclusive ex-ECK Commissioners Mr. Amollo as "a State Officer "offends the provisions of Article 73 (1) of the same Chapter Six by not demonstrating respect for other people and by not bringing honour and dignity to his office.

Further contempt for Chapter 6 is evinced by the malice smacked by Mr. Amollo in failing to call the ex-ECK Commissioners to make representations or state their case before the publication of any adverse report.

As a person adversely affected by Mr. Amollo's so called recommendation, I was not called to answer or refute accusations purportedly leveled against me. Where is the notion of natural justice, fair hearing or impartiality?

Again Mr. Amollo breaches his own statutory mandate by ignoring the findings of the Kreigler Commission which absolved the ex-ECK Commissioners of any blame individually or collectively.

By trampling on other people's rights, Mr. Amollo desecerates the very constitution he helped to draft and is in contempt thereof and guilty of conduct unbecoming of a state officer. He is anti-reform!

The IEBC should ignore such intrusive and unsolicited advice from meddling busy-bodies especially from persons actuated by malice and subjective partisan interests.

The writer comments on topical issues

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