Nairobi — The Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission has finally released the complete election results before the Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs.
Commissioners led by Chairman Issack Hassan however declined to take oaths before being questioned on the report's contents.
They objected the move accusing since they have appeared before parliamentary committees before and never been asked to take oaths.
"We believe and we feel this is selective application of the law on this commission and it's unfair. Some of us are fasting Ramadan. It is actually an offence to lie when you are fasting. So to be accused of mischief I think is very unfortunate." stated a visibly irritated Hassan.
Hassan was accompanied by Vice-chairperson Lillian Mahiri-Zaja, commissioners Yusuf Nzibo, Thomas Letangule, Mohammed Alawi, Abdullahi Sharawe and Chief Executive Officer James Oswago.
The commissioners at one point stormed out of the meeting to consult whether it was procedural for them to take the oaths.
Committee chairman Samuel Chepkonga adjourned the sitting until next Tuesday to allow the MPs interrogate the bulky documents.
"When they appear before us on Tuesday, they must take an oath. It is not a favour we require of them, the law is very clear," stated Chepkonga (Ainabkoi).
Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa kicked off the debate when he demanded that sittings must proceed in accordance with Article 125 of the Constitution which states that anyone appearing before a committee must be on oath.
"The information we want is of national good and given the way they have been dilly-dallying and the laxity of giving information, I humbly request that the IEBC must be under oath before they submit the presentations," Wamalwa said.
The committee chairman attempted to intervene in the matter saying that the IEBC was 'not presenting evidence' but rather 'just making a statement'.
Augustine Neto (Ndhiwa), William Cheptumo (Baringo North) and Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) disagreed however, stating that Article 125 covers not only evidence, but also statements presented to the committee.
Kaluma said the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee will not be party to a casual presentation of the final results by the IEBC.
Wamalwa had demanded a statement from the IEBC to explain the reason for the delay in publishing complete results of the March 4 General Election which he argued are to be used as the reference point when disbursing funds to political parties.
The Political Parties Act (2011) provides a formula for disbursing the funds by computing the total number of votes secured by the qualifying political party.
Consequently, the Registrar of Political Parties must add the total number of votes obtained by a party in the election for President, Members of Parliament, County Governors and Members of County Assemblies in the elections.
Provisions in the 2010 Constitution and election laws passed one year later allocate "not less than 0.3 per cent" of the total revenue collected by the national Government every year to the Political Parties Fund.
This means that 15 percent is to be distributed equally among political parties, 80 percent on the basis of "the total number of votes secured at the last general election by each political party's presidential, parliamentary and county assembly candidates, and five percent for the fund's administration.
The election results were expected to be released two weeks after the March 4 elections as stipulated in the law.
MPs said they were concerned that the commission had decided to delay the release of the results until September to pre-empt a situation where petitioners could take advantage of the results to prosecute their petitioners.
At least 180 elections petitions have been filed in the courts after the last general elections held on March 4.
The law limits the determination of such cases to six months after a general election. This means the cases must be concluded by the end of September in line with the law that require the election petitions be concluded within six months.
Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.