24 July 2013

Kenya: IEBC March 4 Report Yet to Be Adopted

Divisions have rocked the National Assembly committee on Justice and Legal Affairs over whether to adopt or trash the March 4 polls report tabled by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission last Thursday.

The disagreements arose when the committee failed to engage the IEBC chair Isaack Hassan and some of his commissioners on the reliability of the information in the document.

The report was tabled by the commission amid controversy involving oath taking. The controversy saw Hassan decline to take the oath before presenting the election results claiming he is fasting and therefore cannot lie.

The IEBC chair and his commissioners including CEO James Oswago came ready to take the oath only for the committee chairman Samuel Chepkonga to announce the meeting is adjourned until next week to give members time to familiarise with the document.

"We have not had time to read the report because it was only tabled on Thursday last week and given the busy schedule of the members, we will have to arrange for another meeting with the IEBC because members have issues concerning the results and want to interrogate the figures on the point of preparedness," ruled Chepkonga.

However, his vice chairperson Priscilla Nyokabi (Nyeri County) said she had read the report.

"I have gone through the report and am fully aware of its contents," said Nyokabi moments after the chairman had left the room.

But the Cord members claimed that the postponement of the meeting with IEBC was to buy time in order to pacify those perceived to be critical of the report and not "whether people had or had not internalized the document."

In the spirit of cooling the temperatures against the IEBC, the commission has already finalized retreat plans for the committee members in Mombasa.

"We have been going through this report since last week when it was tabled. The document has its own disparities and we wanted to question the IEBC. We read double speak in the decision to put off today's meeting though am not overruling the chairman but he should have gone through the document on Friday," said Dagoreti North MP Simba Arati- not a committee member but the House rules allow such arrangements only that the non member cannot take a vote.

Reports indicate that a meeting was held at state house over the weekend where committee members allied to the Jubilee coalition were instructed to ensure the report is adopted by the committee.

However, Chepkonga denied knowledge of such a meeting insisting that the committee cannot take directions from any quarter.

But yesterday, committee members allied Cord vowed to ensure the report is not passed by the committee. The report will form the basis upon which political parties that meet the requirements are to be funded from the public kitty.

The MP claimed that the figures contained in the report have disparities and therefore cannot determine what a party gets. He said the disparities range between the presidential and Governor, MPs and Members of the County Assembly.

"We have our own report that has completely different figures from what IEBC has. We will not allow fictitious figures to be used to share the parties' fund. We will rally our members against this move," said Arati.

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