President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga have unanimously agreed for Supreme Court Judge Justice Isaac Lenaola to replace Wafula Chebukati as the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman are in motion. This is after a section called for reforms at the Electoral institution.
Sources say his sterling performance at the Judiciary, principled leadership, and his image among the international community which has earned him accolades have contributed to the assignment.
Due to Lenaola being of Samburu background, he is also getting an advantage to accommodate disadvantaged communities in prime slots, said an MP who believes the appointment will pass which will head to parliament will pass.
Lenaola was among the Supreme Court judges that nullified Uhuru’s win on August 17, 2017, and ordered a repeat on October 26, the same year. Chebukati was appointed to replace Issack Hassan and the appointment will come as a shock and perhaps stir more drama with his deputy William Ruto.
It is not clear how the duo will get rid of Chebukati as the constitution states that “the office of the chairperson or a member of the commission becomes vacant if the holder dies or resigns from office by notice in writing addressed to the president or is removed from office under any of the circumstances specified in Article 251 and Chapter Six of the constitution.” Chebukati will have to voluntarily resign or be forced out due to his poor performance.
Chebukati’s tenure as the IEBC chairman has been marked with confusion and claims of ineptitude which saw three commissioners resign and later try to come back but their efforts were thwarted by Justice Chacha Mwita who held that Consolata Nkatha, Margaret Mwachanya, and Paul Kurgat resigned legally.
In efforts to frustrate DP Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid, Uhuru and Raila had proposed in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report that political parties be allowed to nominate commissioners to the IEBC sail through parliament.
The report, consisting of a 14-member BBI team led by Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji, proposed that leaders of parties with at least one MP be given a role in the recruitment in the commission.