Edwin Sifuna Vows to Disrupt IEBC Panel Appointed by Ruto
Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna has rejected the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) selection panel stating that he will disrupt the process if members of the Azimio are not included in the decision-making process.
Speaking during an interview with Citizen TV on Tuesday, February 28, Sifuna claimed that the individuals appointed by president William Ruto as members of the IEBC selection panel were members of Kenya Kwanza.
Sifuna stated that he would mobilise and ensure that members of the Azimio coalition are present when the panel meets to push their agenda.
“What we want is a bipartisan effort similar to what we saw in 1997 with the Inter-Party Parliamentary Group (IPPG), so that stakeholders can all be brought to the table to constitute a commission that will have faith in.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga leading an entourage to perform the Luo traditional cultural chant Siguweya at George Magoha’s funeral on February 11, 2023.
“Without that then we will not accept the process that is going on. At the meeting of that panel, we will bring the people who represent half the people in the country to make their point,” Sifuna stated.
Moreover, Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo stated that the selection panel would make biased decisions because all the members were loyal to the Kenya kwanza coalition.
“We cannot have a referee who will be putting on a jersey of a particular team and purport to whistle as an independent person at the field.
“It is wrong and totally uncalled for in this country. We cannot go into the election unless everyone is given an opportunity to participate,” Madzayo added.
The Azimio leaders questioned how two nominees from the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) were arrived at because they did not submit any names.
The party was given an opportunity to submit the names of a man and a woman for the panel but they decided to opt-out.
In response, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot faulted members of the Azimio coalition for failing to submit names for the panel as requested adding that the law was upheld and they did not have grounds for opposing the selections made.
“After they were invited and they chose not to participate, did they expect that the country would stop and wait for them to get their act together?
“They should have made a decision. This is a constitutional process that has been done as per the dictates of the law.
Bethwel Sugut and Novice Euralia Atieno were on February 27, selected to the IEBC selection panel to represent the Parliamentary Service Commission, Charity Kisotu was selected as a representative of the Public Service Commission.
Others selected were Bethuel Sugut, Evans Misati James, Benson Ngugi Njeri, Nelson Makanda, and Fatuma Saman.
In a gazette notice dated February 27, Ruto appointed the seven-member panel to shortlist, interview, and nominate successful candidates who will manage the country’s polls.
Former Chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye retired on January 17 after the expiry of their tenure.
On the other hand, Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, and Justus Nyang’aya resigned while Irene Masit’s fate was sealed after Aggrey Muchelule-led Tribunal recommended for her removal from office.
Former IEBC commissioners Juliana Cherera (second left), Justus Nyang’aya, Francis Wanderi and Commissioner Irene Masit.