Thirdway Alliance leader Ekuru Aukot will offer his candidature for the fresh presidential election following the Supreme Court judgement that annulled President Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory.
Mr Aukot said the court’s order that the elections be conducted within 60 days was a welcome move even as he clarified that the repeat polls will not be the preserve of President Kenyatta and Nasa leader Raila Odinga, who challenged the outcome of the presidential election.
“There is misinformation doing rounds that the repeat election will be about President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga. We are going back to the ballot,” Mr Aukot told journalists on Sunday at a city hotel.
Mr Aukot, who was accompanied by his running mate Emmanuel Nzai among other leaders also called for investigations into the elections by credible bodies. “We believe that undertaking this exercise will expose electoral offences,” he said.
Mr Aukot also demanded the resignation of IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and senior managers, saying they cannot oversee a fair process.
“It is clear that the IEBC cannot be trusted as a neutral body. Bad elements within the commission must be punished and the first form of punishment is not to allow them to come any closer to any other election,” he said.
He proposed that the United Nations be called upon to manage the repeat elections.
He said that he will also institute contempt of court proceedings against the commission for failing to comply with the Supreme Court order that it avails its servers and the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS) kits for audit at the time the court was hearing the petition.
On September 1, 2017, Chief Justice David Maraga delivered a ruling nullifying the presidential election and called for a repeat due to what the court considered as massive irregularities and illegalities in the management of the exercise.
In the 2013 presidential election petition judgment, the Supreme Court then headed by retired Chief Justice Dr Willy Mutunga, ruled that in case of a successful petition, only the petitioner and the person whose victory is being challenged should contest in subsequent presidential election.
However, Mr Aukot faulted the 2013 judgment saying that it cannot be applied as the recent ruling by the highest court in the country had nullified the presidential election.
“This is an independent judgment by the 2017 court and everyone is free to participate because, in the eyes of the judges, there was no presidential election conducted,” he said.
He noted that because the judgment found Mr Chebukati and the commission culpable for having committed illegalities and irregularities, it would be a misnomer to ask the same person, “Who botched the election to conduct it again.”
“This is like asking the referee, who has been caught fixing a football match to continue refereeing the same match. From the outcome of the petition, the chairman should have immediately vacated office,” Mr Aukot said warning Mr Chebukati to stop shifting the blame to the secretariat.
The Thirdway Alliance leader also wants the commission CEO Mr Ezra Chiloba, ICT manager Mr James Muhati, Director of Elections Ms Immaculate Kasait and Ms Praxidice Tororey, who is in charge of legal affairs at the commission, punished for committing election offences.
The court found out that the elections were mismanaged including the tampering of forms 34As and 34Bs and that Mr Chiloba being the CEO, must take full responsibility and vacate office immediately.
“While we care for the institutional memory of the commission which Mr Chiloba epitomizes currently, we will not accept the commission of offences, illegalities and irregularities under his watch,” he said.
Mr Muhati, who is related to a senior jubilee politician, had been dismissed by the commission but recalled mysteriously “to come and fix the election.”
It is under his watch that the court found the transmission of results to have been illegal and irregular.
Ms Kasait is on the spot for administering the process that violated election regulations, rule of law and the constitution while Ms Tororey failed to give the commission the much required legal advice against electoral malpractices.
“Electoral offences and omissions by the IEBC staff must be punished to restore confidence in the electoral management body,” Mr Aukot said.