Article by: Phill Wesonga
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi has sensationally blown the whistle of irregular procurement of electoral technology by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
In revelations that are expected to raise alarm, the Chairman of the powerful parliamentary Public Accounts Committee revealed that the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB) had halted the tender for procurement process of sensitive electoral technology by the IEBC. He did not reveal for which items or for what value.
Wandayi’s speech appears to have jolted pin drop silence from the large audience at the well-attended and politically-charged funeral of Mzee David Ajwang’ Nyakwamba in Mbita, Homa Bay County. The deceased was father to Moses and TJ Kajwang, Senator and MP respectively.
“Why is Chebukati in a hurry to conclude major decisions using an improperly constituted IEBC?”, posed Wandayi.
Several other speakers later took the cue from Wandayi and launched attacks on the IEBC
Wandayi who is also the ODM Party Secretary for Political Affairs has in recent months emerged as an influential member of Raila Odinga’s kitchen cabinet and having fired the first salvo at the IEBC for engaging in irregular and premature procurement of electoral technology for the 2022 General elections, it is clear that these developments are alarming to Mr Odinga who.is a four time.presodential candidate and whose last three defeats have precipitated civil crisis in Kenya due to unaccountable elections.
Many speakers wondered why the Chebukati led commission was making major and perhaps irreversible decisions about 2022 general elections,when in fact the commission lacked prerequisite quorum.
“Chebukati appears not to have learnt his lessons from 2017 when the presidential election was nullified by the Supreme Court!” said Kisumu Senator Fred Outa.
Wandayi suggested that the moves by IEBC are outright suspicious and illegal, and reminded Chebukati that the Commission was currently in a debilitating leadership crisis and he also ought to recognize the fact that the President had already forwarded four names to the national assembly for vetting and all he needed to do was to wait a little longer for the recruitment process to be concluded.
“IEBC should hold all the substantive decisions until the the four commissioners take oath and assume office after vetting by parliament”, said Wandayi.
Wandayi wondered why Chebukati was in a hurry to make major procurement decisions when his IEBC was undergoing a serious deficit of public trust.
“We cannot afford to get the management of elections wrong in 2022 and IEBC must be fully constituted before certain substantive processes are allowed to proceed.”