The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has criticised Siaya Senator James Orengo over recent remarks that the commission is a criminal enterprise that should be disbanded.
In a statement on Wednesday, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati dared the senator to resign saying he is a product of the alleged criminal entity.
Terming Orengo’s remarks disrespectful and an insult to an independent body Chebukati said, “the Honorable Senator is an elected member of the Senate who is, therefore, a product of the same alleged criminal enterprise.”
“lf, indeed, he stands by his sentiments he should honourably resign to gain moral grounds to criticize the institution that oversaw his election to the Senate. ”
Orengo made the sentiments on Tuesday while making contributions on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report during an interview with Citizen TV.
He stated that the current electoral body has previously failed to conduct free and fair elections, hence, it ought to be disbanded before the next polls.
Pointing at a possible referendum, Orengo said the commission can only be allowed to conduct the crucial poll but not the 2022 General Election.
“We may have to do with this IEBC for purposes of the referendum but make sure it goes after the referendum because in my view, this IEBC is a criminal enterprise. It really should go,” said Orengo.
Wafula has now dismissed the remarks saying the commission is not a punching bag to be used for political mileage.
He noted that the commission is committed to delivering on its functions as mandated by the constitution and is in the process of preparing for the 2022 polls.
“Currently the Commission is in the formative planning stages of the critical and very emotive boundaries delimitation activity, among other preparatory activities towards 2022 General Election, ” said Chebukati.
The BBI report recommends among other things the overhaul of IEBC over claims that the current team does not enjoy public confidence.
Orengo is among several opposition leaders who called for the disbandment of the commission following the rigging claims in the 2017 General Election.
The proposal that the current IEBC commissioners be removed from office is nothing new. After the disputed 2007 elections, then commissioners of the defunct Electoral Commission of Kenya (ECK), popularly known as the Samuel Kivuitu team, were sent packing after Orengo and ODM leader Raila Odinga took to the streets decrying electoral injustice.