Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga has criticized the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) over recent summons linked to March 4 by-election chaos.
The MP is among 10 leaders who were summoned on Saturday by the commission on allegations of fueling political violence during the Thursday by-elections in Matungu and Kabuchai Constituencies.
Wanga said she could not honour the commission’s summons today due to prior engagements related to International Womens’ Day, further requesting to be furnished with particulars of the summons.
In a letter to the Dr Samuel Kobia-led commission, the legislator took issue with the watchdog for summoning all leaders who were involved in the by-elections instead of perpetrators.
“At face value, these invitations appear choreographed to cover up for those who committed various electoral offenses including voter bribe, voter intimidation, physical assault of IEBC officials including women – for which I bitterly protested – and such other commissions and omissions, ” Wanga said in a letter addressed to Commission Secretary Dr Skitter W. Mbugua dated Monday, March 8.
Wanga was referring to the incident in Matungu, Kakamega County, where former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa was caught on camera assaulting an electoral official at Bulonga Primary School polling station.
In the infamous viral video, Echesa is heard complaining about the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) agents being chased from the polling centre before slapping the official.
The ex-minister has since been arrested.
Another female IEBC official was molested in the Thursday mini-polls.
“Merely summoning all political leaders who participated in these by-elections and painting them as lawbreakers will not wash the fact that some parties and players committed electoral offenses and others did not,” said Wanga.
She alluded that NCIC is not independent.
“NCIC seems to be returning to the dark past of summoning political leaders across the aisle to cover up for the offenses of those on one side of the divide. If this is the case I am even more worried about the future of our country ahead of 2022, ” she added.
Other leaders who were summoned by NCIC include Milicent Omanga, Aisha Jumwa, Faizal Badera, John Waluke, Fred Kapondi, Benjamin Washiali, Charles Were, Chris Wamalwa and Cleophas Malala.
Speaking on Saturday, Dr Kobia said the summons are not just about investigating and prosecuting the parties but stopping them from occupying public office.
“These summons do not just indicate our intention to investigate and prosecute but rather also indicate the plan of the Commission to stop the unethical from occupying office,” he said.