Kenya: IEBC to set up team to vet aspirants, verify papers

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IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati (L) confers with Attorney General Githu Muigai in Nairobi during the state agencies meeting to develop framework on leadership and integrity to guide candidate's compliance to the coming general election on March 22, 2017./JACK OWUOR

The IEBC will set up a strong inter-departmental team to vet aspirants amid forgery and executive interference reports in the political process.

The team will have a command centre at the IEBC offices in Nairobi at the end of next week.

It will have a full-time dedicated staff to verify documents, research and investigate aspirants.

The staff attached to the facility will be sourced from the IEBC, the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, as well as the Justice department.

“The command centre will enhance the collaboration in the enforcement of Chapter Six on integrity and other relevant laws, as well as provide an integrated effective mechanism to resolve issues of leadership,” IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati said.

The collaborating institutions shall publish guidelines on compliance with leadership and integrity requirements in the 2017 election.

They will give priority to verification of information on aspirants. Chebukati said the collaborating institutions encourage political parties to nominate candidates, who meet the leadership and integrity threshold

This is aimed at making the work of the command centre easier. “The requirements under Chapter Six and Election laws involve various state and non-state agencies. And that is why we came up with the resolutions to work together,” Chebukati said.

Attorney General Githu Muigai warned the executive and politicians against interfering with the election process.

“I’m not aware the executive has interfered with the election process. It would be an offence for any person to interfere with the law,” he said.

Although Muigai did not name Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko, his comments appeared to refer to alleged intervention by State House to help Sonko secure a certificate of good conduct.

When asked about coming up with amendments and laws that limit the independence of government institutions, the AG defended his office, saying the final say on the new laws was with Parliament.

He said after the passing of the Constitution in 2010, his office does not have powers to have a final influence on the new laws.

Muigai said all government institutions should carry out the election process independently.

©Alleastafrica and The Star

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