Kenya: Top judge’s role in election preparation sets off alarm bells

By Son Gatitu
Posted on Thursday, 9 December 2021 09:33

Kenya IEBC
Policewomen stand guard outside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) headquarters in Kisumu, Kenya, October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

The integrity of next year's general election in Kenya is in question after politicians and the nation's chief justice agreed to play a key role in setting it up.

The unorthodox arrangement has prompted the electoral commission’s boss Wafula Chebukati to refuse to be involved in the government’s preparation group for the August 2022 poll.

In a letter to the group of state agencies that were convened to a recent election meeting, Chebukati turned them down citing the need to preserve the commission’s independence and credibility of the election.

The genesis

In late October, Karanja Kibicho, the principal secretary in the office of President Uhuru Kenyatta, invited 13 state agencies to a meeting to map out the road to the 2022 election.