Chebukati promises clean voter register as head of polls agency

Mr Wafula Chebukati when he appeared before MPs on January 10, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO
Mr Wafula Chebukati when he appeared before MPs on January 10, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO 

Nominee for the position of IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati said he would clean up the electoral systems and secure the integrity of voter register if approved for the job.

He would ensure the register is not tampered with by hackers, Mr Chebukati said when he appeared before the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

“I know that voter registration exercise will be priority number one but I will ensure that we get the voter register cleaned up. Under my leadership, the voter register will not be tampered with,” he said during his approval hearings yesterday to head the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Mr Chebukati said he would ensure the electronic systems do not fail as happened in 2013.

“We don’t want a situation where the system fails in the middle of election. Once purchased, we will ensure that we commission it, do test runs and ensure that it is fully secure from any external manipulation,” Mr Chebukati said.

The elections are planned for August 8.

Last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta picked Mr Chebukati out of the two names forwarded to his office by joint IEBC selection panel, touching off a storm as his personal integrity issues cropped up.

On Tuesday, he distanced himself from claims that he received part of the National Youth Service cash from former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission chairman Philip Kinisu.

He also dismissed allegations that his law firm, Cootow and Associates, occasioned the loss of Sh325 million by failing to enter appearance in defence of its client, the Nairobi City County in a court case that was ruled against the devolved unit.

Mr Chebukati told MPs that his law firm of 10 lawyers did not receive any money from the National Youth Service.

He represented Mr Kinisu at the height of Sh791 million NYS scandal in which the former anti-graft chief was alleged to have received Sh35 million for dealings his companies had with NYS.

“Philip Kinisu came to me as a client. I met him two years ago when I started practising in Nairobi.

“When issues came up on NYS, I sat in here in this very committee and advised Mr Kinisu when he was asked questions. That is the role I played and I know the rules of Parliament don’t allow a lawyer to speak to committee, but advise the client,” Mr Chebukati said.