Uncertainty over the repeat presidential election deepened on Wednesday after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party rejected individuals appointed by the electoral body to deliver the poll.
In a letter to the IEBC boss, head of Jubilee Party Secretariat and Secretary-General Raphael Tuju accused the officials of being partisan.
“After publication of the names of your election project team, we have received credible information that in the list are people known to be partisan,” the letter, date September 6, reads in part.
But while Mr Kenyatta’s party named nine people they said were part of the team, only Marjan Hussein Marjan, who was appointed the project coordinator, and Salome Oyugi, who will be the head of legal affairs, were on the earlier Chebukati list.
Others that Jubilee claimed were biased but who were not on the initial seven-member team released by the IEBC are Decimah Mmayi, Chrispine Owiye, Joseph Ayatta, Joyce Ekuam, Lius Onyango and Carolyne Manyange.
Also named by Mr Tuju in his letter is IEBC corporate communications manager Tabitha Mutemi.
Mr Hussein headed the team that received Forms 34B from constituencies at the Bomas of Kenya before their validation, while Ms Oyugi was picked to replace her boss Praxedes Tororey as head of legal affairs in the project.
In the Tuesday statement, Mr Chebukati said the seven would lead the project to deliver the October 17 fresh election that will be a two-man race pitting President Kenyatta against his main challenger Raila Odinga.
IEBC gazetted October 17 as the date of the gruelling rematch, locking out the other six contestants in the race.
Before Mr Chebukati had made the changes, the Mr Odinga-led Nasa had released its own list of rejected officials that had IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, his deputy Betty Nyabuto (Support) directors Immaculate Kasait (Logistics), Praxedes Tororey (Legal) and James Muhati (ICT).
In the changes, IEBC sidelined the five and included the commission’s head of training Anne Nderitu and head of the national tallying centre Catherine Kamindo among those pushed out of the centre of action in the repeat poll.