Azimio coalition MPs teargassed outside IEBC office as they demand reinstatement of deputy CEO, Ruth Kulundu
On Monday, September 26, police were compelled to fire tear gas to disperse a group of MPs and supporters of Azimio la Umoja who were marching to the offices of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
The MPs led by Ruaraka lawmaker TJ Kajwang were blocked by armed officers from accessing Anniversary towers to protest the interdiction of the commission’s deputy CEO Ruth Kulundu.
The security agencies had directed the lawmakers to disperse their supporters before they got an audience with the electoral body.
However, minutes later chaos ensued, with some of the MPs caught in the melee.
Addressing the media shortly after police dispersed them with teargas outside the electoral body’s offices at Anniversary Towers, Azimio coalition MPs stated that Kulundu’s interdiction was aimed at intimidating leaders who were whistleblowers.
The legislators claimed that after the presidential election on August 9, Kulundu had been victimized by the IEBC because she had refused to conform the will of her bosses
“The conduct of the two individuals, Wafula Chebukati and Marjan Hussein portray an institution that has surrendered its independence and disregarded the rule of law,” Kajwang stated.
The MPs issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the IEBC to reinstate Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ruth Kulundu.
“The Chairman unilaterally decided to interdict Madam Kulundu just like that in Mombasa. The commission never sat down to deliberate on the issues of Kulundu. Marjan can’t fire his deputy because the deputy is employed by the commission not Marjan,” Kajwang said.
“While their actions remain heroic in the eyes of beneficiaries, the Azimio leadership puts the duo on notice for eroding the gains we have made in transforming the electoral system in Kenya,” Kajwang said.
IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein accused Kulundu of misconduct for arranging an illegal commission plenary meeting without approval.
She is part of a crackdown on senior IEBC staff alleged to have aided the operations of the four breakaway commissioners who disowned presidential results.