Wanyonyi Wafula Chebukati is officially the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman.
Chebukati was President Uhuru’s top nominee for the electoral commission top job. He and six commoners will be in charge of the August polls.
IEBC underwent major restructuring after CORD took to the streets demanding the resignation of the Hassan-led team.
The opposition held that this team could not be trusted to oversee credible elections claiming that the 2013 elections were rigged.
In addition, the team was labeled as corrupt after the chickengate scandal become public.
As pressure mounted, religious groups, the public, and trade unions chimed in and this ultimately led to the resignation of Hassan and the commissioners.
Chebukati takes over the electoral body 7 months to the general elections.
Wanyonyi Wafula Chebukati Profile
Below are 10 things you should know about the new IEBC chairman:
1. He was born on December 22, 1961, in Bungoma.
2. He is a lawyer by profession and his areas of practice are commercial law, alternative dispute resolution, legislative drafting, banking, finance & securities law, and property, conveyance, landlord and tenant law.
3. He is an alumnus of the Lenana School.
4. Graduated from the University Of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Law Degree (LL.B) in 1985 and admitted to the role of advocates in 1986.
He also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).
5. He has served as a council member of the Law Society of Kenya.
6. He is a founding partner at COOTOW & Associates Advocates and worked here since 2006.
7. Worked at Wanyonyi & Company Advocates from 1986 to 2006. This was a sole proprietorship firm.
8. He once served as a lawyer to former EACC chairman Philip Kinisu.
Investigations found that he had business dealings with Kinisu who had been found to have had business dealings with the NYS.
In his defense, he said that he was just carrying out his mandate as a lawyer.
9. He has previously associated with ODM but he asserted that he has resigned from the party.
He vied for the Saboti MP seat in the 2007 general elections with an ODM ticket but lost to Eugene Wamalwa.
Chebukati was forced to convince the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that his past association with ODM would not influence his duties as the IEBC chairman.
He affirmed that he had resigned as an ODM life member prior to applying for the IEBC top job.
10. He was sworn in as the new IEBC chairman alongside 6 commissioners on January 20th, 2017.
Ahmed Issack Hassan handed over the office to Chebukati on the same day. He was sworn in by Chief Justice Maraga at the Supreme Court.
After his appointment, questions were raised about the criteria used since some nominees had attained higher scores.
A section of leaders argued that Chebulati’s appointment was not based on merit.
He and High Court Judge, Tukero ole Kina, were eyeing the IEBC chairmanship and while Tukero was more qualified, the president opted for Chebukati.