Lawyer Eric Gumbo: Raila Should Not Blame IEBC For The Failure Of Agents

Lawyer Eric Gumbo, the counsel representing the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in the ongoing presidential election petition, now says that Raila Odinga and his running Martha Karua should not blame the commission for the failure of their agents in polling centres.

While making his submissions before the Supreme Court’s sub registry at Milimani Law Courts on Thursday, Lawyer Gumbo argued that the IEBC commissioners could only manage to undertake specific assignments on the vote verification process which were mostly tied at the national tallying centre.

He said that it would be “impractical” to fault the commissioners for what an agent ought to have been doing at both constituency and county tallying centres, to ensure proper entries were made into Forms 34A.

“It would be inaccurate and impractical to expect the seven commissioners to be the one to do all the specific assignments the commission was supposed to do,” he said.

Gumbo likened agents to spouses, saying a party is allowed to choose their own agents and if they fail to understand their role they should be blamed for any faults and not the commission.

“Agents are like our spouses you choose your own and the one you trust. Nobody imposes an agent on you, if you choose one you don’t trust then you can’t blame anyone,” he added.

“If you choose one who does not understand their responsibility then you cannot possibly blame anyone.” 

Gumbo further noted that it is also the responsibility of an agent to substantiate claims on areas where malpractices during the polls were witnessed and not “burden the court” without enough proof.

“When we make these allegations in our election petitions, perhaps we need to also ask ourselves if we have done that which the law contemplates of us and that if the law give you an opportunity to choose your agent to verify for you in relation to the processes of an election,” Gumbo noted.

“The agent should be able to point out that the specific agent should be able to point out a particular problem in a specific primary school.”

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