May 20, 2018

Chebukati snubs Parliament summons

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati, two commissioners on Wednesday (18/4/18) failed to honour summons by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee.

The trio said they were busy with ongoing by-elections in Kinondo Ward, Kwale County and Ruguru Ward in Nyeri County.

Chebukati and Commissioners, Boya Molu and Prof Abdi Guliye, were invited before the House team as the MPs sought to unearth why IEBC Vice-Chairperson Consolata Nkatha led commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya in announcing their resignation and other issues affecting the electoral commission.

JLAC Chairman William Cheptumo (Baringo North) told the sitting that the Chebukati had written to the Clerk of the National Assembly seeking a rescheduling of the meeting to allow them oversee the by-elections.

The Civil Society Reference Group on Tuesday asked Chebukati to quit in order to pave way for a thorough probe into IEBC’s procurement irregularities by the Office of the Auditor General.

According to Presiding Convener Suba Churchill, the resignation of Chebukati, Commissioners Guliye, and Molu, as well as suspended Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba, will create room for proper investigations into an alleged breach of procurement laws and embezzlement of public funds.

“This will pave the way for recruitment of new men and women of exceptional character, professionalism and experience capable of managing future elections and other constitutional functions of the Commission as envisioned in the law,” said Churchill.

Former IEBC CEO James Oswago on Monday blamed Ezra Chiloba for paying Sh250 million for the supply of additional electronic voter identification devices used in the 2013 General Election.

Oswago told the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee that IEBC unanimously agreed to procure 4,000 kits in addition to the 30,000 Face Company had been contracted for.

He said the company delivered 34,600 kits instead of the agreed 34,000.

The recent resignations leave the electoral commission technically dysfunctional with only Chebukati, and Commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye remaining put.

Former Commissioner Roselyn Akombe was the first to throw in the towel days before the disputed October, 2017 (Wednesday October 18, 2017) repeat presidential poll.

In a statement sent from New York, Akombe said the repeat election could not meet the basic expectations of credibility and fairness.

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