August 21, 2018

Quit your job! IEBC’s Chebukati told

A group on Tuesday (17/4/18) called on Wafula Chebukati to resign from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) as Chairman.

The Civil Society Reference Group asked Mr 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 Abdi Guliye, and Boya 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.

Churchill’s sentiments came a day after IEBC Vice-Chairperson Consolata Nkatha led commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya in announcing their resignation citing disunity.

“The Commission Chairperson has failed to be the steady and stable hand that steers the ship in difficult times and give direction when needed,” Commissioner Mwachanya said flanked by Nkatha and Kurgat.

“Under his leadership, the Commission boardroom has become a venue for peddling misinformation, grounds for brewing mistrust, and a space for scrambling for and chasing for individual glory and credit,” the three said in a joint statement.

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.

“I declined to pay after receiving the invoice because we had not ordered for additional 4,600 kits.

“This was not paid under my tenure. Chiloba joined the commission and within three months, he had paid. If I paid for the 4,600 additional kits, I would be in Kamiti prison. To date, there is no formal contract between the IEBC and the company for the delivery of those 4,600 additional kits,” said Oswago.

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 (Wednesday October 18, 2017) before the disputed October 26, 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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