Chebukati, IEBC commissioners in trouble as PAC releases audit report

Chebukati, IEBC commissioners in trouble as PAC releases audit report
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and vice-chair Consolata Nkatha. PHPTO| COURTESY

The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) wants the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disbanded and criminal proceedings instituted on both serving and former commissioners.

The Opiyo Wandayi-led committee says in an audit report that IEBC commissioners including the chairman were involved in tender wars that led to the bungling of the 2017 General Election.

In its audit report on the electoral agency’s handling of the 2017 elections and subsequent October 2017 repeat presidential election, the committee says the fallout at the commission after election cannot guarantee the existence of the commission even for another day, hence, IEBC should be disbanded.

The committee wants a probe into the conduct of the current and former commissioners with a view to pressing for criminal prosecution should culpability be proven.

PAC, in the report, has trained its guns on IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, its former Vice Chair Consolata Nkatha and commissioners Margaret Mwachanya, Prof. Abdi Guliye, Boya Molu and Amb. Paul Kurgat. Kurgat, Mwachanya and Nkatha have since resigned from the commission.

The committee further found the commissioners at fault and in conflict of interest for holding brief for companies bidding for tenders at the commission and as such, PAC says the commission was embroiled in tender wars that compromised the 2017 General Election.

Chebukati has been indicted in the audit for alleged conflict of interest, with the committee claiming that the commission would give cases to a law firm Chebukati founded but he never disclosed conflict of interest.

On the part of the ousted former Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba, the audit report wants him investigated for unprocedurally signing off over Ksh.4 billion worth of contracts for IEBC without contractors providing performance guarantees.

PAC has recommended that Chiloba be further investigated and if found culpable, criminal proceedings to be instituted against him.

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Story By Sam Ogina
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