Defiant Chebukati says IEBC ‘has no offices for former commissioners’


Defiant Chebukati says IEBC 'has no offices for former commissioners'
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • Mr. Chebukati insisted that the three commissioners; vice-chairperson Consolata Maina, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya resigned from the commission and are not supposed to work at the agency.
  • The chairman said he was surprised when two commissioners, Maina and Mwachanya returned to their former offices on Friday which forced him to change the locks after they left.
  • "IEBC salaries are paid through Treasury, immediately they resigned, I wrote to the PS to stop the salaries but I am not certain if that was done, have not received feedback on my letter. Hope they are not being paid," he added.

An attempt by three former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission commissioners who resigned in April to return to their offices on Monday was thwarted by chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Mr. Chebukati insisted that the three commissioners; vice-chairperson Consolata Maina, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya resigned from the commission and are not supposed to work at the agency.

“The procedure of resigning and clearing is very clear, they returned all the assets of the commission; vehicles, laptops, phones, badges… as far as the commission is concerned, they are no longer commissioners of IEBC,” said Mr. Chebukati.

The chairman said he was surprised when two commissioners, Maina and Mwachanya returned to their former offices on Friday which forced him to change the locks after they left.

“IEBC does not have offices of former commissioners, as far as we are concerned, they are not supposed to be working here. They came on Friday, we were surprised to learn they had retained some of the keys which they had not handed over but that has now been rectified,” he added.

When they returned on Monday to find new locks, they commissioners are said to have attempted to see Mr. Chebukati who refused to meet with them.

“Today they came back to see me, I didn’t manage to see them but asked them to put in writing what they wanted to see me about and if and when they do so, then we shall address the issues,” Mr. Chebukati said during a press briefing.

On the issue of whether the commissioners are still receiving their salaries, the chairman said he had written to Treasury to stop their salaries.

“IEBC salaries are paid through Treasury, immediately they resigned, I wrote to the PS to stop the salaries but I am not certain if that was done, have not received feedback on my letter. Hope they are not being paid,” he added.

Is he defying a court order which ruled that the commissioners did not follow the right procedure hence they are still in office?

“I don’t know whether the judge had all the information before her because as far as the commissioners are concerned, in another case filed by activist [Okiya] Omtatah, they swore an affidavit saying they wrote to the president, that is all they are required to do. The only shortcoming of that is they did not copy that letter to the commission,” he replied.

On the issue of replacement of commissioners, Mr. Chebukati said it is on course.

“JLAC (The Justice and Legal Affairs Committee), which oversights the commission, is working on a bill and also the Senate committee is working on a similar concept so that we have a situation where they set up a selection panel and then new commissioners will be recruited. In the meantime, activities of the commission are ongoing…,” said Chebukati.

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