What next for IEBC commissioners who returned after dramatic resignation?


What next for IEBC commissioners who returned after dramatic resignation?
IEBC Vice Chair Consolata Nkatha (Right) and commissioner Margaret Mwachanya. Photo/ File

In Summary

  • Nkatha and Mwachanya returned to Anniversary Towers on Friday, and spent the day in the IEBC vice chairperson’s office, but did not meet Chebukati.
  • As soon as they stepped out later in the evening, Chebukati is said to have ordered a change of door locks in their offices, making it impossible for them to access commission headquarters should they return on Monday.
  • All eyes will now be on anniversary towers next week, as the three returnees face chebukati.

The fate of three IEBC commissioners who resigned in April this year but made a controversial comeback on Friday will be determined on Monday, with Chairman Wafula Chebukati expected to rule on the way forward.

Sources at the commission disclosed to Citizen TV that Chebukati was treating the trio; Connie Nkatha, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat as strangers, since they have kept off the office for four months.

Chebukati was taken aback by the return of Vice-Chair Connie Nkatha and commissioner Margaret Mwachanya, four months after their dramatic resignation, when they faulted him for mismanaging the electoral body.

Nkatha and Mwachanya returned to Anniversary Towers on Friday, and spent the day in the IEBC vice chairperson’s office, but did not meet Chebukati.

Sources close to the chairman intimated to us that he was miffed by their return, and failure to report to him, as protocol would require.

As soon as Nkatha and Mwachanya stepped out later in the evening, Chebukati is said to have ordered a change of door locks in their offices, making it impossible for them to access commission headquarters should they return on Monday.

Chebukati is expected to address the issue of their comeback, even as sources disclosed that he was treating them as strangers.

The standoff will also be heading to the corridors of justice as activist Okiyah Omtatah is lining up a petition against the trio’s return to office.

“You cannot walk away from a job, abscond duty for five months and then purport to come back to a public office as if it is your kiosk. The IEBC is no one’s private Kiosk, once you walk away you should not come back,” said Omtata.

Nkatha, Mwachanya and Kurgat are pegging their return on High Court judge Wilfrida Okwany’s ruling, that they had not followed the laid down procedure when they resigned on April 16, through a televised news conference.

Nkatha, had in her response to a petition filed by Omtata, confirmed through a sworn affidavit that she tendered her resignation to President Uhuru Kenyatta but her exit, as well as that of her two colleagues has remained a puzzle, since State House was yet to confirm receipt of the resignation letters or declare the slots vacant.

Chebukati had in an earlier affidavit, held that the three commissioners have not reported to work since April, and had not copied their resignation letters to the commission.

This according to the chairman, amounted to absconding duty and therefore a violation of the commission’s human resources guidelines.

All eyes will now be on anniversary towers next week, as the three returnees face chebukati.

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Story By Francis Gachuri
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