We're in IEBC to stay: Chebukati
The current IEBC commissioners were sworn into office in January 2017 and was reduced to six when Roselyn Akombe resigned before the repeat presidential polls.Advertisement By SAMWEL OWINO
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The resignation of three electoral commissioners last month was instigated by âexternal forcesâ determined to sabotage the work of the commission, chairman Wafula Chebukati has said.
Mr Chebukati on Wednesday told the Senate Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that since the resignation of the commission vice-chairperson Connie Nkatha Maina and commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat, he has been receiving calls at night from people he did not name telling him to resign.
The chairman promised to name the individuals that ar e determined to cripple the work of the commission soon after consulting other commissioners.
âI think there are some external forces who told them to resign thinking that the commission would become dysfunctional, but I want to tell them that we are going nowhere and we will continue with our duties,â Mr Chebukati said.
Following the resignation of the three commissioners from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Mr Chebukati told senators that the commission wrote to the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua and the Attorney General on April 20 to kick-start the process of recruitment of their replacements but has not received any feedback.
He urged Parliament to assist the commission in asking the relevant authorities to start the process of replacing the commissioners as they cannot hold a plenary due to quorum hitch.
Accompanied by commissioners Prof Abdi Yakub Guliye and Mr Boya Molu, Mr Chebukati told the committee that he hea rd the resignation of the commissioners on the media and that he was the cause of it.
âThe remaining commissioners should not be faulted for the resignation of their colleagues because we did not chase them away,â Mr Chebukati said.
Prof Guliye told the senators to pile pressure on the appointing authority since the process of recruiting other commissioners has not started instead of asking those in office to resign.
âQuestions should not be directed on us as to why we are still office but to the appointing authority on why we are not a full commission,â Prof Guliye said.
âIf there are people who thought we would resign, we want to tell them that we are here to stay,â he added.
The three commissioners faulted their colleagues who resigned citing lack of adequate leadership on the part of the chairman terming them as dishonest and they only wanted to potray Mr Chebukati as weak because the decision did not go their way.
âOut of the 6 1 plenary meetings held to date, the commission has on eight occasions adopted resolutions by way of a vote. The motion on compulsory leave of the CEO was not the first to be subjected to a vote. In our view, it is dishonest and against good cooperate governance practice that members who lose a motion would resign simply because a decision did not go their way,â said commissioner Molu.
Mr Chebukati said that notwithstanding a vacancy in the membership of the commission, the commission remains properly constituted.
He told senators that in a bid to give the commission adequate time to prepare for elections, there should be no change of electoral laws one year to the elections.
He also said that going forward, the commission will record its plenary sessions on Hansard as it is done in Parliament and release the information to the public.
The current IEBC commissioners were sworn into office in January 2017 and was reduced to six when Roselyn Akombe resigned b efore the repeat presidential polls.
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