The Justice and Legal Affairs committee of the National Assembly was Wednesday morning forced to reschedule its planned meeting with three electoral commission officials.
The committee chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo, had summoned IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Boya Molu and Prof Abdi Guliye over the problems the agency is facing.
The House team also planned to seek their views on the proposed changes to the IEBC Act.
However, Mr Cheptumo said that Mr Chebukati wrote to the House clerk Michael Sialai requesting for a reschedule as they were busy supervising the ongoing by-elections in Kinondo Ward, Kwale
County and Ruguru Ward in Nyeri County.
“Because their reason for failing to come is valid, the committee will deliberate on their appearance at a later date,” Mr Cheptumo said.
The crisis at the IEBC boiled over on Monday after half of its commissioners resigned “with immediate effect”.
Vice-chairperson Connie Nkatha and commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat said they left the commission because they have no faith in Mr Chebukati and his leadership.
They accused Mr Chebukati of making unilateral decisions including the case of the CEO Ezra Chiloba, who is on compulsory leave over internal audit queries in the procurement and management of the 2017 General Election.
Last year, Roselyn Akombe resigned from the commission ahead of the repeat presidential election citing the agency’s lack of capacity to conduct a free and fair election.
Her position has never been filled more than six months since she left because of the gap in law.
The committee is now considering changes to the IEBC Act to form a permanent panel that will be in charge of recruiting the commission chairman and commissioners whenever there is a vacancy.
The panel that recruited the current commissioners stood disbanded immediately it finished its job.
The commission is required to conduct a preview of the electoral boundaries in the next two years as well as manage by-elections whenever they occur.
However, as presently constituted, the commission cannot make any policy decision because it does not have a quorum meaning that its functions are paralyzed.
The decisions of the commission are made at the plenary that requires the presence of at least four commissioners.