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Chebukati defends IEBC on Chiloba suspension

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati says the suspension of Ezra Chiloba; the commission’s chief executive was in good faith.

In reply to a case filed by Mr Chiloba, Mr Chebukati said the decision to send Mr Chiloba on compulsory leave would enable the commission to undertake a comprehensive audit of all the major procurements relating to the 2017 General Election and repeat poll, which was held on October 26.

Mr Chebukati argued that investigation can go either way and “it would beat logic to have an employee heard over issues that are not yet known.” He wants the court to dismiss the case.

REMOVAL

In a case filed last week, Mr Chiloba accuses Mr Chebukati for allegedly orchestrating his removal.

In his affidavit, Mr Chiloba claims that he and Mr Chebukati have had differences on issues such as assignment of duties to staff, the procurement of the Kiems kits and ballot papers, in addition to the way last year’s presidential elections was conducted.

But in reply filed through lawyer Tom Ojienda, Mr Chebukati has faulted Mr Chiloba for filing the case without seeking his approval.

He said that Mr Chiloba signed a contract that prohibits him from instituting legal proceedings against IEBC while he is still employed, without prior approval of the chairman.

PREJUDICIAL

“This petition is directly prejudicial to the commission as it seeks prejudicial prayers against the commission. Importantly, there was no prior approval obtained from the IEBC chairman before instituting this petition. This petition therefore ought to be struck out with costs,” he said.

In the case, Mr Chiloba has sued all the commissioners. Three of them- including the vice chairperson Consolata Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat have since resigned.

Mr Chebukati has accused Mr Chiolba of using confidential information “obtained illegally” to institute the case in violation of his letter of employment, the Access to Information Act, Section 27 of the IEBC Act and the Constitution.

CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

“To this end the applicants pray that the court expunges from its records the IEBC confidential information obtained illegally by the petitioner,” Mr Chebukati said in a sworn statement.

He revealed that the commission in the exercise of its oversight role, wrote an internal memo on January 16, 2018 to Mr Chiloba seeking clarifications on the various issues that had emerged from the tenders contracted by the IEBC.

And contrary to claims that he was not given an opportunity to be heard, Mr Chebukati said Mr Chiloba was given a chance to respond to the questions regarding the procurement of the electoral materials in so far as the procurement of the 2017 electoral materials were concerned.

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