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Kenya: Chebukati ‘plotted’ sacking of Chiloba from IEBC

Two former commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Monday accused chairman Wafula Chebukati of plotting the sacking of former chief executive Ezra Chiloba.

They said Mr Chebukati single-handedly commissioned an internal audit of procurement of election materials with the sole purpose of sending Mr Chiloba home.

Mr Paul Kurgat and Ms Margaret Mwachanya told the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee that Mr Chebukati was determined to sack the former CEO and bulldozed the idea during a plenary meeting in April this year.

Mr Kurgat told the committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi that during a plenary meeting in April, Mr Chebukati brought a draft internal audit report of the ICT department and told other commissioners that Mr Chiloba must leave the commission.

“The report had not been shared with other commissioners. It was not even part of the agenda in that particular meeting but the chairman just came and insisted it has to be included in the agenda, insisting that this man (Mr Chiloba) must go,” Mr Kurgat said.

“That was his way of doing things; he always forced decisions on us,” Dr Kurgat said.

Appearing before the committee last week, Mr Chiloba accused Mr Chebukati of dishonesty, revealing that the chairman wanted Reflon, a South African company, given the ballot printing tender. However, the courts ruled that it be awarded to Dubai-based Al-Ghurair.

Mr Kurgat admitted that there was massive meddling in the procurement of goods and services by commissioners ahead of last year’s General Election.

Dr Kurgat said the failure to adhere to laws and procedures by the chairman prompted him to resign and that he did not exit the agency in order to protect ‘some people’.

On her part, Ms Mwachanya said she resigned from the commission because her advice was no longer being listened to in the plenary.

“I left IEBC on my own principles when I observed that my advice during plenary meetings was not being felt, meaning my stay there was not helpful,” Ms Mwachanya said.

The two commissioners told the MPs that they are not drawing any salary from the electoral agency.
The submissions of the former commissioners further laid bare the nasty boardroom wars that have characterised the organisation in the past one year.

By Daily Nation

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