Uhuru sets the stage for recruitment of four IEBC chiefs
On Thursday, April 22, the process to fill the four vacant positions at Kenya’s top electoral agency is expected to get underway.
The move comes after President Uhuru Kenyatta declared vacancies of four commissioners to the Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in a gazette notice dated April 14.
The four commissioners, who resigned following the disputed 2017 presidential polls were vice-chairperson Consolata Nkatha, Margaret Mwachanya, Paul Kurgat and Roselyne Akombe. Their exit left the IEBC with just three commissioners to conduct business.
The three commissioners who have been conducting business at the agency are chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Boya Mulu and Abdi Guliye.
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The IEBC has also been running without a substantive chief executive since the ouster of former CEO Ezra Chiloba in 2018 after an internal audit found him culpable on questionable procurement deals during the 2017 polls. Mr Chiloba has since been appointment into the board of the Youth Fund
According to the IEBC Act 2020, the process to fill the vacant positions of commissioners and the CEO starts within 14 days of the declaration of a vacancy.
According to the Building Bridges Initiative, the electoral watchdog is set for total changeover, including fresh vetting of the secretariat ahead of the 2022 General Election. A referendum on the proposed changes to the constitution in line with the BBI proposals is scheduled on or around August.
The President is expected to receive four nominees from the Parliamentary Service Commission, one from the Law Society of Kenya and two from the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya to constitute a selection panel that will steer the recruitment of the four commissioners.
“A person is qualified for appointment as a member of the section panel if he/she is a Kenyan, meets the requirements of leadership and integrity Act, set out in Chapter Six of the Constitution and holds a degree from a university recognized in Kenya,” reads the Act.
The respective nominating bodies shall within seven days of the declaration of a vacancy in the office of the chairperson or member of the commission, submit the names of their nominee to the PSC for transmission to the President for appointment, the Act adds.