IEBC on fire as management woes erupt again – Weekly Citizen


The longrunning feuds between commissioners at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and the electoral agency’s secretariat have taken a new twist amid a leaked report on a planned Sh30 million benchmarking trip to the US, Australia, South Africa and Nigeria.
It is said that those being targeted are remnants of former CEO Ezra Chiloba who left the plum perch unceremoniously.
Hitherto fashioned along underlying attributes of boundary delimitation, the resultant fallout has all the hallmarks of turf wars, sour grapes, betrayal and insubordination.
Already, five senior officials have been interdicted with 21 others being issued with show-cause why letters for professional misconduct. The warning letters appeared to implicate those affected in the procurement of substandard equipment leading to election malpractices during the last general election.
The indicted officials include boundaries head Carolyne Manyange, cartographer Paul Yego and Johannes Emali, a messenger. The three officials directly handle the aspect of boundaries delimitation; hence their inevitable fall from grace.
Knowledgeable sources say the 21 officials now facing uncertain future are victims of the public accounts committee report that indicted them on their respective roles in the controversial procurement of Sh4 billion Kenya Integrated Election Management Systems kits.
The committee had reportedly invited the group of 21 to clarify their role in the unending saga, besides proving why action should not be taken against them.
IEBC boss Wafula Chebukati’s crackdown on “errant” staff also netted Gideon Malonza who has since been suspended. For starters, commissioners are the employers of all staff at the secretariat at the electoral agency.
The overseas trip would have seen the chairman and two other commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu set off on a benchmarking trip on boundaries demarcation in the four overseas nations at an estimated cost of Sh30 million.
Drama started when upon learning of the leaked secret report, a fuming Chebukati convened an urgent meeting demanding that all boundary demarcation officials name the individuals suspected to have been behind the leak.
A source at the impromptu meeting told Weekly Citizen the emotionally charged chairman wanted to know how a sensitive report of such magnitude could be leaked even before it was finalised, threatening to sack all members of the secretariat.
Insiders say the inclusion of South Africa in the planned benchmarking tour could have triggered the leakage of the secret report, given the country does not have constituencies.
In SA, 490 seats form the parliament, 400 of which form the Lower House pegged on party strength. On the other hand, the Upper House constitutes 10 members from each province nominated by respective provincial assembly.
The latest turn of events come at a time IEBC is preparing to conduct a review of boundaries subject to the conclusion of the national population and housing census.
The commission’s composition has for long been a subject of debate, with some contending it is not legally constituted. When Roselyn Akombe fled the country, it never occurred to many that more bags of surprises were in the offing.
It took the resignation of vice chair Connie Maina, commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya to expose the enormity of the disgraced commission’s problems. This effectively brought the number of commissioners to three, down from the original seven.
Chebukati and his two commissioners have managed to hang on even as politically instigated intrigues hover over them.
Earlier, Chebukati was locked in an endless tiff with Chiloba over turf wars largely bordering on multibillion shillings procurement intrigues that eventually saw the latter send packing.
Incidentally, Chiloba’s successor albeit in an acting capacity, Marjana Hussein, was indicted by the Pac, with the House committee accusing him of misleading the then CEO Chiloba into unlawfully sanctioning of multibillion shillings contracts.
A recent audit report by Auditor General Edward Ouko appeared to indict the chairman and his entire team for occasioning the loss of billions of taxpayers’ money.


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