Tough rules for those eyeing IEBC positions

August 11, 2011 8:02 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 11 – Politicians and those adversely mentioned in probes into past irregularities will not be eligible for sit or chair the new electoral body.

This is according to a list of conditions released by the select panel of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Thursday.

The rules also bar those who have participated in parliamentary, civic or political party office, or even held a position in a political party in the last five years.

Individuals who have been adversely mentioned in reports of any commission of inquiry, or a parliamentary committee will also be barred from the electoral body.

These include professional accountants and lawyers who have featured in the reports of parliamentary watchdog committees such as the Public Accounts and Public Investments Committees, and commissions of inquiry like the Goldenberg and Anglo Leasing scandals; those on grabbed public land, and land clashes.

The Panel chaired by Ekuru Aukot says applicants for positions in the new Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will be required to produce clearance certificates from the Kenya Revenue Authority proving they have been paying their taxes and also from the Higher Education Loans Board as proof that they have paid up their university loans.

Applicants will also be required to prove they have no cases or investigations by producing clearance certificates from the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission, Criminal Investigations Department and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

To avoid a repeat of incidences where applicants have provided forged professional testimonials to selections panels, the Aukot-led team will only accept proof of professional credentials from the heads of the professional organisations to which the applicants subscribe such as the Law Society of Kenya, Institute of Engineers and Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The panel has, however, given an allowance to those whose trades do not have a professional body.

Applicants for the positions of the IEBC chair should also be ready to be subjected to security clearance by the National Security Intelligence Service.

The IEBC’s immediate task will be to create 80 new constituencies set out in the Constitution and managing the General Election due next year.

The chairperson must be someone who qualifies to hold the office of a Supreme Court judge or must have been a judge of a superior court for a minimum of 15 years, or possess 15 years experience as a distinguished academic, judicial officer, legal practitioner or in any other relevant category.

But even after they pass the panel’s hurdle, short-listing, and interview phases, Parliament will still scrutinise them.

The panel also demanded that as a demonstration of their suitability, applicants must submit their CVs along with “samples of their three top writings, or supervised projects, or any other evidence of proven relevant experience herein being sought.”

In the standards set for applicants the panel demonstrates it is keen on giving Kenya an independent commission with persons of high integrity.

In a move aimed at addressing concerns and deficiencies raised by the Justice Johann Kriegler Commission on 2007 electoral mess, the Panel will further be seeking evidence of a candidate’s suitability in the execution of the IEBC mandate.

Those seeking the chairperson’s position or IEBC membership must also be Kenyan citizens, possess university degrees, and have proven relevant experience in either electoral matters, management, finance, governance, public administration, law, and also meet requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity.

The selection panel has cautioned that it would disqualify any interested applicant found to be lobbying or canvassing either directly or through emissary.

Any person applying will have to meet and satisfy the panel that they are capable of executing the IEBC mandate of continuous registration of citizens as voters, regular revision of the voter’s roll, and delimitation of constituencies and civic wards among other responsibilities.


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