NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – A candidate for the position of commissioner in the soon-to-be established Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was on Wednesday put to on the spot after allegations emerged that he swindled a needy family of their land.
Anthony Milimu Lubulellah however denied the claims arguing that it was a case of ‘a willing buyer and a willing seller’ when panel Chairman Ekuru Aukot told him that he was being accused of arm twisting the family into selling their land.
Panelist Irene Keino was first to raise the concern and when Milimu appeared to go on the defensive, fellow panel member Rosa Abuyu and Aukot intervened asking him if he believed that the land acquisition was proper.
“We have received complaints that the transaction was not fair that is why I am asking you because I want it to go on record,” said the soft spoken Keino.
“Fair to whom? There was a willing buyer and a willing seller. I have not had any complaints about the sale,” retorted Milimu before Abuyu interjected.
“There are claims that the family was never consulted and a large family of eight has been left destitute, without anywhere to go; you having purchased the land from their father without their knowledge,” argued Abuyu.
Aukot further explained the allegations to Milimu telling him that the claims indicated that he had purposely manipulated an old man in the family to benefit himself from the transaction and lock out the fitting beneficiaries.
Milimu, who has also had a stint in politics, however maintained his innocence adding that if there were such concerns about the sale, the family should have pursued the matter in Court.
“I am very surprised by those allegations. When you are dealing with issues of sale and purchase you look for all the necessary consent and transact in good faith. I purchased the land in good faith. I am not aware of anyone who has taken any action against me,” he stressed.
Four other short-listed nominees to the IEBC were also interviewed for their suitability into the new electoral body on Wednesday, bringing to 15 the number of candidates interviewed so far.
Kennedy Nyaundi and Fatuma Hirsi faced the selection panel in the morning while David Gachoki, Milimu and Jedidah Ntoyai were grilled in the afternoon.
Nyaundi was put to task over allegations that he helped his brother capture the Bomachoge seat during the by election but it emerged that the incumbent, Simon Ogari Nyaundi, is not his brother.
“While I was a commissioner at the IIEC (Interim Independent Electoral Commission) my brother lost to Simon Ogari so there’s nothing you can do to rig an election. The person who petitioned and won (Simon Ogari) is not my brother; we just share a name,” he argued.
Hirsi also found herself on the hot seat when panel member Mwanyangela Ngali, asked her why she had decided to apply for a position in the IEBC, one month after resigning from her bank job to set up her own public relations firm.
Hirsi’s objective for applying to the commission was questioned after it emerged that she had first resigned from the Nation Media Group to form her own firm before shelving the said ambition to pursue a job at Gulf African Bank where she again resigned to form her PR firm before deciding to join the IEBC.
Ngali put her to the task and asked her if she was applying because of the salary perks, an allegation she denied.
“My firm is barely a month old and I’ve only had one client; another one is coming in next week. I’ve just started out so I can afford to put it (Public Relations firm) in the back banner once again,” she said before Ngali asked her if she was just seeking greener pastures.
“It is not about greener pastures- I have only been unable to earn a salary for one month so it’s not about money,” she argued.