, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – Parliament now wants to interrogate the entire process used to pick members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), as it vets the suitability of those nominated by the president last week.
The Chairman of the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) Abdikadir Mohammed said his team wants to re-examine the process, which was led by Ekuru Aukot, before the names are finally submitted to Parliament.
He revealed that although his team had already received the résumés of those who had been nominated by the President and Prime Minister for the positions, it had requested for a report highlighting the entire process.
A total of 427 Kenyans had applied for the positions of IEBC Commissioners while only 15 applied for the Chairperson’s position. However out of the 427 only 44 were selected for the Commissioners’ interviews and only eight were short-listed for Chair’s interviews.
“They had earlier sent the names and CVs of those whose names were forwarded to the principals but we have since asked for the entire report because we want to vet the process and the final product,” he said.
He also urged Kenyans who had qualms with the manner in which the Aukot team conducted the process to raise their objections to the CIOC, which plans to start vetting those nominated to the new electoral body on November 1.
He explained that the names would only be forwarded to Parliament once the CIOC had completed its independent vetting.
“Our committee has to determine whether the names go forward or not. That will be our decision to Parliament but then the House can either accept our report or reject it,” he said.
The move by the CIOC comes amidst claims by some Members of Parliament and some civil societies that the IEBC selection panel failed to observe religious balance and professional qualifications.
CIOC vice Chairperson Millie Odhiambo explained that the team wanted to seek answers into some of the questions that had been raised against the selection process.
She added that the team had requested for a list of all the appointments that had been made so far to ensure that total gender, ethnic, regional and religious balance had been met so far.
“We want to look at the totality of the appointments to ensure that the constitutional requirements are met,” she said.
Mohammed also said that MPs had a right to take positions on the selection process and that Kenyans shouldn’t criticise them for their opinions.
“I mean it is what they (MPs) are paid for,” he quipped.
He added that there was need to hasten the enactment of all legislations needed to manage the forthcoming general elections. He argued that Kenya needed to be prepared for the elections, which will be seemingly taxing.
The Mandera Central MP noted that there would be several county assemblies across the country and that it was important to figure out how they would run.
Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo echoed his sentiments, noting that adequate time needed to be set aside to help facilitate the preparations for the next elections.
“If the date for the elections is August next year, you must appreciate that there are laws required. If the elections are held in December, you cannot be enacting the legislative laws in August because the turnaround period of the country is low,” he argued.