, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – India has offered to train 290 officials from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on election management.
IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan says 10 officials will be trained per year; learning from the Election Commission of India which conducts the world’s biggest voting process.
“They have trained our commissioners; we have also used their election training centre. This is a good chance for us to share our experiences,” he said.
India’s Election Commissioner Hari Brahma said his country has the expertise which has been proven in the recent elections held in India.
“We share the same history and thus the need to support each other in this course,” Brahma said.
This comes even as the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy continues to call for the disbandment of the IEBC, especially at the higher ranks.
IEBC Acting CEO Betty Sungura-Nyabuto recently told a news conference that the team will continue performing its duties until they are removed from office through the legal process provided in the Constitution or when their mandate expires.
“This is a constitutional commission; it is not just a matter of pack and go, there is a legal process that has to be put in place in order to be implemented and therefore we are still in office, conducting our mandate as is required,” she said.
CORD wants Commission Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan, his deputy Lilian B. Mahiri-Zaja and Commissioners Abdullahi Sharawe, Thomas Letangule, Mohammed Alawi Hussun, Albert Onyango Bwire, Kule Godana, Yusuf Nzibo and Muthoni Wangai shown the door before the next elections.
Hassan further termed the report of the auditor general which indicates the commission misappropriated Sh4 billion in procuring of Biometric Voter Registration kits as unfortunate.
“We are meeting tomorrow to discuss this but it is unfortunate the report has been covered without getting our response,” he said.
He explained that the BVR kits were procured on a Government to Government basis saying he was ready to defend the commission before the National Assembly.
He however lamented that they were not given a chance to respond on the issue insisting it was, “purely government finance operation.”
“We never got opportunity to respond to the claims…not even the commissioners were interviewed.”
The report which was tabled before Parliament by the Auditor General shows the Government and the IEBC committed taxpayers to the massive loss of funds that could have been averted had all the participating agencies in the tender complied with procurement laws.
Although French company SAFRAN Morpho was initially disqualified, it still supplied the kits after handing in another more expensive bid.