, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Issack Hassan and eight commissioners are likely to stay in office past the Friday’s deadline as a result of legal technicalities.
Hassan told the Senate Public Accounts and Investment Committee (PAIC) that the Commissioners would not leave office until October 4, when the Elections (Amendment) Law which was recently assented to by President Uhuru Kenyatta comes into effect.
He said the law is silent on how exactly the commissioners should vacate office.
“The timelines that were put in the report are not in the Act. The Act does not talk about September 30; it only talks about the vacation from office. The report also indicated that there should be a smooth handover and a transition; there is a mechanism we put into place that one has not been applied to the Act. So there is a lot of lacuna,” he said.
The IEBC Chairperson also confirmed that he and his team are yet to be engaged by the National Treasury, Attorney General Office or Salaries and Remuneration Commission on a proposal for a send off package that will see them vacate office.
He said he is hopeful deliberations into the matter will commence next week when the law guiding the recruitment of new offices comes into effect.
“We have not engaged with anybody yet because the law which was passed by Parliament has a commencement date, which is October 4. Those we have talked to, have told us they will only talk to us after the law is effective, there is cooperation but we are respecting the law,” he said.
Hassan has said they are busy packing and ready to leave office even as their exit package is being looked at.
Senate PAIC Chairman Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu) urged Hassan and other state offices to work tirelessly and ensure that preparations for next year’s election are not hampered.
“There is much at stake and we cannot afford to push the election date. I urge State agencies including Treasury and Office of the Attorney General to work even for 24 hours to ensure that we hold elections in August next year,” he said.
This is after IEBC Chairman expressed concern that the smooth transition and handing over envisioned in the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee Report on Electoral Matters may not now be realized owing to the strict deadlines.
“I can assure you, we have been talking with them; there is cooperation but we are following the law,” he stated.
CORD Leader Raila Odinga had over the weekend insisted that the Hassan and his team should vacate office by Saturday.