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President Kenyatta confident IEBC reforms will be achieved as planned

Opposition leaders have threatened to stage street protests if no progress is made by Monday. Photo/FILE.

Opposition leaders have threatened to stage street protests if no progress is made by Monday. Photo/FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 25 – President Uhuru Kenyatta is confident of an amicable solution to the on-going blame game between the National Treasury and Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) over the delayed tabling of a send-off package for eight Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners (IEBC) and their Chairman Isaack Hassan who agreed to vacate office.

State House Spokesman Manoah Esipisu on Sunday dismissed reports calling for the President to intervene in the matter, following fears that the squabbles may delay the recruitment of the new IEBC officials in time for next year’s General Election.

“Treasury CS Henry Rotich already said that there are going to be discussions next week, which really means that there isn’t any need for the President to issue any directives when work is already being done,” he said while fielding questions from journalists during his weekly briefings.

Rotich had on Saturday confirmed that negotiations with the Attorney-General and the IEBC commissioners are ongoing and will soon agree on a package.

The CS said the talks were focused on how to source the monies for the send-off package with some leaders proposing the poll chiefs be paid from the Contingency Funds or through a Supplementary Budget.

The blame game on the stalled IEBC reforms was ignited by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi after he accused the two agencies of stalling the recruitment of the new IEBC officials by failing to submit a proposed send-off package a month after Parliament adopted a report by the Joint Parliamentary Select Committee which drafted the electoral reforms roadmap.

SRC sought to wash its hands off the matter by claiming that it is the Treasury which has not tabled a proposal on a send-off package.

But the National Assembly Speaker has insisted that the Sarah Serem-led team, which is constitutionally mandated to give guidelines on perks awarded to holders of public office is to blame.

CORD leaders have threatened to resume street protests if no direction is given by Monday ahead of the Friday deadline.
“If there is nothing done by Monday, we will do what we do best—street protests,” Orengo said on Saturday.

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Gatundu South Member of Parliament Moses Kuria, is also worried that unless the process is hastened, the current commissioners may be obligated to oversee next year’s General Election if they do not vacate office by Friday next week as outlined by the joint parliamentary committee that drafted proposed electoral reforms.

“It is my hope that the speakers will convene an emergency seating of the two houses to create the oversight committee,” he wrote on his Face book Page, soon after Muturi issued his statement from Iran.

Kuria has warned that “the worst nightmare will happen on Friday next week when a commission should be in place failure to which the current commissioners will be under obligation to oversee next year’s General Election.”

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