, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – Ezra Chiloba has written to the Kenya Independent Commissions Workers Union (KICWU) demanding the deletion of his name from a suit filed in the Employment and Labour Relations Court on Thursday.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief executive in a letter to KICWU through Iseme, Kamau and Maema Advocates on Friday said the suit was filed without consideration of the adverse consequences such an action would have on him.
“Withdraw any references to our client in the suit and forward to us the duly filed amended statement of claim with all references to our client crossed out and/or omitted and notice of withdrawal of the application in which our client was named,” Chiloba’s lawyer ordered.
He also demanded an unqualified apology to be published in the first four pages of two national newspapers.
“Take notice that if the above demands are not complied with within the next 48 hours from the date of receipt of this letter, I will file a complaint with LSK and the Advocates Disciplinary Committee for action,” lawyer Kamau Karori stated in the letter.
“I will also file proceedings against you and your client for defamation, breach of privacy and dignity, deliberate character assassination, breach of the right to associate with anyone he does not desire and such other orders as may be appropriate,” Korori further warned.
KICWU had argued in court, in an application certified as urgent by Justice Nelson Abuodha, that IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati had exposed Chiloba, Deputy CEO in charge of operations Betty Nyabuto, as well as directors Immaculate Kasait (Voter Registration and Electoral Operations), James Muhati (ICT), Praxedes Tororey (Legal and Public Affairs) and Moses Kipkogey (Manager Legal department and advisor to CEO), to intimidation and condemned them in public without proper investigations.
Earlier in the week, Chebukati had also appointed a six-member election oversight team with the Deputy CEO in charge of Support, Marjan Hussein Marjan, designated as the project coordinator.
“Without any investigations or findings the Commission’s contemplated action to restructure the secretariat is malicious, baseless and calculated to intimidate and eventually hound them out of office unprocedurally,” the union stated.
The filing of the suit came barely a day after one of IEBC commissioners was quoted saying some staff members had refused to resign despite being asked to do so.
The state of affairs at IEBC was further complicated when a twelve-point memo in which Chebukati demanded answers from Chiloba over the mismanagement of the August 8 presidential elections was leaked to the press on Thursday.
A section of commissioners led by Vice Chairperson Consolata Nkatha however disputed the memo by Chebukati saying issues raised were not discussed in the plenary and that they were nonfactual and misleading.
“A quick perusal of the memo shows that the allegations are based on some report or information that has not been brought to the attention of the Commission. Most of the issues raised are not factual and could easily mislead if taken out of context,” Nkatha, alongside commissioners Yakub Guliye, Paul Kurgat, Boya Molu and Margret Mwachanya noted in a statement.
Chiloba had distanced himself from the suit barely an hour after it emerged the case had been filed describing claims that he was behind it as sideshows.
Let it be known that I have not instructed anyone to go to Court on my behalf on any matter. We make progress if we avoid sideshows.
— Ezra Chiloba (@ezraCHILOBA) September 7, 2017