NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will be heading for a retreat on Sunday in what is seen as a move to put their house in order ahead of the fresh presidential election slated for October 17.
A source at the commission has told Capital FM News that the commissioners will retreat to an undisclosed location to work out plans for the crucial vote following the release of critical election timelines on Friday.
IEBC has been under siege this week following the leaking of a damning memo written to its chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba by Chairperson Wafula Chebukati demanding answers for the mismanagement of the August 8 presidential poll annulled by the Supreme Court on September 1, a memo disowned by five commissioners led by Vice Chairperson Consolata Nkatha.
“We wish to clarify that the contents of the said memo were not discussed and sanctioned by the Commission Plenary. The Commissioners came to know of the memo through the media like everyone else,” Nkatha and four other commissioners stated in a statement sent to newsrooms Thursday evening.
Nkatha, alongside commissioners Yakub Guliye, Paul Kurgat, Boya Molu and Margret Mwachanya also discredited issues raised in the 12-point memo as 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,” the five pointed out.
The crisis at IEBC had risen to its brink following the appointment of a six-member team by Chebukati on Tuesday, a team that was tasked with the coordination of the October 17 poll under the leadership of Deputy CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan.
Chebukati named Marjan as the Project Coordinator.
Other members Chebukati appointed to the team were Sidney Namulungu who will head operations, Nancy Kariuki (logistics), Bernard Moseti (training), Albert Gogo (ICT) and Silas Rotich who will man the National Tallying Center.
Reports at the time indicated that some staffers including CEO Ezra Chiloba whose omission in the six-member team raised eyebrows had refused to resign despite being asked to do so.
On Wednesday, Bloomberg Politics quoted Commissioner Roselyn Akombe as having said:
“In a normal democracy, people would have introspected; they would have opted to step aside. They have failed to do that. They have refused.”
The commission however appeared to have jerked back to life Friday with the publication of critical election timelines.
Among timelines published by IEBC includes recruitment of election officials (presiding/deputy officers and clerks), procurement and distribution of election materials, upgrade, configuration and distribution of electoral management devices, as well as a results management framework.
See timelines below:
PRESS RELEASE – Sep 8th 2017 – Timelines with key milestones leading to the election pic.twitter.com/2kyb1X1e1u
— IEBC (@IEBCKenya) September 8, 2017