October 26 ‘project team’ reconstituted as poll staff trained

October 6, 2017 (2 weeks ago) 5:04 pm
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Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said the team will work towards enhancing efficiency and compliance with election laws in the management of the October 26 fresh presidential election/JEREMIAH WAKAYA

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 6 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has reconstituted its seven-member fresh presidential election project coordination team.

Nancy Kariuki, Bernard Moseti and Silas Rotich who had been listed in the initial project coordination team as heads of logistics, training and the National Tallying Centre respectively have however been omitted in the fresh team which Deputy CEO Hussein Marjan will continue to head.

Albert Gogo and Sydney Namulungu who were in the previous team released on September 5 have also been retained, the former maintaining his role as the coordinator of election technology whereas the latter has been assigned the coordination of activities at the National Tallying Centre.

While speaking to the press after launching a four-day training program for poll officials, Commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said the team will work towards enhancing efficiency and compliance with election laws in the management of the October 26 fresh presidential election.

“After the Supreme Court judgment, I promised internal changes and that is what I have done today. I have a team different from the one that managed the August 8 election and as far as I am concerned that is the team that will now push and deliver the fresh election,” Chebukati said.

Other officers named in the new poll team are David Towett (Head of Operations), Tabitha Mutemi (Communication and Outreach), Salome Oyugi (Legal and Compliance) and Agatha Wahome (Finance, Procurement, and Administration).

Chebukati also said that the Commission had replaced all interdicted poll officials with new ones from the Commission headquarters as it gears for the Oct 26 presidential election.

“There’s a team that has been recruited to replace interdicted officials and some of them are staff we’ve deployed from our headquarters. All of these officers are part of the training we’ve commenced today,” he said.

He also assured that IEBC has put adequate measures in place to ensure its officers are appropriately trained to conduct the presidential election in accordance with the law.

Chebukati said all the 47 County Election Managers, 47 ICT officers as well as 290 Constituency Returning Officers and their deputies being taken through election management will subsequently be deployed to their various counties and constituencies to train Presiding Officers and polling clerks.

“This training has been ongoing is in five levels and so far we’ve being able to train Master Trainers and Trainers of Trainers (ToTs) who will facilitate our training programmes,” he said.

He assured that all faults that led to the nullification of the August 8 presidential election have been addressed to ensure the fresh poll conforms to election statutes and the Constitution.

“The Commission came up with a matrix of areas we need to focus which include the standardization of forms, signing, and results transmission,” Chebukati stated.

The Chairperson also indicated that all timelines published by the commission on September 8 will be met, urging political parties to expedite the submission of their respective agents for the 40,883 polling stations, county, constituency and national tallying centres.

He insisted all concerns raised by the National Super Alliance had been addressed, promising to make public a formal response in due course.

Presidential candidate Raila Odinga had through NASA Executive Director Norman Magaya written to the Commission demanding responses to some 12 “irreducible minimums” before the fresh presidential election.

Following a meeting with Odinga’s alliance on Thursday last week, the Commission set a sub-committee comprising two commissioners to look into issues raised by NASA with an aim of reaching a consensus.

But even as NASA continues to push for the resignation of senior IEBC officials among other changes in the commission, foreign diplomats and the United Nations have urged both the Opposition and Jubilee Party not to make demands that would impede the electoral process.

“Free, transparent and credible elections are the only democratic ways to enable Kenyans to choose their leaders. The United Nations, therefore, strongly encourages Jubilee Party, NASA and the electorate to participate in the planned election on 26 October 2017,” Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), Sahle-Work Zewde, said on Tuesday.

“The United Nations urges the parties to recommit themselves to dialogue and to seek consensus-based solutions to their differences as the most appropriate means to pave the way for a free, transparent and credible election in conformity with the Constitution and existing electoral laws,” she further stated.

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