, NAIROBI, Kenya Apr 16 – Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati to provide it with a copy of the internal audit report into queries raised after the 2017 General Election.
PAC Chairman Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) said Chebukati should submit the document earlier than next Monday when he is scheduled to respond to MPs’ inquiries.
“Now because this document has come out of the blues, we are duty bound to have a look at it and see if it will enrich our understanding of the issues surrounding those two financial year accounts.”
“We have decided as a committee here today to invite the IEBC Chairman Mr Wafula Chebukati and he should come along with that document. We don’t know what to call it but (it’s) that document he has been relying on to effect several changes at Commission. We shall be seeking to examine him on the contents of that document,” he said.
Wandayi he urged the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee – which is mandated with over sighting governance, justice and legislative sector agencies – to probe the cause of the fallout within the IEBC, adding that the Kenyan taxpayer deserves an explanation.
“We have also noted with concern that with the current happenings at the IEBC. We are not sure whether they are in proper position to continue with its activities in a manner expected of it by the Constitution and the public,” he noted.
The announcement came as IEBC Vice-chairperson Connie Maina led Commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya in quitting the poll agency, accusing Chebukati of failing to provide unity and leadership.
This comes after four of the six IEBC commissioners, led by Chebukati, met last Friday and approved the resolution that IEBC chief executive Chiloba proceeds on a three-month compulsory leave to facilitate investigations into among other things his handling of procurement procedures leading up to the August 2017 General Elections and the October 2017 Fresh Presidential Election.
He has further directed the Auditor General Edward Ouko to expedite his audit into the IEBC expenditure during the financial year 2016/2017.
“This will enable us as Committee to delve into matter of the accounts 2016/17 in relation to the IEBC, and have our reports done to enable the IEBC continue with its normal operations,” Wandayi stated.
Meanwhile two former CEOs at the Commission said they refused to settle a pending bill with Face Technologies – which provide the Electronic Voter Identification Device used in the March 2013 General Election- because it was clouded with discrepancies.
James Oswago, who served as the Commission CEO and Betty Nyabuto who succeeded him in 2013 were adamant that that Chiloba should not have settled the claim if the regularities were unresolved.
Oswago faulted Chiloba for paying Sh250 million for the supply of additional electronic voter identification devices used in the 2013 General Election.
“This was not paid under my tenure, because we had not ordered for additional 4,600 kits. Chiloba joined the Commission and within three months, he had paid. If I paid for the 4,600 additional kits, I would be in Kamiti Prison because to date, there is no formal contract between the IEBC and the company for the supply and delivery of those 4,600 additional kits,” he said.
Nyabuto, who was acting CEO between November 2013 to January 2015 told the watchdog committee that she referred the matter to an audit team from the National Treasury because it was among issues payments that had proved to be peculiar because it touched in the 2013 General Election.
She also put on the spot over the Sh40 million pay-out to lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi during the Supreme Court hearing of the 2013 presidential election petition.
In her defence, Nyabuto said at the time of taking office, the negotiations relating to legal fees had already been finalised and were based on advocates fees roll and previous ruling on what an advocate to should earn when handling such high profile suits.