, NAIROBI, Kenya May 3 – Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Thursday pushed by MPs to explain the status of the 3 Commissioners including his Vice-Chairperson Consolata Nkatha Maina who are reported to have resigned last month.
Members of Parliament wanted to know if Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat were still being paid their dues despite quitting office on April 16.
Chebukati passed the blame to National Treasury and Head of Public Service for failing to respond to his letters inquiring on their fate.
He told the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that he could not confirm whether they were still earning salaries or not, because he is yet to receive communication from the Treasury.
“I wrote to the National Treasury asking that salaries for the three commissioners be stopped because they are not working for us. I haven’t received any response. So I don’t know if they have been paid the April salaries,” the Electoral boss told the House Committee.
Chebukati further produced a letter dated April 20, 2018, in which he wrote to Head of Public Service seeking his confirmation on whether the three commissioners had written to the President conveying their decision to resign from the poll agency.
“…they are not working for us. I haven’t received any response. So I don’t know if they have been paid the April salaries. They sent their resignation letters to the President but I thought it was in good taste if they copied the letters to me and to the head of public service,” he said.
“I have not received any information on the Commissioners either from them, head of public service or any authority,” he added.
The lack of confirmation from President Kenyatta on ‘resignation’ of three commissioners which happened 17 days ago, prompted Kisumu Town West MP John Olago Alouch to question whether the President was ‘being let down by those close to him’.
The IEBC chief said the Commissioners have not reported to work since April 16 and have not returned assets such as laptops, vehicles and drivers, which belonging to the Commission.
Chebukati who was flanked by commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu said Kenyans must rise above the debate on whether Chairman or Commissioners or Secretariat should go.
“We have been urged by several quarters to resign because three of our colleagues have resigned. But we can’t do that. Each one of us came to the commission individually and so it was their decision. We don’t think its right to just resign because they resigned,”
“We should discuss how to improve the electoral process. We are committed to continuing discharging our duties as we wait for the filling of vacancies in the Commission following the reported resignation of three Commissioners,” he said.
The IEBC chief further accused Commissioner Margaret Mwachanya of dishonesty citing she was in Dubai when the plenary meeting took place.
“I don’t know why she resigned, citing the outcome of a meeting she did not attend,” Chebukati stated.