Top IEBC officials to be grilled by parliamentary committee

September 6, 2018 8:24 am
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Chairman Wafula Chebukati who was expected to appear before the same committee last week had requested the meeting to be pushed to this week as he was in Rwanda observing parliamentary elections/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 6 – The National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee will on Thursday meet with commissioners at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over the impasse at the polls body.

Chairman Wafula Chebukati who was expected to appear before the same committee last week had requested the meeting to be pushed to this week as he was in Rwanda observing parliamentary elections.

Chebukati will lead the commissioners in explaining what steps have been taken to ensure the electoral body undertakes its duties effectively.

Among the issues the William Cheptumo (Baringo North) led committee is expected to probe is the gridlock of three commissioners who had resigned but wanted to be reinstated.

Chebukati however insists that commissioners Consolata Maina, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya are strangers to the commission.

In affirming his position, Chebukati said he is relying on a High Court order that ruled the electoral body is properly constituted, declared their resignation procedural and called for their replacement.

The three commissioners resigned on April 16 citing disunity within the commission and castigated Chebukati for not providing leadership.

Other issues to feature in Thursday’s session is the commission’s quorum, boundary review which is slated for next year and a possible review of electoral laws before the next elections in 2022.

Cheptumo is also to expected to disclose contents of the committee’s legislative proposal that aims at forming a select committee that will oversee the recruiting of new commissioners in the event a vacancy arises.

Currently, it is only the Head of State who can appoint new commissioners to office.

Once a member resigns, the President is expected to publish a notice of vacancy in the Kenya Gazette upon receiving notice of resignation within seven days.

The declaration of vacancy precipitates a recruitment process through formulation of a selection panel by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.

Afterward, they are expected to receive applications, memoranda from the public on their suitability and qualifications, vet and write a report on the nominee(s) through the relevant House Committee which is subject to adoption or rejection in the House plenary.

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