, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 29 – Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO Ezra Chiloba has denied allegations levelled against him that he single-handedly made over 100 procurements between June last year and election time.
While appearing before National Assembly Public Accounts Committee, Chiloba accused IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati of trying “to fix him” in the financial mismanagement recorded at the electoral body.
“I have seen a statement issued by Mr Chebukati which is misleading and a misrepresentation of facts. This is unfair to the public and I wish to put the record straight. The Commission met severally, and it is on record that direct procurement for KIEMS had been considered way before the meeting of 31 March 2017. Indeed, on 28 February 2017, when approving direct procurement for KIEMS, the intention of the Commission was that Secretariat writes to Safran expressing intention to retain their services,” Chiloba said.
He further told the committee led by Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja MP) that Chebukati was interfering with the secretariat’s decisions before and after the 2017 General Election thus leading to unending tensions and confusion at the polls body.
“The fact that some members did not vote for direct procurement of Safran is a classic example of how not to conduct a procurement process. The law on procurement provides the procedure of making awards. Once the evaluation committee has made a recommendation to award, the head of procurement prepares a professional opinion on the process, which will guide the accounting officer in approving the award. But in the case of KIEMS and several other procurement, the Commission demanded to have the evaluation reports and professional opinions before the award of contracts. Given this situation, I kept wondering, and sometimes loudly,” Chiloba added.
Appearing before the same committee on Monday , Chebukati claimed that procurement was done without briefing other commissioners.
Chebukati suspended Chiloba on 15 June for the second time, hours after he was reinstated by the courts.
Chebukati stated in a letter addressed to Chiloba that under clauses 3 and 5 of the Public Accounts Act, he was solely responsible for the prudent financial management of the commission’s finances, as well as the execution of all the commission’s programs and plans in line with the constitutional mandate.
“The commission has resolved to suspend you with immediate effect as the accounting officer of the commission pending the completion of the comprehensive audit of all major procurement relating to the general elections of 8 August 2017 and fresh presidential elections held on 26 October 2017,” read part of the letter.
A few months later on October 12, Chiloba announced he had been fired following protracted wrangles between him and the Commission.
In a social media post titled “announcing my firing”, Chiloba said he received the termination letter but complained that the process was predetermined and unfair.