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I am not shaken by BBI proposal to kick us out: Chebukati

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati addressing participants at the 6th Annual Continental Forum of Election Management Bodies organised jointly with the African Union Commission (AUC), working with the Association of African Electoral Authorities. /IEBC.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati now says he is not worried about the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) proposal to completely overhaul the agency before the next elections.

Chebukati said contracts of all the electoral commissioners are due to end in January 2023.

“We came in office in 2017 January, our term of office ends in January 2023, so as far as I am concerned our contract is still on,” he told journalists during the 6th Annual Continental Forum of Election Management Bodies organised jointly with the African Union Commission (AUC), working with the Association of African Electoral Authorities.

The BBI report released on Wednesday calls for the overhaul of the commission, citing low confidence from the public on the way it has conducted elections. “I am not worried about it,” he said of the report launched on Wednesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta, his Deputy William Ruto and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders display unity during BBI launch at the Bomas of Kenya. /PSCU.

It further proposes that political party leaders should nominate commissioners who are non-partisan, with clear integrity records.

“A mechanism be devised that gives leaders of parliamentary political parties a role in the recruitment of Commissioners of IEBC,” it stated.

The report also recommends that all IEBC staff should be employed on a three-year contract, renewable only once, based on their performance. “This will prevent the continuation of errors by enabling each Commission at one time in its term to make appointments.”

It also proposes that Returning Officers should be hired through a process like that used for commissioners, with the involvement of public participation.

“At the end of the process of recruiting Returning Officers, IEBC should receive reports on what their decision is and the basis on which they made the decision. This should be available to the public,” states the report that has sparked mixed reactions in the political class.

It also proposes that Returning Officers should be contracted on a part-time basis and should not oversee more than one general election.

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“Any person with at least fifteen years of management experience at senior level should qualify to apply for the Chairmanship of IEBC. It should not be the preserve of lawyers. However, one of the Commissioners should be a lawyer.”

The commission has had long-running wrangles between the Secretariary and commissioners, culminating to the sacking of the Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba.

Former IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba. /CFM-FILE.

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