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A voter casts the ballot in Kenya during the 2017 General Election.

Kenya

Former Gwassi MP Nyauchi among 8 candidates interviewed for IEBC job

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9- As the Selection Panel for the recruitment of four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioners entered its third day of interviews Friday, former Gwassi Member of Parliament Felix Nyauchi was hard-pressed to outline what Articles of the Constitution guide the commission’s mandate.

Nyauchi, who is one of the 36 candidates who were shortlisted to fill up four vacant positions at the poll body seemed not to have been conversant with the Articles.

When asked by one of the panelist, Morris Kimuli if there was a law that gives the electoral body mandate to conduct boundary demarcation, Nyauchi said, “I do not know of any.”

Nyauchi was further asked to explain what role the Electoral Body plays in dispute resolution among and within political parties.

“IEBC resolves dispute that emanate from electoral process and not political parties,” he said

In a quick rejoinder, Kimuli asked him if he was sure and quickly said, “Let us move to more familiar territory sir and talk about parliament” a clear indication that Nyauchi was not giving satisfactory answers.

He was the third candidate to be interviewed by the Elizabeth Muli-led Selection Panel.

A lecturer at Egerton University, Dinah Kipkebut, who had been interviewed earlier said if appointed Commissioner, she would bring her 31-year experience in teaching and administration to strengthen the electoral body.

She added that she wanted to serve the country in a different capacity for just 6 years then go back to teaching.

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“I still love my job and I know with the experience I have as a teacher for all those years, collecting and keeping data will be something I will be proud to do because I know IEBC has to keep voters’ record up to date and I think my experience will contribute a lot to that,” she said.

Kipkebut further stated that having worked with students for many years and interacted with people of different personalities she will be able to ensure that the commission works amicably with all electoral stakeholders to guarantee a credible election.

“Electoral matters are emotive and you need a calm person to handle such matters. Sometimes I have had to resolve student matters and even stop students from picketing when they are dissatisfied with something in school and instead guided them on other dispute resolution measures. I will maximize on this skill if I get the job,” she added.

The four positions fell vacant following resignation of Commissioners Roselyn Akombe, Paul Kurgat, Margaret Mwachanya and Connie Maina after the 2017 elections.

The first candidate to be interviewed on Friday Con Omore Osendo was tasked to explain what role Parliamentary Justice and Legal Affairs Committees play in funding of the electoral body.

Osendo was further requested to explain what other options the Commission has on matters funding

“The Commission gets funding from the government but I also think that donors do come in when need be and the right procedures have to be followed when this happens,” he said.

Osendo who defended his suitability based on his passion for governance, electoral matters and politics says he will use his 13 year experience where he has networked with various development partners to draw more financial support for the commission.

So far 8 candidates have been interviewed in an exercise in the exercise that ends on July 22.

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