By Stephen Makabila
The nine commissioners to preside over the transitional 2012 General Election were finally officially appointed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday, following earlier recommendation by Parliament.
As they await their official swearing-in tomorrow, the team led by the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan carries the challenge of conducting an election billed to be one of the biggest in the world, going by the elective positions on the ballot.
Before their approval by Parliament and later appointment by the two principals, the commissioners first went through public interview before the Dr Ekuru Aukot-led Selection Panel and later the Constitutional Implementation Oversight Committee (CIOC) of Parliament chaired by Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohamed.
The Standard On Sunday brings you a brief on the men and women on the commission, their background, education and professional experience.
Ahmed Issack Hassan
Born on March 2, 1970, Issack is a lawyer and an advocate of the High Court for the last 17 years.
He holds a Bachelors degree in law from the University of Nairobi and a Post-Graduate diploma from the Kenya School of Law.
Before his current position, he had served as the chairman of the now defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) since May 2009.
Other positions he has held include Director of Water Resource Management Authority, commissioner, Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, and legal consultant to UNDP-Somalia on the Somalia constitution-making project.
Issack is a member of the Law Society of Kenya, East African Law Society, International Commission of Jurists (Kenya Chapter), Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya, and Association of Professional Societies of East Africa.
He has been an election observer for the State elections in Bombay, India, Namibia National Elections, and a member of the African Union observer group in Sweden general elections to parliamentary, municipal and county council assemblies in September last year.
He has a presidential award, Order of Elder of Burning Spear, among other honours.
Nzibo also served on the IIEC. He was born on November 27, 1951, and holds a PhD, Masters degrees in Philosophy from the University of Glasgow and Business Administration from Strayer College (Washington DC), and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Nairobi.
Nzibo has worked as a lecturer at the University of Nairobi, and a Commissioner-General of the Kenya Revenue Authority.
He has also served as the country’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Czech and Slovak Republics, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Yemen and Iraq.
Nzibo has been an election observer in Mozambique in 2009 representing the Electoral Institute for Sustainability of Democracy and the Sudan last year as part of the Igad observer Mission.
Abdullahi M Sharawe
Mr Sharawe was born on March 6, 1950. He holds a Masters of Science degree (civil engineering) and a preparatory course from Odessa Civil Engineering Institute.
He served as a member of the defunct Interim Independent Boundary Review Commission, the chairman of the Public Service Commission, a member of the Judicial Service Commission and Permanent Secretary in several ministries.
He is a fellow member of the Institute of Engineers of Kenya among others and has two presidential awards – Elder of Burning Spear and Chief of Order of the Burning Spear.
Alawi holds a Masters degree in International Marine Lawfrom the IMO International Marine Law Institute.
Born on November 12, 1970, Alawi also holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Nairobi and a post-graduate diploma in legal practice from the Kenya School of Law.