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Why Uhuru is yet to appoint Akombe’s successor

By Geoffrey Mosoku | Published Tue, February 13th 2018 at 07:44, Updated February 13th 2018 at 07:56 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to declare a vacancy in the membership of the electoral commission three months after Roselyn Akombe quit.

The law requires that the President should declare a vacancy in the office of the chairperson or a commissioner within seven days but this is yet to happen.

Dr Akombe fled the country on October 18, 2017, citing security concerns before announcing her resignation. This happened just a week to the October 26 repeat presidential election.

The law provides that should the chairman or commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) choose to resign, they must do so formally in writing to the President, who will then declare a vacancy.

“The President shall publish a notice of a vacancy in the Gazette within seven days of the occurrence of such vacancy. Whenever a vacancy arises, recruitment of a new chairperson or member shall start immediately after the declaration of the vacancy by the President,” the IEBC Act states.

According to IEBC, Akombe formally resigned and notified the President.

“She did it formally,” IEBC Vice Chairman Connie Maina told The Standard. “The commission also wrote to Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua in December last year reminding him of the process but he is yet to respond.”

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Yesterday, State House said finding a replacement for Akombe was not on the President’s list of priorities.

“The matter is not among areas of priority for the President. So I won’t be able to tell you when the process will start,” State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said.

But the process may also have been delayed by a requirement by the law for Parliament to review the provision for a panel to spearhead the exercise.

National Assembly Leader of Majority Aden Duale said some provisions in the law on appointment of commissioners were obsolete and would soon be reviewed. 

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