The suspended Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chief Executive will not be accessing his work place any time soon.
Yesterday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court Judge Stephen Radido asked Ezra Chiloba to stay out of office for three months, awaiting the outcome of the audit into procurement of key election materials in last year’s General Election.
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Justice Radido ruled that Mr Chiloba had not made a strong case to warrant his reinstatement, and that his issue with the IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati could not be resolved by lifting the suspension.
Chiloba filed the suit to lift his three-month suspension, arguing that Mr Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu violated a court order in suspending him for a second time.
Last month the judge ruled that Chebukati did not follow the right procedure when he sent Chiloba on a three-month compulsory leave on April 6, and ordered that the CEO be allowed back to work.
However, before Chiloba could resume duty, Chebukati issued another memo suspending him for a further three months to allow for completion of auditing procurement processes used by the commission during last year’s General Election.
Chiloba then filed the suit to be reinstated and a contempt of court proceedings to jail the chairman and the two commissioners for six months for refusing to allow him to resume office.
“Their conduct of sending the CEO on further three months’ suspension in effect removes him from his employment and is without any basis in law, malicious, high-handed, capricious and calculated to injure him,” said his lawyer Andrew Wandabwa.
But in response, Chebukati argued that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the case, given that they did not disobey the order.
According to Chebukati, the judge had not stopped the commission from sending Chiloba on another compulsory leave.
He gave details of an internal audit, whose investigation, he claimed, the CEO could interfere with if allowed back to office.