Disruptions caused in Nairobi’s Central Business District by people protesting against the electoral body may be a thing of the past if its headquarters are moved.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has proposed to the Government to have its offices at Anniversary Towers moved out of the CBD. If approved, the move will also save part of the Sh100 million spent on rent every year.
The commission is looking at buying or constructing a building that will serve as its base, where meetings and trainings can also take place.
Agency chairman Wafula Chebukati said the Sh100 million spent annually on rent excludes hiring of venues for the commission’s activities such as training and meetings.
He said the commission will ensure that its new headquarters and other businesses surrounding it will not be disrupted by those picketing.
In the run up to the August 2017 elections, politicians and supporters of National Super Alliance (Nasa) held anti-IEBC protests that affected businesses within the CBD, with those along Waiyaki Way suffering the most.
Starehe MP Charles Kanyi promised in October last year to push for the relocation of IEBC offices from the CBD after many businesses were destroyed.
As the commission awaits approval, Chebukati said all senior staff will be vetted for purposes of enhancing the agency's effectiveness, accountability and restoration of public confidence.
“Stakeholders will be accorded an opportunity to raise any concerns about our staff within a defined structure. The exercise will meaningfully address any integrity concerns, taking cognisance of the need to safeguard our employees’ lawful rights,” he said.
The commission is also set to restructure its operations to cut off duplication of duties by some of the officers.
“The current commission’s organisational structure has duplicity of functions, overlapping roles and a culture of silo mentality between various units. These create coordination and accountability challenges,” said Chebukati.
Early this year, the National Treasury stopped IEBC from recruiting senior managers to replace those who either retired or got sacked. In a letter dated April 24, Treasury PS Kamau Thugge asked the commission to first carry out a job evaluation to determine the workload of the new posts.