Chebukati, Molu and Guliye to take home Sh32.7m in send-off package

IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati (right) with Commissioners Abdi Guliye (left) and Boya Molu during a past IEBC conference at the KICC. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Taxpayers will cough out Sh32.7 million as a send-off package for IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Molu Boya and Prof Abdi Guliye.

Mr Chebukati will take home Sh12.4 million while the two commissioners will get Sh10.30 million each according to the provisions of the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) concerning gratuity and pension.

According to the SRC document outlining the remuneration and benefits for State officers in the full-time constitutional commissions, an officer is “eligible to service gratuity at the rate of 31 per cent of annual pensionable emoluments.”

Therefore, considering IEBC chairman earned a basic salary of Sh554,400, a house allowance of Sh200,000 and a salary market adjustment of 169,600 giving him a gross pay of Sh924,000, 31 per cent of his basic salary for six years will earn him his send-off package.

The two commissioners earned Sh459,113, Sh150,000 for house allowance and a salary market adjustment of Sh156,075.

Having served for six years, the chairman’s basic salary totalled Sh39.92 million while two commissioners each earned a total of Sh33.06 million without the benefits.

Chebukati, Molu and Guliye are set to retire on January 17, having served a non-renewable term of six years at the electoral agency.

The commissioners stuck by Chebukati’s side after their four colleagues rejected the presidential results of the August 9, 2022, General Election.

Even though Molu and Guliye have largely taken an inconspicuous approach in the execution of their mandate, working at the commission they have taken the heat in the 2017 and 2022 elections that they oversaw.

In 2017, the two were part of the team that conducted the General Elections that saw the Supreme Court nullify the presidential polls, forcing the country to go for a repeat presidential election.

The court found that “the election commission failed, neglected or refused to conduct the presidential election in a manner consistent with the dictates of the Constitution.”

After the repeat presidential election, three commissioners - Nkatha Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat resigned from the Commission while another, Roselyn Akombe would flee the country before the exercise due to pressure of working at the electoral agency, especially after the murder of the commission’s IT boss Chris Msando

Having fled the country to the United States, former commissioner Roselyn Akombe would later say that IEBC was under political “siege” and therefore unable to reach a consensus or take any decisions.

She also said the death of Msando made her feel like she would also be a target. “I did not feel I could be safe or continue being safe in the country,” said Akombe.

The other commissioners (Nkatha Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat) declared that they did not have confidence in Chebukati and his leadership and resigned.

“Given this severe deterioration of confidence in the commission chair, we find our position as commissioners under his leadership no longer tenable,” said Mwachanya.

However, Molu and Guliye, who were sworn in on Jan 10, 2017, with Maina,  Mwachanya and Kurgat, were unbowed by the storm in the commission and would oversee the repeat election and the subsequent election that would see Ruto declared as president.

Lost friends

However, the duo’s stay at the electoral body has not come without challenges. In 2022, Guliye revealed that he lost friends who are politicians due to the nature of his job.

He lamented that commissioners are forced to live in isolation to avoid being seen in the company of politicians as it would be interpreted to mean they are helping them rig elections. “If I knew what I was getting into, I would not have applied for this job,” said Guliye.

As the curtain closes on their rocky tenure in office and a hefty package awaiting their life after IEBC, there is very little for the trio to complain about. “Long journey of six years at IEBC is about to come to an end. Looking forward to a happy exit in the next few days…,” tweeted Molu.