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IEBC bosses will take home Sh180m

COUNTIES
By Moses Michira | August 4th 2016
Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the Government will use cash from the Contingency Fund to pay off the commissioners. (Photo: File)

It will cost taxpayers about Sh180 million to send the nine electoral commissioners home.

That package includes the foregone salaries and allowances, and gratuity pay for the years worked. MPs are now working on an 'honourable' exit package for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission bosses, who have 15 months on their contracts left, including the current one.

Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said the Government will use cash from the Contingency Fund to pay off the commissioners.

"We have contingency funds for such unforeseen expenditure if it does occur," Mr Rotich told the parliamentary select committee on electoral reforms.

The Opposition had maintained that IEBC as currently constituted cannot handle the next general election.

The term for the current IEBC commissioners was scheduled to expire in November next year, three months after the general election.

According to the 2015-2016 budget, the Treasury pays Sh82 million in salaries and Sh50.8 million in allowances to the nine commissioners every year. If they agree to exit, the current commissioners will be paid Sh165 million, based on their current salaries. And the commissioners are entitled to gratuity, calculated at 31 per cent of their yearly salary for the years served.

Election management

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This means that the nine, each earning Sh1.2 million per month, will get Sh372,000 for the five years served, translating to Sh1.86 million per person and Sh16.7 million for the team. The current commissioners are Issack Hassan (chairman), Lillian Mahiri-Zaja (vice chairperson), Albert Bwire, Kule Godana, Yusuf Nzibo, Abdullahi Sharawe, Thomas Letangule, Muthoni Wangai and Mohamed Alawi.

Several lawyers, religious and political leaders who spoke to The Standard in different interviews raised the need for the commissioners to be granted a fair exit plan that acknowledges their contribution to the country.

"There are issues of credibility surrounding how IEBC managed the 2013 elections. Given that their term expires in November 2017, it is prudent to hire new ones now so that they familiarise themselves with election management," former Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua said in an interview with The Standard.

Commission on Administrative Justice Chairman Otiende Amollo said the term of the IEBC officials would expire before the end of the next election cycle. There was a possibility that in case of a run-off, it would mean the election cycle could end on December 2, 2017.

"By this time, there would be no substantive chairperson or commissioner at IEBC. The foregoing creates the possibility of a constitutional crisis," Amollo said.

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