IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati changes project team

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and CEO Ezra Chiloba after a meeting on the fresh presidential election at Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi on September 28. [Beverlyne Musili, Standard]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati yesterday announced that the presidential elections project team has been reconstituted.

Speaking at Safari Park hotel in Nairobi on the sidelines of the training of returning officers and presiding officers who will oversee the repeat presidential elections, Mr Chebukati said three members who had been appointed to the team earlier have been dropped.

However, Marjan Hussein Marjan was retained to head the team which will report to the steering committee comprising all the commissioners.

Other members of the team are David Towett (Operations), Albert Gogo (Election Technology), Sidney Namulungu (National Tallying Centre), Tabitha Mutemi (Communications and Outreach) Salome Oyugi, (Legal and Compliance) and Agatha Wahome (Finance and Administration).

Those who were dropped from the team are Silas Rotich, Nancy Kariuki and Bernard Misati Moseti. It also emerged that the changes were agreed upon after the Naivasha retreat. IEBC commissioners and the secretariat held talks after five commissioners accused Chebukati of making unilateral decision.

The IEBC chair said the current secretariat headed by Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba will not play an active role in managing the upcoming elections.

The CEO’s role will be quality assurance and facilitation.

The project team was a follow up to the truce among Commissioners during the Naivasha retreat.

The CEO was tasked to develop an implementation framework of the fresh presidential election.

The new team was approved by the Commission after the Chairman and the CEO agreed on the names. The team has reportedly been in operation since early September.

The key mandate of the team is to facilitate coordination between the steering committee composed of all commissioners and the election teams.

The principle behind the implementation structure is to enhance decision making. There was need to harness resources at both policy and operation level for seamless delivery of the election.

Chebukati further said issues raised by NASA had been addressed and the commission remains open to further engagements on election preparations.

Concerns raised

However, NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga had earlier in the week denied that the concerns raised by his coalition had been dealt with.

Raila said: “Do not be cheated that NASA has some agreement with IEBC and that there is some progress that we are party to. We have no such agreement and our faith in IEBC remains zero, which is why our political action plan must continue.

Chebukati was also quick to point out that there was no turning back on the Supreme Court’s order to have fresh presidential elections in 60 days and promised to conduct the exercise in line with the judgment.

He said the commission is apprehensive about changes that may affect the smooth running of the elections on October 26.

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