Pressure piles on Chebukati to leave office

Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen (PHOTO: FILE)

NAIROBI, KENYA: Pressure is piling on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati to leave office.

This follows Monday resignation of three officials from the commission in a surprise move.

Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen said Chebukati and the two remaining commissioners should resign within a week or a tribunal would be formed to investigate them.

“My call for IEBC Commissioners to resign is informed by recent wrangles linked to the fight for tenders plus control and manipulation of IEBC staff,” Murkomen said on Twitter.

The resignations of the three commissioners leave only two and the chairman at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) which last week sent its chief executive on three months’ compulsory leave pending an audit on procurement matters.

“The events related to the purported vote (to suspend the CEO) have greatly shaken our already feeble confidence in the chair,” IEBC Vice Chairwoman Consolata Nkatha Maina and commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat said in a statement, adding that not all of the six commissioners were present, as required, when the vote happened.

Chiloba accused Chebukati of engaging in a witch-hunt and went to court to compel IEBC to reinstate him as the chief executive officer.

Hitherto, Employment and Labour Relations Court denied his request. The current IEBC commissioners were sworn into office in January 2017 and was reduced to six when Roselyn Akombe resigned before the repeat presidential polls.

The fallout now leaves it with chair Wafula Chebukati, Prof. Abdi Yakub Guliye, Boya Molu, and suspended CEO Ezra Chiloba.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said he had learned of the commissioners’ resignation from news reports and would respond after he is formally informed.