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Chiloba kept us in the dark on poll tenders, Chebukati tells MPs

By Moses Nyamori | November 27th 2018
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati(C) and Marjan Hussein Marjan when they appeared before the National Assembly Public Accounts Committee. [Boniface Okendo/Standard]

The former electoral commission chief executive and senior officials at the secretariat ganged up to keep the commissioners in the dark about the awarding of more than 100 contracts, the commission chairman told MPs yesterday.

Wafula Chebukati told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that this prompted him to order an internal audit that later revealed massive misappropriation of taxpayers' money.

He further claimed that Ezra Chiloba, the CEO, enjoyed the backing of some of the commissioners in awarding the tenders, and that his (Chebukati's) order for internal audit to streamline the agency prompted the resignation of then vice-chairperson Connie Nkatha and commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya.

“We were concerned as a commission about what was going on but as you saw some of our colleagues were opposed to our efforts and that is why they resigned in protest because they did not want to dig deep into this matter,” said Mr Chebukati.

Auditor General Edward Ouko’s latest report shows that taxpayers lost at least Sh9.5 billion in the procurement of goods and service for the General Election and the repeat presidential election.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, the PAC chairman, asked why the commission failed to oversight the secretariat especially on the procurement of election materials.

“Do you want to say that the commission was just there? Did the commission know that something of the sort was happening?” Mr Wandayi asked.

The electoral boss said the sacking of Mr Chiloba was part of efforts to clean up the agency.

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