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Three former IEBC commissioners deny earning salary after resigning

By Geoffrey Mosoku | May 14th 2018
Former IEBC commissioners Paul Kurgat, Margaret Mwachana and Consolata Maina address the Press on April 16. [File, Standard]

Former electoral agency commissioners Connie Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat have denied that they are still enjoying perks entitled to their former offices.

Their statements are contained in replying affidavits to a case filed by activist Okiya Omatatah, who wants the court to compel the former commissioners to correctly quit and pave way for their replacement. The affidavits are dated May 8, and were filed on May 9.

Ms Maina, Ms Mwachanya and Dr Kugat have insisted they formally resigned from Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) contrary to claims by Chairman Wafula Chebukati, who accused them of absconding duty.

The three told the High Court they wrote formally to President Uhuru Kenyatta to tender their resignation in accordance with the law.

“That as far as I am concerned, I have resigned as a commissioner but my resignation is yet to be officially communicated, and no vacancy has been declared. It can therefore not be said that I am the reason recruitment has not commenced. The inference by the applicant (Omtatah) in his application is factually and legally incorrect,” say the three in separate but similar affidavits.

In his case, Omatatah had argued that Ms Maina and her two colleagues were still on the IEBC’s payroll, while they had refused to hand over assets of the commission.

Omatatah’s claim is supported by an affidavit filed in response to the case by Chebukati on the trio’s apparent absconding of duty.

“I am not receiving any salary. The chairman of the commission acted in haste and wrote to the Treasury asking for stoppage of my salary and benefits without receiving formal communication. His reliance on media reports mirrors impropriety of his actions. It was then impossible to continue staying in office pending receipt of acceptance,” the three stated separately.

The former commissioners have further denied enjoining security services.

Last week, Chebukati told the court the commission had written to the three asking them to return forthwith all public assets belonging to the commission, pay one month salary in lieu of notice and settle liabilities.

Meanwhile, President Uhuru is yet to declare vacancies in the electoral commission almost a month after the three members quit.

Yesterday, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu said he could not comment on the issue since Head of Civil Service Joseph Kinyua, who handles the matter, was on leave.

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