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Uhuru names 7-member panel to interview candidates for IEBC commissioners' posts

By Mireri Junior | April 26th 2021

President Uhuru Kenyatta has appointed a seven-member panel to interview candidates for the four vacant Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner positions.

In a gazette notice dated April 26, 2021, President Kenyatta named Elizabeth Muli, Gideon Solonka, James Awuori, Elizabeth Odundo, Dorothy Kimengech, Joseph Mutie and Farudin Abdalla as members of the panel.

 The team is expected to invite applications within seven days for the four positions.

President Kenyatta (pictured) declared vacant the four positions on April 14, paving way for fresh appointments.

Three of the four commissioners resigned in 2018 citing their lack of confidence in the commission chairman Wafula Chebukati.

IEBC Vice Chair Consolata Nkatha, commissioners Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat said under Chebukati’s leadership external players had encroached on the commission’s independence.

They said the electoral agency’s boardroom had turned into “a venue for peddling money, misinformation and grounds for brewing mistrust.”

The fourth commissioner Roselyn Akombe also quit I in 2017, days to the repeat presidential poll, citing threats to her life.

Their resignation meant that Chebukati was left with only two commissioners, Prof Abdi Yakub Guliye and Boya Molu, making it difficult for the commission to operate.

While Mwachanya was deployed to Islamabad in Pakistan, Nkatha was deployed to Rome in Italy and Kurgat to Moscow in Russia.

President Kenyatta signed into law the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (Amendment) Bill No. 3 of 2019 on October 28, 2020.

The amended IEBC law establishes a selection panel to oversee the filling up of vacant positions at the Commission and future appointments to the electoral agency.

The new law also sets the criteria for the selection of IEBC Commissioners and outlines the qualifications of members of the selection panel.

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