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Flawed nominations recipe for poll chaos, IEBC job hopeful tells panel

By Jael Mboga | July 13th 2021

Irene Masit during the IEBC interview at the KICC in Nairobi on July 13, 2021.

A polls agency commissioner hopeful has linked flawed party nominations to election violence.

Irene Masit today told the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner selection panel that post-poll violence starts from the nomination level.

She recalled her experience when she vied for Elgeyo Marakwet woman representative in 2013 and emerged number two.

“I had concerns on party nominations, which were not credible,” Masit told the panel.

She added that there were delays and that nominations were postponed for a day, which she says was a recipe for rigging.

Masit said electoral violence can be avoided if nominations were credible.

On the poll day there was a delay in announcing results, she added.

Further, Masit said a lack of campaign funds locks out great would-be leaders.

In 2017, she says she wanted to run for woman representative, but could not raise the almost Sh100 billion that some of her competitors had raised.

She backed out at the nomination level. 

If given the job, she would ensure the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer are independent to ensure the process is free and fair.

A total of 669 applications were received by the panel for the commissioner posts.

The vacancies arose following the resignation of four commissioners, leaving only chairman Wafula Chebukati, Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu in office.

The seven-member IEBC Selection Panel chaired by Dr Elizabeth Muli is sitting at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC).

The shortlisted candidates include Dr Salim Ndemo, who served at the Public Service Commission for seven years, former Salaries and Remuneration Commissioner Sellestine Anna Mbii-Kiuluku and Murshid Abdalla, who served at the National Police Service Commission.

Others are Prof Joseph Naituli and Dr Rose Musyoka, who sat at the National Cohesion and Integration Commission and the National Land Commission respectively.

Former Gwasi MP Felix Nyauchi, Justus Nyang’aya, who was Amnesty International director, and Kagwiria Mbogori are also in the contest.

Others are Dr Catherine Kamindo and Naisiae Tobiko, senior officers at the IEBC, and Kenya’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in New York Koki Muli.

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