IEBC to begin process of hiring CEO next week

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

The electoral commission has announced plans to recruit a substantive chief executive officer.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner Boya Molu said yesterday they were under pressure to fully constitute the secretariat ahead of the 2022 General Election.

He said court cases have delayed the CEO's recruitment.

Former IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, who was recently appointed Communications Authority Director-General, was dismissed by commission chairperson Wafula Chebukati in October 2018 and since then Commissioner Marjan Hussein has been the acting CEO.

“It is important to note that we have tried to recruit a CEO twice in the last four years but in both instances, some busybodies went to court and stopped us,” he said.

Molu said that IEBC will start the process next week but “we do not know whether they will go to court and stop us again.”

The commissioner said the commission will advertise for all vacant positions, including senior directors.

“We will advertise all of them and recruit in the shortest time possible hoping that there is no inference through the court process,” he said.

Molu spoke at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, during a two-day elections preparedness conference that closes today.

Represented were the Office of Registrar of Political Parties, Communications Authority, Elections Observations Group (Elog), Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), Transparency International and other civil society groups.

The conference brings together members of civil society to exchange notes and experiences for demanding integrity, accountability and transparency ahead of the 2022 elections.

The IEBC warned of decisive action against cases of harassment during the election. Molu said those found guilty could be barred from running.

“We shall not relent on enforcing code of conduct during the 2022 General Election, specifically those found culpable of harassing and intimidating women candidates will face severe penalties including disqualification,” he said.

The commissioner assured that preparations for next year's elections were progressing well. 

"The commission is currently planning for a second and last round of enhanced voter registration in January 2022. The actual date will be communicated in due course," he said.

Molu said procurement of key infrastructure and equipment is expected to be concluded in good time.

"The major ones are ballot papers, election technology, ballot boxes, security seals, logistics partner, media agencies among others. We have so far concluded about 90 per cent of procurement processes for materials," he said.

Molu reiterated that aspirants cannot participate in fundraising either by themselves or proxies after December 9.

"The prohibition includes participation either by attendance or contributions. The import is to curb aspirants from influencing voters by donating funds/monies for support," he said.

Others who addressed the conference were assistant Registrar of Political Parties Florence Tabu Birya, Elog chairperson Anne Ireri, KNCHR boss Bernard Mogesa and Elog National Coordinator Mulle Musau.

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