Makanda, Kisotu to lead IEBC picks team

IEBC selection panel selected Charity Kisotu and  Nelson Makanda deputy and chairperson respectively. [File, Standard]

The seven members of the IEBC selection panel have elected Nelson Makanda and Charity Kisotu as chairperson and deputy respectively.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission selection panel includes: Dr Makanda and Fatuma Saman representing the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya, Kisotu, representing the Public Service Commission and Evans Misati representing the Political Parties Liaison Committee.

Bethuel Sugut and Novince Atieno represent the Parliamentary Service Commission while Benson Ngugi represents the Law Society of Kenya.

The team is tasked with coming up with names of people who will serve as IEBC commissioners.

“The task ahead of us is enormous ... we [will] come up with names of men and women of integrity who will be in charge of our electoral process," Dr Makanda said.

Sworn in

The panel members were sworn into office last week at the Supreme Court in a ceremony witnessed by Chief Justice Martha Koome.

They are expected to advertise for the vacancies of the IEBC commissioners and select suitable candidates for the interviews.

The panel members are required to give the list of successful candidates to the President for an appointment. They are supposed to ensure gender parity is observed.

Kisotu said the panel will carry out all its activities in an open and transparent manner and that the media will play a great role in highlighting how it will be conducted to ensure they come up with people who will efficiently steer the electoral process.

“We will be carrying out our work in a transparent manner and call upon the media to support us. [...] It is our aim to come up with people who will serve this country with dedication as IEBC commissioners,” Kisotu said.

Dr Makanda is the General Secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) and also a former Deputy Secretary General of the National Council of Churches in Kenya (NCCK).

He is an ordained pastor and previously worked as an associate pastor at Nairobi Baptist Church. 

Founding Trustee

He holds a PhD (Biblical Studies) from Africa International University and has served previously in other boards and is a Founding Trustee, Africa Rural Trainers, a Christian Trust for equipping rural pastors with leadership, pastoral, biblical skills and resource development for effective ministry.

Kisotu was appointed the vice chairperson of the Public Service Commission in January 2019 and is currently serving as the chairperson of the Finance, Planning, ICT and General Purpose Committee of the commission.

Prior to her appointment, she was a member of the Board of the Central Bank of Kenya since 2016. She has also served as the chairperson of the Insurance Tribunal; chairperson of the National Social Security Fund Board of Trustees; chairperson of Kenya Wines Agencies Limited (KWAL); member of Nairobi City County Public Service Board and Chief Accountant at the National Water Corporation.

Kisotu holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from Moi University. She is a Certified Public Accountant of Kenya (CPAK) and a Certified Secretary (CS).

Inviting applicants

The selection panel shall within seven days of its appointment invite applications from qualified persons and publish the names of all applicants and their qualifications in the Gazette, two newspapers of national circulation and the website of the Parliamentary Service Commission.

After conducting the interviews, the selection panel shall select two people qualified to be appointed as chairperson and nine people as members.

They shall forward the names to the President for the nomination of one person to be appointed as chairperson and six people as members.

In shortlisting, nominating or appointing the chairperson and members, the selection panel, Parliament and the President shall ensure not more than two-thirds of the members are of the same gender and shall ensure regional balance.

The President shall within seven days of receiving the names approved by the National Assembly appoint the chairperson and members.