March 20, 2019

Chebukati suspends IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati with CEO Ezra Chiloba. []

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati has suspended the agency’s CEO Ezra Chiloba.

It is understood that besides Chebukati, two other commissioners were in support of Chiloba’s suspension over what they term to be “procurement issues”.

However, even as the decision to send Chiloba home remains fixed, it is not yet clear why Chebukati decided to suspend him although he has in the past raised questions with over technology-related procurement.

According to the Star, Chebukati wants several issues investigated while Chiloba is away.

The besieged CEO is yet to respond to this new development.

An IEBC official said the decision to suspend Chiloba was arrived at last week but efforts to serve him on Friday were futile because he had left office already.

“It was taken to his office but the secretary refused to receive it and insisted that the bearer should serve her boss himself,” a senior IEBC official told the Star.

Commissioner in charge of Human resources Boya Molu is expected to hand the suspension letter to the CEO Monday morning.

Chebukati flew out of the country to Nigeria on Saturday and is expected to be back on Friday according to his personal assistant Wilfred Lusi.

The decision to suspend Chiloba arrived at by commissioners Chebukati, Abdi Guliye and Molu have divided the commission.

But the vice Chair, Consolata Maina and Paul Kurgat were opposed to the decision to suspend Chiloba-events that saw Maina storm out of the meeting saying she will not be party to the decision.

Chiloba has not been in Chebukati’s good books since the nullification of the August 8 polls.

Two leaked memos from the Chairman to the CEO exposed the differences between the two IEBC heads.

In one of the memo, 12-point, Chebukati demanded for answers as to why there were problems that led to the nullification of the August 8 polls.

The opposition also tried to force him out of office but he remained put saying he should not be blamed for the bungled polls.

A retreat was organized in Naivasha to surge the way forward and heal the rift between Chiloba and Chebukati.

“These leakages are certainly not done in the interest of the commission or the country. The repeated unauthorised disclosures clearly undermine the authority and standing of the commission,” Chebukati said after the retreat,” said Chebukati .

Chiloba was sidelined in the running of the repeat presidential polls on October 26, 2017. Chebukati appointed a project management team led by Deputy CEO Marjan Hussein.

David Towett was in-charge of operations, Albert Gogo for election technology, Dr Sidney Namulungu headed tallying centres; Tabitha Mutemi was in-charge of communications and outreach, while Agatha Wahome was in charge of finance, procurement and administration.

Salome Oyugi was responsible for legal affairs and compliance.



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