Resign? not me,says embattled IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati

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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,17TH APRIL 2018-Embattled IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati yesterday said that he will not resign despite his leadership of the commission being disparaged by three colleagues.

This comes amid  calls from various quarters to have him also step aside.

 

He told the staff that he will not resign because each commissioner is appointed to serve in their individual capacity.

With Roselyn Akombe having quit days before the October 26 repeat presidential election and CEO Ezra Chiloba suspended, the chairman is now bereft of a quorum to run the affairs of the commission.

He was left with only two commissioners: Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu. By their resignation, they effectively rendered those remaining useless, as the commission lacks the quorum to function. The courts have previously ruled in the case of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission that a commission is not legally constituted without commissioners.

The IEBC Act 2012 (Clause 5) states that “the quorum for the conduct of business at a meeting of the Commission shall be at least five members of the Commission.”

It further states that the CEO shall be the secretary of all the meetings of the commission.

The High Court last month struck out as unconstitutional amendments introduced to the Act in 2016 that reduced the quorum to half the sitting members, and decisions to be carried by a simple majority.

“The events related to the purported vote (to suspend the CEO) have greatly shaken our already feeble confidence in the chair,” the three said in their resignation statement.

They said that not all the six commissioners were present, as required, when the vote was taken against Chiloba on April 5.

Chebukati had called yesterday’s meeting to explain Chiloba’s controversial suspension, but only Commissioner Guliye was with him.

He told staff that all commissioners were hired as individuals and not collectively and so those remaining can still serve out their terms.

In a statement later in the afternoon, Chebukati said he had learned of the commissioners’ resignation from news reports and would respond after he is formally informed.

But as Chebukati was vowing to stay put, it was almost a foregone conclusion that he was living on borrowed time. Political leaders across the divide were united in their resolve to eject him from the commission.

“Chebukati, Molu & Guliye must resign from IEBC within the next seven days or we form a tribunal to investigate them,’ said Senate Majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen yesterday.

Senate Minority Leader James Orengo, described the IEBC as a cursed organisation, which has been captured by Jubilee last year. Its staff became greedy as they managed procurement activities, he claimed.

“Chebukati must now lead other commissioners out by tendering his resignation together with the two remaining commissioners and the entire secretariat,” said Orengo in a statement.

National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale, also  demanded that Chebukati should leave .

 

The three commissioners accused Chebukati of incompetence and for the first time admitted that external players had undermined the Commission’s independence.

 

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