Court declines to suspend new poll team

A lobby group has moved to court to challenge recent staff changes by the electoral body ahead of the repeat presidential election.

The case has been filed by Kenya Independent Commissions Workers Union.

In an urgent application filed at the Employment And Labour Relations Court, the lobby argued that the changes are likely to lead to suspension or termination of employment, which is not based on any investigations, report or finding, determining their alleged illegal conduct.

The lobby argues that in the appointment of the new team, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) implied culpability on the part of the replaced employees.

CHEBUKATI

“The affected employees have legitimate expectation to be accorded good and reasonable working conditions including a good working environment,” lobby in court papers.

The court however declined to and instead directed the organisation to serve the respondents and return for a hearing on September 20.

The lobby argues that the action by the IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati, which has, amounts to a breach of the Constitution.

The Supreme Court on September 1 nullified the election of President Uhuru Kenyatta on grounds that the elections were not conducted in accordance to the Constitution and the applicable principles.

The Supreme Court in its judgment also ordered the IEBC, “to organise and conduct a fresh Presidential Election in strict conformity with the Constitution and the applicable laws within 60 days.”

NEW TEAM

In an attempt, the IEBC chair on September 5, in naming his new team, went for the “safe” staff in the secretariat and county returning officers, the second highest position after the CEO Ezra Chiloba-led team in Nairobi.

To man the crucial ICT team, and who will report to him directly, Mr Chebukati picked Kitui County Returning Officer Albert Gogo to replace Mr James Muhati.

Kisii Returning Officer Sidney Namulungu has replaced Deputy CEO Betty Nyabuto Sungura as head of operations.

Mr Chebukati also merged the jobs done by Immaculate Kasait and her junior Mwaura Kamwati and placed Mombasa County Returning Officer Nancy Kariuki in charge of logistics.
Samburu County Returning Officer Bernard Misati Moseti was picked to replace Anne Nderitu as head of training- a critical part in the repeat poll given the massive clerical mistakes made by the polling officials in the August 8 elections.

At the same time, Nakuru County Returning Officer Silas Rotich was named as the head of the national tallying centre to replace Dr Catherine Kamindo.

Ms Salome Oyugi was picked from the legal team to head the department in the project, functions that were done by her boss, Praxedes Tororey.

The chairman said that the seven will start work immediately on a three-month contract.

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