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Electoral commission candidate seeks privacy during interview

A candidate for the position of commissioner of the electoral commission on Tuesday asked to be heard in camera regarding his past.

The head of the selection panel, Ms Bernadette Musundi, had asked Mr Ibrahim Wako Boru how he wanted to respond to the queries during his interview at Parliament Buildings.

“We have received information from the public regarding your past conduct, of which you are aware,” said Ms Musundi. “We would like to ask you whether you would like to be heard in camera or continue in a public session in discussing the information that is in possession of this panel.”

Mr Boru is one of the 36 candidates shortlisted from hundreds of applicants for the seven vacancies.

He told the interviewers that he did not know of the various ways to amend the Constitution.

When the question was asked by panel member, the Rev Peter Karanja, he said he would like to continue in camera “as per our agreement”.

Ms Musundi said a candidate can be heard in camera on a memorandum regarding their past, submitted by the public or investigative agencies.

The Rev Karanja, who is the secretary-general of the National Council of Churches of Kenya, had asked Mr Boru to “name the methods through which the Constitution passed by Kenyans can be amended.” Mr Boru had said it was up to Kenyans to decide which aspects of the Constitution were unworkable and that the change had to be people-driven.

FAILED TO RESPOND

Mr Boru sat in silence and after he failed to respond, the clergyman asked whether he had sufficiently answered the question, to which he replied, yes.

Another panellist, Bishop David Okinde, asked Mr Boru how he would ensure credibility in the August 8, 2017 General Elections. Mr Boru said he would acquaint himself with the election rules and educate voters on the electoral process.

Mr Boru said fighting corruption at the electoral commission was a collective effort.

He added that corruption at the commission was manifested in lack of fair play, impartiality and transparency.

The panel, tasked with coming up with a new look IEBC to replace the current one which has been pushed out of office, amidst credibility issues, leaving only the secretariat intact, is under pressure to conclude its work in the face of the fast approaching elections.

The country has already missed the deadline by which a new commission was supposed to be in office, by over a month, creating discomfort especially in opposition cycles, given that preparations for the next elections are still ongoing under the current team, for which a section of the political class, said they had lost credibility.

The team has also come under criticism, for declaring unfit five Kenyans who had been shortlisted for the position of chairman of the IEBC, resulting to the process being started afresh, amidst tight deadlines to complete the process.

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