Five IEBC commissioners disown Chebukati memo

Five officials of the electoral body have disowned a memo issued by Chairperson Wafula Chebukati to its chief executive Ezra Chiloba.

The five commissioners in a statement issued Wednesday evening said the memo was not discussed by the Commission Plenary and they came to know about it in the media.

“A quick perusal of the memo shows that the allegations are based on some report or information that has not been brought to the attention of the Commission.

“Most of the issues raised are not factual and could easily mislead if taken out of context. However, the Secretariat is reviewing the issues and will prepare appropriate responses to be presented to the Commission Plenary,” they said.

MEMO

The five are Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Vice Chairperson Consolata Nkatha, commissioners Yakub Guliye, Paul Kurgat, Boya Molu, and Margaret Mwachanya.
Commissioner Roselyne Akombe’s name was missing in the statement

In the 12-point memo, Mr Chebukati raised significant issues about the manner in which the General Election was conducted.

It was dated Tuesday, September 5, the same day Mr Chebukati set up a seven-member team to handle the fresh presidential election scheduled for October 17.

It has since emerged that senior officials at the electoral agency had refused to resign over their role in the polls, forcing Mr Chebukati to appoint his own team as the constitutionally mandated Returning Officer for the presidential election.

That appointment then sparked a storm that left him with two commissioners on his side and four opposing, with the major political players then undermining the independence of the commission by criticising the membership of the team.

LEAKAGE

The leakage of the memo is likely to raise temperatures at the organisation and demonstrates the lack of harmony between the chairman and the chief executive, two crucial cogs in the machinery of one of Kenya’s most watched public institutions.

Mr Chebukati had asked Mr Chiloba about the use of result forms without security features, the purchase of satellite phones that never worked, the creation and use of his account to log onto the elections management system thousands of times and why hundreds of polling stations never sent results of the presidential election.

The three-page memo also contained questions about the use of a “porous file server”, voters who were identified manually, hundreds of polling stations having an equal number of rejected votes and registered voters and why location features on some gadgets were switched from three days to the elections.

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