Former IEBC officials not allowed back in office

Tuesday August 28 2018


Paul Kurgat (left), Margaret Mwachanya and Connie Maina when they announced their resignation from the electoral agency in April. Ms Maina and Ms Mwachanya made a surprise return to IEBC last week . PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Three former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners on Tuesday suffered a setback after the High Court stopped them from resuming work.

Justice Chacha Mwita stopped Ms Consolata Maina, Ms Margaret Mwachoya and Mr Paul Kurgat from taking over their former offices until a case filed by activist Okiya Omtatah is determined.

Meanwhile, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati has also said the three will not be allowed back after they resigned on April 16 and were cleared by the commission after returning its property.


Mr Omtatah, in court papers, seeks to protect the Constitution and the rule of law which, he argues, is threatened by the actions of the three.

“The application seeks to stop the imminent resumption of duty by the three, who have announced and demonstrated their shameless resolve to resume duty, some five months after they had voluntarily resigned, effective April 16, 2018, and stopped reporting on duty,” Mr Omtatah says.

He argues in his urgent application that the three had formally resigned, written to the President on April 16, and handed over their offices. Besides, their salaries and benefits had been stopped by the IEBC.

He says that the three now purport to have rescinded their decision by relying on sections of a judgment delivered recently, which failed to resolve the controversy surrounding their resignation.

Mr Omtatah claims that the judge deliberately left it to the High Court to determine matters concerning their resignation, hence it is erroneous for them to claim that the court found that they had not resigned.

“Equally important, the three were State officers and public servants who were bound by a code conduct enshrined in Articles 73 and 75 of the Constitution, and in various statutes which, as matters stand, they have violated by their gross misconduct and, therefore, they are ineligible to hold public office,” says Mr Omtatah.

He says their conduct is untenable under the law, especially given their violations of the express provisions of the Constitution.

Further directions will be issued on September 17.

“Later, they formally cleared with the IEBC on the grounds that they had resigned,” says Mr Omtatah.