Ombudsman: New IEBC team is a 'lesser evil' - Daily Nation

Pay IEBC officials full benefits if they quit voluntarily, Ombudsman say

Friday July 22 2016

Commission on Administrative Justice chairman Otiende Omollo addressing reporters in the past in his office in Nairobi.

Commission on Administrative Justice chairman Otiende Omollo addressing reporters in the past in his office in Nairobi. He says top IEBC officials should be paid their full benefits if they agree to leave office voluntarily. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JOHN NGIRACHU
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The Commission on Administrative Justice, or the Office of the Ombudsman, says top officials of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should be paid their full benefits if they agree to leave voluntarily.

Commission chairman Otiende Amollo said the joint select committee on electoral reforms should make that offer to the commissioners.

He said the other option would be to use the provisions of the Constitution allowing their removal on the basis that they have lost public confidence.

Mr Omollo brushed aside suggestions that picking a new IEBC team too close to the elections would be risky.

"Do we hold elections with experienced commissioners who lack credibility or with inexperienced commissioners who have credibility? In our opinion, the latter is the lesser evil," said Mr Amollo.

He told the select committee that postponing the elections is not desirable as it would amount to a breach of the Constitution.

He said the Ombudsman would recommend a situation where foreigners are included in the IEBC and one of them appointed chairman so that there is no crisis of confidence about their perceived loyalties.

Joint select committee co-chairman Kiraitu Murungi said the Ombudsman's suggestions had helped unravel some of the nagging questions the lawmakers have had.

(Editing by Beatrice Obwocha and Henry Gekonde)