Ezra Chiloba has been suspended to make way for an audit and the commission made the decision as part of its job to safeguard public resources, electoral commission boss Wafula Chebukati has said.
Mr Chebukati said the decision to suspend the chief executive was endorsed by a majority of the members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, suggesting that the commissioners opposed to it were merely the losing minority.
“The commission’s plenary meeting held on Friday April 6 received and discussed an audit report on some procurement matters. Subsequently, it was decided through a majority voting to expand audit scope and that the CEO proceeds on compulsory leave for a period of three months to enable conclusion of the audit,” Mr Chebukati said in a press statement.
The chairman sent the statement late Monday evening.
He was reported to have traveled to Nigeria on official duty over the weekend.
Friday’s meeting was attended by five of the six commissioners at the IEBC – Mr Chebukati, vice chairman Consolata Maina, commissioners Prof Abdi Guliye, Boya Molu and Dr Paul Kurgat.
Margaret Mwachanya was in Dubai on an official assignment.
With the suspension reported to have split the commissioners who attended Friday’s meeting, Mr Chebukati said the decision to send Mr Chiloba home was made with the best interests at heart.
“It is important to note that in making the decision to carry out a comprehensive audit, the commission is performing its oversight role to safeguard public resources,” Mr Chebukati said.
The audit will be undertaken by the Office of the Auditor-General, whose auditors have been at the commission and were reported to have been in the process of finalizing their scrutiny of the commission’s financial statements for the last financial year.
A commissioner who attended Friday’s meeting told the Nation on Monday that the audit referred to by Mr Chebukati had been on the procurement of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) materials.
The suspension of Mr Chiloba and the resulting split in the commission has revived the wars that rocked IEBC after the annulment of the August 8 presidential election.