Former officials fight claims in IEBC row - Daily Nation

Former IEBC officials deny blocking agency from replacing them

Tuesday May 15 2018

IEBC commissioners

Electoral commissioners Paul Kurgat, Margaret Mwachanya (centre) and Connie Maina at The Stanley Hotel in Nairobi, when they announced their resignation from the IEBC on April 16, 2018. Whereas the academy members took a clean break, the same cannot be said of the IEBC commissioners, who are alleged to still continue to enjoy their perks. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAUREEN KAKAH
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Three former electoral commissioners have denied blocking the agency from finding their replacements.

The three, who resigned after citing lack of confidence in the leadership of the agency’s chairman Wafula Chebukati, said they formally tendered their resignation to the President on April 16.

Former commissioners Consolata Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat  were responding to a case in which activist Okiya Omtatah has accused them of blocking the commission from announcing vacancies and commencing the process of replacing them.

According to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, a vacancy can occur if a commissioner resigns through a written letter to the President. The law provides that the President shall publish a notice of a vacancy in the Gazette within seven days of its occurrence.

REPLACEMENT

Ms Maina, Ms Mwachanya and Mr Kurgat told their former employer to go ahead and find their replacement.

“As far as we are concerned, we have resigned as commissioners, but our resignation is yet to be officially communicated and no vacancy has been declared,” they said.

They added: “It cannot, therefore, be said we are the reason recruitment has not commenced. The inference is factually and legally incorrect.”

They also said they are not receiving salaries from their former employer since Mr Chebukati already wrote to the Treasury to stop the payments even before receiving a formal communication.

They said the chairman also ordered the withdrawal of their security detail.

RESIGNATION

They argued that because the appointing authority has not formally informed the Treasury about their resignation, which can only been confirmed by a gazette notice, the move to stop their salaries could be challenged.

However, Mr Chebukati had earlier told court that the procedure for resigning from such office requires a commissioner to also issue a one-month notice or pay one-month’s gross salary in lieu of the notice besides sending a letter to the President.

Mr Omtatah had accused the commissioners of failing to report on duty yet they are still getting the perks that come with the office including salaries, security detail and official vehicles as well as drivers.