Not so fast.
That’s the message Wafula Chebukati flashed in Ezra Chiloba’s face as he prepared to resume work at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as CEO.
Mr Chebukati, the IEBC chairman, and his two remaining commissioners on Thursday night, once again, suspended Mr Chiloba, just hours after the Labour relations court allowed him to resume work.
Justice Stephen Radido on Thursday morning lifted the initial suspension, saying the decision to send the CEO on forced leave pending an audit in to unspecified “procurement issues” did not have contractual obligation.
He allowed Mr Chiloba to continue occupying his seat the Anniversary Towers, the IEBC headquarters, as the court decides on the case he filed against Mr Chebukati and the commission.
But 10 hours later, Mr Chebukati slapped Mr Chiloba with yet another suspension.
In a letter addressed to the embattled CEO, Mr Chebukati suspended the CEO “with immediate effect” pending the completion of the comprehensive audit of all major procurements relating to the August 8, 2017 general election as well as the fresh elections held on October 26, 2017.
“As you are aware under clauses 3 and 5 of your employment contract, you are responsible for the prudent financial management of the commission’s finances, as well as the execution of all the commission’s programmes and plans in line with the constitutional mandate,” the letter reads in part.
“The issues under investigation are weighty and touch on your role as the accounting officer.”
He added that the outcome of the in-depth audit will inform the commission’s further action against the CEO.
Mr Chebukati also noted in the letter that the IEBC CEO acted in outright violation of clauses 14 (C) and 15 of his employment contract, which prohibit him from suing the commission while in employment.
The clauses, Mr Chebukati said, also prohibit the CEO from disclosing official and classified information concerns, affairs, facts or accounts after his employment’s termination, without prior written consent from the commission.
“Based on these reasons, you are hereby suspended with immediate effect from your duties as the CEO and accounting officer of IEBC for a period of three months,” said the IEBC chairman.
The two IEBC officials have wrangled since the end of 2017 polls, following claims that the commission bungled the elections.