Marjan appointed to spearhead electoral body’s secretariat
The desire to retain continuity in order not to destabilise ongoing preparations for the August 9 poll by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) formed the basis for the appointment of Hussein Marjan as the chief executive.
Sources told the People Daily that with only four months to the General Election, IEBC commissioners saw it logical to confirm Marjan in the position to enable him go on with the preparations instead of bringing in an outsider who would have been required to begin from the scratch.
IEBC named Marjan yesterday to replace Ezra Chiloba who was hounded out in 2018 over allegations of gross misconduct.
The appointment of Marjan comes as a reprieve to the commission, which had faced several court battles with petitioners arguing that the agency had failed to meet the regulations as stipulated in the constitution.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the commission found Marjan as the most suitable during the just concluded recruitment process.
“Interviews for the shortlisted applicants were conducted on the March 8 and Marjan Hussein Marjan emerged top as the most qualified and suitable candidate for the position,” said Chebukati.
He added: “The Commission congratulates Mr. Marjan on his new appointment as the Commission Secretary/CEO of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.”
Other than meeting the requirement of continuity, which would enable the commission to remain stable ahead of the General Election, a section of the commissioners are also said to have settled on Marjan due to his non-controversial style.
Unlike Chiloba whom IEBC insiders say never hesitated in making his position on any issue known, Marjan appears to take a neutral stance on almost all pending issues.
“Some commissioners were also not ready to have somebody with a legal background to join the commission fearing that the individual could follow the steps of Chiloba of being independent minded. They didn’t want someone who would be seen to either challenge their decisions or take independent positions,” said the source.
Chiloba, a lawyer by profession, had long running differences with Chebukati over policies and legal matters in the commission during his tenure. Both Chiloba and Chebukati are lawyers.
Marjan has held the post in an acting capacity since April 2019. His rise started after he was appointed by Chebukati as the October 2017 repeat presidential poll coordinator. Marjan was among five candidates shortlisted for the position last month.