Queries raised over four IEBC directors in acting positions

Monday, February 14th, 2022 01:12 | By
IEBC Acting CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan PHOTO/COURTESY

A storm is brewing over the fate of four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials serving in acting capacity only six months to the General Election.

A parliamentary committee has raised queries over the fate of the four officials, including the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who are serving in acting capacity.  

The National Assembly Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs raised alarm that the four officials in question will play a critical role in the conduct of the August 9 elections and it is imperative they are either confirmed or their positions advertised.

Ruaraka MP Tom Joseph Kajwang warned the status of the four officials in question risked posing problems of accountability and responsibility.

The quartet in question include CEO Hussein Marjan, who has been acting since the sacking of Ezra Chiloba in September 2017.

Others are Obadiah Kositany (acting director, finance), Joyce Ekuam (acting director, voter education, partnerships and communications) and Chrispine Owiye (acting director, legal and public affairs).

“It is a weak link in management and it is a problem of risk, accountability, and responsibility. We have said that before,” Kajwang’ said. “We walk into an election with people acting, who is going to take responsibility because the argument will be that they are not legally accountable, so, how do you get to an election with that kind of team?”

His sentiments were echoed by Tharaka MP George Gitonga who expressed serious concerns about the risk of the country going into an election with a greenhorn electoral commission boss.

Marjan, however allayed the committee’s fears, saying the affected positions have already been advertised and applications have been closed.

“We hope that the Commission now because it’s their responsibility, should be able to finalize this process because like I said, advertisements were done and many people participated in terms of applying for the vacancies.”

“This is the full responsibility of the commission, myself, I’ve been acting since 2017. To date, so most probably this position that should have been a very long time ago,” Marjan added.

Former IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, the Communications Authority Director-General, was dismissed by commission chairperson Wafula Chebukati in October 2018 and since, Marjan has been acting in the position.

On December 16 last year, commissioner Boya Molu, while admitting liability on the part of IEBC said they were under pressure to fully constitute the secretariat ahead of the August 9 General Election. He however blamed court cases for the delay in the CEO’s recruitment.

“It is important to note that we have tried to recruit a CEO twice in the last four years but in both instances, some busybodies went to court and stopped us,” he said.

Molu said then, IEBC will start the recruitment exercise in early January 2022 but “we do not know whether they will go to court and stop us again.”

The commissioner said the IEBC will advertise for all vacant positions, including senior directors. “We will advertise all of them and recruit in the shortest time possible hoping that there is no interference through the court process,” he said.

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