ODM POSITION ON THE IEBC
Kenyans have in the past few days been treated to high drama at the Electoral Body IEBC. It all began with news that the Commission had send its CEO Ezra Chiloba on Compulsory leave to facilitate investigations into procurement malpractices at the Commission. Before the dust could settle, three commissioners resigned unceremoniously.
It must be remembered that ODM raised serious concerns regarding the manner in which key services and supplies were procured in the lead up to the August 8th Election.
We did raise concerns particularly on how the tender for the printing of Ballot Material was single sourced to Al Ghurair Printing & Publishing, a firm with a known record of supplying ballot papers in nearly all elections in Africa where the will of the people has been manipulated and overthrown and how the French firm Safran Morpho ended up as the supplier of the technology used in the said election.
After the Supreme Court nullified the August 8th Election, the Commission through its chair wrote a well-publicized memo to the CEO Ezra Chiloba seeking answers on some of these issue. The CEO never responded, the commission choosing instead to hold a retreat during which all the dirt was swept under the carpet. The chicken have now come home to roost.
The resignation of three commissioners ostensibly to protest the commencement of disciplinary action against the CEO confirms our long held fears that the rot at the IEBC goes to the very core of the organization.
It appears to us that there were commissioners whose sole mandate was to shield the secretariat to allow Ezra Chiloba a free hand to perpetuate all manner of evils at the Commission.
Why would the three commissioners not allow for the investigations to be completed prior to resigning? What do they know? What are they running from?
As a Party we fully support the investigations commenced by the Commission and the action taken to send the CEO on compulsory leave to enable those investigations to be conducted without interference. The decision to send him on compulsory leave having been taken while the commission was fully constituted, must stand.
Going forward, any discussion on the reconstitution of the commission must of necessity include a discussion on the reconstitution of the Secretariat. We reiterate that the officials who oversaw the worst electoral fraud in our country including Ezra Chiloba, Marijan Hussein Marijan, Betty Nyabuto, James Muhati, Immaculate Kassait and their cohorts at the Secretariat must give way.
Thereafter the country must go back to the drawing board to relook at the entire architecture of Kenya’s Electoral Body. To this end we call on the government to constitute a bi-partisan stakeholder forum to oversee the reconstitution of the IEBC for all Kenyans to have confidence in its ability to manage future elections.
Orange Democratic Movement