President Uhuru declares four vacancies at the IEBC

President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared four vacancies at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) following the resignation of four IEBC Commissioners.

The Head of State had announced four vacancies for the Commissioners at the IEBC in a special gazette notice dated April 14, 2021.

“In exercise of powers conferred in me by Section 7A of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Act 2011, I, Uhuru Kenyatta declare vacancies in the positions of four members of the IEBC,” Uhuru stated.

His declaration comes after four IEBC Commissioners had resigned from the commission, setting the stage for their replacement.

The former commissioners, Consolata Maina, Margaret Mwachanya, and Paul Kurgat had resigned in 2018, but it was not clear as to whether they had formally resigned as the president did not acknowledge receiving their resignation letters.

A few months after announcing their resignation at a press conference, the four showed up at IEBC offices but were blocked from accessing their offices by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. 

According to the law, President Kenyatta was supposed to announce a vacancy at the agency within seven days of receiving the commissioners’ resignation but at the time Government spokesperson Manoah Esipisu noted that President Uhuru Kenyatta had not received the resignation letters.

Without the declaration by the president, a selection panel could not be formed to replace them.

At the time,Chebukati blamed Parliament for not putting in place laws to facilitate the replacement of a commissioner in the event of a resignation.

The Commission was forced to work with the remaining three commissioners in making major decisions.

In 2020, Former IEBC Vice-chair Consolata Nkatha was nominated for the position of deputy head of the Rome Mission, while Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kibiwott were selected for the Islamabad and the Moscow in the deputy positions respectively. 

Months prior, former IEBC Director of Voter Education Immaculate Kassait was selected to be Kenya’s first Data Commissioner.

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    Written by Kennedy Omondi

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