The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been urged to expedite the recruitment of a substantive Chief Executive Officer (CEO) ahead of the 2022 General Election.
The appeal was made by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) on Wednesday, September 15.
Addressing members of the press in Nairobi, KCCB said the lack of a substantive CEO at the electoral body could lower the confidence of key stakeholders in the agency’s ability to conduct credible polls.
“The process of hiring a new CEO must also kick-off to ensure no room is left for doubting the competency and integrity of IEBC,” said KCCB.
The bishops further opposed calls for the removal of IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.
They noted that IEBC is now fully constituted following the appointment of four new commissioners and therefore focus should now be on preparations for the 2022 polls.
“The ongoing exchanges on the push to remove the IEBC Chairman and three other commissioners is unhealthy and risks derailing the process of holding free and fair general elections in August 2022,” they said.
The conference was attended by 23 bishops among them Archbishops Anthony Muheria and Philip Anyolo.
IEBC was in October last year sent to the drawing board after a court declared a process to recruit Ezra Chiloba’s replacement defective following a petition filed by Chama Cha Mawakili.
The Employment and Labour Relations Court stopped the Commission from interviewing 10 candidates, who had been shortlisted, on grounds that the process was unconstitutional and marred by conflict of interest.
The agency was directed to start the recruitment afresh.
“In conclusion, judgment is hereby entered for the petitioner (Chama Cha Mawakili) against the respondent (IEBC) for a declaration that the recruitment process of the secretary to the commission or CEO be commenced afresh by IEBC and in strict compliance with applicable law,” ruled Justice Byram Ongaya.
Chiloba was sacked from IEBC in October 2018 after serving a three-month compulsory leave since April 2018, which was turned into a suspension on June 14, 2018.
His sacking followed a flawed 2017 election that saw the presidential results annulled by the Supreme Court.
IEBC’s Acting CEO Marjan Hussein was among the 10 candidates shortlisted for the job.