Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati has named a project team to oversee the fresh presidential election to be held on October 17, in a move that effectively sidelined CEO Ezra Chiloba and other top officials. Their fate remains unknown.
In the changes, Chebukati picked Mr Marjan Husein Marjan to be the Project Coordinator while Dr Sidney Namulungu will be the Head of Operations. Ms Nancy Kariuki will head the logistics team as Mr Bernard Misati Moseti has been appointed to head the training department. Dr Albert Gogo as been named as the head of ICT and Mr Silas Rotich the head of National Tallying Centre.
The National Super Alliance had demanded that Chiloba, his deputy in charge of operations Betty Nyabuto and other directors, whom it blames for the shambolic conduct of the August 8 elections, be removed before it can take part in the fresh poll.
It is not clear how Nasa will respond to the new changes since majority of those appointed served as returning officers.
Marjan is the Deputy Marjan Hussein is Deputy Commission Secretary/CEO in charge of support services.
Rotich was the South Rift Regional Returning Officer Namungulu was the county elections manager in Kisii. Kariuki was the Mombasa returning officer while Moseti served in Samburu and Gogo in Kitui.
Others fingered by the Opposition were James Muhati, the ICT director, Ms Immaculate Kassait, director of voter registration, Ms Praxedes Tororey, the head of legal team, with Mr Moses Kipkosgey being added to the earlier list.
“Independence of the IEBC is not negotiable. Nasa coalition demands that fresh election should be administered by professional and non-partisan officials,” Raila campaign head Mr Musalia Mudavadi said.
In the new move, Chebukati has given stern instructions that the new head of ICT will strictly work under instructions from him as the National Returning Officer. He will work closely with Mr Rotich.
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“The appointment takes immediate effect and will last for a period of three Months. As the National Returning Officer, I wish to assure all Kenyans on my commitment to ensure that this election is done in accordance with the constitution, the relevant laws and that it reflects the sovereign will of the Kenyan People,” he declared.
Chebukati had earlier officially gazetted October 17th as the election date for the repeat election, with campaign period starting from September 6th to October 15th, despite a written proposal from NASA asking the commission to meet certain demands before publishing election date, accusing the IEBC of following government orders.