13 October 2018

Kenya: Why Sacked Chiloba's Fate Was Sealed At IEBC

Failure to appear before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disciplinary committee, which had summoned him on Thursday, is what eventually sealed the fate of the body's embattled former CEO Ezra Chiloba.

After Mr Chiloba turned down the invitation to appear before the committee to defend himself over audit queries, the electoral commission acted swiftly and sacked him on Friday.

Chiloba's sacking brings to an end the long drawn power struggles between him and the commission's chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Mr Chiloba was to appear before the disciplinary committee at the agency's headquarters in Nairobi. However, some 48 hours before the scheduled sitting at the IEBC offices, he wrote to Chebukati informing him of his change of heart.

"I wish to reiterate the contents of my letter to you dated September 18, 2018. I am unable to prepare and/or conduct my substantive response to the audit queries raised, having been denied access to the office, staff and relevant documentation. Neither am I able to respond to the disciplinary cause, which is wholly founded upon the supposed audit, for the same reason," Mr Chiloba's letter read.

WASTE OF TIME

The letter is dated October 9, which was two days before he was supposed to appear before the disciplinary committee on Thursday.

In the letter, Mr Chiloba states that appearing before the disciplinary committee was, in his view, a waste of time as the commission has already decided to sack him no matter what he tells the disciplinary committee.

"... you appear to have already pre-determined the matter following reports that you have referred the matter to EACC and DPP, and you had already made a decision to dismiss me, but later rescinded it, which decision informed your re-assigning my official driver, terminating allowances due to security officers attached to me, and recalling of my official vehicles," Mr Chiloba said in the October 9 letter.

That is what, it has emerged, sealed Chiloba's fate.

On Friday, Mr Chiloba announced in a tweet that his employment at IEBC has been terminated.

COMPULSORY LEAVE

"I received the employment termination letter signed by the chairman about an hour ago. The letter claims that I had twice been invited to appear before the disciplinary committee of the commission, but failed to show up, hence the decision to terminate my employment," Mr Chiloba said in a statement he posted on Twitter.

Mr Chiloba was initially scheduled to appear before the committee on September 24 but requested for an alternate date as he had travelled out of the country to the US until October 5.

A source at the commission told the Nation that the disciplinary committee has resolved to proceed and make a decision without further reference to Mr Chiloba since he has twice ignored the summons to appear before the committee to give his side of the story in so far as the audit queries are concerned.

It has been a tumultuous more than a year for Mr Chiloba who was forced to go on leave before the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential election.

Then in April he was sent on compulsory leave to pave way for audit of the procurement for election materials, a decision that jolted IEBC as it was followed by a coordinated resignations of three commissioners, vice chairperson Connie Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Dr Paul Kurgat.

He was later suspended and remains so, though his chances of continued stay at the commission now looks more and more slim.

Kenya

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