Attempt to ‘steal’ IEBC documents hits a snag

Kinyuru Munuhe @kinyurumunuhe

A fresh storm has hit the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) amid power wars between two rival factions that are now on the radar of detectives over attempt to sneak out procurement and audit files on Wednesday night.

Two officials at the electoral body were questioned in connection with the incident that saw chairman Wafula Chebukati convene a crisis meeting yesterday morning. Police later arrested Finance director at the electoral body, Agatha Wahome and suspended CEO Ezra Chiloba’s personal assistant  Abednego Ominde implicated in the matter and taken to the Central Police Station where they recorded statements.

The files in question had been photocopied under unclear circumstances when alarm was raised just before they were carted away. Detectives were called in at 7pm on Wednesday to IEBC headquarters at Anniversary Towers. At the time, Chebukati and Commissioner Abdi Guliye were present in the office.

However, investigators did not carry the files until they establish the motive of photocopying and to where the files were destined. Preliminary investigations were undertaken and continued yesterday with Samuel Kobinas, Central Division CID boss as the lead investigator. 

“Following Wednesday night preliminary investigations, a team of officers has visited IEBC offices to dig deeper into the matter,” a senior officer said. Chebukati and Marjan were not available for comment. 

Insiders at the electoral body intimated that the commission and the secretariat is split right down the middle with one camp allied to Chebukati and another aligned to Ezra Chiloba.

A week ago, Chebukati wrote to Chiloba demanding to be furnished with responses on procurement queries relating to last year’s presidential polls.  The dismissal-threatening correspondence issued a seven-day deadline or Chiloba faces the sack.

“I am in receipt of your letter dated 29th August 2018 requiring me to respond within seven (7) days to the issues particularised therein emanating from the ‘Internal Audit Report’ on systems control and the ‘Internal Audit Report’ on the procurement for fresh presidential elections; which reports were availed to me on August 31, 2018,” Chiloba’s response to a memo from Chebukati reads in part. 

He also wants commission’s plenary drafts that resulted in the signed minutes to enable him make comprehensive responses. The commission undertook the audit for five months while Chiloba was still on suspension. 

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