Seth Onyango, Waruguru Kibuga and Mercy Mwai @PeopleDailyKe
Tension is brewing at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ahead of the planned vetting of staff — with fears that some employees could be laid off.
Commissioner Abdi Guliye revealed that preparations for the restructuring exercise are at an advanced stage which once done will help streamline the operations of the poll agency.
Although Prof Guliye did not give the exact date of the exercise, he said a number of donors have already committed resources to it to make it successful.
Speaking during the Kenya Editors Guild luncheon, he exuded confidence that the impending restructuring will cure duplicity of functions, eliminate silo mentality and incentivise staff.
“The restructuring will not only focus on streamlining the directorate departments but will also address career progression of the members of the staff,” he said. His sentiments come just days after the IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati fired chief executive Ezra Chiloba.
The People Daily has learnt that among those targeted are employees who worked closely with Chiloba. In a recent press briefing, commissioner Guliye said some 400 staff would undergo public vetting before the end of this year with those failing to meet expectations being shown the door.
“We have too many bosses at Anniversary Towers; some have silo mentality. They will have to undergo public vetting and for those that will not meet our expectations, we will have to discuss an exit strategy,” he said.
Despite assurances that no staff will be unfairly targeted, fear has gripped the employees at the poll agency, especially those that had close links with the sacked CEO.
Guliye was categorical that the agenda is solely to help restore public confidence in IEBC following the messy elections last year.
At the same time, the IEBC has said it can only do an audit of boundaries after the expected Kenya Population and Housing Census (KPHC) next year.
He said data from the census is what will form part of the boundary delimitation adding that boundaries can only be done a year before polls. Meanwhile, some MPs have told IEBC commissioners to carry their own cross over the mess at the polls agency.
Speaking separately, they told the commission to stop blaming one individual over the loss of funds at the institution and instead accept that money was swindled during the electioneering period.
This came on the day that it emerged that the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) is in the process of tabling amendments to the IEBC Act to kick-start the process of recruiting new commissioners. The committee chaired by Baringo North MP William Cheptumo has proposed far reaching changes on the structure of the commission.
Cheptumo, Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) and Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town) said the commissioners are to blame for the misappropriation of funds.