Mercy Mwai @wangumarci
The National Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati to resign to pave way for electoral reforms.
The committee chaired by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi wants Chebukati and two other commissioners, Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye, out on grounds that their continued stay at the electoral body, as currently constituted, is untenable.
Committee members also want the commissioners to leave because of expenditure issues in the August 8, 2017 General Election and the repeat presidential election on October 26 the same year.
According to the committee, the cost of the elections was highly inflated and taxpayers did not get value for money.
In particular, PAC wants Chebukati to resign for violating Chapter Six of the Constitution by allegedly allocating legal work to his former law firm without disclosing the relationship.
“During our inquiries, it was clear right from the outset that prudent management of public resources by the IEBC had been sacrificed at the altar of self-aggrandisement. Speculators and wheeler-dealers had a field day as internal controls, where they existed, failed or were made to fail spectacularly,” PAC said in a report.
The committee also wants former IEBC Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba investigated for the procurement of Sh4 billion Kenya Integrated Election Management Kits (Kiems) without the contractors providing performance guarantees contrary to the provisions of section 142 (1) of the Procurement and Asset Disposal Act.
In the report, the committee also accuses the commissioners of failing to take charge of the electoral process in 2017 as well as make urgent and decisive policy directions on procurement matters, thus compelling the Secretariat to undertake direct procurement of goods and services in a manner that was contrary to provisions of the Constitution.
This, the committee said, portrayed inexcusable level of incompetence given the importance of their role in the electoral processes in the country as expressed in Article 88 of the Constitution.