Recruitment of a new electoral commission boss has been stopped temporarily after the anti-corruption commission failed to clear the five shortlisted ...
Barely 48 hours to the first interview, the selection panel chaired by Ms Bernadette Musundi announced it has re-advertised the position after information received raised significant issues against the five.
The panel had shortlisted Mr David Mukii Mereka, Ms Roseline Odhiambo-Odede, Dr John Mutakha Kangu, Ms Margaret Wambui Ngugi Shava and Mr David Malakwen Kiprop.
The advertisement, published elsewhere in this newspaper, says applications should be received not later than December 5.
“The information from the public and some agencies raises pertinent issues and concerns regarding some of the applicants and their suitability for appointment to the position of chairperson,” said Ms Musundi at a press conference at County Hall.
“Persons who applied for the position after the advertisement of Monday, October 24 need not re-apply,” she added.
“The panel further observed that although it had received responses from various agencies, the response of the EACC was not sufficient to enable the panel to make an informed decision on the suitability of the candidates,” said Ms Musundi.
She did not name the agencies whose information the panel was acting on but a source familiar with its work told the Nation the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission had only cleared one of the five candidates.
The new development means reconstituting the IEBC could go on up to mid-January, given the time it takes Parliament to vet nominees.
Although applicants are required to attach a clearance letter from the EACC when applying, the panel sought the clearance from the institution.
Its assertion that the information from the EACC was not sufficient to clear the candidates casts doubt on the clearance letters they submitted.
The panel was also yet to receive information from the Kenya Revenue Authority on the candidates’ tax compliance and from the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on whether they are members of political parties.
Interviews for the rest of the positions will proceed as scheduled from December 1.
Asked why people who had initially applied had been told not to do so again, Ms Musundi said the panel still had their applications.
It is, however, unlikely that the panel would reconsider an application from someone they had already considered unsuitable for the job.
The panel’s decision has provoked more criticism from MPs who have questioned its methods.
Nominated MP Johnson Sakaja said that given only 13 people applied for the chairman’s job, the panel should have asked for more applications.