What you need to know:
- The IEBC panel decision could further strain relations with the Raila Odinga-led team, which is demanding that the process be guided by a negotiated document produced by the two teams.
- In a press statement signed by the IEBC selection panel chairman Nelson Makanda, the panel outlined its plans to continue the recruitment process, which had faced challenges in recent months.
A panel formed by President William Ruto to recruit the new chairman and commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced its intention to pick up the selection process from where it left off, a decision that could further strain relations with the Raila Odinga-led team, which is demanding that the process be guided by a negotiated document produced by the two teams.
In a press statement signed by the IEBC selection panel chairman Nelson Makanda, the panel outlined its plans to continue the recruitment process, which had faced challenges in recent months.
"The Selection Panel has thus far carried out three stages of verification for all the applications received for the positions of Chairperson and members of the IEBC," Dr Makanda said in a statement.
"We are in the process of concluding on the shortlisted candidates, before embarking on the publication of the same and subsequent interviews for successful candidates."
Before the Dr Makanda-led panel was stopped from completing its work, it had already invited applications for the chairperson post and those of six commissioners.
However, a team co-chaired by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah suggested the process be started afresh, and the membership of the selection panel expanded from the current seven to nine.
National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi has insisted that the selection of the electoral agency bosses should be guided by the Bomas Talks team report.
"It should be strictly according to the National Dialogue Committee report. Any other way, (will) be a Kenya Kwanza IEBC," he said on Thursday.
According to the statement by Dr Makanda, the IEBC Selection Panel faced financial constraints that hindered the completion of the selection process.
“The Selection Panel, on Thursday, February 8, 2024, met with the Speaker of the National Assembly, who is also the Chairman of the Parliamentary Service Commission, Dr. Moses Wetang’ula to deliberate on the modalities of concluding on its mandate as prescribed under the IEBC Act of 2011 and as amended in 2022,” he said.
“As you are aware, the Selection Panel is supported by the Parliamentary Service Commission, where we draw our secretariat and funding towards the implementation of our mandate. In view of the above, the Honourable Speaker undertook to liaise with the National Treasury on the allocation of funds towards the activities of the Selection Panel. However, following a meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly, who also chairs the Parliamentary Service Commission, steps are being taken to secure funding for the panel's activities,” read part of the statement.
The panel has conducted three stages of verification for all received applications and is in the final stages of shortlisting candidates.
The panel also assured Kenyans of conducting the recruitment exercise impartially, fairly, and transparently.
The panel pledges to provide continuous updates on the progress of the recruitment exercise.
Dr Makanda sits in the panel alongside Charity Kisotu deputy, Fatuma Saman, Evans Misati, Bethuel Sugut, Novince Atieno and Benson Ngugi.
IEBC and the selection panel were debated by a bipartisan team where one of the top agendas was finding a method of selecting new IEBC commissioners.
As Kenyans eagerly await the resolution of the ongoing impasse at the commission, all eyes are on the IEBC.
The commission has been grappling with a significant challenge following the retirement of Chairman Wafula Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu on January 17, compounded by the resignations of Juliana Cherera and Justus Nyang’aya.