Panic as IEBC makes sudden changes ahead of August elections

The changes were earlier stopped due to unavoidable circumstances...

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The Wafula Chebukati led commission has now scrapped the positions of regional coordinators and instead appointed 47 county managers.

In the new structure, all the 290 constituencies now have new returning officers, with 17 regional coordinators who have been retained as election managers.

In addition, another bunch of 30 officials has been promoted to make the 47 county managers. In a circulated letter to all the officers dated May 2, 2017, the commission’s CEO Ezra Chiloba said they followed a criteria approved by the commission while making the changes.

Critical of the changes, is the requirement that one should not be posted to the constituency or county where they served before. Equally, the officer in question shouldn't’t serve in their home county or constituency.

IEBC has argued that the latest turn is to eliminate any chances of politicians compromising poll officials in the ri home areas.

Already all the affected officials have been served with letters of transfer, three months to the elections. They are all expected in their new offices before May 20.

“The commission has also directed that all county managers and returning officers shall report to their new stations not later than May 20, 2017,” reads the memo that bears signatures of three commission top officials.

As a follow uo to the directive, Mr Chiloba appointed a five-member team, led by Joseph Ayatta, to oversee the transition. Other include Jason Akoyo, Joseph Yegon, Mohamed Osman and Naisiae Tobiko.

“Following successful interviews, at least 30 constituency election coordinators were promoted to the position of county managers. We now have 47 County Election Managers (CEMs) who have been deployed to serve in various parts of the country,” he said.

IEBC is set to comply with the law by gazetting the new officials, as the latest appointments are meant to gain trust of stakeholders and uphold the integrity of elections.

“We agreed that all transfers should have a human face and should be done at the plenary to ensure a human face. I am therefore cancelling all the transfers,” IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said last week.

“There were some concerns by those affected and the commission opted to hold on until that is addressed and ensure it’s done in a humane way,” Commissioner Roselyn Akombe then said.

Akombe noted some officers had been transferred to far flung areas despite their health or family challenges.

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