Chebukati speaks on resigning after 3 commissioners quit

Three Commissioners quit their jobs on Monday citing lack of leadership skills by the IEBC boss.

In a statement, Mr Chebukati regretted the decision by three Commissioners - Vice Chair Connie Maina, Commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margret Wanjala – who through a press conference in a Nairobi hotel quit the commission.

Mr Chebukati has now told staff at the Anniversary Towers-based head office that it would not follow that given the three had resigned, he would follow suit, arguing that each Commissioner swore individual oath for office, and that it was not a collective oath.

“Once the news broke, the chair looked very shocked but put up a brave face,” said the senior staff.

“He also told us that work will continue even as staff challenged him to explain if the commission was properly constituted with quorum to transact business.”

Chebukati was on Monday struck by news of the resignation of his Vice Chair Connie Maina, Commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margret Wanjala as he began a meeting with staff at Anniversary Towers.

"The chairman was caught totally unawares. When he started the meeting, he told us that Mwachanya was away on official duty, Kurgat was on leave and Maina was on her way to attend the meeting,” a member of staff said..

“Once the news broke, the chair looked very shocked but put up a brave face,” said the senior staff.

“He also told us that work will continue even as staff challenged him to explain if the commission was properly constituted with quorum to transact business.”

He told the staff that he will not resign because each commissioner is appointed to serve in their individual capacity.

With Roselyn Akombe having quit days before the October 26 repeat presidential election and CEO Ezra Chiloba suspended, the chairman is now bereft of a quorum to run the affairs of the commission.

He was left with only two commissioners: Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu. By their resignation, they effectively rendered those remaining useless, as the commission lacks the quorum to function. The courts have previously ruled in the case of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission that a commission is not legally constituted without commissioners.

The IEBC Act 2012 (Clause 5) states that “the quorum for the conduct of business at a meeting of the Commission shall be at least five members of the Commission.”

Just hours after the resignation of the three, Senate majority leader Kipchumba Murkomen hinted at forming a committee to push out the IEBC chairman.

“Chebukati, Molu and Guliye must resign from IEBC within the next 7 days or we form a Tribunal to investigate them,” Mr Murkomen tweeted, minutes after the three Commissioners - Connie Maina, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat - resigned from IEBC.

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