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Controversies: How Wafula Chebukati Made It To IEBC Top Job And Why Jubilee Is Uncomfortable With CEO Ezra Chiloba




Controversy has hit the IEBC nominees by the President. A nine-member team headed by Bernadette Musundi will meet at an undisclosed location Tuesday morning, amid growing criticism it failed to scrutinize and give perfect candidates the green light.

IEBC Chairman nominee Wafula Chebukati has had many eyebrows raised with questions stuck around his nominations which weren’t awarded on merits. Several controversies that questions Wafula’s integrity has been forthcoming and was, he was the lawyer to former anti-graft chief Philip Kinisu who settled on to pick office for allegedly pocketing Sh35 million from the National Youth Service. There are concerns that Chebukati could come from a beneficiary of the cash, although there is no evidence yet.

It doesn’t end therean active IEBC Chair nominee is a half brother to Kinisu who is married to Nancy Gitau’s sister. Nancy Gitau is one of the most powerful women in Jubilee administration, and we learn she’s top organs in Statehouse controlling the billion shilling campaign kitty for the 2017 elections.

Chebukati’s law firm – Cootow and Associates Advocates – is also accused of professional negligence that led to a loss of millions of shillings belonging to the Nairobi county government. The firm did not defend a suit filed by Salima Enterprises against the county and the county government lost the case and was forced to pay Sh325 million compensation in addition to the cost of the suit and legal fees.

On December 23, the selection panel settled on Chebukati, alongside High Court advocate Tukero ole Kina for IEBC chairman. Kina scored 77 per cent against Chebukati’s 63 per cent. But President Uhuru Kenyatta – allowed by law to pick the electoral commission chairman from a list of two – pulled a surprise on Kenyans by settling on the less qualified Chebukati, who coincidentally comes from the same region as IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba.

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The other candidate for IEBC commissioner with fresh integrity questions is Consolata Nkatha. She allegedly has an active criminal court case, in which she is accused of defrauding the Museums of Kenya of Sh280 million.

There are genuine concerns that IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and chairperson nominee Wafula Chebukati cannot work concurrently for the commission because they are from the same community and county are misplaced.

Kenya Insights gathers that Statehouse power brokers are uncomfortable with Ezra holding the CEO position vowing to send him packing through several avenues including forced resignation. Word is he’s been approached to quote a price for his exit. The unease is fuelled by the fact that is dating Rosemary Odinga, and they fear this could give Odinga an upper hand. They’re now looking into replacing him with their trusted candidate. The behind-the-scenes innuendos go to show the greater influence by the executive in the IEBC line-up something that casts queries on the credibility and sovereign independence of the electoral body given the powerful external influences.

Wafula according to power shots is seen as System’s friendly and ‘easy to work with’. He’s a known close associate to DP Ruto whom he met several days to his appointment in Mombasa. The appointment has political bait as Well, the appointment of Chebukati and former Anglican Church Archbishop Eliud Wabukala to head the anti-graft agency are meant to woo the Bukusu community to support Jubilee. Bukusu commands about 600,000 votes. It’s not by coincidence that Kinisu a Bukusu has been replaced by Wabukhala, his tribe mate as the EACC Chairman.

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Kenya West is a trained investigative independent journalist and a socio-political commentator on matters Kenya and Africa. Do you have a story, Scandal you want me to write on? Send me tips to [[email protected]]


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