Two women lead race to succeed Issack at IEBC
Kangu rumoured to have been in Raila’s kitchen cabinet. Mereka and Malakwen have no experience in public administration. Panel to send two names to Uhuru
Management of next year’s general elections may be spearheaded by a woman after two women and three men were shortlisted by the IEBC selection panel.
Though all five have at least 15 years’ legal experience, the two women have the advantage of serving on commissions. Gender is a plus.
President Uhuru Kenyatta will choose the chairperson of the seven-member IEBC from two names and forward the name to Parliament for vetting.
The five will now face the selection panel for public interviews on November 28 and 29. The panel has invited comments on candidates before November 24.
However, the women’s regional backgrounds may be a disadvantage, as one is from Nyanza and the other from Central. Shortlisted are Margaret Shava (Kiambu), Roseline Odede (Kisumu), Mutakha Kangu (Kakamega), David Mereka (Murang’a) and David Malakwen (Nandi).
Shava was a member of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission and holds a master’s degree from the University of Leeds and a bachelor of Law degree from the University of Buckingham
Shava sought to become chair of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Com- mission last year but the position went to Philip Kinisu, who resigned in August over conflict of interest allegations.
In 2015, she was on the tribunal probing the conduct of former EACC chairperson Mumo Matemu and vice chairperson Irene Keino.
Shava has worked in law, management and peace-building for about 20 years.
However, she hails from the same county as Kenyatta. Appointing her would be awkward as he seeks reelection and would face accusations of trying to appoint someone favouring him and Jubilee.
Shava’s politics have not been disclosed; the hiring panel will inquire.
Odede was vice chair of the now-defunct Judges and Magistrates Vetting Board. She holds a master of Law degree from the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
She comes from the Nyanza stronghold of opposition leader Raila Odinga, who is expected to be the other top presidential contender.
Like Shava, Odede’s politics are not publicly known. She has 20 years experience and provided pro bono legal services for gender and family issues in North Rift.
Kangu, who holds a doctorate in law from the University of Cape Town, also has the advantage of having chaired the Task Force on Devolved Government after enactment of the 2010 Constitution.
Kangu was reported to be part of
Raila’s kitchen cabinet ahead of the 2013 elections.
The expert on constitutionalism and governance was on the technical team that came up with ODM’s position during the Constitution review process in 2009.
This association with a political party may play to Kangu’s disadvantage. His other disadvantage is that he comes from the same region as current IEBC chief executive officer Ezra Chiloba.
Kangu has been a law lecturer and was dean of the Moi University School of Law until last year.
Mereka, who hails from Uhuru’s Central Kenya stronghold, and Malakwen who hails from the Jubilee stronghold of Rift Valley, have no public political affiliation.
The two have not served in any public position, although public administration was of the listed qualifications.
Mereka has been Treasurer of the Football Kenya Federation Elections Board and holds a master of Law degree from the University of Nairobi.
Malakwen, a former Kenya Commercial Bank Company secretary, holds a master of Law degree from the University of Nairobi.
In October 2011, police requested Malakwen and his colleague at KCB Wilfred Kipkorir Sang to present themselves for interrogation at CID headquarters.
They had been accused of altering accounts involving land belonging to former MP Ngengi Muigai, who had sued the bank. They challenged it and High Court judge David Majanja ruled the investigations threatened the bank’s right to fair trial.
Background in electoral matters, management finance, government, administration and law are important, however, it will take more than a strong CV and experience to qualify.
Regional balance, political neutrality or affiliation and gender will be important factors in deciding which to names to give the President.
Candidates will be quizzed in public interviews over possible past misdeeds.
Selection panel chairperson Bernadette Musundi yesterday said the public was invited to submit memoranda about the shortlisted candidates. The panel may interview any member of the pubic submitting memorandum.
The President will also receive nine names from which to nominate six commissioners. The shortlist has not been released.
Seven former ambassadors and two IEBC directors are among 765 applicants in the race for the six positions.
Former Industrialisation PS Phillip Owade, former ambassador to Russia Paul Kibiwott Kurgat and Kenya’s former ambassador to the UN Office in Geneva and WTO John Kakonga are among the bidders.
Others are former ambassador to Burundi Benjamin Mweri, former ambassador to Egypt Daniel Makdwallo and former ambassador to Nigeria David Mutemi.
The two insiders are IEBC’s director for Voter Registration and Electoral Affairs Immaculate Kassait and former IEBC director of ICT Dismas Ongondi.
MUTAKHA KANGU WAS ON THE TECHNICAL TEAM THAT CAME UP WITH ODM’S POSITION DURING THE CONSTITUTION REVIEW PROCESS IN 2009
IEBC selection panel members Bishop David Oginde, Olga Karani, Rajesh Rawal, Rev Canon Peter Karanja, Bernadette Musundi, Rtd Justice Tom Mbaluto, Prof Abdulghafur El-Busaidy and Mary Kigen at Ufungamano House on Wednesday, October 12, when they met religious leaders