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

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - OLIVER MATHENGE @Oliv­erMa­thenge

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.



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

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