IEBC Commissioners protected by law
The changes by the IEBC are critical, because they will restore NASA’s confidence in the Commission ahead of the fresh Presidential election.
The main issues on which the IEBC was indicted were largely because of the transmission of the votes. The IEBC officers in charge of operations and the people in charge of ICT, definitely have to be pushed out because they must take personal responsibility. We did not see the Supreme Court raise issues about voting, counting and tallying at the polling stations, largely there were no major issues. It was about the operations and transmission.
You can’t remove the commissioners because they are protected by law, and, above all, the Supreme Court did not find them culpable, it will not work as the law will protect them.
NASA’s push to send the commissioners home is not based on any ground and therefore it will prove futile. You remove the commissioners from office now based on what? The role of the commissioners is basically policy and you can’t indict them on operational issues. The guys who do the day-to-day running of the operations are the CEO Ezra Chiloba and his people. The commissioners could have got their policy right, but when it came to implementation, that is where the problem was and the people who take that responsibility cannot be the commissioners, it must be the people who were directly in charge of the day-to-day operations.
The commissioners did their part. Chiloba will have to be pushed out because even the Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, tried to allude to that, saying they came to office and found the secretariat there.
Remember, the initial thinking was that even the secretariat could have been pushed out, but that was not adopted as it would have sacrificed institutional memory as the commissioners were largely new in office. That is why it was agreed the secretariat remains in place.
The situation now presents a good opportunity because the secretariat has been indicted and the Commission must bring on board new people who can be able to carry out a more credible election. Although the Supreme Court judgment is not yet out, there were glaring issues raised during the hearing of the case that could inform the Commission’s decision. It came out clearly that some people who are not IEBC officials accessed the server and some people must take responsibility.