Chebukati awaits grilling as Mps debate his removal over 2017 procurement queries

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The National Assembly on Thursday afternoon set to debate a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) touching on the 2017/2018 financial statement on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). The committee has set its sights on former Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba for what it has extensively accused him of supervising felonious procurement of election materials during his tenure that led to loss of billions of shillings. Chiloba who was unceremoniously kicked out from the poll body after his relationship with Chebukati was considerably damaged following months of bitter confrontation between the two over the management of the agency’s operations has however maintained that he is innocent and squarely blamed Chebukati for his woes.

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MPs are set to weigh in on recommendations by the watchdog body that the poll agency’s current commissioners should be axed citing various reasons key among them mismanagement that occurred under the leadership of Wafula Chebukati in the 2017 election. The Opiyo Wandayi-led committee that has been probing the books of accounts for the electoral agency for almost three months and is now pushing for the removal of Chebukati and the remaining commissioners Boya Molu and Abdi Guliye.

The session is yet again set to reignite debate on the need to fast track electoral reforms in the country following 2017 election and the repeat presidential election which was largely described by local and international observers as “relatively fair”. The committee is keen to ensure that the 2022 polls are overseen by a new team whose image and credibility would be intact devoid of controversies, this even as Chebukati tries to restore public confidence and public perception touching on the polls body.  

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The report established that Chiloba has a case to answer after he authorized the signing of contracts worth Sh4.3 billion, without the contractors providing performance guarantees contrary to provisions of section 142 (1) of the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Act, 2015. If approved by the House, Chebukati’s team, including Chiloba will be subjected to a thorough probe by the relevant investigative agencies who will be keen to open criminal charges against them.

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