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Chebukati sidelines Chiloba for presidential re-run

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati on Tuesday bowed to pressure from the Raila Odinga-led Nasa and carried out a temporary purge of its senior staff, announcing a new six-man team that will manage the October 17 fresh election.

Those that have been side-lined are the commission’s Chief Executive Ezra Chiloba, his deputy Betty Nyabuto, the commission’s director of voter registration and elections operations Immaculate Kasait, her junior Mwaura Kamwati, the manager of operations, and its head of ICT, Mr James Muhati.

Head of Legal department Praxedes Tororey has also been affected.

They will have nothing to do with the new election.

“In my capacity as the National Returning Officer for the presidential election and in accordance with Section 38 of the Elections Act (2011), I have hereby appointed the following staff members to serve in a project team for purposes of the presidential election to be held on 17th October 2017,” the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chair Wafula Chebukati said.

In the place of Mr Chiloba will be the soft-spoken Marjan Hussein Marjan, who was his deputy and who managed support structures in the commission.

Mr Marjan, who will  now be termed as the October 17 fresh poll project coordinator, had led the team at the Bomas of Kenya, the National Tallying Centre, in receiving Forms 34B from the constituencies.

Ms Nyabuto has been replaced by Dr Sidney Namulungu who will be the head of operations.

Both Ms Kasait and Mr Kamwati have had their roles merged and replaced by Ms Nancy Kariuki as the head of the logistics team.

Mr Chebukati further replaced Mr Muhati with Mr Albert Gogo and Ms Tororey was replaced by Salome Oyugi.

To further shield himself from the challenges of a failed elections technology, Mr Chebukati ordered Mr Gogo to be under his direct supervision as opposed to the CEO or the project coordinator.

Ms Anne Nderitu, the head of training at the commission, has been replaced by Mr Bernard Misati Moseti, while Mr Silas Rorich will be the head of the National Tallying Center.

“The appointment takes immediate effect and will last for a period of 3 months,” said Mr Chebukati.

Mr Chebukati, as the National Returning Officer, said that the changes were part of his bid to show commitment that the fresh poll will be “in accordance with the Constitution, the relevant laws and that it reflects the sovereign will of the Kenyan people.”