The Civil Society Reference Group has praised the decision by the IEBC to sack CEO Ezra Chiloba.
In a statement on Saturday, presiding convener Suba Churchill said Chiloba’s dismissal was long overdue.
He said the same should have happened immediately after the IEBC was indicted by the Supreme Court on illegalities and irregularities during the August 8 polls.
Chiloba was sacked on Friday via a letter signed by Chairman Wafula Chebukati, something the ex-IEBC CEO said was a mere formality.
“And rather than claim that he had seen his dismissal coming, Chiloba should have taken the initiative and resigned from his position after undermining the dignity, public confidence and integrity of the office he held,” Suba said.
He said Chiloba’s continued insistence on retaining his position even after it became eminent that his continued stay at IEBC was no longer tenable betrayed the Kenyan youth who looked up to him as a role model and mentor.
Chiloba was sent on compulsory leave twice since the August 8, 2017 elections but he on each occasion contested the decision through the court.
Details: IEBC WOES: Chiloba sues Chebukati for contempt
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Chebukati defended his decision saying it would be against standard procedure for the former chief executive to be in office as he was the subject of an ongoing internal audit over the misappropriation of funds ahead of the 2017 general elections.
The chairman has blamed Chiloba over the inadequacies that befell the polls leading to the nullification of the presidential vote by the Supreme Court on September 1, 2017.
Suba said Chiloba will go down the annals of Kenya’s history as the youngest man whose stewardship at the IEBC Secretariat saw the results of the presidential elections nullified.
“Yet even in the face of public disgust at his conduct, including during the hearing of the presidential election petition when he frustrated efforts to scrutinise the servers after the Supreme Court directed so, Chiloba remained defiant,” Suba said.
In his defense, Chiloba warned that the issues he faced will affect his successor if not addressed.
He said the issue of his disciplinary process exposed a major governance crisis at the electoral body.
“My employment termination should not be seen as an issue of my person but that of the holder of the office,” Chiloba said.
He poked holes at Chebukati’s claims that his sacking followed his failure to appear before a disciplinary committee to answer to accusations of procurement malpractices.
Chiloba said he was away in the UK attending classes, adding that appearing before the committee would have been foolhardy as the commissioners sitting on the disciplinary panel are the same ones who voted to have him suspended.
However, Suba said Chiloba should have chosen to resign, based on the obvious lack of integrity and loss of public trust and confidence that resulted from the nullification of the presidential poll.
Read: IEBC crisis persists as Chebukati suspends Chiloba yet again
“He continued to live in his own world, speaking to himself and assuring himself that he was the greatest CEO of the IEBC that had ever lived whenever his benefactors organized for his appearance on the many interviews he held on national televisions,” Suba said.
“His dismissal is good riddance, coming as it does after he conspired against the people of Kenya, causing loss of lives,” he added.
Suba urged Chebukati to seize the moment now and institute relevant reforms at the commission immediately and rid it of any individuals who may have also compromised the polls.
He said the chairman has the full support of the civil society over his decision to sack Chiloba and his refusal for the three other commissioners to come back after their resignation.
Vice chair Consolata Nkatha, Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya resigned on April 16 and blamed Chebukati of poor leadership.
See: [VIDEO] Three IEBC commissioners resign, say Chebukati a bad leader
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