Conflicting Reports Emerge over IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba's Suspension

  • Conflicting reports have emerged over the circumstances in which Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) CEO Ezra Chiloba was sent on compulsory leave.

    According to a statement released by the electoral body's chairman Wafula Chebukati on Monday, the CEO was sent on 3 months compulsory leave following a majority decision by the commissioners during a plenary meeting held on Friday.

    "The Commissions' Plenary meeting held on Friday 6th April received and discussed an audit report on some procurement matters.Subsequently, it was decided by a majority voting to expand audit scope and that the CEO proceeds on compulsory leave for 3 months.

    "The 3 months leave is to enable conclusion of the audit. It is important to note that in making the decision to carry out a comprehensive audit, the Commission is performing its oversight role to safeguard public resources," Chebukati stated.

    [caption caption="File image of Wafula Chebukati and Ezra Chiloba"][/caption]

    According to reports, the IEBC chairman chaired the meeting that ended with the decision to suspend Chiloba before flying out to Nigeria over the weekend.

    The decision has reportedly caused a split between the senior officials at the IEBC.

    On his part, Chiloba on Monday stated that he had been notified of his suspension via email, though he had not received the suspension letter.

    “I received an email this morning, which was sent on Saturday night, saying the plenary met and resolved that I take a three-month compulsory leave so that IEBC undertakes an audit on the procurement for election materials,” he was quoted by the Nation.

    Chiloba who is also the secretary to the commission added that neither he nor his deputy Marjan Hussein was present for the meeting - to mean there was no one to take the minutes.

    On Monday afternoon the CEO confirmed that he had received a memo from Chebukati informing him of his suspension.

    “I came to the office in the afternoon. I now have the memo from the chairman to me. The memo is not copied to other commissioners,” Chiloba told The Standard.

    [caption caption="IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba"][/caption]

    After receiving the suspension notice, Chiloba wrote to acting chairman Connie Maina in the absence of Chebukati protesting the grounds on which he was sent packing.

    Maina is reported to have written back to Chiloba directing him to continue discharging his duties.

    "I am not aware that the CEO is suspended because I have not been copied on the said memo. I have asked the CEO to come to the office and continue discharging his duties," she was quoted by the Standard.

    She dismissed the outcome of the Friday meeting stating: “Dr Kurgat and I walked out of the meeting, leaving behind the chairman, Prof (Guliye) and Molu. Whatever they decided after that, we are not aware and cannot be part of the plenary decision."