President William Ruto has declared vacancies at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as poll body Chairman Wafula Chebukati and two commissioners proceed on terminal leave ahead of retirement.
Mr Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu are set to retire on January 17, having served a non-renewable term of six years at the electoral agency.
It is not clear if the three have proceeded on three-month terminal leave as required.
President Ruto declared the vacancies in a special gazette notice dated October 21 in a move that is set to put in motion recruitment of three commissioners to join Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera and commissioners Irene Masit, Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang’aya.
Ms Cherera, Ms Masit, Mr Wandera and Mr Ngang’aya are facing ouster bids sponsored by Dr Ruto allies over their decision to disown presidential results that were used to declare the winner of the August 9 race.
Mr Chebukati, Prof Guliye and Mr Molu were appointed by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in January 2017 alongside four others who controversially resigned after the 2017 General Elections.
“…the tenure of the Chairperson and two Members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is set to lapse on January 17, 2023, having been appointed on the 18th January 2017, vide Gazette Notices 399 and 400 of 2017…” states the notice.
The First Schedule of the IEBC Act requires the president to appoint a selection panel in charge of recruiting new commissioners at least six months before the lapse of the term of the Chairperson or Member of the Commission.
“Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers conferred by section 7A (2) of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act as read with Paragraph 1 (1) of the First Schedule of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act, I, William Samoei Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces, notify of impending vacancies in the positions of chairperson; and two members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on January 17, 2023,” states the notice.