Three Kenya election board commissioners resign, citing loss faith in leader

Kenyan commissioners Nkatha Maina (R), Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat from Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) attend a news conference where they announced their resignation in Nairobi, Kenya, April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Three commissioners from Kenya’s election board announced their resignation from the body on Monday, citing failure of the body’s leadership and dysfunction in the organisation.

In a joint press address, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Vice Chair Consolata Nkatha, commissioners – Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat – said external players had encroached on the commission’s independence during Wafula Chebukati’s time as chairman.

“The institution has continued to be dysfunctional, with arbitrary decision-making, leaking of internal documents … and pursuing of personal interests,” the three officials from the IEBC said in a statement they released at a news conference in Nairobi.

They said the electoral agency’s boardroom had turned into “a venue for peddling money, misinformation and grounds for brewing mistrust.”

“For far too long and many times, the commission chair has failed to be the steady and stable hand that steers the ship in difficult times and gives direction when needed. Instead, under his leadership the commission’s boardroom has become a venue for peddling money, misinformation, grounds for brewing mistrust and a space for scrambling for individual glory and credit,” said Ms. Mwachanya as she read the joint statement.

The commission was frequently at the centre of controversy during Kenya’s extended election season last year, in which around 100 people were killed.

Last week, the commission sent its chief executive on three months’ compulsory leave pending an audit, it said, without giving a detailed reason for the move.