IEBC officials bow out to CORD’s pressure in a sweet deal

IEBC commissioners have formally agreed to a negotiated exit from office but this is to come with a “dignified” pay deal.

The commissioners said they were ready to leave office and will not be a stumbling block to a dignified political settlement.

“Commissioners are few and the country is bigger than us. The commission will not stay in the way of a political settlement,” said chairman Issack Hassan.

Hassan said they did not want to hinder electoral reforms but that commission staff must be retained.

“We have 12 months and four days. We have experienced staff who are ready for the 2017 general election,” he said.

Commissioner Kule Godana said: “This country needs strong institutions. We should not keep breaking institutions.”

Commissioner Albert Bwire said: “I am a nationalist… I am available for any other duty.”

His colleague Yusuf Nzibo said he would leave with his held high as they serve and leave with dignity. Meru Senator Kiraitu Murungi, who has been co-chairing a special committee on IEBC matters, thanked the commissioners for agreeing to step aside.

“Thank you for making sacrifices for this country for the sake of free and fair elections,” he said at Parliament buildings on Wednesday.

“It is something that is not to be taken for granted.”

Murungi announced that they would be holding their last public meeting and said ” the pay deal will be reached”.

Co-chairperson Siaya senator James Orengo also thanked the commissioners saying they had “s poken like patriots.”

“You go down in history as patriots,” he added.

IEBC bosses dug in their heels on Tuesday and signaled a protracted legal battle over attempts to kick them out.

They rubbished the mandate of the House electoral reforms committee as illegal.

In a 17-page response to the committee, the electoral body’s chiefs said Parliament had no power to sack any of its staff, including CEO Ezra Chiloba.

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