Senior managers at the secretariat of the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC) are among some 500 individuals who have applied to fill the vacant positions of the agency’s chairperson and seven commissioners.
The IEBC selection panel chaired by Bernadette Musundi has been receiving applications for the positions over the last two weeks.
X News has learnt that by close of yesterday’s deadline for applications, several senior officials of the electoral agency had reportedly applied to be commissioners citing their vast experiences in management of various departments in the secretariat.
Lobbying for the top jobs is now at top gear with political rivals Jubilee and Cord having a keen eye on who makes the cut for the team to manage next year’s general election.
Among those who applied to be considered for the position of IEBC commissioner is former Industrialisation Principal Secretary Wilson Songa. Dr Songa served under President Uhuru Kenyatta administration between 2013-2015 before being axed from government in the 2015 mini-reshuffle.
He holds a BSc. in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi; MSc. in Crop Science from Wageningen Agricultural University, Netherlands and a PhD in Plant Pathology from University of Reading, UK.
Dr. Songa served as the Chairman of the Executive Board of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural cooperation ACP-EU in the Netherlands from 2008-2011.
Another applicant is Katasi Grace Nekoye, a former member of defunct OKOA Kenya secretariat and who also served as the Chairperson of the Media Council Complaints commission. She also applied to be nominated as a commissioner.
Katasi is an advocate of the High Court with 24 years standing on the Roll of the Advocates. She will be trying her luck with the commission yet again after being beaten by IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba to the position in 2014.
Ms Katasi is a holder of a Master of Laws (LLM), Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degrees from the University of Nairobi and a Diploma in Law & Practice from the Kenya School of Law.
She also has a post-graduate diploma in Forensic Accounting and has several certifications including: Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Policy and Legislative Drafting, Project Management just to mention but a few.
Cord leader Raila Odinga’s lawyer and his party lead counsel, Jotham Arwa, has also expressed his interest to be considered among the seven commissioners of the electoral agency.
He is also making a second attempt for the job having applied for the same position in 2011.
The selection panel led by its chairperson Bernadette Musundi retreats as from today to scrutinise the applications.
The panel shall then publish their qualifications of all the shortlisted candidates for public examination.
The list of the shortlisted candidates for the commissioner’s position is expected to be out by 15th November, 2016 when members of the public will be given seven days to give their views on the suitability of various candidates before interviews commence on November 22. 2016.
The interviews are expected to conclude on November 26.
On 30th November, the panel shall present two names for IEBC Chairperson and nine for commissioners’ positions to President Uhuru Kenyatta who will then have seven days to select chairperson and seven commissioners before forwarding the list to the National Assembly for vetting and approval.
The president will then swear in the commissioners before they assume office.
On Sunday, the outgoing IEBC commissioners said the commission was running normally.
CEO Ezra Chiloba has already appealed to Parliament to allow procurement of essential equipment to proceed to avoid delays that may compromise the 2017 General Election.
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