IEBC Fires Top Official As Election Day Looms

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has fired her procurement director Lawy Aura citing incompetence and failure to deliver election materials on time.

The board reached the decision to fire Lawy Aura after discovering a defect in the Sh2.5 billion budget issued for the procurement of ballot papers ahead of the forthcoming August 8 General elections.

As a result, Aura was accused as being the sole reason why the sourcing and delivery of the ballot papers is being delayed.

There have been growing anxiety as to which company should be awarded the tender to supply the ballot boxes.

While the news of Lawy Aura’s firing only came to light on Tuesday, 6th June 2017, a statement released by the IEBC chairman Wafula Chebulati revealed that Aura was relieved of his duties on the 29th of May 2017.

“The Commission on 29 May 2017 relieved the procurement director Lawy Aura of his duties necessitated by incompetence that has made operations untenable as we fast approach the General Election,” said IEBC chair Mr Chebulati in his statement.

See Also: IEBC Disqualifies 10 Election Aspirants 

Chebulati expressed his concerns over the uncertainty surrounding the procurement of the election materials, saying that the board was treating the matter with utmost urgency.

“We have noted with great concern the growing anxiety associated with the ballot procurement. The Commission is addressing the issue of the procurement of ballot material with utmost urgency,” he added.

He concluded his statement by assuring Kenyans that the IEBC was doing everything in its power to ensure that the delay is reduced.

He added, “We are making every effort in reducing the delay in the selection of the supplier and we will inform the nation of our options soon. We will continue to engage all political actors and in utmost good faith as we proceed with the procurement of the ballot material and other processes.”

In addition to Mr Lawy Aura’s firing, the IEBC had two days earlier on the 27th of May 2017 suspended its ICT director James Muhati, sending him on a compulsory 30-day leave.

The decision was made following a heated meeting where concerns over the reliability of the elctronic systems intended for use at the August polls were raised. The meeting chaired by Chebulati had all commissioners in attendance including IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba.

Muhati was accussed of failure to coperate with an ongoing audit of the ICT systems which per reports includes about 20 million names. Wafula Chebulati appointed Chris Msando to serve as the acting ICT director in Muhati’s absence.