The case challenging the recruitment of the next Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO will be heard next Monday.
Presiding Judge Byrum Ongaya on Wednesday directed parties in the case to file and serve their submissions.
Meanwhile the court maintained that orders stopping the recruitment of a new CEO remain in force.
This even as the commission says that the process of recruiting a person to replace former IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba has been transparent and beyond reproach.
The commission chair Wafula Chebukati, while asking the court to dismiss the case challenging the process, said that the case is malicious and frivolous and ought to be dismissed.
Late last month, Justice Ongaya, in a case filed by a lawyer’s lobby, Chama Cha Mawakili, ordered the commission to halt its recruitment process until the case is heard and determined.
“Pending the hearing of the case, there be stay of the process of recruiting, selecting, interviewing, appointing or otherwise filling submission for the vacancy in the office of secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the second respondent (IEBC),” ordered Justice Ongaya.
However in its response, the commission said the allegations that there was no publication of the names of all the applicants in the website cannot therefore hold as the names of all the applicants were published in local dailies on the June 13, 2019.
“There is no legal requirement for IEBC to publish the names of all applicants in the IEBC website and to allege as such is to deliberately misslead the court on the position of the law on what constitutes openness and transparency,” said the commission.
On the claim of not engaging an independent consulting firm to conduct the hiring, IEBC said that it resolved to conduct the process by itself after lpex Consulting Africa Limited (ACAL) picked by the commission to help in the exercise rejected the offer.
Chebukati further claims that section 101(1) of the IEBC Act gives the mandate of hiring the CEO to the commission adding that there is no legal requirement to have an independent Firm and the argument has to be dismissed.
“From the human resource manual, it is apparent that it is not compulsory that IEBC uses an independent Consultancy Firm in its recruitment processes, using an independent firm was discretionary and failure to use an independent firm cannot be said to be illegal there would be no legal basis for that,”says Chebukati in his affidavit.
He argues that petition is premature and in violation of the section 9(1) of the access to information Act ought to be dismissed with costs, and that the sole intention of the applicant is to merely delay the recruitment process for ulterior selfish motives.
“It is therefore in the public interest that the court allow the IEBC to finally fill the much needed and important vacancy of the position of CEO/secretary of IEBC,” reads Chebukati’s affidavit.
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