Candidate withdraws as IEBC kicks off commissioner interviews today

One candidate interviewing for the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commissioner position has withdrawn his application.

Abdalla Mohamed will no longer be taking part in the exercise, over questionable academic credentials.

The IEBC selection panel in a statement today said they wrote to the Kenya Methodist University on June 28, seeking verification of Mohamed’s Degree that was allegedly awarded in July 2007.

KEMU Vice-Chancellor wrote back on July 1 denying that the applicant pursued tertiary education at the institution. “This is to confirm Abdalla Mohammed was NOT a student of Kenya Methodist University. The academic certificate BUS-1-206-05 was not issued at Kemu and is, therefore, a forgery,” the VC said responding to the panel’s letter.

IEBC panel then informed Mohamed via email on Tuesday, July 6, to which he responded that he would not attend the interview today.

He was among 36 candidates seeking positions for the IEBC commissioner, and the first to be interviewed on Wednesday morning.

The interviews will however resume at 11:30am, with Dr Abdirizak Arale Nunow and Anne Mwikali Kiusya facing the panel.

What we know so far:

There are 35 shortlisted candidates.

A seven-member selection panel will interview the candidates starting today, July 7. The panel will interview three candidates daily for 12 days.

The panel is chaired by Dr Elizabeth Muli.

On April 26, President Uhuru Kenyatta in a gazette notice named members of the IEBC selection panel as follows; Elizabeth Muli, Gideon Solonka, James Awuori, Elizabeth Odundo, Dorothy Kimengech, Joseph Mutie and Farudin Abdalla.

Muli has on past occasions assured that the panel will pick the most qualified candidates. “The selection panel wishes to give its assurance that it shall carefully consider the memoranda received from the public as well as the information received from the agencies ahead of the interviews,” she said.

Last week, the candidates undertook psychometric tests, meant to assess their levels of emotional intelligence.

Some of the shortlisted candidates include Dr Salim Ndemo, former Salaries and Remuneration Commissioner Sellestine Anna Mbii-Kiuluku, Murshid Abdalla, Prof Joseph Naituli, Dr Rose Musyoka, former Gwasi MP Felix Nyauchi, Justus Nyang’aya, former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairpersons Florence Jaoko and Kagwiria Mbogori.

The panel shall then retreat after completion of the interviews to consider the performance of the candidates and present the names of nominees to President Uhuru Kenyatta for an appointment.

The electoral agency is looking to fill four vacant positions, following the resignation of former IEBC Vice-Chairperson Connie Nkatha, commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya in April 2018.

Former IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe quit before the repeat presidential election in October 2017.

IEBC currently has three commissioners. These are Chairperson Wafula Chebukati and Commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Mulu.

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