Nothing can be more bizarre than news that the three IEBC commissioners who quit in a huff four months ago have returned, ostensibly to resume duty.
Paul Kurgat, Margaret Mwachanya and Consolata Nkatha resigned on their own accord — whether on their own volition or on the prompting of their godfathers. They have not been at work. At the very least, that’s absconding from duty or desertion from employment.
Although the commissioners resigned in April, President Uhuru Kenyatta has not acknowledged or uttered a word, which would trigger their replacement.
According to the Constitution, the commissioners are supposed to tender their resignation to the President, who is required to declare their vacancies within seven days for Parliament to commence the process of recruitment. However, a legal lacuna exists at the moment.
The panel that recruited the sitting commissioners having been a one-off affair. Parliament is required to set the framework and criteria for recruitment of new commissioners. But it has abdicated its duty, thanks to political expediencies.
Besides, the commissioners seem to have taken solace in the High Court’s declaration that they had not followed the procedure for resigning and therefore their action was null and void.
But such wily and nefarious schemes set a bad precedent for the conduct of public affairs and defeat the purpose of the Constitution. It also amounts to gross abuse of office which is actionable.