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December 15, 2018

Nkatha, Mwachanya and Kurgat formally resigned from IEBC, court rules

IEBC commissioners Paul Kurgat, Consolata Nkatha and Margaret Mwachanya  leave Sarova Hotel after issuing their resignation statement on April 16, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A
IEBC commissioners Paul Kurgat, Consolata Nkatha and Margaret Mwachanya leave Sarova Hotel after issuing their resignation statement on April 16, 2018. /EZEKIEL AMING'A

Three former IEBC commissioners who resigned in April have been barred from accessing their offices.

Justice Chacha Mwita on Friday held that Consolata Nkatha, Margaret Mwachanya and Paul Kurgat resigned legally.

He said the trio ceased being commissioners the day they wrote and signed the letter that they used to communicate that they had left office.

In the case, activist Okiya Omtatah had challenged the court to compel the three commissioners to resign formally from office.

Judge Mwita further held that the resignations remain despite the fact that the commissioner's positions are yet to be advertised.

"A declaration is hereby issued that the three ceased to be commissioners of the IEBC on April 16, upon resigning," the court ruled.

The judge said Mwachanya, Nkatha, and Kurgat notified the president of their resignation "whether through the press or in letter to the Head of State."

"Whether or not vacancies have been declared does not make them commissioners anymore," the court ruled.

The ruling is likely to dash the trio's hopes of returning to office.

Mwachanya and Nkatha on August 24 made an attempt to return to their offices before they were blocked by chairman Wafula Chebukati. 

Regarding the contention that they should not be paid salaries and benefits, the court said that it is not a matter for the court since there are oversight organs that deal with such issues.

Omtatah has also asked the court to stop the State from paying the former commissioners their salaries, arguing that they were being paid even after they had resigned.

The activist had argued that the lack of formal resignation had made it impossible for authorities to announce vacancies at the IEBC with a view to filling the same. 

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