Sh1bn stolen during repeat poll, says audit
An Internal audit by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has revealed possible misappropriation of more than Sh1 billion during last year’s repeat presidential election.
Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the preliminary report of the audit raises serious issues on the possible misappropriation, wastage and or pilferage of public funds.
He says in a sworn statement that there are possible gross breaches of the Public Finance Management (PFM) Act, in respect of the General and Fresh Presidential Elections.
“It is therefore imperative and in the public interest that the internal audit be completed as the Commission owes the public a duty to use the public resources allocated to it appropriately,” Mr Chebukati says in reply to contempt of court proceedings filed by suspended IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba, who wants the court to jail the chairman and two other commissioners for alleged disobedience of a court order allowing him back to office.
Mr Chiloba wants Mr Chebukati, Prof Abdi Yakub Guliye and Mr Boya Molu summoned to court to show cause why they should not be cited for contempt for disobeying a court directive on his reinstatement.
Mr Chebukati says in the affidavit that they have not disobeyed the court order and they are justified in suspending the CEO to allow the completion of the audit.
He says after meeting at plenary, members of the Commission had noted that the on-going in-depth procurement audit by both internal and external auditors was yet to be completed and Mr Chiloba could interfere with it.
“The members therefore resolved to suspend the petitioner for three months pending the completion of the comprehensive audit of all major procurements relating to the elections of 8th August 2017 and fresh presidential elections on 26th October 2017,” he says, adding that being the CEO, who all employees including the internal auditors themselves report to administratively, it is obvious that Mr Chiloba would interfere with the audit.
“That the need to suspend the petitioner became even more apparent in the re-cent times as the petitioner/applicant has since his suspension proceeded on a threatening and blackmailing spree of the employees of the commission and even the commissioners themselves,” he says.
Mr Chebukati cites June 19, 2018, when Mr Chiloba allegedly wrote him a letter categorically warning him to stop the audit process.