Economy

700 eye four high-paying IEBC commissioner posts

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Wafula Chebukati, chairman Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • More than 700 Kenyans have applied for the four vacant positions of commissioner at the electoral agency, highlighting the scramble for the Sh621, 250 a month position in an economy generating fewer quality jobs.
  • Kenya’s job market has been ravaged by the coronavirus crisis, with many surviving businesses shedding jobs and putting workers on lower pay.

More than 700 Kenyans have applied for the four vacant positions of commissioner at the electoral agency, highlighting the scramble for the Sh621, 250 a month position in an economy generating fewer quality jobs.

Kenya’s job market has been ravaged by the coronavirus crisis, with many surviving businesses shedding jobs and putting workers on lower pay.

The Selection Panel for the appointment of commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said the applications were received by close of business on Monday May 17, 2021.

Normally for such a role, panels expect to receive less than 100 applications, pointing to reduced opportunities for high paying jobs.

“The Selection Panel wishes inform the public that at the close of application period, over 700 applications were received for the four vacancies,” Ms Elizabeth Muli, the chair of the panel said.

The four vacancies came after resignation of Vice-chairperson Cornie Nkatha Maina and commissioners Paul Kurgat and Margaret Mwachanya in 2018, leaving Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu in office.

Commissioner Roselyne Akombe resigned prior to the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential election.

The IEBC Act establishes the commission comprising seven commissioners, including the chairman. This means they lack a quorum of five members to transact IEBC business, including overseeing polls.

Kenya faces a referendum to review the Constitution and has less than 14 months to next General Elections.

The IEBC jobs come with six-year non-renewable term and other hefty perks as well as an exit package equivalent to 31 percent of the pay earned over the 72-month term.

The Sh621, 250 a month pay is nearly 10-times Kenya’s average salary of Sh64,854 and only a small class of Kenyans earn this type of pay.

Official data show that only 2.9 percent or 84,807 of Kenya’s 2.92 million formal workers earn more than Sh100,000.

Commissioners also enjoy allowances, airtime, security and chauffer driven official car.

Other benefits include a full medical cover per family for themselves, spouse and up to four children below 25 years and family dependent on the commissioner.