Why IEBC’s Chiloba is waiting to exhale

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO Ezra Chiloba. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA
Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission CEO Ezra Chiloba. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

Ezra Chiloba, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chief executive, who came out of last week’s General Election with equal measure of love and hatred, has spoken of his experience for the first time, insisting the agency gave Kenyans a credible and technically efficient election.

Mr Chiloba, who left his job at the United Nations to head the IEBC, told the Business Daily that the August 8 elections left him with ‘contradictory feelings of satisfaction and anxiety’ that only the conviction that the agency did the right thing is helping him grapple with.

“I set out to run a very good election, technically effective, efficient, and credible and I’m confident that is what happened,” Mr Chiloba said in an interview four days after his chairman, Wafula Chebukati, announced President Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner of the highly contested presidential poll.

Mr Chiloba said his commitment to moving Kenya forward on the path of democracy and stability had helped him stick to the rules and deliver a world-class election he is happy to be associated with.

“I’m 200 per cent confident that we did the right thing. I can tell you that maybe because of my upbringing, sticking to the rules is very important for me, so are my personal values,” the IEBC chief said even as he revealed that the outcome of the election and the propaganda that accompanied it saw him lose ‘‘many friends’’.

“People look at me differently. My phone currently has over 5,000 unread messages, ranging from the good to threats. But I can tell you this, if I were to do it again, I would do the same, same thing.”

Mr Chiloba said he is not certain whether he will preside over the 2022 elections. “My ambition after I left the UN was to join the private sector. I wanted to be a CEO in some private sector at the age of 39. Now I’m 39.”

In the meantime, the soft spoken lawyer is expected to spend the next couple of weeks defending the very elections that saw him hit the top chats as Kenya’s most searched personality on the web.

Full interview on BDLife Magazine