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Runaway Akombe returns to work at UN, but on a condition

By CHRIS WAMALWA November 2nd, 2017 2 min read

Former IEBC commissioner Roselyn Akombe returned to work at United Nations Headquarters in New York City two weeks after she resigned from the electoral agency.

Dr Akombe, who shocked many by resigning from the electoral commission less than a week to the repeat presidential election confirmed to the Nation that she had indeed resumed her job at the UN but with a caveat — not to talk to the press about the Kenyan elections.


“Yes, I’m back at my old job but I’m prohibited from talking to the press. This was contained in the new contract I signed recently,” she said via phone.

In an earlier interview with the Nation, Dr Akombe, a Kenyan-born naturalised American citizen had expressed her frustrations at the endless calls and hate-mails that were being sent to her bosses at the UN by some Kenyan officials both in the US and back at home who wanted her sacked for allegedly ‘betraying’ her country.

During the interview, she had however, also indicated that she was getting a lot of support from her bosses and former colleagues and was confident of resuming her job.

Dr Akombe worked for the UN at the secretariat in New York City as a political advisor before taking a sabbatical leave and travelling to Kenya to join IEBC as a commissioner.

In doing so, it is reported that she took a 70 per cent pay cut.


After her resignation, in a wide-ranging interview with the Nation in New Jersey, Dr. Akombe said political interference in the work of the IEBC had rendered the electoral body so dysfunctional that any hope of the commission carrying out credible elections that had been scheduled was non-existent.

Citing frustrations from fellow commissioners and senior secretariat staff, the former commissioner painted a picture of a statutory body that was not just at war with itself but also one that had become a poster child for political interference.

“The commissioners can’t agree on anything and if they did, chances are that the decisions made would be ignored by the secretariat. In the end, you end up going round and round without making any meaningful decisions.” She said.

She said some commissioners and some senior staff at the secretariat were there to serve the interests of politicians.


“Decisions are made somewhere else and passed on for ratification and implementation. Commissioners and senior staff at the secretariat are put in line through bribery and threats. If you don’t agree with them then your life is in danger,” she said.

She disclosed that she had personally faced numerous threats and intimidations for the positions she took at the commission and that was why she fled the country back to her second home in the US.