Embattled IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba has turned his attention to agribusiness at his rural home in Trans Nzoia, saying he finds more peace there.
Journalists who visited Mutua village in Kwanza constituency on Friday found the suspended IEBC official busy tilling his land.
“Don’t think Chiloba is idle. I’m busy in the village. I have much peace here. I am so tired of the noises out there. My target is to transform this piece of land into something more productive,’ he said.
The CEO said he bought the farm seven years ago but it was idle because he was busy with last year’s controversial elections over which many Opposition leaders demanded his resignation.
“I bought this land in 2011 but I had not put it to proper use because I was busy with the planning of the 2017 elections. This is the right time to make it useful,” he said.
On the farm, Chiloba boasts 600 stems of passion fruit, 500 tissues of culture banana, 100 avocado and 3,400 coffee trees.
“I want to make the farm a model for the community. My desire is to make residents transform their lives through agribusiness instead of relying on maize which has become valueless and frustrated farmers,” said Chiloba.
To give back to the society, the CEO has partnered with the county government and initiated a water project targeting two schools and more than 4,000 people in the area.
Though farmers in the area have enough land, he argues it has not been put to good use to end poverty.
“We have enough land in the county but it has not been utilised well. There is need for residents to exploit opportunities in agribusiness. This will transform their lives,” he said.
He noted many farmers have concentrated on maize farming despite poor returns so prices are not encouraging.
“Our farmers have to move away from maize dependency and into other options. The national and county governments have to support farmers in weed and pest control. Storage facilities should be provided,” he added.
Chiloba was sent on compulsory leave on April 9 “because of procurement issues”.
But in a case filed last week, Chiloba accuses IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati of allegedly orchestrating his removal.
In a ruling on April 13, the High Court declined to issue orders to reinstate him back to work. The Labour and Employment Relations Court also upheld the decision to send Chebukati on compulsory leave.
At his farm, Chiloba said he was waiting for the outcome of the audit at the commission.