The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBCfour )’s troubled commissioners have been formally suspended by President William Ruto, who has established a tribunal to hear a petition to have them removed from office.
The Head of State ordered that Vice Chairperson Juliana Whonge Cherera, Commissioners Francis Mathenge Wanderi, Irene Cherop Masit, and Justus Abonyo Nyang’aya resign from their positions until the tribunal’s advice on Friday in a Gazette Notice.
He claimed that the commissioners’ dismissal was recommended by the National Assembly in response to their actions on August 9, 2022, during the General Election.
After receiving and deliberating through the National Assembly’s petition, According to a passage of the notice, “I, William Samoei Ruto, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, do hereby direct that Juliana Whonge Cherera, Francis Mathenge Wanderi, Irene Cherop Masit, and Justus Abonyo Nyang’aya, being members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, be and are hereby suspended from office with immediate effect.
The High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule was subsequently named as the tribunal’s chair by the president. Other members of the panel include Carolyne Kamende Daudi, Linda Gakii Kiome, Mathew Njaramba Nyabena, and Col. (Rtd.) Saeed Khamis Saeed.
Peter Munge Murage will serve as the lead Counsel, assisted by Zamzam Abdi Abib, and Kibet Kirui Emmanuel and Irene Tunta Nchoe will serve as joint secretaries for the tribunal.
A day after the National Assembly adopted a report from the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) suggesting the creation of a tribunal to look into the actions of the four commissioners, President Ruto made his decision.
George Murugara, the chair of the JLAC, declared that there were sufficient reasons to suspend the Commissioners.
The report by the committee on Friday stated in part, “The petition by the Republican Liberty Party shows major violations of the constitution and other laws as a reason for removing Mrs. Juliana Cherera, Ms. Irene Masit, Francis Wanderi, and Justus Nyangaya commissioners of IEBC.”
“The House resolves that the petitions therein be transmitted to the President, that the President appoints the tribunal to handle the matters, and that the President suspends the commissioners pending determination by the tribunal,” the resolution reads.