IEBC Vice Chair, Juliana Cherera Resigns

Juliana Cherera, the vice chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), resigned a few days after President William Ruto suspended her and three other commissioners.

After Justus Nyang’aya announced his decision to leave his position last Friday, Cherera is the second commissioner to submit her resignation.

“The mandate of the tribunal shall be to consider the petition for the removal of (1) Juliana Whonge Cherera, (2) Francis Mathenge Wanderi, (3) Irene Cherop Masit, and (4) Justus Abonyo Nyang’aya from office as members of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and to investigate the allegations therein,” President Ruto stated in a Special Gazette Notice Number 258.

Cherera wrote in her letter of resignation that she could no longer “remain at the commission.”

I resign from my positions as vice chair and commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission today with great regret (IEBC).

Since joining the commission, I have discharged my responsibilities with diligence, care, and a sincere effort to assist the commission in resolving corporate governance challenges despite extremely challenging conditions…,” she stated.

“Unfortunately, my overall set of sincere actions have been misread and misunderstood. I acknowledge that my stay at the commission is no longer tenable and chose to leave after giving the recent events at the commission, my family, and my attorneys due consideration.

She concluded by expressing gratitude to the president for the chance “to serve the republic.”

In his letter of resignation on Friday, Nyang’aya stated that his decision to step down was driven by a desire to put the interests of the nation above his own. He also added that he came to that decision after praying about it.

I resign as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) with effect from today, I tender, he wrote.

“Over the past few weeks, I have engaged in intense introspection and, as a man of religion, have prayed passionately for the wisdom to make a choice that is in the best interests of the nation. We all concur that national interests must always take precedence above personal interests.

“I have always tried to behave in the country’s greatest interest, even though my acts, taken in good faith, have been misinterpreted,” he continued. I am appreciative that I have the chance to serve our wonderful country, and I hope to do so in other positions as well.

The four Commissioners had been placed on administrative leave by President Ruto, who also convened a tribunal to hear a petition calling for their resignation.

He said that the commissioners’ dismissal was recommended by the National Assembly in response to their actions on August 9, 2022, when the general election was held.

The tribunal’s members include Carolyne Kamende Daudi, Linda Gakii Kiome, Mathew Njaramba Nyabena, and Col. (Rtd.) Saeed Khamis Saeed, who was later appointed as the tribunal’s chair by the president.

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.

The institution of a tribunal to look into the actions of the four commissioners was suggested in a report by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC), which the National Assembly approved on Thursday.

According to JLAC Chairperson George Murugara, there were sufficient reasons to support the suspension of the Commissioners.

Part of the committee’s report stated that the petition by the Republican Liberty Party listed Mrs. Juliana Cherera, Ms. Irene Masit, Francis Wanderi, and Justus Nyang’aya as IEBC commissioners as having committed severe violations of the constitution and other laws.

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