The Vice chairperson of Kenya’s electoral body, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Juliana Cherera has resigned days after President William Ruto suspended her and three other commissioners.
Cherera is the second commissioner to hand in her resignation after Justus Nyang’aya decided to vacate his post last week Friday.
President Ruto noted; “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 inquire into the allegations therein.”
In her letter of resignation, Cherera said that her “stay at the commission is no longer tenable.”
“It is with immense woe that today I tender my resignation as commissioner and vice chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
Since joining the commission, I have dispensed my duties diligently, meticulously and put a spirited effort in helping the commission deal with corporate governance issues under very difficult circumstances…,” she said.
“However my cumulative actions done in good faith are unfortunately misjudged and misinterpreted. After careful consideration of the current events at the commission and with my family and lawyers, I accept that my stay at the commission is no longer tenable and therefore choose to vacate.”
She ended by thanking the president for the opportunity “to serve the republic.”
In his resignation on Friday, Nyang’aya said the decision to step aside is motivated by the desire to put the interests of the country above his own, adding that he arrived at the conclusion after praying on it.
“It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation as a commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) effective today,” he wrote.
President Ruto had suspended the four Commissioners and formed a tribunal to consider a petition seeking their removal from office.
He said the decision came following a recommendation by the National Assembly that sought to oust the commissioners over their conduct during the August 9, 2022 General Election.
The President went on to appoint High Court Judge Aggrey Muchelule as the chair of the tribunal whose members include Carolyne Kamende Daudi, Linda Gakii Kiome, Mathew Njaramba Nyabena and Col. (Rtd.) Saeed Khamis Saeed.
On Thursday, the National Assembly approved a report by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) recommending the formation of a tribunal to investigate the conduct of the four commissioners.
JLAC’s Chairperson George Murugara said they had enough grounds to warrant the suspension of the Commissioners.
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