Inside Politics

Tribunal in limbo after Cherera quits

Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 05:00 | By
Tribunal in limbo after Cherera quits
IEBC Commissioners Juliana Cherera.

The State was yesterday thrown into confusion over the fate of the tribunal set up by President William Ruto to investigate four commissioners of the electoral commission following the resignation of two in a huff. 

The fate of the tribunal was left in uncertainty after IEBC vice-chair Juliana Cherera also resigned, following the resignation of her colleague Justus Nyang’aya on Friday.

There were fears that it was no longer a question of “if” but “when” the two remaining commissioners, Irene Masit and Francis Wanderi would follow suit.

Ainabkoi MP and chairperson of the Committee on Delegated Legislation Samuel Chepkong’a warned that should all four commissioners resign, the tribunal would have no business to transact. 

 “The tribunal was inquiring into the misconduct of the four commissioners and if all of them resign the work of the tribunal ends there, but if even one of them remains in office then the commission must continue with its work as each of them bear personal responsibility,” he said. 

Gatanga MP and Justice and Legal Affairs committee member Wakili David Muriu also echoed Chepkonga’s sentiments saying the work of the tribunal will be over should all the commissioners resign as it was set up under article 251 of the constitution.  Muriu said he will be among those championing the said initiative as there is a need for the country to really find out what happened during the August 9 General Election. 

Public inquiry

“From where I sit as a secretary in charge of youth affairs in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party and member of JLAC, I will gladly advocate for the tribunal to be converted into an inquiry so that we can bring in all the commissioners on the table to find out what really happened and who were they working for,” he said. 

 Sources aware of the ongoings in the government said that by last evening, the state was mulling turning the tribunal into an inquiry to scrutinise what exactly happened during the counting and tallying of votes during the August 9 General Election after it became clear that it might not have any business to transact should the remaining two commissioners also resign. 

Said a top government official who did not want to be named: “I can tell you that there is talk to have the tribunal turned into an inquiry so that we can know what exactly happened. We need to know apart from the commissioners who else was involved in this matter that should it have succeeded it would have been chaotic.” 

The move came after Cherera resigned from her position just days after Nyang’aya threw in the towel. In a letter addressed to Ruto through the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, Cherera noted that her stay at IEBC was no longer tenable. 

Cherera explained that although she had thrown in the towel, she has since she joined the commission dispensed her duties “diligently, meticulously including putting up a spirited effort to help the commission deal with corporate governance issues under very difficult circumstances.” 

She explained that she has always advocated for fair treatment and equal opportunity for all staff including performing her duties as expected. 

“It is with immense woe that today I tender my resignation as commissioner and vice chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC),” she said. 

Cherera who stated that she made the decision to resign from IEBC after consultations with her family and lawyers claimed that her actions which were done in good faith were misjudged and misinterpreted.  “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 consultations with my family and lawyers, I accept that my stay at the commission is no longer tenable and therefore choose to vacate,” reads her letter. 

More on Inside Politics