President Ruto terminates Irene Masit's appointment with immediate effect

Commissioner of the IEBC Irene Masit has been relieved of her duties. This photo of Masit was taken on September 29, 2021. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

President William Ruto has gazetted the termination of Irene Masit's contract as Commissioner of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

"I hereby direct that the appointment and tenure in office of Irene Cherop Masit as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission be and is terminated with immediate effect," Ruto said in Gazette Notice Number 2642 dated Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

Justice Aggrey Muchelule-led tribunal on Monday, February 27, recommended the removal of Commissioner Masit from office, citing gross misconduct and violation of the Kenyan Constitution.

Masit was among four commissioners that publicly denounced the August 9, 2022 presidential results announced by former IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

The tribunal said allegations that Masit endorsed the skewing of the results in favour of President William Ruto's main opponent, Raila Odinga, were sufficiently proved.

"These actions were a clear, blatant and willful attempt at usurping the sovereign will of the people," the tribunal stated in its report.

The tribunal sent the report, which is binding, to President Ruto for actioning.

Ruto had 30 days, upon receiving the report, to act.

Masit, if aggrieved by the tribunal's decision, can file an appeal at the High Court.

Masit was sworn into office on September 2, 2021 alongside Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyang'aya and Francis Wanderi to replace commissioners who had exited the electoral agency.

Cherera, Nyang'aya and Wanderi have since resigned from the commission, citing unfair targeting by President William Ruto.

They were to serve a non-renewable six-year term.