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Juliana Cherera: How presidential election was compromised


IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera during a media briefing at Bomas of Kenya on August 13, 2022. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

IEBC vice-chairperson Juliana Cherera has lifted the lid on alleged irregularities which compromised the integrity of the presidential election results.

From altered forms 34A and 34B, illegal transfer of returning officers, blocking commissioners from tallying and verifying votes to allowing foreigners to access IEBC servers; Ms Cherera claimed the election was so compromised that they decided to walk out of Bomas.

"The results of presidential election declared and announced by the chairperson on August 15 were not of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, but his own. We could not take ownership of results which had errors and had not been verified," said Cherera.

She said the election was compromised even before they joined the commission in September 2021 when IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati unilaterally and secretly secured key electoral materials for the presidential polls.

Ms Cherera was one of the four commissioners who disowned the results announced by Mr Chebukati declaring William Ruto as President-elect and made the claims in her response to petitions by Azimio's Raila Odinga and Martha Karua.

'Cooked results'

She detailed events of August 15 claiming Chebukati became a law unto himself and refused to listen to other commissioners before coming up with "a cooked result" to show Ruto had won.

"The unverified presidential election results declared by the chairperson did not even indicate the total number of registered voters, the total number of valid votes cast to support the percentage scored by each candidate or the number of rejected votes," swore Cherera.

She also submitted that on the day of declaration, Chebukati called them for a meeting at 4.30pm and issued them with a document he said contained a summary of the presidential results he single-handedly tallied from the backend of the server.

Cherera said they became alarmed and demanded to verify and tally the results from 27 constituencies but Chebukati declined and walked out of the meeting before proceeding to announce the results.

"He refused our repeated attempts to have the remaining votes tallied and even refused to avail to us his Form 34C. He did not even wait for us to discuss issues raised by the presidential candidates' agents," said Cherera.

She said Chebukati made the declaration before they had announced results from Bomachoge, Boarabu, Bura, Eldas, Fafi, Kacheliba, Kajiado East, Kanduyi, Kapenguria, Kilifi North, Kitutu Chache, Kuria East, Mandera West, Matuga, Mbeere North, Mvita, Narok North and South.

Others were Narok West, Ndaragua, Ndhiwa, Nyakach, Rangwe, Suba North, Tigania East, Wajir North and West Mugirango.

Address errors

In addition, Cherera swore the chairman refused to allow them address variances and errors which representatives of presidential candidates had raised like in Emgwen, Juja, Subukia, Kandara and Kiambu where 10,000 votes had erroneously been added to Dr Ruto.

"The errors pointed out to the commission had a significant impact to the final tally. We could not even ascertain the votes cast through biometric identification, votes cast through manual register and whether the candidate declared had received more than half the votes," she said.

Cherera said the chairperson illegally ordered printing of two sets of Forms 34A without their knowledge and when they raised the issue, he lied to them that one of the sets will not be used but would be sealed in a tamper-proof paper.

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