IEBC quorum hitch set to end as House approves four nominees


Juliana Cherera when she appeared before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee for vetting at County Hall Mini-Chamber in Nairobi. [David Njaaga, Standard]

The National Assembly yesterday approved all the four names of nominees to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

MPs yesterday approved the nomination of Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya as commissioners of IEBC after they were nominated by President Uhuru Kenyatta last month.

The legislators unanimously voted to approve the report of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) chaired by Kangema MP Muturi Kigano that recommended for their approval.

“The House approves the nomination of the persons for appointment by the president as members of the IEBC,” Kigano said.

JLAC vetted the four last month and tabled the report yesterday commending the four for having the qualification and experience for the role.

“The nominees have exhibited an impressive knowledge of topical issues including the understanding of administration and management principles required to address the challenges facing the commission,” the report reads in part.

Cherera is a former chief officer at the Mombasa county government while Wanderi is a management consultant who has worked with Kieni NG-CDF. Masit, a resident of Elgeyo Marakwet, was an official in the defunct Interim Independent Electoral Commission while Nyangaya was a senior official of Amnesty International Kenya. The committee said there was no question on the integrity of the four.

They will be replace Roselyn Akombe, Margaret Mwachanya, Paul Kurgat, and former vice-chair Consolata Maina who resigned from the commission after the 2017 General Election. Speaker Justin Muturi is expected to communicate to President Kenyatta after which the president will gazette the names before the nominees are sworn in by Chief Justice Martha Koome.

The electoral agency will now have the required quorum to make major decisions and prepare for next year’s polls. Lawmakers said next year’s elections will be the litmus test on the integrity of the incoming commissioners.

Majority Leader Amos Kimunya noted that the new commissioners will give IEBC the chance to perform its duty.

“The decision that was arrived at was good and IEBC has confirmed we now have four potential commissioners so that we cure the body which has been pointed out daily because of the lack of quorum,” he said.

Minority Leader John Mbadi said all eyes are on the incoming commissioners to see whether they will help clean up IEBC.

“We are now going to have a commission that we can rely on. We want them to get to the commission and correct the misdeeds that the other commissioners have done,” he said.

Garissa MP Aden Duale hoped that the House will not be making history by nominating the commissioners that cannot handle the task ahead.

“We are not approving cowards such that when things get hot they start catching flights and resigning. If you are a commissioner do not put the country in a crisis,” he said.