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President Ruto suspends Juliana Cherera, three other IEBC commissioners

IEBC Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera. [File, Standard]

President William Ruto has suspended four IEBC commissioners accused of gross misconduct and violation of the Constitution.

The four are Juliana Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya.

Their suspension paves way for investigations into their conduct by a nine-member tribunal after disputing the August 9, 2022 presidential election results announced by IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

“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,” said President Ruto in the Special Gazette Notice Number 258.

“In the discharge of its functions, the tribunal shall — (a) Prepare and submit a report and its recommendations thereon expeditiously; and (b) exercise all the powers conferred upon it by law for the proper execution of its mandate,” said the Head of State.

The accused group had alleged that Chebukati altered the results in favour of President William Ruto, and as a result, disenfranchised Ruto’s main competitor Raila Odinga.

The National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC) had recommended to the president to form a tribunal to investigate the four over their election conduct.

The National Assembly on Thursday, December 1, adopted JLAC’s report.

On Friday, December 2, via a Special Gazette Notice, President Ruto suspended the four commissioners, and formed a nine-member tribunal that will be chaired by Justice Aggrey Muchelule.

The Head of State directed the tribunal to expedite the probe and submit its report to him.

During their suspension, the four commissioners won’t be allowed to dispense their duties, but will be paid half of their monthly salaries.

The tribunal can recommend the commissioners’ sacking or full reinstatement.