President suspends four embattled IEBC commissioners

President William Ruto has suspended the four embattled IEBC Commissioners and appointed a tribunal to inquire into a petition to remove them from office.

The development follows a recommendation by Parliament pursuant to Article 251 of the Constitution. The four are IEBC vice chair Juliana Cherera, commissioners Francis Mathenge Wanderi, Irene Cherop Masit and Justus Abonyo Nyang'aya.

Four individuals who filed petitions against the four accused them of incompetency, gross misconduct, and violation of the constitution during the August 9th General Election when they distanced themselves from the presidential results announced by the IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati.

Their suspension paves way for investigations into their conduct by a nine-member tribunal to be chaired by Appalatte judge Aggrey Muchelule.

The IEBC officials who were given an opportunity to defend themselves did not appear before the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee that conducted hearings for four days.

“NOW THEREFORE, having received and considered the petition of the National Assembly and in exercise of the prerogative vested in the Head of State and Government by Article 251 of the Constitution, I, William Samoei Ruto, President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, do hereby direct as follows: THAT (I) Juliana Whonge Cherera, (2) Francis Mathenge Wanderi. (3) Irene Chcrop Masit and (4) Justus Abonyo Nyang'aya, being members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, be and are hereby suspended from office with immediate effect; and A Tribunal to inquire into the matter be and is hereby appointed, constituted as follows” reads the Special Gazette Notice Number 258.

“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 issue.

“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,” added the Head of State.

Members of the Tribunal are Carlyne Kamende Daudi, Linda Gakii Kiome, Mathew Njaramba Nyabena, Col (rtd) Saeed Khamis Saeed while Kibet Kirui Emmanuel and Irene Tunta Nchoe have been named as the joint secretaries while Zamzam Abdi Abib will be the assisting Counsel.

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