Cherera breaks silence after 4 commissioners heckled at IEBC function

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 19 Sep, 2022 16:04 | 2 mins read
Cherera breaks silence after 4 commissioners heckled at IEBC function
Commissioners Justus Abonyo, Juliana Cherera, Irene Cherop and Francis Wanderi address the media at Serena hotel on August 15, 2022. PHOTO/Courtesy

Divisions in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) seem to be far from over after four commissioners, who fell out with their boss Wafula Chebukati, received a cold reception at a retreat in Mombasa.

IEBC Vice-chairperson Wafula Chebukati confirmed to a local media station that she was booed at the meeting whose objective was to evaluate the electoral body's performance in the August 9 elections.

During the function, Cherera said commissioners Irene Masit, Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang’aya who disowned presidential results announced by Chebukati on August 15 for alleged lack of transparency, also received a hostile reception from a section of IEBC employees.

Cherera, however, noted that some of the staffers cheered the four.

"Yes, I was booed. The other commissioners were booed too. But amidst the booing, some cheered for us," Cherera told NTV.

She faulted Chebukati for doing nothing to stop the humiliation.

"The chairman was in attendance and watched silently as some clusters of staff booed us and he did not raise a finger to stop them," she added.

Over 1,000 employees of the commission attended the retreat at Mombasa Pride Inn Hotel last week.

The four openly differed with Chebukati and commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu over the management of the August 9 elections.

The quartet walked out of Bomas of Kenya and issued a parallel press conference at Serena Hotel, terming the finally tally of the presidential results as 'opaque'.

The IEBC commissioners' differences played out at the retreat with the two factions booking separate board rooms.

It has emerged that during the retreat, Cherera’s group was in Witu boardroom while Chebukati’s was in the Tana room.

Chebukati hits out at Cherera

In his address at the function, Chebukati blamed Cherera and her company for exposing employees of IEBC to arbitrary arrests and intimidation.

"The most unfortunate incident was the false accusation by commissioners and fellow staff - under oath - that exposed innocent hardworking staff to arbitrary arrests and abductions, intimidation and harassment by security agencies and political goons, and other forms of obstructing election officials from conducting their duties," Chebukati said.

"These shameless attacks amounting to election offences were perpetrated by, among others, persons regarded as national leaders in full view of the whole nation and the world at large."

A section of the political class has threatened to petition parliament to kick out the four commissioners for 'gross misconduct and abuse of office'.

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