Cherera Responds to Forcing a Re-Run as Row With Chebukati Widens

  • IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera during an IEBC briefing at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, August 1, 2022. (1).jpg
    IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera during an IEBC briefing at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, August 1, 2022.
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • Four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners led by the vice chairperson Juliana Cherera have denied claims that they were trying to force a run-off in the concluded August 9 polls.

    In a statement to the newsrooms on Friday, August 19, the Cherera-led team raised four allegations against IEBC chair, Wafula Chebukati.

    Among them were that he misunderstood their statement, declined to verify results, acted unconstitutionally and wanted to subvert the will of the people. 

    The four, Cherera, Francis Wanderi, Justus Nyangaya, and Irene Masit maintained that the numbers released by Chebukati were erroneous and he ought to have verified them before declaring William Ruto as President-elect. 

    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati releasing the presidential election results at Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022
    IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati releasing the presidential election results at Bomas of Kenya on August 15, 2022
    Kenyans.co.ke

    “We wish to categorically state that from his statement, the chairman Mr Chebukati appears to have misconstrued his role and that of the commissioners and further misunderstood his Constitutional and legal mandate to verify results by the Commission to mean what he vaguely characterized as ‘moderation’ of those results,” Cherera stated. 

    The four accused Chebukati of ignoring their roles and the law in declaring William Ruto as the President-elect, further subverting the will of the people.

    “The chairman went ahead to unilaterally declare the results without any plenary verification whatsoever by all the commissioners and/or their participation as mandated by the Constitution and electoral laws.

    "His actions and conduct were unorthodox and turned the commission into a one-man show circus, in an attempt to subvert the Constitution, electoral laws, and the will of the people,” read the statement in part.

    Contrary to Chebulati's claims, the four stated that they were in order to call for plenary verification of results before the chairman announced the winner of the polls.

    Earlier in the week, Chebukati had claimed that the four compelled him to declare a re-run contrary to their oath of office. 

    He insisted that all the commissioners were involved in the verification process at the Bomas of Kenya and did not understand the demands the commissioners made before the President-elect was announced.

    "The Chairperson refused to yield to this unconstitutional and unlawful demand and proceeded to declare the results of the Presidential Election as received from the polling stations," he explained.

    "This is the most transparent election that the Commission has ever held. All results, Form 34As, were uploaded in real-time and are available in the public portal," added. 

    President-elect William Ruto poses with his election certificate at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, August 15, 2022..jpg
    President-elect William Ruto poses with his election certificate at the Bomas of Kenya on Monday, August 15, 2022.
    Kenyans.co.ke

    Cherera and the three other commissioners have not yet stated whether they would join the petition set to be filed in court by Azimio La Umoja seeking to challenge the election results.

    Azimio La Umoja flagbearer, Raila Odinga, argued that the results read by Chebukati were null and void as he acted alone rather than consulting his colleagues.

    Chebukati, however, reiterated that he was the national Returning Officer constitutionally mandated to declare the presidential election winner.