UPDATE Thursday, November 24: Azimio principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka on Thursday attended Parliamentary hearing on ouster of 4 IEBC commissioners - including Juliana Cherera, Irene Masit, Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang'aya
The development came a day after Odinga cancelled presser aimed at discussing the petitions against the four noting that he wanted to accord Parliament time to conduct its constitutional mandate.
“To allow other processes currently underway with regard to summons to IEBC commissioners to proceed without prejudice, Raila Odinga will not address the subject as earlier announced. Our apologies for the cancellation,” Odinga’s communications director Dennis Onyango released a statement on November 23, 2022.
The hopes of four embattled Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners were dashed by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Secretary General Edwin Sifuna.
Appearing on Citizen TV on November 24, Sifuna revealed that he does not expect the four commissioners to have charges levelled against them dropped by the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC).
“It is a political witch-hunt but because Kenya Kwanza team is the majority, I do not expect any objectivity,” Sifuna despaired.
“They are on a vendetta mission and armed with numbers to pass anything through, Cherera and other 3 commissioners cannot survive,” he added.Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna speaking during a senate retreat on September 22, 2022.Edwin Sifuna
The JLAC committee is chaired by Tharaka member of parliament Murugara George Gitonga.
Out of the 15-member committee, Azimio coalition has 7 members notwithstanding the visible cracks between Jubilee and ODM. Jubilee party has 3 members on the powerful committee.
Sifuna also revealed that he does not know the grounds of the petition.
“I do not know the grounds set out in the petitions, if they are being accused for holding a contrary opinion to IEBC chair Wafula Chebukati that does not mean threshold for ouster,” Sifuna explained.
“Holding a contrary opinion with that of the chair does not constitute gross misconduct and even Supreme Court was clear on that,” the senator added.
South Mugirango member of parliament Silvanus Osoro who is a member of JLAC told Sifuna that he was also in the dark about the petitions.
“I want to tell Sifuna that I only knew of the petitions when they were presented to the House but no one should worry because everyone will be given a fair hearing,” Osoro assured Sifuna and Kenyans.
IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera will be the first commissioner to appear before the committee om Monday, November 28. Irene Masit will be grilled the same day.
Commissioners Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang’aya will appear before the committee on Tuesday, November 29.
Osoro noted that even if the committee finds the commissioners guilty of charges levelled against them, they have other avenues to defend themselves.
"Even if JLAC finds them guilty, they can get reprieve from the plenary or from the tribunal,” Osoro gave hopes to the 4 commissioners.
The members though should not count on a public show of support from Azimio party leader Raila Odinga as revealed by Sifuna.
“Our coalition party leader has told us that we should respect the ongoing process in parliament and let us all listen to the evidence brought against the commissioners,” Sifuna remarked.
This came at a time when Suna East MP and a member of JLAC faulted the committee for setting out dates to hear the petitions saying there was no consensus among all members.
“This is an attempt to subvert the constitution and the standing orders of the National Assembly,” Junet remarked on Monday, November 21.
Junet intimated that Azimio members would boycott the hearings or disrupt the entire process.
The 4 commissioners were accused of gross misconduct, abuse of office, violation of the constitution and taking sides in August 9, presidential elections.
The petitions were submitted to parliament by Republican party, Dennis Nthumbi, Geoffrey Langat and Owuor Steve Garry.IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Vice Chair Juliana Cherera at Bomas of Kenya meeting party candidates on August 22, 2022Kenyans.co.kearmed abuse armed
- Busted26 November 2022 - 7:12 pm
- Kind gesture26 November 2022 - 7:31 pm
- Revealed26 November 2022 - 7:04 pm
- Tussle26 November 2022 - 6:46 pm
- Looming Danger26 November 2022 - 6:06 pm
- FREEDOM AT LAST26 November 2022 - 5:45 pm
- Boom26 November 2022 - 6:33 pm
- Duties26 November 2022 - 5:15 pm
- Battle ground26 November 2022 - 4:51 pm
- SPECTACLE26 November 2022 - 4:14 pm
- Close Call26 November 2022 - 3:58 pm
- Boycott26 November 2022 - 3:53 pm