IEBC's Irene Masit Threatened, Security & Other Perks Withdrawn - Lawyer

IEBC commissioner Irene Masit during a past event
IEBC commissioner Irene Masit during a past event

Embattled Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner, Irene Masit on Friday, December 9, alleged heightened threats and intimidation compelling her to resign.  

Masit, through her lawyer Donald Kipkorir, told the tribunal formed to investigate the conduct of the Cherera Four commissioners that she received messages from a lady threatening her to quit her position. 

According to the embattled commissioner, the state was hell-bent on seeing her exit from office at any cost, including frustrating and intimidating her. 

"She was given an ultimatum that she resigns or something will happen to her and she knows the lady who called her and that is an issue for this tribunal," Kipkorir submitted before the tribunal during a status conference held on Friday, December 9. 

IEBC commissioner Irene Masit
IEBC commissioner Irene Masit
Daily Nation

In addition, Masit decried that the government had withdrawn security and staff assigned to her, jeopardising her safety. 

However, the tribunal’s chair, Justice Aggrey Mchelule, dispelled the allegations and labelled them as "rumours". He asked the lawyer to offer concrete evidence and facts to back his allegations. 

“We will treat it as rumour because there is nothing factual that put before us, if you tell us that so and so by name is putting pressure on the commissioner to resign then we will go by it," Mchelule stated. 

On the concern raised about the withdrawal of Masit's security and other privileges, Justice Mchelule urged the tribunal to ensure that the commissioner receives her entitlements to avoid inconveniencing her pending the determination of her fate. 

The Tribunal will grill Masit first, the only suspended commissioner in office, following the resignation of three other embattled Cherera Four commissioners.

Despite quitting office, the three; former vice chair Juliana Cherera, Justus Nyang'aya and Francis Wanderi, were not absolved. 

She maintained that she would not resign amid pressure from various quarters urging her to follow suit. 

The suspended commissioner was scheduled to appear before the commission on December 20 for the commencement of the hearing. 

IEBC's Chairperson Wafula Chebukati is among the witnesses set to testify in the petition accusing Masit and her co-accused of gross misconduct and incompetence during the August election. 

Former IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebubaki and his former vice chair Juliana Cherera at a past event.
Former IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati and his former vice chair Juliana Cherera at a past event.