Cherera, Masit reveal they left Kenya due to security fears after elections

Former IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera and ex-Commissioner Irene Masit on Thursday revealed that they now live out of the country out of fear for their lives.

The two spoke in an explosive return to the limelight as they made their submissions before the National Dialogue Committee from remote locations.

They fought back tears while narrating their tribulations, with Masit saying that she was  branded a traitor in President William Ruto’s Rift Valley backyard where she also comes from.

"I am outside the country for security reasons. I come from Rift Valley and they say that I betrayed the President. I have never gone to my home," she disclosed.

“I received two threats, I reported to the lawyer the first time. The second threat was at night, I took a motorbike to the airport, paid cash, and was the last on the manifest.”

Cherera, on her part, told the bipartisan committee that her young family bore the brunt of the political lynching.

"My last born is 7 years old. It was bad even in school. Our social life really changed. It was bad for my children and my family. There are certain things we cannot say on camera because it is not a safe space," she stated.

The two, alongside fellow former Commissioners Francis Wanderi and Justus Nyang’aya, who appeared in person, claimed that they were forced to resign from office after President Ruto took office as the fifth Head of State.

The four former Commissioners, dubbed the ‘Cherera Four,’ also threw a wide blanket of doubt on the credibility of last year's election with claims that the results declared by then Chairman Wafula Chebukati were never tabulated as required.

“Commissioner Wanderi, what you are saying is not a small matter, we have a country, why weren’t you able to prove what you are saying at the Supreme Court then you come and bring it here?” Posed Governor Cecily Mbarire, deputy delegation head, Kenya Kwanza.

Wanderi responded: “With all due respect, we’re not saying we were right and everyone was wrong...we’re just explaining what happened, where there are issues let the committee pick them up and deal with it.”

Masit chimed in: “Upto now we don’t know the results and it’s important that we audit these results, because when we audit it will be fair for everybody including those who lost...this was not tallying, I don’t even know what to call it.”

The quartet said they were targeted for standing their ground that Chebukati, and felloe former Commissioners Abdi Guliye and Boya Molu mismanaged the election.

“The Cherera Four were forced to resign, it was never our intention to resign, and therefore we would want to ask that the reason why Cherera Four were removed from office is because they questioned the formula used by the Chair to declare the results,” Wanderi stated.

Cherera added: “Let’s allow an in-depth analysis because we want the next Commissioners to be handled with integrity and their voice will not be shut down. We were in the kitchen, we know what happened, some of these things need to be said in closed doors.”

At some point the session became heated when Hassan Omar interrupted Eugene Wamalwa's contribution, forcing Wamalwa to leave the meeting.

Chebukati, Guliye and Molu however refused to appear before the committee saying that would be "betraying IEBC staffers who were tortured and murdered, as well as rubber-stamping impunity."

They claimed that the issues they had been invited to discuss had already been resolved through a legal process.

They also claimed that appearing before the committee would be in bad taste because the outcome of the process would tarnish the Constitution and some of its organs.

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Juliana Cherera IEBC Wafula Chebukati 2022 election Irene Masit

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