“Sack Irene Masit as IEBC Commissioner ,” Tribunal Advices President Ruto

“Sack Irene Masit as IEBC Commissioner ,” Tribunal Advices President Ruto

The Tribunal probing Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner Irene Masit has recommended her removal from office.

In a report on Monday, tribunal chairperson Justice Aggrey Muchelule said the tribunal proved beyond reasonable doubt, allegations of gross misconduct against Masit.

“This Tribunal recommends to the President, pursuant to the mandate assigned vide Gazette Notice No. 14890 of 2nd December 2022, and further in accordance and in compliance with Article 251(1) and (6), that Commissioner Irene Cherop Masit be removed from office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” read Muchelule’s statement.

In a report publicised on Monday, the Justice Aggrey Muchelule-led team told President William Ruto it found that Ms Masit and her former colleagues — Vice chairperson Juliana Cherera, commissioners Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi — were involved in serious violations of the Constitution during the 2022 electoral period.

On Ms Masit, the tribunal said: “It is our finding that Commissioner Irene Masit’s actions of 15th August 2022 of agreeing to the proposal by the two delegations to moderate the result of the Presidential Election to enable a re-run with the promise that there would be a reward if this was done amounts to gross misconduct on her part.”

It added that “the actions by the Commissioners to proceed to Serena to issue the presser to disown the result that she had participated in tallying and verifying were intended to undermine and erode public trust in the commission and to the result. In our considered view, these actions amounted to gross misconduct.”

The tribunal established by President Ruto concluded its proceedings last week. Ms Masit did not present any witness in her submissions and maintained her innocence during the hearings.

The tribunal concluded the hearing of witness testimonies on January 23 after former IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati testified against Ms Masit.

The suspended commissioner is the only one left in the IEBC after former chairman Chebukati, former commissioners Guliye and Molu exited following the end of their six year term.

Former IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera, former commissioners Justus Nyangaya and Francis Wanderi who were also expected to appear before the tribunal, resigned before it commenced.

In her final submissions to the tribunal, Masit, through lawyer Donald Kipkorir, made a last-ditch attempt to convince the tribunal to acquit her of all charges against her.

She raised fundamental errors made by the tribunal during the probe, arguing that there was no evidence produced to show her culpability and gross misconduct in the August 2022 presidential polls.

“The witnesses basically relied on the affidavit of Wafula Chebukati and what they purportedly saw on TV,” lawyer Kipkorir said.

Kipkorir said the tribunal mixed up its mandate and become inquisitorial and the proceedings turned out to be civil and not criminal proceedings.