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Tribunal asks Ruto to fire Irene Masit from IEBC

The tribunal that formed by President William Ruto to probe the conduct of four suspended commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has recommended the removal of Irene Masit.

The tribunal, chaired by High Court judge Aggrey Muchelule, said in its recommendation that Commissioner Masit was found to have committed serious violation of the Constitution.

“Now therefore, this Tribunal recommends to Your Excellency, the President of the Republic of Kenya and Commander in Chief of the Defence Forces, 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,” tribunal said in its findings.

The tribunal said that it was clear that the Commissioner was involved in key committees of the Commission and discharged her mandate expect during the final tallying of the results at the Bomas of Kenya, where she opted for a press address at Seren Hotel with her three colleagues.

“The Nairobi Serena Hotel press statement denouncing the presidential election results which they participated in tallying and verification and the subsequent filing of affidavits against the Commission at the Supreme Court. As stated, we have already found that such conduct amounted to serious violation of the Constitution and gross misconduct.”

Muchelule’s tribunal further said that it found that a single incident of dereliction of duty, and given the standard of proof that was placed on the Lead Counsel was not sufficient to make them return the verdict that the allegation of incompetence was been established.

“In the circumstances, we decline to find and hold that the actions of the Commissioner amounted to her lack of ability, knowledge, legal qualification, or fitness to discharge the required duty or professional obligation’ as a Commissioner.”

She has been found to have violated Articles 10, 73 (2) (b), 75, 232, 41 249 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010; Sections 9, 26 and 30 of the IEBC Act 2011; Sections 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16 and 24 of the Leadership and Integrity Act 2011; and Sections 8, 9, 10, 12, 16 and 17 of the Public Officer Ethics Act 2003.

Ms Masit was the only remaining commissioner in office of the four commissioners who were against the final results.

Former IEBC Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera, and former Ccommissioners Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyang’aya were suspended for gross misconduct by the President.

However, the three resigned even before the tribunal started its exercise.

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