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We did not provide accommodation for ‘Cherera Four’, Serena Hotel says

Serena Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday said it only charged the four suspended IEBC commissioners to use their facility for press conference and not accommodation.

On August 15 and 16, the four commissioners Juliana Cherera, Irene Masit, Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi held a press conference at the hotel to disown the presidential results declared by IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati.

In a letter addressed to Lead Counsel Peter Munge of the tribunal investigating the four commissioners, the General Manager of Serena Hotel Anthony Chege said the senior IEBC officials only used their facility for a press conference, and were charged Sh60,000 for the service.

“We charge Sh30,000 for a press conference at the hotel gardens. The requests for the press conferences on 15th and 16th of August 2022 were made at the reception. The payments were settled at the reception,” Mr Chege said.

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Mr Chege further said they used the facility for press conferences on August 15 and August 16, 2022.

He added that Serena Hotel allows its clients to use the facility for issuance of media communication.

“We, however, do not take any responsibility for the statements made,” he said.

He also told Justice Aggrey Muchelule, the chairperson of the tribunal investigating the four commissioners, that none of the commissioners were accommodated within their facility between 15th and 16th of August 2022.

This after it emerged that the four commissioners spent August 15 and August 16 nights at an accommodation facility in Yaya Centre after the Serena Hotel press conferences.

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Yaya Apartments Accommodations Manager Simon Miller told the tribunal that their bookings were done by a person identified as Edwin Ong’ong’a Ogwe.

Former Cabinet Secretary (CS) in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration Raphael Tuju met the IEBC officials, Miller said.

Ms Cherera, Mr Nyang’aya, and Mr Wanderi have since quit their posts, with Ms Masit demanding a stop to the tribunal proceedings until a case she has filed in court is heard and determined.

On August 15, when the IEBC chairman was about to announce the final tally of the presidential election, the four commissioners walked out of the tallying centre and proceeded to Serena Hotel where they held a press conference to distance themselves from the results.

They said the chairman had sidelined them in the process and picked Mr Marjan to compile and tally the results.

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