I won’t bow to pressure – IEBC nominee

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 00:00 |
Nominee for the position of IEBC commissioner Juliana Cherera when she appeared before Justice and legal Affairs Committee for approval hearing. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

An Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) job nominee Juliana Cherera said yesterday that she will not quit her position even if external forces interfere with her work.

She said she would not allow external forces to disrupt her work but will continue discharging her roles as stipulated by the law.

“I will stay put and defend the commission even if external forces come in and neither will I bow to pressure from politicians to resign before elections,” Cherera said when she appeared before the National Assembly’s Justice and Legal Affairs committee.

Cherera, who works at the Mombasa County government was the first to appear for the approval hearings.

She affirmed that she will at all time put the interest of the public first during her tenure in office.

“If things become unpleasant, I will stay put. I’ll be like a captain. You know captains never abandon the ship, “she told the MPs.

She added: “I will go for the interest of the public first. I will speak for the weak and those who do not have a voice.”

Brought confusion

Cherera was hard pressed by members to explain how she would handle pressure from various sources to quit just before elections, as did some commissioners in the past.

She said she was aware that such act would put the country in disarray and promised not to do so.

“Are you aware of the confusion former commissioners brought in the electoral body after they quit at a critical time of the election?” posed Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma.

 Kaluma sought to know whether Cherera would have resigned if she was a commissioner when the Supreme Court nullified the 2017 presidential election.

Plausible election

Cherera said resigning would have been the last thing on her mind and she would have respected the judgment.

“I would have respected the verdict and embark on planning a repeat election.

I would have been keen to close all the gaps that could cause issues going forward, “Cherera said.

Another nominee, Francis Wanderi said the electoral commission should not act as a police officer of the election but should strive to deliver a credible election.

“The role of the commission should be to organise and deliver a plausible election and not just overseeing the exercise,” Wanderi told the committee.

Other nominees who were vetted were Justus Abonyo and Irene Cherop.

If successful the names of the nominees will be tabled before the National Assembly for approval.

The four will fill the vacant positions left after the resignation of Roselyn Akombe, Margaret Mwachanya, Paul Kurgat and Connie Maina.

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