The tribunal led by Justice Aggrey Muchelule has proposed the sacking of suspended Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner Irene Masit.

The tribunal formed by President William Ruto to look into the conduct of suspended IEBC commissioners recommended that Masit be kicked out of office for gross misconduct.

The IEBC commissioner was one of four commissioners who rejected the results of the August 9, 2022 presidential election as declared by then chairman Wafula Chebukati.

The tribunal found that Masit’s actions on August 15, 2022 to accept a proposal by two delegations to IEBC at Bomas to moderate poll results to favour Azimio leader Raila Odinga amounted to gross misconduct.

“This Tribunal recommends that Commissioner Irene Cherop Masit be removed from office as a member of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission,” said the tribunal.

The Muchelule team said Masit’s actions seriously breached the Leadership and Integrity Act and amounted to gross misconduct but were not tantamount to gross incompetence.

The panel also said, in its final report, that Masit was obliged to ensure that the presidential election was free and fair and free from corruption, intimidation and improper influence.

“The actions by Commissioner Irene Masit clearly show that she was amenable to improper influence and that she could not be trusted to be an impartial and neutral arbiter,” it ruled.

It further found the action by former Vice chair Juliana Cherera, alongside commissioners Marsit, Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi were meant to erode pubic trust in IEBC.

“Secondly, the actions by the commissioners to proceed to Serena (hotel) 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,” said the tribunal.

It went on, “In our considered view, these actions amounted to gross misconduct,” the tribunal said.”

The Muchelule team said they got evidence showing the proposal would have forced a re-run and that Masit and three other commissioners were promised a reward for playing ball.

The Muchelule team indicated that one delegation to IEBC consisted of National Security Advisory Council (NSAC) members; Lieutenant General Francis Omondi Ogolla (Vice Chief of Defence Forces), Kennedy Ogeto (Solicitor General at the time) and then Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai.

According to the tribunal, the other involved “Elders” led former Cabinet Secretary without Portfolio Raphael Tuju asked the commissioners to moderate results or force a run-off.

When the tribunal was formed, Cherera, Wanderi and Nyang’aya opted to quit instead of facing the tribunal formed by Ruto, whose election they had rejected, questioning the panel's neutrality.

President Ruto now has 30 days to act on the binding recommendations of the tribunal led by Justice Muchelule, according to Article 251 (6) of the Constitution of Kenya:

“The tribunal shall investigate the matter expeditiously, report on the facts and make a binding recommendation to the President, who shall act in accordance with the recommendation within thirty days.” 

In a number of petitions, the “Cherera Four” were accused of being part of a ploy moderate the election, whose outcome they denounced during a presser at Serena Hotel in Nairobi.