Former Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioner Juliana Cherera has revealed her 7-year-old child experienced bullying in school following her dispute of the results of the 2022 Presidential poll.
Cherera, who addressed the National Dialogue Committee virtually says that the harassment and threats were so severe that she was forced to leave the country for her family’s safety.
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She stated, “I have a young family, my last born is 7 years old. It was bad even in school. Our social life really changed. It was bad for my children and my family.
”There are some things we cannot say on camera because it is not a safe space for all of us. We have been threatened just because we spoke what we saw and what we know.”
While Cherera acknowledged the difficulties her family faced, she refrained from disclosing some of the specific incidents related to the aftermath of the 2022 polls, citing security concerns.
In a shocking turn of events, four former IEBC commissioners, collectively known as the Cherera Four, opened up about their ordeals, some from exile.
Conversely, their former chairman, Wafula Chebukati, declined to testify before the National Dialogue Committee.
The location of the national dialogue held symbolic significance as it was the stage where the IEBC commissioners’ dispute over tallying the presidential results reached its climax, centering on the contest between President William Ruto and Raila Odinga.
Former IEBC commissioners Justus Nyang’aya and Francis Wanderi appeared in person before the committee, while Juliana Cherera and Irene Masit participated virtually due to safety concerns that had compelled them to flee the country.
During the emotionally charged meeting, Masit described the threats she faced, which eventually led to her decision to leave the country following a troubling incident involving unidentified individuals at her residence.
She recounted, “I am called a betrayer, traitor. They say a betrayer is worse than a murderer. That’s what they call me nowadays… I am suffering here.”
The former commissioners contended that Chebukati had marginalized them, assigning them peripheral roles that deprived them of their core responsibilities.
Nyang’aya stated, “The chairperson unilaterally took the decision to deny the country the benefits of a running tally based on tabulated results.
”The effects of the violations, wasteful omissions, uncouth decision by the chairman ensured that the investment in the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) was not used to achieve the objectives of transparency and accountability of presidential elections.”