On Thursday evening, President Uhuru Kenyatta sent the names of Francis Wanderi, Justus Abonyo, Juliana Cherera, and Irene Cherop to the National Assembly for approval as next IEBC commissioners. The four are now just one step away from assuming new responsibilities at the electoral body, as it prepares to conduct the referendum and next year’s general elections.
The forwarding of the four names by the president to the legislature for vetting came after a five-hour meeting between Mr. Odinga and the president, who both are at the Coast. The ODM leader flew to Mombasa on Wednesday afternoon after meeting a delegation from Muranga led by Jubilee Vice Chair David Murathe.
According to sources within the circles of power, the four who will replace commissioners Roselyn Akombe, Margaret Mwachanya, Paul Kurgat, and former Vice-Chair Consolata Maina were handpicked by the president in consultation with Raila Odinga, and the two leaders were keen on reflecting the face of Kenya as well as gender balance in the new appointees.
Already, Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has given a notice to the JLAC to vet the four nominees and give its report plus recommendations to the House within 28 days.
”I hereby refer the Message, together with the Curriculum Vitae of the four nominees to the Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs for the Committee to undertake the necessary approval hearings,” the notice from Speaker Muturi reads in part.
”Upon conclusion of the hearings, the committee should table its Report in the House in good time to enable the House to consider the matter within the stipulated timelines,” it continues.
Earlier this week, the IEBC Selection Panel led by Dr. Elizabeth Indimuli forwarded eight names to the president, from where he was to nominate four for the vacant commissioner positions in the electoral body.