Why Raila Odinga cancelled planned address on ‘Cherera four’ ouster

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga cancelled a planned media address on the plight of the four dissenting IEBC commissioners just days after the National Assembly began to hear a motion to remove them from office.

Raila Odinga summoned media to the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Foundation in Upper Hill, Nairobi, for a news conference at 2 pm, only to cancel the address at 2:20 pm.

Odinga claimed he cancelled the press conference on Wednesday afternoon, November 23, to allow the parliamentary process to run without outside influence.

“To allow other processes currently underway with regard to summons to IEBC commissioners to proceed without prejudice, Raila Odinga will not address the subject as earlier announced. Our apologies for the cancellation,” Odinga’s communications director Dennis Onyango said in a subsequent statement.

The four commissioners are expected to appear before Members of Parliament today, Thursday, November 24.

The National Assembly last week started the process of removing the four Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners who disputed President William Ruto’s victory from office after the House received four petitions.

Speaker Moses Wetang’ula informed the House that petitions to remove IEBC deputy chairperson Juliana Cherera and commissioners Francis Mathenge, Irene Masit, and Justus Nyang’aya had been received.

Reverend Dennis Ndwiga Nthumbi, the Republican Party, Geoffrey Langat, and Owuor Steve Gerry, the petitioners, accuse the commissioners of alleged constitutional violations, severe misconduct, and incompetence.

The four commissioners are to appear in front of the House Departmental Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs to plead their case.

The committee has 14 days to conduct proceedings and submit a report to the House to decide whether the petitions satisfy the grounds for removal.

If the House rules that the petitions have merit, it will be up to President Ruto to form a tribunal to probe the four commissioners’ actions and violations.

The petitions examine the four commissioners’ behaviour before and after the results of the August 9, General Elections were revealed. They cast doubt on the commissioner’s loyalty, accusing them of being operatives of Azimio la Umoja.

Article 251 of the Constitution provides that commissioners can only be removed through a petition filed in the National Assembly and a tribunal formed by the President.

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