By Monica Kobusiinge
Kenya: Juliana Cherera the Vice Chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) became the centre of debate and attention on Monday, August 15 after she led three commissioners to disown Kenya’s presidential results.
At the time IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati arrived at the Bomas of Kenya, Cherera was holding a parallel press briefing at Serena Hotel, Nairobi county expressing her disappointment along with three other commissioners including Francis Wanderi, Irene Masit and Justus Nyangaya.
The four defiant commissioners went against all odds and rejected the outcome of the August 9 presidential election describing the final verification process as ”opaque and flawed” thus casting doubts on the last process before the declaration of the results.
After casting their votes on August 9, 2022, Kenyans underwent an intense week of anxiety and fear as they waited for IEBC to announce Kenya’s fifth president.
However, following the official announcement of William Ruto as the next president, the unprecedented announcement made by four commissioners led by Cherera left Kenyans with more questions than answers.
“We are not at the Bomas of Kenya because we cannot take ownership of the results that are going to be announced because of the opaque nature in which these results have been handled,” Cherera declared.
Since then, Kenyans have raised a hip of questions and doubts and one would wonder who is the iron lady behind the unprecedented decision.
We Bring Facts About Juliana Cherera
Juliana Whonge Cherera is the current IEBC Vice-Chairperson and has amassed over 18 years of experience in education as a teacher as well as in the public management sector.
Prior to her appointment to the IEBC job, she worked as the Chief Executive in the Strategic Delivery Unit of the County Government of Mombasa.
She held various roles in the county government including serving as a secretary for the Mombasa County Economic Recovery and Legacy Strategy and was part of the county Emergency Household Relief and Nutrition Support Project Coordination Committee.
She was sworn in by Chief Justice Martha Koome at the Supreme Court in Nairobi on September 14, 2021, alongside Irene Cherop, Justus Abonyo, Francis Wanderi.
They filled positions that fell vacant after the resignations of Roselyn Akombe, Margaret Mwachanya, Paul Kurgat and Connie Maina, who left after the 2017 General Elections.
Cherera’s role is to deputize Chebukati and ensure commissioners are fully facilitated to perform their duties at all times.
Cherera holds a Master of Education, Leadership and Educational Management from Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) as well as a Bachelor of Education (Arts) from Kenyatta University, specializing in Geography and Kiswahili.
She also studied Project Management at the Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) at KNEC, and the Strategic Leadership and Development Program at Kenya School of Government (KSG).
She also undertook a Senior Management Course (SMC) while still at KSG.
Cherera was among the leaders who, together with partners and well-wishers, steered and coordinated the Governor’s food distribution program under the umbrella ‘Together For Mombasa’.
According to her resume, Cherera also holds membership in the Kenya Devolution Support Program committee and also chairs the Voter Education, Partnerships and Stakeholders Engagement Committee.