Joho’s former accountant’s meteoric rise continues, as she’s elected IEBC vice-chair

The story of Juliana Wihonge Cherera continues to impress by the day. Just roughly a year ago, she was not nationally recognised, and she technically had no tribe. However, in a space of about twelve months, the government has since recognised the tribe she’s associated with as one of the tribes of the country, and she’s now just a heartbeat away from heading one of the country’s most sensitive bodies; the electoral commission.

Juliana Whonge Cherera was elected yesterday as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Vice-Chairperson.
In a notice on Wednesday, Chairperson Wafula Chebukati said Cherera was elected unanimously on Tuesday, September 14 in a meeting held at the electoral agency’s boardroom.

She will deputise Chebukati and ensure commissioners are fully facilitated to perform their duties at all times.

Cherera was among the four IEBC commissioners sworn in by Chief Justice Martha Koome at the Supreme Court premises in Nairobi on September 2.

She’s reportedly from the Shona tribe that’s originally from Zimbabwe, and found their way to Kenya during the white man’s rule over the continent, after the British colonial government relocated a group of them here. Since then they’ve faced discrimination from the government, and statelessness, with the government refusing to recognise them as Kenyans, until July last year.

Prior to her appointment, Juliana Wihonge worked as an accounting officer in the Mombasa county executive department, where she was actually the County Chief Officer.

She’s an educationist and for her undergraduate, did a Bachelor of Arts in Kiswahili and Geography, before later acquiring a Masters in Education.

Afterwards, she did a diploma in Project Management at the Kenya Institute of Management, and is currently pursuing a diploma in Early Childhood Education.
The National Assembly approved Juliana and her three colleagues to be commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The four are, Juliana Wihonge Chirera, Francis Mathenge Wanderi, Irene Cherop Masit, and Justice Abonyo Nyangaya.

Interviews to fill the four vacant positions of commissioners at the electoral agency kicked off early July with 36 candidates facing the selection panel in the fort-night long exercise.

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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