The publication of former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s name in the Kenya Gazette as one of the individuals interested in the Nairobi top seat is not clearance to vie as has been reported in a section of the media.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) stated the position, in a statement issued on Monday evening, after submitting the names of persons interested in various elective seats in scheduled by-elections to the Government Printer for publication.
“…The Commission in turn is required to publish in the Kenya Gazette, the names and symbols of persons intending to contest in the election as independent candidates. The Commission has also shared the names and symbols of aspirants intending to contest as independent candidates for publication with the Government Printer, ” read part of the statement.
“The Commission wishes to inform all stakeholders that the publication of names of persons contesting in party primaries and those intending to contest as independent candidates is NOT clearance of candidates to contest in an election.”
Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati noted that clearance of candidates for purposes of contesting in an election is done during the days set for Nomination by the respective Returning Officers that have been duly appointed by the Commission.
Waititu’s candidature has over the past few days elicited mixed reactions with Chebukati coming out to clarify that impeached leaders won’t be cleared to vie for elective seats.
Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya during the launch of the Building Bridges Initiative signature verification exercise on Wednesday, December 30, 2020, Chebukati stressed that the commission will be guided by the Constitution especially Chapter six that highlights on integrity when clearing candidates for purposes of participating in the scheduled by-elections.
Waititu, who is battling graft charges, however, differed with Chebukati on the declaration stating that he is innocent until proven guilty.
He has already filed a petition in court seeking orders to bar the commission from blocking his bid to succeed impeached county boss Mike Mbuvi Sonko.
The ex-county boss believes the decision by IEBC cannot be legally upheld as there are no legal provisions barring him from vying for an electoral position.
The Nairobi by-election that had been scheduled for February 18 was early this week suspended by the High Court following a petition filed by Sonko.