Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba has lashed out at his colleagues from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) who have expressed their displeasure over the clearance of McDonald Mariga to vie in the upcoming Kibra Polls.
Following the clearance of Mr Mariga by the IEBC Elections Tribunal, a number of legislators came out to condemn the tribunal for allowing the former footballer to contest for the seat.
Taking to social media, Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, among other leaders, faulted the decision by the IEBC to clear Mariga, who had been barred from contesting for the seat on grounds that his name was not found in the voter’s register.
The tribunal headed by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Commissioners Boya Molu and Prof. Abdi Guliye ruled that the Jubilee candidate was duly registered as a voter.
In defense of the IEBC team, Murkomen revealed that the laws that were used to clear Mariga for the elections were formulated in 2016 by a committee chaired by Siaya Senator James Orengo alongside Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi.
He tweeted: “After 2016 NASA protests. The committee was formed chaired by Orengo and Kiraitu. I was a member. We changed election laws to make it easy to register voters and reverse Kethi Kilonzo case.
“We segregated registers and Introduced electronic registers.ODM are crying because it’s benefited Mariga. Appalling,” he added.
After 2016 NASA protests Parl.Committee was formed chaired by Orengo&Kiraitu.I was member.We changed election laws to make it easy to register voters&reverse K.Kilonzo case.We segregated registers&Introduced electronic registers.ODM are crying coz it’s benefited Mariga.Appalling pic.twitter.com/rZaUIH8Mtu
— KIPCHUMBA MURKOMEN, E.G.H (@kipmurkomen) September 16, 2019
What has puzzled many is the ruling that favored Mariga, who is not a registered voter in Kibra constituency, as he is claimed to have registered in Starehe constituency. Furthermore, he will not be able to vote for himself despite asking Kibra constituents to throw in their weight for him.
Whereas Kenyans are questioning how different Mariga’s case is from that of Kethi Kilonzo in 2013 when she wanted to succeed her father, the late Senator Mutula Kilonzo, Murkomen is haste to note that the laws that have favored Mariga were formulated after her incident.
In 2013, IEBC’s tribunal revoked Kethi Kilonzo’s nomination certificate on the grounds that she was not a registered voter anywhere in the country.
Despite wanting to vie in Makueni, Kethi claimed to be a registered voter in Langáta constituency producing a voter slip which according to her she obtained it after registering with an old passport and a copy of her ID.
At the time, the tribunal ruled: “The candidate’s name does not appear in the electoral commission’s registers or in the green book which is the primary data entry. We find that she was irregularly issued with the nomination certificate and direct that it be revoked.”
In his ruling, Chebukati mentioned: “The complainant is duly registered as a voter. The respondent’s decision of September 10, 2019, declining the nomination of the complainant on account that he was not registered as a voter is hereby set aside.”
Chebukati then directed Kibra constituency Returning Officer Beatrice Muli to process Mariga’s application ahead of the mini-polls.
“The respondent is hereby ordered to process the complainant’s application for nomination as the Jubilee Party’s candidate for the Kibra constituency by-election slated for Nov 7, 2019, in accordance with the law. Each party shall bear their own costs, ” Chebukati stated.
Otiende Amollo had taken to Twitter calling for an overhaul of the IEBC noting, “Listening to the Pontifications & Prevarications Of The IEBC Commissioners; It is clear to me, more than before, that we must Sweep the Commission Clean at the Top Levels!”
Here are some other reactions from Kenyans:
IEBC has finally cleared the young man to run for Kibra parliamentary seat! Mungu saidia Wakenya. A McDonald Mariga win will be the beginning of all sorts of jokers in parliament. He has never voted or saw the importance of voting, you are now asking the country to vote for you?
— #TeamMwalimuDida (@mwalimu_dida) September 16, 2019
IEBC told us Mariga was not in their voters register and that he has never voted. now they have cleared him to run. IEBC under clown Wafula Chebukati is a house of cards that will lead us into a very dark path one of these days. McDonald Mariga, Kibra, #JKIASecurityCompromised pic.twitter.com/FCtMMPZ3X3
— #AintNobodyGotTime4ThisSh*t (@yourspenfully) September 16, 2019
So what does the constitution say about by-elections that allows a voter in Starehe who registered on 26/08/19 to vie in Kibra?
Come on, what does that constitution say?
— Rolandito (@r_l_nd_t_) September 16, 2019
He didn't register in kibra🤔. He registered in Starehe and therefore qualified to vie. The law is an ass
— Hillary Kipronoh🇰🇪 (@h_kipronoh) September 16, 2019