Machakos: Former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti is set to fly the Wiper party gubernatorial flag in Machakos after she emerged winner in a nomination exercise that was contested by her rival, deputy governor Bernard Kiala.
The county returning officer Jacob Mutula declared Wavinya the winner after she garnered 299,312 votes against Kiala’s 4,663 sparking a wild celebration by Wavinya’s supporters.
But Kiala, who had earlier moved to the political parties tribunal to challenge the hurriedly convened nomination exercise for the gubernatorial seat dismissed Wavinya’s win, terming the nomination an exercise in futility.
“I cannot participate in an illegality, because the political parties court had already issued an injunction against the exercise following my petition, and therefore the exercise was null and void according to me,” said Kiala.
The tribunal, in a ruling dated April 29, 2017, had ordered for the postponement of the party’s planned primaries which were carried out on Sunday, and convened an interparty hearing on May 3, 2017 when all parties would be heard.
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Kiala has been protesting Wiper’s decision to endorse Wavinya as the gubernatorial candidate and the outgoing East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) MP as her running mate, and had vowed to ‘stage a fight within the party to ensure free and fair nominations were conducted to pick the party’s candidate who will face off with the incumbent, Alfred Mutua in the August 8 election.
In his application, Kiala had asked the tribunal to declare null and void any party primaries that may be conducted by Wiper for the contested position-either on Sunday or any other date before the appeal is heard and determined.
“In the event the respondents proceed to conduct the gubernatorial nominations, an order should be made barring Wiper party from submitting the name of Wavinya or any other aspirant to the IEBC pending the hearing and determination of this application,” reads one of the items in Kiala’s petition.
Should Kiala’s petition fail to succeed, Machakos gubernatorial race will effectively have been narrowed down between the incumbent, Mutua, Wavinya and Jubilee Party’s Lemi Muia.