The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has rejected Jubilee aspirant MacDonald Mariga’s nomination for Kibra by-election on grounds that his details are not in the voters’ register.
IEBC Returning Officer Beatrice Muli told Mariga to seek redress with the commission's disputes resolution board within seven days.
“I just want to say that we have invalidated Mariga's nominations," said Muli.
She added that other documents presented to them were correct, except the name missing from their register.
"Mine was to confirm that the aspirant meets all the requirements. I have verified and checked and I could not find his details. At this point my hands are tied," she said.
Attempts by Lang'ata MP Nixon Korir and former Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale to convince the commissioner to relook his name in the updated register flopped after Muli maintained that her work was to confirm if their candidate met the requirements.
"Under the Constitution, if a Kenyan is qualified to vote or vie and has made that application to IEBC, the IEBC can take their time. Can take one week, one year or ten years but that person cannot be denied his rights to vote or vie," said Korir.
Mariga’ s candidature came to the fore early September when a list with his name purported to have beeen from the Jubilee Party went viral.
In the letter, the footballer was among the 16 aspirants who were set to be interviewed at the Jubilee headquarters.
This caught many by surprise because, during the memorial service for late Kibra MP Ken Okoth, Jubilee Senator Johnson Sakaja urged his party not front a candidate in Kibra in the spirit of the handshake.
However, days later, Jubilee secretary-general Raphael Tuju changed the tune and said that analysis had shown the party was capable of winning the seat.
Interestingly that was after he (Tuju) disowned a list of Jubilee aspirants that was presented by the party’s NEB to IEBC saying it did not originate the party.
After being handed the certificate through what was described by the party as an internal interview, Mariga’s woes did not stop after his would-be competitors accused the party’s National Elections Board (NEB), chaired by Andrew Musangi of bias.
The aspirants who included Morris Peter Kinyanjui, Mikinyingi Walter Trenk, Said Ibrahim and Doreen Nangame Wasike claimed Mariga’s candidature was being pushed from some quarters within Jubilee.
If there is anything Mariga’s candidature has done it is to expose the mistrust between the camps in the ruling party.
Nominated senator Maina Kamanda and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria accused people close to Deputy President William Ruto of pushing the footballer to contest to undermine the handshake.
“Kenyans love Mariga as a footballer and that is that DP Ruto should let the young man be,” said Kuria.
Kamanda said Jubilee will back the ODM candidate in the by-election.