Elections 2017

Good to go: Mariga cleared by IEBC to vie for Kibra parliamentary seat

Jubilee's candidate for the Kibra by-election McDonald Mariga (centre) presents his nomination papers to IEBC officials in company of Nominated MCA Anne Thumbi (right) and his supporter Abdi Ali Hussein. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee has this morning cleared Jubilee Party nominee Macdonald Mariga to vie for the Kibra by-election.

Mariga had earlier appealed a decision to disqualify him from vying in Kibra by election, as his registration details were not found in the voters register.

Through a ruling that was read by Chairman Wafula Chebukati and Commissioner Boya Molu, IEBC has allowed Mariga to contest for the Kibra parliamentary seat reversing an earlier decision that barred him from contesting for the seat.

Mariga had sought the intervention of the Dispute Resolution Committee as he claimed to have registered as a voter and therefore qualified to run in the by election.

Where it all started from

Mariga’s candidature came to the fore early September when a list with his name purported to have been 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.

Former Kakamega Senator Bonnie Khalwale, Macdonald Mariga and Mzee Noah Wanyama listening to the ruling at the IEBC 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 to 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.