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Shocking letter that put Irungu Kang'ata in cusp of losing key ticket

 Muranga Senator Irungu Kangata, his running mate Wilfred Mwangi and his lawyer Gachie Mwanza a IEBC offices on June 6. [Charles Kahari, Standard]

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata markets himself as “Kang’ata wa barua”, but yesterday a letter by a voter became an obstacle to his bid to vie for the governor seat.

Mr Kang’ata, who picked the nickname after Deputy President Dr William Ruto made reference to the infamous letter he wrote President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2020, had appeared before the County Returning Officer in Murang’a to present his papers when he was informed that a voter had alerted authorities that his running mate Dr Winnie Mwangi did not resign from her University of Nairobi job in time. The pair was shown a petition attached to a letter from Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

Mr Kang’ata said his running mate had met all requirements. IEBC declined to clear him. County election manager Ms Saumu Chirchir gave Mr Kang’ata up to 4pm today to sort out the allegations to be cleared.

In Kakamega, Azimio duo Mr Fernandez Barasa (ODM) and Mr Ayub Savula (DAP-K) were given a go-ahead to vie for the county’s top seat.

Also cleared were Bungoma businessman Zacharia Barasa, who is vying on a UDP ticket, to battle it out with incumbent Mr Wycliffe Wangamati and Senate Speaker Mr Kenneth Lusaka.

Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika was also cleared to vie for the Nakuru governor seat that has attracted six candidates. Incumbent Nakuru Governor Mr Lee Kinyanjui also appeared at the IEBC offices with a surprise running mate, Ms Joyce Kiprop, after dropping Ms Francisca Kamuren “over a legal issue”. They were cleared.

Independent candidate Dr Stanley Karanja was also cleared.

In Bomet, Mr Bernard Mutai and running mate Ms Elizabeth Lang’at were cleared to face off with UDA’s Prof Hillary Barchok and CCM’s Mr Isaac Ruto. In Samburu, IEBC cleared Jubilee’s Dr Richard Lesiyampe and deputy Mr Tom Lelemore. In Narok, MP for Narok North Mr Moitalel ole Kenta and running mate Mr William Semeiyoi (ODM) were cleared.

In Nyandarua, Governor Mr Francis Kimemia was cleared to defend his seat on a Jubilee ticket.

In Nyanza, Siaya Senator Mr James Orengo, who is facing stiff competition from former Rarieda MP Mr Nicholas Gumbo in the governorship contest, was cleared alongside his running mate Mr William Oduol. “We’re going to launch our manifesto in the next 10 days, where we’ll tell the people of Siaya what we want to do for them once elected,” said Mr Orengo.

Homa-Bay Woman Rep Mrs Gladys Wanga, who is hoping to beat former Nairobi Governor Dr Evans Kidero for the Homa-Bay top seat, was cleared.

In Migori, former MP Mr John Pesa will run for the governor seat. He appeared at the IEBC offices with a surprise running mate, Mr Marwa Muhingira, after dropping former journalist Mr Matiko Bohoko. Ms Rebecca Maroa, formerly a CEC, was cleared to contest for the same seat with running mate Mr John Zatta.

In Kisii, former Roads CAS Mr Chris Obure and his running mate William Mbaka received nomination certificates to contest. Mr Obure said he would uphold rules and regulations governing campaigns. UDA’s Ezekiel Machogu and his running mate Migos Ogamba also got a nod to vie.

In Nyamira, IEBC cleared 33-year-oldMr Arnald Nyasing’a Angwenyi, who resigned as chairperson of Kenyatta University Council in Charge of Audit and Compliance, to vie for the county’s top seat. Another youth, Mr Kevin Momanyi is his running mate.

In Kisumu, former governor Mr Jack Ranguma and running mate Mr Tom Ndalo were cleared, just as were former Petroleum and Mining CS Mr John Munyes Kiyonga (Jubilee) and Mr Joseph Atoll Emojong (Mabadiliko Party of Kenya) of Turkana for gubernatorial contests.

In Nandi, Mr Stephen Sang and his deputy Dr Yulitta Mitei were cleared by IEBC to defend their seats on UDA ticket.

In Uasin Gishu, UDA nominee Mr Jonathan Bii, aka Koti Moja, was given a go-ahead alongside running mate Mr John Barorot to run for the county’s top seat.

In West Pokot, Prof John Lonyangapuo and former CEC Mr Luka Chepelion were cleared. Prof Lonyangapuo had earlier picked Mr Simon Kachapin Kodomuk, but was stopped by IEBC after it was established that he had not resigned as prescribed by the law.

Mr Moses Changwany, an aspirant for Elgeyo Marakwet governor seat, was not cleared after his running mate Mr Benson Biwot failed to meet IEBC requirements of resigning at least six months prior to elections.

In Mombasa, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir was cleared to run for the county’s top seat. Vibrant Democratic Party aspirant Mr Awiti Bolo and his running mate Bethline Kadzo Jember were cleared in the afternoon.

In Taita-Taveta, governor Mr Granton Samboja was cleared to defend his seat, which his predecessor Mr John Mruttu of UDA was also allowed to fight for. Mr Mruttu promised to improve and equip health facilities to offer quality healthcare services.

Narc aspirant Ms Patience Nyange had to replace her running mate Mr Dalton Mwaghogho after it emerged that the latter did not resign by February 9. Ms Eisha confirmed that IEBC chairman Mr Wafula Chebukati allowed Ms Nyange to replace her running mate by Tuesday.

Other governor candidates cleared were Mwatate MP Mr Andrew Mwadime (Independent), former Taita Taveta Senator Mr Dan Mwazo (Wiper), Mr Thomas Mwakwida (ODM), Faustine Mghendi (The Servant Party), Mr Francis Mwaita (Safina), Prof Agnes Mwang’ombe (ANC), Godino Mwasaru (Independent), Mr George Mwandembo (DAP-K), Mr Stephen Mwakesi (Peoples Empowerment Party) and lawyer Onesmus Mwinzi (Independent), Prof Erastus Njoka (Tharaka Nithi).

[Story by Kennedy Gachuhi, Gilbert Kimutai, Michael Saitoti, James Munyeki, Godfrey Oundoh, Robert Amalemba, Willis Oketch, Renson Mnyamwezi and Juliet Omelo]

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