ODM missing as 20 aspirants submit names for Nairobi race
By Roselyne Obala and Michael Chepkwony | December 31st 2020
Twenty aspirants beat the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s Monday deadline to submit their names for the Nairobi governor race.
Out of the 20, the most recognisable names are Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) Secretariat Co-chairman Dennis Waweru and former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
From the list exclusively obtained by The Standard, ODM has not forwarded any names to the electoral agency and neither has Thirdway Alliance.
Jubilee Party has fronted five aspirants, including Waweru, businesswoman Agnes Kagure, Betty Adera, Alex Kemboi and Habib Kongo.
Fourteen independent candidates have also submitted their names. They include Waititu, who was impeached in Kiambu in January, Noah Migullo and Phyllis Wangari. Kenya Social Congress has forwarded Eric Mokua’s name.
In the spirit of the Handshake and the post-election pact signed between Jubilee and Kanu, the latter is supporting Adera for the seat.
According to the list, Thirdway Alliance is missing in action, meaning there is a possibility that Miguna Miguna will not be on the ballot. Other notables who are missing are former Starehe MP Margaret Wanjiru and former Nairobi Town Clerk Phillip Kisia.
Party of Development and Reforms (PDR), which according to the Registrar of Political Parties is in the process of changing to United Democratic Alliance linked to Deputy President William Ruto, is also not featuring in any of the by-elections slated for next year.
The by-elections in Nairobi and Machakos counties, and Matungu and Kabuchai constituencies are scheduled for February and March.
There is uncertainty in ODM, whose National Elections Board had confirmed receiving applications from two aspirants, Sammy Wakiaga and Beth Syongo, for the Nairobi seat.
However, ODM Elections Director Junet Mohamed said it was too early to rule out the Orange party.
“We still have until January 4, next year to field candidates. You have to engage all stakeholders and agree on the best way forward,” said Junet.
Meanwhile, the IEBC yesterday appeared to seal Waititu’s fate when its chairman Wafula Chebukati said anyone who has been impeached cannot be cleared to contest any public office.
“If one has been convicted and jailed for more than six months, then the person is not eligible. A person who has been impeached cannot run for any electoral position,” said Chebukati during the launch of verification of BBI signatures at the Bomas of Kenya.
On Tuesday night, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) boss Twalib Mbarak warned aspirants that they must adhere to Chapter Six of the Constitution on integrity.
“The EACC will conduct integrity vetting of all candidates in the upcoming by-elections and communicate its recommendations to IEBC for further action,” said Mbarak.
“Whereas the EACC and other law enforcement agencies are tasked to vet candidates for integrity suitability, the ultimate and most effective vetting is vested in the citizens’ unfettered powers to cast votes and freely elect leaders of their choice.”
The EACC CEO cited Articles 75(3), 99(2) and 193(2)(g) of the Constitution that disqualify a person either through a court conviction or any other competent agency or institution such as Parliament.
Chebukati said his commission was a creation of the law.
“We work with other institutions. Candidates must provide a certificate of good conduct, clearance from the EACC, letter from Commission of University Education and other documentations from various institutions. Returning Officers have a checklist,” he said.
Chebukati asked the EACC to undertake a background check on aspirants, as well as those seeking to run for other elective positions.
“The commission has received application from aspirants seeking to contest for the various positions in the upcoming by-elections. In pursuance of Chapter Six of the Constitution and in the spirit of inter-agency collaboration, we wish to seek your comment on the suitability or otherwise of the persons who have expressed interest as candidates in the said elections,” reads a letter by IEBC CEO Marjan Hussein to the EACC.
“We shall be grateful if you will revert as soon as possible but in any event not later than 31st December.”
In Matungu Constituency, Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress is seeking to retain the seat following the demise of Justus Murunga. The party has nominated Peter Nabulingo while Jubilee has Makokha Okumu and Raphael Welimo as Root Party of Kenya settled on Haji Noah.
Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya is also seeking to retain the Kabuchai seat left vacant following the death of MP James Lusweti. The party has submitted the names of Simiyu Majombo and Eric Wafula as United Green Movement party went for David Barasa.
The New Democrats Party has nominated Magdalene Ndawa for the race to replace the late Machakos Senator Boniface Kabaka.
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