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EACC to vet Waititu, aspirants for upcoming by-elections

By Mireri Junior | Dec 30th 2020 | 3 min read

Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu at a past political rally. Waititu has declared his candidature for the Nairobi governor seat. [File, Standard]

Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu and other candidates who have declared interest in the forthcoming by-elections will be vetted by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) for integrity compliance.

In a statement sent to media houses on Tuesday evening, EACC said it will vet all candidates seeking elective positions in the forthcoming by-elections.

The commission said it will advise the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on integrity compliance by all aspirants seeking party nominations or those who want to run as independent candidates.

“EACC will conduct integrity vetting of all candidates in the upcoming by-elections and communicate its findings to IEBC for further action,” read the statement.

EACC said it will fully enforce the Constitution in strict compliance with Chapter Six on integrity in the upcoming mini-polls.

“EACC will enforce provisions of Chapter 6 of the Constitution, including the mandatory integrity requirements for all candidates. EACC has a constitutional mandate to advise IEBC on the integrity compliance status of all candidates under Chapter Six.”

Abuse of office

The move could be a blow to Babayao with the commission saying it is targeting aspirants who have been dismissed or rather removed from public offices for contravening Chapter Six will be disqualified.

Babayao was in January impeached over three charges among them gross violation of the constitution, abuse of office and crime under the national law.

He was, however, cleared by the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties to contest for the Nairobi governor seat which fell vacant following the impeachment of Mike Sonko.

“I have been cleared by the Registrar of Political Parties to vie as an independent candidate. There is no election law that can bar me from contesting. I am only a suspect and has never been convicted by any court,” he said.

Also targeted are individuals found under the law to have misused or abused state office or public office or those who have been found culpable by courts of law or other competent agencies mandated to interpret or apply the Constitution

The Commission also asked the electorate to elect men and women of integrity, saying apart from EACC and IEBC, the voters also have a role to vet the aspirants through the ballot.

“Whereas 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 freely elect leaders of their choice.”

Others candidates who will also face the EACC hurdle in the City by-election include former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru and businesswoman Agnes Kagure, former Mathare MP Margaret Wanjiru and Dennis Kodhe.

Also in the list are businessman Sammy Wakiaga who contested for Homa Bay governor seat in 2017, ODM Women League leader Beth Siengo and former Nairobi executive Kimori Machoka.

Other by-elections

Apart from Nairobi, IEBC has also declared by-elections in Matungu Constituency to replace Justus Murunga who died in October and in five wards across the country.

Ward by-elections will be held in Huruma Ward (Uasin Gishu), Hell’s Gate Ward (Nakuru), London Ward (Nakuru), Kiamakoma Ward (Kisii) and Kitise/Kithuku Ward (Makueni)

All the by-elections are slated for March next year.

The commission has also set the Machakos senatorial by-election for March 23, 2021.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Senator Boniface Kabaka on December 11.

Another by-election is also looming in Kabuchai Constituency after National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi declared the seat vacant following the death of MP James Lusweti.

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