SECTIONS

Senator Irungu Kang'ata's Murang'a governorship bid faces hurdle

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata is eyeing the county governorship post in August 9, 2022 polls. [File, Standard]

Senator Irungu Kang’ata has until tomorrow (Tuesday, June 7) to seek clearance as a gubernatorial candidate in the August 9 General Election.

This comes on the back of suspicion that his running mate, Winfred Mwangi Njeri, might not have resigned from her lecturing job at the University of Nairobi (UoN) by February 9, 2022 as the law demands.

Kang’ata had presented himself for clearance as a gubernatorial candidate on Monday, June 6, but the County Returning Officer Saumu Omar raised the concern about Dr Njeri’s resignation status as a civil servant.

Murang'a Senator Irungu Kang’ata with his running mate Dr Winfred Mwangi Njeri during a past press conference. [File, Standard]

Kang’ata, consequently, requested the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to give him more time to confirm whether Dr Njeri had resigned from her lecturing job.

The UoN website shows that Dr. Njeri was a senior lecturer in the department of African Clothing and Footwear Research Network.

County Returning Officer Saumu Omar said Kang’ata has until 4pm on June 7 to seek clearance as a gubernatorial candidate, failure of which he will be disqualified from the race.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had written to the IEBC saying it was in the process of verifying whether Dr Njeri had resigned from her teaching job by February 9.

“The commission is verifying whether the aspirant (Winfred Mwangi Njeri) resigned as an employee of University of Nairobi as at February 9th according to Section 43(5) of Elections Act 2011,” the anti-graft agency told the IEBC.

With the strict timelines, it would mean that Kang’ata would be forced to scout for a running mate in less than 24 hours to replace Njeri should it be found that she hadn’t resigned six months to elections as dictated by the law.

“Kang’ata asked the commission for more time to confirm whether his running mate resigned from her teaching job by February 9, 2022. We granted him his request, and we expect him to table proof that Njeri resigned from her senior lecturer role at the University of Nairobi,” Saumu Omar told The Standard.

“The gubernatorial aspirant has until tomorrow (Tuesday, June 7) 4pm to seek clearance to vie in the August 9 polls,” added Omar.

Irungu Kang'ata is seeking to succeed Governor Mwangi wa Iria on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.