At least 20 independent candidates have been approved by the electoral commission in the crowded Matungu by-election.
So far the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), in Gazette Notice dated January 4, has listed names of the 20 aspirants eyeing the seat that fell vacant after the sudden death of Member of Parliament Justus Murunga in November last year.
The aspirants are expected to submit clearance papers and documentations to IEBC offices at Matungu on January 11 and 12 for clearance.
The candidates had submitted their names and symbols they intend to use during the by-election for purposes of nomination as independent candidates.
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Earlier, the Office of Registrar of Political Parties had given the 20 the green light to vie as independent candidates.
Notable among the candidates are the MP's widow Christabel Amunga, outgoing Matungu CDF chairman Athman Wangara, both affiliated to Amani National Congress (ANC) party, and former Ford-Kenya national youth leader Bernard Wakoli.
Others are former Mumias Mayor Kongoti Azelimo, Paul Posho, who works with the Kakamega County Government, and Arnold Maliba, a former national chairperson of the TNA Party youth league.
Mr Posho, an ally of ODM leader Raila Odinga, lost in the Orange party's primaries in 2013 and 2017, and quit recently protesting its decision to pick former MP David Aoko Were as its candidate.
Mr Were was expected to collect ODM certificate at the party's headquarters in Nairobi yesterday.
The ANC awarded Peter Nabulindo the ticket against the wish of rivals, who preferred to battle it out in nominations.
“I worked with the late MP Murunga and my name is a household name. I hope to convince Matungu electorates to elect an independent candidate like me,” said Mr Wangara.
Matungu by-election is touted as a bruising battle pitting Raila, Deputy President William Ruto and the ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi.