24 January 2013

Kenya: Mbaru in Nairobi Gubernatorial Race After All

Nairobi — Businessman Jimnah Mbaru is still in the Nairobi gubernatorial race after all, and will vie on an Alliance Party of Kenya ticket.

Mbaru defected to Kiraitu Murungi's 'Mbuss' after losing The National Alliance (TNA) nomination last Friday to outgoing Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu.

After TNA released its nomination results on January 19, Mbaru, who had put up a spirited campaign for the capital's governorship, immediately cried foul saying he would challenge them in cCourt.

Mbaru's name is now on the APK nominee list released by the electoral commission on Thursday.

Other notable politicians who dumped their parties after losing the primaries were outgoing MPs John Mututho, Peter Kiilu, David Ngugi and Benson Mbai.

Last week, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) was categorically that it would disqualify all politicians who hopped parties after the January 18 deadline.

"The commission therefore wishes to notify members of the political parties that party nominations ended midnight last night (Friday) and any nominations ongoing are illegal," read a statement from the IEBC Communication Manager Tabitha Mutemi last week.

"Subsequently, any person who has not been nominated following party primaries as at midnight last night (Friday) is disqualified and cannot move to another party for a nomination certificate," she stressed.

The Independent Party (TIP) president Kalembe Ndile also told journalists on Thursday that his party had lost two candidates to rival parties even after awarding them with nomination certificates.

"As I talk to you right now I have lost two people to other parties and their names have already been published on the IEBC website with the new tickets," he said.

"How is it that people moved and got new certificates after January 18? Who is making these changes and why?" he inquired.

NARC-Kenya presidential candidate Martha Karua also raised the red flag over the issue saying that the Registrar of Political Parties and the IEBC must not give such candidates the green light.

Several civil societies have also added their voice to the debate arguing that such moves are illegal.

"Should any of those candidates surface as a candidate of any other political party then we will know that the Registrar in a crooked manner has included or sneaked their names after the 18th deadline," said Karua on Wednesday.

"What most of the politicians are doing is to illegally backdate their resignation from the party which they initially wanted to run in and tell the IEBC they resigned earlier and are suitable to get nomination from the other party," said Law Society of Kenya Chairman Eric Mutua.

The Political Parties Act placed a January 18 deadline for politicians to ne nominated.

In an interesting twist, parties placed their nominations on January 17, leaving little time for losers to ditch their camps.

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