25 January 2013

Kenya: IEBC Tribunal Revokes Mugambi's Nomination Certificate

The IEBC tribunal has revoked Gichuki Mugambi's nomination certificate clearing Mary Wambui to run for the Othaya parliamentary seat on a TNA ticket.

The IEBC made the ruling after Mary Wambui filed a complaint with the commission over the disputed Othaya TNA parliamentary nomination.

This came after Wambui accompanied by former MPs Rachel Shebesh and Cecily Mbarire, stormed the IEBC offices on Tuesday night to demand that she be included on the TNA list of nominees. She claimed that she had been on the TNA list at 4pm on Monday but had been omitted by the time the list was handed into the IEBC offices later that night.

The IEBC on Wednesday issued a stern warning to Wambui and her colleagues that they risked disqualification for their actions. Chairman Isaack Hassan said the commission will decide whether to warn, fine or disqualify them.

Neither the TNA nor the IEBC has yet released official lists of nominees. However Gichuki Mugambi, Wambui's rival in Othaya, claimed that he had been given a TNA nomination certificate for Othaya and was on the TNA list.

Mugambi is the chairman of the Othaya Development Association that coordinates development activities in the area. According to the TNA returning officer, Mugambi got 10,080 votes in last week's nomination against Wambui's 13,050.

However Mugambi is claiming that some of his supporters were turned away, some votes were not counted, and the returning officer vanished for hours before returning to announce the result.

On Tuesday afternoon Mugambi appealed to the TNA appeals board that his name had been unfairly removed from the TNA list. Yesterday TNA chairman Johnson Sakaja issuing a statement that Mugambi's appeal had been dismissed. However he did not state categorically that Wambui is now the TNA candidate for Othaya.

Word that Wambui had been denied the TNA nomination certificate sparked two days of protests in Othaya. On wednesday more than 300 police officers were deployed at strategic areas in Othaya, in case the protesters turned rowdy and chaotic. Armed police officers, who included the APs and regular police, patrolled the town on foot and on police trucks.

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