The Star (Nairobi)

25 January 2013

Kenya: Wambui, Rival Fail to Agree

THE Independent Electoral Commission will this morning decide who will be the Othaya candidate after the TNA party issued tickets to Mary Wambui Munene and James Gichuki Mugambi.

The TNA and Wambui who is represented by Cecil Miller had yesterday afternoon signed a consent which was to be adopted by the commission and which was stating that she was the rightful candidate.

However, Mugambi's lawyer dismissed the agreement saying that the dispute was yet to be resolved. He maintained that his certificate was still valid as it had not been cancelled by the party.

Wambui said she was forced to lodge the case before the commission after her rival appeared in a TV interview and insisted that his name will be on the ballot as the TNA candidate for the Othaya parliamentary seat come March 4.

Wambui said Mugambi's assertion was against the party's decision as it had reinstated her nomination after a successful appeal. In the complaint, Wambui has named Mugambi, the returning officer William Kingori and the party as respondents.

In yet another dispute handled by the IEBC yesterday, two complaints were filed against the Mombasa gubernatorial candidate Shabal Suleiman.

A member of the UDF party Kelvin Lunani Kwena asked the IEBC to disqualify the Wiper Democratic Party candidate as he had been issued with nomination certificates by both UDF and Wiper.

Kwena, who is represented by Ahmednasir Abdullahi said that prior to his nomination by Wiper, Suleiman had been issued with a certificate by UDF and his name was among the list of 804 UDF candidates submitted to the IEBC.

Kwena claims that Wiper later issued Suleiman with a nomination certificate before the first one had not been cancelled. He said that the Section 13 of the Elections Act does not allow even the Commission to change the name forwarded by a political party unless the candidate has died, is incapacitated or sick.

Kwena urged the IEBC to prosecute Suleiman so as to send a "warning to political parties that it will not be business as usual but they must obey the law". "Your determination should send a signal to the political parties that they must follow the law", he said.

However, Suleiman denied the allegations saying he had never offered his candidature on a UDF ticket. Suleima said he resigned from the UDF party on January 16 and joined Wiper.

He said he had not paid the nomination fees to UDF as required and therefore the nomination certificate allegedly issued by the party to him was 'fake."

Suleiman and Wiper's nominee for the senate, Hassan Omar are also cited in yet another complaint filed by Evans Odhiambo and John Munyasia.

The two allege that Omar was an ODM member and participated in the party's nomination before decamping to Wiper. They said it was unfair for the Wiper party to hand Shabal and Omar direct nomination and ignoring them and other Wiper party members who had been loyal to the party.

Omar and Shabal said the complainants had not exhausted the party's dispute resolution mechanism before moving the commission. The Wiper party also said the two complainants had not offered themselves for nomination as they alleged and asked the IEBC to dismiss their case.

In another complaint filed against UDF, Mohammed Issack Ali accused the party of denying him a ticket despite complying with all the requirements.

Ali said that he had offered his candidate for Kamukunji parliamentary seat and had no opponent thereby giving the party no option but to nominate him.

The 28-year-old said that he tried following the matter through the proper channels but was sent from one office to another without success.

He alleged that after some time, the UDF party chairman Hassan Osman told him that he would be given the nomination certificate only if he parted with Sh2.5million, an offer Ali refused.

The UDF which is represented by Nick Biketi said that the party's appeals board investigated the matter and discovered that Ali held dual citizenship and that is the reason why the certificate was issued to another person.

He said the party and its chairman would file defamation charges against Ali for his bribery allegations. Ali denied he held dual citizenship and presented his passport and identity card which confirmed he is a Kenyan.

These are just among the 112 cases which have been filed before the commission. The rulings on these cases will all be delivered on Saturday by the panel.

Some 18 of the cases have been filed against ODM challenging MPs seats, TNA has 18 cases, URP 2, UDF-2, Kanu-1, New Ford-K has 2 cases and Federal Party 2.

In the gubernatorial race, there are two cases filed against ODM, two against TNA and three against Wiper. URP has two cases touching on women representative and a similar number for TNA.

Among the cases pending are those against immediate former Marakwet East MP Linah Kilimo after she was handed a direct nomination by TNA. The complaint has been filed by Mark Bowen.

The nomination of Nelson Gaichuhie to fly TNA's ticket in Subukia has also been challenged by Samuel Kinuthia while former Maragua MP Elias Mbau has challenged the nomination after he lost in the primaries.

Samuel Kamunye Gicuigi has also challenged the move by TNA to award the nomination certificate for Kipipiri constituency to Transport Minister Amos Kimunya.

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