30 January 2013

Kenya: Lateness Locks Out Presidential Aspirant

Nairobi — The man who could have become the ninth presidential candidate to be cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has been locked out for failing to keep time.

Businessman Chris Matata Musyoka was locked out after he turned up at Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) way past 4 pm, when he was supposed to be present his nomination papers.

He arrived at the venue at about 5pm, only to find IEBC chief Issack Hassan addressing a press conference after clearing eight other candidates on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"I have been told that I have not complied because I have come late; I was not told what the closing time was so I thought that it was 5pm. I was waiting in the office and I knew that I will sort out my candidature at 5pm," said Musyoka who will now support the Jubilee Alliance.

He said his only challenge in the race was the two weeks it took to have his Bachelors of Commerce degree from Cambridge University authenticated.

The 51 year old businessman who wanted to contest on the Party of Democratic Unity (PDU) claims to have spent the whole day at his Loita House office insisting that he had no problem keeping time "at his age and status."

The IEBC had in December published a gazette notice that notified all parties and their nominees of the times within which its officers will receive the nomination papers.

"The days for the nomination of political parties candidates and Independent candidates for the presidential election will be on 29th January, 2013 and 30th January, 2013, and nomination papers shall be delivered by candidates to the chairperson of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission or his designate between the hours of eight o'clock in the morning and one o'clock in the afternoon and between the hours of two o'clock and four o'clock in the afternoon of the days at the KICC," the notice read.

Those cleared will be required to strictly observe the IEBC code of conduct which they all signed.

Among the breaches the commission will look out for are incitement to violence, intimidation of opponents and bribery.

"The commission is telling candidates that the code they signed binds them personally and will be enforced fully. All candidates must promote tolerance and peaceful campaigns," Hassan warned.

The eight cleared for the presidential election are Martha Karua of Narc Kenya, Peter Kenneth of the Kenya National Congress, James ole Kiyiapi of the Restore and Build Kenya party and Musalia Mudavadi of the United Democratic Forum.

Others are Raila Odinga for the Coalition for Reform and Democracy, Uhuru Kenyatta of the Jubilee Alliance, Mohammed Dida of the Alliance For Real Change and former Kabete MP Paul Muite of Safina.

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