Kenya: IEBC Clears Mariga to Contest in Kibra By-Election

Football star McDonald Mariga.
16 September 2019

Nairobi — Footballer McDonald Mariga has been cleared to take part in the Kibra by-election.

The ruling was issued on Monday morning by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission's Disputes Resolution Committee, chaired by Wafula Chebukati.

"The applicant is a registered voter and therefore, the committee has set aside an earlier order by the Returning Officer nullifying his candidature," Chebukati said, "The respondent's decision of 10th September 2019 declining the nomination of the complainant on account that he was not registered as a voter is hereby set aside."

And he ordered the Returning Officer to immediately process Mariga's documents and issue him with a nomination certificate.

"The respondent is hereby ordered to process the complainant's application for nomination as the Jubilee Party's candidate for the Kibra constituency by-election slated for November 7 2019," he ordered.

Chebukati highlighted challenges the Commission is facing with respect to updating its register, saying "this should not be allowed to affect the process."

Mariga's lawyers presented a complaint last week stating that the acknowledgment slip issued to him by the electoral commission was evidence enough that he indeed is a registered voter.

Mariga had filed an appeal challenging the commission's decision to invalidate his candidature, arguing that his disqualification was improper, null and void.

During the Friday hearing, the disputes team said possession of that slip is evidence that one is a registered voter.

Jubilee Party's lawyer Hillary Sigei told the committee that they followed due process in nominating Mariga and argued that the registration process of a voter is continuous. He pleaded with IEBC to correct the error and allow Mariga take part in the poll.

Leading candidates cleared to vie are Imran Okoth of ODM, who is also a brother to Ken Okoth, the former MP who succumbed to cancer in August, leading to the by-election.

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