Kenya: Mariga Scores Crucial 'Goal' as IEBC Clears Him to Contest Kibra By-Election

16 September 2019

Footballer-turned-politician McDonald Mariga has been cleared to run in the forthcoming Kibra by-election.

The ruling was delivered on Monday morning by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Disputes Resolution Tribunal, which determined that Mariga is a duly registered voter.

TWISTS AND TURNS

The decision now paves way for Mariga to contest for the vacant parliamentary seat on a Jubilee Party ticket.

This is the latest dramatic turn of events in what has been a series of twists and turns in Mariga's quest for the parliamentary seat in the mini-poll scheduled for November 7.

Mariga petitioned the IEBC after Kibra Returning Officer Beatrice Muli invalidated his nomination, on the grounds that his name was missing from the register of voters.

But while delivering his ruling, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, as the chair of the IEBC's Dispute Resolution Committee, stated that Mariga was a duly registered as a voter.

"It is our finding that the complainant was duly registered as a voter and subsequently issued with an acknowledgement card," said Chebukati.

He further said that every document presented by Mariga was authentic.

It also emerged that Mariga registered himself at the Kariokor Social Hall in 2019.

ONE MORE HURDLE

Chebukati went on to direct the Kibra Constituency Returning Officer to clear Mariga to enable him proceed with campaigns for the by-election.

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

Appearing before the committee, on Friday Muli defended her decision, saying Mariga's name was not in the voter register and clearing him would be a breach of the law and election regulations.

She further confirmed that the ICT voters' registration list was up to date, but could not verify whether the hard copy version was updated.

But Mariga's legal team led, by lawyer Elisha Ongoyi, pushed Muli to admit an error on her part and pleaded with the committee to rectify the 'mistake' by overturning the decision.

Ongoya told the committee that Mariga is properly registered as a voter, citing the acknowledgement slip issued in Starehe Constituency on September 26 as sufficient proof.

Mariga is however still left with one more hurdle after a voter in the constituency by the name Leina Konchellah contested allege inconsistency in his national identity card.

In a sworn submission filed with the electoral agency, the voter says there could be integrity issues with the documents Mr Mariga submitted to the commission.

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