Kenya: Blow to Waititu in Quest to Become Nairobi Governor

30 December 2020

Former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu's hopes of running for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat in the February by-election have been dashed after the electoral agency said individuals impeached on abuse of office charges are not eligible to run for elective posts.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Wafula Chebukati said that the law is clear on eligibility for elective positions.

"Similarly under Chapter 6, Article 75 and 180 of the constitution read together with Article 193 of the constitution, it is very clear that a person or an individual who has been impeached cannot run for an elective position," Mr Chebukati told journalists at the Bomas of Kenya when he launched verification of signatures for the constitutional referendum drive.

Mr Waitutu, who was impeached by the Kiambu County Assembly early this year, had expressed his interest in the Nairobi gubernatorial seat, which became vacant following the impeachment of Mike Sonko.

Earlier, the Registrar of Political Parties had cleared Mr Waititu to vie as an independent candidate.

"There is no election law that can bar me from contesting for the seat because I am only a suspect of an economic crime because no court has ever convicted me," Mr Waititu told the Nation.

On Tuesday, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) issued a warning on integrity compliance under Chapter Six of the Constitution by persons seeking election into public office.

Chapter Six

EACC Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak said that a person is disqualified pursuant to Chapter Six of the Constitution if the individual has been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for contravention of Chapter Six of the Constitution in accordance with Article 75 (3) of the Constitution.

"Any person who has misused or abused a State office or public office or in any way contravened chapter six as contemplated under Article 99 (2) (h) and 193 (2)(g) shall also be disqualified," said Mr Mbarak.

He went on: "For avoidance of doubt, the findings contemplated in these clauses includes the findings of a court of law and any other competent agency mandated to interpret or apply the constitution or any written law".

Integrity vetting

He pointed out that those found in violation of Chapter Six of the Constitution will also not be allowed to contest and that the commission will conduct integrity vetting of all candidates in the upcoming by-elections and communicate its determinations to IEBC for further action.

Mr Chebukati said the commission will liase with other bodies such as the EACC, Directorate of Criminal Investigations and the Commission for Higher Education to help in the clearance of candidates.

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