IEBC clears Waititu to run for Nairobi gubernatorial race in the forthcoming by-elections

By Mourice Seretta 

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has gazetted former Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu’s name as one of the Independents to run for the Nairobi gubernatorial seat in the coming by-elections.

The commission published his name among 12 independent candidates seeking to battle it out to succeed former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko who was impeached for various reasons.

Waititu had earlier challenged a decision by the commission barring him from running in the Nairobi governor by-election, faulting IEBC’s decision saying though he faces a corruption case, he has not been convicted of any offence and as such he has the right to vie for governor.

Waititu was impeached as governor of Kiambu county in 2020 but has since expressed interest in contesting for the Nairobi county seat in the forthcoming election, which has been suspended pending a case filed by Sonko.

In a statement last month, EACC said all persons offering themselves as independent candidates or seeking party nominations for election must meet the integrity threshold under Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

“The commission considers a person is disqualified from holding public office if the person has as been dismissed or otherwise removed from office for contravention of Chapter 6 of the Constitution or its enabling legislation, in accordance with Article 75(3) of the Constitution,” EACC said.

CEO Twalib Mbarak said a person is also disqualified if found, in accordance with any law, to have misused or abused a state office or public office or in any way to have contravened Chapter 6 as contemplated under Articles 99(2)(h) and 193(2)(g).

EACC said it has a constitutional responsibility to advise IEBC on the integrity compliance status of all candidates pursuant to Chapter 6 of the Constitution.

Other independent candidates include Ogwang Raymond Ndungu, Kiigi Evans Machoka, Lengala David William, Hassan Jimal Ibrahim, Dr Noah Winja, Otieno Aloys Lavern, Mukundi Mathenge, Munyanya Yassin, Olingo Timothy Ayieko and Njuru Phyllis Wangari.

EBC has also announced that Dennis Waweru, Agnes Kagure, Betty Adhiambo, Alex Kipchirchir and Habib Omar will contest under Jubilee Party primaries scheduled on January 9.

The gubernatorial by-election had been gazetted for February 18.

However, Sonko moved to court and obtained an order suspending the by-election until a matter he has filed in court challenging his impeachment is heard and determined.   

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