All set for by election as ECK clears candidates

May 27, 2008 12:00 am

NAIROBI , May 27- The deadline set by the Electoral Commission of Kenya to clear candidates nominated by their respective parties to participate in the June 11 by- elections elapsed on Tuesday afternoon with most of the favourites beating the cut-off date.



In Nairobi , Embakasi Party of National Unity (PNU) nominee Ferdinand Waititu was twice turned back before finally being cleared after he failed to produce a copy of the language proficiency test certificate administered by the electoral body.



The PNU candidate who arrived at the Kayole Social Hall amid pomp and flair as truckloads of his supporters dressed in the party’s official colour of blue; cheered him on, was twice forced to emerge from the clearing hall and explain to his supporters who had already begun celebrating his nomination that they will have to wait a bit as he had to rush to get the crucial documents.



“I didn’t know that once you contest you are supposed to leave the original with the ECK, in fact I was actually looking for it at home so I went for it at their headquarters that was the problem,” he said.


The candidates were expected to hand in their papers, including proof that they can read and write in English and Kiswahili, to the returning officers in their respective constituencies.


The language test is to ensure that those elected to represent their people in Parliament can follow the proceedings.


Waititu also did not have party cards for supporters endorsing his candidature.



Moments after he left, violence reared it’s head and threatened to disrupt the largely peaceful exercise after suspected PNU supporters invaded a garage located some 400 metres from the Kayole Social Hall and vandalised 20 vehicles.



“They (PNU supporters) drove a lorry full of youths into the garage and did all this damage and yet this is not a political ground it is someone’s business,” said a car owner whose vehicle had its windows smashed.



A mechanic at the garage who was angered by the invasion called for the aspirants to practice responsible leadership: “We want a leader who is responsible and protects everybody not a leader who takes sides, this is not the first he (Waititu) has tried to destroy property here.”



Police restored calm lobbing teargas canisters and severally shooting in the air to disperse the crowd that had disrupted transport operation along

Kangundo Road




When he returned this time, Waititu was again greeted with cheers as he marched into the hall and unlike the first two attempts the doors to the hall were closed and were only opened when his supporters rushed out to declare he was cleared prompting the even bigger crowd waiting outside the hall’s compound to join in with jubilation.



Six candidates led by ODM’s Esther Passaris and TIP TIP’s Kalembe Ndile were given the green light to contest on Monday.



On Tuesday, Seven more rushed to beat the deadline to bring the number of contestants to 13.



Among those who were cleared including AIDS campaigner Inviolata M’mbwavi (KADDU) who aims at improving the management and accountability in distribution of the devolved funds provided at the constituency level.



In Ainamoi, ODM`s Benjamin Lang’at, brother to the former Ainamoi MP, the late David Kimutai Too was cleared along with Bavin Segei United Democratic Party while, Paul Chirchir was cleared to run on a KANU ticket although he had initially tried to vie through KADDU.



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