Ombudsman wants Sonko, Waititu barred from poll

December 17, 2012 11:43 am


There is now a push for Mike Sonko and Ferdinand Waititu to be barred from public office/CFM
NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17 – The office of the Ombudsman has recommended that Embakasi Member of Parliament Ferdinand Waititu and his Makadara counterpart Gidion Mbuvi alias Mike Sonko be barred from vying for public office.

A complaint was filed against Waititu by the Nile Road Primary School for allegedly hiring 50 youths to seize plot LR 126/49 on August 25, 2012 in Kamulu area resulting in the demolition of the perimeter fence.

“As part of its complaints handling process, the commission receives and processes complaints from the public against public officers. Two of the public officers against whom complaints of behaviour and unlawful conduct have been processed are Hon Ferdinand Waititu and Hon Gideon Mbuvi,” the commission’s letter to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) reads.

Waititu however defended himself against the claims, turning the blame on the privately owned school saying it had grabbed public land intended for use in the building of a public primary school.

“If there were no public schools, I could not be here because I could not have afforded to go to any private school. So, public land for schools is sacred.”

Courts in the past, the Member of Parliament stated, had not provided any reprieve and he had successfully constructed 11 secondary schools and six primary schools on land retrieved from land grabbers without the aid of the Judiciary by simply mobilising his constituents to forcibly reclaim the land.

His Makadara counterpart was cited by the chairman of the Commission on Administrative Justice, Otiende Amollo, as being unfit to run for the office of Nairobi Senator on account of his alleged assault of the National Assembly’s Senior Sergeant-at-Arms Harun Omon Okal in October.

“Hon Mbuvi was himself shown publicly stating in the media that he met Mr Okal at the Intercontinental Hotel where he bribed him with Sh25,000 via mobile money transfer for him to drop the complaint.”

Waititu also defended Mbuvi against the accusations at a press conference in Parliament Buildings on Monday by questioning Amollo’s impartiality.

“I am very very sure that the chairman, Mr Amollo Otiende has a vested interest in the coming elections being a brother to one of the candidates who is contesting the Senatorship together with Mr Mike Sonko.”

The commission, Waititu contested, had not come to its findings through a fair process denying having received any summons to give his side of the story. A claim the commission vehemently denied in its letter to the IEBC.

“The commission wrote to Hon Waititu to confirm the veracity of the allegations against him. Hon Waititu did not respond whereupon the commission wrote appropriately worded reminders with warnings of dangers of unresponsiveness.”

The Office of the Ombudsman, Waititu countered, was interfering with the work of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and contravening the constitutional provision under Article 99 (3) that a person is not disqualified from running for public office, ‘unless all possibility of appeal or review of the relevant sentence or decision has been exhausted.’

The commission also received complaints against Juja Member of Parliament William Kabogo regarding the death of Mercy Keino but said it could not issue a statement on the matter given there is an ongoing inquest.


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