Waititu faces fresh obstacle in governor’s bid

Waititu is accused of choosing a running mate who is not a registered voter in Nairobi/CFM-File

Waititu is accused of choosing a running mate who is not a registered voter in Nairobi/CFM-File

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 4 – A voter has moved to court seeking orders to bar former Embakasi Member of Parliament Ferdinand Waititu from contesting the Nairobi gubernatorial post.

Moses Kauni Masaka filed a petition on Monday seeking the disqualification of Waititu for flouting election laws by appointing his running mate from a different county.

In his petition, Masaka argues that Robinson Nyangau Achoki is a registered voter in West Mugirango constituency in Nyamira County, and cannot therefore be Waititu’s running mate in Nairobi.

When the petition came before Justice David Majanja, the judge said that the application raised serious legal issues which must be addressed before the Political Parties Tribunal which will give directions on how the petition should be heard.

The petition will be placed before the Tribunal on Tuesday morning for hearing and further directions.

Waititu is among nine candidates who were cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to vie for the Nairobi governor’s seat.

The immediate former Embakasi MP won the TNA ticket after flooring Jimnah Mbaru and former Nairobi Town Clerk John Gakuo.

Waititu was announced the winner with 17,223 votes against Mbaru’s 14,029 votes. Former Nairobi Town Clerk John Gakuo came in a distant third with 461. Mbaru has since been cleared by the IEBC to contest the post on an Alliance Party of Kenya ticket.

Waititu has in the past had to downplay debate over whether his candidature passes the integrity test under Chapter 6 of the Constitution and whether his nomination is in contravention of the Constitution and the Elections Act.

The suspended assistant minister is facing charges of hate speech and incitement in connection to utterances he made against the Maasai community in Nairobi’s Kayole Estate.

The former MP denied the incitement and hate speech charges when he appeared before senior principal magistrate Paul Biwott in September last year.

Soon after winning the TNA nomination, Waititu was forced to meet a group of city residents who are opposed to his bid at a Nairobi hotel to ‘explain himself’ to the voters who seems uncomfortable with his nomination.

He said that he will strive to convince the middle class voters that his leadership is not destructive as perceived and if elected he will serve all.

Those given the go-ahead by the IEBC include ODM’s Evans Kidero, Mbaru (APK), Philip Kisia (Federal Party), Richard Mutinda Kavemba (Wiper), Joseph Mwangi (KNC), Geoffrey Kobia (Narc), Eric Mokua and Wanyiri Kihoro.

LABAN WANAMBISI

Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.