, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 26 – Wiper’s Makueni Senate by-election candidate, Kethi Kilonzo, has told Capital FM News that she is a registered voter in Nairobi’s Lang’ata constituency.
Kethi’s revelation follows Wiper Democratic Movement Chairman David Musila’s confession that while Kethi is registered to vote, she is not registered to vote in Makueni County.
Musila was however quick to point out that whereas the Election Act stipulates that parliamentary contenders be registered to vote, it does not specify where they should be registered.
“I think TNA went to check the register at Makueni but the law just says you have to be a registered voter; not in a specific place,” he said on Wednesday.
“In fact she has showed me her voter’s card. I have no reason to doubt her,” Musila had told Capital FM News on Tuesday once questions emerged over Kethi’s registration status.
The National Alliance (TNA) wrote to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman Issack Hassan through their Legal Affairs Secretary Jasper Mbiuki on Monday alleging that Kethi was not registered to vote.
“Section 24(1)(a) of the Elections Act (Chapter 24 of the Laws of Kenya ) prescribes that one of the qualifications necessary for a person to be nominated by a political party to contest for a parliamentary seat (whether National Assembly or Senatorial) is that one must be a registered voter,” the letter to Hassan reads.
The letter goes on to urge the IEBC not to allow Kethi to vie in the July 22 by-election as TNA could not find her voter information on the voter register.
“Ms Diana Kethi Kilonzo, the Wiper Democratic Party candidate for the Makueni County Senatorial by-election, is not a registered voter. Our perusal of the voters register has confirmed that Ms. Kilonzo does not appear on the roll, nor is there any voter registration for Kenya National Identity Card Number 21216762, which is Ms Kilonzo’s Kenya National Identity Card Number.”
IEBC has refused to be dragged into the dispute with their Communication Manager Tabitha Mutemi telling Capital FM News; “The commission can only comment about Kethi’s registration once we receive her nomination papers formally for vetting.”
Wiper has accused TNA and by extension the Jubilee Alliance of poor sportsmanship saying the TNA allegation was a sign of fear.
“We want to challenge TNA to come and compete because we are going to thrash them and all that they are doing is as a result of panic because they know that that seat will go to Wiper. It is not their business to decide who is qualified or not qualified,” Musila said.
The Jubilee Alliance has however denied this allegation through the NARC party which will be fielding the alliance’s only candidate, Professor Philip Kaloki. “We have every confidence that Kaloki is the best man for the job. And I am sure the residents of Makueni will agree with Gideon Ndambuki and Nduku Kilonzo who stepped aside in support of him,” NARC party leader Kiema Kilonzo told Capital FM News.
Kethi is scheduled to receive the greenlight to vie in the Makueni Senate by-election on Thursday from the County Returning Officer Salad Boru, assuming of course, as Mutemi said, all her papers are in order.
Despite the gloves having come off so soon in the race, Boru is optimistic that the campaigns which kick off on July 1 for three weeks and the voting day itself will be largely peaceful.