, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23 – Mutula Kilonzo Junior’s bid for the Makueni County Senate by-election is facing yet another hurdle after a complaint was filed with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disputes committee over his nomination.
Through an advert published in one of the local dailies on Tuesday, the IEBC issued a notice to Kilonzo Jr, the Wiper Democratic Movement, the Makueni County Returning Officer Salad Boru and the petitioner.
The grievance was filed after Mutula Jr was cleared by the IEBC last Saturday, following the High Court’s decision the previous day.
“A complaint has since been lodged with the commission challenging the decision of the Returning Officer to accept the said candidate’s nomination,” announced the IEBC’s Nominations Dispute Resolution Committee Chairman Thomas Letangule.
Former Kibwezi Member of Parliament Agnes Ndetei has already filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the High Court’s decision, which paved the way for Mutula Jr.
Ndetei argued that the High Court violated the Elections Act by allowing the Wiper party time to pick another candidate.
“Section 13(2) of the Elections Act states a political party shall not change the candidate nominated after the nomination of that person has been received by the commission. The High Court cannot in its judgment ignore this express and explicit provision of the law,” she said.
“The (Jubilee) coalition was barred from replacing its candidate for the Kajiado County gubernatorial race following the initial candidate’s disqualification by virtue of not meeting the education level requirements. This decision was reached despite Jubilee having taken steps to check if he was qualified,” she complained.
The IEBC petition will be heard on Tuesday afternoon at the Commission’s offices in Nairobi while it is not clear when Ndetei’s appeal will be heard.
Given that the by election is only two days away, the IEBC will have to dispense the matter within a short while and Letangule had already warned the concerned parties against skipping the hearing.
“Kindly avail yourself or your representative. Take further notice that in default of your appearance, the Committee shall proceed to hear the matter your absence notwithstanding,” he cautioned.
The High Court last Friday barred lawyer Kethi Kilonzo from vying for the seat while at the same time allowing the Wiper party to pick another candidate for the by election.
This came after it emerged that Kethi was not registered as a voter and Wiper eventually settled on Mutula Jr, who will be battling it out with Philip Kaloki, Urbanus Katumo, Jane Kitundu and Harun Mwau.