, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 3 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has set up a special committee to probe whether there is sufficient reason to strike Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula’s name off the voter register.
A statement from the Commission says the Committee to be chaired by Thomas Letangule will sit on January 12 next year to accord Wetangula an opportunity to show cause why he should not be removed from the register of voters.
The five-member team shall then submit its report to the Commission Plenary by January 20.
Commission Vice-Chairperson Lilian Mahiri-Zaja and Commissioner Mohamed Alawi have been appointed to sit in the team as members while Crispin Owiye and Moses Kipkosgei will serve as the special probe team’s Secretary and Assisting Counsel respectively.
On March 17, the Supreme Court upheld the decisions of the High Court in Bungoma and Appeals Court in Kisumu that found Wetangula guilty of voter bribery charges; an election offence committed during the March 4, 2013 General Election campaigns.
Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro in November published the Supreme Court findings in the Kenya Gazette, paving the way for IEBC to act.
“On March 17, 2015 the Supreme Court of Kenya in Petition No. 12 of 2014 Moses Masika Wetangula and Musikari Nazi Kombo and 2 others found that Moses Masika Wetangula, Senator of the County of Bungoma, committed the election offense of bribery during the March 4, 2013 general elections,” read part of the gazette notice by Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro.
If IEBC approves it, Wetangula’s name will be deleted from the voters register which may cause him to lose his seat and eventually affect his eligibility to contest in the next General Election of 2017.
CORD lawmakers have claimed the timing of the recent development is suspect and meant to silence the Opposition
They accused the government of targeting the Senate Minority Leader and CORD co-principal and have vowed to rally behind him further dismissing reports that he would lose his seat.
“At what point was the investigations file opened? Who ordered the re-opening of the file? Why was it immediately after the Senate Minority leader threatened to impeach the President?” posed Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.