7 Governors among 20 aspirants civil society want barred from election

May 24, 2017 3:24 pm
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Society for International Development (SID) Associate Director, Houghton Irungu, said while releasing the list on Wednesday that up to 1,500 cases were examined, twenty being the most significant/JEREMIAH WAKAYA

, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 24 – Two former Cabinet Secretaries and seven governors are among 20 aspirants a section of civil society organizations want barred from running for elective seats in the August 8 General Election.

Ex Cabinet Secretaries Anne Waiguru (Devolution) and Kazungu Kambi (Labour), as well as Governors Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Cyprian Awiti (Homa Bay), Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma), Mwangi wa Iria (Murang’a), Alfred Mutua (Machakos)and Okoth Obado (Migori) are according to a report released by a section of civil society organizations supposed to be barred from seeking political office due to violation of provisions under Chapter Six of the Constitution, the Elections Act, Leadership and Integrity Act among other laws.

Society for International Development (SID) Associate Director, Houghton Irungu, said while releasing the list on Wednesday that up to 1,500 cases were examined, twenty being the most significant.

“We picked twenty because we think these are iconic in terms of the moment of truth that we are leaning into. If these twenty are cleared, my sense is that we will as a country begin to challenge whether the chapter on integrity is still alive with us,” Irungu said.

Releasing the names alongside Transparency International – Kenya Executive Director Sam Kimeu, Irungu said the findings were made on the basis of key constitutional provisions as outlined in the Leadership and Integrity Act (2012) and Chapter Six of the Constitution.

“There are many standards that could be applied at a time like this. The first is of course a criminal standard that would rest on conviction and imprisonment of a particular candidate but we would find that to be a woefully low standard to apply and possibly an existential threat to the future of the county,” he argued.

“When we’ve looked at the number of convictions we’ve seen on corruption cases, they’re insufficiently few in number so we have to apply an ethical standard,” he added saying that was in fact “the spirit of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act.”

Also named in the list sanctioned by Inuka ni Sisi and Mzalendo Trust under the auspices of the National Integrity Alliance (NIA), is Nandi Hills legislator Alfred Keter whose basis of “red carding” are abuse of office, obstruction and harassment of legitimate authority at the Gilgil weighbridge on January 21, 2015.

His Gatundu South counterpart Moses Kuria is said to be facing several counts of incitement to violence according to reports by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

According to a report by NIA, Anne Waiguru who is eyeing the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat is still under investigations for loss of funds at the National Youth Service (NYS) during her tenure at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.

The report further holds that the former CS was declared unfit to hold public office by the Public Accounts Committee of the National Assembly in May 2017.

Her colleague Kambi Kazungu according to NIA faces queries from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over the irregular approval of a Sh5.05 billion budget Tassia Phase 2 project of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) which is said to have been exaggerated.

Kazungu is also accused of varying NSSF pension funds from an initial Sh2 billion to Sh3.3 billion.

The report recommends exemption of Jubilee Party’s gubernatorial aspirant for Nairobi, Mike Sonko, for involvement in physical fights with governor Kidero in the public and alleged influence of the award Sh1.35m kickback in a case involving the Kenya Pipeline Company.

Mwangi wa Iria of Murang’a county is said to be under investigations by the EACC for the purchase of 24 acres of land at Sh340 million above market rates.

His Machakos peer Mutua faces a probe by EACC for alleged irregular procurement of 16 Subaru vehicles worth Sh147.3 million, ambulances worth Sh145.3 million and the construction of Kithimani-Makutano road at a cost of Sh568 million.

Migori’s Okoth Obado is accused of embezzlement and loss of Sh600 million through procurement irregularities and perpetration of violence during Orange Democratic Movement (ODM)party primaries in April that is said to have lead to destruction of property, loss of lives and intimidation of opponents.

ODM Deputy Party Leader and Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is under the EACC radar for questionable academic credentials, according to the report.

The capital’s Chief Executive, Evans Kidero, faces questions over procurement irregularities of up to Sh4.6 billion in taxpayers’ money in a scheme to launch a metro transport system for the city.

He is also among individuals named in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s list of shame during the 2015 State of the Nation Address apart from facing bribery allegations in which he is alleged to have paid Sh200 million to Justice Philip Tunoi to influence the outcome of a petition challenging his election.

The report also recommends barring Bungoma Governor Kenneth Lusaka over procurement queries hanging above his head with regard to the purchase of 10 wheelbarrows at the cost of Sh1 million each.

Governor Cyprian Awiti of Homa Bay is under investigations by the EACC over audit questions raised by the Auditor General in the 20154/15 fiscal year where he is said to have misappropriated Sh200 million for the Agro City Project.

Also recommended to be stopped from vying are Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel who is facing charges of assaulting nominated MP Sarah Korere, nominated lawmaker Elizabeth Ongoro for violence during party primaries, Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi for forgery of official documents and former Judiciary Registrar Gladys Shollei for procurement irregularities in the purchase of the official residence of the Chief Justice at a cost of Sh310 million.

Others in the list are Kiambu gubernatorial aspirant Ferdinand Waititu who is said to be facing allegations of hate speech and questionable academic qualifications, Tiaty MP Asman Kamama for involvement in clashes and suspected involvement in assassination of opponents and Stephen Murathi, a Dandora Area 2 MCA aspirant who stands charged at Milimani Court for rape, robbery and illegal possession of guns.

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