NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 25 – The National Alliance (TNA) on Friday asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to bar businessman Jimnah Mbaru from contesting in the upcoming general election.
TNA Legal Affairs Secretary Jasper Mbiuki said in a letter to the commission that Mbaru is still a member of Uhuru Kenyatta’s party.
Mbaru contested the just concluded nominations on a TNA ticket but lost to outgoing Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu after which he decamped to Kiraitu Murungi’s Alliance Party of Kenya.
“We urge the IEBC to bar Mbaru from contesting during this general election as his defection to the Alliance Party of Kenya (APK) is illegal and that party cannot nominate him as a candidate after the closure of the nominations period,” Mbiuki asserted.
“Mbaru is a duly registered and paid up member of TNA. He cannot legally contest for elective or nominated office under the banner of any other party. The law is clear as to the interval between leaving one party and contesting on the ticket of another. Mbaru is nowhere near the permissible period and indeed has not even resigned from TNA,” he explained.
Mbiuki said by joining APK after the January 18 deadline, Mbaru had contravened the electoral law which barred party hopping after last Friday.
“No party could hold nominations after the 18th of January 2013. Consequently, the APK is legally barred from being able to validly nominate Mr Mbaru.”
He explained that Mbaru also filed a complaint with the disputes committee on January 20but was unsuccessful after his bid to secure the Nairobi gubernatorial TNA ticket was dismissed.
TNA urged IEBC to also take action against APK for violating the law by nominating Mbaru after the conclusion of the nominations and expiry of the deadline for party hopping.
“We also urge that severe sanctions be meted out against both Mbaru and APK for their flagrant flouting of the law and their naked disregard and contempt for the rules and procedures that govern political party activities in Kenya,” he said.
Mbaru’s name is on the APK nominee list released by the electoral commission on Thursday.
Other notable politicians who dumped their parties after losing the primaries were outgoing MPs John Mututho, Peter Kiilu, David Ngugi and Benson Mbai.
The IEBC has been categorical that it will disqualify all politicians who hopped parties after the January 18 deadline.