, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 25 – Just a day after she publicly declared that she will be vying for the Makueni Senate seat in the July 22 by-election, Kethi Kilonzo’s candidature has been called into question.
The National Alliance (TNA) party has written to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) demanding that she not be allowed to contest in the by-election allegedly because she is not a registered voter.
“It has come to the attention of TNA that 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,” a letter to IEBC chairman Issack Hassan reads.
The letter written by TNA’s Legal Affairs Secretary Jasper Mbiuki cites Section 24(1)(a) of the Elections Act which reads, “a person qualifies for nomination as a member of Parliament if the person is registered as a voter,” as the basis for their demand.
Speaking to Capital FM News, however, Kethi denied the allegation saying that she has met all the requirements laid out in the Elections Act and there is therefore no reason for her to be disqualified from the race, “I am registered. The party will be responding formally today (Monday),” she said.
Even as the Wiper Democratic Movement prepares its formal statement, Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has accused the Jubilee coalition, of which TNA is a part, of using underhand tactics to steal the Makueni Senate seat out from under them.
“First they try and divide Mutula’s family by pushing Nduku (Kilonzo) to announce her candidature then this. We are not fools. We know what they are trying to do,” he said.
The IEBC is yet to issue its statement, clarifying whether or not Kethi Kilonzo is registered to vote but any doubts will be put to rest should she receive a nomination certificate from the Makueni County Returning Officer Salad Boru on Thursday.