, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has began hearing petitions filed against two candidates over their eligibility to contest the July 22 Makueni Senate by-election.
The hearings at the Milimani Law Courts follow complaints against Wiper Democratic Movement candidate Kethi Kilonzo and Narc’s Philip Kaloki.
The Jubilee Alliance and three voters from Makueni have separately filed petitions against Kethi, claiming that she was cleared yet she is not a registered voter.
“The tribunal be pleased to declare that the 1st respondent (Kethi) in the Makueni County Senatorial by-election scheduled for July 22, 2013 by virtue of not being a duly registered voter at the relevant time and thus disqualified under Section 24 (1) (a) of the Elections Act,” the three voters plead.
Kaloki is on the other hand facing a petition filed against him by the Wiper Party, which is accusing him of vying for the seat on a Narc ticket yet he still belongs to the Wiper Party.
The public had seven days from last Thursday within which to file their petitions before the IEBC’s Disputes Resolution Committee.
Makueni County Returning Officer Salad Boru Guracha had last Thursday asked any Kenyan with concerns surrounding the clearance process to file them before the IEBC tribunal.
“I don’t want to discuss that (Kethi) matter because we dealt with it yesterday and whoever is concerned will have his day at the Disputes’ Resolution Committee,” he said last week.
Other candidates for the Makueni senatorial seat are former Kilome MP Harun Mwau who will be vying on a Part of Independent Candidates Kenya ticket, Jane Kitundu (Labour Party of Kenya) and independent candidate Urbanus Katumo.
In February this year, the IEBC declined to clear an aspiring candidate for the Magarini Constituency parliamentary seat on grounds that he had not been a Kenyan citizen for the last 10 years preceding the 2013 general election.
Requirements before an aspiring candidate is cleared to vie include: if the person is registered as a voter; satisfies any educational, moral and ethical requirements prescribed by the Constitution and the Elections Act; and is nominated by a political party.
If the person is an independent candidate he must be supported, in the case of election to the National Assembly, by at least 1,000 registered voters in the constituency; or in the case of election to the Senate, by at least 2,000 registered voters in the county.