NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 3 – The Jubilee Alliance has officially written to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) raising concerns about what they call glaring irregularities in the clearance of Kethi Kilonzo for the July 22 Makueni Senate by-election.
In a complaint letter forwarded to the IEBC on Tuesday, the alliance pointed out that details regarding Kethi’s voter listing like the purported registration date as well as the validity of her acknowledgment slip were questionable.
The alliance, represented by lawyers Jasper Mbiuki, Fred Muteti and Fidelis Nguli, argue that Kethi’s registration was supposedly made in the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) format in 2011, yet the BVR registration commenced in 2012.
“This is a matter of public record and all Kenyans remember the tiresome saga regarding BVR procurement as well as the public notices issued by the IEBC announcing the commencement of electronic voter registration process,” they argued.
The lawyers further demanded to know how Kethi ended up with an acknowledgment slip from the same booklet as the former President Mwai Kibaki yet this booklet was only reserved for the president.
Last Thursday, the Makueni County Returning Officer Salad Boru Guracha said that the acknowledgment slip was valid, explaining that the serial number matched one that was held in the IEBC records.
He however failed to give a sufficient answer whether or not Kethi’s names were in the voters’ register. But reliable sources within the IEBC confirmed to Capital FM News that her name was not in the register.
“How did Kethi end up with an acknowledgment slip from the same booklet with H.E former President Kibaki whereas this booklet was exclusively reserved for the president who is a voter at Munaine Primary School in Othaya Constituency, Nyeri County?” asked the Jubilee lawyers.
According to the Jubilee lawyers, Kethi had been registered at a centre called ‘Karen’ yet Karen has 12 registration centers and none of them bear the name ‘Karen’.
“The CAW No. 1381 was for Karen Ward as a whole. Registration information was not provided at a ward level, but rather with reference to the specific registration centre within that ward,” argued the lawyers.
The Jubilee team further observed that Kethi’s names does not appear anywhere on the voters register that was provided to various political parties and private citizens on February 20, this year.
IEBC staff in Wote also had a difficult time trying to trace her voter details last Thursday and their search did not yield any fruits.
“This is a grave matter which goes to the core of the credibility of Kenya’s electoral processes. We wish to formally request that the IEBC immediately avail to us and to the public, scan copies of the by election candidature documents presented by Ms Diana Kethi Kilonzo,” demanded the Jubilee team.
The lawyers further asked the IEBC to provide a breakdown of Kethi’s registration information stating; the Registration Name, Identification Document used, Electors Number issued, Acknowledgement Number issued, Registration Date, Registration Centre and the name of the IEBC official who person who registered the same.
“We are all too aware that there are those in the IEBC who have contrived to assist Ms Diana Kethi Kilonzo in acquiring ‘voter registration’ and who have rode roughshod over the law so that an ineligible candidate has received clearance to vie in Makueni County,” said the lawyers’ statement.
They also said that they would pursue the matter in civil and criminal Courts if her clearance turned out to be a shoddy affair.
“Kindly take note that if the Registration Information presented by Ms Kilonzo turns out to be false; then she and all those who have assisted her will have committed felonies that are punishable by lengthy jail terms,” said the lawyers.
Kethi is due to have a fundraising cocktail on Thursday at the Ole Sereni hotel on Mombasa road, which has been organised by the CORD team.
An advert in one of the dailies says the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula will lead the CORD fundraiser.