, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 19 – Kethi Kilonzo’s hyped political bid has been cut short after the High Court validated a decision taken by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Disputes Resolution Committee nullifying her candidacy for the July 26 Makueni senatorial by-election.
The three judge bench put a damper on Kethi’s infantile political ambition in under three hours, during which it sealed her fate.
Justices Richard Mwongo, Mumbi Ngugi and Weldon Korir justified the IEBC’s decision noting that Kethi was not registered as a voter.
They also observed that the irregularities surrounding Kethi’s alleged registration status including her registration documents and acknowledgment slip were too glaring to ignore.
“The name of Ms Kilonzo was searched for in the principle register and in the green book but was not found. On the available evidence one can say that Ms Kilonzo is not a registered voter. Even the origin of the acknowledgment slip Ms Kilonzo had is in question,” observed the judges.
The bench however gave Wiper the green light to field another candidate saying that the party should not be faulted for unknowingly clearing an unqualified candidate.
The judges however panned the party for not conducting due diligence before nominating Kethi.
The party now has until the end of day on Friday to conduct nominations before settling on a candidate who will be presented at the IEBC offices in Wote on Saturday morning.
“We note that Wiper may not have been vigilant and diligent enough when it came to the fielding of Ms Kilonzo. But we find that the order that addresses itself to the circumstances and requirements of the society as to allow Wiper party to exercise its right to nominate another candidate for Makueni County Senate seat,” the judges ruled.
Kethi was also castigated for not checking her purported registration status.
“She is recorded as saying ‘I am a trained lawyer and a diligent one. It is true that I did not check in the register to confirm that my name had been entered in the green book. It would naturally be expected that a diligent lawyer intent on ensuring her rights are safeguarded would have at least bothered to check her registration,” argued the court.