, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 6 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries (IEBC) Tribunal on Saturday admitted that Wiper party aspirant Kethi Kilonzo was not a registered voter, and revealed that she was listed using a slip that is among five that were stolen from a voter registration booklet.
IEBC Director of Voter registration and Electoral Operations Immaculate Kassait told the tribunal that the commission discovered that Kethi used a slip from a booklet that was used to register only former President Mwai Kibaki.
“The Wiper candidate’s slip is not among those distributed anywhere in the country. The booklet where the slip was taken from was used to register the former president and five others went missing, and the slip held by Kethi is among those missing,” she explained adding that the matter was already subject to investigation.
Kassait says the commission learnt about the missing slips after the Makueni Returning Officer raised the concerns on the day that Kethi presented her nomination papers for the Makueni senatorial seat.
Kassait, who was hard-pressed to explain why the former president was accorded special treatment by being allocated the one booklet, explained that it was done during the launch of the Biometric Voter Registration at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre and that other leaders including former Prime Minister Raila Odinga were also registered at undesignated areas in a bid to lobby Kenyans to register.
Teresia Wanjiru, the Langata Constituency Returning Officer where Kethi claimed to have been registered also confirmed that she was not a registered voter in the area.
The name of Kethi, who was cleared for the July 22 Makueni Senate by-election, was also found to be missing in three Green Books opened in court amidst protests by defence lawyers T.J Kajwang, Haroun Ndubi and Kethi’s lawyer June Soweto.
Kajwang claimed that the boxes which were in the custody of IEBC had been tampered with hence could not prove if Kethi was genuinely registered or not. “Even though there is a notice to produce, none of the witnesses have been having custody of the box, thus we don’t know the condition… opening that box is equivalent to opening a pandora’s box.”
Meanwhile, CORD on Saturday threatened to sue the IEBC if Kethi is barred from running for the senatorial position in the coming by-election.
ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o claimed IEBC should not be involved in handling the case since it is a party to the whole saga.
Speaking in Kisumu, Nyong’o who is also the Kisumu Senator, said the case ought to have been referred to a court of law for fair judgment.
The three IEBC commissioners hearing the case are expected to issue the ruling that will determine if Kethi is suitable to run for the Makueni Senate seat on Monday.
Meanwhile, the IEBC tribunal also heard a complaint by the Wiper party which wants Prof Philip Kaloki disqualified from the Makueni senatorial race on basis that he still is registered with the party.