NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 9 – The Wiper Democratic Movement has been locked out of the Makueni Senate by-election after the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gazetted the names of four candidates who do not include Kethi Kilonzo – their candidate.
In a special Gazette Notice published following the revocation of Kethi’s nomination, Philip Kaloki of the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC), Harun Mwau of the Party of Independent Candidates of Kenya (PICK), Jane Kitundu of The Labour Party of Kenya and Urbanus Katumo, an independent candidate, were conclusively cleared to vie in the July 22 by-election.
“Following yesterday’s (Monday’s) ruling on the nomination disputes for Makueni Senatorial by-election set for July 22, IEBC published names of the nominated candidates in the special issue Gazette Notice Vol. CXV – No. 101, as 9394 and 9395 of 2013 respectively,” a statement posted on the commission’s website read.
The Gazette Notice also includes the names of the 866 polling stations that will be used for the by-election in the six constituencies that make up Makueni County: Mbooni, Kilome, Kaiti, Makueni, Kibwezi West and East.
“The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission gives notice that voting for the Makueni by-election Senate seat scheduled for July 22 shall be conducted at the places listed in the schedule to this notice,” the gazette notice reads.
Despite Wiper’s efforts to have Kethi’s candidature reinstated by the High Court, the electoral commission is moving forward with its preparations for the by-election which is less than two weeks away.
“The electoral body is stepping up preparations and will start training officials and testing technological systems tomorrow,” the commission stated on its website.
Kethi’s removal from the race on account of her not being a registered voter is a big blow for Wiper which was defending the late Mutula Kilonzo’s Senate seat.
And although Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka is yet to concede defeat, he admits that should their bid to secure Kethi’s candidature fail, they would be dead in the water.
“We are not talking about plan B, we have every confidence that justice is going to be done,” Musyoka said while in the same breath ironically casting aspersions on the Judiciary’s autonomy.
“Democracy in Kenya continues to be on trial. This was evident during the petition that challenged the flawed presidential results of the March 4 General Election which due to obvious reasons, the Supreme Court of Kenya upheld, much to the dissatisfaction of millions of the Kenyan population,” he said.
Musyoka was however unable to counter the evidence that led to Kethi’s technical knockout of the Makueni Senate race saying, “I just want to ignore it because I don’t think it’s relevant.”