MACHAKOS, Kenya, Sept 18 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared three candidates to contest the Matungulu by-election by Tuesday’ deadline.
Stephen Mule will contest on a Wiper ticket, Moffat Maitha under the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) while Thomas Malinda Musau is the New Democrats party candidate.
The three received their nomination certificates from the Matungulu Returning Officer Leonard Okemwa after presenting the required documents and their nomination fees at Tala High School.
“To get the Returning Officer’s nod, a candidate is required to be a registered voter, show identification documents, produce a list of supporters and pay the prescribed nomination fee. A potential candidate is further required to fill a self-declaration form in addition to subscribing to the electoral code of conduct,” a statement posted on the IEBC website following the submission of nomination papers read.
Wiper which will be defending the seat following the High Court’s decision to overturn Mule’s win in the March 4 general election, welcomed the clearance of their candidate and said they were confident of retaining the seat.
“This campaign will be tough and I ask our competitors to prepare for a bruising battle…We expect that IEBC will conduct a fair election this time round so that people of Matungulu will make independent choices,” Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama said on behalf of the party.
Mule’s competitors, Musau and Maitha, were among four poll-losers that challenged Mule’s 12, 297 vote victory to Musau’s 9, 940 and Maitha’s 8,775 in the General Election.
Justice Lilian Mutende found on July 30 that their petition had merit making Mule the first to lose his parliamentary seat through the court – out of the 184 county and parliamentary election petitions filed nationwide following the general election.
The three candidates will begin wooing the 47,838 voters registered in the constituency from Wednesday in preparation for the by-election that will be held concurrently with six others in a month’s time.
Those contesting the Ilima, Kahawa Sukari, Mnagei and Benane County Assembly seats had also all received their nomination certificates by Tuesday.
Siaya gubernatorial aspirants and Kibwezi West candidates will however have to wait until Thursday before they are cleared to take part in the October 17 by-elections.