, NAIROBI, Kenya, July 10 – The candidates for the August 7 by-election in Mathare were on Thursday cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) as they urged the body to ensure that the mini polls are free and fair.
Speaking to reporters, the CORD candidate for the Parliamentary seat Stephen Kariuki stated that he had thoroughly prepared himself for the exercise and exuded confidence of a win.
He indicated he would embark on an extensive campaign in Mathare and called on all his supporters to support him during the polls.
“The game plan is simple. To win! This means that we put all our activities in place, to put our best foot forward and to mobilise our people and to campaign. The ground is on our side, the demographics are on our side, the atmosphere is on our side. Now it is up to us to harness all that together and make sure that we deliver,” he said.
The TNA candidate George Wanjohi whose election in Mathare was nullified by the High Court also expressed confidence of reclaiming his seat.
“I will tell you the truth about the previous polls. Even if we were shoulder to shoulder with our competitors, there were some errors here and there. The IEBC was overwhelmed and that is why some people were able to go to court and remove me. However, this time round, I believe that the polls will be fair since we do not have as many candidates vying,” he said.
The returning officer, Joseph Masindet, pointed out that everything is set for the by-election.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Masaindet explained that all arrangements have been made to ensure the exercise is fool proof.
“There will be no hitches, we are going to keep time. The time that we have allocated to candidates will be kept and we urge them to put their papers in order so that there are no delays when they arrive,” he said.
Budalangi Member of Parliament Ababu Namwamba however requested IEBC to furnish CORD with all the names of the officials who will oversee the by-election.
“We want to know in advance the identities of all presiding officers, clerks and all the officials that will be involved in this election. We have made a formal request as a party to ensure that they have been recruited above board,” he said.
Former Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Ferdinand Waititu emphasised that Jubilee recognised George Wanjohi as the only candidate in the exercise and stated that the party will support him throughout the whole process.
“There are people who are saying that they are friends of Jubilee and candidates. We want to tell all the people of Mathare that even if one says that he or she is a friend of anyone in Jubilee, we have made up our minds that it is only Wanjohi who will vie for the seat,” he said.
The Mathare Member of the National Assembly seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision to nullify the election of George Wanjohi.
The Supreme Court ruling was made on May 23.