, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula risks losing his seat if the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) approves a report by the Supreme Court which found him guilty of committing an electoral offence.
Section 87 of the Elections Act requires the Speaker of the Senate to publish the report by the Supreme Court in the Kenya Gazette which the electoral body then takes up, reviews and recommends necessary action.
“The relevant Speaker shall publish a report made under this section in the gazette and the commission shall consider the report and delete from the register of voters the name of a person who is disqualified from being registered in the voters register,” the Act states.
The report was published Friday.
“On March 17, 2015 the Supreme Court of Kenya in Petition No. 12 of 2014 Moses Masika Wetangula and Musikari Nazi Kombo and 2 others found that Moses Masika Wetangula Senator of the County of Bungoma committed the election offense of bribery during the March 4, 2013 general elections,” read part of the gazette notice by Senate Speaker Ekwee Ethuro.
It went on to state that “the court made this finding after considering the record of fact before it and the findings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal.”
If IEBC approves it, Wetangula’s name will be deleted from the voters register which may cause him to lose his seat and eventually affect his eligibility to contest in the next General Election of 2017.
Section 24 of the Elections Act states that for a person to qualify for nomination as a Member of Parliament one must be a registered as a voter.
However CORD lawmakers have claimed the timing of the recent development is suspect and meant to silence the Opposition.
“The threats are meant to destabilise Senator Wetangula as a national leader and destabilise CORD as a coalition,” the coalition alleges.
They accused the government of targeting the CORD co-principal and have vowed to rally behind him further dismissing reports that he would lose his seat.
“At what point was the investigations file opened? Who ordered the re-opening of the file? Why was it immediately after the Senate Minority leader threatened to impeach the President?” posed Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale.
And despite the opposition having consistently faulted the electoral body for alleged malpractices in the last general election and even called for its disbandment, they CORD MPs implored the commission to exercise independence and not allow ‘forces’ to influence their decisions.