, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 22 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Code of Conduct Enforcement Committee has fined Bungoma governor Ken Lusaka and his competitor Wycliffe Wangamati Sh1 million after they were found to be in breach of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
The Commission, in a verdict read by Vice Chairperson Consolata Nkatha Thursday found both candidates vying on Jubilee and FORD Kenya party tickets respectively, guilty of causing chaos in Bungoma town on June 2 after their supporters clashed.
“We find both the complainant and the accused culpable and mete out the following penalties; That both the Lusaka and Wangamati pay a fine of Sh1 million to IEBC within 24 hours from the time of the pronouncement of this judgment in default of which they will stand disqualified from the General Election,” Nkatha ordered.
The committee chaired by commission Chairperson Wafula Chebukati noted in its judgment that indeed both parties had admitted in their respective submissions on Wednesday that violence did occur, something the committee noted could have been avoided if the parties avoided clashing into one another’s campaign entourages.
Reacting to the ruling Lusaka said it was unfortunate that violence erupted, saying he was committed to conducting peaceful campaigns. He told reporters that he will comply with the ruling.
“We will study the ruling but in the meantime we shall comply. I am not a violent person and I will endeavour to campaign peacefully. I can only ask my competitors to avoid provocation so that we can carry out a peaceful election just like we did in 2013,” Lusaka who was the complainant in the case stated.
In another ruling, the committee ordered Netto Adhola to pay Sh250,000 within 48 hours or risk being disqualified after he was found to be in violation of paragraph 6g of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
Adhola was accused by his competitor – the ODM nominee for Rarieda constituency in Siaya county Erick Onyango – of using party colours in his campaigns despite being an independent candidate.
The committee further ordered that Adhola to quit with immediate effect the use of ODM colours and the portrait of its leader – Raila Odinga – which could mislead voters to the detriment of Onyango who is the legitimate party nominee.
IEBC also delivered a rulings in a case involving the Starehe constituency parliamentary candidates Thomas Makori and Steve Mbogo, where Makori was seeking damages for destruction of his campaign posters by Mbogo supporters, who is the ODM nominee.
In its ruling, IEBC found Makori equally culpable of destroying campaign messages of his competitors as a photograph he produced before the committee as evidence depicted his poster as having been placed on top of another campaign poster.
Makori was therefore warned and the matter dismissed.
In the case between Benson Ong’onge and Fredrick Onyangi Okeyo vying for the Kayole South Ward Member of County Assembly position, the committee established that it had indeed the mandate to hear the matter, ruling out Okeyo’s preliminary objections based on the fact that that the violence he was being accused of happened prior to signing the code of conduct and that it had since been dispensed with by the party’s tribunal.
The matter will be heard on Friday, June 23.
The committee also dismissed a case by Amani National Congress’ MCA candidate for Mountain View Ward in Nairobi Raphael Musyoki who accused Peris Ayuma (Independent) of improper use of ANC logo on her campaign posters in a bid to dissuade the electorate from voting for him by purporting to be the legitimate party nominee.
According to a ruling rendered by the IEBC committee, the complainant (Musyoki) had failed to demonstrate that Ms Ayuma was responsible for printing a banner bearing an ANC logo despite being an independent candidate.
The accused however directed to remove all her banners with ANC logos within 24 hours or risk being sanctioned.
IEBC will issue rulings on the Jesica Nduku Mbalu vs Prof Philip Kaloki case – both vying for Kibwezi East Constituency parliamentary seat – and that of Kavore Kariuki vs Nixon Korir battling for Lang’ata Constituency seat on Friday.