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Akaranga, independent fined Sh500,000 by IEBC over campaign misconduct

The censured have three days to comply with IEBC’s directives/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Vihiga’s Governor Moses Akaranga and Ndiritu Muriithi, vying for the governor’s seat in Laikipia County, are among the candidates who were on Thursday censured by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and fined Sh500,000 each for contravening the electoral code of conduct.

Muriithi was accused by Jubilee Party’s Joshua Irungu of using President Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto’s images even though he isn’t a member of the Jubilee party which the duo leads.

“The accused is ordered to pay to IEBC a fine of Sh500,000 within 24 hours,” read part of the verdict.

He was also ordered to pull down, within three days, any material that might conflict the voters of Laikipia county.

“The accused is ordered to pull down any material that is conflicting and might confuse the voters,” he was ordered.

Ndiritu who is vying for the seat on an independent ticket had defended himself on Tuesday saying that he has a right to associate with anyone including any presidential candidate of his choice.

“Muriithi has a right to associate with any presidential candidate of his choice. This is granted to him by Article 36 of the constitution under the freedom of association,” he asserted through his lawyer on Tuesday.

Governor Moses Akaranga, the Progressive Party of Kenya candidate was accused by Ibrahim Memba of illegally using the National Super Alliance (NASA) colours and logos yet his party was not a member of the coalition.

“The committee finds the accused guilty and orders him to pay a fine of Sh500,000 within 24 hours, failure to which he stands barred from contesting in the August 8 elections,” read part of the verdict.

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He had defended himself on Tuesday saying that even Raila Odinga, the NASA leader acknowledges him.

“When NASA came to Vihiga, I took them all over the county. If the principals thought that I am not NASA, would they have invited me?” Akaranga said on Tuesday before the Chebukati led committee.

He was further ordered to pull down any conflicting campaign material within three days, failure to which he will stand disqualified from the August 8 General Election.

The case that had been filed by Juma Masika against TJ Kajwang and Elizabeth Ongoro was dismissed for “lacking direct, clear and specific connection to the accused.” The committee noted that the evidence presented before it “doesn’t meet circumstantial evidence threshold.”

On Tuesday, the committee heard 18 cases that had been filed before them by different candidates.

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