MACHAKOS, Kenya, Jan 26 – Eight candidates seeking to clinch the vacant Machakos Senate seat have been cleared so far as the March 18 race takes shape.
Vetting of candidates by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) entered the second day on Tuesday with five hopefuls having been cleared on Monday.
Those cleared on Monday were Muungano Party’s John Musingi, Simeon Kioko Kitheka of Grand Dream Development Party, Francis Munyambu Musembi (Independent), Nthamba Sebastian Nzau (Independent) and Urbanus Muthama Ngengele of United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Governor Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap candidate John Mutua Katuku was cleared on Tuesday morning alongside Lilly Mwanzia of Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU) and Party of Economic Democracy’s Stanley Muindi.
Speaking after he was presented with a clearance certificate, Katuku, a former water minister urged Machakos residents to vote for him boosting of his vast experience in government.
“I am very sure that I am the best candidate and Machakos people understand this. Am well vast with the work of the senator, I was an MP, a minister and I know how the government operates,” said Katuku.
“We do not need to send someone in the Senate who even doesn’t understand Standing Orders, I understand all this. When you elect me as your next senator, I will work hand in hand other Senators to safeguard your interests,” he added.
Katuku also used the platform to urge his opponents to avoid divisive politics in their rallies.
“I’m urging my opponents, let’s have a peaceful campaign. I do not wish to see a rough campaign,” said Katuku.
Machakos Governor Dr Alfred Mutua drummed up support for the former cabinet minister, saying Katuku is a leader with a development record especially when he was a water minister.
“Let us not drag behind our county by electing a non-performer. Let’s understand that this election is very important,” said Governor Mutua.
Mutua hit at other candidates in the race saying they are used politically to drive 2022 succession politics at the national stage, urging Machakos residents to shun such politics.
“We (Machakos people) have said we don’t need to be forced to elect leaders with a 2022 fixed mind. We need development-oriented senator. Let’s conduct peaceful campaigns,” added Governor Mutua.
Another seven aspirants were expected to present their nomination papers on Tuesday, among them the Wiper Party candidate Agnes Muthama.
The seat fell vacant after demise of Senator Boniface Mutinda Kabaka who was elected under the CCU ticket.