NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has disqualified two candidates from contesting in Meru’s Kiagu ward by-election slated for October 14.
The IEBC’s vetting committee barred Milton Mwenda of Chama Cha Kazi (CCK) and Nathan Gitonga (National Ordinary People Empowerment Union-NOPEU) from contesting after it found that they had failed to resign as public officers within the legally provided timeline of seven days after the declaration of the vacancy.
The Commission gave CKK party led by Gatundu South lawmaker Moses Kuria a 72-hour window to nominate another candidate to contest in the by election.
“The Committee found the 2 to have failed to resign as public officers within the legally provided timeline of 7 days after the declaration of the vacancy. Chama Cha Kazi party has been given the option of nominating another Candidate within 72 hours to contest in the by election,” a statement issued by the electoral commission on Thursday read.
The seat fell vacant after the death of Eunice Karegi, who was elected on a Maendeleo Chap Chap (MCC) party ticket.
The late Karegi who died on May 27 was one of the only two elected female MCAs in the Meru County Assembly.
IEBC’s move to lock out the CCK candidate angered Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who was readying for a supremacy contest with Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA). Kuria vowed to challenge the decision at the High Court.
“Today the IEBC has disqualified the Chama Cha Kazi candidate for Kiagu By-Election Milton Mwenda Kabobo following a petition by the South Imenti UDA Coordinator Salesio Mutuma Thuranira. The party has been asked to submit a replacement candidate. We are dissatisfied with this decision and we will move to the High Court first thing tomorrow morning to challenge this decision,” he said is a brief statement published on social media.
By August 28, the electoral agency had cleared at least 10 candidates to vie in the by-election.
MCC party led by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has fronted Haron Kaburu in an effort to retain the seat.