Chebukati's Favour to Ruto's Man Splits IEBC
IEBC is divided over how it conducted the invalidation of Jubilee's Kibra candidate, McDonald Mariga, after the chairman Wafula Chebukati and the Returning Officer Beatrice Muli differed over clearing Mariga as reported by The Star.
On Tuesday, September 10, Chebukati and two other commissioners ignored advice from their own legal and ICT team and ordered the returning officer, Beatrice Muli, to clear Mariga.
The two teams indicated that Mariga had never been registered as a voter. They also revealed that Mariga had swiftly rushed to Kariakor on Monday, August 26, where he applied for registration.
They further informed Chebukati that Mariga could not be registered as he had applied for registration two weeks after National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi had declared the Kibra seat vacant.
According to section 5 (1)b of the Elections Act, all electoral activities including voter registration must stop upon declaration of a vacancy.
"Mariga applied for registration on August 26 after the vacancy was declared on August 14 and IEBC gazetted the by-election on August 16, two days later. By law, the application must be brought to headquarters and all details confirmed before they can be put in the voters' roll.
"Once that is done the register will have to be gazetted. In this case, Mariga's application is still pending. He cannot, therefore, be cleared to vie," an IEBC official seeking anonymity informed The Star.
The returning officer hence declined to clear Mariga indicating that his name was missing from the voter's roll.
Muli was afraid of facing severe consequences of flouting electoral procedure as she would have been held liable for committing election malpractice.
"The law is very clear that IEBC election officials will be held personally liable for any electoral offence. She refused to commit an offence," another IEBC official told the publication.
She further adviced Mariga to appeal through IEBC Disputes Resolution Board. Her announcement that Mariga had been barred from contesting in Kibra sparked a confrontation with Jubilee politicians who were at the commission's offices.
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