All aspirants eyeing political seats in the August 9, 2022 general election have only one week to attend public fundraisers, better known as harambees.
While appearing during a virtual meeting with the Senate Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs on December 1, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairman, Wafula Chebukati, reminded aspirants that they will not be allowed to grace public harambees effective December 9.
Chebukati stated that any aspirants caught directly or indirectly participating in the fundraisers would be committing an electoral offence.An undated image of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati at a past eventFile
"On the issue of harambees, after December 9, it becomes an election offence, " he reiterated.
The chair of the electoral commission explained that any aspirant who contravened the directive was defying Section 26 of the Election Act and risks disqualification.
"A person who directly or indirectly participates in any manner in any or public fundraising or harambee within eight months preceding a general election or during an election period, in any other case, shall be disqualified from contesting in the election held during that election year or election period," reads the act.
However, the aspirants will be allowed to attend their fundraisers or their political parties.
The Senate JLAC committee chaired by Nyamira Senator Okong'o Omogeni, questioned Chebukati on the election preparedness. Other senators present include Kitui Senator, Julius Wambua, Nominated Senator Fatuma Dullo
Chebukati revealed that he was working with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) to prosecute any aspirant who flouted the directive.
He also stated that the commission would be vigilant in the verification of academic papers submitted by aspirants. The electoral commission boss announced that IEBC would be working with the Commission for University Education and the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) to verify all education certificates for aspirants as part of the clearance process.
"We have an arrangement where we are going to have a tripartite agreement and they will help us to vet these academic documents,"
This comes after the commission proposed that all aspirants seeking elective posts in the 2022 poll should at least be holders of an undergraduate degree from a recognised university.Campaigns by Wiper team in Machakos on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
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