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IEBC Clears Mariga to Contest for Kibra parliamentary Seat

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Monday cleared former football star McDonald Mariga to vie as Jubilee candidate in the forthcoming Kibra by-election.
Mariga had filed a petition at the IEBC Disputes Resolution Committee against Tuesday’s invalidation of his candidature for the Kibra by-election slated for November 7, 2019.
The tribunal headed by IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati and IEBC Commissioner Boya Molu ruled that Mariga was duly registered as a voter.
According to IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, the absence of Mariga’s name in the voter register cannot be taken as a conclusive proof of lack of registration.
“It is our finding that the complainant was duly registered as a voter. The respondent decision of September 10, 2019 declining the nomination of the complainant on account that he was not registered as a voter is hereby set aside,” said Chebukati.
Speaking at a press conference at IEBC headquarters in Nairobi, Chebukati said that Mariga had filed an appeal challenging the IEBC decision to invalidate his candidature, saying that his disqualification was improper, null and void.
“The respondent is hereby ordered to process the complainant application for nominations as a Jubilee candidate for the Kibra constituency by-election in accordance with the law,” said Chebukati.
IEBC Commissioner Boya Molu said that it is the commission’s decision to conduct continuous registration of citizens as voters.
“Section 5 of the Elections and IEBC Act requires registration of voters to be carried out at all times except in the case of a by election between the date of declaration of the vacancy and the date of the by-election,” explained Molu.
Mariga in his remarks, said he is glad that justice has been served and has forgiven those who spoke ill of him, adding that he will let the people of Kibra decide who will become their Member of Parliament.
“I have all the necessary documents; that is not a problem for now. We are here to speak about the issue of certificate and that is also over,” said Mariga.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen who had accompanied Mariga to IEBC offices, lauded IEBC for giving Mariga the justice he deserves.

“Victory will belong to the people of Kibra, the leader they will elect will be theirs. As a party, we will give Mariga our support,” he said.
Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, in his remarks, urged competitors of Mariga to stop erecting imaginary obstacles in the way, noting that attempts to stop his bid through the issue of age is mischievous since the only ages at stake are ages between 18 to 21.
Mariga will face ODMs’ Ben Okoth, brother to the former Kibra MP the late Ken Okoth, Amani National Congress candidate Eliud Owalla and Ford Kenya’s Khamisi Butichi and a number of independent candidates contesting for the seat.
By Charity Kanyoro/ Rosebell Njega

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