A candidate for the Ganda Ward by-election preferred by Malindi Member of Parliament, Aisha Jumwa suffered a setback Monday when he failed to present enough signatures endorsing his candidature.
Abdul Omar Mohamed who is seeking to defend his seat as an independent candidate, was told by returning officer, Jumaa Musa to go and look for more signatures and return for clearance by close of business on Tuesday.
The move spoilt the party for Jumwa’s supporters who had gathered at Kijiwetanga area to hold the first rally for the candidate, whose election victory was nullified by the courts following a petition by his closest rival Reuben Mwamure Katana of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Mohamed, also known as Abdere, did not address the media after a two-hour session with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), with his supporters saying he would only talk at Kijiwetanga.
Speaking to journalists at the IEBC offices, Musa said the candidate had been sent to rectify some documents and return to the office for clearance.
“The candidate was required to bring 500 signatures and actually brought more, 900 in total. However, some of his supporters did not complete the forms properly and we have sent the candidate to go and rectify them,” Musa said.
He clarified that the candidate was not time barred, but cautioned that should he fail to present the documents by end of Tuesday, he would be locked out of the by election, which is slated for October 17.
The Kenya News Agency learnt that some of the signatures were from another ward – Shella – while others were members of political parties, yet as an independent candidate, Mohamed was supposed to be supported by people who do not belong to any party.
Four candidates have expressed interest in the seat. Yesterday, the IEBC cleared two – Katana of ODM and David Mitsanze of Kadu Asili.
Mitsanze arrived alone on a motorbike and went through the process without any hitch. He left without any fanfare.
Joseph Kiponda of the Jubilee Party is expected to present his documents on Tuesday morning.
Jumwa has vowed to ensure the Orange Party that supported her to joint Parliament and which she has differed with does not win the seat. She was not immediately available to comment on the goings on.
By Emmanuel Masha