Agony as losing aspirants take tickets battle to IEBC tribunal

NAIROBI; KENYA: The fiasco during the political parties’ nominations last week was replayed on Thursday as disgruntled aspirants and party representatives went for arbitration before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

The climax was a turn of events in the heightened contest between businesswoman Mary Wambui and her opponent James Mugambi over the TNA nomination for Othaya parliamentary seat.

The complaint filed by Wambui was among the 112 received by the Dispute Resolution Committee by on Thursday morning. The complaints showcased what transpired in the nominations described as shambolic. The exercise sparked off violence and demonstrations in some regions.

Two certificates

Wambui went to the committee on Wednesday to challenge TNA’s decision to withhold her certificate even after winning the nominations.

Although the matter was resolved on Wednesday evening and Wambui handed the certificate, it emerged the party had handed another certificate to Mugambi.

On Thursday, lawyer Cecil Miller represented Wambui. When her file was called out, committee chairman Thomas Letangule asked him whether the matter had been settled as reported in the media.

Miller said they came before the committee because Mr Mugambi had made a statement in the media on Wednesday evening, claiming he was still holding the TNA nomination certificate.

The TNA, however, confirmed through their lawyer Linda Milimi that Wambui was the nominee after resolving the matter.

Both Miller and Milimi were asked to record a consent, which they did stating. But just as Milimi read the consent before the tribunal, Mugambi’s lawyer who had just walked in said his client was not party to the agreement.

“We have not been consulted and we are not party to the consent read in court,” the lawyer said.

The committee said it would accept the agreement between Wambui and TNA but would hear Mugambi’s contention this morning.

Another aspirant Mohammed Isack Ali said he was declared UDF nominee for Kamukunji seat unopposed.

When he went to collect the certificate, he was told the party had struck a deal with a defector to buy his victory for Sh2.5 million. He said an official told him to accept it or lose the cash and ticket.

“I rejected the offer and the official started threatening me. I don’t know who was given the certificate,” he added.

The party, however, denied the allegations, saying there are allegations raised about his citizenship, which had to be investigated.

Mr Ali produced his identity card, passport and voters card, saying he has never been a citizen of any other country.

Posted by THE STANDARD - January 25, 2013