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Comedy of blunders as Nairobi senate hopefuls present papers

Submission of nomination papers for Nairobi Senate seat turned into a comedy of sorts Sunday, raising questions about the seriousness of aspirants.

Even after Tuesday’s pre-nomination meetings between the electoral agency and hopefuls, the aspirants made very many basic mistakes, delaying the process.

One walked into the station with an abstract of his national identity card while another went with a proposer who did not have an ID.

An aspirant walked into the hall with her spouse, declared him her proposer, only to be turned away because his name was not on the list of the political party that nominated her.

SPECTACLE

Such was the spectacle at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, on the first day the commission set aside to receive nomination papers for those seeking to contest presidential and Senate races.

By 3pm, only five hopefuls out of the 28 listed by the commission as having shown interest in the seat had presented themselves before county returning officer Eroo Mele.

Some scheduled to appear Sunday did not show up and never gave reasons to the commission.

“This is not what we expected. It is my first time in Nairobi and I can’t believe what I am seeing,” Dr Mele said.

The first to show up was Agano Party’s Dennis Nthumbi. He was followed by Mrs Rumia Muhamud and Mr Joab Reuben, an independent.

Next was Jubilee hopeful Johnson Sakaja who was followed by Mr Thomas Mukuche of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Of all these aspirants, only Mr Sakaja — a nominated MP — was cleared, but not because he had fulfilled all requirements.

BANKERS CHEQUES

During the pre-nomination meetings, Dr Mele told the hopefuls to address their bankers cheques in the commission’s full name.

Mr Sakaja’s cheque had the commission’s initials.

He was cleared after promising to address the anomaly before the end of Monday.

Mr Nthumbi set the stage for confusion by presenting an ID abstract, telling the IEBC officials that he lost the original document.

He was turned away and told to return Monday with the card.

Ford-K’s Muhamud presented her husband Hassan Abdi as her proposer, only for a search in the records of the party to discover he was not a member.

She was asked to get another proposer.

‘A SMALL MATTER’

“It is a small matter that I hope to resolve. I will be here first thing tomorrow. I am determined to be in this race because I intend to be an example to women,” she said.

Independent aspirant Joab Reuben’s case was even more bizarre. His proposer did not have an ID.

It also looked like he had ignored or forgotten last week’s request by the IEBC for independent hopefuls to present a list of their supporters five days before the day of nomination for verification.

And though he had the list in hard copy, Mr Reuben did not carry one in soft format.

More troubles followed when a search in the political parties’ register identified him as a member of Alfred Mutua’s Maendeleo Chap Chap party.

Interestingly, he had a letter from the office of registrar of political parties showing he belonged to no party!