Wavinya Ndeti’s bid for governorship quashed
The electoral commission has quashed the nomination of Wavinya Ndeti to vie for the Machakos governorship on a Wiper party ticket.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Disputes Resolution Tribunal on Thursday struck out Ms Ndeti’s nomination after finding that she is a member of two parties at the same time — Wiper Democratic Movement and Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU).
The cancellation followed a petition filed by a voter, Kyalo Peter Kyuli, who is also a member of the Machakos County Assembly.
Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, who has since severed ties with the Wiper Democratic Movement and its leader Kalonzo Musyoka, swore an affidavit in support of Mr Kyuli’s petition.
Mr Kyuli had asked the tribunal to nullify Ms Ndeti’s nomination and revoke the certificate awarded to her by Wiper.
In his petition, he argued that Ms Ndeti ditched her CCU party for Wiper on April 6, 2017, a day after the party-hopping window had been shut by the courts.
The High Court had ruled that no party hopping should be allowed after April 5, 2017.
According to the 2011 Elections Act, anyone who decamps to another party 120 days to the election date is deemed to have breached the set rules and cannot be allowed to contest on their new party’s ticket.
Mr Kyuli argued that by being the party leader of CCU and a member of the Wiper party, Ms Ndeti was committing an electoral offence.
He cited a letter by IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati, dated May 26, 2017, in which he confirmed that Ms Ndeti was still the CCU leader despite having decamped to Wiper following an agreement with Mr Musyoka.
He further argued that Wiper allowed a stranger to participate in its primaries against the 2011 Elections Act.
Senator Muthama, who fell out with Mr Musyoka after the party’s nominations, swore an affidavit and asked the IEBC to revoke Ms Ndeti’s nomination.
A search at the Registrar of Political Parties, he said, had proved that Ms Ndeti is a member of Wiper and CCU.
The nomination of Ms Ndeti contravened election rules as well as the Political Party Act and the Elections Act, he argued.
However, Ms Ndeti, who was to face Governor Alfred Mutua of Maendeleo Chap Chap, fought Mr Kyuli’s and Mr Muthama’s claims, saying her nomination was valid.
She urged the committee to throw out the petition, arguing that the application was a witch-hunt that sought to reopen issues that had already been determined by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal.
The tribunal on May 30 ordered Wiper to urgently nominate Ms Ndeti as its candidate.
It ruled that though the recently repeated Wiper nominations for Machakos governor were not free and fair, it would be pointless to order another repeat because her main challenger is now vying as an independent candidate.
Benard Muia Kiala, Machakos deputy governor, had filed the application arguing that the party had in the repeat nominations on May 6 contravened its own constitution and nomination rules.
The tribunal, while declaring that the primary election was not free and fair, and thus null and void, said that Mr Kiala has since moved on to become an independent candidate, leaving Ms Ndeti as the party’s only aspirant for the position.