Mariga's candidature in Kibra by-election runs into fresh challenges

Will Mariga survive?

File image of McDonald Mariga with Lang'ata MP Nixon Korir

McDonald Mariga’s candidature has run into fresh challenges after a Jubilee party member and a registered voter in Kibra moved to court to halt the plans for the by-election planned for 07 November.

In the petition filed at the high court in Nairobi, Leina Konchellah maintains that the nomination of MacDonald Mariga as Jubilee’s candidate in the Kibra by-election is illegal, citing erroneous process in verifying his voter status and alleging integrity issues.

Konchellah who is a registered voted in Kibra now wants the high court to bar the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from printing ballot papers for the 07 Novemebr by-eletion until her suit is determined.

“This Honourable Court be pleased to issue a conservatory order restraining the 1st respondent [IEBC] whether by itself, its agents, its servants or otherwise howsoever from printing ballot papers,” reads a section of the suit.

“The integrity, transparency and accountability of the electoral process was in doubt and it’s only fair and just that such issues raised ought to be canvassed as a matter of urgency to protect the sanctity of the electoral process in Kenya,” Konchella argued. 

The Kibra constituency resident further faulted the IEBC for clearing Mariga for the the by-election, terming the move a violation of electoral laws and stating that the body ignored glaring integrity issues.

Konchellah who is a voter at Kang’ethe primary school clarified that her interest is to ensure the full compliance with electoral laws.

Integrity of documents presented

At the center of the integrity issues is a National ID allegedly presented by Mariga indicating that he was born in 1987 and a Kenya Certificate of Seconday Education certificate indicating that he sat for his KCSE in 2002.

She argues that for Mariga to sit his KCSE exams in 2002 at 15 years is impractical unless he was a genius-a trait which he observes that does not reflect in his KCSE results having scored a D-.

Mariga survives

The Kbra constituency Returning Officer Beatrice Muli had initially locked out Mariga from the race after establishing that his name was missing in the voters’ register, a decision that was later overturned.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on Monday ruled that footballer McDonald Mariga is cleared to vie for the Kibra by-election.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati noted that according to the law and evidence provided, Mariga was duly registered as a voter.

Chebukati explained that the Returning Officer erred by relying on Kenya Integrated Elections Management System to confirm whether Mariga was a registered voter, noting that IEBC acknowledged delays in updating voters' records on the KIEMS platform.

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