On Tuesday evening, Kenyans were caught by surprise on hearing that Jubilee candidate for Kibra by-election, Macdonald Mariga, had been denied clearance by IEBC for missing from the voters’ register.
Minutes later, social media was flooded with a wide range of comments regarding the matter, with a majority of Kenyans questioning how he was selected by the Jubilee Party and given the certificate to represent the party.
However, it’s not the first time candidates eyeing political seats have been denied the chance to fly their parties’ flags for similar reasons.
For any candidate to vie for an electoral office in Kenya, he/she must meet the qualifications stipulated in the Kenyan constitution.
Candidates meeting the qualifications are given a go-ahead by the electoral body, and whoever does not, is denied the permission to contest. Each electoral position has its own specific requirements to be met by the candidates. Some of the general qualifications that cut across all elective positions include:
- Must be 18 years and above
- Must be a Kenyan citizen by birth
- Must be a registered voter
- Must not be an undischarged bankrupt
- Must not be a person of unsound mind
- Is nominated by a Political Party or is an independent candidate
- Must meet the moral and ethical requirements under the Leadership and Integrity Act
Some of the candidates who have been dismissed by IEBC include;
The footballer’s aim to score a goal for Jubilee Party during the November 7 Kibra polls suffered a big blow after the Commission stated his name didn’t appear in the 2017 voter register, therefore, couldn’t contest.
“We have invalidated Mariga’s nomination to vie in the Kibra by-election because his name is not on the voters’ register,” noted Jane Muli, IEBC’s Returning Officer.
Kethi Kilonzo’s bid to be the heiress of Makueni Senatorial seat was cut short by IEBC in 2013. She was set to vie for the seat in a by-election after the passing on of her father, Senator Mutula Kilonzo.
The Commission, however, nullified her candidature because she was not a registered voter, which is a major condition for qualification.
Mutula Kilonzo, who was the first senator for Makueni County, passed on in 2013. After Kethi’s bid was rejected by IEBC, the Wiper Party presented his brother, Mutula Kilonzo Junior, who won the elections.
The 2017 Presidential aspirant was barred from contesting the seat by IEBC with the electoral commission explaining that she failed to meet most of the qualifications, including submitting crucial documents.
“She did not return any document, she did not want us to look at the documents. Ms Umar is on record for saying she doesn’t have a university degree and she is also yet to return supporters form so technically she does not qualify,” stated IEBC Chairman Chebukati.
Jirongo’s name was omitted from the IEBC’s presidential list for October 26 2017, repeat presidential elections. He had been declared bankrupt by High Court Judge Olga Sewe hence unfit to vie for the highest electoral office.
This led to the former Lugari MP being struck off the repeat presidential race.
In the 2017 August General Election, he garnered approximately 11,000 votes under his United Democratic Party. In 2013 Jirongo declared interests in presidential position but later on shifted to Kakamega senatorial race, which he lost to Bonny Khalwale.
Peter Solomon Gichira
He was a presidential aspirant in the 2017 General Election on an independent ticket. Gichira’s journey to State House was, however, cut short when IEBC denied him clearance to the ballot under unclear circumstances.
The candidate allegedly attempted to commit suicide by threatening to jump over a window at IEBC offices 6th floor at Anniversary Towers.
He was arrested, arraigned in court and charged for attempted suicide. The aspirant was then released on a cash bail of Ksh 200, 000 or a bond of a similar amount.
He was a contestant of the Migori Senate seat in 2018 by-elections but his application was rejected by IEBC for being presented late.
“According to the IEBC rules I’m not allowed to clear anybody who arrives at the IEBC hall past the time, Makasembo was late by four minutes,” explained Ruth Kulundu, a returning officer.
The seat fell vacant following the death of Senator and former radio journalist, Ben Oluoch Okello.
Justus Juma was seeking to run for president with the Justice and Freedom Party in the 2017 general elections. His journey to the presidential race was cut short by the IEBC.
One of the reasons for his disqualification was that his degree certificate was not certified. For one to vie for the presidency in Kenya, the least education qualification must be a university degree.