The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is on the receiving end of numerous blames insinuating that the body is at fault for allowing Jubilee Party candidate, McDonald Mariga, to contest in the Kibra by-election.
On Monday, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati annulled the decision by Kibra constituency Returning Officer Beatrice Muli, who had declined to clear Mariga for the by-election, and ordered her to process the former football star’s application for nomination.
“The respondent is hereby ordered to process the Complainant’s Application for nomination as Jubilee Party’s candidate for Kibra Constituency By-election slated for November 7th, in accordance to the Law,” stated Chebukati.
The committee ruled that Mariga was a registered voter hence deserved a right to be a candidate.
Mariga had gone to IEBC’s Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) to defend his candidature after Muli ruled that he was not a registered voter, hence ineligible to contest for the seat.
The committee met on Friday where both sides presented their case.
The decision by the electoral body has elicited mixed reactions from a section of social media users with some alleging foul play.
Rarienda Member of Parliament, Otiende Amollo, slammed the commission for the decision claiming that its top leadership was in a mess.
“It is clear to me, more than before, that we must Sweep the Commission Clean at the Top Levels!” He noted.
According to city lawyer Donald Kipkorir, the commission was misguided in its conclusion.
“With tremendous respect, I wholly disagree with IEBC ruling on McDonald Mariga.
“That the law PROHIBITS all residents of Kibra from registering as Voters once the Seat was declared Vacant but allow Outsiders to register as Voters & contest the seat is a Great Travesty Of Justice,” he noted.
Many Kenyans also expressed their reservation on the decision saying the IEBC’s ruling was questionable.
In comparison with Kethi Kilonzo’s case, some said the decision was an indictment to electoral justice.
Here is how Kenyans tweeted on the matter:
IEBC as it is constituted with tumbocrats must be disbanded immediately. Chebukati like his brother Khalwale who're handout dependents must be gotten rid off with any means possible. With their fishy ruling on Mariga they’ve taken a position and shouldn’t officiate the poll.
— Bel Akinyi (@BelAkinyii) September 16, 2019
Some of us are bitter as the essence of the problems in Kenya is electoral reforms , and after handshake all was forgoten , RAO should have had sweeping clean of IEBC a precondition
— eric pamba (@Bonerventure) September 16, 2019
Chebukati needs to put his house in order. They can't be reading from a different script. Disqualifying the ruling of madam Returning Officer is a clear show that IEBC house is not ready to offer a credible & transparent election.
— Meshack Barasa (@meshackbarasaa) September 16, 2019
Welcome to Kenya,, where with money you can buy even IEBC registration!! McDonald Mariga focus of football!! Will you be able to cope with banters from Moses Kuria and Babu Owino?😥
— Kihenjo™ (@thiongo_erick) September 16, 2019
Mariga will lose in Kibra, that's given but I'm worried about IEBC. If ODM goes to slumber in 2022 they will cry a river. HANDSHAKE should not hoodwink us to forget the BIG PROBLEM that necessitates things like HANDSHAKE reconciliation, that's Electoral FRAUD, so far it is there
— Bramwell (@brakotsi) September 16, 2019
So MacDonald Mariga has Been Cleared by IEBC But they Could Do Nothing with Kethi Kilonzo. Kenya is a Real Animal Farm. 😂#JKIASecurityCompromised
— Gerald Ngao 🇰🇪 (@geraldngaopk) September 16, 2019