NASA gubernatorial candidate Wavinya Ndeti has been disqualified by the IEBC despite winning the Wiper nominations twice.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Dispute Tribunal announced the decision on Thursday, June 8 after validating claims that Ndeti belonged to two political parties — the Wiper Democratic Movement and Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU).
“This committee has considered submissions from both parties and has come to the conclusion that the complaint has merit and is therefore allowed,” IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said in the announcement.
The former Kathyani Member of Parliament Wavinya Ndeti was considered as one of the strongest contenders against Machakos incumbent Alfred Mutua who is seeking a second term.
After a second polling, Ndeti was by the IEBC declared the winner of the Wiper gubernatorial nominations defeating Machakos deputy governor, Bernard Kiala.
However, her nomination ticket was threatened by Wanyumu Member of County Assembly (MCA) Kyalo Peter Kyuli who filed a petition alleging that Ndeti belonged to two political parties as against the Electoral Act.
Kyuli noted that Ndeti joined the Kalonzo Musyoka-led Wiper Party on April 6, a day after the April 5th deadline for party switching. He also said that while Ndeti made the hop, she remained a leader in Chama Cha Uzalendo (CCU).
“This is contrary to section 30 of the Elections Act which provides that primaries could only be conducted using the party membership submitted to the IEBC,” the MCA’s petition said. Supporting his claim was Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama who also sought to oust Ndeti.
When called to defend the claims at the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal, Ndeti asked for it to be dismissed, calling it a witch-hunt while affirming that her nomination was completely valid.
Former VP and current NASA Deputy flagbearer Kalonzo Musyoka had said that Ndeti had all that it takes to become the nation’s first female governor.
Her potential opponent at the August 8 polls, incumbent Alfred Mutua, previously bragged about an inevitable win saying, “On August 8, I will beat my opponents [by a big margin] because I am up to the task.” With his biggest rival now out of the way, Mutua is closer than ever to accomplishing his ambitions.
Meanwhile, Kenyans have reacted to Ndeti’s disqualification via social media. Below are some tweets.
@jesang_ : “Kalonzo and his party always waste our time with issues you cant understand. last time it was Kethi Kilonzo. Now Wavinya ndeti”
@Amb_Majid: “Wavinya Ndebarreds by far the strongest candidate to have rattled down Mr Mutua. Sad to see her bared from polls. Pure injustice.”
What do you think of Ndeti’s ouster by the IEBC? Leave your comments.