Cases on posters dominate IEBC committee hearings

Candidates have now taken their battle for President Uhuru Kenyatta and his main challenger Raila Odinga’s support to the electoral agency, further stressing an already stressed team.

Half of the 46 cases the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s Electoral Code of Conduct Enforcement Committee has heard are about one thing: the use of pictures of President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga in posters of candidates running for the other seats.

In regions where the two have almost fanatical following, any remote association, including having their pictures on one’s campaign material, let alone their endorsements, is a jealously guarded political capital.

‘MY AFFILIATION’

“No candidate has patented Honourable Raila for their own use,” Mr Netto Adhola told the IEBC through a lawyer last month.

“I have put his picture just because of my affiliation to him.”

Mr Netto was disqualified from the race for Rarieda parliamentary seat as an independent after failing to pay a Sh250,000 fine and removing the pictures of Mr Odinga from his campaign material.

Mr Robert Momanyi, flying the Empowerment and Liberation Party flag in the Makadara parliamentary race, was also asked to pay Sh250,000 fine in 48 hours, remove all material bearing images of President Kenyatta as well as those with Jubilee Party colours, or risk disqualification.

On Wednesday, Mr Ndiritu Muriithi, an independent Laikipia gubernatorial candidate, told the team led by IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati that he had pictures of President Kenyatta on his posters because he was his preferred presidential candidate.

‘ASSOCIATED THEMSELVES’

“The President and his Deputy have openly associated themselves with me and have not expressed any discomfort in my presence around them,” Mr Muriithi said in an affidavit.

Mr Muriithi has filed a counter suit against Governor Joshua Irungu.

In Vihiga, Governor Moses Akaranga of the Progressive Party of Kenya is facing a fine after he was accused by a Mr Ibrahim Memba of unlawfully using the Mr Odinga-led National Super Alliance (Nasa) colours and logos yet his party was not a member of the coalition.

“When Nasa came to Vihiga, I took them all over the county. If the principals knew that I am not Nasa, they will not have invited me. I attended the launch of the Nasa manifesto, and Raila himself acknowledged me. Who else now would say no?” Mr Akaranga argued.

Similarly, Migori Governor Okoth Obado has accused his rival Ochillo Ayacko (independent) of among other things using Nasa banners in his campaigns material.

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