Governor Joho now tells off IEBC over billboards

Mombasa County Governor Hassan Joho’s erected billboards along Mombasa-Malindi Highway in Mombasa County. (Photo: Kelvin Karani/Standard)

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has termed as absurd and illegal an ultimatum given to him by the electoral agency to allow his competitors erect billboards.

On Thursday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) ordered Mr Joho to allow his opponents erect campaign billboards or face disciplinary action.

In a letter copied to IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba, Mombasa County Returning Officer Nancy Kariuki wrote to Governor Joho, saying she had received a formal complaint from a governor candidate that he had been denied advertising space.

“In compliance with the Electoral Code of Conduct, all candidates who have applied and have the capacity and willingness to pay for advertising space should, under your executive leadership of Mombasa county government, have their requests granted by 9am on July 7,” said Kariuki.

She warned if the candidates, who include Senator Hassan Omar, Nyali MP Hezron Awiti and Suleiman Shahbal, are not allowed access to advertising space by the given time, Joho would be held personally liable.

However on Friday, Joho shot back, saying the ultimatum is “absurd and impractical to implement”.

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“Your directive is not only illegal but raises serious questions about your objectivity and impartiality. From your directive, it’s clear that you have already made a conclusion even without hearing what the other parties have to say and this is an indictment on your impartiality,” Joho says in a letter to the commission.

He said he had no control over the leasing of outdoor or any other advertising space and therefore had nothing to do with the complaints.

Joho added that the matter is outside the mandate of the commission.

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