BUNGOMA, KENYA: Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka says he has obeyed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) orders which banned him and his competitor from campaigning until a case before the electoral body is heard and determined.
Speaking to the press at his home in Webuye on Wednesday, Mr Lusaka said he paused his campaigns immediately he was notified by his lawyer about the blackout.
“As Bungoma Governor, I was with the president and his deputy at Mateka in Bumula Constituency for the official launch of the Musikoma-Buyofu Road. I attended the function in the capacity of the County Boss,” he observed.
With mobile networks offline, which ordinarily is the case when the President is around, the Governor says he was only able to be in touch with his lawyer who was representing him in Nairobi at 1.30pm.
“He (the lawyer) informed me of the order barring us from campaigns. I immediately retreated for I am a law abiding citizen,” said Governor Lusaka.
At that time, adds Mr Lusaka, the President and his deputy had already completed their engagement with the people of Kimilili Constituency where the Governor had escorted them.
The IEBC banned Mr Lusaka and his rival Wycliffe Wangamati from campaigning until tomorrow (Thursday) when it sits to listen to the case.
The two have been accused of failing to contain a fracas between their supporters in a funeral of a Jubilee campaigner in Kibingei, Kimilili Constituency. The deceased was murdered at his home by unknown people. Though investigations are still on, Mr Lusaka’s proponents suspect the killing was politically motivated.
Mr Lusaka has maintained that he will continue advocating for political tolerance in Bungoma. “I will also continue discharging my duties as the Governor of Bungoma County even as I await the IEBC ruling. I urge my competitors to respect the rule of the game; face me squarely in the pitch instead of looking for shortcuts which of course will fail,” said Mr Lusaka.
An opinion poll released last week put Mr Lusaka way ahead of his competitor Wangamati at 52 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.