IEBC defends move to bar Machakos aspirant Governor Wavinya Ndeti

Wavinya Ndeti outside Milimani Law Courts on 9/6/2017. IEBC had locked her out of Machakos governor race. PHOTO BY GEORGE NJUNGE

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has defended its decision to bar Machakos governorship aspirant Wavinya Ndeti from vying, even as she put up a case to save her candidature.

The electoral body argued that Wavinya employed political mischief, which was hatched by the Wiper Party to circumvent party resignation laws, as she did not qualify to contest under the party.

But the former assistant minister maintained she had followed the law, and ensured she was in Wiper Party’s list before the deadline set by IEBC, which is the main point of argument at the High Court.

Lawyer Paul Nyamondi, for the commission, told Justice George Odunga that the aspirant based her membership to Wiper through a coalition agreement with Chama cha Uzalendo (CCU) dated April 24 this year.

He went ahead to produce a copy of a certificate by the former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka-led party, given to Wavinya, which indicated that it was a coalition agreement.

But she had a letter that indicated that she had ditched CCU on April 5, for Wiper.

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IEBC argued that Wiper gave a list of those contesting for various seats on March 27 and Wavinya’s name never featured.

“The applicant became a member of CCU on March 29 and resigned on the same day. It is very strange indeed,” said Nyamodi. “There is no indication that she became a member of Wiper on April 6, 2017.

He added: “A membership certificate dated April 24, 2017 shows that she became a member of Wiper by dint of a coalition agreement. She was a member of two parties. The applicant made futile attempts to leave CCU and she has not left. She cannot therefore be eligible for nomination by Wiper.”

Nyamodi also told the court that the resignation letter could have been forged as it never featured anywhere when the case was before the IEBC committee.

Justice Odunga heard that the electoral body, during the hearings at the Tribunal level, had challenged Wavinya to produce proof that she had resigned but she did not, only for her to later attach the letter in her suit at the High Court.

“There was never a letter in IEBC’s tribunal case reply. The letter for recognition for resignation is not genuine. It was written as a result of IEBC ruling,” he said. The court also heard that there was no other party list produced by Wiper that had Wavinya’s name.

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