Politicians risk disqualifications as IEBC acts on complaints

Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka and his Ford Kenya opponent Wycliffe Wangamati risk being disqualified from the race if they do not pay Sh1 million each to the electoral agency by Friday midday.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) found them culpable of deadly violence that occurred in Bungoma on June 2 after they were cleared to vie.

A woman was killed in during the chaos after she was hit by a stray bullet.

The IEBC Code of Conduct enforcement Committee, chaired by commission chairman Wafula Chebukati, found that there was an “outright breach of the code” of the code by the two politicians.

FOUND GUILTY

“We find them both culpable and order that Governor Lusaka to pay Sh1 million to the IEBC within 24 hours of the pronouncement of this judgment. In default thereof, he stands disqualified from the August 8 General Election,” the IEBC said in its ruling.

It gave the same orders for Mr Wangamati, who was, like Governor Lusaka, also ordered to pay Sh1 million within 24 hours, as well as refrain his supporters in the future.

“They (Governor Lusaka and Mr Wangamati) both abdicated their duty to adhere to the code of conduct. The June 2 events were no doubt a show of might where there was an outright breach of the code of conduct,” IEBC vice chairperson Connie Nkatha Bucha said in the ruling she read on behalf of the committee.

And while Mr Wangamati’s lawyers vowed to appeal the ruling, Governor Lusaka, flying the Jubilee flag, who had complained against him before the commission, said he will comply.

“We are disappointed. We were provoked and we explained the circumstances. But again they have made their judgment, and what is important for me is comply and proceed,” Governor Lusaka told journalists in Nairobi.

MASQUERADING

“Complaining will not assist me get votes. I want to go to the ground and talk to the people of Bungoma,” he added.

Also fined by the IEBC was Rarieda parliamentary candidate Netto Adhola, who was accused by the ODM’s Eric Onyango of using the party colours and images of party leader Raila Odinga in his campaign materials.

The IEBC ordered the Independent candidate to pay Sh250, 000 within 48 hours, failure he would be disqualified from the race for using Mr Odinga’s images and ODM colours in his campaign materials.

“By using colours of ODM and pictures of the party’s party leader, Mr Netto does appear to be masquerading as an ODM nominee that which is prejudicial to Mr Onyango who was validly cleared as the ODM candidate in the race,” IEBC commissioner Prof Abdi Guliye said when he read the committee’s judgment.

COMPLAINT DISMISSED

Meanwhile, the IEBC dismissed a complaint against ODM Starehe parliamentary aspirant Steve Mbogo who had been accused by one Thomas Makori of defacing, destroying and removing his campaign posters.

“We find that the complaint has no merit and is hereby dismissed,” the IEBC said.

The commission will on Friday rule in a case where Kibwezi East MP Jessica Mbalu (Wiper) has accused her Jubilee opponent Philip Kaloki for what she said was violence meted out on her on June 2 after being cleared to defend her seat.

“When he looks at me, I am scared already. I just do not want to look at him,” Ms Mbalu said of Prof Kaloki during the Wednesday hearings, telling Mr Chebukati, “Please allow me to look at you instead.”

RAPE CLAIMS

She went on: “The things they did to me, it is bad. His supporters wanted to rape me your honour.”

But a calm Prof Kaloki swore that he had never ordered violence against Ms Mbalu.

“I have a wife, a sister, and my mother is still alive. I respect women. I relate with women on a daily basis,” said Prof Kaloki, who left his seat to contest the Makueni governor seat in 2013 but lost to Prof Kivutha Kibwana.

Politicians risk disqualifications as IEBC acts on complaints

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