EBC begins sittings on poll clearance complaints

Several candidates who have presented their complaints before the electoral agency’s disputes resolution committee will know their fate just a day after raising their grievances.

The verdicts will determine whether the candidates will be granted a second chance to be cleared so as to have their names on the ballot paper come August 8.

A team led by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chair Wafula Chebukati, while sitting at the Milimani Law Courts on Monday, said while it had begun its sittings to hear disputes arising from the recent clearing of candidates to vie for the oncoming polls.

In about 72 cases that were listed for hearing, about nine of those presented as of Monday were for candidates seeking Senatorial seats while the rest belonged to Members of County Assemblies (MCAs).

“We want to give you judgments every other day. For example matters being heard today, we want to make sure that you get your decisions tomorrow morning,” said Mr Chebukati.

Among those who are expected to know their fate on Tuesday include Homa Bay’s Shem Ochuodho, Laikipia’s Samuel Irungu Kabuchwa and Nairobi’s Gabriel Bukachi Chapia.

Mr Chapia told the sitting that he was ill on the days preceding the two set dates for clearing Senatorial aspirants and that his vehicle had a mechanical problem at Makuyu while he was driving from Embu to Nairobi on May 29.

He claimed that even though he was in communication with the Chief Returning Officer, he could not be cleared on the said date.

The Chief Returning Officer was present and confirmed his sentiments.

Dr Ochuodho told the committee that he was not cleared on May 29 since the bank in which aspirants were required to have their banker’s cheques processed was, not offering that service on the said day.

As for Mr Kabuchwa he blamed the returning officer for asking him to get more signatories and when he returned he was not attended to. He claimed he was told that he was time barred yet the 5.00pm deadline had not reached.

But the returning officer, Ms Agnes Mutisya was present and denied allegations of having unfairly locked out Mr Kabuchwa.

Mr Guliya Hussein Abidwahid, who is seeking an MCA seat for Mnarani ward in Dadaab refugee camp told the sitting that there was a curfew in the area owing to a terror attack.

He explained that he could not have travelled from Nairobi to the area since only the police were allowed to move around hence requested the committee to consider giving him another chance to be cleared to vie for that seat.

Before the proceedings started, Mr Chebukati asked those who had filed complaints to go straight to the point to allow matters to be resolved as quickly as possible.

Most of the complaints presented included the conduct of Returning Officers to candidates at the time of presenting documents.

The committee will be sitting to hear and determine the complaints until June 13.

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