Homa Bay governor aspirant Oyugi Magwanga photo:courtesy
Homa Bay governor aspirant Oyugi Magwanga has been cleared to vie even while a legal suit challenging his academic certificates remains unresolved.
Mr Magwanga, who has picked economist and marketing guru Joshua Orero as his running mate, will be running as an independent candidate against the Governor Cyprian Awiti, who is defending his seat on an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party ticket.
George Okoth, a Homa Bay resident sued Magwanga in a Nairobi court, claiming that his academic certificates were forgeries.
Mr Okoth wants Magwanga, who is the Kasipul MP, barred from running. The hearing has been slated for June 7.
Magwanga and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) county returning officer, Michael Kosgei, said they had not been served with court papers.
“I hereby clear Mr Magwanga to vie for the governor’s seat as an independent candidate because he has met the requirements,” said Mr Kosgey.
The MP described the suit against him as witch hunt. Magwanga and Orero said they were sure of unseating Awiti come August 8.
The MP introduced his running mate as a technocrat with a rare grasp of development matters.
Orero unsuccessfully contested the Ndhiwa parliamentary seat in the April ODM nominations.
In Siaya County, Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo and Governor Cornell Rasanga were also cleared to run in the August elections.
Mr Rasanga is defending is seat on an ODM ticket while Mr Gumbo is vying as an independent candidate.
Gumbo has named former Kisumu and Mombasa Town Clerk Tubman Otieno as his running mate.
Gumbo, who was accompanied by Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo, accused Rasanga of using county government resources to campaign. He said it was wrong for the governor to use relief food bought with county funds to woo voters.
But Mr Rasanga dismissed the accusations, saying Gumbo was making wild claims after sensing defeat.
The two candidates however promised to conduct peaceful campaigns.
Meanwhile, Rangwe MP George Oner wants residents to shun clanism in the elections. Speaking at Ndiru trading centre when he launched his re-election campaigns, the MP said voting along clan lines was undemocratic.
The MP said nobody dictated where they were born hence it was wrong for the residents to discriminate against an aspirant based on clans.
“Using myself as an example, I never applied to God to be born in the Kagan clan. Avoid prejudice based on aspirants’ clans,” he said.
Oner is contesting as an independent candidate against university lecturer Lilian Gogo, who running on an ODM ticket.